‘I'm sure a lot of people can remember building models as kids'
By Lyle Carter
The Central Nova Scotia Modelers can't wait for this weekend when they host a scale model show and competition at the Truro Mall.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. near the Zellers end of the mall.
"We're anticipating a good turnout," said Barry Maddin, the chairman and chief judge for the competition. "There will be a wide variety of models on display."
The models are miniature replicas of real or imagined items such as space ships, automobiles, air craft, military vehicles and ships.
"There will be demonstrations of modelling techniques during the day and we'll have 10 members from our club involved with hosting the show," added Maddin, a 58-year-old resident of Salmon River who has been making models for more than 50 years.
Club members will be only too glad to answer any questions visitors might have, noted Maddin.
In addition, there is no admittance fee and there will be a junior category for modellers up to age 16.
"All the scales will be included and junior participants will receive gold, silver and bronze awards just the same as adult modellers," said Maddin.
Saturday's show is expected to draw people from as far away as Halifax and Moncton.
"We've done a fair amount of advertising," Maddin said. "We're hopeful that we'll have 50 competitors and with the event being open to the public this number could be higher. It's a good opportunity for the public to view the models in the competition and on display."
Jim Small of Lower Onslow, Jason Sloboda of Bible Hill and Serge Verville of Truro assisted Maddin in forming the local club 17 months ago.
"Modelling is probably less popular with young people then when I was a boy," Small said. "I remember as a kid being able to go to a corner store or department store and pick up kits or supplies for modelling.
"Now, they are primarily found in hobby shops or online stores."
While growing up in Montreal, Small said two things sparked his interest in model building.
"My father had built some models and he let me play with them," he said. "As I got older I realized that models and miniatures were used to create spectacular special effects in movies and television."
Small's interest in models played a part in his choice of careers.
"Today, I build models for a living," he said. "I'm considered a professional model maker."
With his own website, Small accepts orders from across Canada and stateside.
In 1999, he was one of the model makers involved with creating the miniature special effects in the movie Battlefield Earth starring John Travolta.
Sloboda has had an interest in models since he was seven.
"After a few decades away from the hobby, during the last seven or eight years I became involved again," he said. "I find that improving on my last build, or skills, to be very satisfying.
"I can toil for hours and hours scratch building bits of details verses buying after market accessories. This is my driving factor. This is what I enjoy."
Sloboda is very interested in helping promote model building.
"I'm sure a lot of people can remember building models as kids. I feel that with more exposure, more young people will be introduced to this hobby."
Maddin, who enjoyed a 37-year military career, and Sloboda tend to focus on building models of military vehicles. Small enjoys focusing on science fiction subjects.
"My favourite thing is building accurate replicas of studio miniatures which were used in filming special effects scenes in movies," Small explained.
The Central Nova Scotia Modellers has 10 members and meet once a month.
"We hold our meetings at Sobeys community room at Fundy Trail Mall (in Lower Truro)," Maddin said. "Each member is willing to demonstrate skills and teach different modeling techniques. We welcome newcomers regardless of their skill level."
Lyle Carter's column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.