The Bolyai Model Competition and Exhibition
There are two big model shows in Hungary every year (this is not to say there are no others; there’s a surprisingly lively modeling community all over the country). The one in Mosonmagyarovar is more internationally known. Unfortunately for me, my schedule usually does not permit me to attend. The one in Budapest is held every December, and since it’s close to Christmas, I am more likely in the country visiting friends and family. This show is held in the Stefania Palace annually, and mostly frequented by Hungarian modelers. It is organized by the Bolyai Model Club, which in turn got its name from the Bolyai Janos Military Technical Faculty where the club itself was founded. (And to finish the line of thought, Bolyai himself was a great mathematician in the 19th century.) This is a small show compared to the grand IPMS ones held in Vegas, but size, as we know, does not always matter. The subjects are usually very diverse: the number of different categories was a surprise for the first time I saw: junior, paper models, cars, wooden ship models, airplanes, ships, armor, and so on. The show was held in a hall of the palace, with the vendor area placed in an adjacent room. The vendors are usually small “garage companies”, and representatives of different model shops from all over Central and Eastern Europe –usually this is the best time to pick up a good deal with no shipping charge. Strangely enough despite of the multinational vendors’ area, the competition itself is almost exclusively Hungarian; modelers from other countries do not frequent this show, unlike the one in Mosonmagyarovar. I myself, only picked up a ruined, and badly built age-old Russian kit of the Vostok-1, which was the first model I’ve ever built. Looking at this particular model, it could be the very same… I plan to do justice for it this time. The gentlemen who were tending the show were really nice and helpful: they were more than happy to talk about the displayed (and working) steam-ship model –and also give a little demonstration-, the scratchbuilt armored trains, and GAZ AA-truck, and in general, anything model-related, making the atmosphere really friendly. Though I attended the show at the first day when only the local contenders’ work was displayed (necessity as my plane was leaving the next day) the amount and quality of work was simply stunning. Wrecks, cold GIs, a tank-junkyard with a bird’s nest in the IR reflector – great details and great ideas everywhere. Besides the before mentioned scratch-built trains and trucks, there were many beautifully rendered models, and dioramas, and on a big table historical wargaming made a small introduction, too. I hope the photos will talk for themselves; if one happens to be in the neighborhood in December (though the weather is miserably cold that time of the year), this is definitely a place to visit.
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