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WonderFest™ 2003

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^ Tony Agustin won a well-deserved Gold for his Death Star Turbo-laser Tower vignette ....

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^ ... as did Terry Miesle, for this VF-1D

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^ Hail, Hail, the gang's all here!

Image: Friday night, in the Lizard Lounge: Joe Suttie, Jack Wendt, Emily 'PSB' Taylor (l-r)

Image: Neil Prentice and Erin Lantz scribble, while Terry and Dave 'Blappy' Guertin look on.

Image: Mark Yungblut and Erin hamming it up

Image: Joe Suttie and Blappy hiding behind a Borg Cube

Image: Relaxing on the 'balcony'

Image: Saturday night, and the pool patio is jammed - at least until the cops showed up

Image: When sci-fi modelers party .....

Image: Sal 'Godfather' Bravo is overcome with emotion

Image: Revelry - Vince Hoffman, Erin, and Terry (l-r, front); Mark Yungblut and the Evil Speedbump are in back

Image: Alfred Wong regales Michelle Lantz with tall scratchbuilding tales

Image: One of these things is not like the other ones.....

Image: Joe Brown's Sentinel attacking a Disney Nautilus

Image: Hotel guard ....

Image: ... and the maintenance guy

Image: Hail, Cesar!

Image: Thag's just jazzed to be in the show ....

Image: Joe Brown

Image: Clark Bradshaw (r)

Image: Mark 'Zarkus' Koziuk and Chris 'PhD Strange' Binnet

Image: PhD Strange

Image: Sal Bravo and Scott 'TrekmanScott' Scariot deep in conversation

Image: Erin got a dragon and Jay Chladek (right) .... got Blappy. Fair trade?

Image: Larry Strickland, always smiling

Image: Clark and Joe and a big Horizon

Image: Erin gets advice from Mark on building the ERTL Deathstar

Image: Jack Wendt, Mark Yungblut and Alfred Wong (l-r)

Image: How did such a nice girl wind up with Jimi?

Image: Jon 'Vir' Kunatz (r) looks over Dave 'USS Absolute' Tomita's (l) new decals

Image: The Larrys (Strickland and Johnson (r))

Image: Chris Doll, Mark and Alfred

Image: Dave & Dave, International Men of Mystery

Image: Joe's got that 'deer-in-the-headlights' look ....

Image: Scott & Jimi at the awards ceremony

Image: Getting ready for the awards ceremony

Image: Tony Agustin gets his gold....

Image: Terry still can't believe it ...

Image: Federation Models had the new Starcraft's Romulan Bird of Prey for sale.

By Terry Miesle - text © 2003
Image captions by John Lester
Images brought to you by Scott Scariot, Vince Hoffman, Ken Roberts, Jack Wendt and the letter Q © 2003.

Another Wonderfest under our belts - along with all the lobby hot dogs, pool party beer, and club sammiches from the hotel restaurant. I don't think it's just me, I think this was the most fun Wonderfest I've attended. The guests were great, the entries were great, and there were so many new faces I can't remember people's names - at least most people have taken to the practice of placing their screen names on their name badges.

I've come to think of Wonderfest as only part model show. To me it's become more like a family reunion. In one place are so many people I've not seen since the last Wonderfest, most of whom I see only once a year. I've met a lot of people the last two years, and hope to see more every year.

The traditional Saturday Night pool party was as sweltering as last year, and even more fun…plus, we were kicked out of not only the pool area, but also the lounge later in the evening. Sunday the security guards intercepted us and used the spurious excuse that the chairs were needed elsewhere (the vendor's room had dozens of chairs scattered around). (Can you imagine? A bunch of mostly middle-aged sci-fi modelers striking fear in the hearts of hotel management just by talking too loud into the wee hours of the morning? -- Ed.)

I'd like to comment about the guests this year. I couldn't have been more impressed with Mr. Harryhausen. I've enjoyed his work over the years, but was completely unprepared for his geniality and enthusiasm. Friday night at the Janus party, he was constantly walking around talking with people and looking at the pieces everyone had on display. He is energetic, enthusiastic and gracious - and was all weekend. He purchased items in the vendors room, scrutinized entries in the display rooms and spoke with everyone who approached him.

John Eaves, of Star Trek fame, was a pleasant surprise as well. He delivered an engaging talk, showing the process of bringing designs to the big and small screens. It was very enlightening and entertaining to see original concept sketches and the process leading to the final design. He's a modeler himself, and a big fan of Starship Modeler.

