Highlights from Scale Model World 2023

November saw the annual Scale Model World exhibition in Telford, United Kingdom. Apparently it is the world's largest expo of scale modelers and run each year by the International Plastic Modelling Society (IPMS). We'd not been before as we were unsure whether the world of plastic modeling would welcome our big-scale die cast kits - we were however more than pleasantly suprised at the welcome we received!

Scale Model World is held every year over the Remembrance weekend, which is a fitting date considering the subject matter of the vast majority of modeling is steeped in military history. At 11am on both the Saturday and Sunday a poingnant 2 minute silnce is observed. The charity Models for Heroes are guests of the IPMS and supported by many of the companies exhibiting.

Held across three halls the show has display stands from modelling clubs from all over Europe and even as far as Columbia. There is a competition section where the best of the best compete for best in class, and the edges of each hall are crammed with retailers selling all sorts of lovely stuff!

There is way too much to show in this article, but here are some of my favourites...

Normandy 1945

This diorama is a bit of a show-stopper! It's a scene of street-fighting in a ruined French town somewhere in Normandy during the allied advance of 1945. The attention to detail is fantastic with countless mini-scenes taking place in the dilapidated rooms of the buildings and around the collapsed brick walls in the streets. A German Tiger and half-track come head-to-head with a US Sherman and what looks like an M3 (but I might be wrong!). Look closely in the church tower and there is a GI with radio equipment spotting the enemy. On the other side of the street the German troops are preparing their postions in the townhouses. The whole diorama is desinged from a 360 degree perspective and you can walk around the whole thing getting different and fascinating points of view. Totally outstanding work and attention to detail!

International Display Teams

Here's a great way to display models of aerobatic display teams. The whole display consisted of display teams from the US, Japan, France, Italy, UK, & The Netherlands suspended in air at the end of thier coloured smoke trails. The result is very clever but more importantly in keeping with the character of the real aircraft.

The Thunderbirds display team is based on a 1985 oil painting which measures 21 feet by 7, and hangs at the Thunderbirds' HQ at Nellis.

From. left to right we have:
• F-84G Thunderjet
• F-100C Super Sabre
• F-4E Phantom
• F-16 followed by F100D Super Sabre
• T-38 Talon
• F-105B Thunderchief
• F-84F Thunderstreak

Barn of Dreams

I love dioramas and one of the great things about seeing them at Scale Model World is the fact that many modelers are more than happy to share how they were created, listing the model kits used and how the other parts are scratch-built.

It's great to chat and find out their tips, though I confess I am never likely to get to this level of skill with my own model building!

The Barn of Dreams was one of my favourites, you can see three wrecks in it, a Ford GT40 , Aston Martin DB4 and a '67 Mini Rally. But 80% of the display is the barn, the tools, old tires, fuel cans and even a pair of legs of someone working under the mini.

This particular diorama was in the competetion section and I photographed it before the awards were made, but I'm pretty sure it did end up winning something!

The best dioramas are always the ones where you find something new on the second look....and the third and the fourth!

Shelby Super Snake Barn Find

I have to give a special mention to Martin at Scale War Machines who loaned us his amazing barn find of our very own '67 Shelby Mustang Super Snake.

Unlike other retailers we don't exhibit at shows and exhibitions to sell stuff - we prefer to come and show our models and get involved with other modelers, chat and answer questions. So we thought it would be great to show off Martin's barn find and we're pleased to say it got loads of favorable comments and many, many photos taken!

You can watch Martin's videos of how he airbrushes, paints and generally ruins the car here.....

Out of this World!

Not everything at Scale Model World is tanks and planes! Here is a great selection of sci-fi and fantasy models. Nice to see many competition classes specific to the sci-fi/fantasy genres.

A selection of other great models

Here's just a small selection of some other models...

Omaha Beach landing 1944

Stackton Flying Club

SAS Jeeps North Africa

JU-87 North Africa

Apollo missions

F1 Cars

Porsche 917KH - wrecked!

100 years of Le Mans

'58 Plymouth

All ends at the scrapyard... or does it?

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