AMPS 98 "Hot Wash": Best of the Bunch
AMPS 98 is now history in many ways - starting with its being the first model show to be presented "near real time" on the web for all to see! Thanks to AMPS members Tony Matteliano and Steve Reid, 25 of the best models were photographed digitally and posted to Tony's web site as soon as possible. This way the world got a chance to see some of the over 400 great armor and figure models present at the best AMPS show yet!
Over 145 registrants took part in the AMPS national convention, and over 500 other people were walk-in visitors. They had the chance to enjoy the great models on display and nearly 80 tables of vendors. The ICM T-35 tank turned out to be one of the hot items of the show, as did the new Archer Fine Transfer armor marking sheets. Other new products made their debut at the show, such as a new turret and hull for the M4 105mm howitzer from Armour Brigade models and fine detail fittings for armored vehicles from On The Mark Models.
The show was so well attended and the models this year were of such high quality that - to the surprise and embarrassment of the AMPS 98 staff - the silver and bronze medals were exhausted! The modelers who were to receive the awards - about 25 in all - were given sheets to fill out which will immediately be honored after a new set of medals are cast. Based on the color of the absentee slips, the select few (who were recognized before their fellow modelers at least!) referred to themselves as "Barney Award Recipients" or "Purple Paper Eaters"! Seriously, all of the modelers took it in good form and will receive the errant awards in a month.
While AMPS 98 offered the usual excellent seminars by people like Tom Jentz, Tom Gannon, and Steve Zaloga, the surprise highlight of the show was judging. 42 members got to sit down and go through the AMPS judging process, which covered things so smoothly that all of the models were judged less than two hours after the close of registration. This was due to the now well-known AMPS judging system combined with a "pass-through" tracking procedure where models were placed on trays upon registration and handed directly to the judges for their perusal. Once done, the model was whisked to the correct category by skilled runners, so that the model only had to be handled ONCE in the entire process. This innovation, the combined brainchild of Bob Collignon, Bob Clifton, Steve Andreano, and Pat Hodder, was the key to moving things so quickly and so well.
The awards this year were also well received themselves in who achieved them. Winner of a number of awards including Best American Entry, and the NJHMA Achievement Award was a Mack NO and 155mm Gun combination by Rick Carlson. Ken Guntin won the Best Russian Entry and Most Popular Model award with an IS-2M. Bob Clifton - who was so busy as one of the head judges that he rarely had time to sit and relax - won the Best German Entry and Judges Best of Show (along with the accompanying elevation to the Masters level of competition) for a superb scratchbuilt Italian Semovente 149/40.
Next year, AMPS 99 will be the third weekend in April (16-17 April 1999) in the same location (Harve de Grace, Maryland). By acclimation, the permanent location for this convention will be in the Aberdeen area. The theme for next year's show will be The Armored Infantryman from 1939 to 1999. Start building now for the show!