Event Report from IPMS Florida 2012, Final Part
Good afternoon to all of our SWS fans!
– Contents –
The SWS Uhu is finally getting close to its release. We brought three assembled Uhu to this event to show this newest kit. Of course, it got the most attention! We were thrown into a storm of questions from many German aviation fans.
This is a completely finished Uhu with paint and national identification marks. The Lichtenstein antenna and the nose reminiscent of a leopard's head make this airplane's design look unique! Mr. Naoki Kobayashi confidently finished this model. It's quite heavy with its packed interior!
Please pay good attention to how the compactly designed nose is contrasting with the two powerful DB603A engines! If you look at it from this angle, you can see that Uhu is much more than just some ordinary airplane. Way to go! Uhu!!
We took many reservations for the SWS Shinden, starting from the morning of the first day! It was sold out in a moment. Although it has a bizarre design, the Shinden has attracted many aviation fans. This fighter plane has a mysterious charm.
* Welcome to the Zoukei-mura/Volks booth at IPMS Florida!
Now, my IPMS Florida 2012 event report which I have been imparting over the last little while has finally reached its last installment.
In this entry, which I can't believe is already the final part of my report, I will be describing the Model Contest, which is the main part of the event, as well as going over some highlights from the Zoukei-mura/Volks booth.
Please do enjoy this last installment~~!
Now, let's start with the Zoukei-mura/Volks booth, which was crowded every day with many hobby fans, as well as the state of the SWS kits we brought with us from Japan to exhibit.
In what way do you think we displayed those kits?
In this entry, just for those of you who were unable to attend IPMS Florida, one portion of my photos will be of those kits, and how they ended up.
First, we had finished models of our familiar 1/32 SWS series: the Shinden, the Ta 152, the Skyraider, and our new P-51 Mustang, all lined up together in one section.
For our next, much-anticipated new release, the 1/32 He 219 Uhu, we had one model which had been finished in a skeleton state, one model which was completely built using all of the parts but otherwise unfinished, and one completely finished model complete with paint and national identification marks, making for a total of three Uhus which were exhibited at the Zoukei-mura/Volks booth in Florida.
Making its first public appearance, and made the center of attention by the attendees, was a completely finished model speedily built just for this event – an Uhu which, just like its Mustang counterpart, was built by "Naoki Kobayashi," who never ceases to surprise us in all of the SWS Concept Notes with his novel metalwork technique.
The paint on upper half of the fuselage was executed with magnificent technique, recreating a speckled camouflage in characteristic Luftwaffe gray. To help the plane be distinguished by ally and enemy alike, only one main wing underside was painted a strong, monochrome black.
The truth is, until right before we left Japan, this finished Uhu model was still in Mr. Kobayashi's hands being built, so it was personally brought to the Florida venue by one of our staff in his carryon luggage.
From the airport in Osaka all the way to Florida, it was never out of his sight, and because he always handled it with great care, there ended up being none of the damage or breakage that we had been concerned about, which allowed us to show everyone this latest incarnation of the Uhu.
However, the actual kit itself still requires a little more work from us before it's ready.
I think that there are many of you out there who would like to obtain the kit as soon as possible, built it, and enjoy having it in your collection, but please give us a little more time to put the final touches on it. For just a little while longer, until the content is appropriate for an SWS kit, please continue to look forward to it.
* We are taking pre-orders for the 1/32 He 219 Uhu!
For those of you who wish to purchase directly from Zoukei-mura, please feel free to fill out the “
We are taking early pre-orders just for those of you who wish to pre-order immediately, no matter what.
To pre-order the 1/32 He 219 Uhu, you can also inquire at the nearest Friend Shop in your country (if available), at Volks USA (North America, Canada, and Mexico only), at any Volks showroom in Japan (Japan only), via the Volks mail order center (Japan only), or you can also place a pre-order here through this blog (any country).
However, please be aware that at this stage, we have not even set the final sale price.
(Details such as pre-order bonuses will be announced later via magazine advertisements and through this blog, so please look forward to it!)
