Change Propels us Forward - A message from Jill Kenik
The Future is... Tours! - What are you going to see in Seattle?
Vendor Spotlight: Micro-Mark - Your online source for tools and model building supplies
As Sharp as... New Blades - UK's APMM Member students shine
APMM Development Committee - Great professional growth opportunity
Board Member Profile: Paul Chabala - Treasurer has wealth of experience
APMM Bylaws - Guiding principles to be updated
Workshops Take Shape - Topics for Seattle 2020


President's Letter

"Change propels us forward." 

submitted by Jill Kenik, APMM PRESIDENT 

We are well in to November, (or early December, I blame the weather - ed.) and here in the Mid-West the change of seasons came quickly. A warm sunny 72 degree Sunday afternoon became a Monday with a high temperature of 13 degrees complete with ice and snow. I hate that sort of change!

Change is an unavoidable part of life. At times planned, at times the mark of unexpected opportunities, change propels us forward, presenting challenges and opportunities. I remember the first CAD/CAM system that I saw, more than 30 years ago, and my reaction, which was that I could make the part 4 times faster by hand and produce cleaner results! My stubborn attitude has become a laughable memory, considering my one-person shop is filled with computers, 3D printers, a laser, several CNC milling machines and many of my trusty hand tools need to be dusted off before I use them. It just took me a few years to embrace the change!

Your APMM Board is constantly discussing and implementing changes within our organization. In this edition of my President’s Letter, I want to discuss several changes that will help the APMM continue to both strengthen our community and serve our members.

APMM Development Committee
In the previous edition of The Last Detail, I encouraged members to consider positions on the APMM Board of Directors. Members shared concerns of both time and lack of experiences in leadership positions as the primary reasons for hesitation in stepping forward to lead. In response, we have developed a new committee that will allow you to test out an APMM leadership position, or just help our Board of Directors occasionally and gain quality experience without committing to a 2-year term with the Board of Directors.

The APMM needs model makers willing to speak up, share ideas and participate in building the direction of the organization. If you have a little time to help, or would like to explore a position without long-term commitment, please consider a position on the APMM Development Committee. Check out the newsletter article for more details!

Full Day Classes at the Conference
In Seattle, in addition to our usual Saturday and Sunday workshop sessions, APMM is offering two full-day learning experiences to compliment the usual Monday tours. Seattle’s own Robert McNeel & Associates is offering APMM Conference attendees a day of advanced training and an opportunity to meet with the Rhino development team for experienced Rhino users. This is a wonderful way to work directly with McNeel, learn some new techniques and possibly influence future versions of the Rhino software.

Long-time APMM member Chris Stanley will be teaching a class on programming Arduino. Chris plans to challenge our members by guiding participants through the construction of an Arduino obstacle course. Bracing for future changes at Acropolis Studios, I will be there learning something completely new for me as a model maker!

Bylaws Revision Proposal
From time to time, all organizations must revisit, reconsider and update their guiding framework. The APMM Board of Directors has been working for the past several months to update our Constitution and Bylaws. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will find the Board’s recommendations for the changes.

Several of the changes simply reflect the way the Association has been incrementally adjusting operations over the years, such as renaming the E-Newsletter and formalizing the position of Vice President of Social Media, while other recommendations embrace the changing ways of our business, technology and our industry, like adding Maker Space Memberships, and removing the antiquated position of “Webmaster.” A membership-wide vote on the revised Bylaws will take place before the end of 2019. Take the time to read our suggestions and plan to vote to approve or disapprove our recommendations.

APMM is your professional community. Get involved any way you can and speak up with your ideas and needs. Together, we can embrace change!



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Vendor Spotlight:   

Your Online Source For Mini Tools and Model Building Supplies

submitted by Ernest Ang, Vendor VP

Looking for new tools to add to your tool collection? Thinking of getting a tool for your dad as a Christmas present? In the process of building a model and wishing you had a particular tool? Well, look no further - introducing our latest vendor and the small tool specialist which most of you are already familiar with: Micro-Mark!

