I feel like I've been modelling all my life! I remember helping my dad to build an Airfix 'Silver City' Bristol Freighter; Buying new kits every week from Woolies and the local model shop from 2/-. (For all you youngsters, that's 2 shillings or 10 pence in real money). Making balsa battleships; Receiving all sorts of models from Aunts and Uncles at Christmas and birthdays; Building cardboard dockyards stuck with flour and water paste on the kitchen table; The annual family pilgrimage to RAF Benson at Home. All things to inspire a young lad.
My first conversion was a Scud Launcher, following instructions published in Airfix magazine, way back in my early teens. I was given a Tamiya Chieftain for getting into Grammar school! As you can see, I was encouraged to model, both at home and after joining the Air Cadets. I joined the IPMS whilst at school, didn't get any encouragement, so didn't bother to rejoin (until much later) The modelling slowed down a bit whilst at college, but I kept my hand in.
The International Plastic Modellers Society (IPMS) Connection
Armed with a brand new honours degree certificate, I broke into the jobs market (more money to convert to plastic insulation) and became a member of staff in the ATC (close up pictures of aircraft!) A group of us contacted the IPMS to put on a stand at the Nationals up at Donnington Park. In 1994, with much encouragement, we formed The Air Cadet Group IPMS. This was rebranded as The Earley Risers in 2004 and, in 2005 we all pulled together - winning The Jessie Wright Trophy, awarded to the Best Club Stand at Scale Model World. We came third in 2012, thwarted from first place by one or two points! But we won again in 2014, with our dramatic sunburst display. In 2016 we won a Silver Trophy with our '50 shades of grey' display.
Why do I make Models?
I have always been fascinated by how things work, certainly anything 'Mechanical' has always been of a great interest. A career in art, combined with a passion for aircraft, (but without the bank balance to indulge in 1 to 1 scale!), the die was cast. I always feel the need to 'add something different' to my models; whether a new interior, or just a different paint and weathering job.
Modelling with other people is most beneficial, you pick up knowledge and skills, while passing on your own. You can be encouraged to try something a little further out of one's ‘modelling comfort zone'. I have met many good friends and interesting acquaintances, while certainly enjoying myself along the way!