This past weekend was the first annual Southern California Gundam Model Competition (SCGMC) presented by ThoseGundamGuys. The idea to run our own contest came out of years of frustrations when attending other model contests. So back in April, we set the wheels in motion and started working on creating our own competition. There has never been a model competition of this kind in Southern California that I know of, so we had no idea what to expect. A few of us were a bit pessimistic and we set the bar a little low just so we don’t completely disappoint ourselves. But all our hard work paid off and there really is a decent gunpla following in Southern California. We organized the event planning for about 60 people in attendance. This was our goal, and we found a venue that would support this and contacted a few vendors; then started a marketing campaign to as many local hobby shops as we could find as well as hitting the online resources for gunpla discussions.
We had an attendance of about 100 people, 35 individual entrants, entering 88 models in total. I definitely believe we surpassed our goal and I believe that we can continue to do this event annually. Hit the jump for more details and pictures of the event.
The week leading up the event, we were scrambling to finish the little group project we had set for ourselves that originally started with a challenge to build the GM Wagtail kits that only ballooned to building a full scale battle scene. A few months back, one of the guys became too busy to finish his piece of the project so it was passed to another builder. The weekend before the event, this builder who will remain nameless, dropped off the uncompleted project on my doorstep because he was busy with other scholastic projects. The core group pulled together and we finished up the incomplete kits as well as worked on completing the diorama base.
The result of our hard work and countless hours painting 1/144 scale GMs and the occasional Zeon defenders; are 6 individual diorama pieces that form a larger scene when put together. This worked out as a nice little display piece for the SCGMC show.
Here are Brandon’s pictures of the GMs assaulting the remnant Zeon hold out.
The event would not have been run as smoothly if it were not for the those gundam guys’s women folk. They manned the reception table hawking raffle tickets to everyone that passed by. I was too busy to have the time to snap pictures of the actual gundam guys, but we were all running around supporting the cause.
Again, our original projected numerical goal was something around 60. Nickel figured we’d be lucky to get 20 people. And surpassing all expectations, we hit about 100 people. It was a very satisfying feeling to see that many people in the room. We almost hit max capacity for the venue. After the event, we discussed the possibility of moving to a bigger room for next year. We’re hoping that the success of this year’s event works to pull even more people for next year.
The vendors, for this year, since it was our inaugural year and we had no expectations of what would happen, we invited a few vendors to our event. Our own local Robot4Less and TatsuHobby from Northern California. One sold bandai gunpla and supplies while the other sold resin gunpla. I would have liked to have a resin anime figure seller, but hopefully I’ll be able to get a vendor for that next year. Hopefully the vendors did well enough to further promote their respective businesses and possibly return to our event next year.
The one thing that really helped use out was the raffle. All the raffle prizes, with exception of the Dendrobium(courtesy of otakufuel), were donated to us by those gundam guys. I’m positive that we will definitely have even more impressive kits up for raffle next year.
One of the things that I found lacking at most model competitions are technique demonstrations. So we planned out a little section of the venue to do a few quick demos of various techniques. These were definitely well received. For next year, we will definitely have demos, but most likely focusing on different topics such as diorama base building, scratch building, working with resin, etc. Just to change things up again. But we’re definitely interested in hearing some feedback as to what the majority would like to see in terms of live demonstrations.
Early in the morning when we all arrived. Unsure of the turnout we would get, the group of us pulled as many kits we had in our personal display areas as possible and just loaded the tables. Angel brought something on the order of 17 kits, I brought about 10, and Dan and Brandon brought out some really old kits built almost 10 years ago. When the tables started to get really full, we started pulling kits off the tables and to the point where there were very few of our own kits out on display by the time we reached our entry cutoff time. Here are some group shots of the contest tables.
Here are some individual kits that really stood out. Some very amazing works. We had so many 1/100 UC era kits that we ended up splitting the category to have a pre Zeta category and a Zeta and everything after category.
Judging was done by Angel, Mitchel and me. I took care of the anime figures, dioramas, and mecha general while Angel with the help of Dave and Brandon took care of the Alternate Universe tables, and Mitchel took care of the UC tables. Mitchel is an outstanding modeler and he brought his Macross Valkyrie which is amazingly done as a display piece. I hope that next year he’ll enter this contest.
This was a very successful event and I would like to thank all those gundam guys and their attached women that helped out with the planning, working at the event, and the generous donations of raffle kits. I would also like to thank Steve, CEO of Bluefin Distribution for bringing the volunteers of the event a tray of wraps. It was completely unexpected and very much welcomed by everyone.
More pictures of the event can be found here:
And here are a few youtube videos that Dave took at the event: