Jessica's Beau' seen at the RE museum
by: Mal Mayfield
Where else would an ex Sapper want to go for a 2 day model show but to the Royal Engineers museum in Gillingham. This was the case on Saturday and Sunday, 1st-2nd September 2007 when the Medway Model Club held their annual show at this wonderful venue. I was please to make the longish trip to this previous “stomping” ground especially as we would also be meeting one of our newest members, Darren Greenwood, Daz, (Darreng). The trip down was excellent mainly because of the great company, Nige (Lampie) came to my place and we travelled down together. We arrived at the hotel at around 9.00pm so we were able to partake of a couple or three “sherbets”. The liquid refreshment didn’t prevent us from getting up for breakfast and getting over to the museum to set up. The fact that the museum is literally just up the road from the hotel made a big difference. We set up and I was away looking at the exhibits and reading about how the Sappers do everything and anything, all of which I know, but the memories the museum invoked were many, some of which cannot be repeated, in polite company.
The Saturday was spent talking to as many people as possible, sometime preaching to the converted but always extolling the virtues of a particular group of online forums. One guy in particular, who’s name I now forget (sorry if you are reading this), had a similar experience to me when seeking out info on a well known, Australian, owned forum. I told him how good the Kitmaker group was and he said he would take a look. Another highlight was the Medway Model Groups Show organiser, and I believe leader’s display of, what appeared to be, a gazillion models of ships from several Pacific fleets (see picture). He also has folders full of info and of course I told him about Model Shipwrights. He doesn’t do modelling forums but if you see the name Terry Plaw about do make him feel welcome (I know that you will) especially on the Model Shipwrights site, as he has a wealth of information. It was a particular pleasure for me to meet Greg, a serving member of Her Majesty’s Royal Engineers, who is now a member of the Kitmaker group (Wagtail). One of the main reasons for going to the Medway show, as mentioned before, was to meet one of the Bulldogs latest members, Daz (darreng), and his good lady Cindy. Daz Had his own display, 2 tables full of 1/72 scale vehicles, positioned next door to the Bulldogs stand. It was a great pleasure to meet you Daz and I hope that we do get the pleasure of your company at Telford. There were lots to see, both in the show and the museum exhibits, and a great day was rounded off by a trip to the local pub, where, apparently, Greg was cohersed into joining the Bulldogs.
The Sunday start was a little later than Saturday; the first person that I saw was the guy I spoke to on Saturday, who was a member of the antipadean site. He grabbed my hand and was pumping my arm so much that I thought that he thought he’d deliver water that way. It was because of his joy over becoming a member of the Kitmaker group, and he simply wanted to thank me for getting him on the straight and narrow. It was also competition day and I was asked to do a bit of judging, which I did, after declaring an interest as several Bulldogs had entered. This was later in the day and I spent some time outside looking at the exhibits out there. In amongst these exhibits were plenty of other attractions, including R/C cars, trucks, boats and AFV’s. One in particular caught everyone’s attention, a ¼ scale (1/4 ton) Tiger, very impressive. I also spent some time explaining some of the exhibits to some of the punters out there. After the judging I was talking to some R/C aircraft enthusiasts and they had some impressive stuff. Unfortunately there was no flying but still well worth seeing. I didn’t hear the announcement for the competition prize giving, but it was no surprise as to how well the bulldogs did. First in their categories were; Nige (lampie), for his excellent 1/72 P-47, Daz (darreng) for a wonderful 1/72 Challenger with dozer blade and of course Courtney (yoghurt) did it again, in the junior class, with her 1/48 Spitfire Mk V. To round off an excellent show Luciano (littorio) got a highly commended for the tiniest of tiny Italian AFV’s. The remainder of the time was spent looking, again, at models and talking to modellers and the public about modelling. The show catered for the youngsters with a, well run, “make and take”, where a saw a few happy faces. To round off an excellent show there was another young girl, similar in age to our own Courtney, behind the stand opposite ours. Jessica had built a marvellous looking 1/72 Matchbox Beaufighter, it wasn’t painted but it was how matchbox kits were intended, with their different coloured plastic. This report is dedicated to Jessica and Courtney, the 2 best young female modellers that I have met; you are both an inspiration.
Over 700 members of the public passed through the doors over the weekend, which proves what a great weekend this is. There are not a lot of traders but there was sufficient temptation for most of the group to go home with a few purchases. The Bulldogs will definitely be there again next year and I for can’t wait.