Sunday, September 15, 2013

Field Trip!: Jerseyfest 2013

Saturday I had an opportunity to slip away for the day and visit “Jerseyfest Model Kit & Statue Fair”. I had learned about Jerseyfest from a flyer at Resintopia, a show I attended in the spring. From what I have been able to gather, Jerseyfest started around 2006 as a party of like minded figure enthusiasts meeting in someone’s basement. It grew to about 150 people and last year moved out of the basement into a hotel venue. This year was my first year attending and it was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fairfield, NJ.


Jerseyfest is a quasi-three day even with a very interesting structure:
  • ·         Friday seems to be only workshops, these are several hours long, can cost a few hundred dollars, and materials are supplied.
  • ·         Saturday has two vendor areas (twice the size or Resintopia), free seminars, a model contest, with dedicated model and figure parties in the evening.
  • ·         Sunday looks to be vendors and a shorter program of seminars.
So let’s look at each topic.

Logistics

I arrived a few minutes after the show had opened and the parking lot was fairly full in front of the hotel, but plenty of free parking was available. Clear signage in the front lobby pointed me to the show location. One day admission was $15 ($25 for Saturday and Sunday). Your admission ticket is one of those annoying paper wrist straps, but they did put mine on comfortably loose.

There were a handfull of cosplayers
They provide a nice single page show guide that tells where everything is and when, this included non-show items such as restaurant hours, shuttles, ATMs, bathrooms, and the hotel wifi access code. This was excellent – I wish other shows would emulate this.

For those that care, the hotel staff did a wonderful job of keeping the men’s room impeccably clean. Not a big deal for me (a veteran of Historicon at the Host), but I know it can be important to some.

All rooms for the show where on the same floor and very close to one another.

Model contest

OK, now to the serious stuff. The model contest was in a very narrow and long conference room. The walls all had a tables running along them and the center of the room had one line of double tables running the length.

Many HUGE models on display. This walker was the size of a St.Bernard!
These were about 2ft tall
Movie scale, 1/5th speeder in progress
The lighting was poorer than the room that Resintopia used (which was upstairs), but I appreciated the convenient location of this room to the rest of the show so I could pop in frequently. The light was dim enough that I had to brighten all the pictures significantly.

Amazingly lifelike
Very cool undead flash, would love to find out if this is a kit
Beautiful collection of busts
The variety was quite impressive; from 28mm gamin figures to 1:1 heads, from small space ships to studio scale land speeders. Enjoy the eye candy!

Star Trek ship were well represented
This cool Star Wars droid moved with the aid of the RC rig on the right
Mecha were well represented, though no really big ones
This Mockingbird Lane diorama was fantastic!
I think the cars are diecasts
Forbidden Planet creature from the ID
The inevitable cheesecake
Predators were almost a category of their own
Some nice historicals were present as well.
This bust is drool worthy.

Vendor areas

As I mentioned, the vendor area was twice that of Resintopia. The Resintopia post has pictures of one of the dealer halls. The second hall was about twice the size but not as crowded. Overall it was very comfortable to move about. In addition to vendors, there were a couple of tables for getting autographs.

Some of the vendors of note: Federation Models, the Frank Frazetta Museum, Badger Airbrush, and Alfred Wong Models. About 55 vendors in all.

I have a number of Morland Studios pieces in my collection - always unique

I only made a few purchases. I bought a small bust from Morland Studios (Hatasu) and a figure by Industria Mechanica (Freaky Gothic). I also picked up a Badger Krome airbrush. There was lots of other resin that called out to me, but I had to show some self control.

I've loved the Industria Mechanika stuff for a long time
and the deal was too good to pass up.

Seminars

Jerseyfest provided some of the best seminar experiences I have had. All of the seminars featured very knowledgeable speakers, a video camera man showing close ups on a large (50”+) flatscreen, and lots of opportunities for questions.

Charles Villarca gives the low down on Vehicle and Mecha painting
Widescreen TVs made even the smallest detail clear
The first I attended was Vehicle and Mecha painting by Charles Villarca. Most of his work was on the Machinen Krieger series (aka MaK, aka SF3D as appeared in Hobby Japan). Lots of great information about using lacquer paints, AK & Mig stains, graphic pens, and how to layer things properly. Various models were passed around as he worked on them so you could really study them.

Some of Charles' work

The second seminar was Painting Human Skin Tones with Jim Capone. I don’t have any pictures from this seminar as I chose to video tape it rather than take notes. This was also great as he airbrushed flesh on a large figure right in front of you and then pastels to add extra color notes. This seminar also passed the piece around. Incredible!

Sorry for the pic quality, it's a still from a VGA movie  file
For me, the seminars were worth the price of admission!

Overall

I really enjoyed Jerseyfest and plan to attend next year (assuming this one is successful). I thought it was a great size so you never felt overwhelmed, lots of eye candy, lots of things to buy, and plenty of opportunities to learn. Next year I will try and stay later so I can experience the evening Modeler’s Party and, if I ever finish anything, maybe enter the contest!

Latah!

P.S. All of the pictures taken are here in photobucket. Most not shown in the post.




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