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Another excellent edition of Torrent Modelling contest was held last weekend, 10-11-12 of April, in Valencia. Apart from the contest itself, there was a shop area with over 15 stands for sellers, reenactors from different eras and several workshops. Let me tell you what could be seen there
Over 900 pieces were shown this year. The contest is open to all modelling categories, however the most populated were armor/afv, aircraft and figures.
First floor was for AFV, dioramas and figures, in three different zones. The showcases were well lit, and for AFV and dioramas they were open-topped so it was possible to see pieces from very close and study them in detail... as long as you could find room. Often there was so many public that it was hard to get close to the tables. However towards the end of the showtime on Saturday, 19:30 onwards, most of the public had gone and it was a great time to enjoy the models. It was posible then to stop by each model that caught the attention, discover new details and try to find out how it was done.
Being one of the most important contests in Spain, several pieces from renowned authors were featured in magazines, and you could find excellent examples of works from José Luis López, Joaquín García Gázquez, Michel Pérez or Óscar Ebrí, to name a few.
One of the news this year was a new category for newcomers. As the organization felt some modelers would be reluctant to compete with masters who usually attend, now they have the chance to enter a special category and win a medal that otherwise would be out of their reach.
Only one gold medal was awarded for AFV 1/35 models, to the superb Nashorn by Jose Luis López. Although I had already seen it in magazines and internet, this masterpiece needs to be enjoyed at close distance to fully appreciate its beauty.
The same can be said about Aitor Azkue's diorama with a huge He-111, a truly amazing work
Kits, tools,books, paints, figures, a real (and rusted) panzerfaust... all of this and more could be bought at the fair. It was an excellent chance to get everything you need, and even what you do not need but can not live without it. New kits or old ones, most recent weathering sets, everything was there. You may think that the sellers brought only a small fraction of their stock, but it was not the case. Shelves were full of items.
For those of us who do not enjoy a well provisioned local hobby shop, it is an excellent chance to see everything before buying, as you can not do that online.
The workshops were held at two different areas, sometimes overlapping. Attendants could learn to cast molds and copy parts, make a jungle scenario, or using oils with bust figures. Being very close to the desk and have the chance to ask any question is always a plus. Often you can learn more with half an hour of live demonstration than reading a whole book or looking for information on internet. The value of experience is worth the time spent.
Although there are specific reenactment shows which are way bigger, the presence of these fans at a model show is a welcome add-on. They carfeully choose their equipment for historical accuracy, and often it is even original. While most of the participants were WWII German soldiers, there were also American, British, and Russian. Plus from other eras as well like Napoleonic or Crusades.
It is very nice to have them around, a German soldier with all his uniform and gear looking at the models was indeed a curious image
Tips from a Judge
Nacho Iñigo was one of the Juring board members this year at Torrent for 1/35 armor models, and I had the pleasure to talk to him about his experience.
Seeing models from the point of view of a Judge is a quite different one. While you usually take a quick look at them and decide intuitively whether you like it or not, judging means that you have to support your opinion with facts. Each model entering the contest is analyzed and ranked. When all results are put in common among judges, they have to justify their decisions and reach a common score for awarding a medal -or not.
He offered also some advice to modellers entering a contest:
-Do not overpass any fault. If you can see it, a judge will see it as well so be strict with yourself.
-Make your model rich and varied, avoid panting it all with the same colors and same treatments.
-Look at your model from every angle and side. If you paint it at your eyes level, look from above to ensure the finish is consistent.
-Do a thorough final checkout of the model once finished. Look for unwanted streaks or pigment chunks that should not be there.
I would like to thank the AMT organization group for all the effort they put in this show, and specially Rubén González and Nacho Iñigo for their time and help.