AX 2007

July 2, 2007: Pictures from day 1 to day 3, more con report and stuff to come tomorrow after I get back from the last day of the con. I am currently way to fing tired to write anything conprehensible.... More to come.

Ok, attended the final day of the event, nothing too significant happened. I got to meet another fellow model builder from NorCal. But here's the con report. In general I had fun, but was fairly busy walking back and forth between the Art Show and the main exhibit building for the workshops. I didn't get to spend much time in the exhibit hall, guess that's a good thing since it sorta help save on some money.

The highlight of this year is meeting with more and more new people. One person I met, currently lives in Oakland, however he grew up in my home town and went to the same high school as I, albeit graduating several years before I did. I got to meet the man behind HobbyFan, hopefully next year I'll get a chance to talk to him more since he says he's planning on exhibiting next year.

I also got to meet another pla/resin figure modeler. Clementine pointed out the Haruhi kit that was displayed in a booth at the exhibit hall. I was going to check it out yesterday, but I was short on time since I needed to run off to judge the model competition. When I went there today, I was talking to Clementine about the kit in Cantonese and the builder overheard and answered the issue I was pointing out. We chatted for a little bit and I learned how much of a model builder he was; so I trekked back to my car and grabbed some of my display kits I had in the model contest and brought it back to his booth to show him some of my work. Then we just ended up talking for a good hour or two while he was still busily selling and dealing with customers. Good guy, and good shop:

The Model Contest:

This year I decided to take some steps to help improve some of the areas where the model contest has been failing upon in the past couple of years. There really was a need for a model builder's perspective on things, so I contacted the Art Show staff and just started whining, complaining, and throwing suggestions - an internet tantrum if you will. I got a webpage that describes the model contest and judging criteria put up, the Art Show manager removed the need for model contest entrants to reserve table space just for entering a model. Honestly, it seems rather unfair to have a modeler who brings in 1 model kit to need half of a 6 ft table. The judging was lead by me, for which I selected a group of fellow modelers, one whom is the vice presidnet of my local IPMS club and a regular judge at IPMS contests. Seeing the number of entrants, I feel satisfied to say that the model contest showed some potential. Here are the entries:

There were a total of 31 entries from 12 or so entrants. One of the biggest complaints that I felt from the model competition was the poor choice in judges. In previous years, the judging was left up to the model contest sponsor, guests of honor, or like last year, taking pictures of the entries and emailing them to the sponsor who no longer attends AX.... With the permission of the sponsor (HLJ) the Art Show was allowed to elect a local judge for the contest. Hopefully this will pave the way for establishing a permenant judge position where the judge/judges panels are experience model builders. From all the entries, the following picture is the names and titles of the kits that won:

Ramen eating contest. It just fun to watch people attempt to quickly finish eat scalding hot cup of noodle as fast as they could, including the soup.

Some friends of mine came down from Sacramento and this was their first AX. Not sure if they'd be up for coming back, but I think they had fun.

I was able to hold the gunpla and resin figure model building seminars as I did last year. This year I opted for some earlier start times so as to not conflict with the bigger events at AX. Unfortunately, it seemed that the timing was just a little too early. There was just too many things that were going on during the early part of the day so my attendance was considerably smaller than it was last year. I still had a decent draw, and several repeat attendees from last year. I will have to add much more material to my current model presentation, dioramas and such would be a great addition to the workshop. For next year, I've been thinking about submitting a request to hold the workshop later in the afternoon/early evening around 5 or 6 and hold a two hour panel. I think the 5-7 time frame would be perfect, folks have gotten a chance to wander around the exhibit hall, and there's bit of a lull between the closing of the exhibit hall and the evening events such as Masquarade and AMV's. This is a picture my girlfriend took of me while in the midst of pointing and looking like a general fool attempting to teach a class on building gunpla.

This year was my first foray into AX's Art Show silent auction. I've auctioned items off at Otakon and found some decent success, so I decided to try AX's. When bidding started, I ended up getting one bid. On the third day, while in the midsts of judging, the Art Show staff came over and grabbed me because they had some interesting news. Apparently the folks that run the AMVs do not buy the prizes for the AMV awards until they have finished judging the AMVs. They then go and find prizes that fit the subject matter of the particular AMV that won. So this year, they had a grand prize award go to an AMV that focused on The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya; so they came by the Art Show and placed the final bid on the Haruhi kit that I put into the auction. Here are some pictures of the AMV director putting Haruhi together in preparation for the awards presentation and a picture of Haruhi with the AMV award. Hooray for Haruhi I guess.

Cosplay and random photographs

Lots and lots of Haruhi's and SOS Dan folks running around. I tried to get a little autography from the SOS Voice Actresses... I wanted them to sign my Haruhi Guitar. But there was a nice little fiasco of sorts. Taking everything with a grain of salt, I wasn't too annoyed, only slighly perturbed. I blame the fickleness of the primadonna VAs. Cosplayers - some good, some decent, some just god awful, you decide:

Group doing characters from Miyazaki's films:

Mecha cosplayers and mecha related cosplayers... I see Fatimas...

Final Fantasy Cosplayers:

Cosplay ringers:


Maids, nurses, gothic lolies:

Random cosplay::

Sailor Moon, 15 year reunion picture...

Random crowd shots:

Random stuff:

And finally, today I found this guy; basically sitting there pulling parts off the trees and building an MG Strike Freedom. Perfectly content with snapping and explaining to passerbys that these things do not need any glue or paint.... *sigh* He had no clue that there was a model building workshop, had no clue that there was a model contest, he was just content in seeing the exhibit hall and walking outside every now and again. I have a sinking feeling that the majority of the folks walking out of the exhibit hall with bags upon bags of gunpla are just like this guy.



Update Information:

July 1, 2007: Day three of Anime Expo, still one more day to go.... tired as all hell right now. More to write later, after the con is over...




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