Show report from Wonderfest 2002.

Starship Modeler - The complete information source for modelers who build sci-fi, fantasy and real space subjects

WonderFest™ 2002

[Click to enlarge]

^ Some of the gang: Front (l-r): Erin Lantz, John Lester, Vince Hoffman, Larry "The Spoon" Strickland. Back (l-r): Jon "Vir" Kunatz, Terry Miesle, Neil Prentice, Mark Yungblut, Dave "Blappy" Guertin

Image: Federation Models unveiled a host of new kits

Image: Anthony Taylor mans the CultTVMan table, where the new book was available.

Image: Friday night: Larry is hard at work on finishing touches.

Image: Friday night: Wonder Twin power - activate!

Image: Scott Scariot (l) doesn't look too impressed with whatever Erin (middle) is saying.

Image: Saturday morning: Vince Hoffman tries to recover from dropping his model.

Image: No, really, I'm not inhabited by a Go'uld. It's just redeye.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Rick Sternbach (left) graciously autographed Scott Scariot's Voyager diorama

Image: Saturday night: beware of Michelle and the candid camera!

Image: Poolside: (l-r) Becky Oswald, "Quiet Pete", Erin Lantz, Tracy Brownfield, Mark Yungblut

Image: Jimi "Bol loD2" Glancy fires up the laser eyes

Image: Vince and Emily "PsiCopBabe" taylor

Image: Sunday: Blocking the hall. April Welles is second from left, Mike M. (orange shirt), Phil Conner and Rose Scroggins are at right.

Image: Vince brought his better half, Becky

Image:Erin was floored by his Gold

Image: Thag!

Image: Linda and I wait for the ceremony to start

New Pix Image: Hangin' at the bar, thru Terry's eyes

Image: Friday afternoon, in the "Starship Modeler Building Room"

Image: Saturday am: I put last minute touch-ups to my diorama entry

Image: Saturday pm: (l-r) Blappy, Pete, Shane & Bob Ford

Image: Sunday pm: Admiring Erin's gold

Image: (l-r) Phill Connor, Joe Brown and Matt "Major Matt Mason" Jacobson

Image: Neither Vir (left) nor Neil (right) notice Terry has become a Go'uld ....

Image: C'mon, Vince, don't let that camera kick your butt ....

By John Lester - images & text © 2001

Wonderfest, held every year in the late spring in Louisville, KY, is considered by many to be the premiere sci-fi and fantasy model show in the US. Each year for over a decade, Fave Hodge, Lee Staton and crew have been putting on a fantastic convention that draws people from around the world to talk, eat, sleep, and dream models for three days. And it's a sci-fi dream come true - where airplanes, tanks and cars are marginalized and sci-fi geeks rule!

This year's event featured guest presentations by Ann Robinson (from War of the Worlds), Rick Sternbach and ILM's Carol Bauman - as well as legendary illustrator William Stout, artists Vincent Di Fate and Frank Dietz, director Joe Dante, actor Kevin McCarthy, writer Tom Weaver and "Trek Techie" Bob Friedstand. Ms. Robinson opened special screenings of War of the Worlds at a local theater - a real treat for the many folks who hadn't seen the film on a big screen (and without commercials!)

Many folks started showing up late Thursday night in order to participate in the first-ever "Sci-Fi Modeler's University" seminar. Eight solid hours of classes were presented, each foucusing on one aspect of model building. Topics started with Basic Assembly/Construction and worked through the stages of modeling to Scratchbuilding and Lighting. Thanks to thee generous efforts of Matt "Major Matt Mason" Jacobson and his crew of "Lone Gunmen", these presentations were filmed and may be available later for those who could not attend. Feedback from participants was generally favorable, and it looks like Sci-Fi U will be held again next year (bigger and better, too).

The modeling demos on Saturday and Sunday were back again as well. Eleven half-hour presentations by regular modelers on various topics and techniques were held over the two days. Subjects ranged from Basic Resin Casting to Lighting to How to Photograph Models. Each session was packed, and most could have gone on much longer than the time allotted. These are well worth attending. For those who could not be there, I'll be posting the handouts on this page so you can download them.

