Report: 2016 Poole Vikings Show

Our first show of 2016 took place on the 9th April, the Poole Vikings club’s annual show. This was our third year attending, and for this year, the show marked the debut of our latest display. Featuring as many Star Trek models as we can, we’re marking 50 years of this hugely popular science fiction franchise.

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Whilst our display at the weekend was somewhat unfinished, by the time our next appearance on the show circuit comes around in two weeks’ time at Milton Keynes, you can rest assured it will look even better! As well as the display however, we’ve also dispensed with our regular green club shirts, and replaced them with a uniform that befits an Enterprise’s crew!

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Clearly our efforts made an impression on those at the show, as we ended up being awarded with the Best Visiting Club Display trophy. Very nice indeed, and our gratitude goes out to everyone at Poole Vikings for inviting us, and putting on an excellent event. In addition, Martin and Sam were delighted to pick up ‘highly commended’ certificates for entries into the various competition categories!

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If you haven’t attended the show before, we highly recommend it. Always friendly, and with some outstanding models and displays on show, there’s a reason we keep coming back every year. Now we’re just waiting for 2017! See below for more photos of our stand from the event.

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Ghurk, of the Nurgle Rotbringers

Check out Richard’s latest project – the hulking Ghurk, part of the Glottkin set released by Games Workshop for its Warhammer Age of Sigmar game. Rather than the traditional sickly green Nurgle colour, Richard has instead chosen to paint the monster in white with black horns. Have a look at the base as well – pools of blood sit amongst fallen snow. Delightful! And all of the teeth on the beast’s right arm – not something you want to think about for too long…

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Our 2015 Trophy Winners!

Along with the AGM, the January club meeting is also the point at which the trophies are awarded to their new owners – temporarily at least, they’ll have to give them back next year, unless they win again! For 2015, we had new faces all around.

Rob French won the main competition trophy having collected the most points over the course of 2015. The competition is run every other month – each club member can enter up to two models and everyone gets a single vote to pick their favourite of the bunch. One vote equals one point and the member with the most points after the final competition month in December is the winner. For 2015 it was Rob, who has plenty of years left in him yet to carry on wow-ing us with his brilliant, innovative dioramas and ideas!

Club Competition Trophy Presentation Jan. 2016
The main club Competition Trophy for 2015 is presented by Sam Evins, club secretary (left) to the winner Rob French (right).

In addition, the Most Inspired Modeller Award, a trophy that recognises special effort, improvement and/or overall passion for the hobby was jointly awarded to Tony Gill and Craig Wilcock. Tony has built many kits over the years, including many cars, but his real passion is boats, and his hand made efforts are always mightily impressive. Craig’s passion is armour and he’s produced some very fine work over the course of last year and so both are deserving winners.

Most Inspired Modeller Award Presentation Jan. 2016
The Most Inspired Modeller Award for 2015 is presented by Martin Aris, club chairman (centre) jointly to Tony Gill (left) and Craig Wilcock (right).

Congratulations to all three winners from everyone at the club! All richly deserved, and now it’s time for the rest of us to try and get our own paws on those trophies this time next year. The bar has been raised!

2016 AGM Report

Our 2016 AGM was held during our monthly club meeting on 14th January. As usual, all four of the committee provided a summary of activities during 2015, and these are outlined below. With no new nominations, all four were re-elected for another twelve month term.

The recruitment side of the club received particular emphasis during the AGM and there was a debate on how the club can attract new members. In particular younger and female members are a priority. The club prides itself on being open to all and having a number of younger members with a range of interests, but this can always be improved upon. If there are no new younger members coming into the hobby in general then in a matter of decades there will be no more hobby at all. A quick scan around any model show will confirm this and therefore it is the duty of all clubs and societies within the hobby to make building model kits attractive to a younger audience. At the AGM, the club agreed that a number of actions should be taken to try and boost recruitment for the club in 2016. Chief of these is a redesign of the club’s advertising and marketing material. New information cards have been drawn up and purchased, and a series of posters will be designed and displayed at local toy/hobby shops in Banbury and will join us at shows, along with the cards. The club will make efforts to attend events outside of the regular show circuit, including Geek Con Banbury on 30th January, our regular appearance at Bloxham Steam Rally in June, and other potential events still in the pipeline. Finally, running events with clubs such as the scouts has worked well in past years and there was agreement that this should be explored as a potential option again.

The AGM also presented an opportunity to run through the list of shows the club will attend in 2016. Currently the full list runs to approximately nine or ten shows meaning one of the busiest years in the club’s existence. Whilst attention has turned to new shows more further afield in the last couple of years – Poole and IPMS Avon’s show in Thornbury for example, there’s a desire to look north and look at the possibility of attending events in the Birmingham area as it’s something the club has yet to do.

Financially, the club remains in a healthy position with a strong regular group of members attending meetings, contributing to club funds and allowing for the hire of the Parish Meeting Rooms. Subs will remain unchanged at £3 per month.

The club’s online presence steadily grew over the course of 2015. The Facebook page had reached 558 likes by the time of the AGM and continues to grow, with followers of the page from all over the world. It is one of the most popular IPMS club pages on Facebook and the intention is to build on this with a greater frequency of shared photos and news to make the page even more attractive. The website saw fewer updates, but as can be seen here, plans for a refresh were in the pipeline and have since been made a reality, allowing for better communication with coordinated posts here and on Facebook, and also a generally more impressive, professional presence. In an area that is sorely lacking regarding the hobby as a whole, the club takes its online presence very seriously and as a key way to encourage new people into the hobby.

Therefore, going into 2016, IPMS Middleton Cheney finds itself in a healthy position with new faces, new plans and new shows to attend all at the forefront of what the club will do over the year. Here’s to another fun and exciting 12 months!

You can read more on the club’s committee here. Any questions on the matters above can be submitted via the comments section below, or via email to Sam, the club secretary at sam-evins@hotmail.co.uk

Welcome to our new website!

A very warm welcome to all of the visitors of IPMS Middleton Cheney’s new website. Whether you’re a club member or just someone popping by, I hope you find what you’re looking for, and you enjoy what the club has to offer.

Our new surroundings are the result of a shift from a Moonfruit website to a WordPress one. Whilst Moonfruit gave us the flexibility to design whatever website we wanted, it’s tedious to edit and had a tiny storage amount on the free plan – just 20MB! No good for a website full of pictures of model kits! Plus their customer service left a lot to be desired…

Anyway, enough of that. We’re on WordPress now, with 3GB of storage, and even though we’re on the free plan, we can have a funky design like this one with lots of cool features. I’m a particular fan of those countdowns in the column on the left. There’s no excuse to ever miss a meeting or show again now!

We’re just one tiny corner of a vast world wide web, but in just over two years on Moonfruit our little website racked up well over 10,000 visits. There’s a counter on the left that will hopefully surpass that figure one day!

If you see any problems, or perhaps there’s an element of the site you think could work better then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and I’ll do my best to get onto it!

All the best, and happy modelling!

James – IPMS Middleton Cheney Webmaster.

We do what we like and we like what we do!