Worldcon and Cascadiacon

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by lizzienewell, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I am returning from the world science-fiction and fantasy convention in Glasgow Scotland. I took along my science-ficton models and entered the mascarade fashion show with my models and a costume, but have decided that mascarade shows are the wrong format for me.

    It seems that their isn't much connection between science-fiction modeling and other media of science-fiction. There was stuff on writing, on costuming, on art, on TV, on filk(science-fiction music) , and on computer games but not on model making. I did see some models for sale in the dealer room but no displays of models or discussion of science-fiction models. Did I miss model discussion and display that was actually there? Are there venues for science-fiction model making that I'm unaware of?

    My next plan is to visit the North American science-fiction convention in Seattle over labor day. This time I'll enter my stuff in the art show instead of the costume show. I've got a few weeks make some models that are up to fine art quality. I was going to try displaying them in cases to make them more art like but i talked to a friend who suggested that it might be better to go big (about 4 times bigger than I've been working) so that it's perceived more as a sculpture than an ornement.

    Do any of you have experience in making science-fiction models that are completely original and do not reference previously published stories and films?

    What is the relationship between the science-fiction community and the modeling community?

  2. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Not sure Lizzie,

    I went to a Star Trek convention ONE time.........boy I felt like the proverbial fish out of water. I considered myself a 'fan' of the show and at that time the couple movies, but man those guys were putting it VERY politely.........wierd.

    In my opinion and observations.......those things(conventions) kind of seem to focus very narrowly on things. But having said that you never know until to go...........but you might be more happier leaning toward the models-type conventions, and maybe asking folks there.

    Anyway this is just one mans opinion.

    Hope it helps..........oh did you at least have a good time?

  3. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member


    I had a great time and learned lots. I think that science-fiction conventions are the right kind for me since I'm mostly interested in writing fiction. I do lots of what people call world-building. I design a consistent alternative universe in order to tell a story. My model building for me is part of worldbuilding. It's how I design aircraft and marinecraft that seems realistic and convincing.

    It seems that most writers engage in worldbuilding but not to the extent that I do. I listened to Ann McCaffrey speak at the conference. She is excellent at worldbuilding and has produced encyclopedias maps and the like for Pern. Still she seems to have done much of this as an afterthought.
    This sort of work although common seems to be hidden at conventions. None of the costumers that I met were making costumes as part of prewriting and worldbuilding. The same goes for the art that I saw.

    I did speak with a illustrator/animator who was doing worldbuilding for computer games but he was undercontract and so couldn't show me his work. It was neat talking to him because he had such a good understanding of sculpture, art, and model making.
    I noticed a lack of overlap between costumers and writers. The people at the panels on costume design were completely different from the people at panels on science-fiction legal systems. I think that if a writer is into worlding building he needs to know a bit about everything.

    Thank you for the advice. I'll be on the lookout for other conventions. I understand that computer modeling has replaced most of the stop-action animation which uses models but the interest may still be there.
  4. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    I think the proper term would be scary. I'm at the same road you are. I am a fan of the show, but not to the degree some of these folks are. Galaxy Quest is among my favorite movies and it nails the conventions to a tee. I commonly go to see the other sci fi memorabilia thats there, like models I enjoy the older stuff (Destination Moon, anyone). Considering the builds that occur over at Starship Modeler, I am suprised like you guys that there isnt a better appearance at conventions for these things. Contest-gallery room would be a big hit, I think.

