About IPMS Birmingham

A branch of IPMS(UK) we are a club for modellers and those interested in modelling in Birmingham and surrounding areas, we welcome people of all abilities to attend our meetings on the third Sunday of each month - please see "About IPMS Birmingham" page for venue details and times.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

December meeting cancelled

Due to the heavy snowfall over the past 24 hours, tomorrow's meeting/Christmas party has been cancelled.

The Hospice Trophy draw will take place at the January meeting, full details to be given in a future update.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

November/December update

A lot has happened in November and early December, first there was Scale Modelworld on the weekend of 13th & 14th November and then there was the club AGM on the following Sunday so rather than trying to cover these in a single update separate pages have been created, to see them click on the following links:

Scale Modelworld

Committee Members and AGM

 Sunday 5th December the club attended the Midland Air Museum Model Show at Bagington.

Aeroplanes in the mist.
This is a small show with a few local clubs displaying their models in the heated education centre while a few hardy traders sell there wares in the unheated hangar. Of course this was one of the coldest weekends of the year and the day started with a freezing mist which at least gave the opportunity for taking some atmospheric photographs.

The club was represented by Peter Betteridge, Terry Walton, Gareth Thomas and Roland Turner.

December meeting and Christmas Party

The next meeting  will be on Sunday 19th December and as in previous years will be the club Christmas party. Members bring along food which is shared among the membership while those who have won monthly competitions bring back their winning models to voted on for the branch championship.

Another traditional feature of the Christmas party is the Hospice Trophy draw - everyone brings a kit, either a surplus one from their collection or one bought especially for the occasion, packed in gift wrapping which then goes into a lucky dip. Members pay £2 for each kit they draw and then are expected to build the kit by the February meeting when it will be judged, if the kit has not been built by this time then another £2 is paid with all proceeds going to the Acorns Hospice for terminally ill children. There are of course a couple of rules: 1) No swapping of kits, you build what you draw. 2) Apart from glue and paint you can only use what is in the kit - no aftermarket decals, photo-etch, resin etc. this in the past has lead to some fairly inventive use of  instruction sheets, decal backing paper and sprues. The Hospice Trophy usually leads to a good deal of humour with people seeking out kits of some fairly esoteric subjects, will this year see something even more unlikely than a plastic kit of a bus shelter in 1/76 scale with individual bricks?

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hackers compromise credit card details.

Both Hannants and Hobby Search have had clients' credit card details stolen by hackers.

Hannants' website has up-dates of the latest situation which appear as soon as you log into their home page. Hobby Search's  website has a separate information page giving details of the theft of information.

If you have made purchases from either of these companies it would be advisable to check your credit/debit card accounts for any suspicious activity.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

October Meeting

Sunday 17th October was the date for the pre Scale Modelworld  club meeting. As ever, most of the membership will be attending and we expect to put on a display of a wide variety of models. This year being the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain many of the club and SIG displays will be commemorating the campaign.

This month's competition had only only one entrant, George Green's SE.5A in Russian markings - leading to humourous comments that it still didn't win - which needless to say it did.

Although the competition was sparsely supported a number of members brought along models that they have recently finished or are currently working on, including Steve Newton with a scratch built rowing boat and a tugboat built (Unusually for Steve) from a kit.

The next club meeting will be on Sunday 21st November 9 (A week after SMW) and will be our AGM, so if any members want to stand for committee posts please make yourselves known.

Meanwhile enjoy Scale Modelworld, we hope to see you at Telford.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

September Meeting

For this month's meeting John Duffield brought along his airbrushes and associated equipment for everyone to have a play with and  see what results they can achieve.

"Big Bob" Nash examines the results of John's airbrushing on an Airfix Vulcan wing.
Bill Nicholls was able to join us, it is good to see that he is on the mend, and intends to be at Scale Modelworld in November.

There were only two entries in the competition, Terry Walton's Canadair Sabre in No. 3 Squadron markings and Ron Adams' HMS Suffolk which was this month's winner.
Ron Adams' HMS Suffolk.
Terry Walton's Canadair Sabre
For those who remember the evocative paintings of Roy Cross that used to adorn Airfix's boxes and headers, Dave Marsh has found a website from which you can download free examples to use as you computer desktop wallpaper called WallPapers King .

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Sutton Coldfield Show

Despite worries regarding road closures owing to the Pope's visit to the nearby New Oscott College everyone who wanted to attend the show managed to get there with little or no difficulty.
Members manning the stand apparently in pensive mood.

