In a nutshell, I had a great time. The convention itself was large, with 2092 contest entries and 821 registrants. It seemed well run, with a big dealers room and no more hassles with registration than usual.
The space categories were well represented, although Real Space was a little light. Here's the entry breakdown:
Note that 1/48th single engine prop had 11 splits.
Highlights in Real Space were Mike McFadden's 1/32nd scale EVA LRV kit. Very nicely done, with extra detail added and well finished. It won the category and a special "40 Years of Manned Spaceflight" award. A V-2 (there were 2) took 2nd place and my Mercury came in third. There were a couple of LMs and Geminis, a nice Explorer satellite. No one seems to build Space Shuttles.
The Sci Fi stuff was abundant. We could have used another split. A nice Star Wars Tie Fighter won 605.01 and a kit bashed "Space Work Pod" by Alain Gadbois of Montreal took that category (610) and was picked as the Best Spacecraft.
The Space Modelers Seminar I hosted had 15 attendees despite the $5 admission (charged for all seminars - and I didn't get a nickel) and no advance publicity by the convention. It was nice to see some of the folks from this list and I wish I could have met a few more people personally. I talked about my Mercury model and some product news. Tom Long of Nebraska has bought Aviation Usk and will use it to promote his new line of Cosmic Miniatures 'realistic' space kits. The first is the Ares Mars booster concept in 1/200 scale.
In related areas, Ben Guenther won Best Aircraft with his scratchbuilt 1/48 scale Lunar Landing Research Vehicle. An amazing piece of work. After I saw his earlier photos, I expected something bigger. It was a real jewel. There also was an incredible 1/24 (?) scale scratchbuilt X-15 A2. Wow.
Some of us went to Lovell's, a fancy restaurant run by the astronaut's son. Full of memorabilia. More on that later.
That's it for an early report. The photos are below: