Old Man Blog No.45 IPMS Colorado 2013 Event Report: Part III, Episode 2

First, let us feast!  The Zoukei-mura team fills up on some much needed fuel.

Old Man Blog No.45 IPMS Colorado 2013 Event Report: Part III, Episode 2

* The first typhoon of the year encroaches on Kyoto
* We finally arrive at the IPMS Colorado venue.
* SWS #8 "What is the next airplan?" Quiz - Clue # 2
* Notice regarding the Raiden Concept Notes

The first typhoon of the year encroaches on Kyoto

As the typhoon passes and the autumn sky returns over Kyoto, I offer my humble greetings.

There remains 2 more months until November as Japan enters the full-blown typhoon season. How are you all doing?

The other day, Japan was struck by the largest typhoon recorded this year! Upon embarking in central Japan it dashed toward the north east drenching Kanto and its neighboring regions along the way. By the time it disintegrated up north, practically all of Japan was affected by the storm in one way or another. Even Kyoto, though spared a direct hit, was marked by record breaking rains.

Katsura river, which runs along the west end of this city, broke through the levy resulting in a flood that forced 250,000 people to temporarily abandon their homes.

The birthplace of our original doll series "Tenshi no Sato" (which I have introduced in previous blogs), was barely spared being swept away by the raging flood.

At one point I had accepted it as fate and readied myself for news of severe damage. However, by God's grace the Hiyoshi Dam upriver had managed to hold on at 350% its storage capacity. We were able to avoid catastrophic disaster all thanks to this dam. It scares me to think what would've happened if it continued to rain for another hour that day.

In any case I'm ceaselessly amazed at the unusual weather we keep getting these past few years.

After this typhoon I've come to realize that in order to minimize the damages from natural disasters, one needs to stay on high alert and take any precautionary means possible.

With this blog entry, I intend to cover everything from the opening to the last days of the event in one sitting.

Since the last blog entry, I have been providing the readers with mostly reports about food… Please bear with me and with a light heart!

* Alright, its grand opening day for IPSM Colorado!
Witness the gluttony of the SWS team members as they refill on gas prior to engaging in action! One couldn't tell that they were jet lagged just by looking at their appetite.

* This is Carl's Jr Fishburger! It was definitely a treat! To be honest I ate the same burger every morning for breakfast. Surprisingly it perfectly matched the tastes of this old Japanese man.

* Darn it! There's already a line up at the gates! And its full of other old men just like me! Hmmm… From the looks of it one would have to assume that only old men partake in scale modeling.

* Mr. K, together with Joe from Zoukei-mura USA, delivers the raffle prizes to the main desk. We made handsome contributions to the raffle with A-1H and P-51D kits.

We finally arrive at the IPMS Colorado venue

Finally, the long awaited opening of the gates.
We can sense the excitement that fills the venue as we work to finish the last bits of preparation at our booth.

That's right, the gates have opened and one after another, old men come wandering in with grins on their faces.
The time has come to have our SWS kits be out to the test by American aircraft fans.

My emotions were running amuck with mixed emotions from being able to be present at the opening of the gates and worry about how our booth would be judged.

Come to think of it, it was for the sake of being present at this moment that our team had traveled across the vast Pacific Ocean

Ooooooohh, not before long the Zokei-mura booth is teeming with the presence of old men.

From one of the fans, closely inspecting the models being showcased, the question was raised.

These SWS kits are very well made, but are the engines sold separately?
Another asked
What kind of after-parts would I need to buy in order to make a cockpit like this one?
I really want this kit, but if I buy all the after-parts as well it would be totally over my budget.
No no, you've got it all wrong!
With these SWS kits, whether it be the engine, cockpit, landing gears, or the fuselage, all the necessary parts are included, and all one needs to do is to assemble it!

At this moment, I made an important realization. Most American scale model fans have yet to understand what the SWS kits and their components are all about. We definitely need to revise our marketing strategy.

* With little time to waste, devoted scale modelers converge around the Zoukei-mura booth. We're very grateful to everyone for keeping us busy for the entire duration of the event!

* Here a fan personally explains the contents of the SWS kit to his friend. In fact this was an everyday occurrence at the Zoukei-mura booth.

* Developer N daringly interacts with fans, with a concept note in hand. Though his English is poor, he manages to communicate his passion from one modeler to another. We received numerous requests as to what to develop in the future as well.