The founder of Dyson vacuum, James Dyson once said, “There is a great satisfaction in building good tools for other people to use.” And that is exactly what Micro-Mark does. They are your source for hard-to-find tools and supplies while providing the best customer service in the business. Their customers include professional modelers, industrial shops, and educational workspaces, as well as individual craftspeople working in scale models, precision repair, robotics, home machine shops, special effects and prop-making studios, jewelry and watchmaking, miniaturists... any profession or craft that requires the use of specialized precision miniature tools which pretty much describes the members of our association!

Micro-Mark carries more than 3000 products that target the professional model maker. They specialize in unique/miniature hand tools and power tools used by model makers, but also have a large assortment of supplies including; adhesives, painting and finishing, building materials, decaling, scenery, and more.

At the same time, they are always out in the maker industry looking for the latest and most innovative tools to offer to their customers like these...

<--Wondercutter (which Micro-Mark has the exclusive right to distribute in North America) and Dr. DryBooth--> with its integrated warm air convection system for fast, clean paint-drying.




Check out their technology department so you don't miss out on machines and supplies for 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC machines.


Because Micro-Mark knows that we all love tools so much, they are giving APMM members an exclusive 10% discount on your purchase when you use the promo code APMM10. So, wait no more, visit Micro-Mark at right now to get the tools you need or have always dreamed of!

You can also follow Micro-Mark on their social media pages for the latest product offerings and tutorial videos on how to use their tools!


Important Notes:
10% off to all APMM members; use promo code APMM10

Visit Micro-Mark at
Phone: 1-800-225-1066


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As Sharp as... New Blades

Model making graduates from all over UK find employment through New Blades 2019

submitted by Gideon Bohannon, Arts university bournemouth 

A warm summer evening in London welcomed nearly 1000 visitors to the ‘New Blades’ model maker recruitment fair. The event is held at the world famous Holborn Studios, Islington. The surrounding streets were the directorial birthplace of Alfred Hitchcock and for 35 years it has welcomed notable artists and celebrities through its doors; Holborn has written itself into the history books. The studios echo with past events: Robert Palmer's iconic "Addicted to Love" video was filmed there, Noel and Liam Gallagher fought in the car park during the hey-day of ‘Britpop’ and the SAS Special Forces were brought in to guard Prime Minister Tony Blair as he was being photographed. It is an amazing and inspirational atmosphere and a fantastic venue to host such a collection of model making talent.

New Blades, now in its 23rd year, helps aspiring new graduates from universities all over the UK find employment as model makers. The collection of academic courses represents the cream of creative education found in the UK and Ireland and The Arts University Bournemouth, University of Hertfordshire, Nottingham Trent University, University of Bolton, University of the Arts London, Coleg y Cymoedd, City of Glasgow College and IADT Dun Laoghaire were all exhibiting.

New Blades offers a chance for graduates to network with modelmaking professionals, often finding freelance work or, increasingly, full time positions.

By providing graduates an early, face-to-face introduction with representatives from the industries they seek to work with, students experience a smoother transition from academia to finding their first job. Each University or College invites all of their industry contacts to the show, representing combined professional experience from the fields of Film, Architecture, Product Design, Engineering and Exhibitions. There are Oscar winners rubbing shoulders with world acclaimed Designers, standing alongside BAFTA recipients and Stirling Prize holders, all choosing their next intake of model makers to join them. One hundred and twelve professional representatives officially signed-in to the show but many more visit incognito, gathering student’s business cards to contact in the days immediately following the show. New Blades has proved so successful that some exhibitors get jobs offered to them on the spot!

Tension can be high as you stroll through the myriad of show stands, the students excel at producing eye catching and professional displays, and industry visitors are looking to vote for their winners of a number of prizes. There are fourteen awards given out every year, including ‘Best Architectural Model’, ‘Gerry Anderson Film Miniature Award’ and ‘Best Lateral Thinking’ award. Twelve of the fourteen prizes have an industry sponsor, with representatives from those companies deciding the winner of their sponsored prize. The exceptions to that rule are the ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Runner-up Best in Show’ awards. These are voted on by all of the public visitors to New Blades and the prize relates specifically to the best show stand, so consideration is given to the overall impact of the student’s work.

