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NordicCon scale model contest to change format in 2023

Plans are in motion to grow the event and attract a wider audience
NordicCon, a long-running model contest held in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, plans to change its format to a hybrid that it’s calling a “contest and exhibition.” Organized as a joint effort by the Twin Cities Aero Historians, RPM Model Club, Oddball Modelers Group, Minnesota Military Figure Society, and Minnesota Scale Modelers, the clubs believe the new approach will grow the event’s audience and appeal.

“We want to grow the show and, at the same time, accommodate those modelers who don’t like entering contests but would still like to display their work,” said Steve Hustad, vice president of the Twin Cities Aero Historians. “Now, we can do both.”

Hobbyists who want to display their models but forgo the contest will have to pay the same rate as contest entrants, and display-only models will be mixed in among the contest categories. However, they will have a different information sheet so judges and the viewing public can easily tell the difference.

According to Hustad, the organizing committee has set a goal of 25-33% growth under the new format. NordicCon typically averages 400 model contest entries from more than 80 contestants. The 2022 show dipped to around 330 entries, which Hustad attributes to the proximity of the IPMS/USA National Convention in La Vista, Nebraska, just a few weeks before.

Additionally, Hustad, an IPMS/USA George Lee Judges’ Grand Award winner, will run a seminar about building 1/72 scale aircraft dioramas and will display his entire collection at next year’s NordicCon. Other event highlights will include more scale model how-to seminars, a raffle, vendors, and an award ceremony.

NordicCon was founded in 1997, has run almost every year since, and has hosted two IPMS/USA Region 5 contests. The 2023 contest is scheduled for Saturday, September 30.
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