Images by Dennis Tennant >> Hampton Roads Scale Modelers (HRSM) Outreach: Make & Take with the Scouts
On March 3rd, Saturday at the 'hobby shop' took on a different twist. Local Cub Scout leader Christine Sullivan had asked a friend about model building and learned of the IPMS Make & Take program. She then contacted HRSM member Clint Mills to make arrangements to organize an event for her scouts. He called upon Robert Beach to coordinate the event as part of the Chapter's 'outreach' mission to introduce modeling to more folks.
With support of the local Hobbytown, USA store manager Sean Clark, who provided a date to use the store's activity room, a pile of supplies from prior Make & Take events and the help of club members, three sessions were planned: two one-hour sessions in the morning and one two-hour session in the afternoon. Club members including Clint, John Allen, Brian Starkes, Dennis Tennant, Ed Rose and Gary Telecsan were on hand to provide expert advice to the boys and their parents as they worked through the model build.
The morning sessions introduced basic concepts such as using 'nippers' and sanding sticks, following instructions and applying 'stickers' to construct a simple snap-fit car model. The kits used were from Revell for 1:32 scale Corvette and GTO subjects, depending on the boys' selection. Even some 'gluing' was done to improve the security of some parts known to come loose. All participants, scouts and parents alike, appeared to enjoy their model building experience and several returned for the more 'advanced' afternoon session.
The PM session built on the morning's work by further introducing basic gluing, painting and 'water slide' decaling skills to construct the well known 1:48 "Roswell UFO" (the 'manta', not the 'saucer') kit from Testors. Solvent liquid Tamiya cement and CA glue was used to illustrate how to apply controlled amounts of 'glue' and how to clamp parts to allow them cure properly. Basic proper use of model paints was introduced using Badger Acrylic paints (which needed the full stir & shake) so the 'little green men' crew could be colored per the builders' specifications (usually blue, red and even some green!) Lastly, a few of the decals were applied to the clear 'roof' component to introduce the process of wetting and setting a decal before slipping it into position. Then each scout (including a trio of Girl Scouts who appeared from selling cookies and jumped into the event...) packed everything up in a Ziploc bag to take home for later completion.
After every session, each participant was able to pick another model kit (or kits) to 'take' home from a selection of Accurate Miniature 1:100 pre-painted aircraft and various simple Glencoe 'carded' kits. These offered a chance to practice what was learned and required some glue to assemble, furthering their skills. The afternoon kids additionally received a copy of the Moebius "Voyager" submarine kit, which resembles the UFO kit in many ways and so provides a familiar canvas for their new skills.
All in all, an excellent time was had by all participants - even the 'volunteers' who had never done a Make & Take before discovered the 'fun' of building a model with a youngster. Parents were supportive and the Scouts were attentive and even helpful with the set up and clean up. There was interest for any future events so contact information was collected to provide appropriate notification. Certainly, a successful Make & Take. Thanks to all who made it possible and to the Scouts who made it worthwhile. - Robert Beach 11 March 2012