Being local quite a few members put in an appearance during the course of the day including Peter Betteridge, Norman Otty, Paul Hickman along with his son Lewis, Roger Hartill, David Child, Dave Marsh, Terry Walton and Roland Turner. Notably absent was Bill Nicholls who is still recuperating from an accident and surgery to his broken wrist, Sutton  wasn't quite the same without him and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Sutton Coldfield Town Hall provides a pleasant venue overlooking the park.
A good display of models was put on by the clubs attending, covering a wide range of subjects and an album of photographs can be seen on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Sutton Coldfield Model Makers Show

This coming Sunday, 19th Sept, Sutton Coldfield Model Makers' Society will be holding their annual show at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall, Upper Clifton Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 6AB.

Please be aware the that Pope Benedict XVI will be in Birmingham on the same day and will be making a private visit to New Oscott College in the Sutton Coldfield area. This will result in the closure of a number of main and side roads between central Birmingham/M6 junction 6 (Spaghetti Junction) and Sutton Coldfield from around 10 a.m.including the most direct route the A5127 Sutton New Road through Erdington and Wylde Green.

While this should not effect people approaching  from the north, anyone using the M6 or A38M (Aston Expressway) will be well advised to get there early.

For anyone heading for the show after this time the route shown on the map below is recommended, using the A38 Tyburn Road and B4148 Eachelhurst Road/Walmley Road, however please bear in mind these will probably become heavily congested. 

View Larger Map

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Droitwich Salt Day, 2010.

The team report for duty!
Last year we were invited by the Forever Forties Group to put on a display of models at Droitwich's annual Salt Day and they were kind enough to ask us to attend again this year on Saturday 11th September.

The club was represented by David Child, Peter Betteridge, Terry Walton and Roland Turner, we arrived early and having found our pitch, set up our stand only to be caught by a sudden downpour, rapid action was taken to protect the models but some of us got a good soaking.

The day's activities were officially opened by the mayor of Droitwich's French twin town who made a speech in French translated into English to, what must have appeared to him, an unusual audience comprising of the local Air Cadet squadron band, a troop of Roman Legionaries, a few modellers from Birmingham, a quantity of people in assorted WWII uniforms plus ordinary members of the public.

Our display, in keeping with  the Forever Forties theme, was of World War Two subjects and in particular, as we are in the 70th anniversary year, the Battle of Britain.

As the day progressed the sky cleared, the sun shone and we had a steady stream of people coming to look at our models, talk about either modelling techniques or reminisce about the types of aircraft and vehicles giving us the opportunity to hand out flyers for next year's Midland Expo.  

RAF Jeep

The Forever Forties people brought along a variety of 1940s vintage vehicles both military and civilian and dressed themselves in the appropriate uniforms and styles.
Members of the Forever Forties Group.

Two Austin Sixs and an Austin Ten.

RAF military police Velocette motorcycle.

To see more photographs of Salt Day 2010 go to the album on IPMS Birmingham's Facebook page

By the end of the day we had talked to a lot of people including one former club member and a couple of potential new members, such events give us an opportunity to show our hobby to a wider public.

Thanks are due to David Bowlas and the Forever Forties Group for inviting us again, those of us that participated had a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Avon Show, Yate

Sunday 22nd August and the club attended the ever popular Avon Show held in the Community Centre at Yate, just north of Bristol.

We were allocated a large L shaped stand and fortunately were able to to fill the space with a varied selection of models, one end being given over, appropriately in the 70th anniversary year, to a Battle of Britain display. 

The branch was represented by David and Christian Child, Pete Betteridge, Terry Walton, Norman Otty, Roger Hartill and Roland Turner. Unfortunately Bill Nicholls, who had intended to attend, had fall a few days earlier and has broken his wrist, however we did speak to him by telephone from the show so he was there in spirit so to speak.

This superbly finished 1/48 scale Fiat BR.20 Cicogna built from the Special Hobby kit was displayed on the Locate & Cement stand.

Imposing in 1/32 scale on the 580 Modellers stand, this Phantom F-4B was in the markings of VA-111 "Sundowners"

It's always good to see a bit of humour creeping in at model shows, sometimes we modellers can take things a bit too seriously, so a variation on "Compare the Meerkat" was welcome - it looks like one of Alexander's relatives managed to get a commission in the British Army!  

Meanwhile outside the hall there was a small display of military vehicles including this Royal Marines, helicopter portable, Citroen 2CV.

For more photos from the show go to the show album on the new IPMS Birmingham Facebook page.

Shows that we will be attending in September:

Sunday 5th - Wombourne,   The Community Centre, Church Road, Wombourne. WV5 9EZ

Saturday 11th - Droitwich Salt Day, Victoria Square, Droitwich, Worcestershire.

Sunday 19th -     Sutton Coldfield Model Makers' Society Show, Sutton Coldfield Town Hall.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

August Meeting

At this month's meeting Roger Hartill gave us an excellent talk on the use of Milliput

Most of us have used the product at one time or another, with varying degrees of success but Roger covered a whole range of possibilities encompassing all aspects of the hobby from aircraft via armour to figures.

