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RONBO

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Some observations on segregating members from non-members{

1.  I recall discussion of (and, at Las Vegas, I observed) the family Nats registration option where some families consisted of a large number of adult males.  Which provided entry to the vendors room, if not being permitted to compete in the contest.

2.  I have heard reports from friends who witnessed a few eager folks with money in hand entering the vendor room whilst the vendors were arriving an setting up and purchasing various shiny, sparkling items.  The vendors could make an early sale or not.  Some chose to make money.

3.  Were I a vendor, which I am not, I would not be pleased by any action that might reduce the customer flow through the vendor room.  I would have come to make money, not to support some IPMS nuance on who should and who should not be allowed to buy from me.

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Highlander's comments.

1.  Large groups of adult males registering as a 'family'. If not, then that is really an entry control issue.

2. Would be buyers going into the vendors room before they have finished setting up to grab a bargain. Again an entry control issue.

3. Vendors come to make money,agreed. But one has to ask why the majority of vendors trade at the convention. Why? Because the IPMS 'nuance' as you term it is for many their very best annual one place sales outlet. Allowing IPMS members just first hour access to the vendors on each day would not really impact on their footfall as I would guess that probably 80 percent of attendees are members anyway. So why shouldn't members have first bite of the vendor cherry so to speak? The vendors would have enough IPMS members clamouring for their goodies within that first hour to keep them well occupied selling before Joe Public would gain entry. So I don't buy that vendors would be financially affected in any way should members have first hour access. At Telford it works well and have not heard of any traders complaining. The only difference as far as I see is your Nats has a separate vendor room whereas Telford's traders are interspersed throughout the halls along with all the other exhibitors.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, noelsmith said:

Highlander's comments.

1.  Large groups of adult males registering as a 'family'. If not, then that is really an entry control issue.

2. Would be buyers going into the vendors room before they have finished setting up to grab a bargain. Again an entry control issue.

3. Vendors come to make money,agreed. But one has to ask why the majority of vendors trade at the convention. Why? Because the IPMS 'nuance' as you term it is for many their very best annual one place sales outlet. Allowing IPMS members just first hour access to the vendors on each day would not really impact on their footfall as I would guess that probably 80 percent of attendees are members anyway. So why shouldn't members have first bite of the vendor cherry so to speak? The vendors would have enough IPMS members clamouring for their goodies within that first hour to keep them well occupied selling before Joe Public would gain entry. So I don't buy that vendors would be financially affected in any way should members have first hour access. At Telford it works well and have not heard of any traders complaining. The only difference as far as I see is your Nats has a separate vendor room whereas Telford's traders are interspersed throughout the halls along with all the other exhibitors.

 

 

 

I imagine if the vendors were upset about it then they would have ended the policy a long time ago.

I applaud telford for coming up with creative solutions instead of just saying that it would never work. 

 

I think we also need to take a serious look at what is the value in joining ipms. Do we seek to gain enrollment through incentives at nationals? What about those who don't attend?  What's in it for them? 

Edited by WasatchModeler
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The old "why join IPMS" question. The question "what's in it for me" is more prevalent now than ever. Just joining a group of people that share your interest and being a part of a larger organization no longer attracts the current generations. Witness the decline in membership in most if not all fraternal organizations such as the Eagles, Odd Fellows and their like. People no longer need an organization to be linked up with others of like mind, they have the internet for that. We have a great modeling magazine, but there's nothing in there that the internet can't provide and mostly, aside from your internet service fee which covers way more than just modeling stuff, it's free. Unless you like to show your models (which you can also do on the internet by the way) in person and talk to people face to face, there's little we can offer to this generation of modelers. We even let non-members shop in our vendors' areas because we're afraid the vendors might leave and that's a primary reason people come to our shows. But yet thousands of people travel many miles to attend comic-cons and their like across the country with no parent organization governing them (not counting the various corporations that make big money off these things.)

