I've been "in the hobby" since I was a kid back in the '60s
and always planned on joining the International Plastic
Modelers Society otherwise known as IPMS, but never got
"around to it". I finally relented with the prompting of a
friend who is a member and joined the local IPMS chapter back
This was the best thing I'd done concerning my model building!
I was really impressed with the comraderie of the group and
their welcoming of new members. For some reason, it seems that
I joined at a time when there was a wave of new recruits.
I expected to see a bunch of old guys (like myself), but was
pleased to see a grade schooler, some women, and some younger
guys ('20s). It really is like group therapy for someone
like myself whose model building buddies have "outgrown" the
hobby and I was left to cruise the hobby shops all by myself.
This newsgroup has helped me tremendously in enjoying the hobby
but actually getting together with a group of people who are
as fanatic about models as you are really does a lot for your
self esteem. Finally! I can talk about metal finishes and
airliner markings with people who actually "give a damn"!
The building seminars held during the meetings have really
been helpful in exposing me to new techniques and building ideas.
I've only been to four meetings so far, but my modeling
production has increased sharply. I'm even getting very close
to actually finishing a kit! ;^)
One of the unexpected benefits of joining the local IPMS chapter
is the model auctions that take place periodically which turn
out to be a source of inexpensive and out-of-production models.
If you have been putting off joining IPMS, I urge you to get
out of the house and sit in on your local IPMS chapter's meeting.
More IPMS info including local chapter information can be found
at www.ipmsusa.org (assuming you live in the USA).
Joining IPMS can take your hobby to a whole new level. I know it
did this for me and I wish I had joined years ago.