Social media is all the rage with everyone pushing you to join Facebook, Twitter, and other such sites; but what about real social activity? Many hobbies involve frequent social gathering, railroad enthusiasts gather to run their trains, radio control flyers meet at the flying field, radio control drivers gather to race, and of course gamers would not have a game without meeting others. Scale modeling however is often seen as a solitary activity. The modeler is envisioned as sitting alone at a workbench crafting a model. The social aspect of modeling only happens when modelers gather for a monthly meeting or a contest.
Two modelers from local clubs have changed that. Charlie Daily and Doug Dropeskey of the Wine Country Modelers and IPMS Santa Rosa clubs wanted to bring members of the two clubs closer together and to have a venue where they could share ideas. Their solution was to hold a monthly Model Build Day on the second Saturday of every month. On this day modelers meet at HobbyTown USA for a full day of camaraderie and model building.
Charlie Dailey describes his motivation as, “after a bad day at work I was driving home and thought what if I just started building models at Hobbyown?” A couple of days later, Doug called him and asked, “Hey Charlie, why don’t we go and build models at HobbyTown?” They both shared a desire to build models with friends, meet members of other modeling clubs, and share their hobby with the public; a tradition was born.
Model Build Day did not catch on for nearly a year with more than a few Saturdays resulting in only Doug and Charlie building together. They were about to give up when IPMS club president John Admire attended and then started telling other members what a good time he had.
The event has now become a success with many modelers showing up each month and most spending the full day. At a recent build day modelers were working on tanks, planes, cars, ships, a Star Wars X-wing, and a UFO to be used in a locally filmed movie. Kids got involved too as an uncle and niece worked on a spaceship model and a father and son built an airplane.
Sure, you might get more done sitting alone at your workbench but you would miss the fun of seeing what others are working on, sharing ideas, and even learning a new technique. Overheard at a recent build day, as one modeler demonstrated a technique to another, was the comment, “Wow! I would have been working on that for over an hour.” The other modeler replied, “Well I saw you having trouble and I just couldn’t let that happen.”
So try coming to the next build day. Get out and share, or better yet, get started with the support of some new friends. The next build day is this Saturday, May 8th.