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2 hours ago, Ron Bell said:

The old "why join IPMS" question. The question "what's in it for me" is more prevalent now than ever. Just joining a group of people that share your interest and being a part of a larger organization no longer attracts the current generations. Witness the decline in membership in most if not all fraternal organizations such as the Eagles, Odd Fellows and their like. People no longer need an organization to be linked up with others of like mind, they have the internet for that. We have a great modeling magazine, but there's nothing in there that the internet can't provide and mostly, aside from your internet service fee which covers way more than just modeling stuff, it's free. Unless you like to show your models (which you can also do on the internet by the way) in person and talk to people face to face, there's little we can offer to this generation of modelers. We even let non-members shop in our vendors' areas because we're afraid the vendors might leave and that's a primary reason people come to our shows. But yet thousands of people travel many miles to attend comic-cons and their like across the country with no parent organization governing them (not counting the various corporations that make big money off these things.)

So it is just a generational thing and nothing can be done? 

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No, that's just one, albeit a large one, of the problems to be overcome. If we aren't looking to "grow" the society, as some have suggested, what can we do to better involve the members we do have? Maybe some wild suggestions will lead to concrete actions. Heres one...

De-emphasize the contest and promote display. How? Heres one way, limit each modeler to only one model per category. With this there is also no need anymore for a sweeps rule. However, at the same time, expand the space for display only and give each registrant a certain number of tokens of some sort that they can leave by the display models (not contest entrants) of their choice to show the modeler that his/her work was noticed and appreciated. 

Above is just one scenario. Some of it is workable, some maybe not so much and some not at all. But with ideas like this, we can start to springboard to others that just might improve the society's overall membership participation/satisfaction. 

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12 hours ago, noelsmith said:

…..So I don't buy that vendors would be financially affected in any way should members have first hour access. At Telford it works well and have not heard of any traders complaining. The only difference as far as I see is your Nats has a separate vendor room whereas Telford's traders are interspersed throughout the halls along with all the other exhibitors.….

I agree, if venders were not making a good percentage I doubt they would be showing up in the first place. But from others posts here I think there are other areas that need attention first, just my thoughts,

*Someone registered adding a bunch of others as “family” for starters, basically getting a group in cheaper is a problem.

*A system of access control that doesn’t have to be reinvented every year by the hosting chapter(s) that allows for a relatively easy way to distinguish members from non-members. And for my two cents any member who “forgets” their membership card it’s on them, too bad.

*Daily entry prices that highly favor members and make becoming a member much more attractive.

5 hours ago, Ron Bell said:

The old "why join IPMS" question. The question "what's in it for me" is more prevalent now than ever. Just joining a group of people that share your interest and being a part of a larger organization no longer attracts the current generations. Witness the decline in membership in most if not all fraternal organizations such as the Eagles, Odd Fellows and their like. People no longer need an organization to be linked up with others of like mind, they have the internet for that.

I agree with this 100% unfortunately, but in my view the internet is just not the same thing.

3 hours ago, WasatchModeler said:

So it is just a generational thing and nothing can be done? 

Yes and maybe no. All most all the calls for change have been about the national convention, but that has never been a membership generator, it seems that as many that join to go each year quit, and it happens year after year. The chapters are were a real difference could be made in my opinion, I belong to a chapter with around 110-120 members, 10% of them might be IPMS members (less then 25), if every chapter doubled their IPMS members we could see total membership go up by thousands, if it went to 50% I bet our current membership would almost double.

Of course HOW is the question, HOW do we get people to see value in paying a LOUSY $30 bucks a YEAR to be part of a group of people who like what they like. I mean honestly, I’ve spent far more on ONE meal that it turned out I didn’t care for. I do believe there are things to try, but it will take more involvement from national.

Edited by CaptainAhab
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3 hours ago, WasatchModeler said:

So it is just a generational thing and nothing can be done? 

Who knows? 

I joined IPMS because there was a local chapter who welcomed me when I had just moved to Chattanooga and was newly back into the hobby.  For me, the single biggest reason I joined was the sense of community.  I don't know that I ever expected anything more from IPMS.  Here's what I see IPMS offers me:

  • The structure that supports local chapters.
  • The organization that makes affordable (read free) insurance coverage to model shows.
  • The structure and financing that makes the National Convention possible.

For me, that's enough.  What's it take to keep you interested?  

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I believe it is a generational thing. The National Convention has 3000 models entered then you have to consider how many modelers that equates to and I can't believe I'm about to say this The National Convention is for the entitled and my that I mean at the at average age of a member I'll be conservative here 50 yrs + and members of that age have the financial ability to attend.

