Update - October 2016.
A message from the Fleet Air Arm Museum's website ... "The team at the Fleet Air Arm Museum would like to thank exhibitors and visitors who have supported the museum’s model shows over the years. Experience has taught us that elements of the event did not work as well as others and we took the decision in October this year to make some changes. The changes were made to control capacity within the museum and surrounding site during the model show and to ensure that the experience of general visitors attending the museum (and not the event) during the duration of the model show was not unduly affected. Admittedly these changes were not universally well received and we became aware that some exhibitors chose not to attend the show. The decline in the number of exhibitors and traders has been reflected in the event’s feedback, most of which has been constructive, but which does acknowledge this fall in numbers. We now find ourselves in the position that the previous format does not work for the museum and our general visitors whilst the new format does not appear to work for the modelling community. We have, therefore, reluctantly decided that we will not host either our February or October Model Shows in 2017. We would like to warmly thank the exhibitors and visitors who have supported the event in previous years."
Note it doesn't say they are cancelled indefinitely, but without a major change of heart, it seems unlikely they will reappear. Shame, but life moves on and new opportunities arise.
Our experiences and model displays at the Fleet Air Arm Museum's model shows at Yeovilton were as follows ...
2016 - 20th February
We were back in Hall 4 for this visit and located under the nose of Concorde (fortunately no signs of droop here, can't say the same is true everywhere else). Bob L, Brian, Chris K, Dave W, Dave T, Graham C, Les, Martin and Tony H manned up for today's display effort. Tony being able to double up whilst trying to secure new members for the IPMS. Graham J was looking after the Harrier SIG (tut, tut). Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the chaps had some success in the competition (bronze awards for Brian, Tony H and Chris K; gold for Martin) and more success in the under-the-table kit rummaging. It was a pretty busy show for most of the day.
2015 - 24th October
We made a second visit to the museum this year, this time for their Autumn model show, which has more usually focused on radio control models. Sadly for the RC folks, and the visitors who specifically came to see them, the weather did not play ball and only allowed a short period of flying. How did we know? Well, our table, manned by Ian, Chris K, Dave H and Graham J was sited right next to the viewing gallery and exit to the airfield, a not very welcoming mixture of a cold draft (until they shut the door) and very poor light. Fortunately we had Martin's lighting rig with us and could illuminate the table for our visitors.
Between the 4 of us we managed to put 72 models on the table covering ships, science fiction, aircraft and armour. Not only that, we didn't have a single model that was also there in February, so visitors saw a completely new set. Whilst the numbers of visitors and interactions with them was less than the February show, we all thought it was worth the effort of attending the show. And if nothing else, we all had plently of time for a look around at some stunning models and have a good chat.
2015 - 21st February
Tony, Brian, Dave W, Dave T, Graham C, Martin and Les were on table manning duty for this show. Once again we were located next to the P1127 and thus able to keep an eye on the Harrier SIG chaps next door where Graham J [text author] spent most of his time. The club stand was busy and Brian claims to have lost his voice talking to all the visitors. You'll notice some variation in the lighting of the table and that's because we tried out Martin's new LED lighting strip display units powered by a portable battery. Unfortunately we had a minor mishap with one of the lights and only had two to use, but they made a noticeable difference to the display and invoked a number of enquiries from curious visitors. Martin will make a small adjustment to the design in preparation for our next show at REME. All-in-all another good show for all concerned and we put 41 models on the table.
Congratulations to Brian and Martin for gaining silver awards in the competition: Brian for his Typhoon and Martin for his running pilot figure.
2014 - 15th February
A brief respite in the horrendous weather allowed Tony, Les, Dave T, Dave W and Graham to make the relatively long drive down to Yeovilton. Show date this year was the 15th February 2014, coinciding with the start of half-term, giving dads the opportunity to buy some models to keep the youngsters entertained over the coming week. We alone sold 34 kits from "under the table", so the assumption is that business was good for clubs and traders.
Despite being a few men down, we managed to cover the three tables we had allocated. Not the busiest show we have had there, but an enjoyable day out none-the-less. Apologies for the not very good photos - not one of my better days with the camera (ha!ha!, you are asking when those have been, no doubt) - the halls are too dark, necessitating flash or a tripod - which I didn't have. The best way to see the models is in the flesh, so to speak, so come and visit us at one of the forthcoming shows or pop down to the club. Excuses over, what we displayed is shown below.
2013 - 9th February
A cold, wet and misty morning saw us make the relatively long drive down to Yeovilton for the show. We had a slightly different position this year, being sited right next to the tail of the P.1127 and the Bristol BS100 engine. The sounds of Brian's motorised Zero were regularly trumped with the sound of the Pegasus engine on the display video. Unsurprisingly, some of us headed into town to find the local library for some peace and quiet. Once again we managed to get a big collection on display - 56 or 57 models - I kept losing count and we had also some winners in the competition: Tony with a first for HMS Howe and Martin a second with one of his dioramas.
We managed to cover most genres with our display and thus attracted a fair number of visitors to the table. There were 9 of us there from the club, so we all managed to get a fair amount of time to wander around the show and buy some more loft insulation for the coming warmer months! Hopefully though, we will see some appear at a club night in the not-too-distant future.
2012 - 11th February
Despite the relatively long distance to get to the show, we had a good turn out of members and models, with nearly 60 models on display. I'll make no further comment about the members' display. The position of the table adjacent to the Fairey FD.2 record-breaking aircraft was less than ideal, unless of course you had a need to keep banging your head on the air brakes. Despite this handicap and attention diverter, we had our fair share of visitors to the stand and many conversations ensued. Tony's Hunter received a lot of interest and his A-10 was a crowd pleaser. Tony also won a 1st in the figure section of the competition (congratulations) and Brian, as ever, kept everyone entertained with his motorised models, though as he admits, some of the adults did question his sanity. A grand day out, as they say, and worth the effort. We'll be back!