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The Ship Modelers Association (SMA) is the largest ship modeling club in California, and one of the largest in the nation. We seek to foster research and interest in our Nautical Heritage by researching and building scale ship models.

We meet on the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00pm at the American Red Cross Building, 1207 N. Lemon Street, Fullerton, CA 92835, in Hillcrest Park. Vistors are always welcome [Map]. Typical attendance is 50 or 60 people ... the primary activity has always been a "Show and Tell" session at which members discuss their models, and answer questions from the audience. Both complete and in-process models are welcome.

LEFT: Don Dressel talks about rigging his Sovereign of the Seas

To achieve our goals, specific activities of the club include:

  • A monthly club meeting featuring presentations for work in progress by members
  • Seminars on model making topics
  • Participation in model ship exhibits
  • Sponsorship of the Western Ship Model Conference & Exhibit
  • A monthly newsletter for members
  • This web site on the World Wide Web
  • Social events such as dinners, cruises, and picnics
  • Monthly weekend sessions about "hands on" modeling and research techniques.

    Informal meetings of members began in 1973 in the back room of a hobby shop, and in 1975, when the hobby shop closed, they voted to establish a set of officers and find a new meeting room. The club did not at that time, and does not now have, written bylaws, the members preferring a totally informal arrangement.

    The Association is governed by a Board of Directors headed by the President and Vice President. The President and Vice President are elected by vote of the members for one year terms. Directors may serve for indefinite periods.

    The club membership is an eclectic group composed of individuals with varied, unrelated occupations, mostly having little or nothing to do with ships or the sea --- doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, college professors, machinists, carpenters, welders, chemists, accountants, and many others. They share the love of the art and craft of ship modeling.

    Individual members have written at least eight books on ship models, including A Scratch Modeler's Log by Henry Bridenbecker, and Planking Techniques for Model Shipbuilders by Don Dressel. Numerous articles have been written by members.

    The SMA does not hold ship modeling competitions. It is felt that it is better for members to help and encourage each other rather than to have winners and losers among them. Members do participate in outside competitions.

    The Ship Modelers Association welcomes as members all who share the goals and interests of the club. Many new members have little or no experience in ship modeling, but make rapid progress with the help and encouragement of the "old hands".

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