I was once a member of 8 IPMS clubs dues to local clubs was quite affordable some had none. Local members participate in local clubs come from a wide variety of financial levels. 

Now the younger generations behind us have a different outlook for their financial situation. They don't have the same opportunities the way that we had. And they have different priorities. That's life and how it it will be. To get younger people to enter a contest l have a few ideas but if we stay entrenched this will all go away within 20 yrs.

I have previously brought up using the display only as beta test for a GSB contest offer a very small fee to enter the contest to least cover the tables for the host convention. Also not make it mandatory if members still want to display by all means let them. The GSB would be completely voluntary. This serves two purposes on someone who is on the fence entering may enter. And it may attract younger casual modelers. 

IPMS right now will always be what it is it won't change I'm ok with that but I will always to be positive and forward looking, thinking to bring idea's to the table. Because by 2044 IPMS Convention will be in a Hotel lobby in Chicago just like it started.

I'm not pessimistic but it is what it is. I'm a realist. 

Why join IPMS old modelers join because that's what are generation does. The generations have changed it behooves us to at least make a careful thoughtful attempt to engage with other modelers.

As a aside one thing that always made me enter a National Convention was the decal sheet and pay full boat was to register even tho I was not putting a model on the table. That was before they sold them thru vendor's at the contest. It was a perk to register in the contest. A exclusive if you may say.

 

See everyone in Madison. 

Ron "Ronbo" Thorne Jr. 

Head Bottle Washer. 

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7 hours ago, Ron Bell said:

But yet thousands of people travel many miles to attend comic-cons and their like across the country with no parent organization governing them (not counting the various corporations that make big money off these things.)

Ron, I think this one sentence answers your question. You can have events without a "parent organization", and because those events are for-profit the organizers tailor them to what makes the attendees happy. Aside from the Journal that the internet has made increasingly less valuable, what advantage does membership provide?

The one time I looked at IPMS finances, its almost as if it was two separate organizations. On one side, the individual memberships roughly pay for the Journal, the Reviewer Corps, the website, and the cost of having an office (mostly just paying the Office Manager's). The Chapter Charter fees roughly pay for the insurance policy.

On the other side, the Nationals. Registration, vendor fees and various sponsorships pay the bills for the event, with a small "surplus" left over that is shared with host chapter. The National's share of the surplus basically covers the rising cost of putting on the event for the coming years.

To participate at the Nats we make you pay for the Journal, Reviewer Corps, Office Manager, etc - but none of that money goes to making the Nats better; it just props up the Journal that has become less and less relevant.

For an example of how IPMS could operate without the Journal and without individual memberships, look at Wonderfest. It is a two day show  (Sat&Sun) that focuses on SciFi and Fantasy subjects - it is sometimes called the "SciFi Nationals" and is basically the size of a big IPMS Regional. Last year they had slightly over 1000 models in the contest. It is held in the same place every year (Louisville). Their pricing is (roughly) $50 for a two day ticket; that gets you in to the vendors and presentations, and lets you spectate in the model contest.  If you want to enter models, that's another $30 for up to 10 models (technically you can enter just 1 model for $15, but most people bring multiple entries).

So entrants are paying the same $80 for 2 days that they would pay for a Nat's registration + 1 year membership, but all of that money goes into the show. They have the funds to bring in a few guest speakers - often movie FX folks - and that attracts non-modelers who are still paying the full $50 registration fee - no family membership deals.

Now think about what happens if we eliminate individual memberships. The Journal goes away, and with it the need (and cost) of managing memberships. What remains of the organization would exist largely to keep the insurance policy in place, and coordinate chapter-level events, and plan and organize the Nats, and it could be funded by the Chapter Charter fees - which could be raised a bit (and still save the Chapter's money since there would no longer be a requirement to have 5 IPMS members on the roles).

This may not be a feel good answer, but I think the "invisible hand of capitalism" will eventually push us to something like this.

Edited by Schmitz
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4 hours ago, MikeMoore said:

Who knows? 

I joined IPMS because there was a local chapter who welcomed me when I had just moved to Chattanooga and was newly back into the hobby.  For me, the single biggest reason I joined was the sense of community.  I don't know that I ever expected anything more from IPMS.  Here's what I see IPMS offers me:

  • The structure that supports local chapters.
  • The organization that makes affordable (read free) insurance coverage to model shows.
  • The structure and financing that makes the National Convention possible.

