Wayne, the way we did it over on another forum I'm on was to keep it by invitation only until the core was solid. We invited members that we knew had no problems working together, and once everything was running smoothly, it was opened up to everyone. So far, it's worked great, we don't have drama or flame wars at all, and we've only had to block about 6 members since it was started just over 7 years ago. Nothing but people who love this insane hobby and like being with other people who enjoy the same thing.
The main thing to remember also is that there are literally thousands of modeling forums out there, so expecting high traffic and insane amounts of posting is just setting yourself up for heartbreak. If you can get a good, solid core group, then people will eventually find us. Especially with the bigger forums having issues with drama, feuds and flame wars all the time, people are looking for a more family-friendly place to hang out, we do this to relax, not stress out, so if it's done right, people will find us!