The Show - setting the scene
Modeling (as we understand it) occupied a good part of Hall 7 with various manufacturers dotted around the 13+ other areas. Virtuallly all the major manufacturers were present, or at least represented by their European importers. The thing that many modelers find difficult to grasp is that the show is all about filling order books - it isn't an environment for the average modeler as both the manufacturers and importers are too busy meeting new customers (or signing contracts) to answer casual enquiries. This doesn't mean that the companies present aren't helpful - Masterbox, MiniArt, Azimut, DML, Trumpeter, Mig Productions, Aber, Eduard, Academy (Germany) and Airfix (amongst others) all made time in their busy schedules to talk to me as representative of the Kitmaker Network. As I mentioned in my first piece on the show, other manufacturers were neither forthcoming (nor helpful) - Italeri and Tamiya despite gearing an increasingly large part of their catalogue to the 'enthusiast' (rather than the casual buyer) have a lot to learn about PR (and the 'net) - perhaps they could start by having more of their employees on their stands rather than hiring those 'Hostesses'?
Although our hobby is getting bigger, it still pales by comparison with Model Railroading. Two halls are dedicated entirely to every aspect of railways - going from the smaller 'AM' companies to the 'Big-Boys' such as Marklin.
The Manufacturers - those who weren't covered..
In this section, i'll be going through the manufacturers who didn't get the coverage they so richly deserved. I'll also try and 'key' the images which correspond to them.
Azimut. Apart from acting as importers for companies such as AFV Club and Bronco Model, the company also produce their own range of Full-Resin kits under their own label and that of BVM (Best Value Models). They had some very interesting vehicles on show such as the Deerhound (a Staghound with six wheels) and complete kits such as the Husky, the Cougar or the M-113 TLAV.
Tamiya maintained their usual (enormous) presence with lots in R/C but little which was new in either aviation or armor. The exception to this was a lot of publicity for their Fiesler Storch in 1/48th and their Opel Blitz in 1/35th. Interestingly, their co-operation with ICM is continuing for aircraft groundcrews etc.
Hasegawa has already been covered in depth on Aeroscale, however, the interesting news (if offbeat) from the company, is that they will be issuing the Ma.K range of SF vehicles and figures in 1/35th scale. This is based on a very popular Japanese graphic novel and certainly has some interesting subjects to come…
Two companies of which I know little about, but were sharing a stand, were Kopro and Valom who had a very interesting range of aviation kits including AN-2 variants (1/48th scale), Bristol Brigands & Buckinghams (72nd) and the Bell YFM-1a Airacuda, also in 1/72nd.