The First BejaModelShow
Ten years after their start, AMBA (Associação de Modelistas do Baixo Alentejo - or in english, Model Association of Baixo Alentejo (a region on south Portugal)) and the "Clube de Modelismo da Escola Básica 2, 3 Mário Beirão" (a model club in an prep/secondary school, as an extra activity) gave a big leap and made their first modeling event: BejaModelShow.
For this first event, invitations were made to all the modelers and model clubs/associations in the country, and from North to South, as groups or as individuals, everybody gave their support, bringing their models to competition or just to exhibit, which was a good sign for the organization first try in this difficult thing that is, making a modeling event. It looks very easy if you just go there to see the models or enter the competition, but when you are on the other side of the trenches, things can get very complicated and scary.
Also, there was a model shop area, with 5 modelshops present, where modelers could spend their money, buying some goodies and getting some bargains too, but could also spend some good time talking with the vendors (old acquaintances and friends!) and other with modelers.
The Portuguese Air Force had two displays, one general and another devoted to the Portuguese Air Force Display Team: Asas de Portugal. The Army was also present, as was other entities. No Navy display on this landlocked city, but there was some institutional Armed Forces videos that included the Navy one.
Overall, the display area was very well filled, with competition and display only models grouped by category. As one of the invited judges (invited from almost all of the modeling clubs/associations to judge specific categories to ease the job) I was the naval jury. It was fairly easy, at least the senior categories in plastic ships, due to the limited entries. On the wooden ships it was more difficult because they were more and all with top quality. It was though and I hope that I was fair and just to all. On the Juvenile and Junior categories, Transatlantic ships prove to be a popular choice with no less than 4 RMS Titanics, one Camberra and a 1/350 HMS Hood - actually the first one from Trumpeter that I saw build! A young guy with guts!
The only setback of this modeling venue, was the heavy rain while making the trip to Beja, the very cold, windy and rainy weekend - the worst weather I can remember in last years! It was only missing... the snow! But these factors are obviously not controlled by the organization. It was one of those things...
Congratulations to João Calado and Simão Matos for starting another great event, that I am sure it will continue next year! The hundreds of visitors, the amount of modelers justify and the faces of the Beja young modelers looking at all those models is worth the effort!