NOTE: Due to limited seating for these hands on airbrush classes, you must register in advance. We are hosting a free, short class and a longer, smaller 4 hour class that requires a $50 fee. 


Airbrush 101 class (2 hrs), Tom Grossman         

Tom and his crew from Tag Team Hobbies will offer free two-hour hands-on classes on basic airbrush skills. These are limited to 12 people per class and we have three sessions scheduled. Advanced sign-up (via link on the convention website) is recommended but if we have open seats you can sign up at the convention.

Airbrush class (4 hrs), Bryant Dunbar 

Bryant will offer a class on the use of Grex airbrushes but the techniques are applicable to other brands as well. This intensive four-hour hands-on class is limited to 8 seats per class (two classes are scheduled) and therefore a $50 fee is required. Attendees will take the model home as well as other "goodies". You can sign up on line at the IPMS/USA National Convention shopping cart.

Dioramas and Detailing Products, Dekker Zimmerman

Dekker will show how to build a professional-looking diorama in one hour.
Model Photography: Great Models Deserve Great Pictures, John Ferdico 

Like a good model, a good photograph is the result of knowledge and techniques gained from years of learning and practice. This brief presentation will skip the photography lecture and instead walk through a simple and inexpensive photo setup that should greatly improve most modelers’ images. Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras and are invited to seek out the presenter at any time during the convention for further discussion and specific questions about their model photographs.

Presenting is John Ferdico, who currently teaches Photography, Digital Imaging, Design, and Art Appreciation at Hawaii Community College. His work has twice appeared on the cover of Finescale Modeler and he has won awards for both his photography and his models, though not yet for a photograph of his models.

Molding & Casting with Smooth-On, Scott Campbell                                   
Scott will discuss various silicones and their different uses; Urethane Plastics; various powders & tints; and best practices for molding & casting. He plans to cover:

  • Different Mold Making Materials.
  • Different Casting Materials.
  • Different types of molds for items.
  • Casting small pieces.
  • We plan to do a few castings.
  • Colors & Powders.
  • Question & Answer session. 

He will be bringing several types of molds/castings to the demo to showcase different techniques & materials. 

Wire Wrap Trees, Don Stewart                                                                      
Replicating pine trees for dioramas may be a challenge for some, since you are normally building kit based models; but there is an easy way to build realistic pine trees for your diorama. This seminar will show the materials and process to create these model pines. You will also get the experience of building your own tree.

3D Printing, Mike Idacavage                                                                          
Mike’s presentation will cover the basics of 3D printing technology with the focus on the different types of printers. The computer programs required to develop the files to be printed will not be covered. He will discuss how 3D printing is currently used in scale modeling along with examples of the use of 3D printing in our hobby.

Ship Modeling, Mike Ashey                                                                           
Mike will take the audience through two interesting projects.  The first one is the Trumpeter 1/350 scale Essex class carrier USS Franklin and the second on is the 1/350 scale Hobby Boss Alaska, CB-1. The presentation  will include test fitting, fixing flaws, modifying parts, basic scratchbuilding and assembly techniques. 

The General Dynamics Atlas ICBM Rocket, David Weeks                                                            
David presentation starts with a brief look at the initial protracted development and then the accelerated design and basing of the United States' first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile with some information on the differences between the Atlas D, E and F variants. It wraps up with a discussion of the building of the Horizon Model's 1/72 scale Atlas ICBM model.​

Advanced Weathering Techniques, Clem Eng                                              
Clem will talk about advanced weathering techniques. He will try to take some of the mystery out of such topics as filters, fades, washes, use of pastels, and drybrushing.

Scratchbuilding a Star Wars Y-Wing, Ro Annis                                              
Ro scratchbuilt a Star Wars Y-Wing that was featured in the Kalmbach re-release of the Sci-fi soft back that came out last year. He will reveal how it was done at this presentation.

Scratchbuilding Ships, David Straub                                                              
An expert scratch-builder, Dave will show to get started from reference photos to drawing plans to carving the hull to building the details of upper decks.