This is a picture of the entire Zoukei-Mura/Volks booth! We displayed posters of the Shinden, Ta152, Skyraider and Mustang at its four corners. They demonstrate to us the coming of the new era of scale models!
The up-coming Air Force Skyraider made its debut as a finished, painted display model! The details are recreated perfectly to match those of the Vietnam War period! Compared to the Navy type, I think this one looks even more masculine! After all, it is still a tough guy!
This is the Navy Skyraider, which everyone may be familiar with by now. We displayed it with the armament crew, pilot and a director in a diorama. Mounting and adjustment of bombs was all done by hand!
Of course, we displayed the SWS Shinden in a Japanese Navy color scheme as you can see this picture! This extremely unique airplane got a lot of fans' attention there. The impact which you feel when you look at a finished model in person is huge, isn't it? The figures for this airplane standing all together are also really unique.
Whoa! This is the Shinden in 1/48 scale! In the usual manner of the SWS, this uniquely shaped airplane will be a kit with accurately recreated fuselage structure, engine, armament, cockpit, landing gear and external panels. A lot of fans looked at it with a twinkle in their eyes.
This is also from the SWS 1/48 scale series! It's the Ta152! This German airplane spread its elegant, yet dynamic attractiveness everywhere. Of course, important parts like the inner structure, engine, cockpit, etc. are recreated for this 1/48 Ta152 as well.
Yes, this is the SWS 1/32 Ta152 which we had reported was sold out worldwide. Regarding plans of a re-release, which everyone may be eager to know, we are working on a version of the Ta152 which appeared in a Japanese comic as the main character's airplane. We are, of course, also planning its re-release in the Luftwaffe type as well.
Here is the SWS's newest kit, the Mustang. We made a diorama of a scene where they are changing the propeller at a front-line base. We can feel the energy and reliability of the busily working maintenance crew. I knew it already, but what a wonderful airplane the Mustang is~!!
This is also the SWS Mustang. This silver paint best expresses the charm of the beautiful Mustang. The figures around it are also available now. If the airplane is on the ground, I want to display along with high-quality figures. Don't you agree?
Earl, Tom and his son visited our booth. We could take part in the IPMS Florida event because of their help. I'll work hard in Japan to live up to these wonderful American old guys!!
Wow! Alan came all the way from the UK!! He brought authentic fragrant tea for us!! He is a reader of my Old Guy's blog! Thank you so much. We will all enjoy your tea.
* The new SWS series is finally beginning!!
Speaking of first appearances, the long-awaited 1/48 scale SWS series joined in the fun!
The much-anticipated No. 1 will be the Imperial Japanese Navy's last fighter plane, the “Shinden.” As usual, even in 1/48 scale, the kit will debut with contents in the standard SWS kit style. You will be able to fully enjoy and understand the sculpted internal structures that are packed into the small fuselage!
Hey, hey, the fun starts here, right?!? Right! All you 1/48 fans out there!
Of course, because this a kit developed by Zoukei-mura, we tried to create a kit with contents appropriate to the 1/48 scale size.
Those lucky few of you who held the prototype in your hands at the event site will already know the level of detail I'm talking about.
Both the 1/48 Shinden and 1/48 Ta 152 were prepped in time for display at the venue.
Many fans enthusiastically took pictures of these two surprises.
“Actually, I'm a 1/48 fan! Keep us in mind.”
There were many people who told us that. Oh, the same is true of you?
The reason would be the old age that is creeping up on me. Age is the reason for everything! That's all there is to it!
Or, I don't know, perhaps my eyes are at fault? Or my nose? My fingers? No, I really do think it's my eyes!
No, no, that's not it – it may all be because of my personality, which by nature is inclined to be rather lazy……..
Hey now, which one is it?
Right! All humans age. That is nothing more or less than the truth. It gets to the point where you just say “no, thank you” to all troublesome things.
Above all, let me say this. If you are in your forties or fifties, you're still young.
You get my point.
For people like me, who can only claim that we are still young at heart, once you reac h the age of 64 or so, well, it becomes necessary to find kits with contents that, yes, like the SWS kits, are easy and don't require a huge amount of effort, yet in spite of that, still retain a high level of completion and can be spontaneously enjoyed.
