This post is something a little different for me as I wanted to talk a little about model clubs today, after visiting the Scottish National Scale Model Show a couple of weeks ago it made me think about how important local clubs still are to the hobby of modelling.
In the past I had wondered if with the rise of the internet if model clubs were suffering the same kind of treatment as local model stores are finding themselves receiving. With the rise of modelling groups on social media, personal blogs such as this one, and forums such as Britmodeller for example are model clubs finding it harder to find fresh membership and to a certain extent how relevant were they still to the hobby.
I am a relatively new member to the IPMS Dundee model club, I will have been a member for almost a year now and I have to say I have absolutely no regrets about joining. Whilst I am an active member of many scale modelling forums, Facebook groups and having my own blog, I have found that whilst they all have their place in my enjoyment of the hobby, none of them are able to offer everything I get from membership to my local club.
For a start off on the personal side of clubs you are speaking to face to face with people, so there is less drama. I find that people online are much more likely to be negative towards you, your techniques and your final results than they ever would in person. I don’t mean that in person people don’t offer constructive criticism as they do, but it’s nearly always followed by suggestions of how to improve rather than to just point out somethings wrong. We have all come across the odd staunch rivet counter out there but I have found that they are much less frequent to come across in person than they are in online formats which seem to attract them in their droves.
Even when speaking with other clubs members at shows I have always found people to be extremely personable and more than willing to offer advise and tips if they can, to explain how they achieve the results on the tables before them and generally just have a chat. Online there are often misunderstandings purely due to not being able to correctly read the tone of another persons post and it never takes long for things to escalate from there, then you have the people that are just being argumentative for the sake of it, people having a bad day are much more likely to lash out online than they are in person, even when the people they are lashing out at have nothing to do with why they’re in a bad mood in the first place.
This face to face meeting with fellow modellers also has the advantage of you being able to actually sit and show people issues you may be having to get advise or be able to physically show someone else how you may have overcome something. Also you get to see other peoples work exactly how it is, and not just how it looks from certain angles, which can also have it’s benefits when learning new skills.
Usually in clubs there are members who model in many different genres also so its good for being able to consider having a go at these in order to acquire new skills or simply just to freshen up the shelves and the modelling mojo with something a little different.
Lets not forget that ultimately though clubs are a great place for a coffee, some banter and to talk about our hobby with like minded people, there’s always the opportunity to look at other peoples kits and finished models and that’s really what we all love doing!
I personally wasn’t sure what being part of a club would be like, despite being active online and my job I do have some personal anxiety issues, I mean who doesn’t these days, so joining a club wasn’t a decision I took lightly, but it was something I am glad I did as it’s not only helped me as a modeller.
I suppose what I want to say is if you have a local club and you aren’t a member, go along to a meeting, see what your local club is about, without them our model shows probably wouldn’t exist and anything that helps bring in new people to our hobby can only ever be a good thing. There’s links to the club I am a member of, both IPMS Dundee Facebook and Website in the link section of the blog as always if anyone would like to check them out.