Show report from Wonderfest 2001 .

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WonderFest™ 2001

[Click to enlarge]

^ Saturday night: (from left to right)
Front row: Terry Miesle, Vince Hoffman, George T., Steven, Don Matthys
Back Row: Jon Kunatz, Mark Yungblut, Erin Lantz, John Lester

Image: Dave "Blappy" Gueterin drove all the way from Ontario, Canada to enjoy the hotel's breakfast.

Image: Chris Doll (center) explains all.

Image: Don Matthys (left) and John Lester (no, that's not all our beer).

Image: George and Steven

Image: Mark Dean

Image: Erin Lantz (left) and Chris Lynch

Image: Men in Black: Erin Lantz, Joe Brown, Terry Miesle

Image: Ron Gross explains basic casting

Image: Raiding the vendors room: Joe Brown, Vince Hoffman, and Erin Lantz.

Image: Terry Miesle and Larry "I am not amused" Strickland

Image: Vince Hoffman and David " USS Absolute" Tomita

Image: Erin's (far) better half, Michelle and Mark Yungblut

Image: Mark, Jon Kunatz and Erin (looks like Erin needs an exorcism, no?)

Image: Not all of Joe Brown's ships made it into the contest

Image: Federation Models had a huge collection of models and detail sets, including Starcraft's new Sabre.

Image: Polar Light's displayed their new C57D kit, as built by Marc King

Image: Ben E. cleaned up in the Juniors category.

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 the past decade, 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 Anne Francis (from Forbidden Planet), John Eaves and ILM's Carol Bauman - as well as horror legends George A. Romero and Tom Savini, artist John Goodwin, Sara Karloff, Frank Dietz and special artist guest Bernie Wrightson. Ms. Francis opened special screenings of Forbidden Planet at a local theater - a real treat for the many folks who hadn't seen the film on a big screen (and without commercials!)

The modeling demos 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 - and hopefully will be expanded next year.

Attendance was the highest ever - over 3000 people - and the contest was correspondingly large, with a record 396 entries. This year, Vehicles and Mechs jad their own room, as did Dinosaurs/Kaiju (Japanese Monsters), Dioramas and the "Adult" entries. Figures (plus Anime, Humour and Superheroes) spread out to cover the two rooms that held all the entries barely two years ago. For a complete list of winners, please click here.

If 13.5MB isn't enough images, you can always take a look at the Wonderfest site and CultTVMan's Wonderfest Report.

^ Vince Hoffman's scratchbuilt USS Lexington won the "Best Spacecraft" Award

Photo Gallery

Some of the writing on the entry cards was hard to decipher. If I've spelled your name wrong or mis-identified your model, please contact me to get it corrected!



Image: Scorpion, from the Blackhawk comics, by Dan Thompson

Image: Scratchbuilt "Ladybug" figure, from an unpublished novel.

Image: Escape

Image: Godzilla in Hudson City won a Gold and "Most Amazing Figure"

Image: Another view of this amazing diorama

Image: Close-up of the devastation

Image: Headless Horseman, from the PL kit

Image: Hulk terminates

Image: Klingon vs. Predator

Image: Last Huskies in Antartica

Image: Wading through the paddy

Image: Playdroid

Image: Tomb Raider, entirely scratchbuilt, won a Gold

Image: Lara Croft, inside this massive display

Image: Lara again

Image: Looking straight in

Image: Tony Wootson's display


Image: This was done entirely in exotic woods

Image: Jon Sowinski's tribute to Ed "Big Daddy" Roth

Image: Son of Frankenstein

Image: Watch that tail!

Seven modelers (Erin Lantz, Vince Hoffman, Chris Lynch, Terry Miesle, Mark Yungblut, Larry Strickland and John Lester) got together after last year's Wonderfest and started a group project: a large diorama depicting mechs fighting in an urban area. Eight separate scenes, judged separately, made up the display. It was a fun project, and a great learning experience - well worth the effort. Read Erin's description.

Image: The overall display covered one whole table.

Image: The display from the right side

Image: Erin's portion had the most action, and won a Merit award.

Image: In this scene, a swarm of mechs blasts ashore to seize a command post

Image: A group of power-suited soldiers ('Elementals') rockets up the antenna mast

Image: Defenders fight a losing battle

Image: Erin spent four days painting the complex cammo on this mech

Image: Good guys (Starship Modelers, of course) fly their banner over the battle

Image: Amphibious mechs climb the seawall.