Indeed, that is what drives the development of the SWS, and because I am the one saying it, you can rest assured that it is correct. (Hey, hey.)
Taking great pains to find research documents, with one difficulty after another. Taking several years to reach that glorious day when a finished model becomes a reality, and the feeling that I want to remember this day forever. The memories of those moments linger very strongly in my heart to this day. Back then, I was young~! (Yes, young!)
However, that was then, and now, as well as moving forward, things like the SWS kits have become necessary for me.
Basically, what I'm really saying is – that great difficulty and large amount of work I mentioned? I want the developing kit manufacturers to do it all for me. (Hey, hey!)
Accurate dimensions, which, for a scale model, are more important than anything else.
All along, I have wanted this kind of scale model kit. (Indeed.)
The things that would be unknown to your average modeler, the things that there's no way for them to discover – I really think that it's the responsibility of the manufacturer to do that work.
Eh? You think the same thing?!?
If it's an SWS kit, the parts will be made of 100% plastic, so that you can smoothly proceed nearly the entire length of your build using the same glue. There will also be no need to change the type of craft tools you're using depending on the part material.
At this point, if you've experienced the unique pleasure of building even one SWS kit, I'm sure you're well-aware of all this. But if you've yet to give it a try, I whole-heartedly recommend taking a crack at building the newly-released SWS P-51D kit.
Won't you please take this opportunity to enter the world of SWS kits?!
And of course, it goes without saying that Zoukei-mura thoroughly researches the actual aircraft when developing a kit. When taking the measurements for each part, we were so thorough as to take large close-up photos and videos of every 10 centimeters of the aircraft.
Even in cases where the actual aircraft no longer exists, using huge repositories of remaining documents as a foundation, we gather as much information as possible from the thoughts and opinions of local researchers, so that a sculpt of the aircraft that is as close to accurate as possible can be made a reality.
Ah, but I digress, I digress.
Going back to the on-sale dates for both of these long-awaited planes, to tell the truth, they still need another eight rounds of adjustment and refinement, with many details still to be tweaked before they can be delivered to you all. Although they may appear at a glance to be ready to go on sale right away, the true challenge of developing the core of an SWS kit actually lies before us.
All of you who are waiting in anticipation of the SWS 1/48 series, please look forward to it just a little longer.
We will do our best to deliever a “plastic model kit such as you've never seen before”!
This is Michael who is a member of IPMS Florida. We did an interview with him for something that will introduce us. He also helped us regarding the "Most Valuable Geezer" award sponsored by Zoukei-Mura. Thank you very much for everything that you did for us!!
Finally I got this! He looks confident with the SWS Mustang in his hands. Yes. You are finally entering the world of the SWS. You will see the amazingly fulfilled scale model world right in front of you!!
Hi! I got the Mustang as well! I feel like I can hear your joyful voice from this picture! You have good taste! I'm sure that you will be surprised at its assembly steps, which are just the same as the assembly of the actual airplane, while you are working on the kit. Thank you so much.
I choose this! SWS Ta152! I finally got it! Oh! You did? Yes, you are right. Fans across the world will be green with envy once they see this picture, I bet. The SWS Ta152 is now sold out everywhere. I'm glad that you got it!!
This is Fred, happy with his reserved Shinden in his hands. He displayed high performance oil next to our booth. Thank you so much for our time during the event. I hope we get to see each other again someday.
The heavy feeling of this Mustang is really good~!! The beautiful SWS Mustang is surely a perfect match for your happy face! Please enjoy finishing it. You will be amazed at the contents of the kit.
I'll go with the Mustang, too! I can see your love for the Mustang from your smile! This Mustang will give an unlimited impact on your collection and add priceless value to it. It will change your standard for scale models. Thank you so much!
Aaaaaaall right! I've decided on this Skyraider! Yaaaaaay! It makes me happy as well since I also love the Skyraider. That's why I got impatient and became a model kit maker and made this kit!
Of course! I love the Skyraider, too! I knew it! That's what I waited to hear from you!! Quite a lot of Skyraider fans have given compliments to this kit since its release. I can't even find the words to describe this cool airplane.