According to Lee Staton, the Grand Poobah of Wonderfest, figure entries have remained constant over the past several years but vehicle entries have dramatically increased. In fact, this year saw a record number of entries (though Alfred Wong and Chris Bennett might have been major factors). The organizers are happy - more attendees mean a more successful show. The judges relate the vehicle category has also improved in quality over the past couple years as well.

The vendors room was pretty much the same as usual, many good selections to be found. There was one notable addition: Cutting Edge. They have been expanding into the real space category recently with a line of 1/144 rockets and now accessories for the Space Shuttle kits. If you're working on a space shuttle, definitely keep Cutting Edge in mind.

The contest was big this year, the vehicle entries overflowed into an additional room. Next year we might have so many entries we deny Fine Scale Modeler the room in which Matthew Usher photographed numerous entries - we can hope!. Also the rule of the day were large models: a scratchbuilt Orion Clipper, a big Borg Cube, a massive TB2, and Alfred Wong's and Chris Bennett's large, imaginative scratchbuilt vehicles, Sean Sides' and Ishmael Davila's entries, as well as two Dendrobiums took up a great deal of table space.

I think people have decoded the requirements for Wonderfest entries to do well in the contest. It's different from IPMS, and people are placing their entries on bases which convey a sense of context or enhance the viewing of the entry. It's an involving process, but well worth the time and effort. It's forcing a lot of us to think about more than just plastic and resin.

I think you'll see a lot of inspiring entries in the photo gallery. Tony Augustin, from our Chicago group, might just take the contest to another level single-handedly with well-repsented vignettes. Alfred Wong brought 22 entries, a long period of work, and include some of the most imaginative while realistic designs I've seen. Guys like Chris Bennett, Joe Brown, Scott Washington, Jack Wendt and Erin Lantz show us lack of a kit shouldn't stop us from building subjects on our own. At the same time, entries from guys like Marc King, Scott Scariot and Dave Tomita show us how to create items with impeccable finish and skill.

Finally, Emily, our beloved PsiCopBabe, brought plenty of chocolate-chip cookies. If you missed out, it's your own darn fault!

For additional images, please see CultTVMan's Wonderfest Report, Jeff 'MangoMan' Alger's Wonderfest Pix and Joe 'Sparky' Suttie's Glacially Slow Website.


Below are some of the handouts provided at Sci-Fi U and the Wonderfest demos..
Download: Ron Gross' Basics of Resin Casting (Word)
Download: Terry Miesle's Decal Application (Word)
Download: Joe Brown's Scratchbuilding With Foam (Word)
Download: Larry Johnson's Washes & Drybrushing (Word)
Download: Jay Chladek's Weathering Techniques, Pt 1 (Word)
Download: Jay Chladek's Weathering Techniques, Pt 2 (Word)
Download: Mark Yungblut's Great Model Photography (PDF)
Download: Mark Yungblut's Scratchbuilding DeMystified (PDF)
Download: Kirk Schermerhorn's Lighting Models (PDF)

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^ Sean Sides' Viper in Launch Tube was a crowd favorite

Photo Gallery

Some of the writing on the entry cards was hard to decipher (and the guards kept us from turning over a lot of forms to even get names from!). If I've spelled your name wrong or mis-identified your model, please contact me to get it corrected!

Vehicles and Hardware

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^ Dave Tomita's Enterprise Legacy
Image: Bob Hild's 'Sea Witch' Starfury

Image: Jimi Glancy's Fine Mold's TIE/Fighter

Image: Jay Chladek's Battlestar Pegasus

Image: Dave Guertin's Canadian Arrow Display

Image: Tony Lamb's Carvorite Sphere/First Men on the Moon display

Image: Tony's intrepid explorer

Image: Scott Icard's Time Machine

Image: A closer look

Image: Beauty shot

Image: Joe Brown's TIE/Lightning and Moiya

Image: Joe's Rapier and McQuarrie USS Enterprise-A

Image: Closer look at the McQuarrie Enterprise

Image: Joe's Rapier was inspired by the Wing Commander movie

Image: Joe's Eastern Alliance Destroyer and Ismael Davila's "The Big Catch"

Image: Another look at the Destroyer

Image: Joe Brown's Green and Wayne Walls Arctic Camo Tron Tanks

Image: Ismael Davila's other Seaview

Image: Dave Tomita's USS Excelsior ...

