This past Saturday was the 2nd annual Spruefest event held by the folks at Brookhurst hobbies with support from various well known model building entities in Southern California. They had expanded their scifi category to actually split out from scifi completely and have a separate Gundam category, and being sponsored by the local Bandai distributor Bluefin, the qualifying gunpla must be Bandai only products. As a group, we usually post up about the event and hang out once we get all our gear set up and have a good look around the model room at the various kits. The room closes so the judges can concentrate. It’s a decent sized space but packed with 400 models, it gets pretty tight. So at such events, we’re force to go entertain ourselves for a few hours. Typically we find someplace and just gorge ourselves. This year, a few of the guys wanted to go karting. So we gathered a group that was interested and drove off to Anaheim’s K1. We got registered and waited about an hour before our race was on. I haven’t karted in a long long time. And being a little older, my body is telling me so just after one race. But damn was it fun. We headed back to the contest location and had a late lunch before heading back towards the competition.
We’ve been through enough competitions that we just take everything with a canister of salt. Sci-fi is generally regarded as a red headed step child. Gunpla is a niche within sci-fi… so we’re used to the folks snickering at our toy building abilities. Funny how as I was growing up, ALL MODEL kits were found in the toy sections of any local drugs store. But I digress, we just go to have fun. Winning or not winning doesn’t matter to us. It gives us a good laugh at the results. It is this reason we created SCGMC. But, we also gotta support the hobby and help folks educate as many people as possible about our silly little hobby. It’s the only way to grow it. We figured we were in good hands with Bluefin heading up the judging. I was in the contest room putting away my kits when they got to our category. I missed the announcement for a few wins – Gundam Diorama, and Large Gundam. They split the large scale Gundam into two categories just because there were such a huge turnout. Funniest thing is that the categories are separated into Small Gundam (1/144 and smaller), Large Gundam (1/100 and larger) and then Gundam Diorama. They had DQed a few of the diorama pieces based on the idea that those entries were more vignettes than dioramas – which is something we do at SCGMC, we’re pretty strict on our idea of a “diorama”. For us, we put emphasis on a story being told, and usually require more than one focused involved character. Going back to the two other categories, since they have separated the 1/144 from 1/100 – things shouldn’t be too difficult. Angel enters his GIANT 1/144 Dendro, so it is rightly entered into the Small Gundam category. He ends up winning one of the splits for Large Gundam. At this point, we wonder how much say Bluefin truly has at a contest they’re not running, but sponsoring. Again, this goes back to our general acceptance of how the model community as a whole views and accepts our niche. Regardless, it was a damn fun day. I snapped a quick video and snapped some quick pictures. I should have gotten MOST of the entries.