"Midsummer Madness" (2013) - what's this all about then? Well, in a model club long, long ago, a surfeit of alcohol and an inexplicable surge of enthusiasm led to a proposal being made to have another go at a "2 Hour Challenge". Given that the last one has now been erased from recorded history until the statute of limitations for any possible offences has lapsed, the membership agreed to try again but to call it something else, just in case. As we proposed to have the event in June, "Midsummer Madness" seemed an appropriate name for both the timing and a "commemoration" of the previous event, which we didn't have of course, for the reasons just stated. Tony organised the purchase of the kits. Les was held down forcefully in order to extract the necessary funds from the club wallet. The rest of the membership then began the brainstorming task of coming up with excuses as to why they would not be able to attend the June meeting and thus build a kit they were sure not to like (even though they did not know what it was). we would only be able to use a limited set of tools - the contents of the starter kit, a knife and some sanding sticks. Oh, and of course, anything else we could smuggle in and use without Tony noticing.

"Cometh the hour, cometh the man" they say. In this case, a dirty dozen of us turned up to compete in the challenge, which was pretty good really as a couple more were poorly (Brian and Dave H) and Les was away counting the remaining pennies in the club funds. Allan and Ed were declared AWOL. So with 11 expectant little faces gathered around the table, scalpels at the ready, Tony rolled the drums and told us what we were about to receive, and why we should be truly grateful.

The rest of the story is now told in the photos. Please note that some of the gallery below contains flash photography - that's a reference to the lighting used and certainly not the quality of the work by the photographer. If you are of a nervous disposition, you may be advised not to hold any sharp objects whilst viewing.

July Update - The Tomahawks have returned, 7 out of 11 currently accounted for and Brian judged the winner as ... see below. The end result? 7 different models from the same kit, a lot of fun and a desire to do the same thing next year.
The Gathering
Midsummer Madness - the gathering. Tony feeling chuffed with himself because he knows what we are about to receive.
The Gathering
Tools Ready
Stand by your tools - Martin comes prepared, with as you may notice, a few additional tools not allowed for in the rules. Tut, tut, initiative like that always gets you into trouble.
Tools Ready
Stand and Deliver
Tony's big moment - the stage is set, the drum rolls, Tony announces our date with destiny ...
Stand and Deliver
OMG
Ta-da! - Here it is folks ... The Airfix 1/72nd Curtiss Tomahawk IIB Starter Set.
OMG
Pass the Parcel
Pass it on - Aaron says lets keep passing them down and perhaps Tony will not notice he hasn't got any left for us to build.
Pass the Parcel
Ode to Joy
Joy of joys - John wonders how he can spend two hours looking at the kit without opening the box. Dave T says, well, the look says it all really. Pete reads the contract small print and Dave W looks to see where the tracks and turret have gone.
Ode to Joy
They're Off
No time to waste - Aaron and Martin are off and running - the family competition starts now.
They're Off
Wonder of Wonders
Wonder of wonders - John T has opened the box and started, but is this a Mastermind moment?
Wonder of Wonders
Competition End
The serious end - Chris and Tony compare notes on flash removal, mould tolerances and filler requirements. good job they didn't glance at the bodge job I was making.
Competition End
Wot no Shirt?
Mind those fingers - Keith decides to attack the paints with a Stanley knife. Club shirt missing as those blood stains can be really difficult to get out.
Wot no Shirt?
MM13-013
Let's hope the glue brushc doesn't get dipped in the wrong liquid container here.
Late Starter
Studious intent - Chris R, who arrived late, is a model of concentration as he tries to catch up.
Late Starter
10 Second Interval
Say cheese - a brief interruption for a group photo.
10 Second Interval
Trouble up t'North?
Still doesn't look right - Pete's taken his glasses off now, this is serious modelling. Dave W tries to bend the wings sufficiently to get the tank tracks round them.
Trouble up t'North?
Too Serious
Fault #7 - "2mm of flash on this wing Tony. Could be serious."
Too Serious
Even More Serious
You can't be serious? - John reads the instructions, whatever next?
Even More Serious
It's in the Beer
Anyone seen part 34B? - Now you know why these kits take so long, you can never find the parts. Perhaps Dave T dropped it in Pete's Guinness?
It's in the Beer
3 Wise Modellers
The Three Wise Modellers - #1: It was in my hand a minute ago. #2: I dunno, perhaps I should have read the instructions after all? #3: Always keep your parts close to your chest.
3 Wise Modellers
Ringer
Black Sheep - Tony quietly gets on with his build. Well almost quietly, in between giving us facts about every aircraft we mentioned that night.
Ringer
Scratch Resistant?
School Tables - Chris R is not actually making the model, he's just carving graffitti into the table top.
Scratch Resistant?
UMO
Cheat? - I'm not sure what Peter has in his right hand (an Unidentified Modelling Object), but I don't think it's in the rules, even if it is no help in the build. These Farnborough chaps are all the same.
UMO
Zen moment
The meaning of life? - Seems every time I pointed the camere at Dave W he was pondering the meaning of life, or perhaps it was a Zen moment - if a tank modeller makes an aircraft when all around him are aircraft modellers, will they hear me scream?
Zen moment
Job Well Done?
Satisfied grin - Chris M decides to play safe and pose, rather than be caught with an expression on his face that I can use to take the mickey.
Job Well Done?
Up Close and Personal
Macro moments - Tony gets up closer and personal for that competition winning sanding of the wing attachment point.
Up Close and Personal
End Results
Time's Up - So two hours later, what did we achieve? Here are some examples ...
End Results
End Results
And another example
End Results
End Results
Work in progress as the bell rings ...
End Results
Paint Job
Impressive - first coats on ...
Paint Job
End Results
and further examples ...
End Results
The End of the Line
And finally ... the furthest along the line. What happens next and who won? Well, the simple answer is we take the models home, finish them off using only what we have in the starter kit and then return with them to the July meeting for Judgement Day. Tony will then had-over an unbelievable prize to the winner - and the rest of us will be grateful we didn't win. So if you want to see who won, make sure you come along to July's meeting on the 30th.
The End of the Line
The Build-Up
The big build up - the tension in the air was palpable - or was it just the lack of 24 hour cover after shave?
The Build-Up
Men at Work
Danger, men at work - full steam ahead now as everyone settles in for the marathon event. Dave T quaintly reads the instructions and Dave W files his nails with the fuselage.
Men at Work
The Squadron returns
I counted them all out, but I didn't count them all back!
The Squadron returns
Ready for Action
5 wheels down, 2 wheels up, 7 slightly different interpretations ... same kit, different results.
Ready for Action
The Winner
And the winner is ... Martin ... who wins himself a DVD on airbrushing!
The Winner