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Model Clubs

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Model Clubs
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 17, 2003 9:36 PM
Hey Guys and Gals,
How many people on this forum are members of a model club or IPMS? I'm just wondering how many others in the group are. I'm a member of the Twin City Aero Historians and a club officer for this year. Because of that I'm also IPMS.

I'm bringing up the clubs because in the years that I've been a member, my modeling skills have sharpened dramaticly and now I'm taking home awards at contest. I never thought I could do that. The club has helped me out a lot and I owe them my gratitude. Yes, we have what we call "model-nazis" guys who suck the fun out of this hobby, but I don't listen to them. And they sit in their own little corner anyway.

The monthly meetings are my high point of the month and being able to show my works to club and take both praise and criticism makes me a stronger modeler. Also we've got some great members whose works and articles have appeared in FSM.

Now the shameless plug:
You can go to "on the table" or "meet the modelers" and see our works. You can download our newsletters both current and past. We have some great online articles in the "features" area and it's all free.

Let me know what you think?
Thanks a bunch
Bernie Kugel, secretary, TCAH
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tochigi, Japan
Posted by J-Hulk on Monday, March 17, 2003 10:30 PM
I'm a member of the Naniwa Sensha-tai (Naniwa Tank Battalion) here in Osaka. Japan. Check out their webpage on my profile (cool links). It's all in Japanese, but there are lots of good pictures. And a coupla my works!
Naniwa Sensha-tai is not so much a club as it is a loose group of folks who gather at our favorite hobby shop here and talk tanks. No dues or official memberships, that is. Or even regular meetings! Friday after work is a popular time for folk to gather, though.
We do have contests at regular intervals, with one coming up March 21. They are usually themed, with this one being Shermans.
I have learned so much from these guys (sorry, no ladies have joined yet!), and they are so willing to offer advice and guidance.
So, if you have a chance to join some kind of club, I'd heartily recommend you do so!
Fun and rewarding, it is!


  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 5:44 PM
Hey bernndye, please define "model-nazis" !!!!


  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 6:52 PM
Somebody/bodies that take modeling so seriously and anally that you just want to give up modeling and take up needlepoint.
People that feel they need to put down everybody elses work and then glorify their own.

QUOTE: Originally posted by littlemoe

Hey bernndye, please define "model-nazis" !!!!


  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 7:07 PM
aka extreme rivet-counters
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 11:21 PM
Rivet Counters...Grrrr...... Tongue [:P]

I'm a member of IPMS Niagara Frontier here in Buffalo, NY. I've been a member since 1983 and have watched (and helped) this club grow to over 100 members and also have been floored by the continuing success of our annual show, known as BuffCon.

BuffCon has become something of a monster. Over the past 15+ years, we have regularly attracted a rather typical 450-500 entries. But the past five or so years have seen the monster break out of it's cage; each year we've had at least 600 entries with over 700 on two occasions. We are all amazed at the success of the show but, to me, the club is much more than BuffCon, or any of the other events that we hold every year.

My closest friends are fellow club members and we always have a ball, no matter what we do. We've typically made several road trips every year to neighboring one-day shows in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and, on occasion, other states such as West Virginia and Indiana. We also try to attend every IPMS Regional that we can, including those of other Regions. This year in May, we host our third NOREASTCON, the Region 1 convention.

We've had contingents present at almost every IPMS NATS over the past ten years, and with good reason. Ours is the only club to have won the IPMS National Chapter of the Year Award three times, never mind the fourth time last year! (Seven time Region 1 Chapter of the Year).

Admittedly, this is all very nice. It's cool to have "bragging rights", but I wouldn't care two bits about all these so-called honors if it hadn't been a helluvalotta fun along the way. Hard work, yes, but mostly fun. That's what this hobby is all about.

I guess my favorite aspect of being a member of a model club is the cameraderie that usually manifests itself. Again, my best friends are fellow club members. We have our inside jokes and jab each other every chance we get.

Our friendships have developed past the constraints of the hobby into areas of everyday life. We have "The Saturday Night Gang" that gather for the Groovy Get-Together at Guido's every other Saturday Night. Modeling is the primary, but not necessarily the singular, thrust of these get togethers.

