Last Friday, late afternoon, there was a hell of a blizzard over Warsaw and I was sitting there at the airport, waiting when they will probably cancel my flight to Brussels and imagine that the weather got better and we could take off. There was a smiling, kind Belgian waiting for me at the airport. Jan picked me up and drove me all the way in Antwerp direction, to Lier to attend the BSMC Friday evening meeting. These guys gather every Friday in their club, model together, chat and enjoy their time together to the late evening hours. I was really impressed how it's all organised there in Lier.
Saturday morning, Jan arrived early, we were going to hit the road and head for the Ardennes and if you're in the Ardennes there are some places you just have to visit. So our first stop was La Gleize. And if you're in La Gleize there's the Tiger II from KG Peiper that got it's barrel shot and was left behind by the retreating Germans in the final stage of the offensive, when it collapsed. After La Gleize we headed for Grandmenil, where a lone Panther from 2. SS Pz.Div. "Das Reich" sits among the trees. Leaving the Panther behind us we drove to La Roche, to visit the museum that's located there. There's also a Sherman and a Achilles TD in the town. Next stop was Houffalize, where the second Panther Ausf. G is located. Leaving Houffalize behing, with a bag full of custom made belgian finest chocolates we headed directly to Bastogne, passing Foy at speed. The 500 km trip ended at 1630 hours that day as we returned to the evening meeting at the show halls. Then a dinner in the local brewery with nice company of the BSMC crew and special guests- Harry Steen and David Zabrocki who came with his lovely wife, Michelle. Sunday started early in the morning too, as we headed to the halls at. 9.30. The preparations were finished and first competitors and visitors arrived at the show. At 11.00 Harry had his soldering demo, mine sculpting tips were at 13.00 and then David proceeded with his painting technics. The show ended up at 18.00, at 16.30 started the award ceremony. It was a very well organised show, with a lot of traders there in a second hallway, good models on display, some gems were there too. I was very happy with the lecture, as many people came to see it and I really hope they were encouraged to start their own sculpting. It's actually not that hard as it looks like, believe me. My personally favorite moments were all the talks and laughs with good all friends (Pere Pla came all the way from Spain along with his fellow Ruben Gonzalez Hernandez) and the new ones too, like Darren Thompson or Yves, the president of BSMC too.
What can I say, it was a wonderful weekend. Big thanks to Yves van den Brouk, Mario Eens, Jan Goormans and the rest of the BSMC crew for inviting me there and being my hosts!
When in the Ardennes, a picture like this is a must have :)
Bow to the King
"Das Reich" Panther G at Grandmenil, vehicle destroyed due to mine damage
misty La Roche
This Sherman here, hit no less than 3 times, note the penetration in the mantlet
Leaving La Roche...
and after a few kilometers there's the second Panther in Houffalize
We left the Panther behind just to meet up with the Screaming Eagles!
Final stop in the Ardennes, Bastogne war memorial...
Show venue in Putte, club stands...
Morning hours, the display area
Special Guests of this years BSMC show, Harry Steen (soldering demo) and David Zabrocki (figure painting demo)
David's masterpieces, all in one place...
Harry's demo on soldering
Staf Snyer's quarterscale Tiger I
Robert Doepps works
Ruben Gonzalez and Darren Thompson, two great guys
Pere Pla (Abrams Squad magazine) - the man that keeps on smiling ;)
Staf's next project
Darren posing next to his award winning Maultier
Dirk Lehaen's Blitz
Pere Pla's Duster