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Starting a model club

Q: I’m a longtime reader of Scale Auto and love the info in each issue. I read a lot about the benefit of model clubs and how they have helped modelers. The problem I have is that we don’t have one near where I live.

I love the hobby and I would love to do my part to help keep it alive. Any information you might have on how to start a club would be great. Thank you.
Wes Fuller
via E-mail

Ken: Getting in touch with local modelers can be a frustrating task, Wes, but before commenting on your letter, I’d like to share an inspiring note we received from our good friend and regular T&T contributor Dennis Scheidemantle.  

Letters like this prove that the hobby is alive and well, and there are many different ways to reach out and make new modeling friends. Read on:

“Ken, I wanted to let you know that because of a tip in the February 2011 column, I have made a new modeling buddy.  

“I noticed that the address of Vincent Genn was close to mine, so I looked up his number and it turns out he lives about two or three miles from me.

“I called him tonight to find out if he belonged to a club that might be close. He said no, but he would like to get together sometime and compare notes. Maybe we’ll start a club of our own, and invite more local modelers to join. It would probably start out very informal, and build from there.

“I wanted to show you how your column and Scale Auto affects those devoted followers who read and react.  Thanks, and all the best for 2011.”

Dennis Scheidemantle

Ken: Thanks for that great story, Dennis. Although contacting nearby modelers might not always be as easy as simply picking up the phone, your experience shows what can be accomplished on a local level.  
Wes, the key to starting any club is to get in touch with local people. The most obvious way would be to post a notice in the local hobby shop, but if you don’t have one nearby, a classified ad in Scale Auto or FineScale Modeler might draw the attention of nearby people.  

Also, check the Internet. With so many social networks to choose from, you should be able to hook up with like-minded modelers within a workable radius of your location.  

A search for Scale Model Clubs and Model Chat Rooms may uncover some possibilities. The Scale Auto Forum may be able to point you in the right direction, too.

After you’ve successfully contacted other modelers, creating the guidelines that make up a successful club is totally up to you, based on the dynamic of the group.  

Our advice is to start slow, don’t get bogged down by too many rules, and just have a good time. The details will iron themselves out as you go along.


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