Apart from the Crisis event in Antwerp, this is probably the event which is closest to my home, about 15 minute drive by car. But for several reasons I never visited it before. The main reason is probably that it is a very historical-oriented event. AMSS is the club which organizes IPC every year and it's one of those historical modelling clubs: lots of scale modelling, tanks, busts and historical large scale models. Because of that it's only a year ago that I heard about the fact that this event might even be worth a visit: the level of the painting competition is very high and there are even some fantasy categories. Initially I wasn't planning to go after all, but I had to be in the neighborhood just after noon and didn't have anything to do the hours after that. The event was held on Sunday last weekend: 4 March 2012.
It turned out that this event has a very friendly atmosphere to it. What immediately struck me was the average age of the visitors. Lots of men with bald heads, white mustaches and beards, if you know what I mean :) Completely different from the average scifi and fantasy event (like for example Painting Crusade) where most people are around my age.
This is an overview of the main hall, where the traders and other clubs have their tables, there's a small bar as well and in the middle right you can see a small podium where the trophies are displayed.
Apparently historical modelers "consume" a lot of display plinths because almost every trader was selling these. Apart from that, some specialized stuff like name plates, reference books, etc. Not that much sf and fantasy going on in fact, and even then mainly large scale models and busts.
The only good fantasy models on display could be found on the demo table of the Belgian club "Les Fêlés Du Modelisme", these are the people in red in the picture below:
Historical usually means painting with oil paints. It's interesting to see this much more realistic style of painting applied to fantasy models. Following models are from the display cabinet of Les Félés Du Modelisme:
On to the painting competition. The overall level was very high, with a lot of entries in the masters categories. The presentation was top-notch, lots of light, big tables:
I could get real close to the models, carefully resting my arms on the table while handling the camera. I took some pretty decent pictures, which is always a challenge at events like this :)
Let's start out with the highlights of the fantasy categories:
Although the main focus was on historical, I enjoyed this event. Historical figure don't interest me enough to start painting my own, but I can enjoy watching them. In fact I think there's a lot we can learn from them!
If I can paint enough miniatures to build a nice display next year I will surely participate in their competition.