Festiwal Modelarski in Bytom, Poland - Part one
This article is part of a series:
The model show in Bytom is the largest one in Poland and the one with the longest tradition. As opposed to the shows in Telford, Moson and Lingen, where you hear all the languages of Europe when you walk between the tables looking at the models, Bytom is primarily a national event. You’ll hear mostly Polish around you.
The event may be primarily national, but the quality of the models is not. It's top notch international quality! Poland, like the Czech Republic, Slowakia and Hungary, has a very strong modeling tradition.
It started, or at least was developed, during the years of Soviet occupation.
Since there were only few and low quality model kits available, the modelers had to develop their techniques using the limited resources available to them. This forced them to be creative and this creativity was then further developed after the Soviet occupation ended and modern kits and materials became available.
The show is held in a large sports hall. About half the hall was dedicated to the competition and the other half to traders. All other spaces outside of the main hall were filled with traders too, so this is a good place to go shopping. You'll find quite a lot of brands of kits and tools, that you don't usually find at western European shows.
The strong Polish modeling tradition showed, not only in the number and quality of the models exhibited, but also in the number of spectators. The place was packed with people, both on Saturday and Sunday. It's a bit of a family event. People bring their kids. The kids are very well behaved though. They will point at the models, but they will not touch them. I never feared for the safety of my models.
Poland has a dramatic and partly painful history. This was mirrored in interesting exhibitions with the themes ”Poland September 1939” and ”Aircraft of the Polish Liberation War”
I didn’t even know that airplanes took part in the Polish Liberation War, but apparently the Germans left a lot of aircraft or aircraft parts behind when they left Poland at the end of WWI. They were quickly put into Polish service and more planes were bought from other countries too.
In general, not only was the quality of the exhibited models very high, there was great variation too. I saw models of all kinds of wonderful planes and vehicles that I didn’t even know existed. I hope the pictures in the following galleries will give you a small taste of that quality and variation.
All in all, taking part in the Festiwal Modelarski in Bytom was a very pleasant experience. If you want to take part in, or visit a well organized modeling event and see loads of top notch models, this is definitely a good place to go.
Finally, I’d like to thank Marek and Leszek for helping me with translation, for showing me around and introducing me to some very nice people and for taking me to the modelers hangout on Saturday evening.
A part two of this article, with more pictures is coming up.
31 additional images. Click to enlarge.