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Eastern Carolina Plastic Modelers
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Last Update: 14 Jun 2012

ECPM Display at Ft Fisher 9 June 2012
by
John Ratzenberger & John Moseley


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Eastern Carolina Plastic Modelers was very pleased to have been invited by the wonderful folks at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site in Kure Beach, NC, to put on a one-day display as part of their ongoing "Second Saturday" educational program series. The easiest way for me to explain this is to "borrow" from the invitation from John Moseley of the site, for which he gets joint billing as author of this article.

Fort Fisher was, by 1865, the largest and most important earthwork fortification in the Confederacy and kept the supplies flowing to General Robert E Lee's troops in Virginia. Two massive amphibious operations succeeded, on January 15, 1865, in capturing Fort Fisher and closing the Cape Fear River to blockade runners. The loss of the fort and the port of Wilmington sealed the fate of the Confederacy. Please see the Fort Fisher website for much more information on the history of Fort Fisher and what the it has to offer.

Every summer, we host an educational program series called “Second Saturday's” for the community and visitors from around the country. We always present living history displays that include re-enactors, military uniforms, weapons and artillery pieces to educate the public on Fort Fisher's Civil War history. This year I wanted to branch out of the normal programs and try something creative.

We are interested in hosting a day focusing on military modelers and its use as a method to educate the public on the process and fun of recreating history through a three dimensional art form. Specifically, we would like to host model displays that would have a military theme not limited to the Civil war time period. In addition, we would be having discussions on conducting research and developing the correct resources to re-create a time and/or place. We would also love to have an individual in your group, talk about painting and displaying the models, if you are interested.

Since this is the first time we have attempted something of this nature, we wanted to work with a group we thought would help make this an annual event that can grow over the years. We really want to use this program to highlight the modeler's art, gain interest in this wonderful hobby, and its role in preserving the past.


Five of us -- John Bazzle, Joe Callahan, Andy Fulcher, Jim Harriett, and John Ratzenberger -- made the trip bringing along our own models plus models from two other members -- Paul Fontenoy and Joe Gray -- for a total of 66 models.

As the weather was predicted to be good, we were outside. They provided us a nice size sutler's tent which was big enough that we could move the tables toward the center and avoid the sun coming in. We had a nice breeze off the water and so the temp under our tent was just right. We did have to "borrow" a can of 'Off' for the bugs but once applied, everything was fine.

There were two other tents -- one had hands-on Civil war soldier figure painting for kids and it was very popular. The other had a gentleman who made scratchbuilt Civil War ironclads. So they certainly achieved their modeling theme.

Although we had no formal building or painting going on, or any classes per se, there was a certain amount of travel damage to be repaired, a few little in-show oops to be fixed, and a couple of us brought something to fiddle with. We had plenty of opportunity to talk about what we did, how and why. For example, Andy Fulcher got several questions on the finish for his two vehicles and I got to chat with a young man about ways to put in clear parts without getting glue all over them.

We also had a card with each model, giving the subject, the scale, the kit manufacturer, and a couple paragraphs of history. In a few cases we also had reference books available. Many, many other questions were answered while talking about the models.

I cannot say how many people came through in the 6 hours we were there but the tent was rarely empty. A few people who came through were modelers, either former or current, and a good number were kids. We had an IPMS/USA brochure available, with a mini-flyer about ECPM -- I do not know if we'll gain any new members from this, but I know we pointed people at IPMS chapters in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Hickory, and Lynchburg; probably others.

I thought we had a really good time. The staff at Fort Fisher, to include the re-enactors and interpreters, were really, really great and anything we needed was taken care of. I think I speak for all of us when I say we'd like to do this again.

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Below are some pix of what we had on the table. Sorry these aren't the close-up contest pix, I just wanted to give an idea of what we brought along.

The first batch is our "standard" club display "North Carolina on our Minds", which, as you might suspect has models of people, things, places, etc to do with North Carolina. This is the first time we have had this outdoors and our quilt and frame needs some stiffening; Joe Callahan and Jim Harriett cobbled together some clips and bungee cords for a temporary solution.

