AROUND SLOVAKIA - POPRAD

Plastic modellers strut their stuff

FANS of plastic modelling met again in Poprad in March for the 18th annual Plastic Session competition. But it was clear from the beginning that this year’s competition had attracted fewer modellers than on previous occasions, the SITA newswire wrote.

FANS of plastic modelling met again in Poprad in March for the 18th annual Plastic Session competition. But it was clear from the beginning that this year’s competition had attracted fewer modellers than on previous occasions, the SITA newswire wrote.

“In recent years, we had about 600 models here and, according to the latest counts, there are currently about 400 models on the tables,” remarked the competition’s co-organiser Leopold Klas from the Tatranskí orli Poprad – Svit plastic modellers’s club. Klas thinks the lower number of models reflects the economic situation.

“The price of models has been increasing significantly, and not everyone can afford to buy a construction kit,” Klas added. The price of a simpler kit is around Sk500, better kits sell for more than Sk1,000. The kit itself is just a base; to construct a better-quality model, you also need colours, putties, glues and other extras.

For a model to score at a competition like Plastic Session takes hours of hard work, according to Klas. For the more skilful modellers it can take two to three months to complete an entry; but some work on a single model for a year.

If an entrant wants to impress the jury, their model has to be detailed: not only must it be properly pieced together and painted, but it’s crucial that all the moving parts do in fact move, and that engines - not to mention any weapons or the interior of the model – are finished down to the smallest detail.

In spite of the smaller number of models exhibited, interest in military equipment (e.g. tanks, artillery, uniformed figurines) has been growing among modellers. By contrast, aeroplane models used to predominate, especially those from WWI and WWII. Klas said this might have to do with the fact that making models of military equipment is simpler than making model aeroplanes.

Visitors to Plastic Session 2008, which finished on March 30, were also able to view models of ships, cars, trucks, motorbikes and figurines. There was also an international dimension: as well as Slovaks, there were exhibitors from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland at the show.

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