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Old 12-11-2023, 06:22 PM
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The Walk-Thru of the 2023 International Paper Modeler's Convention (IPMC); the 25th

Before the tour…

Though most participants would likely argue that every year that an International Paper Modeler’s Convention (IPMC) occurs is a special event, for the annual celebration has had to skip a couple of years due to hotel problems and even due to Covid. The 2023 IPMC represented a particularly valuable milestone; it was the 25th convention meeting.

The International Papermodeler’s Convention started off in 1997, in the town of Centerville, Ohio. The humble event was held in the home of Miles Mandell, with an official attendance of four exhibitors. The event was more of a social event as any effort to share the craft of paper modeling with others. That social-connection, as a priority of this event, has shaped it, and that motive continues to impact its approach to each yearly effort. Where as most conventions that follow a specific theme are driven by the desire to share and celebrate a specific area of interest (Science Fiction, movies, etc.) with others, the IPMC was, and maintains a high, and possibly higher priority, on the social bonds of the members. Sharing the craft of paper modeling with the public is often not the priority over the small group that attends, and though the participants change, has attended for over a quarter of a century.

In 2001, the event was moved from Ohio to Virginia, at the Dullies Days Hotel & Convention Center, in Herdon. After six more years, it moved to Sterling VA. at the Hampton Inn. It has remained there, at that location, for over a decade. The 2023 IMPC was held at the Dullies Airport Hampton Inn & Suites again for the 25th year.

Twenty-fifth International PaperModelers Convention again strove to renew fellowship to the many participants over the years. The event was held a few weeks ago from the 27th of October to the 29th of 2023. It required considerable investment from the participants. Several attendees came from far away homes; Texas, Ohio, New England, and whether they drove or flew, the effort was considerable on their part. In addition to the travel time, and hotel expenses (around $100 a night), the exhibitors ponied up $160 for their tables and $65 for each additional table that they rented, to share and display their work. Some of the exhibitors rented two or more tables to attain enough display space to share their work.

Though the primary drive for many of the yearly exhibitors was to meet each other again, and connect with their annual gathering of peers, the attendance at the IPMC was higher than had been typical for the last several years. Some of the exhibitors were more interested in meeting with the public and spreading their passion for paper modeling onto others. It was a very busy event.


Picture 1: The image of the first IPMC event participants...(note Steve Brown, in the picture) a steady fixture over the last 26-27 years of 25 held conventions)…
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The Walk-Thru of the 2023 International Paper Modeler's Convention (IPMC); the 25th-1st-con-photo.jpg  
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Old 12-11-2023, 06:55 PM
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The Walk-Thru…

I had written a walk-thru of the convention over the last few years; events with a great deal of enthusiasm, but not as much public presence. This year was different. It was busy from opening to close.

I have tried to deliver more content at each thread, and a better feel for the “walk-thru” tour concept each year. It had been my hope that a personal review of the models that were exhibited might encourage interest and a desire to attend one of the events.

I had also, each thread-article, each year, attempted to imbue each review of the conventions with details from the demonstration artists. I have always encouraged the craftsmen to add their comments or observations that they might not have shared, during my interviews. As for the conversations that I documented, I tried including build tips and techniques that might facilitate the improvement of the craft, for those who can not attend. The goal of this approach was to not only encourage interest for those never reaching Sterling, hoping to promote a visit in the future, but as well to make the thread useful to even those never intending to make the trip. A thread that is well organized might benefit the craft and the execution of building. Even if readers of this thread never attended an IPMC, they might learn valuable lessons and skills from accomplished craftsmen and women; that even if they could not attend in person, I might be able to ask the questions that they would have wanted to ask, had they traveled to Sterling.

When possible, this time out, I tried featuring a specific model of choice of the crafter; their favorite or most challenging. The details of their best build or favorite model might include the manufacturer, what techniques were used, or what was learned from the build. I hoped this would spotlight particular builds and the interesting stories surrounding those builds.