Image: These guys are from the 'Rabid Otters' - don't ask.


Image: Next door to Erin were Larry Strickland (front) and Vince Hoffman's displays

Image: Vince's reinforcements pass a group of soldiers playing cards in the rubble.

Image: My (John's) first square shows two mechs still fighting after the ammo ran out.

Image: The burnt out APC put a poorly molded model to good use

Image: The mechs are Gasaraki (left) and Patlabor, the statue a Sharkit sample

Image: Terry's display featured a scratchbuilt Demolisher tank and hordes of elementals ...

Image: ... one of whom gets too close to a can opener.

Image: The tank is entirely scratchbuilt, with styrene stock and M-60 tank wheels and treads

Image: Though the elementals are barely an inch tall, Terry did his customary super paint job on each

Image: Another of Terry's elementals

Image: Mark's scene - "Here Kitty, kitty, kitty" ....

Image: which a light mech with a big axe pounces on a MadCat

Image: It weighs 50 tons - why bother with camouflage?

Image: Another look at Mark's MadCat

Image: Trying to kill the tank are my mechs, the Griffon using a ruined command post as a bunker.

Image: These roughly-handled light mechs are no match for the tank.

Vehicles and Hardware

[Vehicles Room]

Image: Dan Thompson's HMS Wasp took a Merit award.

Image: Erin Lantz's Gundams (the Heavy Arms on the left was a Merit winner).

Image: Erin's "Army of Two" also won a Merit.

Image: Another view.

Image: Erin's Heavy Arms Custom.

Image: This 50's Batmobile also won a Merit....

Image: ... as did Bob Hickl's 44" Eagle.

Image: Curvy Mech.

Image: Heavily damaged Enterprise.

Image: Discovery. Tom's Clark's Merit-winning SF3D Snake Eye (yellow and grey SAFS mod), Jovian Chronicles Syreen, and LoGH Battleship are in front.

Image: Clark Honschke's scratchbuilt Pit Droid Prototype won a Silver.

Image: Dave Tomita's Enterprise-D.

Image: Dave's second Enterprise-D .

Image: Dave also had a Federation Dreadnaught based on the large ERTL kit.

Image: Another look at the Dreadnaught.

Image: Jay Chladek's Eagle.

Image: Enterprise-C.

Image: Close-up of the Enterprise-C.

Image: Another view.

Image: All five Evangelion types.

Image: Fledermaus from SF3D.

Image: USS Voyager ...

Image: with a tiny Delta Flyer.

Image: Kitbash based on the Voyager, the USS USS Li Mu Bai.

Image: James Bond's Little Nellie.

Image: Joe Graziano's Merit-winning, scratchbuilt Hover Tank I.


Image: John Creed's SF3D Fliege (left) won a Gold, and the Gustav - Ambush Pattern (right) a Silver.

Image: Closer look at the Gustav.

Image: Erin Lantz's "Thirdspace" Flower fighter (left) and someone else's Madcat.

Image: John Larson's "Forever War" transport.

Image: Shuttlecraft Gallileo.

Image: Evelio Mora's "Flying Chamber Pot - Fireball S.G." won a Silver.

Image: John Lester's (unfinished) "Iron Chef".

Image: USS Jaunt - a really neat idea.

Image: The Jaunt, all lit up.

Image: Joe Brown's scratchbuilt "WarHawk" fighter won a Merit.

Image: Another look.

Image: One of John Douglass' kitbashed ships (green).

Image: John's "grey" ship.

Image: Another look at the grey ship.

Image: John's third entry - bright orange.

Image: John Funk's scratchbuilt Centurian Hunter Killer Tank won a Merit.

Image: A closer look.

Image: John Larson's scratchbuilt Hovertank.....

Image: ... and his Spaceplane.

Image: More entries (Joe brown's are in back).

Image: John Sowinski's Martian War Machine won a Bronze.

Image: One of several Klingon Birds of Prey. Mike Starling's won a Silver.

Image: Shane DeBoice's Kobu-kai won a MErit.

Image: Leif Ericson Explorer missing the "engine" modules and a little thingy that went on the front.

Image: Leelan Lampkin's Shadow Scout won a Merit.

