It’s News to Me: Springfield Area Plastic Modelers Club

From my friend Mark Houpt yesterday, May 23, came an invitation to attend that evening’s meeting of the Springfield Area Plastic Modelers Club (SAPMC). This was BIG NEWS to me. For years, off and on, I have offered Plastic Wings Model Club to a community with no ears and worse, no logs. Plastic Wings met several times, several people came, but it held together like a house of cards in a hurricane. So when Mark invited me to attend, I assented in a heartbeat, and I’m glad I did.

Armor builders Mike and Mike getting it together.

The club began arriving at Mecca, a board war and fantasy gaming store in a large yellow brick building on the southeast corner of Sixth at Pine, across the parking lot and street from where the Pizza Hut used to be. The building at 1500 S. Sixth was a shoe store for a long time (I think), but now it’s divided into suites. Mecca is in Suite A, but it’s not well marked. It’s a small building, and after asking the first living soul I encountered elsewhere in the complex, it was easy to find.

Mecca Games has a counter staffed by the friendly owner whose name I don’t remember, his wife and security dog, all friendly folks . . .  even the dog. The SAPMC meetings come together in a large room next jto the retail room with tables usually used for war simulation games but this night for model building. There’s plenty of room to work, and soft drinks are available for 75 cents a can. It’s a nice arrangement.

Things settled in about 6:35 after introductions, and Mark, Sam, Mike, Mike, and Bernie began working on their models: a display scale railroad car, a model automobile, two tanks and a HobbyBoss 1/48 McDonnell F3H Demon. Mark also brought a 1/48 Hasegawa J-35R Draken. I had seen neither kit before, and now I’m vowing to find one of each to build for AeroKnow Museum. I passed out AKM brochures to all who attended, and after chatting with them as they worked on models, I departed. Next time, I’ll bring a project and stay for the duration.

The club is diverse. As Bernie explained when we met at the Mecca counter. He said the armor people concentrate on armor, the airplane people concentrate on airplanes, but sometimes they talk to each other — it is a CONVIVIAL group — and they learn from each other.

Mark Houpt, son, Sam, and in the distance, Mike. Modelers at play.

Springfield Area Plastic Modelers Club meets SECOND and FOURTH WEDNESDAYS, starting at 6:30 pm.  The club as a Facebook presence and those who want to make the most of that presence must be invited in if you want to make the most of it.

I plan to attend the next meeting of SAPMC June 13, and if you dig plastic models, I hope you will too.

Fly safe.

About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
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