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Andrew Chan showing visitors a scale model of soldiers and military hardware in his diorama. A model of Grumann Tomcat is in the foreground. Pix by Ramdzan Masiam
A participant putting the finishing touch to a miniature high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicle built for even the most difficult terrains. Pix by Ramdzan Masiam
A model of the Northrop Black Widow, one of the finest combat planes ever produced.

GEORGE TOWN:HISTORY buffs travelled back in time to 100 years ago to revisit The Great War or the First World War (WWI), through viewing miniaturised foot soldiers and military hardware such as warplanes, armoured vehicles and warships.

Penang-based Plamo Aces Modelling Club (PMA) organised the third Penang Scale Miniature Exhibition and Competition in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of WW1 at the Straits Quay recently.

Held over two days, the event drew hundreds of scale miniature modelling enthusiasts to experience the wide variety of artistic skills and techniques needed to create more than 150 masterpieces by 45 members of the club.

Among the exhibits were combat planes such as the Grumman Tomcat F14A, the Northrop Black Widow, the McDonnell-Douglas F15 Eagle, the German Messerschmidt Bf 109, armoured vehicles, the Oshkosh M-ATV (mine resistant ambush vehicle), frigates, patrol boats and fully-armed foot soldiers in battle fatigues.

A competition for club members was also held for the first time with entries from all over the country vying for trophies and modelling kits worth up to RM500 in various categories.

The three-year-old club, which has a growing membership from as young as five-year-old to seasoned modellers, has held three exhibitions so far to encourage members to showcase their creativity and skills, and generate interest among the public.

PMA vice-president Jimmy Tan said the hobby was attracting people from all walks of life and some of the modellers had been involved in the hobby since the 60’s and 70’s.

“People, who used to build these miniature items, have come forward to join in the club’s activities and many who had stopped due to studies or work commitments, have rejoined since they have more free time to indulge in this fascinating hobby.

“The younger generation, especially students, have shown keen interest in the workshops and talks by our seasoned modellers,” said Tan.

“With members of all age groups, it is a good opportunity for the hobbyists to share with one another, their knowledge of scale modelling as an art form.

“This year, the event, the biggest so far, has attracted modellers from as far as Johor and Singapore.

“The amount of research and painstaking hours put into creating the masterpieces bear testimony to the lure of this hobby.

“Besides the WW1 replicas, there were also ships, dioramas and prototype motorcars on display.”

Mini workshops were also organised to help the younger set improve creative skills and knowledge under the guidance of seasoned modellers.

PMA president Choo Hung Ming said he hoped to see the club grow and its events recognised as a yearly highlight for modellers in the region.

“I would like to see more modellers from Malaysia gain international recognition and awards at annual competitions held overseas.

“There has been a big increase in participants and models on display since we started our club,” he said.

Participant Andrew Chan, 52, of Johore Baru, said he had no regrets driving all the way to attend the event at Straits Quay.

“I am here to not only participate but also to meet old friends and make new ones. I also love Penang food.

“It takes a lot of patience to build these miniatures and I make a lot of effort to ensure that even the most minute details are in place.

“I feel great joy when I see visitors peering into the interior of my models to take a closer look,” said Chan, an architect who displayed three large models of a warplane, complete with diorama and two ships.

Newcomer Deevan Ranikurma, 13, of Selangor, said he took up the hobby recently and had already completed a few models of warplanes and armoured vehicles.

“I was attracted to this hobby when I saw models at an exhibition and since then I have been learning the ropes to put the pieces together and improve my painting skills too.

“My parents are supportive of me taking up this hobby and I am learning more skills from the seasoned modellers,” he said.

Tan added that the club hoped to give the public a deep insight into the world of scale modelling, the richness of the art form and creativity, besides cultivating research and a deep interest in history.

For details about the club, visit Plamo Aces Scale Modelling Club/World Hobby Miniatures at 413A, 1st floor, Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, here.