For me, that's enough.  What's it take to keep you interested?  

I agree with all this 100%!!!

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Having read that some 'chapters' consist of about only 10 to 15 percent of IPMS members therefore does NOT make it an IPMS chapter at all. It is effectively a local area modelling club where an IPMS chapter operates within it as a guest organisation. If that local organisation was formed by IPMS members originally and retains the name IPMS whatever  that club name has become a bit of a misnomer over the years. And, why have the estimated majority of non members in those clubs not joined IPMS one has to ask? Maybe the cost at attending the Convention prices many out of contention so they see no need to join because they can satisfy their modelling needs and aspirations at local club and show level.

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8 hours ago, noelsmith said:

Having read that some 'chapters' consist of about only 10 to 15 percent of IPMS members therefore does NOT make it an IPMS chapter at all. It is effectively a local area modelling club where an IPMS chapter operates within it as a guest organisation. If that local organisation was formed by IPMS members originally and retains the name IPMS whatever  that club name has become a bit of a misnomer over the years. And, why have the estimated majority of non members in those clubs not joined IPMS one has to ask? Maybe the cost at attending the Convention prices many out of contention so they see no need to join because they can satisfy their modelling needs and aspirations at local club and show level.

Two points -- and an appeal for charity.

First, I think you're spot on in observing that IPMS chapters are, in general, not IPMS chapters.  A number struggle each year to find five club members who are IPMS members (in order to keep their charter) or have to pressure several members to join or renew in order to maintain their charter.  Why?

Because, IMHO, IPMS is of little to no interest to the average club member.  The only contest that I know of where one has to be an IPMS member is the National Contest.  Locals and regionals are open to all ... with maybe a dollar to two penalty for non-IPMS folks to participate.  And, should a non-member want to go to Nats, the Nats organizers usually (or always?) provide a station where anyone can join IPMS and qualify to participate.  Overall, organizers from local to Nats levels, have concluded that they need the fees and the entries that non-members provide to succeed financially and in the number and quality of entries.  The non-members, figuratively, have the IPMS structure by los heuvos (or cajones, for non-Mexicanos). 

Let us segue into my observations about the "typical" local club member.   My second point.

My experience is that the "average" local club member is not an IPMS member.  In fact, many local club members seldom build models; a number never build models.  They often come to the local club for social reasons, not hobby reasons.  Frequently, the club officers have to act to keep the club from being hijacked by the historians, the military aficionados, the military vehicle (1:1 scale) collectors, the guys trying to sell stuff, the lost souls, the vets who want to talk about how it was at 30,000 feet, the guys who want to show off their photographs of military hardware, the guys looking for volunteers for some air show, the CAF recruiters -- who have decided that this is a place where folks present little replicas of whatever it is that I am interested in, so it must be a place where I will have an audience for my particular niche interest.  As God is my witness, a guy in our club showed up with a German WWII helmet one meeting and gave an unsolicited  presentation on his collection of helmets and the variations in the webbing and chin straps in German helmetry.  Not a figure model or model of any kind was addressed.

Such folk, the non-builders and the non-hobbyists, don't enter contests.  Most of the occasional builders don't enter contests -- unless the contest is one put on by their club.  Travel is not an option. They never have and never will attend or enter at a Nats.  The bulk of the models in local and regional contests are entered by a minority of builders who are really, really into building.  Sometimes they are fanatical about building -- entering over 25 entries -- entering over 30 entries -- the most I'm aware of was an entrant who put just short of 40 entries on the tables.

Whether the folks addressed above are freeloaders ... or not ... is a live wire I choose not to touch.

To my appeal for charity.

I had a friend who. long ago, lived for several years in the UK.  In a village far from any other American.  He opined that the Brits and Yanks have a very different approach to hobbies.  In short, he felt that Americans, who were relatively rich as hell at the time, had a number of interests and hobbies which they pursued, because they could afford to.  Often their hobbies/interests were rather shallowly followed. He observed that the Brits typically had one hobby which they immersed themselves in.  Because one hobby was all they could afford.  And they pursued it intensely -- by American standards.  I don't know if his observation was accurate, but it might explain why the Boys of IPMS Telford don't seem to have the same problems that persist within IPMS USA.

