ASMS 2011 Postmortem

I had a great time at the ASMS show today. Made out like a bandit at the vendor tables (more on that downpost), met a few fellow modelers who, to now, I’ve only known through forums and this blog, and took home 3rd place for my Panzer III Ausf.L.

But I want to take some time, while it’s still fresh in my head, to review the day, the contest, and lay some plans for next year.

The Contest

When I went to the ASMS show last September, it was the first model show I’d ever attended. I remember walking the contest tables and thinking “hey, I could hold my own here”.

This year, the competition was a lot stiffer. My Spitfire, which I consider the best model I’ve built to date, got nowhere. My 109, less so. I’m very proud of my Panzer III’s placing, as honestly it was in a pretty stiff field, too.

1/32 Props

I think what happened with the Spitfire wasn’t that it was bad, but that the competition in the 1/32 props category was very, very good. It was easily one of the most crowded fields of the show, and I think the takeaway is that, unless I just totally blow the doors off of something (and something big – the bigger kits seemed to get the awards), I should keep the 1/32s at home. I should also NOT think about entering the Tamiya Mustang. This year’s table boasted three different Tamiya Spits, and I’m sure next year it will be P-51s.

The Winning Dauntless


Holy god. Note to self – don’t even bother. Looking at the model forms, it was a sea of Wingnut Wings kits, most of them very, very well executed. I really thinking my planned Pup Night Trainer could have a spot, but this was a surprisingly crowded field.

1/48 Single-Engine Props (both Axis and Allied)

Another crowded field, but one I think there’s room to play in. On the allied side especially, the winning kits were good, but none of them knocked my socks off (there was an Academy P-47N sexed up with an Aires engine, a competent but not jaw-dropping Dauntless, etc). I don’t think I’d have won or even placed this year – all of my 1/48 builds seem to have some flaw that would knock them out – but I think I could compete well here next year. Not that I’m going to build for the show – but it’s nice to have a target, even when building for relaxation. Stupid perfectionist streak!

Maybe I should buy the Aires engine set...
The Category Winner


  • Tons…

1/48 Multi-Engine Props 

This one baffled me. There were a few well done kits, and more that were just average to good. Strangely, nothing on the table was larger than a Mosquito. Where are the B-25s? The B-17s? I have enough twinsies in the stash I’m planning to build as is – maybe I’ll shunt the Mosquito Night Intruder or one of my planned PBJs up in the queue.


  • Cyber-Hobby Bf 110D, Bf 110D-3

1/35 AFVs (tanks)

A surprisingly light – but very good – field. I definitely think there’s room to play here, both in the single-color and especially multi-color categories.

I loved the Panzer IV

1/35 Open Turrets and Self-Propelled Artillery

Another light field with only (I think) four entries. I should have brought the Achilles! But next year, I’ll be tackling this with a British SPG of some kind.

Pretty sure this M42 Duster won the category


  • Bronco Bishop 25-pdr SPG
  • Bronco Archer 17-pdr SPG
  • Dragon Brummbar
  • Dragon M7 Priest

1/35 Box-Stock

There was ONE ENTRY in this category. One! I’ve got a few kits I’m planning to build straight out of the box, so I’ll keep those in mind.


  • Dragon M7 Priest
  • Dragon Firefly Mk.Ic Hybrid
  • Dragon M4 Composite Hull
  • Dragon Tiger I Initial Production

1/350 Ships

This one stunned me – there was not a single entry in 1/350 warships. Not a one. I’m not much of a ship modeler, but I’ve built them in the past, and I’ve been thinking it might be fun to do a WWII-era something.


Particularly in aircraft, the Diorama category was very light. Of course, to take advantage I would first have to start, you know, doing dioramas rather than just thinking about doing them.

The Vendor Tables

Vendor tables are always a mixed bag, but I came away with a pretty massive haul this year, and some screaming deals.


1/32 Hasegawa Fw 190A-8 for $30

1/32 Trumpeter F4F-3 Wildcat for $25

1/48 Accurate Miniatures B-25C/D for $20

1/48 Trumpeter Sea Fury for $20

1/48 Tamiya P-47 Razorback for $20

Armor (all 1/35)…

Trumpeter KV-1 for $19

Dragon T-34/85 for $20

Bronco Bishop 25-pdr SPG for, well, 20% off…

Trumpeter GAZ-98 Aerosan

All in all, a successful show, a small win for the Panzer III, and a chance to meet some fellow modelers. I’d call that a success! Looking forward to next year!

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