Perpignan: Two grown-up children from Club Mini66 talk about their devouring passion for scale models

After a two-year hiatus, on Sunday May 15, the Parc des Sports du Moulin à Vent will host the 35th model exchange market where 75 sellers and members of the Mini66 Club of Perpignan are expected. We met the current and former president of this association. They willingly opened the doors to their secret, immobile and silent miniature world.

Julien Marzo, president of the Club Mini66 of Perpignan: “If I could push back the walls to make room for my little cars I would!”

Collector since adolescence Julien Marzo is also the president of the MINI66 club in Perpignan. Sunday, May 15, the club is once again organizing a stock exchange for model cars, after a 2-year hiatus.

This licensed collector, native of Auch and who in his youth took part in many car races “for 3 years in the Paris region” he specifies, is the happy president of the Club Mini66 of Perpignan. The latter brings together around fifty fans of scale models and models: cars, trains, trucks, planes, boats, old dolls…”We count in our ranks a few ladies, as addicted as we are” let Julien Marzo know. “This hobby can easily become compulsive, and often to the detriment of people who share our life but not necessarily our passion”.

For his part, this craze is exclusively dedicated to the world of the automobile of which he has about 3,000 scale models which, he tells us, “range from the scale most prized by collectors (in dimensions) the 1/43rd up to the 1/18th (among the largest). All brands, eras, styles and countries are represented. “And I know the history and the origin of each of them” confess their possessor. They have invested over the years in a guest room “a real nightmare when you receive someone because you have to push everything” laughs the master of mechanisms. They are lined up wisely, some in closed display cases, some dusting on the shelves, some still gleaming in their original boxes. As for the workshop filled with precision tools and mini-cans of paint, it is overflowing with spare parts. A real Ali Baba’s cave. A world apart.

Jean-Paul Pinon or 40 years of passion for models, from tanks to Russian fighter planes, including reconstructions of Napoleonic battles, the Vietnam War and the Normandy landings.

Jean-Paul Pinon or 40 years of passion for models, from tanks to Russian fighter planes, including reconstructions of Napoleonic battles, the Vietnam War and the Normandy landings.

Jean-Paul Pinon, collector of model airplanes and fan of re-enactments of historic battles: “I have two favorite eras: the great Napoleonic battles and the Second World War”

The former president of Club Mini66 is also a friend and close friend of Julien Marzo. Apart from the fact of belonging to the same club of miniatures that they have carried at arm’s length for so many years, their two families also share a love of the United States, and Florida in particular where they have ties. But Jean-Paul Pinon, 72 spring, admits another, older passion: music. To which he has also devoted an entire room in his house decorated like a London pub where his 5,000 CDs of rock, blues, classical, jazz, country etc. are stored in order.

For now, it’s his other secret garden containing his 200 French cars of yesteryear, sublime evocations of the 20s, 30s and 50s; his models of Russian, American and German fighter planes and tanks; his faithful to detail reconstructions close to the Normandy Landings; its 5 mx 2 m table displaying a diorama of the Vietnam War (18 assembled panels, 12,000 figurines in 1/35th scale, a jungle, a river, jeeps, barracks, a hangar, etc.). And above all his display cases filled with hundreds of miniatures of the young Bonaparte and the warlord Napoleon, which he displays with greedy pleasure.

“The period of the Empire has always fascinated me he reveals. This page of History, rich in epics and titanic Campaigns led by this steely-minded strategist, is a godsend for a collector!” Thus Jean-Paul Pinon endeavored to reconstitute the battle of Waterloo and more precisely the little-known closed castle of Hougoumont “who played a key role in this battle, June 18, 1815” reminds the nostalgic host.

Doors open at 9 a.m.; closing at 5 p.m. Gymnasium of the sports park, 88 avenue Paul Alduy in Perpignan. Information: 0672978821 or [email protected] Free admission.

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