Angel, Nate, and I went to A-Kon in Texas this year for the first time. We had applied for a fan panel as our continued SCGMC promotion tour we decided to try this year. We had gone to Tatsu Hobby’s event, IPMS Seattle, IPMS Las Vegas, and other folks went to IPMS San Diego. I rushed and for the most part, finished the GM Sniper 2 Project, so I brought that as my entry for GBWC at A-Kon. I also forgot one of the batteries for it so no lights for display this time around. There were a good number of GBWC entries. We got to meet and chat with a lot of modelers and the Texas Gunpla Club members too.
I’m pretty sure I got pictures of all the entries, so here they are:
One of the winners wasn’t present to accept their award, but we took a group shot of the winners that were present. Of course I need to plug Those Gundam Guys.
Here are the winners. Best of Show went to the Fawn diorama. Best Small Scale was the “These crazy kids” diorama. Judges choice was the Nobel sporting the Texas Gunpla Club colors and flag.
Our main purpose was to do the panel as well as shamelessly plug our own show, Southern California Gundam Model Competition. Angel snapped a few pictures while we presented. We had a pretty good crowd at the panel and the attendees were pretty interested in the materials we presented. There’s hope that some of the folks will take interest in the event and come out to see a real competition.
That said, us at TGG did have a little bit of confusion to the GBWC results. But, in my experience, I’ve gotten so used to the wide spectrum of judging that nothing surprises me anymore and I just enjoy the event for what it is. We had chatted with the guy that built the Zeta. We felt that the kit would have looked better without the additional display (painted motherboard, cotton explosion, etc) The two were not even mated to one another, so it really felt slapped together. There’s no cohesion. At least if there was some sort of a backstory, it would make a little more sense. Looking at the overall results, it seemed like the judges took more influence on the background add ons than focusing on the actual kits. Again, this is too subjective to argue about – but at least with SCGMC, if the kit is not categorized as a diorama, the surrounding displays don’t really add much to the overall value of the kit. That’s why it’s always good to bring the same kit to different competitions because you never really know how a judge here or there would view the project. And with that, you get some pretty damn good insight into future projects or even how to improve the current project.
One other issue I had with one of the bluefin staffers that was handling the contest with just his SHITTY FUCKING attitude. This guy Jonathan – no idea what his last name is, and don’t give a fuck. I submitted my entry via their online form earlier in the week, but apparently that didn’t make it to the “official” list they had. So the little douche tells me that if there isn’t space when modelers on “the list” enter, then my kit gets bumped. Since when did they no longer allow walkin entries? Hell, since when did they not openly welcome and encourage walk-in entries? The guy then moved another kit to make room for mine and in doing so, one of the models fell over, so the staffer just repositioned it and had it leaning against the diorama’s building. When I came back during the judging, I was chatting with some of the builders and the guy that built the GM v Zaku diorama (leaning GM) was complaining that this staffer refused to let him reposition the leaning kit. Seriously? You fucking moved it, then uncaringly repositioned it, then refused to allow the builder to fix the issue? I chatted with the other staffer about this because he and I have known one another for years; and I mentioned this and his response was, “Really? And I knocked off points because that kit was leaning”. I know that this was Jonathan’s first time running the competition. So some benefit of the doubt should be allowed for judging style, organization, and his handling of the event. I just hope he either learns to lighten the fuck up, or they just have someone else more experienced or with a better attitude. The guy’s a fucking dick and more than one modeler was complaining.
It’s harder and harder to take GBWC seriously anymore. Be it the judging results, the attitude towards the contest as it seems like it’s a chore for them and they have to take precious time out of their day to “deal with the contest”. I feel the eye rolling when a modeler comes over and wants to enter the contest. Not just Akon, but I’ve seen this at Otakon. I’d love to visit some of the other events that are not AX or NYCC and see if there’s a continuing trend/attitude. But I seriously get the general feeling that the newest guy draws the short stick and no one really wants to deal with this contest. It’s more of a formality than anything else for them. At the end of the day, it’s a marketing ploy, that’s it. I’ve been continuing to support it as best I can, since I really do want it to succeed. But other than bitching and moaning, we have no control over anything. Hence we continue to support SCGMC and try to act on the feedback we get year to year to improve our contest and keep it as honest and legitimate as possible.
Akon was fun. Definitely cool to meet so many more modelers and chat about all things gunpla. I only wish I didn’t have to leave so soon or I could have spent more time with the folks there. Yesterday was a long ass day and I need a few days to recover still. I really hope all the modelers we met make it out to SCGMC some day!