Monday, September 1, 2014

Mechapinoy's Formula 1/144 2014

Hello plamotakus, I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was definitely interesting, with my first ever attempt at a live plamo competition. Here's how the event panned out...

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post...(pic heavy)

Mechapinoy held it's Formula 1/144 contest at the SMX convention center over the weekend, alongside Toykingdom's Toy Expo. The theme of the competition was Gundam Build Fighters, with two categories: Anime Version - wherein the modeler had to build a 1/144 kit as it appeared in the Anime, and Original Version - which was pretty much an all-out custom category provided the base kit was still in 1/144 scale.

Naturally I participated in the latter, submitting the Renegade Freedom. My bro-in-law participated in the Anime Version category with his GM Sniper. We brought in our entries last Thursday, and after seeing all the really good builds I knew my chances were already slim.

(pics are in no particular order, click to view in full size)

My first experience at a live competition was made extra interesting when I found out my entry had accidentally been moved, messing up the pose as I had left it. Being new at this, I immediately fumed, even though the pose had no impact on judging criteria. Everything was cleared up by the group admins and I just charged it to experience.

The winners were announced Sunday evening, and the Renegade Freedom fell short of winning anything at all. With those glaring seam lines on the shoulder cannons (which I thought were actual panel lines [facepalm]) plus a lot of painting errors, I could understand why it didn't get good scores.

Here are the top finishers of the event:

My bro-in-law's GM snagged 7th place and he got some neat prizes.  My entry ranked a humble 15th out of 21 in the Original category. I guess my working magnetized waist hydraulics and custom weaponry did little to impress the judges. The build and paint errors were simply too obvious for experienced judges to overlook, and that was the Freedom's ultimate downfall. Still, the night wasn't a total loss. I had a great time going around the Expo with my wife and son.



 This experience taught me some valuable lessons about live competitions:

  • Entries can get moved around before judging. It's ok to sacrifice articulation to improve stability.
  • Discuss your WIP with experienced modelers. They can provide insight and notice things you might have missed (such as seam lines pretending to be panel lines) 
  • Know the judging criteria and take it to heart while building your entry. 
  • Depending on how an event is judged, a clean and simple build can outscore even the most  lavishly customized kits. 
  • Diligently apply modeling basics before taking on outrageous custom concepts. 

At the end of the night, I carefully packed my entry back into my bag with my head held high. I was not going home with any new kits, but it didn't even matter at that point. I knew I wouldn't trade the one I had in my backpack for anything.

Congrats to all the winners, participants and organizers for a successful event, and happy 15th anniversary to Mechapinoy!

Until the next battle, keep building plamo!

*except for the Renegade Freedom, credit for all kits featured here go to their respective builders. 

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