BuffCon ’06

by John Doerr

The BuffCon Boys have prided themselves on a history of good shows and have billed this year’s event as the largest one-day show in the country. This weekend, if they didn’t achieve it, they certainly rivaled it.  Even the weather co-operated, which is no mean feat for area with a reputation for bad weather.

 With the weather co-operating, and the location the same meant more participants willing to come from farther away and more space was available which combined to boost attendance.  General admission was $4.00 with entry fees being 2 for $6.00 and $1.00 for each additional entry.  The admission fee was waved for entrants. Registration was standard, manual, at the door, with no pre-registration.  While that resulted in a little waiting the lines were short, the most I saw were six, and moved quickly.

 After registering one entered the display hall, laid out in standard fashion.  The tables were laid out grouped by subject and large signs showing the individual categories arranged in numerical order.  There were 84 separate categories

 The vendors were in a separate room, connected to the display hall.  The selection was large and ranged from the bargain basement with lots of older kits at thrifty prices to those selling the top end and exotic kits.  A full selection of accessories, decals, and conversions were available.  Many modelers were seen tightly clutching bags and boxes, hurrying out to their cars to secure there latest finds.  Chris and CRM were not here this year and his absence was noticed by his many friends who attend.  I found it touching that he has made so many friends that asked about him.

 There was food and drink available in the vendor’s room. The food selection was limited, but at reasonable prices, served by the host club.  There also was a limited amount of tables to sit, eat, and get off your feet.  So those who didn’t want to leave to eat were able get something on site. There were no signs posted disallowing food and drink in the display area, but I do not recall seeing anyone carrying it into the display.  I guess common sense can prevail.

 There were over 500 models on display and the entrants came from all over the region.  The clubs from western Pennsylvania, northeastern Ohio and several from southern Ontario made the trip.  The Toronto club made a fine showing with many members and some extremely well done models.   The show certainly seemed more like regionals than a local show, and the display area did get a bit crowded at times.  The judging ran from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and the display area remained open during the judging.  Many participants decided that it was time to run out for a more varied selection for lunch and the crowd had noticeably thinned. 

 At 4:00 PM the awards presentation began.  All awards were presented individually for all 84 categories.  While it certainly took longer, it was nice to see the builders identified as they collected their awards and the younger set were thrilled.  By 5:00 PM, it was all over and the contestants were for the most part happily on their way home. 

 My hats off to a “Small Market” team that worked their tails off to put on one tremendous show.