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IPMS/USA HISTORY PROJECT. EVERYONE HELP...PLEASE!

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IPMS/USA History Project

 

What do you know about the early days of your Society?  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Local chapters and national.  How did it start...who was involved...would you like to know where the bodies are buried?  I'm going to try to answer those questions and more.  Despite the fact that I'm a founding member, I don't have all the answers, memories and documents...though I have a heckuva lot of'em.  But this project is too big for one person.  I need your help.  Drop me a line...or a lot of them...to my email at [email protected] and let me  know what memories or other material you have.  I'll see if we can get the ball rolling. In fact it's already started, but you won't know this until you see the first installment of the monster in an upcoming Journal.  Remember, this is your Society's history and it'd be a shame to let it vanish.

 

Richard Marmo

IPMS/USA #2

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Check with Ralph Forehand and Howie Belkin. They are two guys I know of who were around back at the beginning. As a matter of fact, I think Howie's IPMS # is in the single digits. For official IPMS business, the IPMS Office Manager, 

http://[email protected]

could probably put you in touch with them. ,

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I'm IN on this project.

I'll check my files and shoot you anything I think might help,

Glad to see this project developing and you have my full support, NOW is the time to geting us Od Guy's info,

There, I've played my "Old Guy's Card" for today.

TAKE CARE

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Hey Ralph, good to hear from you.  Watch it with the "old guys" crack.  We're not old and never will be as long as there's a new aircraft kit coming out!  Send me your email address to [email protected] and I'll keep you updated on some of stuff I have and ideas about where this is gonna go.

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There ARE some warts, particularly in the "olden" days of the 70s and 80s, when IPMS had gotten just big enough to start having problems. But one thing you'll need to do is to sort through the apocryphal "stories" to find what was the truth behind them. I do know a couple good yarns, and believe I know most of the "truth " behind them, but then just what are you looking for? Colorful anecdotes, or simple data with names, facts and figures? Some of those names have passed....but many of them are still around, AND are still IPMS members!

Gil :smiley16:

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Hi Richard, it may be worth contacting Alfie Bass who is on the IPMS UK exec. He he been already working on a history of IPMS about its development since  it was first founded in England in 1963 I think with the possibility of a publication some time in the future. Alfie has been working on this project for a few years already and may be able to help you with extra information about the old days of the society.

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How early is early? I 'discovered' IPMS as a kid, c.1973 and first went to the Nats in DC, 1975. Can still remember some of the inspiring models from that one. And was stoked to get the Hasegawa 1/72 T-38 at the brick-n-mortar Squadron Shop on the way home, probably using a show coupon. I think that bird is still in a parts-box, somewhere nearby.

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Bob,

You'll do.  I was getting review samples  from Squadron about that time and earlier.  '73 is still the early days, especially since those who joined in the 90s look on anything in the 80s as the early days.  Believe me, they don't know what they missed.

Richard

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I lived a rather nomadic life, away at college in the 1980s, Army life from the 1980s through 2000s. So running across a club was happenstance. Once while in college probably 1985 or 86, our university was used for a model show. My next near miss with a club was upon returning to Fort Knox in 1991, I showed up to a handful of model meetings in Radcliff, Kentucky. Again, around 1996-97 there was another show in Huntsville, Alabama when I was stationed at Redstone Arsenal.

I attended an AMPS show at Fort Dix circa 1999-2000 and a swap meet in Runnemede(?), NJ in 2001.

It wasn't until I was stationed at Fort Devens, Mass. that I officially joined an IPMS club, Patriot Club, in Bedford, Mass. That was from 2001 to 2004. I also attended several club meetings in Richmond, Virginia while stationed at Fort Lee in 2002.

I joined the Louisville Military Modelers Club in 2005, but after retirement, I got a night job in 2012 so I am unable to attend club meetings in the evenings. Around this time, my IPMS membership also lapsed. There was some internal club dispute that kind of made things uncomfortable at times. This was a reason why I limited my attendance; I didn't want to be a part of the drama. Of course, it's probably all over by now. I am still a member of their Facebook page. I do stop by if I do not have to work on the one night a month when they have their meeting.

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Robin: your story I think is VERY typical for a lot of members..especially the "local drama" stories. IPMSUSA may have had some drama, but not nearly as often or on the level of local clubs. I've been a member since '77, and have been extremely blessed to have been a member of 2 clubs with almost NO drama...the Rickenbackers in Columbus and IPMS First Coast here in Jax. But, having attended many, many local shows and regional contests, and spoken to hundreds of other "local" members; their stories are legion about the "drama" in their clubs. Many clubs either fail, or split off due to those internal problems.  And who can blame members like yourself for not wanting to deal with such things in their hobby?

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest problems with the IPMS "reputation" is the idea that the drama experienced at the local level actually reflects IPMSUSA at large. What's worse, MOST of these stories are perpetuated by the NON-members who attend local and regional shows and go on to bad mouth an organization they're not even a part of based on some story they heard (true or not) at at one of those shows.

While all of the "problem" stories in the history of IPMSUSA add some spice, they do not reflect the true overall history of it. Considering IPMS has never had anything but volunteers at ALL levels, just existing for going on 60yrs is an accomplishment. The fact IPMS has grown into the an organization with a first class publication and who puts on 6+figure National conventions is amazing! It's had to reinvent itself too....when it started, historical documentation for model building was scarce, and IPMS led the way in providing it. At times, until the 80s, it was one of the ONLY sources of info for model builders. Since then, IPMS, and its Quarterly and Jounal mags have had to survive competing against a bevy of commercial magazines and subject specific publications that give model builders an alternative source for both subject data and kit reviews. And with the  internet and its on-line clubs, IPMS is having to evolve once again to remain relevant to the model builder.

I hope the history that's recorded accentuates the positives as much or more than the negatives over the decades!

 

Gil :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges

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Gil,

Your latest comments are most welcome.  At least some of them...as well as Robins'...will become a part of the history I'm trying to develop at some point.  While there has been 'drama' at the local level and problems even on the national level, they pale to insignificance when you look at the positives.  IPMS/USA is a truly unique organization that has survived, evolved and grown in ways that I think few of us ever expected or hoped.  Hopefully the end result of this history I'm working on will be as fair and balanced as it deserves.  Negatives?  Sure, every organization has them or experiences them, but they need to be placed in  perspective.  Positives usually overcome the negatives and the longer an organization exists, the truer that becomes.

Richard

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Don't forget to add in addition to Gil's comments, we have ~80-100 smaller shows and regionals conventions drawing in lots of modelers and lookers. 

I used to love going to club meetings (IPMS John Glenn in Cleveland) but now its a much longer drive and Sunday after church so it just doesn't work. 

All the hours donated to support 200+ club meetings plus the shows shows a lot of love and commitment on peoples part. Plus web sites, club newsletters, etc.

Dave

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Dave,

I know what you're saying about no longer being able to attend certain meetings.  I haven't been to IPMS/North Central Texas for decades due to their meeting on Sunday, as well as the time of their meeting.  IPMS/Fort Worth?  45 minutes one way on Monday nights.

Richard

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There were many of high quality modelers, many parents brought a child to the meetings. My daughter used to come and entered into shows in 2004 when she was 11 yrs old.

I'd still go if I wasn't working evenings and could put the time into the club that they deserve.

My own personal modeling tastes have changed from my kiddie years when I twisted parts off the sprue and globbed glue onto the pieces. Then OOB with detail painting. Then trying to replicate every detail item to more accurately portray the vehicle.

Now I'm basically back to building OOB with some slight detailing.

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