Even those people that have used Millput for a long time learned some new techniques or uses for the two part epoxy putty.

To illustrate his talk Roger brought along some examples of his own work, particularly impressive were the figures and busts that he modified or resculpted as can be seen from the photographs here.

The Forever Forties group have again invited us to attend Droitwich's annual Salt Day. We will be based in the town's Victoria Square, as last year, and any members are welcome to come along and exhibit there models - but please only 1940s/ WWII subjects. Those of us who attended last year had a thoroughly good day and was worth the visit for having a look at the vehicles on display if nothing else.

The monthly competition was won by Terry Walton with his 1/48 scale Hawker Hurricane Mk.I which achieved the remarkable score of 27 points out of 25!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Coventry and Staffordshire Moorlands Shows

The club has attended two model shows in the past fortnight, Coventry and Warwickshire at the Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport 27th June and  the first Stafforshire Moorlands Show in Stoke-on-Trent on 4th July.

At Coventry the club was represented by Terry Walton, Mike Johnson and Roland Turner on a sweltering hot day. Our stand was in a small hangar at the far end of the site and frequent trips were made to the cafeteria for liquids and ice cream.

A good many of the visitors to our stand took flyers for next year's Midland Expo and we received a fair number of favourable comments regarding its return.

Staffordshire Moorlands was a completely new show on the circuit and its organisers did an excellent job. Held in the Territorial Army drill hall at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent the local Air Cadet Squadron marshaled the car parking efficiently and with admirable courtesy  while the TA supplied the catering.

Terry Walton, Roger Hartill, Norman Otty, Gareth Thomas, along with his son Christopher, David Child and Roland Turner all helped to man the stand during the day.

In the competition Roger was the class winner for his "Blood Warrior" bust.

Even though Bill Nicholls was not in attendance the tombola did well and that's where "Big Bob" Nash from UMS found a new friend. 

Meanwhile outside the hall there was a small display of army vehicles, a Landrover, a Ferret Scout Car and a Humber Pig. There was also a piper who gave us a rendition on the bagpipes (Perhaps not every body's cup of tea!).

A gallery of photographs of models on display  at the show is available on Facebook.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Midland Expo

We are pleased to announce the return of Midland Expo at a new venue,  Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre and Golf Course, Alcester Road South, Kings Heath, Birmingham. B14 6ER., in 2011.

Cocks Moors Woods represents a considerable improvement in facilities over our previous venue, the Leasows Centre, with a larger hall, a restaurant and licensed bar, also on site are a swimming pool and a golf course

We have a confirmed date of  Sunday 15th May 2011 for the show and look forward to seeing many of the regular exhibitors, traders and vistors who used to attend Midland Expo at the Leasows Centre.

For more information please see the dedicated Midland Expo website.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Hinckley Show (and a mystery new member?)

Sunday 25th April the club attended the East Midlands Model Show at Hinckley putting on our usual diverse display of models from the members in attendance.

The club was represented by Pete Betteridge, Terry Walton, Roger Hartill, Norman Otty, Bill Nicholls, Mike Johnson and Roland Turner, Gareth Thomas also came along with his son Christopher for part of the day.

As there was a football match on Bill brought along his transistor radio and kept us entertained  with his attempts at tuning it into the right station. This leads neatly to the burning question of the day, following a conversation with Bill on the way to the show in Pete's car:

Who is John Thibthrub?

Is he a mystery new member?

Is he the Highways Agency's answer to Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen with a contract to re-decorate Spaghetti Junction?

The answers to these questions and possibly even more confusing ones may be resolved at the next meeting on 16th May, make sure you are there.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

April Meeting - Airbrushing

Airbrushes and airbrushing techniques was the main subject of this month's meeting  and several members brought along their own equipment including compressors and air tanks, a variety of proprietory and home built items to show to other members and in some cases set up and do some actual airbrushing.

John Duffield, the instigator of the theme took centre stage and demostrated his techniques and the different makes of airbrush that he uses, giving members the opportunity to try them out for themselves. Here Rob Barwick uses one of John's airbrushes, applying some camouflage to a set of 1/48 scale Spitfire wings.

Meanwhile, Club Chairman, Peter Betteridge (left with George Green and Steve Newton) dispayed his home built modelling spray booth, constructed from MDF board and using various bits and pieces from domestic appliances. Does his wife know where those spotlights and the extractor fan came from?

As always there was the monthly competition which was won this month by Terry Walton with his 1/35 scale Bofors Gun.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Cosford Show

Sunday 11th April, the club attended the IPMS Telford/Shropshire Modellers Show at the RAF Museum, Cosford. As usual our stand was alongside the nose of the TSR2 and being local we had a good turnout of members resulting in a varied display of models reflecting the diverse interest of the membership.

Manning the stand  
(From left to right)Gareth Thomas, Rob, Harry and Steve Newton.

