A Plastic Model Club Meets Here

SAPMC513-1On May 15, members of Springfield Area Plastic Modelers Club (SAPMC) met in the Process Room upstairs at AeroKnow Museum. Before describing the evening’s meeting, I want to introduce you to the club.
Brian Wilburn is a transplanted Californian, ex-US Navy aircraft weapons loader,  a scientist, who came to Springfield, Illinois a few years ago. Soon after he settled in, he began looking for a plastic model (builders) club, was surprised there was none, so he created one. Since he, Mark Houpt, and Eric Delaquila (all still involved with the club) began meeting, others have dropped in and dropped out as meeting places have also changed from Lincoln Library to Hobby Lobby to a wargaming (board games, Dungeons and Dragons, that kind of thing) store. I began attending meetings almost two years ago. When I offered AeroKnow Museum as a “sure-thing” meeting venue that would always be open because I would attend every meeting, the others assented to relocating. It’s been a near-perfect combination. When Job Conger was recovering from surgery following a fall on ice in January this year, we did not meet, though a key was offered to the club. We are meeting again, regularly, and it’s great to be back in action!
SAPMC513-3    At the May 15 meeting, new member Martin Miller (Captain, Civil Air Patrol) brought a box of surplus kits to trade or sell, and we all walked out to the parking lot to look them over. I picked up a Monogram Curtiss P-6E for one of my surplus kits, a Minicraft EC-121. Pictured left to right here are Mark Houpt, Chuck Buescher, newcomer Miller and newcomer Greg Horn. Job Conger took the picture.
The club meets every 2nd and 3rd
        Wednesday of the month. Starting at 6:30. Those who want to tour AeroKnow Museum or get an early start modeling are welcome to arrive as early as 5:30. Members build all types of plastic: cars, armor, science fiction, figures, all are welcome. There are no dues or registration required.  There’s also a Facebook group area, but it’s a closed group. Search for Brian Wilburn, pictured below,  tell him you want to be a member of SAPMC, and he will make it happen.
SAPMC513-5       The appeal of the club is the fellowship  of model builders (women are welcome too)
talking about models and life without interruptions from phone calls and other distractions. Conversations can turn on a dime, from tales from USAF flight lines in Masawa, Japan to what’s happening at area hobby shops.SAPMC513-4   
Music also breaks out with the slightest provocation. AeroKnow founder Job Conger is also a songwriter and folksinger. and always has at least one acoustic guitar on hand. Others are welcome to play as well.
During the May 8 meeting, Brian, Mark, Martin had the meeting room to themselves as Job gave the “complete enchilada tour) to first time visitor Greg Horn. Anyone else who attended is welcome to “fill in the blank space” by commenting or updating the Facebook page.
SAPMC513-2        Martin posed with two 1.72 scale models he had brought to show. He is obviously a talented modeler, and a nice fellow, and we look forward to seeing more of his work. Because of his commitment to his Civil Air Patrol Squadron that meets on the other side of the airport, he was the first to depart.
         After I bothered the air with guitar and two songs I;ve written, I returned to modeling by frontally assaulting my Mach 2 kit of the Sud-Oest Triton, the first jet airplane designed and built in France.  because Mark hails from Lincoln, he departed for home about 8:30, but the rest of us stayed until 9. We have stayed, engaged in plastic and convivial repartee, until 10, and if we’re having a really REALLY good time, we can stay until 10:45, allowing ourselves 15 minutes to put things away before our host FBO closes for the day at 11:00 pm. Members are welcome to leave kits and tools, etc. in the meeting room until they return or take everything home.
        As Chuck, and Greg departed, I returned to the downstairs museum office and worked another hour, processing pictures and making the most of a long day. The next meeting of Springfield Area Plastic Modelers Club comes to order (more or less) at 6:30 May 29 at the same location. If you are not a plastic modeller but want to see what it’s all about, come to the meeting and we’ll give you a kit to work on and take home with you, courtesy of AeroKnow Museum.
        Please share your questions and comments in the comments area that follows this post or contact writer@eosinc.com.
        It was an excellent meeting, and I’m looking forward to our next one, May 29. We hope you will be there as well.

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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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1 Response to A Plastic Model Club Meets Here

  1. Job Conger says:

    The plastic model club has been re-named and has launched a new blog. If you dig building plastic models of anything, or if you want to learn more about those who do, visit http://plastictimes.wordpress.com

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