February 9, 2013


I went with some pals to see a Hobby Expo today. The event included some cool panels with model-makers from Industrial Light & Magic, many vendors selling classic model kits, and even more enthusiasts displaying some of their handiwork. We were met at the door by a few people in Star Wars costumes, which gave it a fun convention vibe. Inside the building, rooms were organized by themes, like trains, robots, model-making workshops, movie props, and movie-related models. By far the most prevalent kits and displays were based on WWII vehicles. The kid in me that loved old airplanes saw quite a few faves from childhood. But it was pretty morbid to see such a violent collection. Only a few tables offered us an oasis from a sea of Corsairs, Zeroes, and German tanks. Like little dashes of spice to add flair, we were happy to see some fellow fans displaying vintage TV models from Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Land of the Giants, Thunderbirds, and classic Universal Monster kits. I saw a very large 'working' model of the Sea View submarine, complete with miniature detailed observation deck with crew-members, working headlight, and sonar sound effects. Impressive! One room even had a life-size working Robot from Lost in Space! Here are a few of the highlights taken with my iPhone.

The Expo got pretty crowded, so we headed over to a hobby shop to see if we could find any other cool kits from classic shows. I saw a few miniature people that might be fun to photograph in the style of David Leventhal. Overall, I was surprised not to find any signs of James Bond today. But we did unearth a really strange model kit ad from Revell: The USA/USSR Missile Set features 16 different missiles in a display celebrating the Cold War at its chilliest. Gosh, mutual armageddon was never more fun! Here is a sampling of model kits in this weird genre. 

Congratulations again to all of the Spy Vibers who won vintage prizes in our birthday give-away contest! What else is new here in the lair? Scroll down for posts about Fantomas novels, Ian Fleming's desert island interview, new Fleming book designs, Spy Smasher cliffhanger serial, the new Barbarella tv show, Man From U.N.C.L.E. illustration, British spy comics in the 1960s, Piper Gates retro spy designs, Cinema Retro celebrates James Bond, and Spy Vibe's 2012 top ten, including my review of Skyfall. Want to support Spy Vibe? Please make a small donation with our secure Paypal tip-jar link at the top left of the main page. Nothing is too small to help cover the increasing bills for the domain, web-forwarding and other costs to maintain the site. Thank you!

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