* I was touched by the eagerness of the fans, and I begin to feel excitement. The Uhu kit sales run smoothly. Furthermore the every copy of the concept notes we brought also sold out as well.

* As you all know this is the Zoukei-mura wish list. People write in what aircraft they've always wanted. This particular individual writes in numerous entries.

* This is the opposite side of our booth. It's a mound of kits and after-parts for sale. The circular georama bases were very popular and sold out very quickly! Thank you very much.

* Our newest product, the He219 was displayed at the center of our booth. This time we displayed pre-painted demos of the engine and main mechanisms. We're grateful that we received lots of praise and words of encouragement for it.

* These people are the developers of the IJN aircraft Shinden. The Shinden's popularity knows no bounds, and every kit that we brought to Colorado was sold.

* Sir, nothing has been overlooked with the maintenance of the SWS Mustang! This kit also received high praise and was sold off one by one. How do you like the demo-presentation?

* This young man seemed to have a great day at the office. He brags about the details of his dog fight. This P-51D demo perfectly captures the essence of this event held in America. Many fans gave this one high praise as well.

* The crew loads this flying dump truck with a 250 kg bomb. I for one, with my bad back, am certainly unfit for such a mission.

* The A-1 was one of the best sellers at the IPMS Colorado venue. Its presence is full of awe and is in a league of its own. It received top honors placing 1st in the IPMS contest. Hoorah!!

* The Uhu also joins the fight in IPMS Colorado. Many attendees claim that they have seen this kit for the first time. Many of them voice their surprise at the level of detail provided in the SWS kit; but don't worry, one need not purchase any after-parts to get what they see.

* Please take notice of the revised nose and canopy! Compared to that of other kits, they have been slimmed down and made handsome. Please check it out with your own hands and eyes. The Uhu has a surprisingly slender fuselage.

* The Uhu skeleton model definitely had a glimmer of brilliance. It is fast becoming a standard for the scale modeling industry. We received many kind words regarding it.

* We received a lot of praise regarding the first successful 3 dimensional recreation of the Uhu's DB603 engine. I was very happy.

* This was the first time we displayed the fully painted cockpit of the Raiden. Plastic models have really come a long ways. Many of you who were at the event agreed with us. I was surprised at the number of fans who enjoyed Japanese aircraft.

* Our collective playful minds drove us to create these transparent parts. This is our showcasing of the completed clear casing model. Many fans voiced their praise and approval toward this challenge undertaken by Zoukei-mura.

* Witness the imposing visage of the Raiden's Kasei 23 engine in all its might. We recreated the highly problematic extension shaft in great detail as well. Even those who weren't fans of Japanese planes considered making a pre-sale order after seeing this.

* Here in the states the Raiden is nicknamed "Jack". In fact my beloved dog's name is Jack as well. Hence it feels as though the aircraft is somehow a part of my family. Even its BUSAKAWA-ness is practically the same! (BUSAKAWA is a slang that is derived from a compound of BUSAIKU or ugly, and KAWAII or cute. Its used to describe something that is so ugly that its adorable, perhaps like a bulldog)

* Oh the un-waning popularity!!
American modelers seem to have a special attachment to the unique visage topped with the canards. We profusely apologize for letting it become sold out so quickly.

* What's this you say?
That is correct. We present you with the structural composition of the 1/48 Shinden. Regardless of it being downsized, the basic SWS concept remains intact. Our advance on 1/48 fans commence now!

* Of course the Ta 152 1/48 project is also underway. It's surprising that the SWS mechanism in all its detail is crammed into such a slender fuselage.

* What is the secret about the Ta152 that only those who take it into their hands can know? Soon you will be able to discover the truth through you own hands, eyes, and assembly work! Please do enjoy!

Before you know it the venue is buzzing with scale modelers.
People are visiting the various booths, buying products, asking questions, and rekindling old friendships.
The contents of the conversations that take place surpass that of mere business transactions and resemble more of that between comrades.

One day I dream about hosting such an event in Japan.

This age old dream ceaselessly circles my conscience like a broken record.

People are having fun all around me, conversing and laughing. If only I had the linguistic capability I would jump in and join them in an instant.

Meanwhile modelers relentlessly drop by at the Zoukei-mura booth.

