Things to be Thankful for

Welcome folks,

For those of you looking for more juicy, click bait-y hot takes on all the drama in the IPMS nationals and the continuing mess of the aftermath… I’d point you to a podcast I do with some east coast friends, you can find the latest episode here:

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, one that I only adopted after moving to my new homeland about 10 years ago. Every year, I take some time to review the last year and write a blog post to highlight the a few of the many things I have to be thankful for. You can view some of my past posts on my personal blog:

This year though, I thought I would co-opt this site and write a Scale Modelling and miniature painting focused blog! (None of that banal I’m grateful for my health and my family nonsense… although of course I am deeply thankful for those things and more.)

Firstly I think it’s important to highlight that we are in a golden time in this hobby of ours. Kits are better than ever before, more subjects, higher detail, better quality, easier assembly and although prices are going up in a lot of cases – they are, I think, worth the price point. Dropping $120 on a kit, and another $80 on all the bells and whistles (and let’s face it – a lot of the kits these days either come with all the bells and whistles or are so good, they don’t even really need them). That $200 will likely last you a few months of work… Throw in another $100 for paints, glues, etc etc… you’re looking at maybe $100/month to keep your hobby going… Try telling a wargamer or a boardgamer that’s what your hobby costs you. Recently I got sucked into a great little collectible card game called Disney: Lorcana, it has been blighted by supply issues and street prices are often 3x msrp. I’ve been very fortunate and been able to get almost everything at msrp but even that is ~$1000 for a full playset… and a new playset drops every 3 months… so all things considered, it’s an affordable hobby.

I am fortunate that IPMS Santa Rosa has been able to attract many newer, younger hobbyists over the last few years. Folks that have no interest in AAA, that have come into the hobby either through Warhammer or, increasingly, through Gundam. This is, undoubtedly the future of the scale modelling from what I can see. Gen Z likely has never even met a person that served in WW1 or WW2. Vietnam ended almost 50 years ago. Modern aircraft are neither as sexy as the classics, nor are they romanticized to the same extent (not even Top Gun seems to really swing it). The time of those models holding mainstream appeal is over. So what is there to be thankful for here? For myself, I have discovered a whole new range of exquisitely designed figures, that don’t need glue, don’t need painting, assemble to a push fit and you can even pose like action figures! Not just that but there are some excellent shows out there featuring all these models! Do I love the Gundam aesthetic? Not really… but I kinda love some of the bad guys and I really enjoy the zen of assembling these models. And if you want to paint them, want to glue them, want to make a diorama, they work for all of those things!

This year we had our first club show since before the pandemic. From everything I’ve heard, it was generally well received and I am massively thankful to everyone that worked to make the show happen. Obviously everyone in the club that helped plan, source trophies, set up, tear down, print fliers, get vendors. Also to Steve and Fundemonium for hosting. It was great to have the club back involved in the show circuit.

All in all, my first year as president of IPMS Santa Rosa has been a fantastic one with good friends, good stories and many great models.