Tales of the Unexpected…

Life in IPMS world doesn’t change all that much from week to week so there isn’t a great deal to add to what we’ve already said over the past few weeks about Scale ModelWorld and the Society in general.

It’s been interesting to observe the ongoing preparations for the IPMS-USA National Convention this year. It will run over several days at the end of July in San Marcos, Texas. It’s likely to be the first major model show to take place for several months and it’s a multi-day event so it is a similar type of event to ours. Whilst circumstances are very different in the USA, it will be a useful indicator of how viable such a large event will be and what if any social distancing restrictions they have to impose and how they resolve the many practical issues of that process if needs be.

It’s a mark of how topsy-turvy the world is at the moment that I’m sat at home typing this blog. It’s been my birthday weekend so we’d normally be away, or at the very least heading out to a local restaurant for a nice meal. Neither option is available at present but no matter, a good home-cooked favourite with an excellent bottle wine would compensate nicely – until that is the oven blew up on Friday. It also blew the fuse for that spur which includes a couple of other power sockets so I can’t even do any airbrushing at my bench in the garage. Thankfully we still have a microwave and a small camping stove so whilst we won’t be creating anything cordon bleu, at least we can eat fairly well until we get the electrics and the cooker sorted out. With no airbrush use possible, work has stalled on my current modelling project and I ended up doing domestic maintenance chores instead. To say it’s been an unusual birthday weekend is an understatement!

In an effort to remain positive and focussed, I found myself returning to the books by Shep Paine and Francois Verlinden and browsing through them. There are many other more recent authors who I also admire but Paine and Verlinden are very much my era. It was their work that helped me develop from a kit builder to a model maker; to consider what I could do with a kit and how I could enhance or convert it. Shep Paine’s ‘how-to’ guidance holds its own even today, despite there being huge advances in the way we pursue our hobby and whilst Verlinden’s artistry may not be as fashionable as it used to be, the techniques he used and his diorama work inspired many modellers of my age to explore the whole concept of scenic bases.

Stay safe and maybe, just maybe we can start planning a way forward to get this hobby back out into the wider world rather than remaining tucked away in our individual modelling rooms.

John Tapsell

IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer