This week's Sprue Cutters Union question is: Where do you gather?
When I took up the hobby again after law school, I soon started attending local IPMS meetings. But I soon became tired. The meetings were too structured, mostly it was talking about minutia and club "business", politics would rear its ugly head, and they just were not that much fun. The meetings remind me of classroom lectures and I really didn't learn much about modeling from them or get excited to attend. Not to mention, one of the clubs decided it was for "elite" modelers and became more about contest wins than anything else. I just didn't fit in with the one club and didn't seem to get much from the other, so I have drifted away from both groups.
Luckily, I met some wonderful modelers who became fast friends. One Saturday afternoon, an idea was born: Why not start a group of 1/72 scale modelers that gathered once a month to hang out, share tips, and actually build? Thus the Divine Scale Society was formed. What started with a few guys has grown to groups of eight to ten, and each gathering is a great time consisting of models, modelers, good conversation, and great food. One of the things I love about the group is that, because we are actually working on models, we can watch techniques demonstrated in a "real life" setting. I learn so much from these meetings and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow builders. Sadly, splitting time between two cities means I don't get to attend the DSS meetings as much as I would like and I miss them.
Happily, a few of the local West Akron modelers and I try to gather once a month in one of the modelers’ basements to build and BS. These are by far my favorite gatherings and I enjoy everything about them. We share tips and techniques, catch up on each other's projects and more importantly we discuss anything and everything. These guys are among my closest friends and there is both great conversation and much laughter each time we get together. These guys inspire me not only to be a better modeler but also a better man.