 

sayabouthat.jpg

Edited by Highlander
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I think that Wee Davey raises a valid point in that there are indeed two model building "camps" overall; the CASUAL modeler and the SERIOUS modeler.

The VAST majority of model builders, and this includes the majority you see on line and in the local clubs have only a casual association with building plastic models. They're not SOLELY FOCUSED  on it. They don't devote the same amount of time, effort, or money to it as the more serious builders.

People like us, IPMS members, are in the serious camp, We are much more focused on our hobby and devote a lot of time, effort, and money on it. While we have a common interest in plastic models with the casual builders, we have a much more intense approach to our hobby at almost all levels, in both building for ourselves and especially if building for competition.

IPMSUSA needs to figure out how to interest the INTENSE, SERIOUS model builders to join us. We'll never convince the casual builders to join us, and in fact they look upon our intense dedication to all things plastic as a "problem"; which is why we're labeled  as being elite rivet counting accuracy nazis. BUT, there are a minority of builders like us out there who might be interested in joining us IF we can find a way to reach out to them.

I have NO problem with our local IPMS clubs being somewhat mis-labeled since they more often are made up of mostly casual builders and only a few of the dedicated people like ourselves. That's more an indicator of human nature and not a "problem to be solved". And there are so many ancillary things that go on in clubs where the non-IPMS members more than pull their weight locally, you can NEVER label them as freeloaders despite their never joining IPMS at the National level. 

This also speaks to the subject broached several pages back... how do we grow IPMSUSA and who do we target? Unlike some ex-Eboard members who proposed trying to throw IPMS open to ALL modelers in some vain attempt to appear "inclusive", I think we should be targeting the SERIOUS PLASTIC modelers who are most like us and who would be much more likely to join.

Would that put a limit on our growth? Not really.... I think it would make us be more realistic in our estimates of growth. In the past we've tended to look at the numbers of kits sold and the obvious evidence of the great number of builders out there and see that vast sea of plastic modelers as the group to appeal to; and then wonder why we can't interest them. It's because only a small sliver of them are actually like US. But if even a tenth of that sliver could be enticed into becoming IPMS members, it would probably triple our current numbers.

I'm not sure if THAT would be good or bad..... but IF we're looking to "grow" IPMSUSA let's first be realistic about who we have the best shot at adding to our numbers. THEN we can start discussing WHAT we think might make IPMS more relevant and interesting to them and any changes needed going forward.

 

Gil  :cool:

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If what goes on in my local club is any indication of the "national scene", there's a third group of modelers, those that never build anything and there may be more of them than the other two. They may be serious kit collectors or may just never get around to building/finishing a model but they like the hobby for whatever reason. 

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23 hours ago, Schmitz said:

Ron, I think this one sentence answers your question. You can have events without a "parent organization", and because those events are for-profit the organizers tailor them to what makes the attendees happy. Aside from the Journal that the internet has made increasingly less valuable, what advantage does membership provide?

The one time I looked at IPMS finances, its almost as if it was two separate organizations. On one side, the individual memberships roughly pay for the Journal, the Reviewer Corps, the website, and the cost of having an office (mostly just paying the Office Manager's). The Chapter Charter fees roughly pay for the insurance policy.

On the other side, the Nationals. Registration, vendor fees and various sponsorships pay the bills for the event, with a small "surplus" left over that is shared with host chapter. The National's share of the surplus basically covers the rising cost of putting on the event for the coming years.

To participate at the Nats we make you pay for the Journal, Reviewer Corps, Office Manager, etc - but none of that money goes to making the Nats better; it just props up the Journal that has become less and less relevant.

For an example of how IPMS could operate without the Journal and without individual memberships, look at Wonderfest. It is a two day show  (Sat&Sun) that focuses on SciFi and Fantasy subjects - it is sometimes called the "SciFi Nationals" and is basically the size of a big IPMS Regional. Last year they had slightly over 1000 models in the contest. It is held in the same place every year (Louisville). Their pricing is (roughly) $50 for a two day ticket; that gets you in to the vendors and presentations, and lets you spectate in the model contest.  If you want to enter models, that's another $30 for up to 10 models (technically you can enter just 1 model for $15, but most people bring multiple entries).