Attendance was off from last year, but you couldn't tell that by the vehicle entries. There were more than ever - so many that some spilled over into the figures rooms. Not only were there a greater number of entries, but the quality of work and the variety of subjects was dramatically increased. Golds in vehicles went to Nill Polan for "Tin Man 2000", B.P. Taylor for "Moondog" and Geotge Venturini for his "Fireball XL-5". All were scratchbuilds. Among the other Gold awards was won garnered by Erin "Das Phule" Lantz in Anime for his superbly done "Archer Girl" (Isoroku Yamaoto). As always, the contest was ably run by Larry Brackney and his gang -- it really is the standard by which other shows should be judged: these guys do it right! .

Of course, the REAL highlight of the show is catching up with old friends and meeting folks I know only via eMail and the Discussion Forum. This year, I finally met Jack Wendt, April Welles, Scott Scariot, Jimi "The Speedbump" Glancy, Scott "TrekmanScott" Scariot, Jack Smith ..... and so many others it's become a blur. I also had the pleasure of chatting with Rick Sternbach, which was a thrill for a fanboy like myself. Fortunately, Matt and the Lone Gunmen caught a lot of the activities on tape .... or maybe not so fortunately, as they also covered the now-infamous "beside-the-pool-party".

Yup, Wonderfest is the show to attend, whether you build sci-fi models, collect sci-fi-models, or just like looking at them. I can't wait for next year!

For additional images, please see the Wonderfest site, CultTVMan's Wonderfest Report, PCModeler's Wonderfest Gallery, Brian Ludden's Photo Gallery and Tony Wootson's Wonderfest 2002 Report.


Below are some of the handouts provided at Sci-Fi U and the Wonderfest demos. All are in MicroSoft Word format.
Download: Ron Gross' Basics of Resin Casting
Download: Dave Guertin's Construction Basics
Download: Terry Miesle's Decal Application
Download: Erin Lantz's Epoxy Putties for Modeling
Download: Kirk Schermerhorn's Lighting Basics
Download: Larry Johnson's Washes & Drybrushing
Download: Joe Brown's Scratchbuilding with Foam
Download: Jay Chladek's How to Make Your Own Decals
Download: Jay Chladek's Weathering Pt 1 (Washes & Drybrushing)
Download: Tony Wootson's Basic Assembly & Seam Filling
(see more here)

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

[Click to enlarge]

^ Bill Polan's Gold-winning "Tin Man 2000"
Image: Another look
Image: B.P. Taylor's "Moondog" also won Gold
Image: Here's a closer look
Image: George Venturini's giant scratchbuilt "Fireball XL-5" took the third Gold.
Image: Despite a nasty fall, Vince Hoffman's "AT-ST" took a Silver
Image: Evilo Mora's "Hornisse Flyer" also won Silver ...
Image: ... as did John Creed's "Nutrocker"....
Image: ... Bill Polan's "Robot Hunter" ....
Image: ... and Bill Early's amazing (and LARGE!) "Spindrift"
Image: The Spindrift had a complete, detailed interior too
Image: Two of the Captain Cardboard "2001 Pod"s were entered. Sean Sides' won a Silver.
Image: The interior detail is fantastic on this model!
Image: Clark Bradshaw won a Merit Award for this imaginitive display of "Enterprises"
Image: Chris Doll's "Moia" won a Bronze.
Image: Eddie Comb's "Raider Fighter" from the Temporal Rift Kit
Image: Joe Brown brought a number of models. Here's his "Close Encounters Mothership"
Image: His tiny "Delta Flyer" was almost impossible to see ...
Image: ... which is why he thoughtfully provided this display
Image: Joe's "Gunstar 1"
Image: Joe's camouflaged "Klingon Bird of Prey"
Image: Joe did a great job painting this PNT "Ennex O'Won"
Image: Joe's "Seeker" from the Small Art Works kit.
Image: His "Shadow Fighter" in color-shifting paint.
Image: Joe was part of the "ultra-secret" Wonderfest project -- the result was his "Rabid Duck"
Image: Larry Johnson was in the project as well: here's his "Shrike".
Image: "Welcome Back Shuttlecraft Sitchin" by April Welles
Image: April's "EAS Nosferatu"
Image: Scratchbuilt spehere from "Phantasms"
Image: This refit "Enterprise" from the Starcrafts kit garnered April a Merit Award...
Image: ... as did her display of "Support Craft of USS Voyager"
Image: "USS Nobach I" by Wayne Walls, from the Starcrafts kit
Image: "Correllian Y-500 Freighter" by Travis Collard - neat idea!
Image: Mike Anderson's "Klingon Bird of Prey"
Image: Entries on the back half of table 1
Image: Vince Hoffman's "Locust"
Image: "Good Nyborg Man" won Tony Lamb a Merit
Image: Chuck George's "Klingon Bird of Prey"


