Scale Model Expo 2014

The last Scale Model Expo in Wellington was in 2011. It’s a Biennial event i.e. once every two years, but was slipped until this year to re-align it with its traditional April time slot.Even with this extended period between shows, I still had nothing finished!! In my defence though, I would like to claim points for consistency…

I overnighted in Palmerston North and set off at zero dark thirty on the Saturday morning for Wellington. It’s only about a 90 minute drive but I was catching up with friends on the way…Even then, I still arrived in Upper Hutt (a suburb of Wellington) an easy hour before the show opened. I scored a coup here as my aimless wandering while I waited for the doors to open took me into the local Noel Leemings where they had 4 terabyte hard drives for almost half price…snapped one of them up immediately for the enhanced home theatre project!!!

This year was the first time that the show has been in Upper Hutt. In previous years it has been in either Lower Hutt or the Wellington CBD. I was impressed with the new venue. It is much larger than the old one in Upper Hutt, is right in the middle of town and has a great little cafe right beside the doors. My only minor gripe is that the Upper Hutt City Council could invest a little more in signage for parking as I was unable to find any parks for more than 120 minutes and parked a little further away in a side street. Once I got to the show, I learned that there is free parking and lots of it by the train station about two minutes walk away…still, a little walking never hurt any one…BTW, the same council could also invest a little more in rubbish bins around the CDB as it is quite a trek to find one to dump (in a legal manner) one coffee cup and sandwich wrappings…

The show was well-attended and well supported…some material was repeated from previous years (not necessarily a bad thing) but there was a lot of new build work as well…below is a random selection of images from the first day of the Show…unfortunately I was unable to stay for the second day as much as I may have wanted to. I have loaded more pictures into Photobucket for anyone who may wish to see more…


A Kiwi take on Noah’s Ark…


A whiffed (What-iffed) exercise in imagination…


The Juniors section – this club has been a strong supporter of junior modellers for years…


The Rex Crawford Collection

Rex Crawford was a long-standing and very active member of the Scale Models Wellington club. His ambition was to build one of every aircraft ever operated by the Royal Air Force – as you can see here, he came very close to it. When he passed away a couple of years ago, there was a very real risk that his collection may have been lost however a collaborative effort by the club with Rex’s family has seen this collection preserved and placed in storage in Wellington.

Personally, I would like to see this collection eventually displayed in the RNZAF Museum in Wigram. While the RNZAF may not have operated nearly as many aircraft types as the RAF, the RAF remains the air force that we most closely identify with. In addition, not only have many Kiwis over the decades operated these aircraft types while serving in the RAF but there are also now many former members of the RAF now serving in New Zealand that did fly some of the later types (and I am including the Vulcan and Victor here as ‘later types’).


The large scale train set-up always attracts many viewers…





Wingnut Models are Sir Peter Jackson’s very own model company and they specialise in a range of exceptionally high quality models of WW1 aircraft in 1/32 scale. The first day of this year’s show they unveiled their latest release, the Roland C.II, an aircraft type that will have bring back fond memories for many modellers of the old Airfix 1/72 Roland that dates back to some time in the 1960s…DSCF8229


Of course, the normal purveyors of temptation were there and I felt somewhat compelled to support local businesses.

When I left Upper Hutt in 2004, it was in a state of decline. A decade later it has managed to reinvent itself: it now has a flourishing town centre and is a great little life support centre for those living and working up the top end of the Hutt Valley.


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