This past weekend was the holiday model build gathering. For the past few years, we’ve done a white elephant gift exchange that has started to become a tradition. This is the third year, so all and all, it was a pretty good exchange. A few things were learned from the experience. But more about that later. Models were worked on, and we had a ton of new folks show. Also included in this post is the crab night for my little circle of friends.

The gift exchange went well, so this may be a good little tradition we start up for years to come.

The start of the gathering was the usual, folks trickled in around 1:30 to 2. It had been raining so the sucky weather lead to horrific traffic. The weeks leading up to the gathering, I figured that the gathering would be a smaller one since a good number off folks mentioned that they were not able to make it. Holding the gathering so close to the holidays always conflicts with a good number of things in our personal lives. Well, the regulars showed and we started building. I spent my time working on masking off the Hi Nu that I started back on a few months ago. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some paint and possibly finish the sucker off before the new year.

Nathan was working on a vinyl 1/48 (I believe) scale unicorn. So here’s a picture next to Andrew’s 1/144 Unicorn, well the leg anyhow.

Around 5 or so, a crew of about 7 or so new folks came. Earlier in the week, the forums had a spike of new members. I’m not exactly sure how they heard about my forums or the build gathering, but they mentioned their interest and showed up. The house was suddenly full. We reached about 30 people. Not too bad a showing for the holiday build gathering. So hopefully some of the new attendees make it back for future build gatherings. A few of them looked genuinely interested in building and learning to become better modelers, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Here are some pictures of some of the projects that folks were working on.

Dinner was grabbed at the Hat and brought back to the house. After eating, we fired up rockband and the drinks started flowing. The “no drinking” game continues to work very well. The tables were still fairly full with most of the new folks building, while a good number of us are belting out horrific versions of very good songs.

Around 9, we started the gift exchange. I believe there were about 6 RG Gundams and 4 RG Zaku’s on hand. There were 3 MGs, one resin kit, and one tool set and the rest were HG kits. One of them was the HGUC Sinanju which was quickly locked up. One issue we had was that there was an opened MG Zaku kit with missing instructions and some parts worked on. Granted I’m sure all the parts were in the box; however, it gives the recipient a little ill at ease feel that the box may be missing parts. Then again, some people are just babies and cannot appreciate a kit.

The inherent problem with such gift exchanges is that folks that bring something nice usually end up with a crappy gift from someone that either couldn’t afford something or was just careless when picking out their gift item. However, too many rules and leveling the playing field too much will just result in everyone exchanging the same 3 items. I think the exchange is fine the way it is, there’s always going to be someone not as happy as the rest, but the general consensus is good; so I’m satisfied.


A few months ago, I suggested that the group of friends I hang out with should do a secret santa gift exchange. This helps resolve the horrendous thinking and shopping for everyone, and saves us all money. We can also focus and get one another a nicer gift. So early in November, we picked out our targets and the game was on.

Originally we were planning on going out to Boiling Crab for dinner to do the gift exchange, but optioned to just do a crab dinner at the house. Helen went out and picked up 9 crabs, Nicky and Angel brought some sides, we grilled up some corn and poured some wine and sake. A much better experience than potentially waiting for 2 hours in the rain for a table at the always crowded Boiling Crab.

While butchering the crabs, the first crab got it’s pincher claw right on my left hand ring finger. I screamed like a little bitch. Holy hell that hurt. This wasn’t the first time I’ve ever butchered a live crab, so I guess I was a little lapse in my attention to the agility of these little bastards. But they were cooked and we enjoyed the meal. Pictures were taken with Yuki’s camera since I sold my old Canon S2 at the build gathering. I had purchased a new camera that is still in transit… The doggies are also hanging with everyone.

And on to dinner.

Crabby goodness. Yes, I’m using the shell as a bowl.

Last week, Yuki and I made creme brulee, so these were torched and served.

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