As a first time attendee, I really didn’t know what to expect of the Northern Virginia – aka “NOVA” – Model Classic contest & model show. (http://www.novaipms.org/)
I’ve known that others go to it seemingly every year and HRSM gets annual trophy sponsorship notices accordingly, but there isn’t usually an organized contingent from our club, just a smattering of folks participating. Personally, I haven’t been one for the show ‘circuit’ but I’ve since decided I should try and make the one’s nearby at least once, aside from the yearly trek to Richmond. So, now I can safely say NOVA is worth the trip. (Show image gallery HERE.)
After a bit of carpool cajoling, I had Scott Bregi and Hank Pugh from Tidewater as car-mates for the two and half hour drive to Fairfax, which was punctuated by ‘run-ins’ with Gordon & Judy Geiger and others from the Tidewater ‘mob’. The show, as I found, is usually sited at the Fairfax High School, a fairly easy passage off the interstate – especially if you don’t miss the correct I-95 to I-495 interchange exit (use the one to Tyson’s Corner exit!)
We arrived around 10am to find things already well underway, with vendor folks lining the hallways outside the main “hall” – actually the school’s lunchroom – where space was evenly divided between the contest tables and more vendors, plus a show raffle set to the side. The modular model railroaders club had a display right at the front door to provide some local color and action as we paid our entrance fees and strolled on into the ‘fray’.
There was a goodly array of vendors selling mostly vintage plastic although some manufacturers such as Starfighter Decals ( http://www.starfighter-decals.com/), Furball Decals and KittyHawk / Panda Models had their latest wares available to examine & buy. Just about any reference could be found from several book vendors including our own local Aeroplane Books. Rare Plane Detective was also present with a full range of Anigrand resin kits amongst their regular stock of hard to find items. In fact, most of the sellers were flush with older releases and estate disposals, which was a bit disappointing to my ‘wants’ list of new kits. I did however find a great deal on an older Copper State kit of the Gotha G.III WWI bomber, though the seller admonished me to have it ready in a month. I asked many about the 2014 National Convention and some wanted to know how to sign up now!
As I didn’t participate in the contest, I could only appreciate the fine work on display with no concern of competition. Judging was conducted as an ’embedded’ activity while spectators mingled. All was completed in short order with awards being passed out and the show was concluded. Our local crew took a fair share with over 40 awards, with Scott taking three “best of” awards (amongst others) while Hank took two placings as well. Gordon Geiger garnered a 1st & 2nd while Kevin Ferris nailed down eight awards, mostly of the ‘first place’ variety. Overall, it was a very pleasant day of browsing, talking shop and enjoying some fine modeling. Outbound, we hit the excellent ‘Red Hot & Blue’ BBQ joint with John Lent and his son, Bill Brickhouse, John Kelly, Charles Landrum and Doug Stevens. The remainder of the trip was uneventful if “long” as DC transits typically tend to be.
Assessing the show, I’d say it was well-attended, well-stocked with vendors and efficiently run. I felt the venue was a bit crowded but that is mostly how it is when a show is successful! I only wished the vendors had better access for loading – a dolly was obviously indispensable.
The full awards breakdown (courtesy of John Kelly’s fine reporting) is:Category/ Place Name Model Biplanes 3 Pugh F6C 1 Lent Alb. D.III 1/72 SE Prop, Radial 1 Jean Ki-100 1/72 SE Prop, In-Line 3 Bregi P-51 2 Brickhouse Typhoon 1/48 SE Prop – Radial 3 Jean F8F 1 Witkowski Helldiver 1/48 SE Prop – In-line OOB Pugh He 70 3 Witkowski Ki 61 2 Brickhouse Ki 61 1/72 ME Prop 3 Brickhouse Ar 240 2 Jean Betty 1 Bregi Betty 1/48 ME Prop 3 Witkowski PV-1 2 Brickhouse Hs 129 1/72 SE Jet 3 Witkowski A-7H 2 Jean Swift 1/48 SE Jet 3 Witkowski F-8 2 Farris A-4M 1/72 ME Jet 2 Brickhouse Fw 226 1 Bregi F-111B 1/48 ME Jet 3 Witkowski F4E 2 Jean F4J 1 Farris Su-27 Rotary Wing OOB Jean MH-60 3 Farris Choctaw 1 Witkowski Helix 1/144 Military 3 Brickhouse C-47 1 Jean Vulcan 1/32 Jet 2 Jean T-33A 1 Farris MiG-29 Commercial 2 Kelly Il-18 1 Jean Tu-154 1/72 AFV 1 Farris Sherman 1/35 AFV, Post-WWII 3 Witkowski Su-85 2 Farris ??? 1/48 AFV, split-tracked Farris RSO 1/48 AFV, split-wheeled 1 Farris Stryker Cars, Stock 1 Bregi Lamborghini Figures, 90mm, foot 2 Geiger Black Prince Figures, Sci-Fi 1 Geiger Dreadnaught Best ’60s Aviation Subject: Bregi F-111B Best Aircraft: Bregi F-111B Best Automotive: Bregi Lamborghini