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Key Publishing NEC Show (Airfix Scale Modelworld)


Noel Smith

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Could not get there myself this weekend.      So, anyone who went to it, what were your impressions?

 

Sorry Guys,      Please IGNORE THIS POST !    I got the dates completely wrong.       The show is actually on Sat 27th and Sun 28th of April.

Edited by Noel Smith
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 Dave. Thanks for putting me right     I got the NEC weekend date totally wrong and have corrected my original post. 

So I just might be able to get there after all.

 

Cheers !

 

I have a feeling that it is on the same weekend as the IPMS Scottish Nationals at the Dewar Centre in Perth.

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10 hours ago, Noel Smith said:

 Dave. Thanks for putting me right     I got the NEC weekend date totally wrong and have corrected my original post. 

So I just might be able to get there after all.

 

Cheers !

 

I have a feeling that it is on the same weekend as the IPMS Scottish Nationals at the Dewar Centre in Perth.

Yes, both on this coming weekend 27/28 April 🙂

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I'm going on the Saturday only, I've seen that among the scale modelling clubs going are the West Mids Police and Gloucester, some familiar faces no doubt!

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I'll be there both days on the Gloucester table , quite looking forward to must admit with it being a new show, yes I know the parking etc not great but I'm sure will solve on the day .

 

 Look forward to seeing some familiar  faces as few groups likewise know on the list 

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I've just seen a YouTube video of a 1:1 scale Class 40 loco being manoeuvred into the hall for display!

I'll be there on the West Midlands Police Scale Model Club's stand.  That's a club of present and past WMP employees, not people who model WMP's equipment!

 

Edited by 3DStewart
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WellI’m here, it seems a long walk from the train to the hall! 
 

Have seen the 1:1 scale AFV’s, and am having a coffee before I visit the model clubs. I’ll probably save some of the railway layouts for the afternoon.

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I’m back home, after an intriguing day.

 

most obvious difference; the number of families with children - some seemingly as young as 4 or 5 - including mums there.

 

Clearly, the model trains side attracted families far more than scale modelling does.

 

Lots of the families though were  looking at the modelling club displays, and I think more importantly, asking questions and talking to the club members.

 

I thought the organisers made a bit of a mistake in putting the model clubs mostly in one “corridor”, and the railway clubs in mainly two other areas. 
 

Perhaps mixing them up more might have helped integrating the two sides of the modelling hobby.

 

The less said about NEC prices for food and drinks the better! Though I knew they would be sky high, it was a shock to be charged £8 for  an ice cream in a tub! I still ate it and enjoyed it, but £8 ….

 

Many of the railway layouts had so many people around them that it was difficult to see them. The ones I did were lovely. Very good settings, and the variety of trains in them amazing.

 

I had to give up on Pete Waterman’s layout, there were so many people around it that I just couldn’t get a look in.

 

Did I enjoy it? Actually, yes. Once again, the standard of the models on the club tables was extraordinary - both in construction and subjects. 
 

the standard of railway layouts -  certainly those I saw was impressive.

 

There was lots of room to amble about, but there weren’t many scale model kit sellers there.

 

And I had some nice chats with a few on club tables, and some of the guys who were demonstrating their kit builds for the Airfix magazine.

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Been there today, good show, but heavily biased to model rail. Went with a mate and we were looking for specific model aircraft kits and specific paints but not able to find anything we wanted as we thought there were not enough model kit trader stands. Lots of model rail products though. 
 

Very busy around the Pete Waterman railway, but it appeared that there were issues with it running in the morning, it was running by the afternoon though.

 

overall an enjoyable day and hopeful that the show will develop more in the future.

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1 hour ago, pbrian49 said:

we thought there were not enough model kit trader stands. Lots of model rail products though. 


@pbrian49,

 

I meant to point this out in my post - hardly any kit traders. You’re absolutely right.

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Key already have established relalationships with a lot of the rail traders through their other event (The Great Electric Train Show at Milton Keynes) so it's easier to encourage them to attend.

 

For the plastic kit traders, Key are more of an unknown quantity as they haven't run plastic model shows before. It will take time to build that relationship but hopefully the show will develop into a broader event over time.

