Event Report from IPMS in Telford, UK #2

I love it! The scenery of Birmingham is beautiful!!

Two days before the event, we, 5 members of Zoukei-Mura's SWS Development Team, landed on the soil of England, which we had dreamed of, to attend the IPMS event in Telford.

I was asked at immigration, "What is your purpose for visiting here?" So I answered, "To go to the IPMS event." Then, he asked me, "How big is your aviation collection?" I was so surprised!!
I answered, "Several thousand!" He stamped my passport with big smile!

That was so surprising and made me happy all the same.

Yes. We came all this way to take part in one of the world biggest airplane model events.
This unexpected welcome, in this unexpected place, brightened our day.

By the way, it was about a 22 hour flight from Kansai International Airport in Japan, to the UK through Dubai!! I knew it, but the UK is far, far away.

This is the underground parking lot of our headquarters building. We are loading our baggage and heading to the Kyoto Station. It will be about 22 hours of travel from Kansai Airport all the way to the UK, through Dubai!! What kind of meeting is waiting for us at IPMS in Telford? We are already filled with both excitement and anxiety! OK! We're on our way!

First, we transfer at Dubai International Airport. It's just a transition point, but touching down on unfamiliar land makes us even more excited!

Why is this so luxurious!? That's the big country made from oil! Each single facility of the airport is super modern and lavish. We can't help being amazed!

Even though our transfer was in the middle of the night, the clean, huge floor was covered by tourists from around the world.

We took Emirates Airline this time. The cabin was big and neat and the in-flight meal was really nice! How comfortable!

We've arrived at the Birmingham International Airport! Though the sky was covered with gray clouds, the motivation of the Zoukei-Mura team is high above!

Let's rent a car for travelling in the UK. Don't forget to change money! These are both necessary for our mission there!

This is the Birmingham International Airport from the outside. Its simple design is really stylish! That's the England which I expected!

Zoukei-Mura team on the soil of the UK! Let us start with a commemorative photo, as usual. We're looking forward to seeing what will happen at the IPMS event!

We've arrived at our final destination, the Birmingham International Airport, rubbing our drowsy eyes. Sadly, the sky was covered with dark, heavy clouds and cold winds blew. It was raining a little, too. "Wow~! This is the UK! This is Birmingham~!!"
The unexpectedly cold weather made me nervous for a moment, but I felt that everything I could see was filled with British elegance, even around the airport.

Once we packed all our baggage into the car we rented, the traveling comedy of these five guys finally started!!
The goal of that day was the "Mercure Telford Madeley Court Hotel," where we would stay for five days!!

From our research, it would be about a 40 minute drive from the airport to the hotel by freeway.
The Ford SUV carrying us and our finished SWS models ran smoothly on the freeway, its loud engine rumbling.

Come to think of it, the freeway was completely toll-free in the UK while we traveled~!! That was amazing!!
Moreover, the roads were neat and well maintained.
If it was in Japan, that distance would cost several thousand yen easily, but here in the UK, we could drive anywhere we wanted without fees! It's free!

On the way to hotel, we stopped by the event site to check it out, to the parking lot through the "roundabout" (rotary) in front of the event site.

This is the sign of the International Center where the event will be held. Is IPMS a major event? There were signs along the road as well!

The entire International Center. The IPMS event will use three of these halls. It's a huge scale model event!

The International Hotel is next to the event site. It seems that people who enrolled for the event early are staying in this hotel.

A "roundabout" is a really useful traffic system for drivers. There is always this kind of sign before them.

Farewell to the irritation of waiting for a signal?! We can just go into the circled shaped rotary and then just leave in the right direction!

We're done scoping out the event site. We were getting used to the traffic rules there, so we ran some errands for tomorrow's booth preparation.

Local procurement completed. We're on the way to the hotel. A building rich in atmosphere appeared after driving along mountain roads!? This is the hotel where we stayed!

One more thing that amazed me was the "roundabout"! It's an ultimate traffic system.
Though the roads meet at a junction, there weren't any uncool signals, or an irritating wait time for them, at all!
All of the cars which enter into a junction turn clockwise around the roundabout and then smoothly leave in the direction which each one was aiming!

How smart it is!! How easy to drive!!
It makes it possible to get to the goal really smoothly, without stopping at each single junction to follow a red signal.
Actually, we could drive from the hotel to the event site without stopping, as well as to almost everywhere in Telford.

At first, we felt awkward with the too-smooth tempo, but we learned how convenient it is before long. You know what, every day I drive only 18km (approx. 11 miles) from my home to work, but it takes me from 40 minutes to one hour depending on the day.

