Zwartkop Scale Modeler's Club Air Force Museum Pretoria

By Sarah van Rooyen

Anyone up for something new? How about something for the family? Why not pay a visit to the Zwartkop Scale Modelers club? The club which shares premises with the Air Force Museum is open to members of the public from 12pm to 3 pm every the first Saturday of each month. This coincides with the Museums open Fly days.

People of all ages who are interested in building plastic models in any scale are welcome to join. Members get together chat, share stories, buy and sell models as well as ask each other building questions. Don't fret if you have no experience! Members that have experience will be more than willing to assist new comers, give advice and suggest items that you may need to make the building and painting process easier. Families can make it a whole day outing. In the morning you can join in and watch the Museum's aircraft fly and in the afternoon you can settle down and learn from people who have been building models for years, by building your own and experimenting.

The clubs name originally was the International Plastic Modelers Society, IPMS, of Pretoria and was founded in the early 80's. At the end of May 2012, IPMS Pretoria broke away and the Zwartkop Scale Modelers was founded. New members are joining every day. The club is affiliated with The Friends of the Museum and members aid the museum in looking after museum models that are on display. There are no strict rules at the club as far as modeling criteria is concerned however all models must be plastic. The rules really come into play when competitions are entered. The club only takes part in international events if they are invited.

Modeling is an ideal hobby for children. All they need is the right model for their age group and the right equipment. Model building involves fine detailed work and can assist a child improve their motor skills. It can also open up their artistic and creative side. Concentration will also be tested in every area. If a person is struggling with something club members will be more than willing to share their knowledge. The club doesn't hold workshops but individuals will oblige provided there is sufficient interest. Club meetings are the ideal opportunity to gain knowledge and to obtain all the necessary information needed to help you to complete your project. There are two main painting techniques, hand painting and airbrushing. For those that are new to modeling hand painting is preferred as airbrushing equipment is expensive and it takes lot of time to learn the skills to produce the different colour schemes. Hand painting requires patience as well as a steady hand and although it is time consuming the outcome can be rewarding.

The Zwartkop Scale Modelers Club plans to establish a model museum at AFB Zwartkop. Donations of models and kits are welcome and the models will be cleaned and restored if necessary and stored in display cabinets for viewing by the public during Museum open days.
Modeling can be for everyone, why not pay the Club as well as the Museum a visit and admire the large collection of models on display.

Aviation Hobbies

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