Image: Leelan's Shadows.

Image: Another look at the Scout and the Fighters.


Image: Mark Yungblut's Locust took a Bronze.

Image: A closer look at the Locust.

Image: Chris Doll's INSS MacArthur won a Merit.

Image: Millenium Falcon.

Image: Terry Miesle's Vorlon Transport miniature.

Image: Marc King's scratchbuilt Speedboat Shuttle.

Image: More entries.

Image: Still more entries.

Image: Still more wholesome modeling goodness.

Image: Nautilus.

Image: Michael Walker's Phaser Collection took home a Gold.

Image: Entries - Joe Brown's TIE Defender, Peter Fay's Merit-winning AMX-1105 Zaku III and John Funk's Y-Wing and Rebel Transport are in this shot.

Image: Mark Honschke's Silver-winning Earthworm Jim Handgun.

Image: Several kitbashes based on Seaquest models.

Image: Sinclair's Starfury earned a Merit for Tony Wootson.

Image: John Funk's Dark Planet Mining Shuttle (foreground) won a Merit.

Image: Steve Parady's Crimson Viper is in the back row here. Image: More entries.

Image: Star Trek ships dominate this shot.

Image: Terry Miesle's Jet Speederbike.

Image: Trade Federation tank.....

Image: .. and a modified one.

Image: Turn-A Gundams.

Image: Closer look at the black one.

Image: Vince Hoffman's Super Armored Fighting Suit won a Bronze.

Image: Another look.

Image: Vince's Kestrel shuttle won a Merit.

Image: Another look.

Image: Eddie Combs' Vorlon Transport won a Silver.


[Figures, figures and more figures ... most of them girlies]

Image: He'll be back, Mr. Predator - a Gold Winner for Randy VanDyke.

Image: Batgirl Adventures #1 - a Gold winner for Henry Lambracht, Jr.

Image: Blue fairie.

Image: Warrior bust.

Image: Captain America gets medieval on the Skull (toyBiz kit?).

Image: Creatures were popular.

Image: Imagine finding this guy in your tub...

Image: ...or this guy in your hall closet.

Image: Lil green man with an attitude.


Image: 8-minute abs.

Image: The Joker.

Image: Kirk and Troi by Richard Gaskill.

Image: Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Image: Luke's Tauntaun.

Image: Little Green Men.

Image: The figures categories filled two rooms full of models.

Image: Bride of Zorro.

Image: Mt. Monstermore.

Image: Momma warned me about girls like her.

Image: Pirate Girl.

Image: Predator won Daniel Tarr a Bronze.

Image: Professor Gremlin dominates this table.

Image: Slobbering Rancor beast.


Image: Rock me, Dr. Zeus!

Image: Frankie in chains - a Merit award winner for Edward Bagwell.

Image: Gambet - a Merit award for Juan Guzman.

Image: Clif Dopson's "Gotham Sunday Morning" won a Gold.

Image: Boba Fett riding a war-chicken.

Image: Rock on.

Image: Howard Kellogg's big "Mother Superior" won a Silver.

Image: Is this a girl's best friend?

Image: Or is it this one?

Image: "Spawn", by Joe Goad, won a Silver.

Image: Andy Price's Silver-winning "Supergirl".

Image: TNG female officer.

Image: Dunno what it is, but it's scary.

Image: Witchblade bust.

Anime, & Juniors

[Anime entries]

Image: Lum (left) and another pretty gal.

Image: Matthew Walker's Merit-winning Asuka on the beach.

Image: "Major" Kusanagi.

Image: That's a very big sword ...

Image: Mecha-dude.

Dinosaurs & Kaiju


Image: Golden Dragon.

Image: Eater and eatee.

Image: Well-painted dinosaurs.

Image: Closer look.

Image: Godzilla fighting Megaguirus -- the villian from Godzilla: 2000.


[Junior Gundams]

Image: Kyler Ogden's "Mach 5" and "Mystery Machine" won Merits in the 12 and Under category.

Image: Looks like "Dark Angel", a bit.

Image: Ben Mohr's "Gremlin" (Merit) and Henry Lambracht III "Angry Eva" (Bronze).

Image: Gundam Wing .

Image: Joe Brown's "Trojan Fish" woon a Merit award in the Humor category.

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Last updated on 10 October 2001.