Another IPMS Nationals has come and gone – what a blast! If you enjoy observing models, you would have found the event interesting. However, if you enjoy observing people, you would have found the event fascinating! As an exercise of model lunacy, we present …

“The Characters at the Nationals”

No names are needed (you know who they are) and each character is backed up with a famous quotation (they are all genuine, I assure you!)

Firstly, you have the guy who left it too late. Ten minutes before judging starts, he’s still battling to get the decals onto his Spitfire – I try to take each day one at a time, but lately, they all attacked me at once.” (Ashleigh Brilliant)

Secondly, you get the know-it-all. His knowledge and references are unsurpassed (in his opinion) and he is not shy to force you into a corner and bore you for hours at a time about how he scratchbuilt the track links for his 1:72 Leopard tank – “I can’t miss me, I never get a break from me.” (Ryco)

Then we have the ultra-competitive trophy hunters, who will stop at nothing to secure the most Gold Medals and Special Awards at the prize giving – “We’d do anything for each other. We’d even cut each other’s throats for each other.” (Samuel Goldwyn)

How about those figure modellers, who pay the price of a small car to import quarter-size figures from Japan, spend six months painting them to perfection and then have to display them in a separate room because some old fuddy-duddy may take offence – “Obscenity is whatever gives a judge an erection.” (Anon)

What will modelling be without the Special Interest Groups? Those lovable groups of modellers whose sole purpose in life is to build and display a model of every Bf109 that ever flew – “Insanity is the exception in individuals. In groups, parties, people, and times, it is the rule.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

We have the main man in charge, the organiser. Running around, moving tables, organising judges, calming disagreements, booking hotel rooms, finding missing children, it never ends – “Chaos, panic, & disorder ‑‑ my work here is done.” (Josie Tremlett-Kahn)

Then there is the mellow old modeller, who has built the same crappy old boats for fifty years. He has a ball, no one can irritate him, and he has probably inhaled enough glue fumes to power the Space Shuttle – “Nothing right in my left brain…nothing left in my right brain” (Stephen Kurniawan)

Ah, the judge! That unique breed with the perfect all-round knowledge! He knows the interior colours of all the different WW2 Japanese bombers, the firing order of every V8 auto engine ever produced and all the armament variations of every tank in history – “No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.” (Aristotle)

You all know the worrier. That sad individual who takes the hobby too seriously and frantically panics about whether the judges will notice that his B-17’s insignia are fractionally too small, the wingspan is a half millimetre too wide and whether they have seen that he used photoetched throttle quadrants in the cockpit – “The issue isn’t whether you’re paranoid, it’s whether you’re paranoid enough.” (Max Peltier in the movie “Strange Days” – 1995)

Then we have the ranter, the guy that says, ‘tell me what you think’ and then goes ballistic when you tell him that it is a truly spectacular model that borders on perfection, except for the small crack in the canopy – “Feel free to hurt my feelings … All you risk is my insane rage!” (Anon)

How about the party animal that goes clubbing every night and stumbles into the venue at 11am, straight from the nightclub, with beer stains on his shirt and smelling of cheap perfume? – “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” (Warren Zevon)

Then we have the guy who stands up at the AGM and bores everyone for 45 minutes about some subject that pertains only to himself and one other modeller back at his club who couldn’t be bothered to come to Nationals – “I have nothing to say and I’m going to say it just once!” (Frank Smith)

Finally, the guy who takes exception to everything said at the AGM and believes that the only answer is to resign and start his own club – “I don’t want to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” (Groucho Marx)

Until next time …

Try To Act Normal!

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