Monday 11 March 2019

Misc: Wisbech IPMS, etc.

This evening I did something most unlike me, and went along to a kind of club... Wisbech IPMS, to be precise. They hold their fortnightly meetings in The Community Room at the Wisbech Tesco. It's a soulless room, alas. But it's free, and there's even free tea, coffee, biscuits and wifi.

I was a bit anxious about meeting fellow modellers. From my experiences of going to model shops and shows over the years, I know we can be a funny mixed old bunch. And so it proved to be. There were even some women present. Women!? That was something I really wasn't expecting, and something that's decidedly rare and unusual, in my experience of both modelmaking and wargame figure collecting, etc.

A pretty friendly bunch, I was able to get on with my model - I'd been advised that everyone brought along models to work on - and occasionally engage in conversation with various other modellers. Once about eight or nine of us had arrived (quite a lot, they told me), there was a kind of semi formal 'everyone takes turns to introduce themselves and their model' round-robin thing.

It's funny how hard I find it to share my interests socially. It's a trait I've always had, with all my interests. Despite everyone there being modelmakers, I find that unless their modelling interests intersect with mine... well, how to put it? Erm... I'm really not very interested. I think that can change, and occasionally does, albeit very slowly. As, for example, when my buddy Paul's interest in plane models helped me get into the aviation side of 1/72 modelling.

I'm pretty useless at remembering names, so I'm not going to even try! One guy is very into modern civilian planes, another favours nautical subjects. One of the ladies was building an RAF ground crew set, which I can relate to (it's a set I'd like to build myself). But another was making a sabre-toothed tiger, which I find harder to be excited about. But there were enough WWII era models and topics of conversation to keep me reasonably happy.

The anorak/nerd vibe in the room was, as one might anticipate, way up into the red. As a Tesco member of staff unlocked the room for us, one of the guy's joked with him about this. I kind of wish he hadn't! Modelmakers shouldn't apologise for themselves or run themselves down. I know I've done it myself often enough. Hearing someone else do it made me realise I/we really shouldn't.

I hadn't realised that the show and tell portion could/should include a more developed project. But I got around that by showing a picture of my three Elefant tanks on my iPad. The kit I'd taken with me proved to have some damaged parts, and these were parts that I was meant to start with. So I spent most of the 7-10pm session scratchbuilding replacement parts! In the end I completed very little of the kit. But I probably worked at much the same speed I would've done had I been at home.

Overall I did enjoy going. Although I did, as I feared I might, find the socialising aspect the hardest most challenging part. And I think I will go again, though when exactly and how often, I'm less sure of. I'll probably go to the next one, and continue the kit I worked on tonight then. It's not a great kit, to be honest. But I think in a way that makes it more suitable to such an occasion, as it doesn't matter too much if my attention is divided whilst I work on it.

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