Image: "Gunstar 1" from the MiM kit
Image: Merit-winning "Shuttle Atlantis" on her stack
Image: Another look at Vince's "AT-ST"
Image: Nice aztec on this refit "Enterprise"
Image: Merit-winning "Eagle Transporter"
Image: My "Z-95 Headhunter Mk2mod" from the Zarkus kit
Image: Cool kitbash!
Image: Cargo 201
Image: Cowboy BeBop "Swordfish II" from the BanDai kit
Image: This "Shrike" is the first in the new Starship Modeler Kit Factory line.
Image: Dave Guertin's "Hova-cuda"
Image: Everything in this "Jupiter 2" lights up with the touch of a button
Image: Clark Bradshaw's "Babylon 5 Station"
Image: Mike Walker's "Batmissile" won a Merit Award
Image: Erin Lantz's "Chicken Little"
Image: Entries on table 2
Image: Kirk Schermerhorn's "Planet Express" from the Skyhook kit
Image: Gundam "RX-79"
Image: "Alien Derelict"
Image: "Seaquest DSV", "Millenium Falcon" and a big "X-Wing"
Image: Brian Ludden's nicely weathered "Millenium Falcon"
Image: I loved the paint job on this "Seaquest DSV"
Image: Here's a closer look
Image: "Presidential Escort Starfury", built straight from the box
Image: "2001 Moonbus"was built by Troy Enlow with completely scratchbuilt interior and lighting including the console.
Image: More entries
Image: Jay Chladek's "Red 2" from the Fine Molds kit
Image: "Jem Hadar fighter"
Image: "the Big O" from the BanDai kit
Image: "Speeder bike"
Image: "Vulcan Shuttle"
Image: Jimi Glancy's Merit-winning "TIE fighter" from the Fine Molds kit
Image: Great aztec finish on this "USS Housatonic"
Image: Kevin Stone's small "Klingon Bird of Prey"
Image: Merit-winning "RX-77 Gun Cannon"
Image: "Angel of Life & Death"
Image: Kevin Stone's "Klingon K'tinga" ....
Image: .... his "Romulan KR" ....
Image: ... and "Heavy Lift Shuttle"
Image: "Sazabi", from the BanDai Master Grade kit
Image: "Heavy Arms Custom"
Image: "Erin Lantz's "Gundam RX-78" won a Merit....
Image: .... as did his "Char's Zaku"
Image: "Unknown anime sub" (looks like the enemy sub called the 'Terror Fish' in the British marionette series 'Stingray')
Image: Another look at "Moya"
Image: Chris Doll's "AMTronic Taxi"
Image: Nice "Eagle Transporter"
Image: Chris Doll's "Space:1999 Commlock" ....
Image: ... and his "Space:1999 Stun Gun"
Image: Gundam "Sandrock Custom"
Image: Chris Doll's "USS Akira" from the Starcrafts kit
Image: "Robin's Ride" by Steve Sturgis - originally built for an online contest earlier this year
Image: Gundam "Nataku"
Image: Phil Lacefield looks over the third table
Image: The mysterious Mr. Shickland's "Trade Federation Droid blaster" got a Merit award
Image: Wunji Lau's Gundam "Neue Ziel Prototype" made me rush to the dealer's room to buy the kit
Image: Merit-winning HG "Quebley"


