Website updates

It’s a new year, the pandemic is winding down, and McK is doing a little introspection.

We’ve started a bit of a membership drive. We’ve printed flyers and are in the process of distributing them to the area hobby stores (independents, Hobbytowns, Michael’s) and other retail outlets (a few Ace Hardware stores) that sell plastic models. We added a ‘Join’ page to the website, as well, to encourage modelers in the area to join McKnstry.

We’ve also made some cosmetic changes to the website to clean up the appearance and use those improvements in the flyer campaign. We’ve literally ‘cleaned up’ one of our logos that had been created in the cut-and-paste days before computer editing was commonplace (the background was kind of a mottled gray, instead of white). Then that logo was added to the webpage banner along with a little text to create a more balanced and pleasing design.

Then we did a little work on the right sidebar to prioritize the content from top to bottom. We removed less useful elements and added some new content (a search bar to find site content, an event calendar to highlight local, regional, and national shows and contests that should be of interest to club members).

We hope you find the new updates useful. More to follow.

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Resumption of Monthly Meetings

The library resumed bookings for the smaller meeting rooms in July 2021, but due to limited hours we had to move meetings to Saturdays around noon for the first few months. The Hendricksen room was reopened in October, but library hours were still somewhat restricted, so we met in October and November on Friday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30PM.

The library continues to close at 9:00PM on Friday for the foreseeable future. In addition, bookings for the Hendricksen room are only available 6 months in advance (bookings were formerly taken for 1 year, September-August). So IPMS McKinstry meetings in the Hendricksen room will be announced on the website as the dates become known, and the time will continue to be from 7-8:30 until further notice.

In cases where the Hendricksen room is unavailable for a particular month, the smaller conference rooms are only reservable 30 days in advance. We will put a placeholder date for a meeting on the website for that month, with a note to check back a month or so in advance to confirm date and location.

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In Memoriam – Dan Paulien and Carl Geiger

The IPMS McKinstry chapter lost 2 long-time members in 2021, Dan Paulien and Carl Geiger. Both will be sorely missed.

Friends we’ve lost – Carl Geiger, Mike Titre, and Dan Paulien

Daniel Jay Paulien – Mar. 9, 1970 – Sept. 5, 2021

We lost Dan in September to a freak accident in his home. He left his parents, a son and a daughter, as well an extended family and friends, who will surely miss a gentle and loving soul. Dan was truly a warm and generous person, and though he sometimes presented a gruff demeanor, there was never any doubt that it came from a kind heart.

His interests in modelling were wide, including both aircraft and cars. He was the closest thing we had to a ‘car guy’ in the McK group, where most of the members’ interests run to aircraft. That’s hardly surprising, since he was also a skilled auto mechanic. He loved driving and working on cars (Subarus, in particular) as much as modelling. But Dan was always one to ‘go wide’ when the monthly meeting topic called for a missile or some other less common subject.

If Dan had a particular skill it was in painting and finishing his models. His cars positively shined from careful polishing and spraying. And the metallic finishes he was able to achieve on some of the aircraft he built were incredibly realistic. He was always ready to answer a question or offer advice on painting and finishing, and he did how-to presentations on the subject more than once at the monthly McK meetings.

One of Dan’s passions was to show that, in these days of sometimes ridiculously expensive kits, it was possible to build excellent models from inexpensive beginnings. In these days when many grumble about the cost of materials discouraging new blood from entering the hobby, Dan took many a $3-5 bargain he found somewhere and built something from it that anyone would be proud to have.

Dan was just a great guy, and a valued McKinstry member. He was much too young, and he will be missed.

Carl Albert Geiger – Mar. 30, 1957 – Jan. 20, 2021

Like many organizations, the usual McK monthly meetings were on hiatus for over a year due to the pandemic. From early 2020 to the summer of 2021, members kept in touch sporadically, primarily through email, and phone calls to a lesser extent. Some people are ‘better’ at keeping in contact through one or both of these, and some aren’t. So it wasn’t particularly surprising that we didn’t hear from Carl for a while – he was one of those who might not respond to an email.

However, when we started having monthly meetings again last August, Carl never appeared. He was a fairly regular attendee, but it wasn’t unusual for him to miss the occasional meeting, so we just assumed that he wasn’t able to attend, or something of the sort. However, after no one had heard from him after Dan’s services in September, Norris and Lee checked online and found Carl’s obituary. Our shock at losing Dan made Carl’s passing – and the fact that it occurred so many months earlier – just that much more distressing.

Carl died in his sleep. If there’s any comfort to be taken in his passing, it’s that he died peacefully. He left 5 siblings and many nieces and nephews, as well as many friends, who will miss another kind and generous soul.

Carl was a craftsman. He was a skilled carpenter and made his living with his hands. In addition to building models (particularly aircraft) he was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Aviation was a passion for Carl, at any scale.

Carl’s models were simply exquisite. He was another modeler who could make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. He built older kits that were more toy-like into beautiful scale replicas of the actual airplane. And he took new kits that offered state-of-the-art detail and built models that were up to and beyond their potential.

Carl was generous to a fault, always ready to offer advice, help finding materials, or just good conversation. He always had a smile for you, at the very least. McKinstry meetings will be diminished by his absence. Carl, too, will be sorely missed.

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Meeting Changes due to Covid-19

The Arlington Heights Public Library has been closed (and reopened, and closed again, and opened again…) due to the Illinois state efforts to manage the pandemic.  At the moment, the library itself is open with restrictions – see for details – but all meeting rooms are closed.  McKinstry club meetings will be cancelled until the library reopens and allows meetings to take place in their facilities.  The 2020 meetings after February were cancelled, and no new room reservations can be made until the library begins accepting reservations again.

The planned theme and program schedules will be restarted in the current order once meetings resume.  So the March theme (twin-booms) and the program (Dave Kopielski showing how to illuminate models using LEDs and fiber optics) will be on tap for the next meeting.

The meeting information on the website will be updated as the situation changes to reflect our best guess when we’ll be able to get together again.

In the meantime, the Tick has finished newsletters covering all the meetings through February 2020, and those are available on the Newsletter Archive page of this website.

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