Image: ... and his Enterprise-B

Image: Two X-Wings: Jay Chladek's Red-2 (l) and Ismael Davila's (r)

Image: Scott Owen's Darconian Marauder

Image: Matt Johnson's Viking and Orbiter

Image: Scott Owen's Narcissus

Image: Another look

Image: Another look at Tony Agustin's Turbolaser Tower

Image: The X-Wing's were made from Fine Molds' kits

Image: The turbolasers were made from elctronics parts

Image: Tony's Probot, from the SMT kit, took a Silver

Image: Another look

Image: Brian Ludden's Fine Mold's TIE/Fighter and Marc King's "Stopover" shuttle with crew (rear)

Image: The start of Alfred Wong's table

Image: Dave Prossler's Batcopter

Image: More of Alfred's ships

Image: ... still more ....

Image: Alfred's B-Wing

Image: Alfred's GX-8, Brian DeRienze 's Gundam Turn X and Kevin Stone's Klingon K'tinga on a nifty base

Image: Alfred's Z-95 Mk2 (Mara Jade's)

Image: Snow speeder

Image: Joe Belding's 1/48 Y-Wing (from the Estes rocket) and Kevin Stone's KBOP (front)

Image: S:AAB Hammerhead

Image: Joe Belding's B-Wing and 1/100 Zaku Custom

Image: Close-in look at the B-Wing cockpit

Image: Kevin Stone's Next Generation Heavy Lift space shuttle

Image: Closer look


Image: I believe this is one of Scott Washington's scratchbuilds, but which one ....

Image: Somewhat closer look

Image: Side view

Image: Another of Scott's ships

Image: Side view

Image: Scott Owen's TIE, Brian Ludden's AT-AT and Chris Binnett's Falcon 1

Image: A closer look at the Falcon

Image: Scott Washington's Hovertank

Image: A fist full of mecha

Image: Neil Prentice's Gelgog Marine

Image: Joe Graziano's Jerry and Krote

Image: John Creed's Raiden.....

Image: .... and Forest Warrior

Image: Joe Graziano's ABC Warbot

Image: Chris Binnett's HA/RM Prime (Hoverstone tank)

Image: The interior is fully detailed

Image: Crewman checking out the l;atest dings in the paint

Image: Plenty of Gundams in this corner

Image: One of these is Neil's, the blue MS-07b GOUF is Douglas DeRienze's

Image: Neil's Core Fighter and Evan Taylor's lighted WSM-03 Gogg are in front

Image: Jim James' Spindrift

Image: Scott Scariot's Klingon Vorcha and a mean-looking Excelsior variant by Chris Allman

Image: A closer look at the Vorcha

Image: Brian Everhart's Enterprises

Image: Another look

Image: Chris Allman's Cardassian warship

Image: Dave Guertin's Perigrine Fighter

Image: Dave Tomita's Enterprise Legacy

Image: Another look

Image: Scott Scariot's USS Hunley

Image: Chris Allman's Firebird Twin-BoP

Image: Chris' USS Nautilus

Image: Another look ....

Image: .... and a third

Image: Chris also brought a damaged K-BoP

Image: Chris Doll's Saturn V and Jedi Starfighter, with April Welles' Pan Am Clipper in back

Image: April's Clipper and Karim Nassar's scratchbuilt Moldy Crow

Image: Though you can't see it here, Karim's model is fully lighted

Image: Chris Doll's Jedi Starfighter, Steamrunner, Equinox, and NX-01

Image: Chris' Enterprise-E

Image: Closer look at the NX-01, Equinox ...

Image: .... and Steamrunner

Image: Paul Francis' 23" Eagle

Image: Another look

Image: Close-up on the back end

Image: Frank Lamarca's Enterprise-D with detailed shuttlebay

Image: Alfred Wong's 1/48 Aliens Dropship and APCs


Image: Frank Lamarca's “Sister Ship” Voyager and concept

Image: Matt Johnson's Friendship 7

Image: Ishmael Davila's “Return to LV426” with Alien APC

Image: Closer look at the troopers

Image: Neil Prentice's GP-03 Dendrobrium

Image: From the back

Image: Pilot

Image: George Venturini's 1/48 Pan Am Clipper

Image: IOt's big, it's detailed AND it's fully lit

Image: Space:1999 corner - Bill Early's “Flock of Eagles” and “Lunar Defense Tanks”

Image: Eagle with a piggyback ship

Image: One of the tanks

Image: Another

Image: And the third

Image: Sean Sides Studio-scale X-Wing

Image: From the front

Image: Marc King's Fireball X-5

Image: Rear view

Image: Much to my own surprise, my wildly-painted Starship Modeler Logo Ship won a Silver

Image: A closer look

Image: Scott Scariot's Borg Cube

Image: Terry Miesle's VF-1D, Minbari Fighter are in front; Keith Klitses' TIE/Fighters are in back

Image: Terry sure knows how to paint ....