Some of them had brought with them loads of questions, knowing we were going to be present at IPMS Colorado. Others had already purchased our kits and wanted our feedback concerning their assemblies. Yet others who planned to purchase our product and were carefully choosing their favorite. Some people even brought along their friends to the Zoukei-mura booth and began doing the marketing on our behalf; rendering us redundant!

I was surprised at how many fans had come from all corners of the United States on their cars.

I asked them why they would drive rather than taking an airplane. The typical answer was that airplanes were unfit for transferring completed models.

Oh of course, the main event here at IPMS is the competition.

But driving for over 10 hours? American scale modelers are incredibly tough!

Good times, good times.

When one observes carefully, one can notice a pattern in the way the venue and crowd vibrates, similar to how the tide comes in and out.

At times it gets so busy that there seems to be not enough room to even move around while at other times you get a chance to really sit down with the patrons and discuss every detail of the kit.

In any case I'm impressed at how the American old man, nay, scale modelers are all so warm and friendly.

I used to believe that it was a trait particular to the Japanese that people would communicate with one another while always putting oneself in the other's shoes; but I've come to learn that Americans are no different.

People would take the time to patiently listen to what I have to say through the voice of the interpretor.

In return I would receive warm words like "I'm glad you came" and "I'll be vouching for your products". Some patrons would go on and on about how great my products were while giving me a handshake.

There's no telling how much of a morale booster this was for both my team and I.

These experiences will doubtlessly drive future developments of SWS kits.

Therein lies the true significance of why I journey all the way to these events with my team of 5 developers.

* The lines get longer and longer! One day I would love to host an event like this in Japan. Each visitor were so friendly with one another that it seemed difficult to imagine that they were all strangers. Don't forget to visit the Zoukei-mura booth!!

* As you all know Joe from Zoukei-mura USA has come to join us all the way from Michigan. He's so full of energy! Who could've guessed that he just finished volunteer work at the Oshkosh airshow?

* Well look at that, why are there visitors from Japan present here? According to them they were on a vacation package that takes them to various aircraft museums as well as the IPMS Colorado event. I'm impressed with these fellow country folk!

* Here we have the world renown Jerry Crandall, most famous for his work with Eagle Editions. He joins as us he is a contributor to the next SWS kit in line. With such a large collection of documents and so much knowledge, who knows what kind of great advice he can offer us! I really got the feeling that he was very passionate about designing the ultimate aircraft scale model!

* In the hallway I encounter the current IPMS chairman Richard Christ and the former chairman Richard Montgomery. I owe them both a lot for their help with Omaha and Florida, and now Colorado too! I thank them for hosting a wonderful event!

* Ooooh! Well if isn't the A-1H, weapons set, and Concept Note! Taking a memorable photograph I see. You American modelers with your wonderful smiles, I salute you! I bet the completion of this kit would change your modeling life!

* Chris successfully delivers the Shinden! Chris came to Japan from France and is currently married to a Japanese wife. He speaks fluent English and Japanese as well as French. He has become an indispensable member of our task force!

* Developer N delivers the Ta152 to this man with the wonderful beard. N's skilled designs provide the foundations for the SWS kits. However it can also be said that any faults with the kit lies with N as well!; ) N is very responsive to words of encouragement so I beg you please, cheer him on!

* This is Developer T. He manages everything from research, basic concept making, to editing the Concept Note. Though this fan with the A-1J probably has no clue. Unfortunately T's English is also… Practically non-existent.

* Chris bags another He219 sale! But what's with that peculiar smile? It seems there's quite a bit of Uhu fans here in America too. One after another they were being carried off.

* Chris does it again! This Spad wielding gentleman's smile is what makes us smile. I hope he enjoys every bit of the kit. Please enjoy both H and J versions of the kit!

* Chris, you're on fire!! This time he bags a P-51 sale. Its hard to believe that he has no experience as a sales staff. He speaks quickly, but gets the job done. Thank you very much for the purchase.

* We took surveys from visitors to the Zoukei-mura booth. We were able to receive mountains of ideas from everybody. I look forward to the raffle draw that only participants can take part in!

* Just look at the number of people participating in the survey. But of course, we contributed top quality SWS kits and parts to the raffle. We thank everyone for their participation.

* Holy smokes the survey forms are about the overflow from the box! Of course, we will bring these back to Japan and use them to plan everything from the next kit to how we should go about releasing information to the scene.

* Ooooh. You have picked the P-51D! It does justice to the time and effort the team had put into its development. I ensure you that its contents are more than worth the investment! Please do enjoy!

