How I Spent My Weekend…

… or "OMACON 2009 Kicked My Butt".
As the "or" title suggests, this weekend was the only real "local" IPMS event for me during the year: OMACON ’09. It’s a contest hosted by the Fort Crook chapter of the IPMS, and is normally a very decent show. This year was no exception. Unfortunately, turnout was much lower than the previous years I’d been there. According to the website, there were 44 entrants and a total of 143 models entered. The vendor area was also greatly reduced. I think this is mainly due to the absence of Sprue Brothers–who have now opted out of having a "physical presence" at these contests.
Despite the size reduction, there were many friendly hobbyists around–along with a few folks were were just curious what scale modeling was all about. And there were certainly deals to be had at the vendors. I managed to score a pair of (identical) 1/12 Tamiya motorbike kits for $20–which will contribute to years of scratch-builds for Ma.K.-related models.
Unfortunately, things started off for me very badly. First off, I was going on about 90 minutes of sleep. I’d worked thru the night, finishing the Hiei at exactly 7:56 a.m. Saturday morning. Upon arrival at the Mid-America center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, I attempted to carry all three of my "bins" (containing my five model entries) in at the same time. And it was windy. And the wind caught one of those bins, ripping it right off the top of my stack and sending my–already fragile–"Spider Pong" tank skidding across the parking lot. One leg had fallen off, another wire had bent, and paint had been scratched off it. So, I spent the first hour there borrowing glue and a black "Sharpie" marker and rendering repairs. Finally, after some careful work, I got it to the point where it was standing on its own again so I could enjoy the rest of the day.
And enjoy it I did. Along with the vendor deals, there was also the kit raffle. I managed to win five very nice kits. One I traded off for three incomplete kits, and another one will probably be sold to someone else in the local club who expressed an interest. Another one is missing the instructions, so I’ll have to do some work to track that down. And there were lots of modelers to converse with. The Spider Pong drew a lot of comments, but I was also able to discuss Maschinen Krieger with a lot of folks. It seems like there’s a lot of modelers out there that are either interested in the series or have a few kits they haven’t gotten around to building yet. There were also more than a couple folks who knew about FichtenFoo’s KV-X2–soon to be released by MIG Productions. I did put up a gallery of images from the contest (over here, at the Lincoln IPMS site), but my camera was having issues and either didn’t want to focus or just wanted to turn itself off. Along with "glue", I’ll add "extra batteries" to the list for the next show.
When all was said and done, I had five entries in four categories. And I ended up with four medals, so that’s about as well as I could hope to do. The 1/72 Wildcat ended up with a 3rd place medal for "1/72 single-prop naval aircraft". The P-47 egg plane took 3rd in the "Misc." category. My Spider Pong was recovered enough to win 3rd in Sci-Fi, and my Hiei took 2nd (against four other entries!) in the 1/700 ship category. And by the time I got home, I was nearly falling asleep at the wheel. A good day. A long day, but a good day. Thanks to the crew at the Ft. Crook IPMS for putting on another great show this year.

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