SCGMC 2022

This past weekend I attended SCGMC – I think this was my 6th time attending. Presently it is the only model show I attend other than the local ones and so a lot of my efforts in the hobby on any given year culminate in what I have ready to show (or not) at SCGMC, if I’m attending.

In the end I only had one model ready for the show, and I wasn’t really sure it was a worthy effort. It’s a 1:60 scale Scopedog built from a capsule kit. I started the project in mid-2021 and did a lot of last-minute work on it trying to have it ready for SCGMC 2021, doing lots of structural and surface work, modifications, etc. in the hotel room, and then scrambling to paint it, before ultimately giving up and going to sleep. In some ways it was a lot of fun, but it was kind of discouraging, too, and the combination of having nothing to show at SCGMC, and attending it sleep-deprived can be really rough for me. I worked on it some more in early 2022 and it made the rounds at the local model shows in an unfinished state. Then, when it was just about time for SCGMC and I had to give up on the other projects I was working on, I put a bit more time into finishing the Scopedog, drybrushing, panel lining, shading with the airbrush, and flat-coating it. I still didn’t feel like it was my best effort, but I liked how it was shaping up, and it felt good to have a new model on the table.

SCGMC is mostly Gundam-oriented but with a few categories dedicated to other mecha and sci-fi properties. There’s a fair number of different Gundam categories based on scale and subject matter within the franchise. This year the special theme for the contest was “Titans”, a faction that appears in the second Gundam TV series, called “Zeta Gundam”. In the first Gundam TV series a fascist regime called Zeon wages a hugely devastating war against the Earth Federation. In the sequel, the Earth Federation has become so fearful of another such uprising that they create a military division called the Titans which brutally suppresses any sign of rebellion and ultimately becomes a fascist regime of its own. The Titans are not subtle; their uniforms, and many of their machines are colored black, so that you know they are the bad guys.

I’ve done my best to organize these entries by the category in which they were entered, but some of it was guesswork, and I’m sure some of it is wrong. In particular, SCGMC has an “Expert” category with interesting rules. Unfortunately I don’t remember which entries were in the “Expert” category, so those entries wound up elsewhere in this list.

This year I brought my daughter with me to the show. She’s built a couple kits but hasn’t tried surface work or painting yet. She was disappointed that she didn’t win but I had to explain to her that a contest like this looks for certain kinds of work that she didn’t do, and you can’t expect to win if you don’t do that work. In the other model shows she’s attended she won an award all the same, so this experience was a little different, and kind of hard for her, but important I think.

Category 1: Juniors

Category 2: Beginners

The “Beginners” category at SCGMC is open to anyone who doesn’t feel ready for open competition in the show. The only restriction is that once you win in the beginners category, you can’t enter it again.

Category 5: Earth Federation, 1:100 scale and larger

Category 6: Zeon, 1:100 scale and larger

Category 7: Earth Federation, 1:144 scale and smaller

Category 8: Zeon, 1:144 scale and smaller

Category 9: Alternate Universe, 1:100 scale and larger

The original Gundam story takes place in a timeline known as “Universal Century”. They’ve told a lot of different UC stories, but eventually they started doing different, unrelated stories under the Gundam brand. Some of these are like reboots, telling basically the same story but in a different way, others are more of a departure from what’s come before. These Gundam stories not tied to the UC timeline are called “Alternate Universe” stories.

Category 10: Alternate Universe, 1:144 scale and smaller

Category 11: Figures

Category 12: Star Wars

This is perhaps the most un-Gundam category at the show, but because Bandai (the maker of Gundam model kits) also makes Star Wars kits, and because there’s generally a fair bit of overlap in the fanbases anyway, it gets a category at SCGMC.

Category 13: Mecha General

This year the Mecha General category was split: About half of the entries were Maschinen Krieger models, so they got their own category. Mecha General winds up encompassing a lot of different, popular mecha anime franchises and kit lines, but the number of entries in the category is still pretty small compared to the Gundam categories.

Category 13 (split): Maschinen Krieger

Maschinen Krieger is a property that has its roots in modeling magazines of the 1980s, a fantasy world built around kitbashes and scratch builds, kit parts and ping pong balls given a serious paint treatment. Of course these days you can just buy all these subjects in kit form.

Category 14: Super Deformed

“Super Deformed” kits take popular subjects and give them silly proportions.

Category 15: Diorama

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised: I got second place in the Mecha General category. It feels good to win but mostly, right now, it feels good to know that I did good work. I tend to be pretty critical of my own work so I’ll take external validation when I can get it.

The group that organizes SCGMC has announced their contest theme for next year: “Gundam Alex”, a machine that appears in one of my favorite Gundam series, Gundam 0080. I’ll continue the projects I had in mind for this year’s show, but it’s fun to think about what projects I could do to fit the theme as well. It was a fun show, I look forward to the next one.

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