Paper Models at the 2007 IPMS/USA Nationals! (Part 1)

Discussion in 'North America' started by David T. Okamura, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. David T. Okamura

    David T. Okamura Member

    Jan 31, 2005
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    As Jason Sutton observed upon meeting me at the convention, "reports of my
    death have been exaggerated"... though not by much. I'm very sorry for
    "dropping the ball" on publicizing this event, but for nearly a year I've
    been struggling with family and work issues. I haven't finished any major
    paper model for months, and as you know my postings have virtually vanished.
    I must thank Bob Penikas and Jim Nunn for reminding paper modelers in these
    forums about the Nationals.

    Despite my ongoing problems, I managed to attend all four days of the 2007
    IPMS/USA Nationals -- it helped that the Anaheim Marriott was close by so I
    could still assist my aging parents each morning. But I'm feeling my years,
    too -- I've spent most of today in a half-conscious stupor from the
    lingering exhaustion and mental burnout, and both Bob Penikas and Jason
    Sutton took a day or two off during the convention while recovering.

    But I'm happy to say that the grand debut of paper models as official
    contest categories at the International PLASTIC Model Society/USA Nationals
    was an overwhelming success! Officially, there were 713 registered
    attendees (not counting one-day visitors) and 2,179 models -- the third
    largest model count ever in IPMS/USA Nationals history, and the largest show
    in the Western Region. And considering that group projects and collections
    are counted as single entries, the actual number of models was far higher --
    one awardee displayed EVERY significant variant of the Sherman tank over the
    course of 60 years active service -- some were still in front-line duty as
    late as 2002!

    We had about 37 paper entries, and Jim Nunn arrived on Saturday with 5 more
    for display. (Sadly, Jim was unable to enter his armor models prior to
    judging, but he did have the satisfaction of absolutely wowing everyone when
    his Panther, Puma, Kettengrad, 37 mm flak and machine guns finally made
    their appearance. The response from the plastic modelers and IPMS/USA
    officials was a mixture of disbelief and enthusiastic approval. "That's a
    PAPER model?" was repeated ad infinitum every day. Admittedly, I
    half-expected at least one snide remark from a plastic fanatic, but I never
    heard anyone disparage our hobby. In fact, the most common response to
    paper's inclusion as an official IPMS/USA category was, "Well, it's about

    Folks, times have changed indeed.

    And while many attendees expressed astonishment concerning the very
    existence of realistic paper models, about the same number were quite
    familiar with the hobby. A number of older gentlemen recalled building
    Wilhelmshaven kits when stationed in Germany, and others had downloaded at
    least one paper model. So there's already a fair amount of awareness within
    the IPMS/USA membership, but this show definitely opened many eyes to
    paper's true potential.

    I had hoped to make a good "first impression" for paper models at this
    Nationals, and I think we succeeded beyond expectations. The paper model
    section was very popular, and many photographs were taken by attendees and
    guests. Some are already online -- see photos #213-225 at:

    Picasa Web Albums - ScaleWarbirds Stu... - IPMS/USA Nati...

    (Part 2 to follow...)

    David T. Okamura
  2. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Dec 1, 2006
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    This is just great news! We're slowly making our way to the public at least~
  3. David T. Okamura

    David T. Okamura Member

    Jan 31, 2005
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    Paper Models at the 2007 IPMS/USA Nationals! (Part 2


    I admit to being apprehensive about how many paper modelers would participate. Certainly the price factor was a significant barrier to entry for those who simply wished to enter the contest and not attend the excellent seminars or dealers room. Registration for the entire 4-day convention was $40, which wasn't bad -- but you also had to be a member of IPMS/USA to enter a Nationals competition. Fair enough, and the quarterly IPMS Journal is a great publication, but adding the annual $25 membership fee definitely begins to pinch the wallet. And then there's the exorbitant $20/day parking fee charged by the Anaheim Marriott! Ouch!

    Not knowing how many paper modelers would attend, and without Bob Penikas' models in competition (he was judging), I tried to cover several categories. Naturally I concentrated in Ship Models, but I also had some in Aircraft, Space and Science Fiction, Miscellaneous, plus one in Automobiles. When I arrived late Wednesday, Jason Sutton already had his Science Fiction spacecraft and life-like bird models on the table. Much to my relief, more paper models appeared over the folowwing days -- unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to talk with many of the builders. I'd swear that was Tom Steichen's P-38 Lightning from PMI, but I never saw Tom at the convention.

