Perpignan: Two adult children from Club Mini66 talk about their consuming passion for scale models

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

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

Collector since his youth Julien Marzo is also president of the MINI66 club in Perpignan.  On Sunday 15 May, the club will once again host a stock exchange for model cars, after a 2-year break.

Collector since his youth Julien Marzo is also president of the MINI66 club in Perpignan. On Sunday 15 May, the club will once again host a stock exchange for model cars, after a 2-year break.

This authorized collector, a resident of Auch, who in his youth participated in many car races “for 3 years in the Paris region “ he specifies is the happy president of Club Mini66 in Perpignan. The latter gathers about 50 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 detrimental to people who share our lives, but not necessarily our passion.”

For his part, this craze is exclusively dedicated to the world of the car, of which he has about 3,000 scale models, as he tells us, “ranges from the scale most valued by collectors (in dimensions) 1/43 up to 1/18 (among the largest). All brands, eras, styles and countries are represented. “And I know the history and origins of each of them “ confess their possess. They have over the years invested in a guest room “a real nightmare when you receive someone because you have to push everything “ laughs the master of the mechanism. They are lined up wisely, some in closed showcases, some dusting on the shelves, some still shining in their original boxes. As for the workshop filled with precision tools and minimal cans of paint, it is filled 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 jets, including reconstructions of Napoleon's battles, the Vietnam War and the landings of Normandy.

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

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

The former president of Club Mini66 is also a close and close friend of Julien Marzo. Besides the fact that they belonged to the same club of miniatures that they have worn at arm’s length for so many years, their two families also share a love for the United States, and especially Florida, where they have ties. But Jean-Paul Pinon, 72, admits another, older passion: music. As 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 kept in order.

For now, it’s his second secret garden, containing his 200 French cars from the past, sublime performances from the 20s, 30s and 50s; his models of Russian, American and German fighters and tanks; his faithful detailed reconstructions close to the landings of Normandy; its 5 mx 2 m table showing a diorama from the Vietnam War (18 total panels, 12,000 figures in scale 1/35, a jungle, a river, jeeps, barracks, a hangar, etc.). And above all his showcases 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 epic and titanic campaigns led by this steely strategist, is a gift from god to a collector! ” Thus Jean-Paul Pinon tried to reconstruct the Battle of Waterloo and more precisely the little known closed castle Hougoumont “who played a key role in this battle, June 18, 1815” reminds the nostalgic host.

The doors open at 9; closes at 5 p.m. High school in the sports park, 88 avenue Paul Alduy in Perpignan. Information: 0672978821 or clubmini66@orange.fr Free admission.

Leave a Comment