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Petaluma show draws 2,000 fans of model planes, cars, trains and more

  • Ryan Mander, age 7, left, and Shane Widick, age 12, right, react as their battling remote control robots tumble off the table during HobbyTown USA's HobbyExpo 2013 at the Petaluma Community Center in Petaluma, Calif., on February 9, 2013. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)

It looks like a caricature of a green, pregnant space ship, but to sci-fi aficionados it is a coveted model of the Thunderbird 2 used in the filming of the mid-'60s British TV series of the same name.

"This is, like, the iconic thing," said Alan Stephenson of San Luis Obispo, a science-fiction fan who, as a modeler, specializes in James Bond film sets.

HobbyExpo 2013


"It is a celebration of the things that you are a fan of, and of creating things that you could not go out and buy," Stephenson said, explaining the lure of modeling.

"There is something ingrained in us that likes playing with small things," said Steve Elliott, owner of HobbyTown USA in Petaluma, a sponsor of the annual hobby show held Saturday in Petaluma. "I love cars and being able to build a small-scale car is a way of having one that I can't afford."

More than 2,000 people attended the International Plastic Modelers Society hobby show at the Petaluma Community Center. It was the fourth and largest show that has been put on by the Santa Rosa chapter.

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