ScaleACT in Canberra is one of the major shows we love attending each and every year, and this year was no different. Held over the weekend of 11th and 12th of November, we once again made the trip up to what is quickly becoming a must attend event for modellers across the country.
With the ute packed full of stock and some entries for the comp, I left home at just after 4am on Friday. It's an 8 hour drive to get to our nations capital from our HQ in Ballarat, but I made good time and with a couple of stops at towns like Euroa and Gundagai to top up the fuel, I arrived in Canberra just after noon.
First stop was the National Dinosaur Museum!
Whenever I am in Canberra, I always drop in to see the exhibits and check out the gift store. Luckily, I found a book that I had been searching for so walked out extra happy!
From there, I headed over to see our Canberra retailer, Toyworld, in Fyshwick.
After a catch up with Toyworld ACT's owner, Peter McLeod, and dropping off their rather large restock order, I went and checked in to my hotel and then headed out to the new location for ScaleACT, Thoroughbred Park.
My initial thought upon seeing the new location for the show, was how large and open it was compared to the previous venue at the Kaleen High School. There was plenty of room to fill and still have plenty of space available for more. I found where our stand was to be and got started bringing in all the gear.
For this show, we also did a special release to coincide with the Kinetic Models show release of the RAAF Hornet with Operation Okra markings (75SQN).
This new set features the two greys used on the upper and lower surfaces of the RAAF Hornets, plus Insignia White for the interiors (such as the wheel wells) and an all new colour, RAAF Marking Grey, which is a match for the specific grey used on 75SQN markings on their Hornets.
On top of that, we also did a special pre-launch of the new RAF Spitfire colours, the much sought after RAF Dark Green, RAF Dark Earth and RAF Night.
And with the stand all set up, it was time to sleep finally after a long, long day.
Saturday was super busy all day long. Paint was flying off the stand and into happy customers hands. I got to catch up with some longtime friends again, some who I haven't had a chance to see since before Covid, and also met a lot of new and lovely people.
Once the day started to wind down, I also sat down with the guys from On The Bench, to have a chat on their podcast about what we've been up to. You can listen to it on your favourite podcast app, or via here : OTB 176: Scale ACT model show 2023 (libsyn.com)
And to finish off an epic day, I was convinced to head out for dinner with TC and Richard from ModelNerds and Andrew from Hobbies Australia, also bumping into some of the guys from the show as I was leaving to head back to my hotel.
Sunday was finally here and whilst it was a bit quieter compared to the day before, we still did a roaring trade throughout the day. Got to meet even more people who I haven't seen for ages or only knew them from online, as well as even more new people who were all lovely.
During the weekend, there was also a number of workshop panels which were livestreamed alongside a tour of the show by the club. You can check them all out on the ACTSMS YouTube Channel : ACT Scale Modelers Society (ACTSMS) - YouTube
The show started to wrap up around 3pm, so what little stock that was left was packed up and loaded into the ute whilst the awards ceremony was happening. I ended up winning a Highly Commended award for my Triceratops that I entered into the Scratchbuilt/Open category (aka Miscellaneous) which was a very pleasant surprise.
And with that, ScaleACT was done for another year! With the Ute packed, I left straight from the venue and got home at 12:25am, crawled into bed and then the alarm went off at 5:30am to start another day back at SMS HQ.
The weekend was fantastic all round. The team from ACTSMS who organise the show have been working tirelessly over the past year to get this new venue sorted and the show expanded upon, and they haven't disappointed. The new venue and layout were miles ahead of the old way, and it is a fantastic change that was desperately needed to move the show forward.
To find out more about ScaleACT, jump onto the website at : ACTSMS - ScaleACT
See you all at ScaleACT 2024, 9th and 10th of November 2024!
And remember as always, keep on modelling!