Image: The Minbari boasts a fully-detailed cockpit

Image: Another look

Image: Jon Kunatz won a Bronze for his 'Boyington Starfury'. Those are his Gear Krieg minis in front of it.

Image: Jon's Longstreet walker

Image: Jack Wendt's Sponopter, GEV and Liandra.

Image: The Liandra, closer

Image: Wunji Lau's “Art Imitates Life” -Macross fighters and the aircraft which inspired them

Image: Jack Wendt's scratchbuilt Hyperion

Image: April Welles' USS Canberra ...

Image: ... and USS T'Pir

Image: Ken Robbins' Orion Battleship

Image: Mark Kozik's AT-PT ...

Image: .... and Stormtrooper Transport

Image: Another look at that transport

Image: Mark's 1/48 Dagger

Image: Another look

Image: Mark's Colonial Viper

Image: Ishmael Davila's BIG Seaview

Image: B.P. Taylor's Ranger Survey Vehicle

Image: Closer look

Image: Landing gear details

Image: Front view

Image: Scott Scariot's TOS-era Tug USS Tionesta

Image: Side view

Image: Chuck George's Enterprise-D

Image: Erin Lantz's Jedi Starfighter

Image: Erin made his purple - it's Mace Windu's ride

Image: Dave Tomita's Unfair Advantage (Dendrobium)

Image: Pilot, waving a beam sword

Image: Yamato in bottle, by John Osbourne

Image: Neil Prentice's Alternate Shuttle


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^Kenneth Tallay's Dracula and the Bride

Image: Closer look

Image: Chris Binnett's NS127-D Arctic Transport

Image: Another look

Image: Inside the cab

Image: Front view, with what looks like a study model in back

Image: Another beauty shot

Image: Jerry Conner's Birdseye View

Image: Gamera looks peeved, doesn't he?

Image: Ismael Davida's Battle For Hoth

Image: Alfred Wong's Size Matters Not

Image: Rear view

Image: Alfred's Neverwinter Ranger

Image: From another angle

Image: Alfred's Desperate

Image: Detail of the beast controlling the beast


Image: Thomas Aquiar's The Treasurer, Jon Kunatz's Zaku-2 and Phil Sera's Manageries Mummy

Image: A closer look at The Treasurer

Image: Closer look at the Zaku

Image: Closer look at the mummy

Image: Another look

Image: I believe this is Phil Sera's Gothic Hans Vampire

Image: Another look

Image: The Evil Emperor

Image: Mark McGovern's And He Never Misses

Image: Look out, Bond!

Image: Jason Tarpley's Queen Alien

Image: Another look

Image: Scott Scariot's The Rescue

Image: Tony Lamb's Bugs… and First Men in the Moon

Image: Closer look at Bugs

Image: Another look at First Men

Image: April Welles' Three Against One

Image: Bill Jones' Teenage Rumble

Image: Prasad Cherian's Bolt Gundam vs Shining

Image: Ron Sherwood's Irreperable Damage


Image: Hulk Smash!

Image: I think this is Bob Janusay's Day in Court

Image: Chris Bennett 's 2067 'Vette was a crowd favorite

Image: A good look at in the 'cockpit'

Image: Another view

Image: Frankenstien is not happy about being awakened ....

Image: Another look

Image: From the other side

Image: Steve Harris' Jeepers Kreaper

Image: Another view

Image: Body snatcher at work

Image: Rick Stanebraker's Frankie and the Classics

Image: Another look

Image: Chris Binnett's J36 Hailstorm

Image: Closer look

Image: Top.front view

Image: Another look

Image: Terry Miesle's Forward Deployment

Image: A look in the cockpit of Sean Side's Viper

Image: Mount Scarymore

Image: Frankenstein in the makeup chair

Image: American Godzilla
Image: Makeup artist
Image: Overmatched, it looks like

Figures, Humor & Juniors

Image: My, gramma, what BIG teeth you have!
Image: Scary
Image: Gollum
Image: Creature
Image: Another tough lady
Image: Another take
Image: Busts
Image: Scorpi ... or Harvey?
Image: Not something you want to run across in the woods ....
Image: Countess Karenstein bust
Image: Straight from the latest headlines
Image: Faye Valentine
Image: Spidey
Image: Two if by sea ....
Image: Kong vs. T Rex
Image: Ape-onauts
Image: Looking at the world through flies' eyes
Image: Huey
Image: Bug
Image: Elvira
Image: Predator
Image: Desperate
Image: Yet another tough lady
Image: Deja Tharsis/Tars Tarkis
Image: Another look
Image: Mekon
Image: Screecher
Image: Barbarian and Wolfman
Image: Entries
Image: More
Image: More
Image: More
Image: More
Image: More figures entries
Image: Creatures
Image: Busts
Image: Pretorious bust
Image: American Werewolf
Image: Vignettes
Image: Frankie and ABC Warbot
Image: More figures
Image: Caged
Image: The claw! The claw!
Image: Canned


