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Beckner remains solid contender for fair prizes

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By Stephen Thomas

 CLERMONT - John Beckner has carved a name for himself at the Kentucky State Fair.

In 13 years of competition Beckner has earned 19 ribbons for his wooden toy models, including five blue ribbons and four Best of Show awards.

This year Beckner competed with one of his personal favorite models, a replica of an M1 Abrams tank.

Like many of Beckner’s pieces, the tank is complete with moving parts and wheels. Beckner doesn’t paint all of his models, but implemented a poplar wood that had an appearance similar to camouflage used by the military.

Beckner also features different types of wood pieces with varying degrees of shade as an added feature on each piece in lieu of not painting them.

“Everything on it is natural,” he said.

Over two months of construction earned Beckner a second place red ribbon this year, but he was even more pleased with his results.

Beckner earned a second red ribbon in the scratch-built wooden toy models for a high lift. He created the model on his own simply from looking at a photograph.

Although Beckner was confident in his work going into the competition, he said the pieces that topped him were simply worthy of their blue ribbons.

“That’s the nature of it,” he said. “You just don’t know from year to year how strong (the competition) is going to be.”