Boys (and a few girls) and Their Toys
For the first time since I got into this hobby back in 1999, I've had the opportunity to join fellow bubble-heads for the annual SubCommittee submarine fun run.
Why, oh why, didn't I do this sooner?
By title, this event was called the 2017 4th Annual Carmel Sub Fun Run. It took place last weekend in Carmel, Indiana at the Veteran's Memorial Reflecting Pond. Having worked on him for a while, I finally convinced my 14 year old son, Logan, to accompany me and be my wingman at the event, helping to man our table of RC submarine goodies and check out the cool subs and their even cooler owners.
Carmel is a lengthy 16 hour drive from my home in Naples, FL, so we elected to ship our stuff and fly out to the event. We arrived late Friday and hit the event early Saturday morning to set up shop and start meeting and greeting.
The weather was as perfect as one could imagine, with temps in the low to mid 70's (Fahrenheit, 'cause we were in the 'States... low 20's in Celsius for the rest of us). We got some sun and sat back to enjoy the day.
From our side, we brought some of the more interesting things we have brewing, including a host of new submarine hulls, including the new Blueback, Kilo, Trenchant and Sierra kits. I also showcased my 300th scale SeaQuest as well as two kits in development, James Bond's Lotus submarine car from "The Spy Who Loved Me" and an original model of my own design based off of Jules Verne's Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
For the first time, I got to meet people that I'd been corresponding with for decades in person. It's funny how you get a mental picture of someone and then meet them and find out they look nothing like what you thought they would.
The Reflecting Pond is an absolutely breathtaking venue, perfect for subs with an average depth of around 24 or 30 inches (about 60cm or so). The water was clear, with a smattering of algae floating in it.
On hand were a ton of submarines showcasing some amazing artistry and engineering. A particular favorite of my son's, Kevin McLeod fired up his massive 96th scale Russian Oscar and let loose with a few barrages of scale, working, rocket-powered missiles. Dwayne Hill and the crew from Canada were on hand with their favored 48th scale fleet. Pete Piekarski brought along his intimidating Ohio class sub (pictured above) and Bob Gesking delighted us with his 31" Nautilus (modeled with Nemo, the fish from Pixar's movie, following close behind). There were a whole host of other amazing boats on hand, including Kerry Addington's massive SeaView. Big Dave's Turtle made an appearance in homage to his passing this last year. Another notably absent member, Jim Henson, was remembered fondly as his wife brought along his collection of RC submarine gear to sell to those in this hobby that will miss him most.
There are just too many people and boats to list and my apologies to those I didn't mention.
While I didn't have a boat of my own to run, I had the chance to see dozens of superb models in action, and I was actually lent a wonderfully docile Engel Lafayette sub for a few minutes to keep my itchy fingers from acting up too badly.
I had a great time and I'll definitely be there next year... and I'll have at least a couple of boats of my own to run, too!
Thanks to the SubCommittee for putting on such a great event, and thanks to everyone in it for making the event possible.