The Eddie Rickenbacker Chapter of the International Plastic Modeler’s Society started in Columbus, Ohio in 1961 — this pre-dates the formal IPMS organization.The group started because a bunch of modelers got together at the home of Len and Marlene Dotson. The OG included Ron Neno, Ken Cramer, Bob Hoover, Monty Newhart, Bob Lenander, Joe Martin, Bill Eddy, Don Speed, John Tilley, John McKirgen, and later Tim Redifer. We formally joined IPMS USA in 1965, the year after their founding — and we continue to be a proud chapter.
That same year, the few people in the club (approximately 10) held the IPMS National Convention at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The club continued to thrive, with our local show being held at The White House Bank Building on N. High Street in Worthington, Ohio. By 1981, our show had grown large enough that we needed a bigger location. Fortunately, we had Ron Bell working at Capital University, so we hosted the show at his workplace for a good, long run of 24 years.
MEETINGS & NEWSLETTER
Ron also started The Fly-By newsletter to facilitate communication among club officers. From there, it grew into a monthly publication for all of our members, and is now sent by email as a perk of membership.
We’ve met at locations all around Central Ohio, including OSU Airport hangars, the party house at Bexley Village, the YMCA on Karl Road and Hilliard Community Center, before settling into a semi-permanent location of the basement of the old COSI (Center of Science and Industry) building. It was at this location where we held our first local show in February 1973.
The club continued to thrive and held a second National Convention in 1997 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus, and a third one in 2009. After the 1997 Convention, the club donated all the raffle proceeds to The American Leukemia Society in remembrance of the son of one of our members. The club also donated $3,000 to the Air Force Museum to thank them for their assistance with the open cockpit night and the Robin Olds presentation. We’ve also hosted Region 4 conventions, most recently in 2004.
OUR ANNUAL SHOW
Because of a fierce blizzard one year that nearly forced the cancellation of our show, we renamed it BlizzCon. With the exception of missing 2021 due to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, BlizzCon has been going strong for almost 50 years.
In addition to our regular club meetings, we hold several annual events, including Build-a-Thon, a member picnic, and three auctions.
Here’re the names of a few of our recent club presidents: