TASK FORCE 72 Scale Model Ship Association Inc. was first conceived in 1994 following discussions over a few beers, as all good ideas are! It was thought that “it might be nice” to see all the 1:72 scale model ships that we knew were being constructed at the time, sailing together in one place.
A venue was found by David Rowland who lived in the area, tested and found to be quite suitable to hold a display that was to be the first of its type held in Australia. This “First Regatta” took place over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of November 1995.
As the Saturday morning drew around, we could feel that this was going to a great success. Over 60 models had arrived and were now gathering on the beautiful waters of Wentworth Falls Lake in the beautiful Blue Mountains about 60 km west of Sydney.
Our special guests of the weekend, the then Governor of NSW and now our Patron, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair, AC, RAN Rtd. and the then Naval Support Commander, Rear-Admiral David Campbell, RAN, Rtd. were also suitably impressed by the presence of so many models.
The lake is a picturesque site, surrounded by bushland with houses tucked into the trees. The lake is large at approximately four hectares with a sandy, shallow bottom along the edge, ideally suited to moor or anchor vessels and be close enough to the shore that the public can view the models, without getting too close.
Since this humble beginning of 35 members with around 70 models between us, the association has grown to over 100 members with over 300 models. This includes overseas members in Canada, New Zealand, USA, Germany and enough members in the UK that they have started their own offshoot branch, “TASK FORCE 72 UK”.
In over 10th years of operations, we now display all around Australia under the TASK FORCE 72 Banner. Those of us who were lucky enough to have a hand in the starting up of this association are immensely proud of what has been achieved and the reputation that the association can now boast.
Thousands of the general public, and we tend to agree with them, have told us that TASK FORCE 72 members produce some of the finest models of Naval and Merchant Vessels anywhere in the world and display them in a novel way. Where else in the world can you go and see up to 100 models of historic and present day ships and submarines all together in their natural element and all built to one common scale.
At the moment, the answer is,
“Nowhere, except here at TASK FORCE 72.”