Contractors are well known equipment scale model enthusiasts, but the attraction doesn’t end with them. There’s a global audience for these miniature models, as we detailed in our Model Mania special report last year. Scale models were even a traffic-stopper at this spring’s Intermat trade show, where a detailed diorama took a front-center position as you entered a main hall.
Back in the United States, scale model enthusiasts have plenty of opportunity to gather and swap tales. One bonus: admission is low, sometimes even free. Here’s a rundown of coming events:
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More than 3,000 models will be on display at DHS Diecast’s 15th annual Open House on July 26th, which is combined with a scale model auction the day before. During the auction, more than 300 models will be up for bid. On Sunday, DHS opens the doors to its nearby 12,000-square-foot facility. The event includes a model and diorama show, attendee-only sales, raffles and giveaways and free hot dogs. Activities start at 9 am on both days; attendance is free.
National Toy Truck N’ Construction Show
Indianapolis Marriott East
Toy Trucker & Contractor magazine has put on this show for 25 years, an event that includes model trading, showrooms and an auction. The show start at noon on Friday and runs through 1 p.m. Sunday. Events include a 1/64th-scale truck build-off and model jet truck races on Friday and Saturday. Members of the Central Plains Mini Truckers Club will host a room showcasing remote-controlled trucks and equipment. Admission $7 for all three days; $5 per day.
September 4-7 (Labor Day weekend)
Historical Construction Equipment Association Convention and Old Equipment Exposition
Although the emphasis of this annual meeting is full-size antique iron, several collectors use this event to display their scale models. This year’s event will be held in conjunction with the Rock River Thresheree’s annual show at Thresherman’s Park, near Edgerton, Wisconsin, which will also feature the national show of the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club. In addition to old construction equipment, full-size equipment on display will include a steam pile driver, steam train, machine shop, sawmill, tractors, fire trucks and threshing and traction engines. 8 to 5 pm daily.
Clarence Fire Hall, Clarence, New York
This annual show features model and diorama displays, including a dealer area for custom, new, rare and discontinued models, plus parts, tools, books and memorabilia. Representatives from U.S. and international model manufacturers and dealers will be on hand to display prototypes and new releases. “This year, there will be some hands-on workshops on topics such as airbrushing,” says Brandon Lewis with show sponsor Buffalo Road Imports. Free display tables are available. The event includes tours of Buffalo Road Imports’ shop, located a short distance away. Admission $5; floor rights (granting access to the show two-hours ahead of the official start) $10. (Note: this event has moved from its previous June timeframe; as of press time, the new show information had not been posted on the website.)
National Farm Toy Show
As the name implies, this is primarily devoted to agricultural models, but there is a mix of offerings from construction model vendors. And while in Dyersville, a must stop is the National Farm Toy Museum, which also has some displays devoted to construction models.
April 29-30, 2016
Lakeside Sand and Gravel, Mantua, Ohio
Along with the watch fob focus of the show, several construction equipment scale model collectors and dealers will be on hand. The event includes full-scale antique construction demonstrations and gravel pit tours. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on April 29; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 30th. Free admission, food and refreshments.