  5. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Ann McCaffrey is my MOST FAVORITE author, I've got everything that has ever had her name on it, you are right...she is truely great with making you feel attached to a world/ship she is writing about. I envy you for having seen her. 8)

    I WAS trying to be nice :D ... yeah Galaxy Quest nailed it dead on the head with a 10# sledge hammer. And I too loved the movie. Destination Moon is great, Forbidden Planet is now a new addition to my DVD collection as well as The Day The Earth Stood Still.
    I love the old true science fiction of the B&W movie time. I also remember all the old TV shows, Invaders, Space 1999, UFO, Dr. Who, I'm addicted to them all. Was glued to the tube watching 12 o'clock High, Combat, Sea Hunt, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea too! Reality TV as got nothing on the old shows!
    The really bad thing, as in dating me, I can remember getting up early Sunday mornings to watch the OLD Flash Gordons, with Buster Crabb, when I lived ib Chicago. Loved the smoke and strings! I've gotten a paper
    model of those ships but haven't took time to build it.

    Anyways sorry about waxing nostalgic but..............I'll shut up now.

  6. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I loved reading Ann McCaffery book and found great inspertion in them. I particulary identified with her b&b ships. My husband was disabled and so in a sense I was a brawn; I took care of the physical aspects of doing things.

    I found though that her books didn't give a good sense of what it's like to be a space ship so I tried imagining it. Uh oh! Being a spaceship is boring. Not much happens on a human scale in open space.
    So then I decided I'd imagine being a ship in the most interesting environment possible. Fjords have everything; tides, mountains, whales, waves, strong winds, boats. From there I eventually designed a ship that would be interesting to be. This is the ship that I'm making models of.

    I also thought that Ann McCafferies ships and psi setups lacked enought physical activity for a person to remain healthy. I've always suspected that she like to imagine things more than she liked physical activity so she always came up with setups that required no movement.

    I think with my world-building I've solved most of these problems.

    I've been busily model building for the last few days. I talked to my old art teacher and she thought my stuff would get more attention if I went bigger. I'm working up to increasing the scale by about 300%. Each increase in scale seems to bring about all sorts of new issues. I've decided that my method of starting small at about 3 inchs works well because it removes detail reduces structural problems and increases speed. Once I get it worked out at a small scale I bring it up to work on more detail.

  7. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Cool........I loved her B&B books and City books........Crystal Singer series..........heck all of them......The Drangon Rider series got me everybody else that reads her I imagine. But the Dinosaur books I guess are my favorite.

    So your ships are/will be intelligent!? Guess I missed that in previous posts.

    To make sure I understand.........are you scaling up the Orca craft? If so you HAVE to post building pictures. I'm interested in how you are going to support the wings and still fold them.

    I been building FG B-24 series lately and even though the long wings are holding up quite well I'm worried about the long term effects. Since peoplewho will recieve them are planing to hang them from the ceiling.

    Will watch with interest.

  8. Lizzie, for the past three years I've joined Mike and Demi Hungerford at ConDor, a small science fiction convention in the San Diego area (see We've reserved a fan table representing the "Southern California Paper Modelers' Conspiracy" -- Dan Shippey also participated in 2004.

    Our fan table is usually covered with SF-related models (starships, droids, cartoon characters, etc.), as well as actual spacecraft and satellites. We have handouts with links to various models, and at least one of us is building a model as a "live demonstration".

    We've become a welcomed "regular" at ConDor -- a Yamaha endangered species California Condor model is usually bestowed to the Fan Table coordinator, and another special model similarly presented to the Con Chair. Other models have been donated to the convention auction (towards local charities), while organizations in neighboring fan tables have also benefitted from our generousity. An enlarged SpaceShipOne has been borrowed for panel discussions, and I've built a Mars Rover for a group advocating further space exploration.

    Convention attendees are always amazed by our models, and it's fun to watch that "moment of recognition" on their faces when fans see a favorite movie or TV series immortalized in paper. Many of Mike Hungerford's whimsical creations (at are connected to science fiction, so he's typically busy answering questions. Our annual display has become so popular that Mike, Demi and I actually had a panel discussion on "SF Paper Models in the Internet Age", both explaining basic downloading and building techniques, and explaining how paper modelling has changed so dramatically due to personal computers, graphics programs, and Internet distribution.

