From August 6th to 9th, 10 members of the Zoukei-Mura team came all the way from Japan in order to attend during 4 days the IPMS-USA National Convention on its astounding 50th anniversary, an event where modeling enthusiasts all over USA get together.
I would like to dedicate the following several entries in this blog to talk about our experience at the event. All of you living in the north hemisphere are still getting through the heat of late summer. Please have fun reading this entry and I hope it makes you feel as if you were there at the IPMS Virginia.
We are the first coming to the deserted venue!
Next to Chris, the booth set up has really begun. Place the large tables, lay the clothes on…..everything is going just like we planned in Japan. This is just the beginning of the huge job we'll be doing for the next half of the day!!
And here, on this big table, we prepare the lottery box for the survey. Results: like never before since Volks started to have a booth, we had 200 replies! Thank you very much!! Congratulations to those who win! Sorry if you didn't make it.
Oh my god, this is my master! My wife has been helping us too!! Well she has to check her husband's behavior…. I'm kidding. She's just participating as you can see. Checking out how we 're working our fingers to the bone!
Few hours later. Zoukei-Mura's booth is almost complete! Jet-lag is actually hurting now. Everybody feels like this or that is missing, like something has been left at home… The air coming from the strong air conditioner to the concrete floor hits again and again. My legs and my back are starting to ache. Anyway I don't get why everyone seems to be fine with this cold.
Unlike other past IPMS events which were held at hotels' halls decorated with gorgeous carpets, this time the event was held in an immense convention center worthy of an exposition venue, with grey concrete walls and brightest illumination lighting up every corner straight from the ceiling.
Furthermore, our Zoukei-Mura booth was the biggest of all the model kit manufacturer exhibiting! We could not help but feeling nervous.
And maybe because of this, the IPMS staff especially granted us permission to be the first to enter the hall in order to make all the preparations.
Thanks a lot to the IPMS Virginia's staff.
Fortunately, we managed to get all the Zoukei-Mura booth setting ready just in time for the opening!!
Even now I still remember the dry reverberation of the sound that our members made as they were setting up the booth in a yet empty venue.
But even before we put our feet on the venue, we had already sent our development team to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to gather information on real airplanes.
Although we were suffering from a terrific jet lag on this day, none of our members showed symptoms of fatigue and did their best. I felt like being surrounded by samurai warriors. There was something very captivating on the way they looked.
After all, we were moved by the satisfaction of seeing our modeling enthusiasts happy!!
With lightning speed our crew members moved like ninjas and they got the booth setting in the blink of an eye.
We had on display all the popular SWS kits we brought with us all the way from distant Japan: 1/32 new Horten, as well as Shinden, Ta 152, Mustang, Skyraider, Uhu and Raiden kits.
The highly anticipated Shinden and Ta 152 in 1:48 scale, as well as after parts for each kit, diorama bases for display, modeling tools and concept notes were piled up mountain-high. An incredible one-of-a-kind scenery!
Wait, you think that we brought too many kits?!
Well, forget this for a while, since the American modelers and fans would be satisfied with our booth, products and the reception of our staff!
Although we have done this many times in the past, we were being overwhelmed by a sour-sweet sensation in our chests, a complex mix of fear, anxiety and expectation.
Finally the doors open at 2 O'clock!!
The 50th IPMS Virginia kicks off!
Already so many people lined up! Look at this! As you could expect, 99% of the attendants are nice old man. Well I am one those too. My wife and my second son don't seem to enjoy that peaceful scene, but I know they're actually envious.
Hey hey, just the time to start and we already have this line at Zoukei-mura's booth, as always. The line continued for a long, long way from here. Thank you to all the people who purchased! Sorry to all of you who couldn't.
You're the first one in the world to get the Horten! Thank you! Congratulations! Your dream is my dream. Your happiness is my happiness!! Now don't leave this kit on you table, just start building it! Make an awesome job!
Oooh, you got it too!! Well done!! SWS Horten, the mysterious flying wing. Surely it's going to be like an adventure, a thrill for all of you expert modelers. From tonight, pleasant restless nights will start!!
The line still continues! I'm seriously thinking we should have prepared more kits to satisfy everyone at this event!! But this was all we could do. Zoukei-Mura is still a small maker; please keep supporting us from now on.
SWS kit is what I want, made the way I want, in other words, something made by a fan for the fans. Once a fascinating kit like this appears in the world, you just can get addicted.
Hooo!! Hordes of fans coming in!!
One comes after another… But where will they go first!?
My anxiety peaked and I freaked out! But suddenly my fears are swept away as a long line started forming in front of our Zoukei-Mura booth!!
WOW Amazing!! So many fans ran toward our booth located at the very back of the hall. Half of me was filled with joy and the other half with amazement.
I wish I could show you this.
Simply an unforgettable moment in my life!!
Then, could you get in the line?
Well, before coming here we had so many requests about the Horten's pre-release, and we brought all the stocks we had but we saw it going sold out in a while.
For the people who could attend only the second, the third or the final day, this event should have gone for them without having a chance to take a look at the Horten kit.
We Zoukei-Mura have no excuses for this!
Consequently, we decided to split the available quantity of kits into four batches, and have a limited sale every morning during the 4 days of the event.
I'll tell that on the opening day, the first 20 kits of the Horten were sold out in the first 10 minutes! Thank you so much to all of you for your purchase!!
We're really sad that we ran out of items and some people couldn't get their kit.
Please forgive Zoukei-Mura for this time.
SWS 1/32 Horten's Japanese release is scheduled for October.
Delivery to our Friend Shops around the world is scheduled for November. Please be patient for the moment.
I'll tell you with the next entry what happened during the event and within our Zoukei-Mura booth.
See you next time, for the Second Episode of IPMS 50th Anniversary Event in Virginia!!
Representative of Zoukei-mura, Inc.
What do you think about this? As compared to 1/32 Horten, obviously Do 335 makes a big difference!!
With this 3D drawing, this SWS kit is recreated as the way it is.
From the fuselage structure and the reproduction of each part, to the precise description of the mechanical movements of the plane, the development of this SWS kit is currently moving forward.
However, this is just a 3D drawing. From now, we will do more historical researches, and add more detailed description about each part as we can. We seek a recreation of the assembly process that will give you the fun as if you are creating the real aircraft.
We, the development team keep working hard to complete the final investigation in order to make this kit good enough to be part of your collection.
Please be a little bit more patient!!
While waiting for the day when the SWS Do 335 is released, please enjoy building the Ho229.
Our only hope is your patience and your judgment as a modeler.
From the DB 603 A traction engine to the cockpit, and from the tank fuels to the internal structure and the propulsion engine, you will enter into a world of building where you will feel as you are recreating the real "Do 335"!
The model-making world of 1/32 scale kits has moved so far!
For both, the expert modelers who built SWS kits many times and the new modelers who have never tried before, SWS Do 335 is the best recommended kit.