IPMS/USA is the United States Branch of the International Plastic Modelers' Society, whose roots can be traced to the startup of the first IPMS National Branch during the 1960's in Great Britain. In 1964 a US-based modeler applied for a charter to start the US Branch. In the ensuing 4 decades, IPMS/USA has become a 5,000 member, all-volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the modeling hobby while providing a venue for modelers to share their skills in a social setting, along with friendly but spirited competition in the form of local, regional, and national contests and conventions. As this is written, there are over 220 active US chapters (including groups in Canada and the Philippines as well as one "cyber-chapter" existing entirely on the internet). These chapters are organized into 13 geographically-determined Regions, overseen by Regional Coordinators. The IPMS/USA Executive Board, made up of elected and appointed members, serves as the overall governing body for IPMS/USA.
IPMS/USA produces the Modelers' Journal, an all-color magazine supplied to our members 6 times each year. Sample copies of the Journal are available upon request, and you'll find several cover shots elsewhere in this handout.
In addition, IPMS/USA maintains one of the largest and most-visited public websites in the modeling community (www.ipmsusa.org). Members and visitors can view product reviews, chapter and contest information, see examples of members' work, and view images of contest, museum walkarounds, and the like. A members-only Forum allows discussion of specific topics of interest amongst our membership. The remainder of the website is open to the modeling public and sees thousands of hits weekly.
IPMS/USA runs a host of programs designed to attract novice and experienced modelers, and a very specific program to honor and reward our troops posted in harms' way overseas. A brief summary:
Local, Regional, and National Contests and Conventions: IPMS/USA manages a three-tiered structure of these events throughout the 50 States. Contests range from local, chapter-led invitational gatherings through larger Regional events and up to the National Contest and Convention, held every summer in a rotating location, often featuring over 2,000 entries along with seminars, tours, banquets, and the making and re-establishing of friendships, both domestic and international in nature.
Make-and-Take: This internally funded project uses our longstanding relationship with the hobby industry to build an inventory of easy-to-construct model kits. IPMS Chapters wishing to hold a Make-and-Take Event request kits, tools and supplies, and chapter volunteers serve as tutors who assist young, would-be modelers in completing their first kit. M-n-T events are often held in conjunction with Chapter contests, and plant the seed for future members and hobby consumers.
ABC (Adult Basic Course): A six week course targeted for newer, novice, or returning modelers interested in learning the basics of model building. ABC promotes the hobby by offering a consecutively scheduled, 6-week, 2 hour per session course. Attendees learn every aspect of model construction using a donated mid-level kit, which is completed during the 6 weeks of coaching.
Supporting The Troops: This program supplies kits, tools, supplies and reference materials to our servicemen and women deployed to combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Often run in conjunction with an Armed Services MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) facility, this very important program gives our combat troops the opportunity to recapture a slice of home life. We've learned of several instances where a deployed modeler has involved the native children in building – a great example of grass-roots American diplomacy in action! To date, over 5000 kits have been donated both by our industry supporters and by IPMS/USA members and chapters
In summary, IPMS/USA is the only national organization that provides an organized structure for scale modelers to meet, exchange tips and techniques, socialize, and enter their projects into competition at three distinct levels.
We welcome any inquiries from you or your organization!