History in Miniature: 35th Plastic Model Exhibition and Competition This Weekend – American Press
In Robert Leishman, the man cave is in fact considered a “model” cave.
“I started building models when I was a kid, I kind of got away from it, but when my youngest son started getting into it, I got back into it,” Leishman said. “He was around 10 or 11 at the time and we linked up with a local club here and have been doing that ever since.”
Now president of the Southwest Area Modelers of Plastic, Leishman keeps a room in his home dedicated to his beloved designs.
“It’s a small room, but I have about 50 models in there,” Leishman said.
Leishman said a replica of a modern L-CAT – the amphibious landing craft used by the military for coastal operations – was his most complex build yet, taking nearly 40 to 50 hours.
He likes to spend his time these days working on sci-fi replicas of the “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” series.
Lester Robertson, club secretary, said model building was a popular pastime for young men in the 1950s and 1960s.
“We didn’t have computer games and things like that, so it was something a lot of my friends enjoyed,” Robertson said. “It also coincided with my fascination with history and the two grew together.”
Robertson said building models can take a lot of trial and error upfront.
“I learned a lot from my mistakes, but I also learned a lot from the good results.”
Robertson said he would encourage those just starting out to choose a fairly simple kit, follow the instructions, have fun and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“And don’t forget YouTube,” he said. “They have lots of videos to show you how to do it.”
Leishman said the club is holding its 35th plastic model show and competition this weekend with around 400 to 500 models on display.
“We like to call our show history in miniature,” Robertson said.
The free event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the West-Cal Arena and Events Center, 401 Arena Road in Sulfur.
“If you have a model you’re looking for, this is a great place to come and find it,” Leishman said.
This year’s theme is based on the Rolling Stones song “Paint It Black”.
“We require each model displayed to be painted primarily black,” Robertson said. “It could be a black Corvette or a knight in black armor or a WWII night fighter, anything black.”
Robertson said more information about the club will also be available at the show.