Friday, February 19, 2010

Wonder Festival 2010 (Winter)

Hi! Josh here. OK, enough of snowy weather, this is about Scale Modeling! And while I'm style arranging some things, I would like to show to you what I bought in this past Wonder Festival at the Makuhari Event Hall in Chiba, Japan.

I would be more than delighted to share a full report, but the thing is that I already made an extended report for my colleagues at the Club de Modelismo del Tec (Plamo TEC), my former Scale Modeling Club at ITESM, in Mexico. Though the report is in Spanish, and I prepared this blog in English in order to try and reach a broader audience, please feel free to go to there blog, check the photos and maybe use a translator or something if you happen to not be proficient with the language.

The Wonder Festival (WF) is one of the biggest celebrations of Japanese Scale Modeling Culture which is strongly related, but not limited to, the popular Japanese Media cultural products such as Anime, Manga, Videogames, etc. I must admit I have a great interest in these media since long time ago. However, as everything that passes through my circle of interest, I want to see the Art expressed in it.

Back in my undergraduate years, I could only dream of being in such a huge event. Granted, I could always go to a very big Scale Modeling event in the USA anytime I wanted; however, I would like to use this time to remark some differences about Japanese Scale Modeling Culture and American (that's the whole American continent I'm talking about) Scale Modeling Cultures.

In the case of the Wonder Festival, the event invites hundreds of participants commonly referred to as "dealers" which could be considered free lancer Scale Model kit builders. What I'm basically saying is that these people, or groups of people called circles, make their own works out of the materials they can find, break them into a assemblable kit made out of a resin cast and produce an very limited amount of them to be purchased at these kind of events only (or at e-bay for two and up to more than five times the original price). The source material is quietly focused on the Japanese popular media as mentioned before. This may indicate that the Japanese scale building motive is more driven in a subjective way: to express perspectives, opinions and particular feelings and beliefs about the source material. An approach to fantasy and imagination.

In the case of American Events it has been my experience that, especially those held by branches of the International Plastic Modeller's Society, they tend to celebrate the experience of actual model building and to promote the expertise of how to build kits more accurately faithful to their source material. Usually it seems easier to find "tips" about building kits in the "American way" than in the Japanese one. The source material is almost generally, but not exclusively, related to 20th Century History, my personal tag for WWI, WWII and everything that has a "W" that stands for War; nevertheless I somehow see that the actual essence of this source material is focused on the considerably large evolution of "mechanics" recorded through human history during this past century. This suggests that the American motive may be driven more in an objective way: to show the things as they are in the most accurate way possible, and to point the facts about the source material. An approach to design and functionality.

I particularly have enjoyed both cultures in their own way. But ever since I'm in Japan, I think I'm going to obviously take the opportunity to focus more on the Japanese way. So, enough of these over-elaborated analyses, here is what I bought at the WF 2010:

Non Scale E.S. DINAH from Xenosaga Episode III made by Ambivalent/Orange Drops. Price: 13,000yen

Non scale Akari Himuro from Night Wizard! made by Framework. Price: 10,000yen

1/8 Rain Kirishima (left side) from Baldr sky produced by Volks. Price: 12,000yen

I would like to point out that all these were the demonstration models. I actually acquired an unassembled resin kit of each. My basic policy is: "No building, no deal", so I never actually got too much into collecting "Anime Goods" just for the sake of it. Even though I enjoy building plastic kits all the time, I would like to learn from these recently acquired kits the technique to try and do my own someday. I have a lot of ideas I would like to materialize in the form of figures similar to the ones you are seeing. I hope to give the enough patience and time to do so.

Well, thanks for reading, and I'll try to come with some more later.

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