In addition to reviewing the models, and seeking out build tips and techniques, I also sought out (this year) advise and suggestions on the best tools and equipment for novice and advanced builders. Reviews and suggestions of what should be included on a toolkit seemed a valuable addition to the previous year’s efforts.

Again, the goal was to provide a valuable read for anyone exploring the thread, even if they were not focused upon participating in the IPMC.

The extra questions seemed on their face, small editions, but they wound up requiring more time and notes than expected. The extra photos also required a greater amount of time to sort and organize. I spent the whole day in interviews and never got to enjoy the convention myself! This thread contains more than the previous ones but it took a lot more to do than expected.

The goal of this thread was also to permit people who attended to have a written memory of their time, to include those who couldn’t in the fun, and to use the event as a springboard to promote a hobby and an art form that is diminishing in number of participants; and is aging out in participation. Though digital tools and better printers have made paper modeling more available, school approaches and social trends have moved away from building things; in favor of following digital patterns of entertainment.

I believe that paper modeling is a craft, and art form, that is affordable for many, where plastic and wood modeling have become so expensive. The average plastic model kit runs between $25-$50 and the average wood kit in the hundreds. This can be daunting to a person seeking to learn, and make the expected mistakes of a novice; where paper modeling costs a fraction of those alternatives; and permits easy production of replacement parts. Paper models also permit customization more easily than many other forms of miniature building. I also hold to the conviction that the techniques and lessons learned and used on this craft are valuable in areas of life that are more essential than hobbying.

Paper modeling has been found effective toward encouraging participation of people of different mindsets; a useful effort in this age of transient-digital relationships and social segregation of tribal beliefs. I also believe that young people benefit from building things with their own hands; as opposed to being passively being entertained by preprogrammed algorithms, as found in video games and in web activities. Furthermore, paper modeling can be used effectively in teaching, in therapeutic intervention, and even in management training and evaluation. I have used paper modeling projects in in all three of these spheres.

This thread is the finale of a series. It took the entire day to collect the information and will take some weeks of writing to complete this thread. It concludes the triology of threads; first The 2021 International Paper Modeler's Convention Visit in Pictures and Words, then Touring the 2022 International PaperModeler's Convention (IMPC).

I hope that this chapter provides interest, guidance, and inspiration for both the 25 years of participation that has happened, and then for the next 25 years to come.

See you at the 50th (if not before)!
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Old 12-14-2023, 01:44 PM
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Location

The 2023 IMPC was held at the Dullies Airport Hampton Inn & Suites. The 2024 event will be held in the same place, if you wish to plan ahead.

The IPMC started off in 1997, in the town of Centerville, Ohio, in the home of Miles Mandell, with an official attendance of four. The number of participants now fill a dining hall; often with their spouses and sometimes children. Even grandchildren of the exhibitors are known to attend.

This who participate come from a variety of backgrounds and home locations. Engineers, military veterans, historians, teachers, travel from across the country, and some from overseas, to lodge in a hotel and participate in the three days events.

The location of this convention, in Sterling, is near an airport and several highways, making access easy. If you plan ahead, a special rental rate is provided, which has been about $100 a night over the last few years. There are a few camp grounds nearby, if not wishing to stay in the hotel, and a variety of hotels to chose from. Dining resources are a bit limited, but a drive of ten to fifteen minutes will provide a wide variety of food choices.
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Old 12-14-2023, 01:53 PM
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A Broad Sketch of the Events

The night before the convention, a buffet is traditionally held as a meet & greet. This year, the buffet was held in the lobby of the hotel for the participants who paid $35 to get a plate of food and meet & greet those present, who will be participating in the big event the next day. Those that stayed after getting their plates, met in the lobby to chat and meet new participants and prospective members. The event is informal and relaxed, with not meet & greet activity; you just jump right in.