Image: "Fremen Chrysknife"
Image: Another "Quebley"
Image: A second "2001 EVA Pod" was entered
Image: This "Dropship" won a Bronze for Jeff Marker
Image: Both the 'Dropship" and it's base were fully lighted ...
Image: ... and the cargo bay was detailed
Image: Wunji Lau's Jovian Chronicles "Pathfinder"
Image: Gundam corner
Image: Neil Prentice got a Bronze for this Gundam "Zeta Plus" ...
Image: ... this "RX-178" ...
Image: ... and this "Zaku"
Image: Gundam "RX-78"
Image: Nice base on this Dorvack "PAM-74C"
Image: Here's Wunji Lau's "GP-03 Prototype" from the smaller BanDai kit
Image: Neil got a Merit for "Blue 3", also a Fine Molds kit
Image: "Colonial Viper" on a launch rail
Image: Jimi Glancy got a Merit for this "MST3k Brain Ball"
Image: "Ed Roth, We Remember" garnered Robert Hickl a Bronze
Image: Wunji Lau's Fine Molds X-Wing, this one "Red 5"
Image: AT-AT, from the ERTL kit
Image: Bill Mayo won a Bronze for this "Shinihara AV-XO"
Image: This "Millenium Falcon" is actually entirely scratch-built, base and all, by Joe Graziano
Image: This corner of the fourth table had 2 gold winners
Image: Larry Strickland's kitbashed "Thunder Chicken"
Image: Dave Arzapalo's phenomenal "Whitestar"
Image: Another look. The markings took three months to work out a technique for applying and six months to painstakingly paint.
Image: Front view
Image: Terry Miesle's collection of Jovian Chronicles minis.
Image: Terry's "Godsfire"
Image: Erin Lantz's "Gungan Sub"
Image: Erin's B5 ships
Image: The "Minbari War Cruiser" was built from the Temporal Rift kit. It won a Bronze
Image: Erin scratchbuilt all the probes
Image: His scratchbuilt "Shadow Omega" won a Merit
Image: John Sowinski's "ID4 Alien Attacker"
Image: Another look at the "Hornisse" and "ID4 Attacker"
Image: Joe Graziano's "GP-02" won a Bronze
Image: Jack Wendt's Merit winning "Space Police Car" ...
Image: ... his scratchbuilt "Space: Above & Beyond ISSCV" ...
Image: ... scratchbuilt "Hyperion" ....
Image: .. scratchbuilt "Dauntless" ....
Image: ... and scratchbuilt "Whitestar".
Image: Jon Kuntaz's "Romulan Nova-class Battleship" ...
Image: ... and Fine Molds "X-Wing"
Image: Big, red, "AMX-004"
Image: Right side of the Gold-winning Pod
Image: Closer look
Image: Another look at that Moondog that won a Gold...
Image: ... and another
Image: George Venturini won a Bronze with this large "Shuttlecraft Galilleo"
Image: It was fully lit, fully detailed, and had operating doors
Image: Kenny Haverly's Starfury "Don't Tread On Me"
Image: Kenny Haverly's Merit-winning, scratchbuilt F-42 "Aerophage"
Image: Darth VAder's TIE is a conversion of the Estes rocket


[Click to Enlarge]

^ "Kong's Rampage" was one of 2 dioramas to win Gold for Mike Wallace

Image: "King Kong in Hudson City" was the other
Image: "Man of a Thousand Faces" won a Gold for Thad Rhodes
Image: "Shadow Attack", by David Arzapalo, won a Silver
Image: Here's a closer look


Image: Robert Janusey's "The Thing" also won a Silver ...
Image: ... as did Tony Lamb's "Knights of the Old Code" ....
Image: ... Tony Phillips' "In the Lair of Two-Face" ...
Image: ... Dave Kinney's "The Guardian" ....
Image: Sean Sides' tribble-covered "Spock's Science Station" ....
Image: .... and Randy Van Dyke's "Alpha Team Removal"
Image: Closer look at "Alpha"
Image: Tom Seiler's tribute to Paul Blaisdell and the 50's rubber-suit monsters won a Silver as well.
Image: Starting at the left, there's "The Day the World Ended" ....
Image: ... "It Conquered the World" ....
Image: ... "The She Creature" ...
Image: ... "Invasion of the Saucermen" ....
Image: ... and "It - The Terror from Beyond Space!"
Image: Tobin Franks' "Haunted House Diorama" won a Bronze