Wow! It's you, Alan! You finally got the SWS Skyraider in your hands!! Actually he tried to buy it at last year's event in Telford, but it was already sold out! Thank you for getting it!
You guys! The best SWS is the Mustang! You are a true SWS supporter! Once you assemble this Mustang, you will want other SWS kits, too! We are waiting for when that moment comes!
Wow! You are getting two at once! That's cool~! The inner structure and its mechanisms, which you could only imagine from perspective diagrams, are now available for you to recreate with your own hands. This kit will suit your collection perfectly.
Oh, no! I can't resist such a temptation~! This SWS Skyraider fits perfectly with your wonderful smile~! The honor is ours that we could deliver you this kit!! Thank you so much!
Look at this! This SWS Mustang matches your happy face. Cheers to our wonderful hobby, collecting airplane model kits! Do not miss the Shinden, Ta152 and Skyraider as well!
OK! It's finally dinner time. We are going to a steak house! Look at this neon sign! It looks like a really good restaurant! Let's see what will happen. I love steak, but I'm concerned about my increasing weight!
We start with beverages. The whole SWS development team was enjoying conversing together. At this point, there was still a sense of composure on everyone's face. The best way to get rid of fatigue from the day is by having a happy dinner. What will happen to us when the steaks are served? I'm scared~!!
Some complicated looking meat dish came to our engineer Nakajima. Was he happy, suffering, or sad? I couldn't tell for sure from his weird facial expression, but what was in his mind? Way to go, Nakajima!! Hard work is waiting again for you tomorrow!!
Look at that! As per his request, a gigantic steak was served to our development staff member Kuni. He easily packed it into his stomach. I took off my hat to his appetite. Moreover, he ate a lot of bread before this!
Wow! Here comes the beer! To tell you the truth, sadly, they were asked for their ID! See! They look like just children here. And me… I wasn't asked…which was also sad…
* Dinner on the second day of the event was decided to be at a steakhouse!! Yes!!
By now, I'm sure you're all very familiar with this segment, yes?
Here, I'll be going over dinner that we of Zoukei-mura had the second day of the event.
Oh, happy day!
“Ya~ay, it's meat~, meat~, I'm so happy~~!!”
Yes, our appetites are the true source of all of our energy! That is what the joy on the normally composed faces of the SWS Development Team members was saying!!
It was such a spectacle that I wish I could share the sight with you. But the truth is that even now, beef is a very high-priced commodity in Japan.
But really, the best relief for exhaustion is having a pleasant dinner with everyone like this.
And uh-oh, there are no interpreters in such circumstances!
And all of this is why our beef dinners were so delicious!
Even now, when we're all back in Japan, I sometimes think about that dinner.
Also, for the first time in a while, I was able to have a long conversation with Joe.
Thank you so much, Joe~!!
Ah~ we ate and ate!! It was a dinner in which the taste, the volume, and even the atmosphere were all completely satisfying. Surrounded by us all, it became so that even Joe almost came to resemble a Japanese old guy. Why don't you just come back to Japan with us like this, Joe?
Finally I will report on the contest from IPMS Florida for you. From land, sea, sky, Sci-Fi, animation, dinosaurs, to fantasy creatures, everything that you can imagine was represented. On top of that, they were all of such wonderful quality! This is really hard for the judges!
Wow, this is rare! It's a micro bus from Volkswagen. The car models were also full of amazing works. Motorcycles, animations, and ships as well!! The volume was such that I couldn't see them all during only one or two days!
Oh! THIS IS! YES! This is the SWS Shinden! The extraordinary unique shape adds a mysterious mood to this airplane. Its level of perfection is quite high. This must have done by an experienced modeler. Sadly, he was younger than 60 years old!
* Amazed by the brilliance of the IPMS Model Contest!
Oh~! It's happening, it's happening!! The IPMS Model Contest!!
Land, sea, and air all represented, as well as models from science fiction and anime, models of buildings, and even models of living creatures!!! I wonder exactly how many competition entries were gathered together in total?? There were so many models on the tables it was enough to dizzy the eye, two neat rows running the length of every table, and I don't know whether 'artistry' or 'magnificence' is the better descriptor, but it was all so impressive I was lost for words.