    Here's a list of the paper models that I can presently recall -- my apologies if I forget any:


    F9F8 Cougar (Wilhelmshaven 1:250 scale) by Bill Devine of Lancaster, PA
    PSA Boeing 727-200 (3-D Paper, Inc.) by Bruce Jamieson of Bonita, CA
    P-38L Lightning (PMI) by Tom Steichen of Santa Monica, CA?
    R-100 (Currell Graphics)
    R-101 (Currell Graphics)
    Whitehead Flying Machine #21 (Fiddlers Green)
    The Phoenix (Ed Bertschy)
    Halberstadt CL. II (Wayne McCullough)


    No entries by judging time. Jim Nunn did exhibit the following on Sunday:

    Panther tank (Halinsky)
    Puma armored car (Modelik?)
    Kettengrad with trailer (Halinsky?)
    37mm flak gun (Halinsky)
    German machine guns (Jim Nunn's own creations)


    No entries.


    SMS Rhein (Paper Shipwright) by Nicholas Filippone of Fort Johnson, NY
    HMVS Cerberus (Paper Shipwright)
    Smerch (Paper Shipwright)
    HM Monitor M33 (Paper Shipwright)
    ORP Burza (JSC)
    U-606 (JSC)
    Ochakov (Digital Navy)
    HMS Dreadnought (Digital Navy)
    WWII Japanese Midget Submarine (U-Don's Factory)
    Jesus Boat (J. F. Schreiber, reduced to 1:100 scale)


    Jaguar R1 (Yasu Tanaka)


    Friendship 7 Mercury Capsule (Delta 7 Studios) by Sven Knudsen of Austin, TX
    Satellite (need more information on identity and builder's name)
    Tintin Rocket, designed and built by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA
    Cosmostrator, designed and built by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA
    Buck Rogers Space Cruiser, designed and built by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA
    Wally Wood rocket, designed and built by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA
    Aliens Dropship (Jan Ruhr)
    SpaceShip One (Currell Graphics, enlarged to 1:32 scale)
    Delta II booster and Mars Exploration Rover (Erik te Groen)


    Merlin hawk (Birdmodel?) by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA
    Kingfisher (Birdmodel?) by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA
    Illinois Tower (Currell Graphics) by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA
    USS Forrestal CAG 1959 (Wilhelmshaven 1:250 scale) by Bill Devine of Lancaster, PA
    Tojan Rabbit (Mike Hungerford) by Greg Reynolds
    Stalag Luft III diorama (Ebob Miniatures) -- need builder's name
    Rainbow Trout (Yoshikazu Fujioka)
    Jade Dragon (Steve Marshall)

    In addition, there was a Fiddlers Green Brewster Buffalo pinned like a bug (with the scientific name "Bison brewsteri -- Extinct") in the "Humor in Modeling" section. All of the downloaded models had their website pages noted either on the entry forms or separate signage.

    (Part 3 to follow...)

    David T. Okamura
  4. David T. Okamura

    David T. Okamura Member

    Jan 31, 2005
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    Paper Models at the 2007 IPMS/USA Nationals! (Part 2 - ADDENDA)

    RATS! I just KNEW I forgot someone important! Doug Dropesky of the Santa Rosa IPMS/USA chapter awed fellow modelers with four impressive paper model aircraft. So add to Category 199:

    Ju-87 Stuka (GPM, winter camouflage), by Doug Dropesky of IPMS/USA Santa Rosa
    F-4 Phantom (GPM), by Doug Dropesky of IPMS/USA Santa Rosa
    Apache helicopter (Maly Modelartz), by Doug Dropesky of IPMS/USA Santa Rosa
    Fw-190 (Halinsky), by Doug Dropesky of IPMS/USA Santa Rosa

    I'll have MUCH more to say concerning Doug's remarkable aircraft in a later post. Many apologies, Doug -- I had your models on a side note for special mention but failed to include them in the general list. I hope you're not offended by this memory lapse, since I'm still slightly sleep-deprived right now.

    David T. Okamura
  5. dansls1

    dansls1 Member

    May 7, 2007
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    Thanks for sharing this. It prompted me to check out the local chapter - I sent an email today asking if there are any active paper modelers in the chapter. I may show up at one of their meetings this fall / winter regardless of the response ;)
  6. David T. Okamura

    David T. Okamura Member

    Jan 31, 2005
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    Paper Models at the 2007 IPMS/USA Nationals! (Part 3)

    More photos are being posted online. Some of the link addresses are so long that they may wrap around to the next text line. If you get a "404", check to see if the full link is on the address line -- you may have to copy and paste the remainder.
    Check the Paper Models link. Pictures #13-14 should actually be in another category.
    My miniature Fiddlers Green Brewster Buffalo mounted like a pinned insect and framed.

