Monday, 7 December 2009

Lier Convention 2009 - Belgium

After a three month hiatus, I've finally found the time juggling between fatherhood and a new full-time job to furnish some updates.
First up is show report of a recently concluded invitation as a special guest to the Lier Convention in Belgium organized by the Modelbouwclub Lier over the weekend of 28-29 November.

Traveling to Belgium is convenient as there are direct flights from Singapore to Amsterdam. From Schiphol airport itself there are direct train services to Antwerp for which Lier is only a 20 minute drive away. I was fortunate though to have Mario Eens and Wim Van Hool from the club to greet my arrival at Antwerp Central station and ferry me to the convention venue.

Vol au vent,my first meal in Belgium.

I must admit that my initially impression was that of a small local model show, but in all respects of what I've witnesses and experienced over that weekend had proved otherwise.

This year was the first time Modelbouwclub Lier have conducted the event over a two day period so that the show could be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace. Still the large convention hall was rapidly set-up in under two hours by the club members on the day before to accommodate vendors, exhibitors and contestants the next day.

Exceeding my expectations, the convention was extremely well attended not only by the local modelers but modelers from various parts of Europe(the Germans especially came in large numbers through the Ardennes ;P). It showcased a number of well stocked trade vendors and several stellar award-winning displays from modeling clubs like AMSS (Antwerp Model Soldier Society), KMK (Kempense Modelbouw Klub) and Scale Model Factory(TWENOT). As for the contest, there was an enthusiastic turn-out of high quality contest entries not only from Europe but also from far flung Malaysia as well!

Here are some of my excerpts from the displays at the show:

All the way from Italy is Giuliano Chigorno's T-55. Molto Bello!!!
Staf Sneyers

Sven Frisch

Kristof Pulinckx

Mario Eens

Bernhard Lustig

Pascal Tognon

Roy Schurgers

Christian Gerard

Each of this year's special guests including old friends Marijn van Gils, Adam Wilder and myself were tasked to present two demonstrations each. Marijn covered a two-part demonstration on figure sculpting whereas Adam delved into the art of soldering photo-etched parts and weathering techniques for armored vehicles. I covered topics on painting faces and camouflage patterns with acrylic paints.

Marijn's demonstration on figure sculpting.

Adam's exclusive demonstration on soldering techniques at the Modelbouwclub Lier club house.

For more pictorial coverage of the contest entries and event, do check out the link on Modelbouwclub Lier

Following the show on Monday, the tourist in me made a visit to Brussels with Marijn as my hospitable host and guide.

Brussels Central decked out for Christmas.

These macaroons are probably the best I've had.

The next day, I made a day trip to the Ardennes with Modelbouwclub Lier members Wim, Mario and Frank Eyckmans. A local himself with a keen enthusiasm on the history of the Ardennes Offensive, one could not ask for a better guide than Frank to visit the historical sites of Bastogne, Houffalize, Poteau and La Glazie. Though the weather proved unfavorable for sight-seeing with heavy overcasts, it did however reflected the conditions experienced by the soldiers who fought there 65 years ago.

Mardasson Memorial at Bastogne

At Bastogne with Mario in front of a Sherman tank.

At Houffalize with the legendary Panther tank. Getta load of this Dinesh!!!!

The site of the Poteau ambush by Kampfgruppe Hansen.

The bad gloomy weather and thoughts of being away from my daughter and wife are eclipsed by the hospitality of my Belgian hosts Marijn and Pinar, members of Modelbouwclub Lier and KMK Blue Shirts. Thank you guys from making me feel welcome and Wim for generously providing me the dependable support for my demonstrations. Here's looking forward to meeting up with all of you again in the near future.



Andreas said...

I wanted to come there but my parents didnt want to drive me there,even if its not far away...

It would have been great to meet you...

I was in eindhoven and took part in Marijns presentation there and I must say that he is a great modeller

take care,


Jim Johnston said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time. I for one would like to say how nice it is to see apost from you again. I understand your absence all too well but everyone looks forward to seeing your work and travels (especially the food).

Jim Johnston

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

Seems like Europe's where the action is. The history, culture AND FOOD combines to make it an unforgettable experience.

Looking forward to seeing some of your latest work....provided you've had the time with the little one around :-)