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IPMS Niagara Frontier Invades Boulevard Mall! :: by Steve-O

On the weekend of March 4th and 5th the Buffcon Boys put on one heck of a model display for the public. At least 32 members showed up at some time during the weekend to help out in some capacity, whether it be registration, Q & A, judging or to call out targets for the rest of us. Many guys showed up on both days, the most amazing example being Dan the Man. As most of you know, Dan rarely steps off of his front porch. Also, with the exception of the monthly meetings, Dan usually does not venture outside of the village of Lancaster. Kudos to Dan for this outstanding example of courage in the face of that scary world which lies beyond the 14086 zip-code.

Also present besides the many members were lotsa models built by the same. I didn't get a count, but it would not be too unrealistic to say we had between 100 and 125 models at one time or another. Unfortunately, the club guys had more models on display than actually showed up for the competition but this is the exception rather than the rule with a mall show. Besides, this is a pure P.R. event. What's important is to expose the hobby for the public to notice. What's more important, however, is the fact that alotta guys got some good neck exercise in and were able to test their visual acuity.

Early on, the morning of the 4th I believe, Rick Ellis discovered that club name badges can fool employees in the food court into believing that you work in the mall, thereby scoring himself a discount. That's the equivalent of getting free beer at the venue hosting a rock concert by saying; "I'm with the band, man!". Good show, Rick! (Of course, my theory is that he misunderstood them when they asked if he qualified for the senior discount...) Mike Butry and I, on a few occasions, grabbed a guest observer and set out to the food court to explore not only Arby's menu board, but the finer points of target acquisition. Other highlights of the weekend include yours truly giving Mike B. a merciless thrashing at rocket-hockey, cuties and koalas at Aussie Outfitters, "Excuse me, do you know what time it is?" and Zippy the Psycho-Janitor. I've never seen a guy get into such an animated argument with a stall door in the men's room before. Needless to say, this is a spectacle I hope never to witness again. Poor Zippy also had a hard time with the trash containers in the food court. I believe that this is a result of Zippy never having built a model in his life. After all, you know how relaxing model building can be... On second thought, maybe he has built models. Maybe he built just one too many, and finally snapped, spent a year or two in the psych ward and was finally released. Then he got the job at the mall and was doing okay until we showed up. Maybe we caused a flashback and poor Zippy tripped out, couldn't take the sight of all those models and started going ballistic. That could explain someone having a conversation with an inanimate object, couldn't it? Of course, this is only speculation on my part. But it coulda' happened.

Okay, back to reality. Yeah, right. Anyhoo, 'twas a pretty typical mall show. Most asked question of the weekend was, "Are these for sale?" That one's a given. We had the usual bumper crop of service veterans come by. A lady walked up, pointed to my P-40 and said, "I helped build those!". Rick Ellis had us scared a few times when he deterred a few folks (mostly rugrats) from finding out whether or not some of the kits incorporated working features such as closing canopies. The usual compliments, "Very nice work", "You must be very patient" etc. Also, "That's cute". How someone could think of a towed artillery piece as being cute is beyond me, but then again I'm a modeler. One dude came by and said, "I figured out what the "MS" stands for (in IPMS) but what about the "IP"?" We told him IPMS stood for "International Plastic Modelers Society". He then nodded his head, and promptly asked if the models were made of metal. As the song goes, "Everybody knows, the world is full ...". Nice guy though.

The actual contest was kind of a bummer cuz there were relatively few entries (50-60? I did not get an accurate count). There were some nice pieces of work, though. Some nice 1/72 aircraft built by stutterin' Stan, a few cool figures and most impressive was a sci-fi piece. I have no clue as to what the hell it was, but it was 2-cool. So cool, in fact, that it took the whole enchilada. It had a real funky bronze-lookin' paint job, but personally I don't think they would have painted it that way. (That's just one guy's opinion.) Along the same vain, if you're lookin' fersum good reference on dinosaur coloration, I've got some way cool ORIGINAL color photos.

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