Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tables of talent at the Heartland Model Car Nationals in Overland Park

Model cars are great, aren't they?  You can build or own anything you want, and it really doesn't matter how weird or crazy it is.  Nobody wants a '57 Chevy Bel Air with a six-cylinder in it, but put one in a model and it's kinda neat.  Likewise, most people don't have a stock-appearing V8 Chevette, but in a model, why the heck not?

For skilled model builders, the only thing that limits what gets produced is their imagination, and honestly, there aren't many restrictions on that.  So it can be a real treat to go where some of the best modelers in the Midwest have gathered to check out the Heartland Model Car Nationals.  As in most years, this was held at the Overland Park Convention Center, and there were lots of great models to see, critique, and even buy if you are so inclined.

I love the contest, but since I'm a collector, my first reason for visiting the show is the swap meet and vendor area.  There are all kinds of dealer promos, Franklin and Danbury Mint cars, rare and out-of-production plastic kits, and model parts dealers throughout the show floor.  I went with my dad, who found a couple of treasures to take home.  I found several things that I liked, but this was a rare occasion where budget and good sense won out over passion and desire.

The contest is probably the biggest draw for most people there, though.  And it is a good one.  There are easily hundreds of models there in all types of classes.  The feature car this year was the '32 Ford, so there were lots of those scattered around, but there were also lots of TV cars, race cars, radical customs, and plastic kits that were so detailed you would swear they were actually high-end diecasts.  These people have a whole lot of patience!

There are also classes for special needs builders, kids, unfinished kits, curbside models, and much more.  There really is a segment for almost every skill set--although they all looked like they were put together by highly skilled builders to me.

I also saw Larry Reyes sitting there signing autographs.  Reyes was an AA/FC (Funny Car) drag racer who was famous for being the first pilot of Roland Leong's Hawaiian funny car.  So that was a bit of royalty among us model nerds.

The slideshow below contains more than 160 pictures from the model show, and a couple of them actually aren't even that bad.  So check 'em out, and get a feel for all the talented people that gathered in Overland Park over the weekend for the Heartland Model Car Nationals.


  1. Where to start? So many cool models ; wish I'd have been there. The checkbook is glad I wasnt... Hate talented people... ;)
    [really like the new design on the site's border tho ]

  2. Yeah, that pattern sort of reminded me of the seat material in an early '70s Buick. :)