The aforementioned road trips are usually an absolute riot. The stories that come out of these trips are legendary (In our own minds, usually!) Other than shows and museums, we also have made semi-regular migrations to some of the not-so-close "local" hobby shops.

Our favorite is the trip to Toronto. Usually, this entails a drive up the QE to Keith's Hobby Shop on Yonge St. Also, Northstar Hobbies. Then back to gawk at the huge selection of kits, decals, resin, brass, books, magazines and a helluvalotta other stuff at Aviation World just across the street from Toronto International. It's also way-cool sitting in the parking lot on a warm summer day watching the Airbuses, Boeings (including an occasional 747) and Commuters come in almost right over our heads.

Often times we stop in St. Catherines to see what's new at Niagara Central Hobby Shop before heading home and a final stop at Ace Hobby Shop in Niagara Falls, NY. Ace IS the place, and this little shop is our regular haunt. Not only do we get to peruse the latest and greatest in the world of modeling but we also rip up the slot car track, when the mood strikes.

A model club can help the individual gain knowledge, develop and hone skills. It's a good way to expose oneself to the work of others. Magazines and the net are good ways to see others' models, but there is no substitution for actually seeing a model with your own eyes. A club is also a good way to relax and have fun, in general.

If you've been procrastinating about joining a club, do so no further. JOIN! It can be a great experience. You'll probably make a few new friends and have alotta fun.

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 6:00 AM
Not me... I've had mixed blessings. While I have always greatly enjoyed the company of fellow modelers, I've also encounted lots of negatives regarding IPMS and club membership. I tried IPMS twice, first in the mid 70's and most recently, the late 80's. The first time there was an ongoing war between two factions over (I believe) control of the organization. The second time there were constantly disagreements over contests. I gave up on IPMS in 1991.

On the issue of local clubs, I wish I could say it was better. When I was stationed at Ramstein AB, Germany, I joined a German-American club. Things went great until one member opened a hobby shop in the local area. At that point the club became (in his eyes) an avenue for promoting his shop. He wanted control of the club and even tried to "appoint" himself as club president. Things would get ugly if he learned member went into another shop.

My second experience with a local club was here in the 'States. I was in a town with two IPMS chapters. Each chapter had their own yearly show. Lots of fighting over contests. One club accusing members of the other of judging misconduct. One newsletter issue was published and pratically the whole thing was dedicated to the alleged misconduct of one member of the other club. I went to meetings and tried to get specifics. No one could produce. I was fed-up but remained a member until I moved away.

This does not mean I've given up on local clubs. There's a club here in Saginaw that I would like to check out. They seem like a nice bunch of guys. Unfortunately, my work schedule does not allow me to participate.

I'd just like to find a bunch of guys/gals who like to build models and leave the politics (and resultant infighting) out of it.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 8:16 AM
hi , i am a member of IPMS Nottingham UK and also run the IPMS Armour TAS service for the whole of IPMS UK , I attend about 15 model shows a year in the UK holding model workshops giving hints and tips to model makers new and old. The shows covered are from a 1 day church hall to 3 day town and country show and a 5 day international military vehicle rally.
i enjoy talking to model makers from all over the world and have crib page at the back to record the number of nationalities i speak to at a given show , highest to date was two years ago at the UK IPMs Nationals , it was 17 different countries , we are truely a international lot cheers ian
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 10:41 PM

I know what you mean about the bull that can tear a club apart, it almost happened to us several times.

Personally, I have little use for the national IPMS organization. The local club and it's "business" can be quite boring and/or monotonous sometimes. And as regards the "power struggles", I guess it's all in the people who are actually in the club itself. As with any organization anywhere, we have a number of rumblers. But, luckily, most of us are fairly level-headed! Tongue [:P]

There certainly are niches in our club, and there are people that I don't care for and I'm sure the feelings are mutual. But as a whole, we've learned to put that crap aside and have fun with the hobby. It's a pity that other clubs can't do the same, I've seen too many come and go. It's a shame.