Image: "Creature from the Black Lagoon" in a fountain won a Merit
Image: Jerry Conner's Bronze-winning "Ambush", with Locust
Image: John Sowinski's "The Beast" garnered him a Bronze
Image: "Godzilla's Rampage", by Rick Spadoni, also won a Bronze
Image: "Hunting for Sinbad" got a Bronze for Roger White
Image: "Eye of the Storm" won a Merit....
Image: ... as did "Who's Hunting Who"
Image: Scott Scariot's "Stretching Their Legs" won a Bronze
Image: "Raptors" was awarded a Merit
Image: Vince Hoffman's "The Big Dig" got a Bronze ....
Image: ... as did my "Last Stand" ....
Image: ... John Struck IV's "Be Very, Very Quiet" ....
Image: ... and Phil Commer's "Timeless"
Image: Here's a closer look at Kim and Chakotay trudging across the ice
Image: Nick Ritz's "The Pit & The Pendulum" won a Bronze

Figures, Juniors, Humor

[Click to enlarge]

^ The Juniors, Superheroes and Anime were all in one room Image: Worf, with batleth
Image: Mark Yungblut's "Sentry"
Image: Mark's "Rider" was almost entirely scratchbuilt
Image: Joe Brown's "Garignak" took a Merit award
Image: Scary motorcyclist
Image: "War of the World's Martian"
Image: MarkyMark will never escape!
Image: Jimi Glancy's favorite
Image: Mark Yungblut's "Orc" bust won a Merit
Image: Steel blue dragon
Image: Shouldn't have gotten him wet ....


Image: Stormtrooper on Dewback
Image: Who needs Lorien when you have Master Yoda?
Image: A closer look at the Shadowman
Image: Luke Skywalker
Image: Blue Angel
Image: Princess Leia?
Image: Creature hatching
Image: Ewok
Image: A table full of award-winning women
Image: Kosh
Image: Obi-Wan in action
Image: Spock and friends
Image: "I'll be back"
Image: Trek figures
Image: "Bin Laden, My Foot!"
Image: "Raiders of the Lost Donuts" won a merit
Image: Erin Lantz's "Archer Girl" took the Gold in Anime
Image: "Misato Katsuragi"
Image: "Siren"
Image: Neil Prentice won a Bronze with "Dunan Knute"
Image: Wonder Woman - a conversion from the Toy Biz Storm kit by Ron Sherwood and was a bronze medal winner
Image: "Meet Tony Soprano" won a Merit


Image: Judges and contest organizers had their work displayed in the figure room
Image: More contest organizers' models
Image: Head Judge Larry Brackney in 3000?
Image: Scary!
Image: A superb T-Rex
Image: Lee Staton's "Iron Giant" and "Penguin"
Image: "Twilight Zone"
Image: Brightly-plumed dino
Image: Is that a candy-cane?
Image: I had a jack-in-the-box like this as a kid ... which explains a lot ....
Image: Big Blue "Kampfer" ....
Image: ... and his big red buddy
Image: A face only a mother could love
Image: "Ghostbuster" sculpted from scratch
Image: The juniours table was filled with monsters and robots
Image: "Robot Battle" got a Bronze
Image: This "Nautilus" won a Merit
Image: "Venom" won an award
Image: Another scary!
Image: If I remember correctly, "Baby Godzilla" took top honors
Image: Award-winning gundams
Image: "Right of Manhood" won a Merit in the Teen category
Image: "Gundam Repair Day" won a Bronze
Image: "GM Sniper" won another Merit
Image: This "GM from 07th MS Team" also won an award.

Go back up | Events Listings | Starship Modeler Home | Site Map | Feedback

This page copyright © 1997-9 Starship Modeler™.
Last updated on 7 October 2002.