I would ask all readers to join me in congratulating fellow APMM member students from The Arts University Bournemouth, for bringing home no fewer than nine of the fourteen awards available. There were some truly beautiful examples of model making including the perfection of finish applied to Ollie Smither’s VW Beetle. 

Ollie Smither - VW Beetle 

And indeed, the most prestigious prize to be won was awarded to this very model, with Ollie Smither grabbing the ‘Best in Show’ award with his re-creation of the surf bum Volkswagen.

Ollie’s name may be familiar with members who attended the APMM conference in Grand Rapids in 2018. He provided a model of a Rolleiflex camera used by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Robert Capa.

Ollie has now started his model making career working for upcoming electric vehicle designers Arrival,, helping push the next generation of EVs and our own model making industry into the future.

Below are a few more examples of AUB student work...

Jordan Jess - Carriage


Lauren Taylor-Heaton - Architecture 

Vanessa Pearson - Trac


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The APMM Development Committee

"It's a great professional growth opportunity!" 

submitted by Jill Kenik, APMM PRESIDENT 

Do you want to become more involved with the APMM, but are not sure you can commit to a Board position right away? Are you looking for an opportunity to hone your leadership skills and learn how a professional organization is managed, but without taking on a lot of new responsibility?

The APMM Development Committee may be the answer you are seeking. This committee encourages participation from all APMM members who are willing to work with current Board Members to further our association and help our fellow model makers. You will share ideas through full access to the APMM Board Forums and meetings, manage or help with tasks that suit your interests and skills plus you'll hang out with an ambitious group of proven industry leaders. Take an opportunity to co-pilot any APMM Board position(s) you might be interested in, and gain the experience you'll need to decide if you want to step into that role.

Take a crack at membership recruiting, social media engagement, newsletter writing and editing, vendor relations and recruiting, conference planning, education outreach or membership benefit management. For the cost of an hour or two per week of assistance, you'll earn leadership and management experience, you'll build your resume, and you'll notice both increased networking opportunities and name recognition among your model making peers. It's a great professional growth opportunity! All APMM members are qualified—the only requirement is a willingness to try the APMM Development Committee.


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Board Member Profile: Paul Chabala

Our APMM Treasurer has a wealth of experience

submitted by bruce willey, as told by Paul Chabala, treasurer

My current career position is Manager – Design Model Shops, Crown Equipment Corporation, and I have been a Board Member of the APMM for the past 4 years. I’ve been in model making for the past 24 years, and what a long strange trip it’s been. (Shout out to my fellow Dead Heads!)

I started my college career at Kent State University in the school of Architecture. That is where I fostered my love for model building. Later, at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, I found new avenues to apply this passion in Industrial and Product Design. I did not know that there was a professional model maker position that existed while I was in school. If I had known, I believe that it could have allowed me to direct my energy towards a more focused goal.

My first job as a professional model maker started in 1994, just following my graduation from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I was hired directly out of my portfolio review to a small firm in the Cincinnati/Dayton, OH area called 3D Technical Services. At that time, my portfolio was heavy in architectural style models, and this was something that they were looking to add to their capabilities.

There have been many different types of model making which have touched my career path. Initially, I was focused on architectural model building and that remains my true expertise. While doing this, I would fill time in between projects doing product design prototypes and whatever else came into the shop. This continued for 17 years. Hiring in with Crown Equipment, I was able to move on to full size industrial vehicle mock-ups and functional vehicle prototype mules. It’s safe to say that my 23 years of model making has seen just about every type of build process and subsequent deliverable.

When pressed for my most interesting model, there is a clear and obvious winner. While doing work for the Pampers division of Procter & Gamble, we were tasked with creating an immersive environment for the product designers to experience the viewpoint of toddlers. To this end, I created a 6.5’ tall toilet. It was very intimidating to stand in front of!

I have enjoyed a long career in model making, but moving on to manage an internal shop for a large corporation has really capped it off. Passing on my experience to my model makers while continuing to grow and evolve our collaboration with the product developers has become a true calling to me. My connections through the APMM have been a major part of this, as I draw on the experience of others while giving back all that I can, in the pursuit of true collaboration.



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