Image: More figures
Image: Spock and Frankenstein's monster
Image: Tough gals
Image: Another, and Hannibal
Image: Jason, revealed
Image: Johnny 5
Image: Alfred Wong's ladies
Image: Mara Jade
Image: Talon
Image: Dragons
Image: Busts
Image: Aliens
Image: Anubis?
Image: Alien skulls
Image: Penguin & Dracula
Image: Alien warrior (juniour)
Image: He's back
Image: ?
Image: Frankenstein's monster
Image: Purple and scary
Image: Outer Limits creature
Image: Someone get this guy a napkin
Image: Wolfman
Image: Green and scary
Image: Turkey Vulture?
Image: The Fly (II)
Image: Devil
Image: Half the man he used to be
Image: Vampire
Image: More busts
Image: Bad guy gets the girl
Image: More entries
Image: Grey
Image: More entries
Image: Shiny
Image: More entries
Image: More
Image: More
Image: Monsters is such INTERESTING people...
Image: Yet more entries
Image: More
Image: You guessed it - more entries
Image: Bride of Frankenstien
Image: Gremlin
Image: Gun-totin Alien
Image: Screech & Mekon again


Image: More figures
Image: More
Image: Bride of Frankenstien bust
Image: More figures
Image: Godzillas
Image: More figures
Image: Apes and Huey
Image: Two of Terry Miesle's miniatures are in front
Image: Humour: Pull Up, Pull up!
Image: Lightcycle Roadtrip
Image: For show-and-tell
Image: Jimi Glancy's Mr Hankey
Image: Beaker
Image: Cartoon Heroes
Image: More humour entries
Image: Devilbaby
Image: Stooges
Image: Hamlet under glass
Image: More cartoon figures
Image: Batcrew
Image: What, me worry?
Image: More humour entries
Image: Frankenstien
Image: Adventurer
Image: More cartoon figures
Image: Godzuki
Image: Mean missile
Image: She's not bad, she's just drawn that way
Image: Caged
Image: Juniors
Image: More juniors
Image: More
Image: More
Image: More
Image: Next Gen crew
Image: Cyclops
Image: Shiny
Image: SD Nosferatu
Image: Hunchback
Image: Alien
Image: Gundam
Image: Crouching tiger, leaping lizards
Image: Iria and mech
Image: More juniors
Image: Ceti Eel
Image: Discovery

Anime, Superheroes, Dinosaurs and Kaiju

Image: Mech
Image: Anime entries
Image: Deadly ladies
Image: Gundams
Image: Dave Tomita's Dendrobrium
Image: Priss and Asuka
Image: More heroines
Image: Chii and Katsuragi
Image: Huntress
Image: Vampire Hunter
Image: Gally
Image: Rei Ayanami
Image: Catgirl
Image: Asuka
Image: Rei
Image: Chii Chobits
Image: Riddler
Image: Vampirella
Image: Caped Crusader
Image: Catwoman
Image: Superheroes
Image: Joker
Image: Wolverine
Image: Flash


Image: Clint
Image: POW!
Image: Shaken, not stirred
Image: Another Joker
Image: Pale Batman
Image: Spidey, redux
Image: Emma Peel
Image: Tony Agustin's Tomb Raider took a Silver
Image: Tough guy
Image: Again
Image: Superheroine
Image: Does whatever a spider can
Image: Tony Agustin's Batman
Image: Hulk need bulk
Image: More of Alfred's ladies
Image: Supergirl
Image: Polar Lights' Hulk and Superman
Image: More superheroes
Image: Dapper Joker
Image: Charge!
Image: Joker bust
Image: Mettalic ....
Image: Ming?
Image: Spidey
Image: Another Batman


Image: Gentle Fortress
Image: A boy named Sue
Image: Looking for lunch
Image: Stegasaurus
Image: Big fish
Image: Mighty Joe Young
Image: Evolution in action ....
Image: Dino
Image: Confrontation
Image: Brontosaurus
Image: Dinosaurs
Image: Down in the weeds
Image: Harryhausen Gallery
Image: Fight
Image: Pre-armadillo
Image: Basil
Image: Venusian

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This page copyright © 1997-2003 Starship Modeler™.
First posted 25 June 2003. Last updated on 5 January 2004.