I’ve been trying to make a point of going to as many shows as I can. This is partially because the End Times stopped all shows for two years, but also because I genuinely enjoy shows, and to see what works and what doesn’t, so I can apply the lessons to the Fen Model Show. When a show turns up somewhere that I’d also like to visit, it makes the decision much easier. While travel is expensive and time consuming, it’s something I thoroughly enjoy and, if the location is right, I can turn it into a holiday. Rome, obviously, is that sort of location.
Euroma has quite a good reputation in certain circles – predominantly historical, but also among flat painters. It’s not so well known among the fantasy crew, but I find there’s less antipathy between the various camps these days, so it may just be a matter of advertising.
Anyway, photos first (with usual disclaimers around the quality of my photography):
In terms of results, I won a silver in Master Flats and a bronze in Nature (no Master/Standard split in that category), as well as a special prize from Cixmodels for (presumably) my fox in the Nature category. I’m pretty happy with those results, especially as it shows that I’m right in concluding that I’m pretty good at flats (just as well that I enjoy painting them!).
I’d say the judging seemed very consistent and much as I would expect from a good show. They clearly set a high bar for achievement, but then provide really nice medals for those who reach that level. The level of work present was also very high; some really excellent work on display.
Overall, the show is pretty good. I think there’s room for some improvements, especially in terms of providing information about the show up front. They have a Facebook page and a website, but there are some key bits of info that aren’t easy to find. For instance: there are no tickets. The show is free to visit. You pay to enter models (one flat rate, regardless of how many models or categories you enter), which I was able to find out about beforehand, but I went along not knowing if I’d be charged extra on the door. The fact that I hadn’t seen anything advertising tickets suggested that I didn’t need to book one (which would have been terrible to discover on the day), but I was pleased to discover that there were no hidden costs.
Signposting around the show also wasn’t great. There was a sign outside the hotel saying the show was inside, but nothing telling me where to go for it. I ended up following some people to the first floor and got lucky. I think a basic addition to the sign would have been an easy fix. It’s not something that really matters after the first few hours, but I did find it a touch offputting. Once on the first floor, there were a number of rooms with different categories in them. I don’t remember if there were signs indicating which displays were in each room other than on the display tables themselves.
(Yes, these two points could be resolved by talking to people, but I’m very introverted and prefer to figure things out myself from the information available. I suspect I’m not alone in this.)
Lighting at the show was a bit 50:50. The lights they had were good – suspended panel lights over the displays in the fantasy and historical figures room, some lamps over the flats, etc. However, in some places the large windows let in far too much light, and some models I think really suffered from that.
The prizegiving was… something. It was 30+ degrees, which I’m sure is positively mild in Rome, but for some reason they opted to do it outside, with very little shade provided. For those of us from more temperate climes, this was a distinct struggle, especially as the ceremony took more than an hour.
The organisers were very good about making sure they clearly enunciated the names of non-Italians, which was greatly appreciated. I don’t expect them to conduct the prizegiving in English, so it was nice to have it obvious for those of us who don’t speak Italian when to go up.
Would I go back to the show? Probably not, if I’m honest. Rome is lovely and the show was enjoyable, but it’s quite a lot of effort that I don’t feel the need to repeat. The show could entice me back if it tried to be something different from other shows. As it stands, it is very much like the usual sort of event you can find in a lot of places (lots of categories to appease the various rivet counters and isolationists…), just in a much nicer city than most.
The other thing that put a bad taste in my mouth was Roman public transport, which isn’t the show organisers’ fault at all. On the plus side, I did find out that Google Maps is very good at finding alternative public transport routes.