    Theme Pics - "IPMS USA Nationals 2007".
    From the HyperScale Forum. Check out the comments about Doug Dropesky's Stuka.


    Except for Friday night judging and the Saturday evening banquet, the contest room was open 24 hours from Wednesday noon to cleanout late Saturday night. This accommodated those who wanted to closely examine and/or photograph models without dealing with the daytime crowds and background noise. Naturally I didn't stay ALL day minding the paper model tables, but I can vouch that public reaction was universally positive. Aircraft modelers were amazed by Doug Dropeskey's detailed F-4 Phantom and his weathered Stuka in winter camouflage also gathered admiring comments. (I often had to reassure visitors that the coloring scheme and weathering was actually printed, and not airbrushed after construction.) Jason's Merlin hawk was another popular attention-grabber. And Greg Reynold's Trojan Rabbit constantly incited laughter from Monte Python fans -- see this earlier picture from the IPMS/Santa Rosa website:

    Older movie buffs and aviation fans recognized The Phoenix (there was unanimous agreement that the original movie was FAR superior to the recent remake), and the smiling PSA Boeing 727-200 rekindled fond memories of the long-gone Pacific Southwest Airlines. (Check out the mod '70s flight attendant uniforms at The PSA Pacific Southwest Airlines History Museum -- it must have been difficult moving a bulky service cart backwards down a narrow center aisle while wearing those colorful miniskirts and red go-go boots.) The model's glossy finish fooled many people -- even Jim Nunn didn't believe it was paper at first glance! That's a great tribute to a "golden oldie" published in 1984 by 3-D Paper, Inc., long before computer-aided design.

    I entered Steve Marshall's animated Jade Dragon mainly so that bored kids could have SOMETHING to handle on the contest tables. Actually, the children were mostly well-behaved and mindful of the "Do Not Touch!" signs -- I had to encourage some to turn the crank. Once the Jade Dragon began to undulate, the kids (and parents) loved it. One modeler mentioned that his father was a dragon dance performer in Chinese parades and celebrations, so he was interested in building that model for his dad.

    Members of the P-38 National Association were judges of their sponsored award for best P-38 Lightning model, and so a group of older gentlemen spent some time literally on their knees closely examining Tom Steichen's 1:32 scale Lightning from PMI. After a while they determined it was a P-38L variant due to the landing light position. It didn't win the special award, but the Association members were very impressed by the model. One wonders how a Halinsky P-38 would have fared...

    There were photographers from "Fine Scale Modeler", "Model Cars", and the new "Model X" magazines, plus You are tuned to the Modeler Channel . Several paper models were photographed, though whether they will actually be published is never guaranteed, of course. I know that Jason's Merlin and some of his science fiction spacecraft were photographed, along with my Phoenix and Ochakov. And both Jim Nunn and I were interviewed by I'll inform you later if anything is published online or in print.

    But the biggest kick was meeting fellow paper modelers, though with so many other models, vendors and seminars we really didn't have much time for lengthy conversations. I'd love to talk more with Doug Dropeskey, Sven Knudson and Nicholas Filippone. Jim and I did talk with John Jamieson, who built Thomas Pleiner's original nuclear reactor model, and is now working on the improved version. He lives near San Diego, so perhaps we might get together at Mike Hungerford's mini-cons. Later I met with John's parents and discovered they were the people behind 3-D Paper. Inc. -- the former publishers of that giant 1:48 scale Boeing 727-200! Bruce Jamieson actually built that particular model about a decade ago (there was slight color fading, but the fit remains superb), and they still have all the artwork and dies for a new production run. Sadly, the original line (including Delta and old Federal Express markings) are now long out-of-print, and plans to release 737s, L-1011s and DC-10s never materialized due to marketing difficulties. Too bad -- I examined the detailed instruction booklet, and the overall quality of this die-cut 727 kit was WAY ahead of its time back in 1984. In fact, it's still superior to many commercial paper models today -- the printing and die-cutting registrations are absolutely precise. Boy, could you imagine a L-1011 or DC-10 in 1:48 scale? Whooo...

    (To be continued...)

    David T. Okamura
  7. David T. Okamura

    David T. Okamura Member

    Jan 31, 2005
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    Paper Models at the 2007 IPMS/USA Nationals! (Part 3 -- ADDENDA)

    Sorry for the extended delay, everyone -- a LOT of work piled up while I was
    attending the Nationals, and I had to escort Mom to two doctor appointments
    this week (fortunately they were both "follow-up" visits with no bad news).
    Part 4 of my report will be posted soon.