As can be expected of IPMS USA!!
Out of all the entries, who will win the highest prize?!
No matter who it was, for some reason, warmth welled up in my heart for them. Everyone put the utmost effort into creating their model~!! I understand! I understand!
I could feel the passion emanating from each and every entry.
If I were to submit a model for this contest.......
I truly enjoyed myself, imagining such an impossible prospect.
And for this contest, the Japanese manufacturer Zoukei-mura, as one of the contest's many sponsors, offered the “Most Valuable Geezer” award, an award made by a geezer modeler for his fellow geezer modelers as a show of support.
Joe and I went around the event hall full of models together, judging everyone's masterpieces according to our own criteria.
But oh~ there were so very many entries! And they were all so very high-level!! As soon as I entered the contest hall, the more that I looked at every individual work, the more it would draw me in – I was charmed by each and every one, to the point where I really didn't make any progress.
Oh~~!! In the midst of all those models!! Why, it was a remarkably conspicuous SWS Shinden~!! And moreover, the more that I looked at this model, the more I could see that it was finished by a person of remarkably good taste. Of course, none of the details were overlooked, right down to the piping around the engine.
All right~! Let's start with this model!! But then, when I looked at the label, the builder was a younger modeler under the age of 60. Oh, well~~!!
There were many planes that were quite unique. Unfortunately, however, they were all by young modelers. The main condition of the Most Valuable Geezer award is that it can only be conferred on those who are age 60 or above. In addition to these, there were many splendid works that I spent several hours looking at.
There was an entry for my much-beloved T-28 wearing colorful navy paint! So cute~, so cool~, I waaaaant it~!! All right~! Someday, definitely! I'll build it with my own haaands~~!! For some reason, that is what I decided.
Oh~!! There was even this magnificently finished Mohawk entry! All of the hatches were opened to show interior finishing that can only be called stunning! Goodness, it was so wonderful I could only sigh. At any rate – everyone take note of the high level of technique! Even the manner of display is extraordinary! This model was one surprise after another.
Here we have another great plane with an amazing finish – its very presence serves to appeal. To tell the truth, this plane is also one of my favorites. All ri~iight!! At this point, I have to build it with my own ha~~~~aands!! Just looking at this T-6 roused my fighting spirit~!!
And here, an entry consisting of another beautiful plane with an even more beautiful finish! I love the F-4 Phantom~!! I want one!! I can't believe I'm supposed to choose winners out of all these entries! It's truly difficult. Everyone is a winner!! Or so I could hear the voice in my heart shouting.
Finally, the "Most Valuable Geezer" award announcement! The gold was taken by this SBD Dauntless. A splendid paint job, amazing detail expression, perfect balance – so many highlights can be seen in one small plane. Congratulations on your award!
Because it was an award offered by the SWS' Zoukei-mura, our hearts and eyes will always be drawn to airplane models.
And now, the results that Joe and I agonized over!!
The judging for each award was determined as follows: the gold was taken by Mr. Pat Donahue's "SBD Dauntless," the silver by Mr. Ken Belisle's "AH-1E Cobra," and the bronze by Mr. Jerry Royer's "F-86D Sabre Dog."
Please do challenge the next contest by submitting an entry from an SWS kit!! I look forward to seeing them!!
Joe and I, quite relieved after finishing the judging for the "Most Valuable Geezer" award. To tell the truth, Joe has been a person of some renown for quite some time in the world of metal figure finishers. So his eye for judging models is quite discerning. Thanks for your hard work, Joe!
The silver was taken by this "AH-1E Cobra" attack helicopter. This meticulously detailed build was simply extraordinary! Our applause to the magnificent degree of completion, which we think even gives us an idea of the builder's personality! Congratulations on your award!!
Finally, the bronze was taken by this "F-86D Sabre Dog." This splendid finish also evoked unsparing statements of admiration from us. The markings are perfect over the difficult silver paint job, and the entire finish packs quite a punch. Congratulations on your award!!
