DAVE WOOLEY reports from Dortmund
In the other halls, particularly those devoted to model railways, some of the finest model making can be seen, including many dioramas incorporating model boats. Another area of interest (as a model maker) are the fairground model exhibits which are extraordinary in their complexity of detail and imaginative content. Model engineering is changing and embracing computer technology, so German manufacturers are now bringing various new products to the model maker and engineer that were once the preserve of industry.
The standard of the exhibits is always a prime factor and clubs such as SMC Oberhausen EV and Binnenschiffe Duiesburg provided many outstanding examples of model shipbuilding at its best which included a 1:75 scale model of the research icebreaker Neuwerk, built by Hans Linde. On the Historical Shipbuilding stand examples of intricate and beautiful carving work could be seen in progress. Standing on its own, a small model of the North Cormorant oil production platform caught my eye. On it were several small working models, including a submersible with working lights and an r/c search and rescue boat. The platform was displayed in a darkened area with the rig fully illuminated and visitors were invited to have a go at operating the working models.
There were a few less model boat traders than in previous years, but Revell, Graupner, Krick and other specialist suppliers were still in attendance. Graupner showed their new 1:200 scale container ship Sydney Star (length 1135mm, beam 140mm) and retailing at 294.50 euros. Displayed on the Hobby Lobby stand were a number of models by the Chinese manufacturer TJ Models, including a very smart 1:100 scale generic tanker now available for 419 euros. Krick were displaying a number of their new fast electric ARTR models including a futuristic design named Sea Predator. If it goes as fast as it looks, then it will be fun and exciting to operate!
Travel to Dortmund this year was by a combination of flying from Manchester to Düsseldorf, then rail to Dortmund, underground to the Intermodellbau event itself and finally a taxi to and from the hotel. So yes, not as convenient as the coach party previously arranged by Dave Collier and Dave Veitch! The other disadvantage of budget air travel is that anything purchased that is bigger than a pack of cigarettes has to go in the hold of the aircraft for an extra charge! So, I understand that a coach may (I only say may!) be organised again for 2012 going via Hull and Rotterdam if numbers are forthcoming.