attended my first AMPS
national show, held in Auburn, IN, on April 11 and 12. If you have
not experienced an AMPS show, you really need to treat yourself.
This show was held at the WWII
Victory Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of
period AFVs. What it lacks for in heavy armor (the meanest machine
is an M18 Hellcat) it more than makes up for in the ubiquitous softskins
that shouldered much of the warfare. Check the AFV
Photos section next month for coverage of their vehicles.
museum is made up of a collection of Allied and German AFVs that
was housed at the Victory Memorial Museum in Belgium. It was purchased
by the Dean V. Kruse Foundation, established by an Indiana family
that made its fortune in classic automobile auctions. The venue
has a comfortable warehouse familiarity to it that suits the collectionthe
back yard garage we would all love to have!
I entered the
vaulted center showroom on Thursday afternoon as the AMPS staff
and vendors were setting up. The empty display tables took up half
of the central area, and the vendors' tables occupied the other
half, with a wide aisle between them that allowed for easy mingling
and spur-of-the-moment purchases. To the left side of the showroom
is the military museum, and to the right side is a large automotive
display tables awaited the modelers' fine works, while the vendors
tables awaited the display of the modelers' fine money.
I enjoyed meeting
some of the notables in the hobby, such as Chris Mrosko of Warriors
World Miniatures, Rob Ervin of Formations,
Bill Miley of Chesapeake
Model Designs, Mike Powell of Easy
1 Productions, Scott Taylor of Thatchweave
Products, and Woody Vondracek of Archer
Fine Transfers. A team from GCLaser
was on hand with an impressive display of their laser-cut wood products
and some well-executed dioramas featuring their wares.
Gazzola manned the AMPS booth.
Chairman Roy Chow and John Napolitan
Vondracek and Archer Fine Transfers.
of the popular Formations upgrades.
Mrosko showcased new figures from New World Miniatures.
Hruby and a team from GCLaser brought their impressive display
of wooden containers and accessories, such as the cargo truck
shanty below. Two large dioramas showed the products in familiar
settings. Click on the Sherman and cargo truck to take a closer
look. Other products include wooden armor for Pacific Shermans,
a roadside shrine, and cable reels. They have some other exciting
products in the pipeline.
The WWII Victory
Museum is housing a collection of more than 50,000 mechanical drawings
and plans for U.S. military vehicles from the late 1930s through
the 1970s. These were about to be destroyed in 2003 by the U.S.
Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan. The Military
Vehicle Presentation Association (MVPA) learned of this
and agreed to take responsiblity for them. MPVA members are volunteering
their time to visit the museum on a regula basis to unroll, sort,
and log the endless reams of drawings.