It’s almost four weeks since the UK went into lock-down to try to control the spread of Coronavirus and it’s been a strange few weeks. Working from home means that I am gradually losing track of what day of the week it is. I sit at the same desk, whether I’m building models or pounding away on the office laptop, so I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time stuck in the same room.
We’re lucky to live in a village so we can get out out for our daily exercise and walk or cycle round the lanes that surround us without encountering many other people and it’s important to have that change of scene from time to time. I’m keeping in touch with family although since they don’t live nearby, we usually communicate by email or phone anyway so on that score, nothing much has changed.
Like many other IPMS members, I am finding that I’m spending more time at the modelling bench. I had assumed that my rate of production would go up although looking back at this time last year, the number of models completed since 1st January isn’t any different. What is interesting is that my choice of projects has changed. I’m challenging myself with more complex ideas. I long ago got into the habit of creating a small scenic base for each of my completed models but at the moment I have set myself a task to create easily the most complex base I’ve ever attempted. It involves a damaged bridge so my use of Evergreen plastic strip is reaching industrial levels of consumption – it’s a good job I can still re-stock via online retailers or I’d be in serious trouble.
It’s also a time to get those jobs done that you’ve been putting off for ages. I regularly use toothpicks and coffee stirrers (the latter with double-sided tape) to hold small items and parts that I want to paint, as well as some home-made paint stands for my figures. Today I built myself a small rack to hold all these things – the idea has been there for several months but today seemed like the ideal day to do it. Using some offcuts of MDF and wooden battens discovered in the garage, plus an assorted selection of choice language, I managed to create a fairly decent rack. It’s not perfect and I ended up having to bodge a couple of the elements to make it work, but overall I’m really pleased with how it turned out and it got me away from the modelling bench for a couple of hours.
Back in the wider world, some of you will have seen that Telford International Centre has been designated as an Assessment Centre by the NHS. This isn’t the same as the Nightingale hospitals set up at places like Excel in London and the conference centre near Harrogate. Locally, a couple of our big football stadiums have been re-purposed in the same way and they take some of the pressure off the hospitals who can then concentrate on more serious priorities. It creates no concerns for the Executive Committee at this early stage of the year because this type of activity has minimal impact on the majority of the space we would use for Scale ModelWorld and hopefully the need for such additional NHS capacity will no longer be an issue by the time we start approaching our show in November.
A proportion of our members renew each year at one of the shows they attend and clearly this won’t be possible for the next couple of months at least. If your membership is coming up for renewal soon then there are other options available to you. We still accept cheques and postal orders so if that is your preferred way of paying, all you need do is send the Membership Secretary a letter (enclosing an SAE please) with a note of your membership number and a cheque/postal order for the required amount.
You can also renew online via our website – https://ipmsuk.org/membership/renew-membership/ . This provides a link to our MemberMojo online portal to allow existing members to renew their membership quickly and easily. You can also update your membership details yourself using this portal. If in doubt, contact our Membership Secretary via the contact form at the bottom of the renewals page.
We hope that normal service will be resumed at some point later this year and we can once again attend shows because they are such a vital part of the hobby for so many people.
IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer