This past weekend was the December Model Build Gathering. We didn’t hold a gathering last month since we had the SCGMC contest. And I believe that combined with a few people that learned of our build gatherings from the SCGMC event, the December gathering was fairly large. We also had our annual white elephant exchange which is always a fun time. When we first started the white elephant exchange, I think we had a total of 8 participants and the exchange was still fun. This year we had 27 participants, and wow, such a difference in the game, but more about this and the actual build gathering after the jump.

I’ve recently started on a project that I plan on entering into the HobbyLinkJapan Sci-Fi Contest and due to the rules, I’m unable to post up any pictures of the kit progression so far. But I spent my time at the gathering working on this “mystery” project. Folks at the gathering know, but the online community will just have to wait.

Folks started arriving fairly early, and we had a few new folks that came. There were a few folks that came to the gathering after learning about it from November’s SCGMC event. And even as new comers, they joined in the gift exchange. People were busiy building and some were painting. Angel cracked open a RG Freedom and went from the frame to just about finishing the initial snap. Brandon was busy painting a small figure.

Terry was doing well, first working on his minis, then working on the Mega Man kit he stole and locked from the gift exchange. But then as usual, ADD hits and he’s playing with Kenken and Latte.

In the mid-afternoon, the front living room tables were full and the dining room was full, so the back living room filled up with people building on the coffee table. I quickly texted Dan to see if he can bring some extra chairs and tables. I think it’ll be a normal back and forth with our tables and chairs as the gathering continues to grow. This is a good thing, at least in terms of folks building.

Xavier hit up the booth to finally get some practice in with his fairly newly purchased airbrush. Maybe we’ll start seeing more kits from X as he should now build much faster than when he was hand painting everything.

Most folks were snapping and sanding kits as these gatherings are perfect for such mundane tasks. Jordan is working on his 1/100 Nightingale that he picked up from TatsuHobby at SCGMC last month. Dave’s working on a MG Kamen rider with all it’s glorious rubber pieces. Dan’s tables and chairs brought the folks crowded in the back living room back into the front living room. Some folks that haven’t been back in several build gatherings make some triumphant returns. It’s good to see Hsiang-Wei (Gtetra) back and working on a project he probably started a few years ago. But at least he’s working. Casaval’s still working on his Gouf/Kampfer bash custom, and as Dan noted, most of his progression as been done only at the build gatherings. Here’s hoping he finishes the project in time for next year’s SCGMC.

It was a good gathering, at least for those building. We put away a few drinks among the peoples. Andrew stayed past 6pm, and took a shot with us. Probably his first shot of tequila ever, so he was feeling the effects of it and it was probably a little bit of a shock to his system; but tolerances are built up, so maybe he’ll slowly join in the drinking festivities on his long road to social acceptance and being less and less socially awkward.

As I’ve stated in past blogs after build gatherings. The build gatherings are a forum for learning and for building in a communal session. The goal is to get better at model building, share model building ideas, and generally learn from one another in hopes to become better model builders. In this sense, Andrew’s started to paint, granted with gundam markers, but it’s a start. After, I don’t know how many build gatherings he’s been to, he’s starting to progress in his model building skills. Once he has a kit built and painted, we can then critique his work so that his next project will be a vast improvement; but he still needs to just finish the project.

It’s good to see that Andrew’s starting to grasp the goal of the build gatherings. It’s not simply a social event to come hang out; it is an event from which he can learn. Which brings us to one of our newest additions. A friend of Andrew, Richard, who is, by means of the transitive property as a friend of Andrew’s; completely socially awkward as well. Yet the awkwardness is slightly different from that of Andrew. It feels strange that I find myself asserting and explaining the reasons why they tend to stand out in the crowd. Similar to Andrew, there is a lacking in social gatherings and acceptance by others. After several months of build gatherings, Andrew is starting to become more and more accepted. Richard is starting at square one, where Andrew once stood when he first joined the gatherings.

Like Andrew, Richard is quite intelligent, or should I say, book smart. A memory capacity for all things that interest him. But common sense and natural social cues are completely lost on the poor guy. 90% of the folks at the gathering cannot stand Richard. This was true for Andrew at some point, but at this current juncture, most folks have accepted Andrew. I’ve gotten a few opportunities to observe Richard, and from other input from fellow modelers as well. And it’s easy to understand why he puts so many people off.

He likes to be the center of attention, but completely lacks the charisma and charm to be such. He likes to show off his intelligence and babbles on and on about crap no one around him gives a shit about. In polite society, we’re taught to just listen and let this go; then just avoid the guy. Eventually, he’ll be alone and folks have slowly moved away. He’s a story topper. When someone shares a story about themselves, Richard will invariably interject and share a much more grandiose story about himself. There’s a complete lacking of self control to blurt out things. He speaks loudly so as to drown out every other conversation. Again, it’s all about him. He wants to badly to be the center of attention, but then he wonders why people shy away from him, why people dislike him, etc. Perhaps he should spend some time mute. Forced to sit and observe others, see the interactions, watch the intricacies and delicate balance among normal multiple sided conversations, as opposed to just a single point spewing facts and opinions for which no one could give a rat’s ass about. But to remain mute and observe may be too much for his self control to handle.

From my standpoint, the guy has been coddled and spoiled most of his life and few to no one has cared enough to bluntly let the guy know his shortcomings; and explain why people have a tendency to avoid him and not want to be friends. Perhaps he has heard this in the past, but is too proud to accept such criticism. But if Andrew is able to learn and become more and more socially acceptable, there is hope for Richard.

Again, as prefaced earlier and in multiple blogs I’ve written, the goal of the build gathering is quite specific. If you make a friend along the way, that’s just icing. If you are not here to teach, you are here to learn, and hopefully in a fun atmosphere.

For the rest of the build gathering pictures, click here:

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Busterbeam

    looks like fun! i can imagine the clash of personalities there must be pretty interesting sometimes. both good and bad.

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