2010 IPMS-USA Nationals

  • move
It's damn HOT in Phoenix
The drive would take us about 9 hours from where we live near Fresno, California, to get to the show. It seems odd to call it a show actually. Convention is probably a more apt term. Once a year, model makers from across the United States meet for this event that covers all genres of scale modeling. This year that show would be in Phoenix, Arizona. It had been in Phoenix six years earlier (2004). The first thing you should know about the Phoenix show is that it’s well managed. Perhaps that is because it is not a single chapter doing the work. In addition to the Phoenix chapter, Craig Hewitt, they are also joined by the Raleigh Williams chapter and Sonoran Desert Model Builders chapter, both of Tucson, as well as the Northern Arizona Scale Modelers chapter of Flagstaff, and the ‘Lt. Earnest A. Love’ chapter of Prescott. The second thing you should know about Phoenix is that it is HOT.

When we crossed into Arizona we immediately noticed the improvement in the quality of the Interstate Highway. What is it with California and our crappy roads? Oh yeah… we are broke. When we stopped for gas about an hour outside Phoenix on the I-10, I stepped outside our car and felt the hot desert wind hit me. It was hot. A dry heat yes, but when the wind is hot you know you’re not in California anymore Dorothy.

Thanks to our handy navigation device we cruised directly to the Hilton. The hotel was used by many of the show attendees. It was situated literally 200 feet from the escalators that took you down to the vendor and exhibition room. We arrived on Wednesday so as I found out later I had already missed one of the busiest days (for vendors) of the show. Obviously there are many more ‘hard-core’ modelers than I would have estimated arriving on the first public day of the show.

Some impressions:

The Hyatt – Great hotel! Whoever in the club made sure that the parking fee was included in the IPMS room rate should be commended. We also opted to bump up to the corner suite for $20 extra per night (my wife found that on the Hyatt website) which gave us some needed space for our daughter, Emily.

Downtown Phoenix – This is a very nice area that the convention center is located in. Yes it’s right downtown in the high-rises, but there were city ambassadors on bikes to give info and directions to Starbucks, restaurants, etc.

The Convention Center – This place is huge. But as I said; literally you walk from the hotel lobby directly across the street and down a bit to the entrance to the Convention Center. A few more feet down the escalator and you are standing in front of the registration area. The center is obviously very new and shiny with lots of space. The organizers did well to secure as much space as they did. We learned from a club officer that the space this year was less than in 2004, but cost more. Inflation I assume, but odd that in these financial times this would be the case. Especially with all the hullabaloo about Arizona in the news of late.

About the Author

About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...


Thanks for the report, Jim. I trust Kirsten and Em didn't get too bored while you photographed and hob-nobbed with fellow plasticerians? Speaking Em, I saw a pic of her on another site - surrounded by their members holding up the site logo... little traitor! (mail or PM me if you want the link ) I was (pleasantly) surprised to see a SAAF Cheetah Squadron SIG. No doubt Ex-Pats. Thanks again Rudi p.s. Are there always so few figures at the US IPMS shows?
AUG 16, 2010 - 05:16 PM
Hmm... at first I thought this was the photo I took (further into the thread), but then I realized Emily wasn't in that photo. Mike told me about someone taking this and his second thoughts about having Emily in the photo. To be honest I would rather NOT see someone posting her picture and have her name in the text as well. If you can get a moderator over there to remove her name that would be good. There actually were a lot more figures at the show. Sadly I ran out of time on Saturday to take all the photos of non-aircraft/armor/ship entries. Those I was able to get a majority of. Thanks! Jim
AUG 16, 2010 - 06:53 PM
LOL! Time.... always an issue when the family is in tow at a model show
AUG 16, 2010 - 07:06 PM
Rudi, See my amended text above. Thanks, Jim
AUG 16, 2010 - 07:17 PM
No worries, Jim. Will PM the site administrator.
AUG 16, 2010 - 07:23 PM
Sorry I should have added this info. Believe it or not many (if not all) of these actually came overseas to be at the show. There was a guy from the UK chapter of the What If SIG and he had brought most of these over with him and some What If models as well. Brave guy! I think he did say he use to live in SA. And another example of the British Invasion. Cheers, Jim
AUG 16, 2010 - 08:26 PM
Hi Jim, Excellent report! It must have been a hell of a job once again to edit it and publish it. thanks a lot! Seeing your article makes me looking forward to the next Nürnberg Toy Fair in february but also the Thionvile Expo of October. Again, great job! Jean-Luc
AUG 16, 2010 - 08:48 PM
Excellent report Jim. That When Worlds Collide missile on page 11 was built onsite at the convention in a little over an hour by my buddy and owner of Maus Werx, Dekker Zimmerman. It was so funny to watch him build that thing. It was as though he was 6 years old again. Crouched over one of the folding chairs in the vendor room, he was in the zone. He even earned a 3rd place finish with it. There were 15 of us from Colorado Springs on hand for the event and all had a great time. Entries were a little down from previous conventions at 1705, but overall it was still a good show. Thanks for the report, see you in Omaha. "Q"
AUG 17, 2010 - 02:54 AM
Thanks for sharing the rest of the show and your thoughts about it, Jim! Some good news and new items to follow with interest Cheers, Rui
AUG 17, 2010 - 04:43 AM