John Fortier (PvtParts) and I arrived at the Danbury Sheraton in mid afternoon on Friday, September 15th, for a rather relaxing, and uneventful night before the show. Being a show we travel to, John and I make a complete weekend out of it, with visits to other area attractions, so this year we planned a side trip to the Danbury Military Museum, which we went to when we arrived in Danbury much earlier in the day, and a trip up to Mystic Seaport on Sunday. (Which means you’ll be subjected to two more reports and lots more photos in the coming days)
On Saturday morning we ventured down from the room to the show, of course we got lost. Our room was on the third floor, and the show was on the second floor. Now I freely admit to being not the sharpest knife in the draw, and John- “shaken not stirred the night before” Fortier can easily be confused with signs reading “AMPSEAST Show is on second floor” plainly displayed in the lobby and no #2 on the elevator panel. So we stopped for breakfast, togather our strength, and minds. Food’s always the answer. After Feeding the mind and soul we decided since there was no number two on the elevator panel, if we took the steps, we would probably find the second floor. And we did!
After paying the admission, we instantly enter the vendors’ area, as it was still early. A modeler’s heaven greeted us, and out came the cash. After greeting a few friend that were vendors, my little plastic baggy was starting to get heavy, and the money clip was getting thinner, so I retired to the room for a rest and to catch my breath. John had a good time filling his own little plastic baggy, and of course we had to fondle the new goodies in the room. After a rest period we ventured down to the hall again for a look see at the models, take some pictures. We ran into John “Sticky” Steinman and his son Jeffery.
After shooting a load of photos, it was over to check the raffle drawing, and I won a kit. Well, not being one who builds a lot of German vehicles, I gave it to Sticky and his son, so I’ll be looking for those “in progress shots” of Jeffery’s Panzer. And back to snapping some more photos. Out of nowhere pops Jeff “Sandbox” Nelson, and shanghais John-“shaken not stirred” Fortier and myself for judging. Having judged at a few Amps shows before, I can say it is an extremely fair judging system, and it certainly was a good experience for John “PvtParts” who now has a better idea as to what judges really look for. It also made him go buy a kit of one of the vehicles he judged, and last report is he is happily gluing plastic again.
After the awards ceremony, and a hearty Congratulations to John Steinman “Sticky” for taking home the Judges Best In Show, once again John “PvtParts” and myself retired to our room for a short rest before dinner. Having been told the night before by the barmaid of a local Italian restaurant serving great food, John and I decided to head out and check it out. Along the way we ran into “Sticky” and his son who were also heading out for dinner, so off we went for a great meal, then back to the hotel for dessert. (I already said my diet was destroyed, and I don’t feel guilty!) Hopefully next year more will join us, as a great time was had over good food discussing the show, and what we picked up and bought. The funny thing is we all bought the same or similar stuff, even though we all shopped separately.
A little about the new venue, in a word- “GREAT”! I certainly hope this show on continues to grow. The guys that put it on did a great job! It was 1000 times better than the last place, easy to find, large clean rooms, excellent lighting to see the models, and lots of side trips for those bringing their families, a place to eat without wandering around wondering where the hell to eat. (Notice the importance of food in my life; maybe that’s why I’m on a diet!)
I certainly hope more modelers from the area come next year, and those that have a longer drive consider staying over for the night. The room rate I paid was $120 per night, which is a lot cheaper than I paid last year, for a fleabag motel with a non-functioning shower 30 miles north of the show.
I know there were other members there, I’m sorry I didn’t see you or say hello, Marty and TankCarl are two that come to mind, but I honestly have a bad memory, and the circuit that connects the face-name area of my brain is long gone. So hopefully at next years’ show, if I don’t see you, please feel free to come up a slap my baldhead and say hello.
The full gallery is here AMPS East 2006