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1⁄35Fool's Gold Abrams
While Meng is rapidly replacing Tamiya in my opinion as the maker of the best-fitting, best designed armor kits, I did experience more problems with some of the fit on the side skirts of the tank than I expected. The results, nor surprisingly, were marked-down scores that resulted in a Bronze Medal.
Duly chastened, I went home a fixed the problems with the kit, as well as adding a bit more to the look with a couple of additional drink bottles (both filled and crushed). This Fall, I took the kit to ArmorCon, thinking that in some ways, it was a new build (or at least a greatly-improved one).
Roped into judging as usual by my good friend, Georg Eyerman, the head of judging for the event, I was working with a crew of three others when someone said "you know, it's technically against the rules to enter a kit that has medaled at AMPS." I don't remember how this came up, but it got my attention immediately. Unaware of the rule, I had of course assumed this was in some ways a different build than the kit entered for AMPS Nationals.
But in the spirit of full disclosure, I called Georg over to the table where I was judging and told him the situation. His face turned ashen, and he was something you don't see about Georg very often: pretty much at a loss for words. He went to check over the scores of already-judged kits, then came back with a very sheepish expression.
"I have bad news. Your Abrams was awarded a Gold Medal." I laughed as good-naturedly as I could, and asked Georg to fix things. The tank got its Gold Medal, but the medal wasn't awarded at the closing ceremonies. But both Georg and I (and the four who judged it) knew it was a Gold Medal Abrams, even if that gold was the fool's gold variety.