Member Spotlight
In this section, we hope to feature one of the club's members on a rotating basis.

This month's spotlight is on Fred Amos. Fred is a long-standing member of IPMS-Gateway. I'll let his words tell you more about him.

Where were you born and raised? What movement have you made since then?

"I was born April 6th, 1940 Right here in St. Louis MO. The family moved to Southern Illinois at the end of WWII and back to St. Louis in 1953. In St. Louis I went to grade school at Columbia elementary on St. Louis Avenue east of Grand Boulevard and graduated in June 1955. "

Where did you go to high school(important to those from St. Louis)?

"High school- Hadley Technical, 1955 1957, Beaumont HS 1957/58, Cahokia Commonfields HS Cahokia, Illinois dropped out in mid 11th grade in Nov 1958."

Married? Single? Kids?

"Married to Charlotte Ann Kowalski Dec 30, 1961. Two daughters, Jacqueline Ann is 45 and a Nurse in Kansas City, MO., Stella Ann is 44 and works as a stock brokers assistant. Jackie has to children, boy and girl."

What is your occupation and did you serve in the military?

"I was in the U.S. Air Force from May 1st till July 5th 1957. The sergeants and I didn't get along. While in St. Louis I worked as bicycle messenger in 57 and 58, Frank Adams Electric from the summer of 59 to May 1960. At that point I went to work for Western Union again as a Migratory Lineman, shop repairman, and Equipment Installer for 23 years. Got laid off and went transferred to the phone center in Bridgeton as a Control Room Technician. I soon realized Western Union was dieing so I took my pension in 1989 with 34 years of seniority. I worked for Sigma Chemical Co. in St. Louis and got fired in 1992. Several small time jobs until May 1996 and I went to work for Mitek Industries in Earth City, MO as a production electrician. I retired from Mitek in early 2006 and am enjoying it completely."

How long have you been in this club? Are you a member of other modeling clubs?

"I first started attending meetings in the winter of 1988 and became a member when we finally got moved over from Kansas City in 1989. I have also been a member of The Oklahoma Historical Modelers Society better known as OHMS. And the Kansas City Mo IPMS/Heart of America and was president briefly in 1979."

When did you begin modeling?

"I can vaguely recall seeing Aurora kits in a five and dime store in the mid 1950's. When we lived in St. Louis on North Grand I remember a next door neighbor boy playing in the dust with a Revell model of the U.S.S. Missouri, 18 inches long and scale from the real blue prints. I piddled around with models in my teens until I had to go to work for a living. Then after I had been married a few years Charlotte's young brother ( 11 or 12 at the time ) was in to models. When we moved to Oklahoma City in 1965 we were browsing around a strip mall and the local TG&Y; store( remember them) had a lot of models had a pile of models on a table in front of the store for $1.00 each. There was a few Revells, Hellers, and Airfix kits so I grabbed about ten of them and went home and had all of them done in about a week. I still wasn't to enthused about modeling. In the summer of 1968 I was working a project in Rollo MO and after lunch one day came across the local hobby shop. The owner had many kits hanging from the ceiling and that's when I first realized that there was such a thing as 1/32 scale. One weekend my wife and I were at a mall in Oklahoma City and I dropped into the local hobby shop. That's when I got totally hooked. Life hasn't been the same since."

Do you remember your first model? What was it?

"My first model was the almost 1/48 scale F8F couger and then a Sherman tank. Later I made a parachute for the Sherman and placed a cherry bomb in the turret, lit the fuse and ran like h_____. The F8F I eventually cut the bottom out of it and mounted it to the hood of my car as a hood ornament."

What is your favorite subject to model?

"My favorite subject is post 1930's aircraft but I have dabbled in armor, cars and ships."

Do you have a favorite scale?

"It has reached the point for me that I have to build in 1/48 and 1/32 scales. I will do 1/72 if the subject is large enough."

Do you have any absolute favorite kit you've built? Why?

"Absolute favorite kit.. Gee, that's a tough call to make. I have been modeling steady now for almost 40 years and have probably built close to 1000 kits. I do like the Tamiya 1/48 and Hasegawa 1/48 and 1/32 scale kits."

Any idea how many kits you've built? How many on display?

"As I stated earlier, I have probably built about 1000 kits. I have built on commission and getting free kits from the IPMS/USA Reviewer Corps is fun. I have had some on display for a while but I cant say if any are on display currently."

All right, honestly, how many kits in "the stash?"

At one time I had probably 2500 to 3000 kits in stash. Then after seeing what happened when other modelers died and left their family with all their kits to dispose of made me realized how painful it was for the family. So a few years ago I started selling a lot of my collection at bargain room prices. So right now I have about 200 plus kits and a lot of printed material left to sell and maybe 400 more to build. Realistically, I know I wont get all of them built so when my time comes it shouldn't be too hard to get rid of.

Any modeling prizes?

"I have won a few awards for models I have built, mainly 2nd and third place finishes. I can honestly say winning is not all that important to me but if I do win it can be seen as a bonus. But I think the biggest prize of all that I have won is all of the friends I have accumulated over the years. My best friend is also a modeler and I have known him for about forty years, he is like a brother to me."

Other hobbies?

"Other hobbies... I enjoy reading. I have read almost everything Louis L'Amour has ever written and now I am reading a 13 volume set of books by Ralph Compton on the Cattle Trails and trail drives."

Have you held any club offices? Any regional or national level offices?

"In the IPMS/Gateway Chapter I have held the office of President, Vice President, Director and at the 1992 Nationals I was the Treasurer, and I held similar offices in the KC heart of America."

So there you have it, Fred Amos as told in his own words. Fred is a regular attender and member of IPMS Gateway, bringing to the club a wealth of history and experience. Make sure you say hello next time you're at a meeting.


IPMS-USA Chapter of the Year 1982-82, 1991-92
IPMS-Region 5 Chapter of the Year 1982-83, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1998-99
CRM Hobbies