The CMS Staff
Ian Hanratty and Tony Ivey
Damn, how to start? Well I suppose I should start at the beginning. My earliest recollection of Modelling was when on caravan holiday with my mother and sister, as usual for Scotland it was raining, so while dad was off Strangling a Cat (AKA Playing the Bagpipes) Mum had to keep me occupied, so she helped me build an Airfix Sherman. Little did she know what she was starting, Forty years later and I am still building Airfix Sherman’s.
As far as I can recall from that day onwards I have always been interested in Modelling and Military History. After leaving school, like the rest of my Generation, other things became more important like finding a job, females, and drink, or was it the other way round.
I still had an interest but my production of finished models dropped off. at 17 I joined to Royal Engineers TA unit in Edinburgh, I was lucky in that my first Camp abroad was to Emmerick in Germany and in the German Naafi shop they had some of the Roco kits, I recalled these from my youth and bought them for my Son. This then rekindled my interest in AFV's. I had until them been building WWI Aircraft kits.
Like most modellers in the UK I found it very hard to obtain 1/87th scale kits, I heard about a company called CMSC in Essex who stocked them. I eventually contacted them and we struck up a long-term friendship, which still endures to this day. Every time I speak with Horst he keeps reminding me he is 84 and retired. In late 2009 I obtained the WWII and modern armoured cars ranges from CMSC. With Horst still helping out with the production until my own set up is up and running.
I soon joined MAFVA and have been a member ever since. MAFVA I think is one of the most underrated societies in Modelling. They are all a great bunch of chaps and a few girls, and it is a great joy every year to meet up and have a few pints after the Nationals at Duxford.
In December 2004 I started up Friendship Models, and in 2007 I launched my own range of kits starting with figures in 1/35th scale, then expanding this until we now have a selection of figures in most of the large figure scales. In 2009 I arranged with Horst to take over the WWII part of the old CMSC range. We are slowly adding to this range in both 1/76th and 1/72nd scales. Over the next few years we will be adding more figures and vehicle related items to our ranges.
I have long been an admirer of Doug and On The Way and asked him years ago to expand it to cover 1/76th scale. He explained his reason’s why he couldn’t which I totally understand. Basically, it would be too big of a project. A long time passes and then the opportunity to develop that idea came up again. A quick email to Tony and very quickly the suggestion had taken hold, and within a few hours he had set up the FaceBook page and had already started working on the website. Tony has done all the hard work, all I did was suggest it.
So for me, on behalf off all the 1/76th scale modellers, well done Tony! (with support from Megan and Annie of course).
I have been building models on and off since I was 10 years old. The first kit I got was a model of Mr. Spock from Star Trek shooting his phaser at a 3-headed snake. Don't know what happened to that kit (has to be worth some money now)!
My early interests were varied. I built sailing ships, warships, civilian ships. I built some 1/25 scale cars, spacecraft and 1/35 scale armor. Then one day I came upon a bagged Airfix Stug III at a local hobby shop, and from that day on I was hooked on Small Scale Armor and aircraft. My friends and I used to build the old Airfix kits and stage battles with the figures and tanks. For some reason I always wanted to be the Germans. Maybe because of how the Panzers looked?
I joined the U.S. Army right after finishing High School and for the next 10 years or so modelling was far from my mind. I soon gained a new interest though when I noticed all the available small scale armor kits by Airfix, Arii, ESCI, Hasegawa, Fujimi, and Nitto at a local hobby shop. Been collecting and building non-stop for the last 25 years. And (maybe like many of you), I have too many kits to build in this lifetime (all of German stuff) in 1/76 and 1/72 scale plastic, resin and metal.
It is hard to find a group of modellers where I live that are interested in small scale armor. Most of the conventions close to me are for wargamers or larger scale armor types. At a swap meet I was at a fellow was selling a stack of used Tankette magazines, I bought them all and got hooked on them! I wanted to join MAFVA ever since and the opportunity came up on our 1st visit to the UK at the 2008 TNT show in Folkestone. I met a bunch of great guys there, one of which was Spike. He gave me an application to MAFVA and now I am a proud member! I also met Ian at this show and we have stayed in touch. My wife and I visited Bonnie Scotland in 2009 and we got a great tour from Ian of the Edinburgh castle and he and Lily warmly invited us for a visit in thier home. Megan and I had a great time!
I have had my own personal modelling website since 2001, basically to show-off the stuff I have built and some techn ical background on the conversions, etc. But when Ian mentioned the 1/76 scale website idea to me, I thought it was a brilliant idea! Ian has a great deal of knowledge on Airfix kits, Shermans, and other items and is a great model maker to boot. He has also supplied many good articles and photos for these pages. Hopefully you will al enjoy and participate in our new site.
And finally I want to say that none of this would be possible without my loving, beautiful and supportive wife, Megan!
Tony "Panzer 1946" Ivey