* Can you believe it? Even Joe has purchased an A-1J! And just look at the smile on this model fan! This kit will definitely prove to become an indispensable addition to your collection! Thank you very much!

* Here K and I deliver the Uhu to Mr. Solomon. According to Mr. Solomon he was a ship model specialist, but fell in love at first sight of the SWS Uhu. He even purchased a bunch of after-parts as well! I couldn't thank you enough!

* This fine gentle man sandwiched between developers N and T has purchased the A-1H and the Concept Notes of the Ta1552. To you fine sire, I would like to state that we made and brought these products just for people like yourself. Please continue to support the SWS series in the future!

* Team member U delivers the Ta152 and Shinden to these fine gentlemen. Regardless of these two kits being early SWS series kits, their popularity doesn't seem to fade!

* "Uhu, I choose you!" Wonderful, you really have an eye for picking out models. Needless to say everything from the engine, cockpit, and internal structures are all included in this SWS kit.

* Nothing less could be expected of the A-1H, as its playing on home ground. We received the highest praises from many modelers. All we ask of you is to revive this legendary aircraft with your own hands. You're sure to enjoy it!

* T looks happier than the gentleman who added to his collection. This kit received the highest of praises from its European, Japanese, and of course American fans here in Colorado. It's a superb kit without a doubt.

* This gentleman has purchased both the P-51D and Uhu together! You're the envy of all model fans, especially kids who can't afford to buy numerous kits at once! Like you, I myself am an avid modeler; and like you, I'm feeling the joy.

* Look at this man wielding the A-1J, he is undoubtedly the boss of the 2 developers by his sides. Once he takes the time to assemble the kit, he'll be the boss of the Spad as well. Please enjoy!

* This gentleman is surrounded by Zoukei-mura team members. Such interactions with fans are what drive the members to try even harder in the development of the next kit. Thanks again everyone.

* He finally made his decision, and chose the Uhu. I'm honored to be able to present you with this kit as it is sure to go into the scale model hall of fame. Thanks so much!

* Meet Rob, he's in charge of introducing the SWS Uhu in the IPMS news bulletin. He's interviewing us about the development concept underlying the kit. It's a pleasure working with you Rob-san!

* I'm truly grateful to you, for coming all the way to Colorado to buy the Uhu. I sense a quiet but powerful aura from this man, undoubtedly a wonderful modeler.

* Another Uhu purchase. He left us with words praising our success in developing the Uhu kit. We couldn't thank this man enough!

* Oh well it isn't Shane! Shane was first place in the Colorado round A-1H contest! He's a big fan of ours as he showed up at every event from Omaha, Florida, and now Colorado. Congratulations Shane!

* Behold! This is the A-1H that Shane had won 1st place with! He has magnificently recreated the scene where the A-1H sits atop the carrier's deck with its wings folded. I applaud this masterpiece!!

* Who's this!? Its Daryl. Although he's currently retired, he used to run an aircraft restoration company. He's come to show off photos of his past works. Zero type 32, P-51A, P-38, there's no end to the number of aircraft he has revived. Definitely an impressive individual.

* Oooh. Today Solomon has come with a friend, and is introducing him to SWS kits. It's as though he's part of our team. He invited me to play a round of golf but unfortunately the ball always goes missing when I take a shot. Thanks but no thanks!

* Well if it isn't Randy! He helped us out a lot at IPMS Omaha. Once again he's come to our aid here in Colorado as well! I'm amazed at the magnificent roster that the IPMS boasts!

* How do I look with my Uhu? That's the phrase this gentleman's expression conveys to me. I love how Americans will acknowledge quality products.

There's still a mound of pictures in front of me that I'd like to show you. My time at IPMS Colorado feels just like yesterday, but at the same time it also feels like a long time ago. I still have flashbacks of the faces of modelers and supporters that I came across at IPMS.

I hope everyone is doing well; and I wonder how the kits have all turned out.

Some of them may be already finished and added to its owner's collection.

Others may still have yet to be finished, accompanying their owners every night as he works both on the kit and a can of beer.

Still others may still be cleanly wrapped, waiting in the basements of modeler's houses until the day its owner comes up with the time and will to undertake the project.

The true worth of SWS kits can only be understood through enjoying the assembly process.

The SWS kit, being a next generation model kit based on next generation concepts, may end up changing your world as a modeler.

Action speaks louder than words.

