AMPS 2012 National Convention
National Military History Center, Auburn, IN USA
The Armor Modeling and Preservation Society (AMPS) was founded back in 1993 by Stephen 'Cookie' Sewell and a group of armor modelers that wanted a different venue to compete and promote the hobby. Many of the AMPS modelers are also IPMS members, but where a typical IPMS contest is highly competitive between modelers, the AMPS contests are more about your own skills. Like IPMS, AMPS holds an annual convention and every few years that convention is held at the National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana. The National Military History Center contains armored fighting vehicles and soft-skin vehicles from World War II that were brought over from the now defunct Victory Museum in Belgium. Once again, the AMPS show was in Auburn and since the museum is only a 15 minute drive from the Cybermodeler operations, of course I had to drop by for some photographs. The convention had started on Thursday, 26 April 2012 and ran through Saturday, 28 April.
One of the nice things about scale modeling conventions is the opportunity to make new friends, meet folks in person that you've been corresponding with online, and catch up with old friends who are also there for the fun. One gentleman I've looked forward to meeting is Fred Lue. Fred is an all-American hero who served in the US Army back in the 1960s and 1970s. Fred wore the uniform and served his country, but he also remembered the mood of the country during those years of his service where military personnel were looked down upon because of the anti-war sentiment that had grown out of US involvement in Vietnam. With all of the men and women deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade, Fred and many others like him go out of their way to support the families left behind as well as to give a hero's welcome to service men and women as they come home. Fred had originally contacted me to do the build on the Revell (Renwall) Atomic Cannon reissue so he could present the completed model to their local Army National Guard unit. How cool is that?
The AMPS convention always draws a nice selection of vendors (a good portion of fun for any model convention is the shopping for future projects, right?) and this year was no exception. This year's show was sponsored by several companies and out in front of the pack was Squadron Shop. President Mike McMahon was on hand to meet customers and even ran the raffle.
One face missing this year was Loic Anthian of GreatModels Webstore. At each AMPS and IPMS convention, he'd either show up in his French Army uniform that he wore in his own service before coming to the US, or in other suitable attire. In recent years, he'd also bring a restored combat vehicle of one sort or another to enhance his booth. Loic recently sold GreatModels Webstore to Sprue Brothers and has reportedly left the hobby business. We'll see if Sprue Brothers becomes more armor-modeler oriented with their new acquisition of GreatModels' inventory, but in the meantime, we all wish Loic good luck in his new ventures.
What you'll see below are about half of the over 500 entries on display and even on the last day, more models were arriving. Be patient, this will take a few minutes to load...