Meanwhile Bill Nicholls had his own table to sell off some of his treasures.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

John Duffield's Superb Collection.

my models
Originally uploaded by modelmaker24
John Duffield, our esteemed newsletter editor has recently put this photograph onto his Flickr photostream showing his model collection in all its glory.

A superb collection imaginatively and professionally displayed, every home should have one!

Friday, 5 March 2010

IPMS Birminghm on YouTube

There is now an IPMS Birmingham video slideshow on YouTube, please click below to view it.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Huddersfield Model Show

IPMS Birmingham were represented at the Huddersfield show on Sunday 21st Feb. by Gareth Thomas and Roland Turner.

Having travelled up to Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon we stayed overnight at Richard Farrah's house in Leeds going out in the evening for a meal with Richard and IPMS(UK) President Paul Regan. Despite having moved from Birmingham over ten years ago Paul remains a member of the Birminham branch and although he has few opportunities to attend our meetings frequently lends his support to our activities.

At seven a.m. on Sunday morning we were joined by Paul Hughes of the local branch and leader of the Bomber Command SIG, for breakfast at which time it was noticed that it had started to snow, at this stage only very fine flakes but it was begining to settle. By the time breakfast was finished the snow had become heavier and was now about an inch deep on the ground.

Cars were quickly loaded with models and show paraphinallia and we set off in convoy for the relativly short trip to Huddesfield, Paul and Richard leading the way in Paul's car, through ever deeper snow. Because of the speed that the snow had fallen there had been no chance to grit the roads and even on the motorways (M621 & M62) we had to crawl along at as little as 25 mph leading us to wonder if the show might be abandoned. Despite the conditions we arrived safely at the venue to find that the show was going ahead and clubs and traders were already setting up in the sports centre, the only problem being access to the car park which is up a short but fairly steep incline and quite a few vehicles had to abandon the attempt and park in surrounding streets. Fortunatly our car, a hired Vectra estate, was able to maintain traction and we managed to get into the covered area of the car park.

Our display was quickly set up and because there were only two of us to man the stand we individually went off to see who had made it to the show and of course forage for bargains. It soon became evident that the weather had put off a number of clubs and traders, there being lot of empty tables and those that had made it to the show  had stories of long delays and appalling driving conditions, one trader, Paul Davis, taking over five hours to travel from Solihull. None-the-less a good show was put on with a steady flow of visitors through the doors and everone seemed to enjoy the show although Garath was feeling unwell, he had planned to do some actual modelling on the stand but in the end spent the day quietly, taking things easy and manning the stand. We had been allocated tables near the centre of the hall and received quite a lot of attention with regular questions and discussions about  the   techniques used to achieve various effects and finishes.

IPMS (UK)'s favorite frenchman Jean-Pierre Desprez, proprietor of Model Art Decals, lent the proceedings some gallic flair.

'El Presidente' Paul Regan was in attendance selling off some of his kit hoard.

At the end of the day we emerged from the hall to find that most of the snow had melted and we were able to travel home without any problems. All-in-all a pleasant weekend spent with fellow modellers and of course a big thank you to Richard Farrah for his hospitality.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Milton Keynes Model Show

On Sunday 7th February the club attended the Milton Keynes show putting a display of our members' models demonstrating their wide range of interests. As always Norman Otty's and Roger Hartill's figures as well as Norman's Hunley Diorama drew a great many admirers.

As well as Roger and Norman, the show was also attended by club
members Peter Betteridge, Paul Hickman, Jim and Chris Maher, Terry Walton, Roland Turner and Bill Nicholls. Bill spent part of the day glued to his transistor radio - he claims that he was listening to the Birmingham City vs. Wolverhampton Wanders football match - but we all suspect that he is still waiting for the secret coded message from SOE to go out and blow up German munitions trains in occupied France!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

The IPMS Birmingham Brick, Newark Air Museum.

The story behind the IPMS Birmingham brick goes back to June 2001 when three of us (Jim Maher, Terry Walton and Roland Turner) paid a visit to Newark Air Museum on our way to the Newcastle show.

At that time the museum was trying to raise funds for a new hangar/display hall by selling bricks that were going to be used in its construction for £10 each. Ever eager to help we bought a brick on behalf of the club and each of us signed it.

Little more was thought about the brick until last November when four of us (Michael Gossage, Gareth Thomas, Terry Walton and Roland Turner) along with our good friend John Kesler from IPMS Syracuse, New York, USA visited the museum. The new display hall had been built and filled with exhibits, so we went looking for 'our brick' and soon found it inside the entrance lobby where it was duly admired and photographed for posterity - funny how you can become quite proprietorial over a piece of baked clay!

For those who have not yet visited Newark Air Museum we can give it our wholehearted recommendation.

Link to Newark Air Museum.