What Judges Look For, Mark Persichetti                                                       
Every year at the Nationals, the Head Judge explains what the judges are looking for in a winning model. Learn how to build your kits in a way that won’t get them eliminated on the first review.

F-105 Thunderchief, Fred Hall                                                                       
A long-time IPMS member, Fred knows his way around USAF hardware and he will share all he knows about modeling the Thud.

Mission Models Paint, Jon Tamkin                                                                
Jon is the president and owner of Mission Models and will explain the talk about their great new line of model paints. He will explain the basics about how to use it, thinning and mixing ratios, and the reason for the polyurethane additive. The paint itself is a pure acrylic. The additive makes it a solid poly, with better adhesion, and better flow.

Sailing Ship Modeling, Dave Lockhart                                                           
Dave’s talk is a follow-up to his presentation at the Columbia nationals in 2016 on “Building Plastic Sailing Ships.”  This year he will expand on that presentation to include the world of rigging sailing ships.  He will give an overview to what all these “ropes” mean and explain the true logic about rigging.  There really is method to it even though most see it as a complex mess.  He’ll then spend time showing techniques modelers can use for rigging plus some rigging suggestions for ships other than sailing vessels.

Organizing an IPMS Chapter, Dave Lockhart                                                 
Dave is IPMS/USA’s Director of Local Chapter and thus is your local club’s conduit to the national office and organization. He will discuss ways to start a chapter and to keep it healthy.

Large Scale Aircraft, Mike Rechlicz                                                         
Mike is hosting what will simply be a meet and greet for people who like to build large scale aircraft. No demo, no slides, just a fun get together for like-minded modelers.

Stash Management Software, Bill Dedig                                                       
Can’t keep track of all your kits? Bill will offer some methods and reasons for managing our unbuilt models & accessories.  It will include an introduction to software programs and Internet tools specifically for modelers. He will review of some reports and photo collections regarding completed models, models under construction and unbuilt inventories.

Cleaning Your Airbrush, Tom Grossman                                                        
Airbrush Cleaning Revealed! Cleaning your airbrush doesn't have to be hard but it sure is necessary! Learn the anatomy of fixed and floating nozzle airbrushes with an emphasis of how to clean them. Get tips on the subtleties of airbrush maintenance. Watch as a dirty airbrush is restored to working condition before your eyes with the help of the cleaning products available from Iwata-Medea and more!​

Masking with Parafilm, Tom Grossman                                                        
Discover the mysteries of Parafilm, a versatile wax based masking product. It’s good for just about every application except straight lines on smooth surfaces. Learn how Parafilm is prepped for application. See how it’s applied in a variety masking situations. Learn about its compatibility with a variety of paints. Make this masking products part of your bag of tricks by getting tips and demos from an experienced Parafilm masker!

Military History via Magazine Covers, David Straub                                     
Dave will explain how exploring contemporary magazines covers that show aviation topics provides a wonderful historical insight into the post war years before and after WWII. This presentation will cover the many types of the early magazines that were published covering aviation.  

Aircraft Modeling, Mike Ashey                                                                      
Mike will briefly discuss the three key basic skills for having a successful experience in scale modeling.  They are assembly, painting and decaling techniques and they form the triangle of success in any scale modeling subject area. He will then focus the seminar on aircraft construction/assembly techniques, starting with parts preparation, test fitting, fixing issues identified during the dry-fit phase and fixing. He will also cover filling voids, seam work and restoring panel lines and rivet detail.

Yesterday’s Future: The Models of Space:1999, Bill & Dick Engar               
Learn some history regarding the plastic model kits from Space: 1999.  Included will be discussions of "accuracy paradoxes" and tips to build them better.

3D Printing Overview, Kirk Kirkland                                                              
Kirk runs a 3d printer farm that works with large industrial models and he also has his own modeling company. Recently he has done some jobs for scale modelers who wanted to do their modifications to kits. This talk will be about post processing prints, finding print services, types of printers, and making masters. 

Oil Paint Weathering, John Bonanni                                                              
Harness the power of oil paints for scale modeling. This versatile medium can add a variety of effects to achieve realistic and artistic finishes. Join John Bonanni as he discusses oil paint brands, colors, and techniques. John will demonstrate different techniques (wash, filter, streaking, OPR) and pass around examples to create an open discussion.  

