The last time I wrote on one of these blogs I thought that if I was supposed to be producing them on a regular basis I should start taking the writer’s equivalent of Ex-Lax. After realising how long it is since my last blog I really should be adding prune juice and gunpowder to that. Perhaps I should just console myself that between making models and trying to get on with life in general there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to. We have all heard the saying that time goes quicker the older you get and it is very true: I find myself two-thirds of the way through the year feeling that it has gone quicker than a rainy Sunday afternoon as a teenager.
Life is a truly wonderful thing and sometimes I stop and marvel at some amazing events that have happened to me. Case in point being that three years ago when I bought a kit from the United States (which, in itself, is a miracle I would never have dreamed possible when I was younger and thanks due to the introduction of the internet) who would have thought that I would be selling the build up of said kit and posting it back to sunny California (cue Al Jolson song at this stage of the proceedings). Sometimes, despite the merry go round of day to day life, you have to stop and carry out a review and I realised that I was quickly running out of space at home to store my build ups. I decided that the best way to rectify this was to try and sell off my collection and hence the sale of my Batman: Scars diorama that some of you may recall from a chapter in my How to Build Better Dioramas book. I have started this not-closing-down sale in a low key manner and some of you may have seen my posts on various modelling forums. My gallery of models and dioramas can be seen here. If you would like any further details or prices of models you can contact me.
Another thing that I never expected to happen to me was to see my work in a museum. Well, not exactly in a museum, but featured on its website anyway. I recently discovered the Mechanical Art and
Design Museum in Stratford upon
which is full of amazing mechanical devices and a section devoted to Steampunk.
I am very pleased to say that the dioramas I made for the two Steampunk
Modeller Specials can be found in their work for sale section.
On the morning of Saturday 21st July Andy Pearson and I arrived at the Manchester Central Exhibition Hall to set up a stall with the aim of exhibiting and, hopefully, selling some of my model collection. The MCM Expo didn’t open until 9:30am so Andy and I were quite surprised to see that people were already queuing up at the door to get in at 8 o’clock. Once we had found our stall it didn’t take too long to set up and then it was time to wait for the announcement to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war, so to speak.
The number of people that had come to the exhibition was phenomenal: with people queuing round the building and waiting over an hour to get in. And all shape, size and colour of humanity came through those doors – many in costume. Many were in superhero costumes, with the recent Avengers movie being an obvious big influence and there were a lot of Steampunkers there, but Manga and Anime subjects (of which I know nothing) seemed to be the primary focus of the dressing up. Sadly there was a lack of any vintage items on display and only myself with anything
My stand received a lot of positive interest, particularly when I told people that each model was a one of kind, hand built item, as most of the attendees were only familiar with factory produced pre-built collector’s models. Unfortunately, the predominance of interest in Manga and Anime meant that a lot of the audience were in the mid-teen to mid-twenties age bracket and had come for more of a fun day out rather doing any serious spending, so whilst I didn’t finish the day with pockets full of cash I didn’t take back home as many models as I had come to the show with.
Having said that the day was full of potential with a lot of people taking my details and looking to give me future commission work, and two young ladies asked me if I’d be willing to give them one to one tuition: I obviously directed them towards my book as a starting point! What was also interesting was that a dealer selling art prints from down south said that if I took a stall at a London convention my models would fly out the door and he was interested in buying a number of models himself for re-selling. So you may well see me making an exhibition of myself in the big smoke one of these days.
Five o’clock rolled round and it was time to pack up. Andy and I headed home tired but having had a thoroughly enjoyable day out. A day that I would classify as highly successful as it confirmed to me that I have a good product and there is a market for it, all I have to do is find the right audience and away I go!
I look forward to seeing you all at the third UK Garage Kit show on 29th September, where my first kit will be unveiled: my interpretation of Mike Trim’s War of the Worlds Tripod, but done in a Steampunk style.