After we had unfortunately had to announce that Trucks and Tracks would not be happening for 2011, one of the regular traders, Harold Hanna from Matador Models, stepped up to organise at quite short notice a replacement show for the end of February date. Organised with some help from MAFVA, and Paul Middleton who is pictured above with Harold, and a team of volunteers who helped them stage the show. Using the equally regular Leas Cliff Hall venue in Folkestone, the 'On Track' model show came to life.
Held on just the one day, Saturday 26 February 2011, On Track marked the start of the shows for a new modelling year. It was slightly smaller in size to both Euro Militaire and Trucks and Tracks, as it occupied just the entrance hall and landing, plus the main hall and balconies. The lower rooms which usually house the bar and competition rooms for Euro were not in use.
On entry, there were trade and club stands displayed in the foyer, then the right hand balcony had a number of club displays all round, while the left hand balcony was home ot the competition tables. Down in the main hall, trade and club stands occupied the whole floor, while a wargames table was set up in the centre of the main stage. For those regulars who have attended either Trucks and Tracks or Euro Militaire at the Leas Cliff before, you will know there are 2 raised platforms either side of the stage. One was occupied by an Airfix stand, where juniors had a chance to make and paint an Airfix kit while they were there, while the one on the other side was home to the MilitaryModelling.com club stand, where I am pleased to say we were able to put on a great display with models seen here on the site which various members had brought along for the day.
It was nice to see a busy day in the hall, with plenty of visitors coming from far and wide to attend. Lots to tempt you on the trade stands and some really excellent displays and demonstrations among both club and trade stands. The atmosphere for the whole day was very friendly and a great chance to see old friends as well as new ones. A drink in the bar and a chat is always a nice interlude.
Among the traders there was a very good representation from small scale models, with the likes of Matador, Milicast, MMS, Sgts Mess, Gramodels and SHQ all present. With larger scale, Des Resin had their 1/35 French P16 on sale, while our own Chris Meddings was there with his interiors and tool sets etc for ITA, while Resicast were on hand with their stunning Comet with interior detailing and on sale among their other kits and figures. Black Lion decals, along with Jan Geisbers and TAS Models had come over from Holland, and whose bright orange shirts and balloons made a bright spot in the hall. Books were there from Casemate Books, plastic kit traders like Dorking Models, LSA, SB Models, Pol Models and others. Perhaps the only element noticably missing were any traders with paints and tools.
One of the most impressive displays was actually on the Matador Models stand, where a restored model of 'Tower Bridge', a large, scratchbuilt Bailey Bridge representing one in Holland during WW2 was a real pleasure to see. More on that will come another time. In the same way, regular member here on the site Tim Ivatts was there with his Black Tracks product, a set of chemicals to colour metal track links. Tim did a great demonstration of how to do this, and there will be more on this separately quite soon.
As for the competitions, these were up on the balcony as already mentioned, and entries were once again to a high standard. I have to say I am glad I didn't have the task of trying to choose between them. Mind you, I was particularly impressed by a couple of junior entries which were really very well deserved prize winners. There were vehicles in a wide variety of scales entered, including a couple of cut-aways such as a Challenger 2 by Dick Francis, while Ian Robinson had entered his Matilda in the Caunter scheme, Mark Chisholm entered his Ersatz M10 and Mike McLaughlin entered a few of his builds as well, which also resulted in some prizes. Others included a couple from Nigel Norfol which have featured in the magazine itself before so you might have recognised them. Some nice figures, a few ship models, and some aircraft models which included a display of smaller scale ones, all 1/144 I think, which I really liked a lot.
As ever with competitions, you look at winners and non-winners and wonder how some are chosen over others, but having been in the position in the past as a judge, you will never have everyone agree with your decisions. So my approach is just to go with it and accept their choices, and be glad you don't have to make the decisions. Rather similar to how I feel about foootball referees who have to make split second decisions, whereas the football pubdits who criticise them have multiple camera angles and slow motion play back with computer based tools to enable them to criticise the referees and linsmen who have to make the call without all those additional aids. Judges are briefed on what to be looking for and will discuss things between themselves to get agreement. It is never just one persons choice. Best of Show went to a small scale model, which is illustrated above.
The album below gives a good idea of what was there in the competitions, as well as some shots of our own Club table. I'd like to thank Mike McLaughlin and Chris Barrett for their efforts in organising the stand once more, and all those members who helped out, including by manning it throughout the day. Personally I really enjoyed seeing a good number of the models we have shared in blogs and threads here on the website, and great to see them in actual fact. Thanks go to all of you who brought something along. The same is true of others which were found on their local club stands, such as Ian Robinson and his North African diorama which was to be found with the Gravesham Club stand on the upper balcony.
I am sure I have missed mentioning someone or something, for which I apologise if I have, but thanks go to everyone who helped out in the organisation of the show and indeed everyone who came along to make the show day such a success.