German Camouflage Schemes, John Bonanni                                               
Join John Bonanni as he discusses German camouflage scheme development and application with a focus on late war patterns. Additionally, he will walk through airbrushing these elaborate schemes and compare the latest brands of paint. Color photographs will be examined to support scheme application and color selection.

VOLKS USA, Inc., Zoukei-Mura Raffle, John Ly                                              
This manufacturer will be holding a drawing for some of their kits, and that will be held Friday at 2 pm.

Real Space Modeling, Rob Schorry and Kevin Kilkenny                                 
Rob and Kev will present techniques of scratch building and 3D printed parts for the Japanese Mars probe 'Nozomi,' as well as building a resin and photoetch kit of the 'Huygens' Titan lander.

The Story of Enterprise CV-6, Barrett Tillman                                               
Barrett is an author who will talk about the aircraft carrier Enterprise and the many types of aircraft that flew off her deck.

Gundam (Gunpla) Model Building, Clem Eng                                                
Gunpla modeling is just like any other injection molded plastic model kit, with the exception that Bandai has engineered these kits so well and you just need to thrown in a hobby knife, sand paper, and paints into the box, shake it up and out comes your completed kit.  Ok, not really, but as model builders, we so techniques across the spectrum of model building from flawlessly shiny cars to metalized aircraft to beat up and weathered armor.  Our typical build uses glue, there are seams to fix, there is lots of surface prep, airbrushes, lots of masking, water slide decals, and then it splits off to using filters/fades pastel and oil paints for weathering or the other end with ultra high gloss finishes.  There are source materials such as the films and TV series to follow or one cane be as creative as they want bashing kits from all over the place to create something completely new a la Lucas with many original Star Wars designs.  This seminar will run through the gamut of what we typically do to our kits to finish them.  Even though they are engineered and molded in color such that this appeals to the youngest potential model builder.  What better way to get a new generation of model builders with this stepping stone.  Yet we will show you what 30+ years of model building experience can do with these.

Care and Feeding for your Babies:  Display and Transport Your Models in Style, Bill & Dick Engar
Build an awesome, low-priced display case with amazing lighting.  Have plenty of money left over to buy more models. Move your models across town or across the country without damage.  Use this simple system to move your models or take them to contests.

Colors & Markings for Project's Mercury & Gemini Recovery Helicopters, David Weeks
David will have a research-driven presentation of the rational behind the ballistic and semi-ballistic water landings employed in both of the early U.S. manned space projects with an emphasis on the U.S Navy and Marines' aerial involvement. He looks at selected individual missions and the helicopter types and the markings applied.

Creating a Successful Diorama or Vignette (90), Mike McFadden & Friends 
This team of expert modelers (Lynn Rawley, Dan Tisonik and Mike McFadden) will explain what goes into creating a successful diorama or vignette. They will cover what to consider in selecting a subject and what judges look for.

Figure Painting, Randy Myers
Randy’s goal is to encourage folks to add some crewmen to those tanks and airplanes! His presentation will focus on painting a face in 54mm. He will also touch on techniques for clothing as well. He works with Humbrol enamels and will show a step by step process on a 54mm figure.

The Lost Science of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Adam Johnson

Adam is the author of two books on this film, 2001 The Lost Science, parts 1 and 2. He has worked on all the

models for Moebius '2001' line of kits and consulted with every company in the world producing toys, books,

model kits and other licensed products from the movie. His talk will be on the making of the exquisite models

seen in the film. This would include a slide show of behind-the-scenes photos. 

Syllabus as of 6/28/18

2018 IPMS National Convention seminars

Phoenix, Arizona   August 1 - August 4, 2018

Lots of GREAT topics to choose from!!

The 2018 IPMS National Convention in Phoenix will feature a full slate of seminars (free to registered attendees), covering everything from the latest techniques in model building to the history of what we build. We’ll also have free airbrush demos and hands-on classes for an additional fee.  Below is a timetable of the seminars planned.