Monday, May 25, 2015

Travel - Visiting Japan is Bad for the Wallet

Spring break this year was way different than previous years.  In previous years all I really did was stay at home and watch Penny while my wife works.  This year though we went to Japan for my brother's wedding.

We were there for 10 days and spent it split between Tokyo and where my brother lives in Kofu.  We also managed to get to Kyoto for a day trip and see the bamboo groves and the Tenryuji temple in Arashiyama.   Didn't get around to visiting Himeji castle (too far for a day trip) so couldn't cross that off the list (see World Wonder Tour). Just means that I'll have to go back in the future.  Japan will be a lot more fun when Penny is older I think.

Anyways, while in Tokyo we visited the Akihabara district which in the past was known as a big electronics shopping area but now is kind of a hotbed for otaku culture.  Lots of shops catering to fans of video games, anime and manga.  So many arcades and toy shops.  We visited a few shops over 3 days and I ended up walking away with 3 Gundam plastic (aka Gunpla) model kits; a high grade Wing Gundam Zero Honoo, a Master Grade Deathscythe and a Master Grade RX-78.

I like mecha anime and although I have yet to watch the original Gundam series, I am a fan of a few of the other Gundam series (namely Gundam Wing and recently Gundam Build Fighters).  Buying the model kits also helped sate my model building appetite.  With Games Workshop being out of my price range I figured getting back into Gunpla would be just fine.

Once we got home I decided to start with the Wing Gundam kit.  The last time I built a Gundam model was back in high school and it had been a while since I last put any kind of model together.  It was only a high grade kit therefore easier to put together than the master grade kits.

I spent more time than I usually do being a lot more careful about cutting the pieces out and filing pieces down to make them smooth.  After the break are some WiP shots as well as the finished product.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Northern Fancon 2015!

The weekend of May 8th-10th saw the first ever Comic Con style event near my home, Northern Fancon 2015!

I was a pretty excited about the event and my parents ended up buying me a ticket for Christmas.  The event itself didn't seem to have that much for the first few months as it took forever for them to post a schedule for events and things (their guest line up kept growing as time went on as well).  I think it was about a month or so before the event took place that they started scheduling panels and about 2 weeks before the event that they had a schedule for the guest panel/interview and some workshops.

It didn't feel like there was a whole lot this first year.  I felt like I was in a trade show with lots of booths for vendors, artists and even some other events coming up later in the year.  Maybe that's what these things are like?  I was hoping for a few more gaming related events like tournaments or demos or what not.  The venue has a lot of space and closed rooms so I could see doing a wargaming tournament or card game tournament or something.  There was a (seemingly hastily put together) Settler's of Catan tournament as well as a Smash Bros. tournament but that was only for one day and I think they could have easily done something like a Warhammer tournament or Magic: The Gathering draft or what not.  I mean Northern BC has a large community of wargamers and Magic players they could have easily tapped in to (no pun intended) for either logistical support or participants.

There were some cool guests though; most notably William Shatner, Jewel Staite and Tia Carrere.  My family was totally stoked that John de Lancie was there as he appears in one of my favourite fandoms (Star Trek) and also one of my daughter's favourite shows (My Little Pony).

Speaking of Mr. de Lancie, when we went to get his autograph he noticed Penny and asked her if she was a fan of My Little Pony, to which she replied yes.  He then continued to talk with her and told her that he suspected daddy (me) actually wanted his signature on one of the prints featuring Q and proceeded to pick one and sign it for me.  Mr. de Lancie then told Penny that he would give her one too as a present and signed a print of Discord (his character in My Little Pony) to which she said thank you.  He made the event quite worth it for both Penny and I.  Kind of regretting not getting a photo with him, but c'est la vie.

My father in law also got something out of it as we shelled out the money to get him an autograph and photo with William Shatner.  He grew up watching the original Star Trek and is a big fan.  He also had a great time perusing the comic book vendors looking at old comics he used to read as a kid.

One of our favourite parts about Fancon was all the cosplay going on.  Penny decided to participate when we told her she could dress up.