Brianna Childres was awarded the 2014 Member of the Year award. Brianna has been involved in many behind-the-scene activities that are supportive of the club. As the Contest Coordinator she coordinated the Contest Committee and keeps contest preparation going along a timeline, developed the on-line registration system, scouted out new venues, and ordered medals as well as kept track of a large number of other details related to the contest. As the Web page designer and social media coordinator she designed and keeps running the club website and facebook. On the E-Board she is prone to stretching the role of the club in the community and is supportive of young modelers, young adults, and cancer awareness as well as keeping the CASM name in the presence of social media. For every club meeting she operates the live streaming of the club meetings and communicates with participants on the web. Brianna has been a source of information to other clubs and contest coordinators on how to use social media and how set up streamlined contests. Brianna has prepared presentations for the different IPMS awards that are presented each year which resulted in CASM achieving honors as Region 6 Chapter of the Year three times and IPMS Chapter of the Year.
Having in mind recently a Second World War diorama that would feature as a secondary vehicle a knocked-out German halftrack, I started looking for a kit. I purchased a Dragon SdKfz 251/1 Ausf C (basic personnel carrier, model “C”) and examined the sprues and instructions.
As usual, the Dragon halftrack kit was highly detailed, with many parts and features. Assembly would be complex and involve many steps. I had already spent a lot of time accurizing the vehicle )a Sherman tank) that would be in the forefront of my scene; immediately, I asked myself. “Do I really want to tackle something this elaborate?”
I searched my overgrown stash of models and located a Tamiya kit of a 251/1 D. The “D” model halftrack was designed by the Germans with a simplified body in order to allow for increased production; upon opening the box, I found the Tamiya offering to be relatively simple as well. The parts count was much lower than that of the Dragon kit, the detail looked good, and from an examination of the instructions it appeared that assembly would be easier. From the way components were to fit together, I could foresee difficulties with the Dragon model that were not apparent with the Tamiya kit.
Tamiya is rightly famous for the excellent fit of its kit parts, and assembly of this Tamiya halftrack was straightforward and largely trouble-free. A few additions were needed to fill out a rather sparse interior, and the rubber-band tracks could be better—the Dragon kit would have involved using their multi-part “Magic” tracks— but the thing built into a nice model.
Dragon has blessed us with a large number of highly detailed kits, but in a case where a modeler wants a simpler, easy-to-build model that will still look good, Tamiya can be a better choice. In this instance, it was the right choice for me.
It's about that time again!
Central Arkansas Scale Modelers are hosting their 14th Annual Sproo-Doo Model Show on September 27th in Little Rock, AR. The show committee is very excited about this year's show and is inviting everyone to come out to join in the fun. The show is open the the public. Entry fees are listed below.
Adult - $10 for one (1) and $2 for each additional model
Juniors (13-18) - $4 for one (1) and $1 for each additional model
Kids (12 and under) - Free for the first one and $1 for each additional model
IPMS Members get a discount!
See you at the show!
The upcoming September 13th meeting will mark my last meeting as club secretary. Over the past two years, I have been proud to serve in this position and have enjoyed working with club members and the rest of the Executive Board to help accomplish CASM’s many goals. Being the secretary requires a lot of time outside of meetings to keep the club records, and the majority of that time is spent working on meeting minutes. While some may feel this is a thankless job, the minutes are a vital and important aspect of what our club is all about.
Meeting minutes for any organization are usually a very dry read that detail the business aspects of meetings. Some might argue that they are bureaucratic minutia that do not really matter in the grand scheme of things. Is it really necessary to have more than a few notes to remind us of what we did last month to conduct CASM business?
Prior to 2010, there were little, if any, CASM records of this sort kept. As Rick Knapp once told me, it was very “informal” in those days. To be completely fair, I was not around then, perhaps there are some records somewhere that have been forgotten. If so, I’d love to see them unearthed. Without these, there are many gaps in our history. An example of this can be seen on our website, where the story of CASM’s creation is told. It says, “Bob Patton, Ron Leker, Ed Swaim and one other initial member first met.” Who was this unnamed member? Even those who were at that first meeting aren’t quite sure. It seems a shame that we can’t put a name to this modeler that helped found our club!
In October of 2010, Tom Brown was elected to the office of secretary, and he went about the task of creating and codifying the meeting minutes. This was no small task, but as it evolved, Tom gave us a template for organizing information. When he handed the job over to me, he had already done all of the heavy lifting, and all I had to do was follow his format. After doing the job for two years, I will tell you that Tom does not get enough credit for his efforts in taking the secretary position to a new level.
When I assumed the position of secretary in 2012, I began thoroughly reading Tom’s minutes. As I read the minutes from early 2011, I found detailed accounts of the passing of Jimmy Lockette and Gary Johnson. I never had the honor of meeting either of these gentlemen, but I was struck by the small memorial to them Tom had included in the club minutes. Where else could you find a record of their involvement with CASM? At that moment, the minutes were no longer bureaucratic minutia, but a piece of club history.
I was fortunate enough to not have to report the passing of a CASM member, a fact for which I am thankful. I did have to report a few medical struggles of members, such as Noel Lawson, Sam Macheak, and Dave Branson. I also included the many efforts of Daris Long to find justice for his son. That these members would still make time for CASM indicates not only their dedication to the club, but the club’s dedication to them.
Also included in these minutes are the triumphs of our club. Over the past few years, CASM has received recognition from IPMS with multiple Regional Chapter of the Year awards, and one National Chapter of the Year award. If anyone wanted to know what CASM did to win these accolades, look no further than the minutes! It’s all there: the seminars, the public displays, the HobbyTown move, the growth in membership, and the successful Sproo-Doo’s. You’ll also find Rusty Nail’s work as a Grex Airbrush representative, Cliff Bullock’s tireless efforts to find sponsors and raffle donations, and the many show reports from members such as Ken Childres, Lloyd King, Bob Hiatt, Ron Leker, and Matt Bond indicate our commitment and support of our fellow clubs while representing our own.
CASM minutes are much more than just scratches in a random notebook. They are our history and a reflection of the club. They are a tribute to the contributions, dedication, and, in some cases, the memory of our members. They document our successes and our failures so that we can learn from both. As I prepare to turn over the secretary duties to Matt Bond, I feel certain that the minutes will be in good hands, and the tradition Tom started will continue. (He’ll also do a better job of spelling the names of your military models!) As a new Executive Board takes over, let’s always remember that keeping the minutes may be a thankless job, but it is an important part of CASM’s success.