 

I'm due to spend the day there tomorrow so I'll get to see it in person.

 

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I'm just back from exhibiting all day.

It's a good show. Much of the emphasis is on model railways, but with a decent set of scale model clubs and SIGs exhibiting, plus a couple of RC displays.

The show has much wider aisles than we are used to and good break out spaces, but these were needed as there were a lot of visitors.  At times our stand felt mobbed by the number of people viewing and one of my models got damaged, though not badly.  I spoke to a number of railway modellers who dabble a bit with scale modelling, so I encouraged them to do more.

Exhibitor facilities are much better than you get at model shows.  There's a dedicated exhibitor 'lounge', which is just a separated off part of the food hall, but it's nice not to have to queue and to find empty tables. I also like the exhibitor free food and drink vouchers, which aren't lavish, but are sufficient for the day if you choose wisely.

There are some new kits on sale, but not a huge selection. Some minor bargains are to be had. There are no second-hand kit traders.  There's lots of choice though, if you want tools, materials or scenic stuff.

It seems like a successful show to me.

 

Edited by 3DStewart
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1st day for a club side I did enjoy the day and back tomorrow  some superb models on display and like above comments  some the train layouts did see were superb , yes it's dose seem becset up on hobby/set up manor but suppose it's something can be suggested in feedback , yes not much on model side but plenty on some the railway traders that can be used with a bit of scope. 

 

But overall enjoyed it and fingers crossed can grow and return next year

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A significant issue with the trade attendance is that Key have picked the same weekend that the Scottish Nationals is established on.  Most traders can only be in one place at a time.

The cost of the stands is also an issue.  Our stand would have cost us significantly more than at Telford.

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41 minutes ago, Andy G said:

A significant issue with the trade attendance is that Key have picked the same weekend that the Scottish Nationals is established on.  Most traders can only be in one place at a time.

The cost of the stands is also an issue.  Our stand would have cost us significantly more than at Telford.

 

Interesting to read all of the comments above, I did wonder if this would mean someone loosing out on traders. The Scottish IPMS show has always run on the last weekend in April so quite possible a lot of traders already had this event in their diary.

 

Eng

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here are some of the photos I took today. Most don't need explaining, but I have put a comment or two on some of them.

 

SAM_4057

 

Note the caption by Paul's feet!

 

SAM_4029

 

This is a perfect illustration of the phrase gallows humour - the iceberg is part of the kit!

 

SAM_3977

 

Part of Pete Waterman's track layout - about the best photo I could get.

 

SAM_4058

 

I told the club showing this 1/16 panzer that they should have put Wallace looking out of the rear hatch. I thought it would have been humourous!

 

SAM_4003

 

a clear thunderbird 2 on the pocketbond stand;

 

SAM_3974

 

part of the Tamiya R/C display;

 

SAM_3946

 

this was an enormous R/C aeroplane!

 

SAM_3940

 

a lovely silver painted Porsche tractor

 

SAM_3917

 

A WW1 tank from laser cut wood kit.

 

SAM_3897

 

Edited by Whofan
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Any thoughts from those who were there yesterday?

 

there are some videos up on you tube, the one I looked at was heavily geared towards the rail element of the show. I suspect most of the others are, too.

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In the end I did not get to the show, but the comments from those who did are interesting.

The working model railways from what I have read seemed to predominate over everything else.

 

There was mention about the lack of traders at the NEC show from our side of the hobby. Not surprising really with the Scottish Nationals falling on the same weekend.

From a trader's point of view the IPMS Scottish Nationals is an event that they would be much more likely support anyway as far as target trade aimed at scale modellers like us is concerned. 

Plus of course the cost of trading there would be far less than at the NEC show, and most probably give them a better sales return on the two days.   Horses for courses I guess.

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@Noel Smith ,

 

Regarding the clash with the Scottish nationals, in the programme given out to attendees, it said there will be another show on the wekend24/25th April, which I guess would be another clash with the Scottish Nationals.

 

As for traders, I don't know - apart from what @Andy G inferred, why some of the Midlands and more southern traders didn't attend.