The next day, the first actual day of the convention, the participants presented their skill and their displays in three reserved rooms, upon rented demonstration tables. The rental fees for the tables went to the management of the IPMC for costs associated with this next year’s event. Each exhibitor rents a table for $165, and may add another table (or even more than another) more at $65 each additional table. The exhibition lasts all day. New exhibitors may get a $10 reduction for the table rental. Those starting out with the IPMC, but not wishing to pay for a whole table, may rent space upon an “open” table that is typically in the third of the presentation rooms; reserving a space for a single model for $10, for each displayed model. All paying displayers are put in a cue for a series of potential prizes, judged by the participants and my voting visitors. Beyond the bragging rights, some of the prizes include very nice model kits. The visitors do not pay an admission to view the works.

At the end of the Saturday, a dinner is provided, for a membership fee of $55, where participants gather to share fellowship, swap stories, and participate in a traditional auction of paper models to raise funds for the next event. The models are donated to the convention staff, by participating members, for the annual fund-raising “auction”; to earn money for next year’s event. Many of the models are quite nice. This year saw Alan Rose kits, several Peter Zorn’s kits, and even some E. M. Gillon Jr. kits. There were even some European paper models of varied subject matter. Participation in the auction requires attending the dinner. The auctioneer is renown for making the auction fun and for driving up the bids.

Some years, a Sunday gathering of old friends can take them from Burger King to the wheels of a Space Shuttle. The group can gather and head over to the National Air and Space Museum; car-pooling to cut down on the rather expensive parking fees. They are older associates and this is not an official part of the IPMC events, so any participation is of invitation only.
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Old 12-14-2023, 02:05 PM
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Participation in this Thread Broad Sketch of the Events

My plan was to provide my impressions, and the answers to the questions that I asked, through out this Thread. That is not a limitation of its potential.

If anyone reading this has observations about the kits presented, comments upon the work of the exhibitor (be nice!), or suggestions on how to solve building problems associated with a particular kit that is pictured, they are welcomed to add their thoughts. If any of the exhibitors remembers something that they didn’t say during my interview with them, or if they have additional thoughts, they are welcomed to chime in and expand upon the words committed to this forum.

As I said earlier, my goals included preserving the experience for those who attended, while permitting those who could not attend a chance to experience the 2023 IPMC. I also wished to provide a Thread full of build tips and tool suggestions.

I don’t want the Thread to be limited by these goals. Feel free to embellish the work presented here…
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Old 12-16-2023, 12:40 PM
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The Sunday Smithsonian trip really isn't by invitation only. Anybody who wants to go and help with transport fees is welcome to go. If enough people are willing to go, they might even let me steal the hotel's shuttle bus.
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Old 12-17-2023, 10:16 AM
Peter Ansoff Peter Ansoff is offline
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If a group decides to do the Sunday A&S Museum visit after future conventions, we can make an announcement about it at the Saturday morning meeting and also mention it in the published convention schedule. Just let me know a bit in advance and we'll make it happen!
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Old 12-18-2023, 06:55 PM
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Great idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ansoff View Post
If a group decides to do the Sunday A&S Museum visit after future conventions, we can make an announcement about it at the Saturday morning meeting and also mention it in the published convention schedule. Just let me know a bit in advance and we'll make it happen!


That would be a great addition to the process...
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Old 12-18-2023, 06:56 PM
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Friday; before Convention Day

I attend the evening meet-&-greet the night before, though was unable to join in the dinner due to my dietary restrictions (sniff-sniff). The buffet was held in the dining room and participants would carry their food from the heated table to the open lobby of the restaurant to sit, dine, and chat.

New participants from Texas were present, as well as old reliables, such as Don Boose. Don, as you will learn in this Thread, is always good for a joke and a bit of paper modeling mentorship.

It was a rather small affair this year, but some warm conversation between those who knew each other well, and of those who were just joining the festivities…and preparing for the next day’s events.
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Old 12-18-2023, 08:15 PM
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We also had a new participant from Washington state, Dan Smith
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