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Shown on the NC/mind table are:
· Jim Harriett's 6-pdr "James" Cannon (1/16, Model Shipways);
· Andy Fulcher's Shad boat (the state boat) half-hull (1/24, hand-carved), USCG C-130B (1/144, Revell) from E-City, and our "ECPM van" (1/24, Hasegawa) ;
· Joe Gray's native dugout canoe (1/18, hand-carved);
· Joe Callahan's F6F-5N (1/72, Hasegawa) from Cherry Point when it did night fighter training during WW2;
· John Ratzenberger's CSS Albemarle (1/96, Cottage Industries), Park Service Kellett Autogiro (1/72, LF Models), and a USN blimp (1/330, Glencoe) from Weeksville during WW2.

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Andy Fulcher also brought:
· 1950 Ford Truck (1/24, Monogram);
· 1955 Chevy BelAire (1/25, AMT);
· Volkswagen Kubelwagen, the type 83 ambulance and the 825 cargo (all 1/35, CMK);
· GAZ AA Truck (1/35 Toko);
· Ford GPA 'Seep' (1/35 Tamiya);
· Willys M38A1 'Jeep' (1/35, Skybow);
· 3 Mack AC Bulldogs, the EHT flat bed, the TK3 tanker, and the EHC cargo (all 1/72, RPM).

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Jim Harriett was working on another Model Shipways Civil war kit and John Bazzle was, unfortunately, repairing some travel damage to his highly modified 1/25 AMT/ERTL Peterbilt 'Dream Truck'.

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Joe Callahan is not reaching for a cigar, just digging into his traveling modeling toolbox. He also brought:
· Polikarpov I-16-10 (1/72, Revell);
· Polikarpov I-153 Chaika (1/72, Heller);
· Messerschmitt Bf-108 Taifun (1/72, Heller);
· Messerschmitt Me-163B Komet (1/72, Heller);
· Messerschmitt Bf-109E-7 (1/72, Hasegawa);
· Macchi C.200 Seatta (1/72, Revell);
· Bell X-1 Skyrocket (1/72, 12 Squared).

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Paul Fontenoy sent along these models:
· Sikorsky CH-53D Sea Stallion (1/72, Airfix);
· Sikorsky HRS-1 (1/72, Italeri);
· Westland Whirlwind HC.7 (1/72, Italeri);
· Westland Wessex HU.5 (1/72, Italeri);
· Bell AH-1G Cobra (1/72, Monogram);
· Bell AH-1J SeaCobra (1/72, Italeri);
· Grumman F9F Panther (1/72, Hasegawa);
· Dassault Mirage IIICS C.70 (1/72, Revell);
· Dassault Mirage F.1AZ (1/72, Hasegawa);
· Israeli Air Industries Kfir C.2 (1/72, Hasegawa);
· Douglas AD-4 Skyraider (1/72, Hasegawa);
· Vought F4U-4B Corsair (1/72 Italeri);
· Canadair Sabre F.4 (1/72, Hobbycraft);
· British Aerospace Harrier GR.7 (1/72, Hasegawa);
· British Aerospace Typhoon F.2 (1/72, Revell(Ger)).

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And John Ratzenberger also brought along:
· 1891 Panhard (1/32, Europe Models);
· 1930 4.5 Litre Bentley (1/32, Airfix);
· HMS Campbeltown (1/400, Mirage Hobby);
· USS Ward DD-139 (1/700, Midship Models);
· Bristol Superfreighter (1/72, Airfix + FROG Spin-A-Prop motors);
· Hughes H-4 'Spruce Goose' (1/200, Minicraft);
· Boeing 314 Clipper (1/144, Airfix);
· Humber Scout Car (1/35, Bronco + Eduard);
· 3 Rolls Royce Armoured Cars (1/35, JMGT, Jordi Rubio, Roden);
· Barnes Wallis "Swallow" (1/144, Fantastic Plastic);
· Supermarine Walrus (1/48, Classic Airframes);
· M-4 High Speed Tractor (1/35, Hobby Boss + Eduard);
· 155mm Gun 'Long Tom' (1/35, AFV Club + Eduard);
· Sopwith Pup RNAS (1/32, Wingnut Wings);
· B.P. Defiant Target Tug (1/48, Classic Airframes);
· Handley Page HP.42 (1/144, Airfix);
· Fokker E.III 'Eindekker' (1/72, Revell(GB));
· 3 Westland Lysanders (1/48, Gavia; 1/72, Matchbox, Pavla);
· Fairey Swordfish (1/48, Tamiya);
· Avro Anson Mk.I (1/48, Classic Airframes); and
· HMS Iron Duke (1/600, Airfix) to work on.

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