Albuquerque Comic Expo 2013

The Albuquerque Scale Modelers (ASM) put on a model display on June 22-23 at the Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE) 2013. This was the second year that ASM supported the ACE event, which was held at the Albuquerque Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque. The purpose of ASM’s display was to promote the modeling hobby, possibly gain some new members, and to have fun. ASM had a prime location right in the middle of the main traffic area where attendees came in to the building and also transited back and forth from the large vendor area to where the guest speaker presentations and seminars were held. We had hundreds if not thousands of folks stop by to look at the models and a lot of them asked questions about the models or painting techniques.

The theme of the model display was “Science Fiction, Real Space, Fantasy, and Science” – the same as what ASM has for its January Special Contest each year. We had over 100 total models on five tables. The models were grouped by themes and genre that included: Star Trek and Star Wars (about a third of the display); Real Space and Man In Space; science fiction television shows (Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Space 1999, The Jetsons), science fiction movies (2001, War of the Worlds, Alien, When Worlds Collide); Gundam and comic book figures; and science fiction vehicles. The ASM “What is Scale Modeling” display board was right in the middle with five P-51D models ranging from 1/24 through 1/144 scales, along with a display of what comes in a model kit box – the sprues, instructions, and decals – and the finished model itself. Alongside that was the “what if” diorama of a “UFO Fly-In at Roswell” featuring four UFO flying saucers at the UFO Museum in Roswell, NM. Pictures of the model display are included below.

ASM members that helped man the tables included Joe Walters, Josh Pals, Jack and Jeannie Garriss, Blaine Couch, Steve Stronach, Michel Wingard, Ken Piniak, Tony Humphries, Frank Randall, Patrick Dick, Victor Maestas, and Matt, Laura, and Mike Blohm. Adrian Montano also provided models for the display. We normally had at least five ASMers available to watch the models, answer questions, and pass out ASM and New Mexico State Fair model contest promo sheets. Thanks to all who manned the exhibit and provided models, and a special thanks to Laura Blohm who was instrumental in the design and build of the new, large-size (6 feet by 6 feet) ASM banner.

ASM did meet its three objectives. We put on a great show and it was very well liked by the ACE attendees. Being sci-fi and comic book fans, the attendees knew what the subjects were, and really wanted to see and talk about the models. As occurred in 2012, there were some highly-charged “words of excitement (expletives deleted)” expressed by a visitor when a favorite subject was seen. We again had “celebrity judging” by a cast of costumed characters that reviewed all the models and picked out their favorite – those awards will be passed out at an upcoming ASM meeting and posted on the ASM website. Not everyone picked the subject related to their costume. Princess Leia picked the Millennium Falcon, probably because she spent so much time aboard it. But surprisingly Darth Vader also picked the Falcon, perhaps because he liked shooting at it? (Disregard the fact that Victor Maestas did a super job on that model.) As in 2012, the Bunny-Wan Kenobi and Duck Maul figures by Joe Walters’ step-son were a big hit. Another “big” hit was Adrian Montano’s giant 1/350 scale USS Enterprise-A.

A lot of ASM promo sheets were passed out and it looked like there was a lot of interest in the club. Pictures of ASM’s past Make ‘N Take events were displayed on our tables, and several attendees asked about having ASM perform a Make ‘N Take for their Cub Scout groups. So be prepared to possibly do some more of those later in 2013. There was also interest in bringing models to the NM State Fair, especially amongst the junior modelers. As for having fun, we all most certainly did. If you have not attended one of these conventions, you definitely need to give it a try. It’s now time to get building those sci-fi and fantasy models for the January 2014 contest so that we can put on another great show at ACE 2014.