So entrants are paying the same $80 for 2 days that they would pay for a Nat's registration + 1 year membership, but all of that money goes into the show. They have the funds to bring in a few guest speakers - often movie FX folks - and that attracts non-modelers who are still paying the full $50 registration fee - no family membership deals.

Now think about what happens if we eliminate individual memberships. The Journal goes away, and with it the need (and cost) of managing memberships. What remains of the organization would exist largely to keep the insurance policy in place, and coordinate chapter-level events, and plan and organize the Nats, and it could be funded by the Chapter Charter fees - which could be raised a bit (and still save the Chapter's money since there would no longer be a requirement to have 5 IPMS members on the roles).

This may not be a feel good answer, but I think the "invisible hand of capitalism" will eventually push us to something like this.

Don, I totally agree when IPMS goes to a professional event holder the size of the show will shrink but the increase in fees will or should cover expenses of the Convention. 

Over time the number of chapters will lessen more of doing more with less. Members, chapters will be reduced. 

I agree the Journal needs to go if its kept it should be digital. I and some others brought that up 10 yrs ago I saw back then what the cost for the Journal then shocked me for a dated and not at all time sensitive. I also  understand we are beholden to volunteers. 

Modelers are notoriously frugal it will be interesting to see how that works out.

Ron Thorne Jr.

Head Bottle Washer 

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4 hours ago, ghodges said:

……. This also speaks to the subject broached several pages back... how do we grow IPMSUSA and who do we target? Unlike some ex-Eboard members who proposed trying to throw IPMS open to ALL modelers in some vain attempt to appear "inclusive", I think we should be targeting the SERIOUS PLASTIC modelers who are most like us and who would be much more likely to join.

Would that put a limit on our growth? Not really.... I think it would make us be more realistic in our estimates of growth. In the past we've tended to look at the numbers of kits sold and the obvious evidence of the great number of builders out there and see that vast sea of plastic modelers as the group to appeal to; and then wonder why we can't interest them. It's because only a small sliver of them are actually like US. But if even a tenth of that sliver could be enticed into becoming IPMS members, it would probably triple our current numbers.

I'm not sure if THAT would be good or bad..... but IF we're looking to "grow" IPMSUSA let's first be realistic about who we have the best shot at adding to our numbers. THEN we can start discussing WHAT we think might make IPMS more relevant and interesting to them and any changes needed going forward.

Gil  :cool:

Gil hit this nail on the head, hasn’t IPMS always targeted a more “serious” modeler as Gil put it? I always saw IPMS as a craftsmanship based society, promoting that over other aspects, so yeah, it’s not for everyone, not because it excludes anyone on purpose, on the contrary, it welcomes everyone who wants to embrace that philosophy.

We have never been a huge group, we are larger now then ever, San Marcos had just over 3100 models in the contest, entered by 534 people (about 4 models per person) Omaha the year before had just over 2700 entered by 475 people (about 4.5 models per person), I would bet chapter level contests/shows have about the same percentage, of course it doesn’t average out like that, some bring 1 and some bring 20. The point being that the modelers who enter contests more than not probably lean towards Gil’s “serious” definition, just not a huge group. And our over all member number shows that too in my opinion. I don’t see any of this as a problem.

There is overlap in reasons people join IPMS and chapter/clubs as pointed out, builders, collectors, support for IPMS/club operations, socialization, all great reasons and I don’t see a problem with any of that. And I still haven’t seen any evidence that the national convention and/or contest, changing anything about it or not, is going to grow or even save IPMS. I agree that targeting Gil’s “serious” modelers is a better idea than trying to appeal to everyone for everything. Find out what appeals to that group, what would get them to join, is it building education, technical details, collaboration, collecting, socialization, whatever it is, but gear it to that group. And as far as I’m concerned there are lots of modelers that are interested in IPMS’s philosophy of modeling, it’s finding what will get them to join and pay the $30 bucks a year for it that needs figured out.

 

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I suggested many years ago that IPMS should be renamed ISMS (International Scale Modellers Society) to reflect that we should embrace all serious static scale modellers no matter what material the models are made from.  As expected, my suggestion went down like a lead balloon with the die hards of IPMS.