Of course, this Mohawk. It earned a "Most Valuable Geezer" honorable mention. Amazing models always move me deeply! Someday, please do use your skill to build an SWS kit. I wait with hope.
This Grumman Albatross also earned a "Most Valuable Geezer" honorable mention. With so much power and concentration gathered in a small kit, this is a finished model that seems to overwhelm the viewer. This is a model to amaze any Japanese modeler.
Now, to crown it all, the awards banquet begins! Look at this! A lot of members, their family, and supporters!! We were blown away by this sight which we had never seen. Everyone looked so happy!!
Wow, next will be in Colorado! Everyone clapped their hands at the large monitor in front of the venue. What a wonderful sight and atmosphere! We have to start our engines and prepare to go to Colorado now!!
* The start of the awards banquet!
The “awards ceremony” and banquet, which IPMS members will already know the results of, began. And everyone, please take a careful look at the venue!!
When the IPMS members and their families gather in one location, what a huge banquet they hold!
And~ frankly speaking, the room's every nook and cranny was filled by members and their families, all congenially enjoying the splendid dinner. It was a sight such as I've never seen before. Does IPMS really hold such an event every year?! How on earth.....?!
Without even the time to set hands to every course, each of which arrived one after the other, something new would pop up on the huge screen above the stage at the front of the room.
Happy news would transmit itself even to me, who can't understand English.
And finally, the prize winners began to be announced. The names of the model and the modeler, as well as the award details, were all announced at the same time they were posted on the big screen.
Every time the slide on the screen would change, joyful cheers and applause would surge from here and there throughout the hall.
It was so nice~ I'm sure all the people who won were so happy~.
Each winner received their trophy on stage.
The mix of applause and cries of joy reverberated endlessly throughout the banquet hall.
The winners of the awards were introduced one by one and the monitor showed us pictures of their works. Every time it was announced, cheers and applause were raised everywhere in the venue. This is good~! Everyone is enjoying! If we can have this kind of thing in Japan…, everyone will be happy…
Look at everyone's serious faces!! The wonderfulness of the scale model world comes up from the bottom of my heart! IPMS is really amazing! It's wonderful! I can't stop wishing this would last forever. To everyone of IPMS, thank you very much!!
Finally, the IPMS Florida event came to an end. We were done packing things to go back to Japan. The empty event site was filled with the typical air after a happy festival. We are looking forward to seeing you again somewhere. Good-bye.
Everything is finished. The SWS development team members took their last commemorative picture. We appreciate all of the meetings, memories, compliments, and advice from you!! We are heading back to Japan with so many stories to tell in our hearts and we will keep making the SWS even more wonderful!!
* The end of IPMS Florida 2012
I wish that day would come more quickly. I felt that way for several months.
And after waiting for so long, the final moment of our week in Florida finally arrived.
The work of dismantling the Zoukei-mura booth, which was crowded every day with many fans, was efficiently taken care of.
In the deserted venue, only the rustling sounds of cleanup came echoing from here and there.
The thought that, from tomorrow, there won't be anything left here, along with the feeling of wanting to leave and go home, combined for a feeling of heartfelt loneliness.
To all of the hosting IPMS Florida members, we are much obliged to you.
To Earl, Tom, Mike, Steve, and everyone else involved who assisted Zoukei-mura in any way – truly, thank you so very much.
It is thanks to all of your outstanding efforts that we were able to experience such a wonderful hobby event. You have our sincerest appreciation, and we extend our gratitude from the bottom of our hearts.
We appreciate all of your hard work, and are ever so grateful for it.
Let's see each other next year at the IPMS Colorado venue!!
Until then, I urge everyone to take the utmost of care with your health, and to please pass the days vigorously enjoying this fun hobby.
And to all of you who let your eyes pass over this long, long, incident-filled blog entry, you also have my heartfelt gratitude.
In my next blog entry, I will be hosting a quiz to guess the model name of the long-awaited new entry in the SWS 1/32 series!!
Just so you know, the new model originates from a slightly different area than the rest.
Your dreams are also my dreams.
Please do continue to support the world of SWS kits in the future.
Thank you very much.
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