IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoInternational Plastic Modelers' Society / USA

IPMS LogoIPMS/USA

IPMS LogoIPMS/USA

The Summertime Blues...

I’m sure you’ve noticed that our beloved hobby of glue-sniffing and paint huffing takes a serious hit when the weather finally breaks and it’s safe to go back outside. Why is that?

I mean really, is mowing your damned lawn and playing whack-the-ball (golf) more important than the latest kit to hit the market? I don’t think so. I’ve noticed that everything pertaining to this hobby comes to a screeching halt…even the mindless drivel posted on the dozens of internet forums seems to dry up. I would half expect that to remain relatively constant, considering most of you post from work, anyway.

So is our hobby seasonal? Some would argue that it certainly is, especially if you live in the northern parts of the country, where the subzero winter temperatures make us hibernate like bears. Think about it though…what about our southern brethren? I mean, 115 degrees in Arizona in August (yea, but it’s a dry heat! Remember that bozo??) is, to me, just as bad as –30 degrees in Moosebutt, Alaska in January.

But wait, my green-putty-eating friends, there IS something that goes on in the middle of the summer – THE IPMS NATIONALS!!

Ahhh…the Nats. The scale modeling equivalent of Christmas, the SuperBowl, World Series, and Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue all rolled into one (If I didn’t mention your favorite holiday of choice, get over it). Thousands of modelers make the long journey to places we’d probably not visit otherwise, to partake in everything resin and plastic.

If you’ve never been to a Nationals, I must confess, it’s a sight to behold. Hundreds, nay, thousands, of spectacular models of all shapes, sizes, and types fill the tables. Vendors are everywhere, selling damned near anything you could possibly want pertaining to the hobby. It is truly a modelers' paradise.

The Nats is also the perfect opportunity to meet up with old friends, make some new ones, and of course, partake in liquid libations. I mean really, what is a Nationals without seeing someone completely tanked (no pun intended) in the hotel lobby, or watching the otherwise mild-mannered modeler try to unlock his hotel room door with a tube of Chap Stick, all-the-while singing Coca Cabana by Barry Manilow at 3am? Those, my friends, are the things I remember (and log for future reference/use).

Although we’re not quite as rowdy as some of the other annual Beer-Guzzling Festivals and  Conventions, I must confess that some of my fellow modelers don’t get out too often, at least not in public, or in daylight. But hey, that’s ok…we understand. Don’t let it worry you, at one point in time, we’ve all smelled as bad as a wet water buffalo carcass and slept in the same clothes for a week straight, just so we could triumphantly announce that we too have attended a Nationals!!

Good ‘ole A.L. will be at this year’s Nationals in Virginny Beach. I’ll be in disguise though, so as to not have to deal with the Chap Stick dude or the wet water buffalo guy (and you KNOW who you are!!).

So saddle up the horse, the wife, the old Chrysler, whatever…and if you can, try to spend some time at what is, in this modeler’s opinion, the greatest week of the year.

I’ll see y’all at the NATS!!!

A.L. Lehron
The Modeling Miscreant
Copyright © IPMS/USA

July 2008