WONDERFEST 2001

 

I recently attended Wonderfest's "Forbidden Weekend" Show that took place on May 2nd and 3rd, 2001. I had been trying to get to a Wonderfest Show for the past couple of years. This year everything finally fell into place for me.

 

Adding icing to the cake was the fact that my wife and children decided to accompany me. (The Great Adventure Amusement Park located right across the street probably helped out with their decision).

 

One of the reasons I wanted to attend this show was because of the people who would be there. Many of the regulars are members of several Internet bulletin boards and modeling groups that I belong to. It would be nice to meet up with some of the guys I'd conversed with on-line.

 

The kool, very unique, hard-to-find garage kits and related merchandise being sold by the vendors were additional reasons for me wanting to attend.

 

Finally, the fact that Wonderfest consistently showcases some of the very best models in the science fiction, fantasy and horror realms really had me anxious to check it out.

 

Wonderfest is held in the Executive West Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Even though the 700-mile trip - (one way, by car, from New Jersey) - initially sounded a bit daunting, it turned out to be only a small hindrance.

 

We packed up a rental mini-van and got on the road at around 11:40 pm, the Thursday before the show. After an elongated rest (sleep) stop the following morning and a late lunch later on in the day, we finally pulled into the hotel's parking lot at around 4:30, Friday afternoon.

 

We checked in and unloaded most of our stuff. Then Clara and the kids headed down to the pool. I headed down to the registration table to purchase tickets for the show, along with picking up registration forms for the contest.

 

I had brought three entries for the "Amazing Model Contest." Included were Sinclair's "Battle-of-the-Line" Starfury (from Babylon 5), a stock Star Wars Trade Federation Battle tank and a diorama that contained a converted Battle Tank - (my "Tra-don") - along with a number of other components.

 

In addition to my entries, my youngest son Michael (who is 7) and his older brother Anthony (who's 9) each brought two Gundam robots that they had recently built.

 

With purchased tickets and registration forms in hand and my trusty-dusty camera at my side, I headed over to the Lizard Lounge. Janus was sponsoring a "Friday Night Pre-Show Party" for Wonderfest attendees.

They had many of the kits that they sell out on display.

 

They also had quite a few very nice looking buildups.

This had been the pre-designated, unofficial hangout spot for the CultTVMan SF Modeling Guild members. Steve Iverson, (alias "The CultTVMan") has a Web Site dedicated to models found in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror realm. In addition, Steve emails out weekly digests that contain all sorts of interesting articles, reviews and tid-bits of information concerning these types of models. The "Guild" members are those who receive these digests.

 

After smoozing around a bit, low and behold but whom do I run into but my friends Mark and Ron Vantine. (I tell ya, I travel 700 miles and STILL can't get away from these guys - :~} ).

 

Mark had accompanying him a buildup of the first casting from a sculpt that he had done last year or the year before. It was what Mark called a Gigantopithecus Rex - (King-Kong) - battling a stylized Plesiosaur (or snake), that was wrapped around him.

 

I met up with Jay Chladek, the guy who originally educated me about The CultTVMan. Jay had with him one of his entries for the contest, a Pan American Orion from 2001 A Space Odyssey.

 

Most of the Guild members were accumulated around fellow member Joe Brown, who had brought many of his models with him to display. Joe has been doing a most excellent job scratch building different types of spaceship models for quite some time now. He had his latest masterpiece, a Warhawk from the old Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century TV Show.

 

In addition, Joe had a work-in-progress Andromeda Ascendant spaceship, from Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda TV Show. A third scratch-built spacecraft I saw (and recognized) was the Protector, from the Galaxy Quest Movie. Joe had entered it in a previous Wonderfest Contest.

 

Some of the other Guild members whom I met were "Ziz" - (John Zizolfo, one of the moderators of Steve's SF Modeling Forum), John "OneZero" Lester, the owner of the Starship Modeler Website), Dave "Blappy" Guertin and Anthony Taylor.


I met up with a lot of other Guild members as well. Unfortunately, since there were numerous introductions and since the brain was suffering from sleep deprivation, many names were forgotten.

 

I hung out a bit in the Lizard Lounge, took a bunch of pics and finally decided to call it an evening, heading back up to our room.





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