I am in Topeka at the MVPA's 35th International Convention this week. I will try to give a quick set of impressions between pizza and sales.
I have to say, I am most struck by the quality of displays at this year's convention. The hobby is really evolving. Rather than a preponderance of "Show what I drove" types of entrants, there are a number of full-size dioramas featuring well-equipped mannequins. The dioramas tell a story rather than just being a hodge-podge of militaria.
One display that sticks out in my mind is that of a WWII weather station with all the gear in addition to the CCKW and trailer. Well done!
The vendor floor is completely filled and activity is good. Today, the public was permitted entry and though I can't say we were swamped, traffic was steady.
One big success was the MVPA's integration of the modeling hobby by sharing space with the AMPS Regional. Outstanding representations of 1/72 and 1/35 scale dioramas and vehicles caught everyone's attention. The modelers, in turn, appreciate the opportunity to see vehicles like an M4A1 Sherman, M5 Stuart, LVT, RSO Raupenschlepper, Schwimmwagen and GPAs up close. The MVPA should be applauded for introducing this segment of enthusiasts to our hobby.
I will try to post a full photo report next week. In the meantime, congrats to the MVPA, their Board of the Directors and the hosts of the 35th Annual Convention.
Editor, Military Vehicles