So this week, Friday through Monday, July 1 – 4 will be the annual Anime Expo. I’ve been a bit out of the loop due to work and life (having one that is…). Between Memorial day weekend and now, the group of us have been to Arizona, Vegas, hosted a build gathering, done the tango classes, and just gathered at the house to hang out and munch on food. The rest of my waking hours have been spent with work as my project has continued to downsize and I’ve taken up more and more responsibilities. I can’t even go in and study for some certification exams I have coming up that are for work without spending about half the day working on the day to day things. But by this time the last few years, I would have had one more day of work before throwing myself into the fury that is AX. Heh, I actually took vacation time to work, for free, at the con. But it was fun and interesting work and I got to meet some great young folks.

In the past, I volunteered for AX for the specific purpose of helping the model contest section of the event out. It wasn’t really managed well because most folks just didn’t care. Its an up hill battle. But I promoted it, I got experienced modelers to judge the contest, and the contest grew. It’s still a bastard child of the artshow, but I cared, and I wanted to keep model building alive and this was the one venue that had enough of a pool that I could draw from and grow the model building community. From this spawned the workshops at AX and various other conventions. From this spawned the monthly build gatherings. And effectively, from this, spawned the idea to just do our own bloody model contest. Why live in the shadow of a huge convention that is focused on anime and manga. Why not just take a day, and focus it on gunpla, anime mecha models, and anime figures. And from this the SCGMC is born.

So, I haven’t been focused on the AX model contest at all. The Gunpla World Cup sponsored by Bandai and brought to various anime conventions across the United States by Bluefin Corp seems to be doing well. They have a modeler in their organization that is aware of the plight of gunpla modelers and some good is coming from that end. I haven’t had my hand in that process either; mostly because I believe they folks at Bluefin thought I should be given the chance to enter the contest. So this year I’ll be entering the Gunpla World Cup. So for you folks out there that wanna play, it’s on :)

But back to the AX model contest. I’m still involved, I’m still running it. But I haven’t spent nearly as much energy promoting the event as I had in the past. I want to see how much of a difference promotion makes. I’m willing to bet that there’s quite a big difference, but I hope not. I really hope that the contest is successful. In the past, I’ve spent a decent amount of money out of my own pocket for the AX model contest, providing prizes, providing trophies, etc. I got reimbursed for a bit of it, but it was mostly a taxable write off to me. Now that there is the SCGMC, my charitable monies have been focused and spent towards that venue. I feel that this is a huge impact. With the current economy and the amount of cutbacks that AX has had to do; sooner or later, I feel that the contest will just fade away like the summer festival. It’s currently scaled back to very little cost. Some prizes and some ribbons will probably be given to me as the awards for the contest. I have very little control unless I spend my own money. Again, more reason to focus those funds to a completely new project. I guess it’s the natural progression of things.

I’m still doing a workshop at AX, but only doing one, for in the past several years, I’ve been doing 3. The past two years, I worked as a manager in the exhibit hall. Combining that with 3 workshops/panels as well as the AX model contest – there was a breaking point. Time to slow down, reevaluate why I’m at AX. Time to refocus my efforts to the promotion of gunpla, anime mecha, and anime figure building. I’ll put just enough effort into AX’s model contest, going to have to live within the means of the con’s means. Continue to do the workshop; and then plug the fuck out of SCGMC at every turn of the corner at AX. AX still has a great pool of people from which I can grow and gather model builders.

So to the success of the Anime Expo Model Contest. Time to promote it where I can.

Additionally, my workshop is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM in the WS1 room: LACC 515B. It’s a late time, so folks can hit up the Vocoloid concert, or the 00 Gundam Panel and the 00 Gundam Movie; and still make the workshop. I may have some give-aways, not promising anything, but who knows. Show up and find out. Hell, it’s even late enough that one can take a nap from the day’s events and wake up refreshed to check out the workshop. Most folks find me entertaining enough that they just come to listen to my rantings and to poke fun at the various folks in the room. This is the latest I’ve ever had a workshop, so this will definitely be interesting.

The past few days have been spent working on the SD Nightengale, the giant Unicorn for which we’ve just run into all sorts of fun yellowing issues from the various clear gloss sprays we’ve used. But the Nightengal isn’t anywhere close to being completed, so guess that will have to wait for Otakon. I have enough things that I can bring to AX :D I’ll be there pretty much all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday, so anyone wanting to meet up, hit me up at the Model Contest Judging, the Gunpla World Cup Judging, or Gunpla Building Seminar. See you guys there!

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