Matt and Ron started off the trip early by getting a tour of the armor restoration area of Fort Benning, GA. David Hobbs and others from Atlanta AMPS arranged a tour of the area and 19 people participated. At 0900 on Friday, we met at the National Infantry Museum outside of Fort Benning and were taken on-base to the armor restoration area. This is a complex of buildings that originally housed the Second Armored Division motor pool in the years leading up to World War II. General George S. Patton himself walked these grounds. Today, the area houses much of the armor that was previously displayed at Fort Knox, the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and other military bases. Eventually, the armor will be displayed at the National Armor and Cavalry Museum, which will coexist with the National Infantry Museum at Benning.
The facility houses over 200 pieces of armor dating from World War I through the Iraq wars. Among this staggering collection are one of the very few remaining Tiger I tanks, a 100-year-old British Mark IV, and the only remaining T28 US Super-Heavy Tank prototype. Not only were we able to see these awesome vehicles, we were able to climb onto, and even into, some of these beasts. It was definitely a top-10 life experience. Following the Fort Benning tour, Ron and I linked up with Rusty, Kenneth, and Mike at the show venue in Atlanta.
The show is a joint venture between the Atlanta chapter of AMPS and the Atlanta Military Figure Society. Vendor setup and registration begin Friday evening and the show continues until noon Sunday. Several vendors were represented at the show, including Freetime Hobbies, John’s Models, and HobbyTown USA. All of us came away with a little less money, but more plastic. Aside from shopping, we took in the amazing quality of work that was represented in the model display room.
The AMPS side of the show obviously included mostly armored fighting vehicles with a few dioramas and vignettes thrown in. The figure side included several categories of figures from historical to sci-fi and horror. Also included were dioramas, toy soldiers, and general models.
A great aspect of the AMPS/AMFS show is that it is an excellent opportunity to interact with other modelers. The show lasts much of the weekend and many of the attendees were staying at the Marriott. Random elevator conversations about modeling, as well as more in-depth discussions in the hospitality suite were common.
The show came to a close Sunday morning with the AMPS awards ceremony at 1100, and the AMFS ceremony at 1200. All CASM member did well. Matt received 3 Silvers and a Bronze from AMPS and Pewter award for models entered into the AMFS side. Kenneth received 2 silver awards from AMPS and a silver from AMFS. Ron received 2 AMPS bronze awards and a AMFS bronze and silver. Mike entered only a single entry and scored big with a gold in AMPS and will now join Matt, Kenneth, and Ron and Advanced modelers in AMPS. Brent received a AMFS silver and a bronze. Rusty received a AMFS gold and was honored with the title of Show Master for winning gold medals in three consecutive AMFS shows.
All-in-all it was an excellent show and we are all looking forward to attending next year.