Fate has smiled down upon me by bringing you, the reader, to this blog.

I request that you open one of your SWS kit boxes and take up the challenge of assembling it!

We at Zoukei-mura, have developed these kits so as to provide your life with moments of delight and satisfaction.

In the next blog I plan to deliver you with the final chapter of the IPMS Colorado event.

I will introduce memorable sceneries of the contest in all its success.
Futhermore, introduce the some of our interactions with wonderful peoples.
And finally, I will introduce our research field trip to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in search for material to use in our next kit.
Please do look forward to reading about the adventures of the Zoukei-mura team!

Hideyuki Shigeta
President, Zoukei-Mura

↓ Please don't hesitate to use the submission form below ↓


SWS kit No.VIII is also under progress!!

What aircraft will be the new awaited SWS kit??

With your imagination and your sharped intuition, please make a guess what will be the next SWS kit No. VIII.

SWS#8 "What is the next airplane?" Quiz

What will be the next SWS kit!? Try to find it!!
Clue #2….. It's a twin engine aircraft, developed by brothers. It shall be reanimated very soon!
Name of the plane

Please write the name of the aircraft inside the ◯ sign.

What do you think? I'm sure it's pretty obvious by now.

The day this unique aircraft becomes a part of your collection as an SWS kit is just an arm's reach away!

For those of you who have never owned a SWS kit, I strongly suggest you try this one even if it will be the only SWS kit you ever own.

What's that? "What about the other twin-engine plane!", you say?

Of course, plans for that one are underway as well.

Actually many of you guessed that the answer to the quiz was "this one"; but with this plane THAT engine is mounted on the front and rear. We're currently developing it in conjunction with the trainer type.

That's right it's the one that has a nickname based on a mammal due to its unique figure.

What's that? You know now you say? That's right, it's THAT one.

[How to participate]
Please send 1 aircraft name by person.
We accept answer in Japanese, English and Taiwanese.
I will offer one kit of this airplane to one lottery winner when the kit is released.
Also, I will offer one Concept Note of this kit to three others lottery winners.
So, I am looking forward to your participation.
*How to Submit Your Answer
The quiz is not limited to SWS fan club members. Everyone can participate.
Address to Send Your Answer
[How to Submit by Regular Mail]

Please send Kansei-Hagaki (Japan Post's pre-paid postcard) to the VOLKS Headquarters, making sure to include your name and address as well.

 Volks, Inc.Attn: SWS #8 "What is the next airplane?" Quiz Team
60 Shichijo-Goshonouchi-Nakamachi,
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 600-8862
[How to Submit by E-mail]

Please send an email to the address below, making sure include your name and address as well.

Email: sws_quiz@zoukeimura.co.jp *This email address is to be used only for this quiz.
Title: Submission to SWS #8 "What is the next airplane?" Quiz

Requested information
 -- Name:
 -- Address:
 -- Quiz Answer:

*Entry Period
Until October 31, 2013
*Winner Announcement
Winners will be announced here on the Zoukei-Mura Web Site.
*Prize Presentation
*We will offer one SWS kit No. VIII to one winner.
Three Winners will receive a Concept Note of the SWS kit No.VIII
(In case there are a lot of winners, we will proceed to a strict lottery)

We are looking forward to receiving a lot of entries from you.

Notice concerning the Raiden Concept Note.

作You can read it after you make the kit, or you can read it before you make it. In fact you can read it without even owning the kit but it will still be worthwhile. The editing process of the Raiden Concept Note is finally in its last stages.

As per usual, the book is full of tips, hints, and reviews written by master modelers. It's full of great material based on the Raiden. It's surely of a quality that can only be delivered by the Zoukei-mura team.

Let's have you take a sneak peak at the brilliant works of these three masters of modeling.

Take a look at this Raiden created by master Inoue. I shall leave the details to the Concept Notes, but I find that this expression shows a fierce and fearless interceptor.

The rumors were true! The world renown master of modeling "Kamejin" has finally made his SWS Concept Note debut! His magnificent techniques are surely to provide you with brilliant examples. Please read more about this in the book!

What do you think about master Okabe's Raiden? The detailed grime stains decorated on the "howling Kasei 23" is something that only Japanese hands can recreate; at least on Japanese war planes that is.

Currently accepting reservation requests for the Raiden!!
 SWS 1/32 Raiden Price: 8800 JPY (+fee) Further details here >>

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