Modeling Clubs World Wide, How do you meet during COVID?

I’m a member of SWAMPS, Southern Wisconsin Armor Modeling Preservation Society. Recently we’ve started talking about 2021, what kit for our GB and more importantly where & how to meet.
Our meeting place in the community room at a bank has been closed to us. We MIGHT have another spot to meet in 2021. Somebody suggested a virtual, online club. Right now it’s just a flurry of Emails and periods of nothing with us.
SO, how do other clubs through out the world do meetings?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and ideas and responses !

Tom - her in Austin we meet weekly via Zoom - unfortunately I haven’t been able to attend due to work.

It seems to work pretty well but I for one can’t wait until we can meet in person again.

David

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Hi Tom! I head up Northeast Military Modelers Association, an AMPS Chapter here in Connecticut. In normal times we meet monthly at member’s homes on a rotating basis, and have 4 build days a year at one member’s home. Since March, we have been meeting monthly via Zoom. It’s really great to see everybody; we socialize and do “show and tell” on our latest WIP. We realize that it may be June before everybody gets the vaccine and we get back to in person group meetings, so for now Zoom is pretty cool.

I’m a member of the Plastic Modellers Club Kurpfalz in the southwest of Germany. Usually we meet monthly at a museum in Mannheim. From March to July we couldn’t meet there, the museum was closed. In August, September and October we had meetings there, now the museum is closed again due to the partial lockdown here. Our next meeting would be next weekend. Maybe we can organize something. I stay in contact via e-mail with the others.

IPMS ES has a club forum for years that members only sorta use, plus Facebook to share work. We have two meetings a month, one at the American Legion and another build session at the local hobby shop. Our numbers are usual under 10 so not an issue.

Our AMPS meets another hobby shop, we are only about 5 people after hours so not hard to meet guidelines.

Our local AMPS and IPMS chapters both have FB pages and both conduct monthly Zoom meetings. Both of our FB pages are quite active with lots of members posting up photos of in-progress or completed works.

Because we have so many members who are in both clubs (to include several of the officers in each), we have combined to pay for a joint Zoom account that allows us to hold basically an unlimited number of meetings of unlimited duration each month.

We’ve also opened up both monthly meetings to everyone in both clubs while also opening up the Show & Tell portions of both meetings to all model subjects and genres.

We have also instituted informal, outdoor monthly modelers “gaggles.” These gatherings are conducted outdoors, under popup tailgating type awnings. We set up tables, space some chairs around them, and participants use their own judgement on masks, social distancing, hand washing, etc. We provide hand-sanitizer and have an IR thermometer to take temps when folks arrive.

Because participation in these outdoor gatherings is totally up to each person’s own judgement, and because we have a large number of regular members who consider themselves in “high risk” categories and who choose not to attend, we do not conduct any formal club business at these. All formal club business is conducted at our Zoom meetings and is usually preceded by fairly robust email discussions that boil down any issues that need voting on to a final question. That way we can quickly summarize the points and call for the vote during a Zoom session without long, drawn out discussions.

For any group considering using Zoom, I would highly recommend that you coach your members in how to take photos, upload them to their computers, and then use the Zoom share feature. This makes the Show & Tell portion of the meeting much more enjoyable.

Some great responses here. Thanks!!!
SdAufKla, some really good stuff in your post. Darned shame Winter is near. We’ve some awesome Biergartens in Milwaukee. It would of been great for gatherings ala your “gaggles”. And a simple investment in a IR thermometer, perfect !
The Zoom idea, we’ve also have an aircraft club, The Bong Chapter, Richard Bong that is. WWII Ace with 38 kills(?) from Wisconsin. A joint account is what’s needed and education on how to use it for us old farts with limited computer skills (me included)to make it work.
Blackwidow & Tank, great ideas for venues to meet at. We do have a nice Veterans’ Museum and numerous VFW & American Legion Posts to check out.
Please keep the suggestions coming and thanks to those who shared!

We have faired much better in Australia than most other countries. The benefits of the ‘moat’ around us. We would have faired better if the initial handling of overseas visitors and quarantine had been enforced initially. Never the less, we still have restrictions.

We have a Facebook group and were able to keep in touch and some of us posted in progress stuff there, however we have mostly hibernated.

My club meets at a Community Centre in South East Queensland, one that we have hired for many years. Initially we cancelled 2 monthly meetings due to lock down, then were allowed 20 people with Social Distancing for a month, then lock down again. We have been able to have 20 then 30 people again in the last few months. Social Distancing still applies.

When we could finally meet after first lockdown, we had a Covid 19 Build - a ‘People’s Choice’ comp where you entered what you built during Covid lockdown, which I was fortunate enough to win with my Bronco A9!

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One our members is a member there so that helps. Plus one of our club projects is to build kits as a club for vets to talk to our group. It’s nice win win for people. We built them their 5t truck.

So just getting into 1/35 armor this year I’d actually be interested in meeting some other modeler’s especially for something like a build night. I’d love to be able to see how others do things. How do I go about finding a local modeling group? The nearest serious modeling shop is over an hour away from me. I’m in the nw suburbs of chicago.

IPMS

AMPS

HTH

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Phil,
AMPS Chicagoland is a large Chapter of very friendly and active guys. Go here http://www.amps-chicago.org/ and get in touch with Pat Keenan. Tell him I sent you. (I head up a Northeast AMPS Chapter). They have meetings, build days, and an annual AMPS Regional show. Have fun!

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Thanks Matt for giving Phil a link to the Chicago AMPS Chapter. Had a brain fart on that and was going to recommend Butch O’Hare chapter in hopes they could help. They have a great Fall show every year.
BTW, that Sherman I traded for with you is 90% done. I just have to teach myself how to solder to finish up on the front fenders. Enjoyable Kit and thanks again!

Hi Tom, I never met an AMPS member who didn’t have a hell of a lot of fun. I know the Chicagoland guys are a hoot. I’m glad you’re doing that Sherman and having fun with it! That was a great trade. I hope we can swap again in the future!

Here in the Seattle area the answer is Zoom.
I’m not exactly sure what the Seattle IPMS does, but there are several informal groups of modelers that include a large number of Seattle IPMSers around here that do have monthly or weekly Zoom sessions. One group has a regularly scheduled build session that lasts from 2-9 one afternoon / evening each week. Folks come and go as their schedules permit and build and talk on camera. I think it’s actually improved the quantity of my output (12 this year) is not the quality.

Petbat, thanks for your input about how things work “down under” . That’s quite a club with 30+ members at a meeting, good for you guys !
I really like the A9 in it’s Caunter scheme, nice not over the top weathering coupled with a simple but effective base. A well deserved trophy! And the trophy deserves a trophy for originality !

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Mark, It’s beginning to look like Zoom is the way to go for us. I hope somebody in the club is computer savvy enough to set up an account and train us how to use it. WOW, a 7 hour group build session, EXCELLENT!!