Well. In the Japanese urban areas, there are signals every 50m. They are almost always red and stop me. Drive a little bit and stop. Again, drive a little bit and stop. It's like that usually. I'm so used to it, and gave up driving smoothly.

But it was different in Telford. That same distance can be comfortably driven in ten minutes or so. That's amazing. The drivers in the UK also drive quite quickly!
Many of the streets were pretty narrow, but still they were driving at 40 to 50 MPH on average.
It also surprised me at first, but once I got used to that speed, driving became so fun.
We could travel quickly, yet with enough care.

Hmmmm. The UK drivers are scary!!

Regardless of young or old, man or woman, everyone drives in really high speed!!

We kept driving along country roads in suburban Telford, surrounded by huge pastures. Our destination is a nice English restaurant!

Eventually, brick residential areas and pastures appeared alternately. Sheep and cows were relaxed in their pastures!

It was getting dark and we saw a church along the street. This kind of scenery was here and there. It's full of British atmosphere!

We arrived at the English restaurant which locals told us was good. Why this is so stylish?!

The brick building is stylish and rich in atmosphere! We are excited to eat English food!

This is the photo of the restaurant taken during the day. This restaurant, along a street surrounded by pastures, is also popular among locals.

The inside is also super stylish! I didn't even know how to describe this. It was really a wonderful restaurant!

The lady at the drink counter was also stylish and beautiful! We can't wait until our dishes are served!

Guinness's dark beer is popular in Europe. I really like the nicely bitter taste, like coffee.

Here is our hors d'oeuvre, mushroom gratin! It was healthy and delicious, with a lot of vegetables on top!

Today's main course, roast beef, is served! The soft meat matches perfectly with the rich sauce!

Because we were a party of five guys, we ordered the 22 oz T-bone steak! Huge! It was very succulent!

Tons of roasted potatoes were served instead of rice. The pile of meat and potatoes surprised us in a different way from the U.S.

Time for desert! A classic rice pudding was served, in a surprisingly fancy way and satisfied our eyes as well!

Here's the citrus mousse. The not too sweet, delicate citrus mousse with whipped cream was so good!

Pudding with caramel sauce is also a classic. There were whole strawberries on it. The tart sweetness of strawberry and the sweetness of the pudding match well together!

A waffle with vanilla ice cream on it….was also huge! One sheet of waffle was the size of the steak.

The cheesecake with berry sauce had a lot of raspberries and blueberries. I liked this best, both the taste and appearance!

We enjoyed fabulous English food, so let's go back to the hotel. The British streets at night are also rich in atmosphere. Wonderful!

We're leaving the street with stylish and appealing pubs. Once our baggage was loaded, we headed to the hotel.

This is a picture of downtown during the day. The brick-lined shopping streets are filled with a unique atmosphere.

A London bus is running in the urban area! Its design is cute. I hope I can take this bus someday.

Most of the cars running in the UK were compact, as in Japan. I assume that driving a low-emission car quickly is the UK style. Irritated cars always tailgated us.

The best thing to do with such a car is give way to them because there are too many beautiful scenes along the streets in the suburbs of Telford. What should I enjoy besides the delightful scenery in the UK? How wonderful the country roads surrounded by huge farms!
Farmhouses and restaurants were here and there along the streets. They gave us a "British" feeling and the scenery excited us.
Every time we passed several narrow streets, there were always small churches. Most of the ordinary houses are also made of brick. They are as cute as if they were transplanted from art works.

We enjoyed authentic English food at a restaurant.
Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, smoked potatoes. If they come with black beer, it's perfect!
Chic British pubs and restaurants have really nice atmosphere and delicious things were everywhere!!
All of us were already big fans of the UK even before the IPMS event began.

Finally, I will write about how we prepared our Zoukei-Mura booth on the day before the event in my next blog post.
What will happen to the Zoukei-Mura members, who are excited at the enormous number of booth tables spread in the huge halls and the busyness there!?
Please look forward to it!
Actually, I will go to Seoul to attend an event which our company will hold. So, the next post will need some time until I come back

By the way, have you already checked the "What is the next airplane?" Quiz for the SWS next kit?
The fine airplane, which we released as a resin kit under the brand of VOLKS a long time ago, will be back as the ultimate 1/32 SWS kit.
We are looking forward to receiving your submission.


Hideyuki Shigeta
The Old Man of Zoukei-mura


If you have any opinions, questions, or requests regarding the SWS, please don't hesitate to let us know.


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