After several days of slightly eased restrictions I have to say that I haven’t noticed much difference around where I live. The roads are slightly busier and as I type this I can hear an ice cream van plying its trade around the estate for the first time in several weeks, but I’m still going to be working from home for the indeterminate future. The weekly supermarket visit is usually my only foray into the big bad world, other than my daily (well, mostly) exercise around the local lanes.

We can’t get away to our caravan because the site will remain closed for some weeks or months yet – frustrating on one level but completely understandable when you look at it objectively. It’s the long term impact of the restrictions that is so difficult to predict for the moment and is one of the primary reasons that the Executive Committee feel it’s important to continue planning for Scale ModelWorld.

We had an Executive Committee meeting yesterday and much of what we discussed revolved around ‘business as usual’ (or BAU as it’s known in my professional role). It reaffirmed that we do not need to make any final decisions about Scale ModelWorld for another three months yet. We’re confident that we can organise and manage a show in November and have the logistics in place as we always do. Equally, because we don’t have to make any major financial commitments until the end of August, we have the luxury of keeping our powder dry.

Preparation of the next edition of the IPMS Magazine continues apace and on schedule. The Editor, Dave Berryman, has offered his usual request for articles and contributions to the magazine. It’s not that we are short of material but rather than we need to keep a varied selection of stuff in stock – long articles, short articles, pieces on aircraft, cars, tanks and so on. With a fixed page count for each edition, the more variety Dave has, the easier it is for him to put together the right mix of material to logically fill each new magazine with a range of varied material.

On a lighter note, one of the social media groups I belong to is currently running a ‘group build’. It’s not an uncommon activity for online groups to do and it’s good fun to take part. I will admit that I often don’t bother because the subject or the theme is rarely of interest, but when the two coincide I’m happy to get involved. The theme this time is Tamiya’s new 1/48 scale T-55 tank. With lock-down curtailing most other calls on my time, I’ve been able to complete my contribution well ahead of the mid-June deadline for entries. I’ve even started a second project but whether it will be completed in time I don’t know. I’ve set myself a much more ambitious target this time and I fear the complexity of the project may mean I overshoot the finish date. No matter – I’m still really keen to see it through for a number of reasons, not least because I’m trying a couple of new techniques.

If nothing else, this recent period of lock-down has encouraged me to explore some new ideas about modelling and that can’t be a bad thing. Even after 40+ years of building models there are still things to learn. Under normal circumstances it’s easy to put them off because I ‘don’t have time’ but I can’t really use that excuse at the moment!

John Tapsell

IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer