Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My 2013 Nats favorites

I've spent some time looking through the pictures I took at the Nats. As is the case every year, there were some stunning models to be sure, but a few will be memorable to me in the coming years. Everyone has been talking about the Farmall tractor that won the Judges Grand Award, but here are a few of my favorites selected, by the way, before the awards were announced at the banquet.

My favorite aircraft was this 1/48 Hs-129 by Bob Windus. It took first place in its category. If I'd had the opportunity to compliment him in person I probably would've embarrassed him by bowing down before his skill and achievement. It was my favorite because of the paint scheme and weathering. Everything about it was perfect. Subtlety was the key to this model's success.

I know I talk a lot about aircraft on this blog, but I build armor as well. So I took as much interest in the armor entries as I did the aircraft. My favorite tank was this Stug IIIB from Bryan Kreuger. That it took first place in its category was no surprise. It was absolutely stunning. The detailing was excellent, the painting not overdone, and the weathering perfectly balanced. I had the privilege of complimenting Bryan personally, as he happened to sit in front of me during the awards ceremony.

 I'm a car guy -- in real life, not modeling. I love automotive aesthetics and the performance incorporated into a sweet design. Sometimes form follows function, sometimes the opposite. My favorite automotive entry was a model of a car that's all about function over form, a 1/25 NASCAR Modified. My friends, this was spectacular. It was converted from (IIRC), a 1975 Ford Mustang, just as the real car was. The detail was excellent, and although I think I may have preferred seeing a worn and beaten race car, the factory-fresh finish was just as well executed. Like the other models I've mentioned so far, this took first place in its category.

 The rumors are true, I have built ships in the past, so I appreciate the skill that goes into their construction and painting as well. My favorite ship entry was this 1/700 Japanese aircraft carrier, though I don't recall which one it was. Working in this small scale is incredibly challenging, and the modeler executed everything perfectly, from the photoetch to the painting to the weathering. It had to be the best 1/700 scale ship I've ever seen in person.

Last but by no means least, the winner of the the category we here at Scale Model Soup, a bust of a Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep. I've seen a few busts of animals, primarily at figure contests, so it was great to see this one (appropriate) in Denver, and to see it win. My congratulations to the modeler, Craig Pierce, whom I looked for after the awards banquet but didn't catch.

You can see photos of all the winners here, on the Silicon Valley Scale Modelers web site.

What were your favorites?

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