Unfortunately, like it or not having the word 'plastic' within our organisation title has stigmatized us to the uninitiated as being a bunch of perpetual adolescents who stick Airfix kits together. We know that is far from the truth, but to outsiders it is how we are perceived unfortunately. Back in the Sixties when IPMS was formed it seemed a good idea at the time to embrace a what was then a new modelling medium. However things have moved on apace since those formative years but IPMS will never get rid of that stigma as long as 'plastic' remains embedded in our title.

IPMS magazines going digital? Not sure on this one. For example if the digital version was not set up so that each article could be downloaded separately I can't see the point. Apart from saving the society a lot of money and a presumption that everyone has internet access that is. And believe it or not there are many of us who still like a printed magazine. OK, there is an argument that it cannot ever remain bang up to date because of the internet, but it is the same for commercial model making magazines too.

Edited by noelsmith
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Gotta disagree with you Noel on the "PLASTIC" being a problem.... it IS who we ARE! I have no interest in other "static" model building hobbies, be it wood or whatever. That's NOT to take away the skills needed to build those other types of models..... it's just not what do and I didn't join IPMS with an expectation of seeing/reading/competing with those other types.

And, I don't feel responsible for any ignorant impressions others may have of us. In fact ANY plastic model builder who thinks that what we do is assemble toys is NOT the type of modeler IPMS should look to target and recruit. They would only be the "casual" builder types who more than likely (as you correctly point out) don't understand us or "get" us and will never be interested.

IPMSUSA faces some serious questions going forward, IF we do want to grow our Society. Perhaps the most important one is: Do we want to lose our identity by embracing growth at all costs or grow while being sure to retain our identity, even if it means that growth is more limited?

I side with retaining our particular PLASTIC affiliation!

 

Gil :cool:

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19 hours ago, noelsmith said:

I suggested many years ago that IPMS should be renamed ISMS (International Scale Modellers Society) to reflect that we should embrace all serious static scale modellers no matter what material the models are made from.  As expected, my suggestion went down like a lead balloon with the die hards of IPMS.

IPMS magazines going digital? Not sure on this one. For example if the digital version was not set up so that each article could be downloaded separately I can't see the point. Apart from saving the society a lot of money and a presumption that everyone has internet access that is. And believe it or not there are many of us who still like a printed magazine. OK, there is an argument that it cannot ever remain bang up to date because of the internet, but it is the same for commercial model making magazines too.

I don’t completely disagree with the name issue, I find that the vast majority of non-hobby people that hear I built scale models have no clue what it means, and even some that do don’t understand the “depth” of what I do until I show them some completed models and my work bench. From my experience though anyone who is even remotely involved in building models does not dismiss it as playing with toys, but then I’ve gotten pretty good at sizing people up before I share my hobby, I never did at work for instance, no one there seamed to be a modeler. I’m just not sure I see a name change making much difference, at least in the U.S.

Now the journal, for me a change would make a difference, I’m indifferent about print or digital, if digital would save a lot of money to use on other things I’d be alright with it. But content, that would make a difference for me, there are things that I find more interesting than others in the journal.

More focus on new products, and by new I mean anything that’s come out within the last 1-2 years, and coming releases. I’m with Noel, I don’t need to have breaking news on products. But I do really find it really useful if the news is in one place as long as it’s still in production. If the journal was just IPMS news/business and product news I would be happy, but that’s just me I’m sure. That said the journal, in any form will never be a reason for me to quit IPMS.

The biggest issue I see is competition with other publication's that pay people for their content, and can attract a steady stream of content they can pick and choose from. But then if the only thing someone got for belonging to IPMS is the journal, it would be $7.50 a copy, not $18-20+ a copy, and I don’t find those worth that most of the time.

 

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When I first joined IPMS/USA in the mid-1980's, there was a certain arrogant air about the way some members saw the hobby and believed that everyone should think that way or take a hike.  Even now, there is a faction of the IPMS/USA membership that needs to get over itself and realize that a plastic model is a plastic model, and we should welcome all modelers, regardless of interest, desire, or ability. 

