Sunday, March 12, 2017


BPMS MEMBER INTERVIEWS: Frank continues the interview column. This month we have long-time member and Membership Director Russ Holcomb.  

BPMS Interview -- Russ Holcomb

Russ Holcomb retired from a 40-year career in civil engineering with a sizeable stash of model kits. He explained, “I figured, ‘I’ll build when I’m retired,’ Now that I’ve retired, I see how big a job I’ve given myself.” Scale modeling and engineering have always gone hand-in-hand for the Brooklyn native. “I was in construction management for a while and also did design work. I don’t know if engineering helped my modeling or if modeling helped my engineering in terms of visualizing plans and how things went together. It was complementary.”

Russ grew up near Marine Park and first took notice of plastic modeling when his older brother Jack assembled the Lindberg Space Station. When he was seven or eight, Russ made his own first project, Precision Hobby Kit's U.S. Navy Frogman. “I wasn’t hampered by references, so I painted it very quickly.” Kits were plentiful when his parents introduced him to Thrift Town on Nostrand Avenue. “When I figured out where it was and I could get there on my own, that was a big deal.”

Russ’ modeling interests centered on armor, and as a teenager he learned of a new Brooklyn model club from Walt’s Hobbies in Bay Ridge. “They were offering discounts if you were a club member, so I went to some of the meetings at the Clotheshorse on Kings Highway,” he recalled. “It didn’t click for me then, but I kept building.” Years later, a Brooklyn Plastic Modelers Society display at Floyd Bennet Field led Russ to a long-lasting membership including two terms as BPMS president.

Russ builds in his basement work area. “You don’t have windows to see if it’s raining or sunny, but it’s out of the way and you can come back later and pick up where you left off.” His wife Jeanne suggested rolling carts for kit storage. “Aircraft are here. Ships are here. Armor is here and here, and here and here. . .”

One of Russ’ favorite kits to build in the last five years was Tamiya’s Char B1-bis tank. “That one stands out in my mind as well-engineered. Everything just sort of clicked into place.” He is cautiously optimistic about the future of the hobby. “The positive side is that kids are building Legos and things like that. I think that kids who are interested in putting things together would build models if they were aware models were out there.  The negative side is models are just so expensive now, and many are so complicated, they don’t lend themselves to younger builders.

“There was a satisfaction you got as a kid when you could build something in an evening. You put decals on it and you were happy. You get older, and you say ‘I can improve this and improve that.’ You slow yourself down and lose some of the joy you used to have when you built something for the fun of building it. “

~Frank Colucci

Friday, March 10, 2017

BULLETIN: March 2017

BPMS Bulletin

by Bobby B2 Blue Pokorny

This year has been moving along nicely. The  February meeting had 25 members and no guests who brought in 30 models for display, and plenty up for sale.

February Meeting

Contest NIGHT: This was the first quarter of the BPMS Annual contest. We had an impressive display of talent on the tables. We’d love to see even more for the second quarter!

SHOW US YOUR TOOL: This vulgar sounding activity is more of a simple BPMS tradition. Once a year we ask members to come to the meeting prepared with a tool or method they like to use to make their model building life easier. We had a hand full of members who shared some good ideas with the group. 

2017 Model Pledge: Looks like we got this working nicely now! Bring in an unbuilt model between January and APRIL 2017 to declare as your pledge model. Please have it finished for OCTOBER 2017, for a display. After October you may bring back your pledge for the November meeting for the last contest of the year. For your efforts you get an additional FIVE Super Raffle tickets for completing your pledge! Sweet! Easy enough! We already have about one third of the active members signed up. Won’t you join the fun?

MAY MEETING CONFLICT: There will be an issue with our meeting place in May. We can have the BBSC any night EXCEPT our usual night. The group selected MAY 12. You might want to mark it on your calendar now!

JUNE THEME: It’s been settled, Vinny Rosati and your humble narrator chose to sponsor a STAR WARS theme contest. More details HERE.  

raffle: We had another raffle with a remarkable assortment of prizes. The club is always looking for donations for these activities.

On the agenda: MARCH

DECAL SWAP NIGHT: Bring in decals to swap or sell. You may want to bring some money just in case. You never know if that sheet that you always wanted might show up!

FAVORITE MODEL: We all have a favorite model. Over the years it might change, or remain the same. We are asking you to bring your favorite model, built or unbuilt, and be prepared to tell the group why it’s your favorite.  

PHOTO ROSTER: It looks like Russ and Gordon are going to take a crack at this. Gordon will start taking pics of members at the next meeting, so you might want to comb your hair that day! 

Meeting Date:
March 17, 2017