    I also attend LosCon (see, so for the last two years I've simply found a spot and started building models (it's not quite as feasible manning a fan table alone). I still get a crowd of curious fans regardless of location. Despite the preparation work it's been a lot of fun, and I know we've gotten many fans involved in paper models though our efforts. I'm seriously thinking about reserving a fan table for the 2006 Worldcon (see -- I think we've established our credentials at ConDor to make this a feasible proposition. I'll have to investigate this more and then alert my fellow "Conspirators" -- we'll be meeting in Anaheim the following year for the 2007 IPMS/USA Nationals, so in some ways this might be a good "practice run".

    Granted, all science-fiction conventions are not alike -- some are more media-based (movies and TV), while others tend to favor literature, and a few are devoted to the gaming crowd (role-playing games, collector card games, etc.) But in Southern California we have such a variety of scattered fan interests that there's always SOMETHING in paper models that will attract people. Older fans like the actual rockets and/or the classic 1950s "sci-fi", while kids love the cartoon-based models. And since SF fans tend to be well-educated, computer savvy, imaginative and (frequently) cash-strapped, free paper models available over the Internet is an irresistable concept. :wink:
  9. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    Its nice to see a feloow San Diegan here. In as much, I'll have to make it to the next convention (its been years since I went to a sci-fi convention).

  10. widget

    widget Member

    Please check out http://www.starshipmodeler. com
    'Specially the forums.
    We have a growing continant of paper modelers overthere.
    You would be more than welcomed to the group. We do quite a bit of world building of our own.
    As for Sci-Fi models at convertions,you should check Wonderfest in Ky. You can get more info from the guys at SSM on that.
  11. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

  12. widget

    widget Member

    My bad.
    Anywho,y'all are welcome to drop by and check out the madhouse. :D :shock: :D
  13. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member


    Since my models are based off of a novel that I've written I haven't included all the stuff that is going on with them.

    The skips opperate off an implant in the pilot's brain so that the pilot feels the craft as an extension of his body. This makes it a bit like McCafferie's b&b ships but the pilot is removable from the craft. This makes for a happier and healthier life for the brain. It also allows a normal sex life.

    The implant is installed before the age of 3 years old to allow the human brain to addapt to the additional input. This also makes it somewhat like the b&b shell people.

    I have been traveling and then having internet difficutly and so haven't been able to post my most recent build pictures.

  14. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Lets keep in touch on the convention plans. I can't travel to many but I'm plannning on attending worldcon in Anaheim next year. Is that the one that you are talking about?
  15. Correct, lizzienewell. See

    I have to make a decision soon, since membership rates go up again on September 14. Usually I can't plan so far in advance, but it's already a bit pricy (though admittedly well worth it judging from prior Anaheim WorldCons).

    bholderman, I live in Orange County about an hour and a half north of San Diego (depending on traffic on I-5). Dan Shippey and Bob Penikas also live in OC. The Hungerfords live in Escondido, and I believe Julie Cabler is an SD-area resident, too.
  16. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Thank you for the web address and the tip about joining soon.
    It's funny about how people close to convention sites consider the price of membership. In traveling the major expense is airline tickets. It seems like being close that cost would go away and so we would jump at the chance to attend. There must be something about familiarity that does this.
    LA will be far cheaper than the convention the following year in Japan. That could be a cool convetion with all the anime and the Japanese paper craft traditions.
    Are you connected or interested in human powered vehicals. My late husband was the webmaster for the international human powered vehical website and he had friends down in your area. I ask because when we visited several of them were interested in science-fiction models as well. Their names have escaped me. I think it was the first that I was aware of science-fiction model building as a possibility. The HPV folks are easy to spot by their weird bicycle contraptions.


  17. deltic03

    deltic03 New Member

    It was the same when I went....But that was 1979!
  18. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Someone is reading old threads! :D
  19. Chthulhu

    Chthulhu Member

    And there's nothing wrong with that. :)
  20. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Nope, not at all! In fact its a good thing :D

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