    Mike Hungerford located a large photo archive at
    IPMS Nationals 2007 . It takes forever to download all
    the thumbnails via dialup, so here's direct links to the full-size photos.
    Remember to copy and paste the second line of the link if it wraps over: 024_jpg.jpg
    Jason Sutton's Kingfisher, Merlin hawk and Tintin rocket. Illinois Tower,
    Delta II booster (mine) and Buck Rogers Space Cruiser in background 025_jpg.jpg
    Dan Dropeskey's F-4 Phantom, by GPM 026_jpg.jpg
    Dan's GPM Stuka in weathered winter camouflage 149_jpg.jpg
    Jason's "Mile High Skyscraper" dwarfs my Delta II booster. Rainbow Trout
    and Aliens dropship seen behind. 150_jpg.jpg
    Jason's Wally Wood rocket and Cosmostrator 151_jpg.jpg
    Dan Dropesky's Apache helicopter, by Maly Modelartz 152_jpg.jpg
    Four of Dan's aircraft (Stuka, Apache, Fw-190 and F-4 Phantom, plus Bruce
    Jamieson's giant Boeing 727 153_jpg.jpg
    My Rainbow Trout and Aliens Dropship, plus the Stalag Luft III diorama
    (still need to identify builder) 154_jpg.jpg
    My fleet of paper ship models, plus Nicolas Filippone's SMS Rhine (on sea
    base to the left)

    And now, a "sneak peek" at some of the award winners. I'll post the full
    list in my next Nationals report.

    First Place: Friendship 7 Mercury Capsule (Delta 7 Studios) by Sven Knudsen
    of Austin, TX
    Note: Sven is an avid paper modeler -- see his list of spacecraft-related
    links at:
    Ninfinger Productions: Downloadable Paper Models
    I believe Sven also built the Mars Express satellite that I earlier could
    not identify.

    Third Place: USS Forrestal CAG 1959 (Wilhelmshaven 1:250 scale) by Bill
    Devine of Lancaster, PA 206_jpg.jpg
    First Place: Merlin hawk (Birdmodel?) by Jason Sutton of Cypress, CA

    CATEGORY 199: PAPER AIRCRAFT 207_jpg.jpg
    First Place and Best Paper Model: R-100 (Currell Graphics) 214_jpg.jpg
    Second Place: F9F8 Cougar (Wilhelmshaven 1:250 scale) by Bill Devine of
    Lancaster, PA

    Second Place: Jade Dragon (Steve Marshall)

    First Place: Jaguar R1 (Yasu Tanaka)
    Note -- only one entry in this category.

    Side note: While not a paper model, this weary Ford Model T dirt track
    racer was my last plastic model before I fully converted to paper. Though
    she "Did Not Finish" again (there's oil drips under the car and wet dirt
    from a radiator boilover), "Old Number 4" apparently had a lot of
    "character" -- I was asked by "Fine Scale Modeler", "Model Cars" and "Model
    X" for permission to photograph her. (Whether any shots will ultimately see
    print is another matter.) So while she failed to place at the Nationals,
    the old girl swept the magazine circuit. ;-) 085_jpg.jpg

    Here's another gallery solely dedicated to the paper models:

    SVSM Photo Gallery :: Paper
    SVSM Photo Gallery :: Paper

    More reports soon!

    David T. Okamura
  8. dansls1

    dansls1 Member

    May 7, 2007
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    Thanks for documenting and sharing all of this.
    It does seem that your individual photo links are broken somehow...
  9. David T. Okamura

    David T. Okamura Member

    Jan 31, 2005
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    Try hitting the "Refresh" button if you're using Internet Explorer -- for some reason the pictures don't load the first time around. I'm sure other Internet browsers have similar function buttons.

    David T. Okamura
  10. sr5nm

    sr5nm Member

    Jul 9, 2004
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    A warning about the anime photographs might have been nice. I couldn't get them closed fast enough at work. Great pictures of some fantastic models, even the p%$#@*c ones. Thanks for sharing them with us.
  11. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    Aug 26, 2004
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    David, Thank You very much for such a great report on the Nationals.

    Nevertheless, I still have many questions regarding how and what IPMS is taking in account for Paper Models on contests like this.

    I'm not (yet) an IPMS member, so maybe that's on the rules for competition inside IPMS, but can you give us clues on what is taking on account at the time of judging a paper model? Is there really something written?

    Also, being the only Paper Guy in my local Chapter (El Paso, Texas), it may help me and my club at the time of our local Con's.

    Ideas? Advices?

    Thank you again.
  12. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    Jul 5, 2006
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    Thank you for a very detailed and entertaining report (as usual).
    It's good to have you back!
    --David Sakrison