If it all went to pot tomorrow, I'd still have the friends that I've made in this club over the past 20 years. We'd still have our Saturday night thing and we'd still have fun. That's all that matters in this hobby, and in life...

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Thursday, March 20, 2003 8:14 AM
At the time I joined my first (and so far last!) model club (in Belgium), at the age of 11, I was building models carefuly chosen for the color of their plastic and requiring as little painting as possible... Most of those models ended up in the garbage can or attached from the ceiling. Within a few weeks (we had weekly meetings), seeing the work from more experienced modelers I had improved my skills quite a bit, enough not to be ashamed to bring my completed models to the meetings (not that people were stupid enough to laugh out loud..!) Blush [:I]

Within two years, I had 'taken over' the library of the club and was in charge of purchasing new mags and books and somehow learned most of my English. My skills had also considerably grown, with my first conversions, my first scratchbuilt models... Blush [:I]

The club I was member of (Jemeppe Modelisme) had weekly meetings and catered for all kind of static modeling. On a typical night, about 4 to 8 new models would be 'shown' to all. A typical presentation included blurb about the model, but also some background about the subject, and I learned a lot about tanks, historical figures, conflicts, cars, motorbikes, ships, weaponry,... as well as new modeling skills such as weathering, airbrushing, making dioramas, replicating snow, water and the like. We had a yearly show (with no vendors no competition) and the build up was just amazing, so many people putting in their little bit of help to acheive a truly amazing and friendly 2-day show. We attended to lots of other shows too.

Ever since I left (in 1990), other than one major exception, I've been club-less. Not that I did not try or want, but I could find nowhere the format I had been used to for years, and found myself bored by clubs where little groups of AFV modelers, little groups of figure painters, and little groups of aircraft modelers would form and not 'interact for the duration of the meeting. Pointless 'internal' competitions were always run and I did not like that. Monthy meetings were too far apart too.

The one exception I mentioned earlier was when I created my own model club, aimed at junior modelers. With a handful of adult modelers (of varied experience and interests), we would have weekly meetings where anywhere between 6 to 24 kids would bring their models and materials and build their models under our supervision (and get access to the club's own library, own compressor and airbrush, own mini-drill,...). That lasted for 6 years. That was a great time, but unfortunately the club ended up folding in after I left for the US in 98 Sad [:(]. It takes a lot of time and resourcs to have about 40 meetings a year, plus organising your own show, plus visiting another 10 (on average!)...! Sleepy [|)]

I'm not sure I'd join a club again. This Forum and the people I've met here have somewhat replaced the need for exchanging ideas and showing off my latest realisation in the 'real world'. Doing that from my home (or office!) is way better...!

Thanks to FSM for providing me with this great experience. Smile [:)]
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by JChurch on Thursday, March 20, 2003 9:29 AM
So far the consensus seems to be down on clubs, my experiences has been the same, I checked out on local clubs web page here in Calgary and found a lot of member and local shop bashing going on, turned me right off of the club and wanting to join, I joined another small club through another local shop and found the same thing, arrogant builders who say things like "ooh I wish I could build like you do" with an air of condiscention that makes you want to put your foot in someones face, that club didn't last long thankfully, I agree with DJ, even tho physical companionship is great, I get all the modeling "drug" I need right here, this site is addictive, I bet Dave never thought he'd end up being a pusher Wink [;)] I think I need another hit Dave, log me on quick!!! Evil [}:)]

Happy Modeling and breath deep, right Blackwolf

Madd DawgCool [8D]

Your not going to leave it like that are you?

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 21, 2003 5:45 AM
I'm not anti-club. I doubt I'll re-join IPMS/USA ; IPMS is too much about contests and I don't do contests. I build models for MY enjoyment, not some judge who I may not please anyway because he/she likes Messerschmitts and not MiGs. Despite the hassles, I've made some life-long friends in those local clubs I was a part of and that made my membership in those clubs well worth it. As for the jerks and arrogant ones, I tend to ignore those guys anyway. I want to participate in the local club here but with my crazy working hours, I can't make a single meeting.

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