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Hobby Expo 2013 (February 9 at Petaluma, CA)

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Hobby Expo 2013

February 9, 2013

9:30am to 4:00pm


Petaluma Community Center

320 North McDowell Blvd

Petaluma, CA


The popular, fun for all ages, Hobby Expo returns to the Petaluma Community center on Saturday, February 9th, 2013. The event is hosted by the Santa Rosa and Mount Diablo Chapters of the International Plastic Modeler’s Society, with the sponsorship of HobbyTown USA of Petaluma. It is free to the public and is open from 9:30am to 4:00pm.


For seven years the Hobby Expo has combined a regional scale model contest with informational displays, demonstrations, and hands on fun provided by various hobby clubs from Sonoma County and the nearby Bay Area. The event features hundreds of scale models in the categories of Aircraft, Military Vehicles, Ships, Automobiles, Spacecraft, Science Fiction, Figures, and Dioramas. The contest draws model builders from all over northern California to compete.


The theme of this year's Hobby Expo is “Models from the Movies,” and will include displays by two local professional model building and effects companies including: 32Ten Studios and Fonco Creative Services. It will also have displays from Rancho Obi-Wan, Voodoo FX, Shawn Thorsson & Associates Workshop, R2-D2 Builders Club, and more.


A Model Maker Forum will be held at 1 pm and it will be a panel of Industrial Light and Magic veterans who have worked on many famous movies. Members of the panel will discuss behind the scenes stories, design inspirations, and most importantly model making techniques. Don Bies, owner of White Room Artifacts will conduct the panel which will include some of the most respected names in the model movie business including Lorne Peterson, Larry Tan, Nelson Hall, John Goodson, and Kim Smith; more panelists will be added as the date gets closer. After a 30-40 minute discussion, the panel will be opened to questions from the audience.


With the sponsorship of HobbyTown USA, kids will enjoy free hands on activities for plastic model Make-n-Take and Lego building. At the plastic model Make-N-Take professional model makers, from the Model Maker Forum, will help kids build their models. The public will also be able to observe demonstrations of radio-controlled helicopter and aircraft flying, radio-controlled ships, battle-bot matches, operating train layouts, and more.


The Santa Rosa Chapter of the IPMS will also sponsor a Speed Build contest that will pit the model building skills of the public against those of professional film and TV model builders to see who can do the best job constructing a surprise plastic model kit in a one-hour time limit.


Groups scheduled to participate in the Hobby Expo include:

  • Imperial Stormtroopers from the Golden Gate Garrison.
  • North Coast Historical Model Railroad Society: Operating an HO scale train layout of Sonoma County in the 1950's.
  • Wine Country Flyers: Display and demonstration of radio-controlled flying models.
  • Bay Area Tankers: Display and demonstration of large-scale radio controlled model tanks.
  • Fantasy Modelers: Display of Sci-Fi, Monster, and Fantasy models.
  • Creatures and Models Exhibit: Presentation of science fiction and fantasy models based on popular movies.
  • North Bay Gamers Group: Display of miniature military and fantasy strategy games with an opportunity to participate in skirmishes with club members.
  • Redwood Empire R/C Ground Pounders: Display and demonstration of radio controlled racing cars and trucks.
  • Redwood Empire Model Shipwrights: Display of detailed wooden model ships.
  • San Francisco Model Yacht Club: Display and demonstration of static and radio controlled model ships.
  • Northbay Bot Builders: Display of robotic models and a demonstration of Battle–Bot competition.
  • Western Warships Club: Display and demonstration of large-scale radio controlled modern warships.
  • Sonoma County Boaters: Display and demonstration of all types of radio controlled boats.
  • Walter Koretsky & Playmobil Club: Operating G scale train layout with Playmobil figures and scenery.
  • Train Collectors Association with Wayne Padd: Operating a 2-rail O scale train layout.
  • RC 101 Raceway: Display of large 1/5 scale radio controlled race trucks and buggies.
  • Bay Area Engine Modelers Club: Displaying operating scale models of internal combustion engines.
  • West Coast Armor and Artillery Museum: Displays and historical information about WWII and a WWII artillery piece displayed in front of the Community Center.
  • Civil War reenacators of the1st Irish Brigade, 69th New York Inf.: A historical group dedicated to preserving the history of the Civil War era through portrayal of soldiers of that time period.

A food booth will be run by the Casa Grande H.S. Tennis Team as part of their fund raising efforts.


Adult modelers wishing to enter the scale model contest may do so for $5 for the first model and $1 for each additional model. Juniors (ages 13 to 16) may enter models in the contest for $2 for the first model and $1 for each additional model; youths 12 and under can enter for free. Anyone may enter a scale model for display only at no charge.


IPMS Santa Rosa is the local chapter of International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS), an international, non-profit organization, founded in 1963, "by Modelers, for Modelers". It is dedicated to the promotion and enjoyment of scale modeling. There are hundreds of chapters and tens of thousands of IPMS members across the country and around the world.


HobbyTown USA® of Petaluma was opened by Steven and Jean Elliott in August of 2004. HobbyTown USA® is the largest and most experienced nationwide franchise in the hobby industry.


For the latest information about Hobby Expo 2013, please visit our website: ipmssantarosa

or contact: Chris Zanella of the IPMS Santa Rosa (707) 695-2335, or email themrcz@hotmail.com.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We would like to THANK everyone that came to, or was involved with, this years Hobby Expo. We really appreciate your support. Look for us to be back in 2014 with an even bigger and better Expo.


Here's a write-up by The Press Democrat and a blog entry by Steve Sansweet of Rancho Obi-Wan. KitMaker Network also have a nice write-up and lots of photos from the Expo.


YouTube video of the event: Link 1 |



More photos: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3


And finally the contest results are here.

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