 

I'm thinking here of Antics (Bristol), Frome model shop (Frome), Jadlam (Glastonbury), Mr Models (Birmingham) and Parabellum (Birmingham), the latter two probably no more than 45 minutes away from the NEC.

 

Perhaps next year?

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The NEC show replaced a long-standing and very popular model railway exhibition.  It is not surprising (and entirely predictable) that they dominated.

 

I can't speak for traders, but for most the NEC show would have been more expensive on floor space but much nearer home.  There are of course modellers who have complained that the Telford show is too far north.

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More expensive for Traders than Telford? That's just plain outrageous..... 

 

I'm going to put my cards on the table, here. If the show is 80% model-railway stuff and the trader-price comments are true, there really is NOTHING to entice more plastic-kit traders in future years. I suspect that the show-management  will not be concerned about this. Clashing with the Perth show seems like the icing-on-the-cake, in this situation. 

 

Add in the ridiculous cost of using the NEC's car-parks (£18 on the day, or £13 if pre-booked), the cost of on-site food (previously commented on) and the show will become non-viable for plastic-model enthusiasts. Kit-modellers will vote with their wallets and stay away, I would predict.

 

Cheers. 

 

Chris.  

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1 hour ago, spruecutter96 said:

I'm going to put my cards on the table, here. If the show is 80% model-railway stuff and the trader-price comments are true, there really is NOTHING to entice more plastic-kit traders in future years. I suspect that the show-management  will not be concerned about this. Clashing with the Perth show seems like the icing-on-the-cake, in this situation.

 

As someone who exhibited both days, I'm happy to return next year.  The exhibit floor space was roughly 60% model railways, 30% scale models and 10% RC, both static and operating.  There was also a real Class 37 loco (see above) and a couple of smaller AFVs, one was a Warrior, I think.  Trader presence was skewed to model railways, but I heard that one trader said he'd come next year with more kits, as the ones he had proportionately outsold his railway stuff, and I believe Tiger Hobbies - the only dedicated kit seller - said they'd do it again.

There was a lot of interest in the scale model stands, ours felt like it was being mobbed at times, and more questions about the techniques we used than I'm used to.  It felt to me that there were a lot of people of the fringe of scale model making who'd like to do more of it.

It had a slightly different vibe from other scale model shows.  The natural lighting in the roof helped, there were a few more families, and the age demographic was more spread-out.  If you want to spend you day looking at a great range of models (of all sorts) and have some great conversations then it's a good place to go.  Don't forget that it's attached to a major main line railway station and international airport, so there are other options than going by car.

I'd be amazed if it wasn't a commercial success.

 

Edited by 3DStewart
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I suppose it depends what you are looking for - from our perspective we found it an extremely valuable and positive experience to attend. We picked up new IPMS members and potentially several more traders for Telford who are offering 'cross-over' products (and indeed were being asked by modellers to consider attending Telford), had long chats with a wide variety of people from both hobbies, the overwhelming majority of whom were having a good time and commenting on how friendly and sociable the event was. I know from talking some of the guys demonstrating modelling techniques behind the club stands that they were semi-constantly engaging with visitors on both days, many of them railway modellers, who were keen on learning about our hobby.

 

Most of the IPMS clubs that attended seem to be keen to go back again next year and I suspect more may choose to go as well (I can only echo Stewart's comments above). IPMS groups who regularly attend their local model railway shows tend to have the same experiences - there is more in common than there are differences. I'd argue that both sides of the equation had a good time and expanded their horizons significantly. I bought a number of things from model railway traders that are directly relevant to my preferred scale and interests.

 

Key have already re-booked for next year and are talking about a second hall.

 

If I was attending as a solo visitor I would either have travelled by train or (as a couple of people I spoke with had done), driven to a railway station slightly outside Brum (but with a free car park) and come in by train from there. I've done that before when travelling down to London for an event.

The guy who'd flown in from the Netherlands (IPMS Netherlands member) was having a great time - his only challenge was that he was having to restrict what he was buying because he had limited luggage capacity. He did say he wouldn't have that problem in Novemember because they'd be driving to Telford 'as usual'. :)

Edited by John Tapsell
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