I had intended to publish two posts this weekend but this has since grown to three of which this is the second. An update on my first ever trip to Bovington grew beyond a brief paragraph into a separate article which may or may not be of interest, particularly to anyone who may wish to attend a future event. The next one is scheduled for the 13th and 14th October 2018.
Bovington for those who do not know is a Tank Museum. We’re talking real tanks and loads of them. I don’t know if it’s the biggest tank museum in the country, or else where for that matter, but I’d be very surprised if even the biggest tank enthusiast didn’t leave tanked out by the end of their visit. There was also an excellent WW1 display but whether this was permanent or temporary I do not know.
The first thing to mention is this was the first time the event was held over two days. In the past the model show has just taken place on one day with exhibitors and stall holders in attendance. The aim this year was to have people stay over for both days and I’m not sure this proved a success. I was only there on the Saturday and the event was very well attended although not by that many stall holders. By contrast I’ve been given to understand that Sunday was generally poor. It may take time for the revised concept to get off of the ground but my advice to anyone thinking of going in October would be to go on the Saturday.
Now I wouldn’t describe myself as a tank person but seeing these things in the flesh was pretty impressive. Up close and personal and you get a sense of the scale. This was particularly true of the Tiger tank display. I have seen a few tanks in the flesh over the years but never a Tiger. To be perfectly honest with you I normally associate the word Tiger with either large cats or prawns. Both particularly deadly as far as I am concerned owing to the fact that my dad carries an Epipen for his sea food allergy.
In searching for the right words to describe Tiger tanks I decided to settle on the less than subtle “they’re f***ing enormous!” I’m not sure I would describe myself as brave nor would I say I was a coward but I take my hat off to anyone who came up against one of these in action who didn’t foul their pants. Everything else by comparison looked rather pathetic and left me wondering how the allies ever won the war.
If tanks are your thing then I would recommend Bovington. I would also recommend going when there is a model show on. You don’t pay extra on the admission price and it adds a lot to the day. Personally I enjoyed wandering around seeing what other people had painted and built, a great source for inspiration if any is needed. It was also an opportunity to pick up some tips.
As an exhibitor with the Plymouth Club I decided in modelling terms the general public fell into three categories. Those that were only interested in tanks and planes and the like, those who prefered figures and dioramas and finally those that were intrigued by all that was on display. On numerous occasions people simply passed my figures and dioramas by without so much as a glance but every now and then someone would show a genuine interest and engage in conversation. I enjoyed the chats with the folks that I had but a couple of times I got stuck with people who I can only describe as a complete nerds. Now I know that to most people we are all nerds in our own right but I’m guessing (let’s make that hoping!) that all of us draw a line at some point. In my case the following conversation defines my line.
Member of the General Public (MGP) – “I’m doing a figure similar to that one myself”
Me – “Are you? How are you getting on with it?”
MGP – “OK but I’m struggling to find the right Pantone colour for the trousers. I’m looking for a brown mahogany shade but the Vallejo colour is to dark and others I have found are to light. What colour did you go for?”
Me – “Burnt Umber”
MGP – “Oh, are you sure that was the right shade?”
Me – “No but it’s the only colour I had and it was good enough for me”
Nice chap as he was his interest in accuracy went far deeper than mine. Nothing wrong with that but to me paining well is more important. I don’t go out of my way to do the wrong colours but unless you really know your stuff then who takes that much notice? Not me.
For those of you who like pictures a couple of Tigers, not big cats, not prawns but tanks!