A good many people I know who are IPMS/USA members are content to bang a kit together, paint it (or not), apply the decals (or not), and go build another one.  They have no interest in adding minute details to the pilot's relief tube or researching the exact shade of a particular color of paint applied to a particular subject 80 years ago, and they'd rather not spend their leisure time compressing their turds into diamonds simply to please a group of people with flashlights.  It is a pastime, something they do to feed a need to do something with their hands.  They don't view it as art, it is simply a thing they do. 

Why are they IPMS/USA members?  Perhaps they like the social aspects of IPMS/USA.  Instead, it seems that certain people want to treat them like second-class citizens, not worthy of the time of day...indeed, coming close to saying that they are not welcome.

If all you want are "serious" modelers, the membership numbers will invariably shrink, and before too long it will become an echo chamber...

Oh, yeah--it wasn't too terribly long ago that plastic models were indeed classified as toys.  In some areas of the world, they still are.

R

 

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Let me clarify further Ralph.... in that I AM A CASUAL MODELER! Do I occasionally go all out and super detail the pilot's relief tube? Sure..... but compared to most of the competitors out there I "bang them together" and move on to the next!

If you read my replies over the last 10pgs then you'll see that I merely believe that the VAST SEA of model builders will never be interested in us. History has shown they've never been interested in US, even 40-50yrs ago when IPMSUSA was on the cutting edge of modeling techniques, tips, and industry information. We seem to attract about 4000 people here in the USA on average and that number has been generally steady over DECADES. The idea that we can suddenly somehow double or triple our membership is, I believe, a misnomer.

That said, I DO believe there are more model builders like US out there that we can target. They ARE interested in joining clubs, going to model shows, building to compete (to whatever degree that may be), and in supporting an organization who makes that more possible. Those are the ones I label as "serious" modelers... because of their level of INTEREST in the hobby on the whole as compared to the rest; and not because of their building abilities.

In my view, growth IS possible, just not on the scale proposed or viewed by many. And, I also oppose changing WHO we are for the sake of growth. It's not an attempt to be "elitist" nor exclusive.... it's just we're a group dedicated to building PLASTIC models and I see no reason to try to kow-tow or please other modeling groups just for their money and higher membership numbers.

 

Gil :cool:

Edited by ghodges
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9 hours ago, Ralph Nardone said:

…When I first joined IPMS/USA in the mid-1980's, there was a certain arrogant air about the way some members saw the hobby and believed that everyone should think that way or take a hike.  Even now, there is a faction of the IPMS/USA membership that needs to get over itself and realize that a plastic model is a plastic model, and we should welcome all modelers, regardless of interest, desire, or ability….

…..They have no interest in adding minute details to the pilot's relief tube or researching the exact shade of a particular color of paint applied to a particular subject 80 years ago, and they'd rather not spend their leisure time compressing their turds into diamonds simply to please a group of people with flashlights.  It is a pastime, something they do to feed a need to do something with their hands.  They don't view it as art, it is simply a thing they do……

….If all you want are "serious" modelers, the membership numbers will invariably shrink, and before too long it will become an echo chamber...

R

Ralph, please don’t confuse arrogance with seriousness, there are arrogant people in all aspects of life and always will be. They can tell you to take a hike, but they have no power over you to make you take a hike, and in my experience, both at the chapter level and national, those members are in the minority, as they are in life. We do welcome all modelers, I agree with Gil, we should not hide or run away from our roots about plastic models, we took out the requirement at the national contest that models had to be “all or mostly” plastic, and I’ve never seen a chapter that excluded anyone because of their preference.
 

I think IPMS does welcome all categories of modelers, no matter how you like to build. I like to scratch build, I enjoy it, all of it, from research to building to finishing, it’s my relaxation/therapy/pastime, even if I’m not as good at it as others, I don’t disparage those who don’t any more than those who do more or better then I do. I wouldn’t say someone who builds all wooden ship models from scratch, bending and shaping the hull planks with steam, and making/sewing sails out of cloth does it to please people with flashlights, but I would call them serious about what they do, AND, if that person or any other takes it to a contest, it will need to be rated and differencated from the other models.

I take being a serious modeler as anyone with more then 2-3 unbuilt models, or more then a shoe box of paints/modeling tools, in my experience those that actively and/or want to build, even if they don’t finish many, are serious modelers. But, I don’t think IPMS should change its philosophy just to get members.

Edited by CaptainAhab
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