Competition honors fallen Thunderbird pilot

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Artists showcased their talent with model cars and ships at an annual convention all while honoring a fallen pilot. 

The International Plastic Model Show took place on Saturday at the Eastside Cannery.

This year, competition organizers introduced an award honoring fallen Thunderbird pilot Major Stephen Del Bagno.

The board members voted to change the name of the “Best of Nellis” category to “The Major Stephen Del Bagno Memorial Trophy for Best Nellis Subject”. 

Now the award will honor Major Del Bagno’s service forever. Saturday’s Best of the West was the 23rd annual convention. Judges tell 8 News NOW that the hobby is a great way to unwind. 

They also say that as participation grows every year and so do the skill levels. 

“All these models, they’re so detailed now and they’re so close to the original compared to say 20 to 30 years ago, which makes it nice. You got a complete and accurate replica,” said James Rizzo, International Plastic Model Show.

Participants say part of the fun is researching the history of the models. The more you learn, the more accurate your model can be.

Next year there will be a two day regional event and that will be the largest model show on the west coast. 

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