History in scales
What does an aircraft engineer, a retired police officer, a helicopter mechanic, a video game designer, a retired soldier, a serving soldier, a public servant, and a machinist all have in common? They are all scale plastic model builders, with some having won trophies at some of the largest scale model shows in Canada and are all members of the Cornwall Replica Association in Plastic.
The group meets every second Sunday of the month at the Cornwall Legion, on the second storey of the architecturally rich building. Upon entering the boardroom where they meet, one can truly witness just how much passion flows from these individuals.
Sitting around a big table, some hold miniature versions of soldiers, while others proudly showcase tanks, airplanes and helicopters. One common theme resonates with the group: the love of history.
“We just like to build,” said club spokesman Art Murray. “We also all love history.”
Glen Norris, sitting next to Murray, then raises his eyebrow, as he holds one of his creations. “This hobby has made us into amateur historians,” he admitted, smiling.
On the table is a well-detailed submarine, sitting next to a soviet era tank. Further down the table are miniature World War II-era German soldiers. They are overshadowed by a recent American tank.
Although building the model as well as painting it might seem like a daunting task, a builder must also do quite a lot of research in order to get every little detail right.
“You have to know what kind of uniform goes on whom and what kind of color goes on what,” commented Murray. “Around this table, we have guys that have ridden in some of the tanks they now build. It’s great.”
The sheer amount of armaments located all over the table could very well arm a whole army, if it was simply a tad bigger. Lying in front of Murray are soldiers, neatly and correctly painted. “It takes me around 20 hours to finish one of them,” he added.
When asked what makes a great miniature builder, the room erupts in words, coming from nearly every builder. “It takes a lot of patience, of course,” echoed Ken Clark. “If you don’t have patience, you won’t go far in the hobby.” The members then all erupt in laughter.
“You’ve got to have passion,” Norris explained. “You have to want to complete it.”