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Amsterdam Aviation Collectors Fair 2023 - Trip Report

The 5th edition of the Amsterdam Aviation Collectors Fair took place at the Vanzantenhal venue on September 16 and 17, 2023.


As a collector who resides in the United States, the Atlantic Ocean represents a major obstacle when it comes to attending shows in the old world. The cost of transatlantic travel (even when you can travel for "cheap") can detract from any deals that you might find at the event. But there is more than just the models and other collectibles; there is also the experience and the unique opportunity to meet with collectors from other parts of the world. Additionally, since many prominent figures of the hobby tend to attend larger international shows, such as the Amsterdam Fair, these shows are an opportunity to get a glimpse of the ins and outs of this hobby that we are so passionate about.


The Trip


The organizers of the fair did a great job of promoting the fair, to the point that I went from simply being aware of it to seriously interested in attending. Work and family responsibilities needed to be sorted out, but everything came together, and on September 14 I found myself at IAH holding a ZED ticket for UAL20 (airline industry perks, I would not have pulled the trip off without them).


I arrived early at IAH and while leisurely strolling around I came across a large Concorde model in the British Airways Landor livery displayed in the lobby of the HAS Executive Lounge at terminal D. I have walked countless times in front of that lounge but had never seen this model there. Talk about setting the tone for a trip to an aviation collectibles fair!

Large replica of Concorde in the British Airways Landor Livery at the HAS Executive Lounge IAH.
Large replica of Concorde in the British Airways Landor Livery at the HAS Executive Lounge IAH.

My ride to Amsterdam:

United Airlines 777-224ER N77022 (Star Alliance c/s) at Houston Intercontinental Airport on September 15, 2023
United Airlines 777-224ER N77022 (Star Alliance c/s) at Houston Intercontinental Airport on September 15, 2023

I got a seat (no window, unfortunately, but beggars can't be choosers...), and after a two-hour delay caused by some earlier thunderstorms, we were on our way.


It was happening! My first international aviation collectibles show.

The Show


I was amazed at how many die-cast models were available, and generally for good prices too. Also, there was an impressive selection of 1:500 models, although many were repeated.


Enjoy the photos:


Yesterday's Airlines table at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Of course, as a 1:400 collector one of the first things I did was visit Yesterday's Airlines table to check out the new NG Models samples.

1:500 scale models for sale at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Tons of 1:500 collections for sale.

1:200 models for sale at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
1:200 models in a corner

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

RetroHangar Diecast table at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Mark's table - @RetroHangarDiecast

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
You could probably furnish a full galley with all the items available!

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
This table had multiple scales and good prices for rare models.

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
You could probably build an entire airplane at the fair!

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Pretty cool pre-made airports for sale!

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
I really wanted to bring one of these lamps home!

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
More airplane parts!

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Arcunia's table. A long-time name in the hobby with a very friendly staff.

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
The Herpa folks in the forefront. Andrew Klein from Aeroclassics in the background.

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Don from InFlight200 had some pretty cool customs and unique models for very reasonable prices at his table. I brought a couple home!

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Matt from @1400_aircraaft_models

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Matt's table had a nice selection of customs.

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Steinar @400scale_se_aviation and Richard @yesterairlines

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Guess which one I wish I could have brought back home...

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Nice selection of Aeroclasscis going for somewhat decent prices.

F-14 Tomcats at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
F-14s

British Airways 747 in the Landor livery with lights at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
The beacon on this British Airways 747 actually flickered, so I was lucky to catch it on. Beacon shot!

Aircraft model collectors drinking beer at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
We had a truly great time on the evening of day one at the Van der Valk Schiphol Hotel. From the left: Richard (www.yesterdaysairlines.com), Mark (@RetroHanagarDiecast), Steinar (@400scale_se_aviation), and myself (www.yankeevictor400.com)


Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
You can't have an aviation collectibles show in The Netherlands without KLM houses.

Avro Vulcan at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
The Vulcan

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Steinar (@400scale_se_aviation) had one of his signature diorama setups on display.

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Large model of a Braniff 747 at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Big Orange

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
And even more airplane parts.

Airplane parts form Aeromexico 767-200 XA-JBC at the Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Remains of Aeromexico's XA-JBC (SkyTeam c/s), pretty cool!


Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Phoenix Models, not cheap!

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Slides and books.

Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
While airplane models dominated the show, there was plenty of stuff for the paper collectors as well!


Amsterdam Aviation Collectibles Fair 2023
Nice selection of toys, including many Matchbox from the eighties.

Wrap-up


The transatlantic trek was well worth it. While I did bring home some nice models, it was the social aspect of the show that made the experience exhilarating. I got to catch up with fellow collectors as well as meet in person many of the European collectors that I knew from the internet. It was also nice to see the massive NG Models mold unveiling firsthand.


Dedicated aviation collectors are a rare breed, so it is always exciting to interact with like-minded aviation enthusiasts in person. While touring the worldwide collectibles show circuit might not be viable to most of us, I would like to encourage collectors to try to visit one of the major international shows at least once (once every few years is even better). Just remember to bring cash and a big hard-case suitcase.


My ride back to IAH:

United Airlines 777-224ER N78003 at Amsterdam Schiphol on September 18, 2023
United Airlines 777-224ER N78003 at Amsterdam Schiphol on September 18, 2023


Jorge A. Zajia

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