Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bricking Bavaria Set up and Day 1

It was a little odd showing up to an event without anything to do.

Setup for BB was on Friday and was really neat to watch, tho.  People were at the church for the event Friday morning, but setup didn't really start until noon. Tables and furniture was moved, and then the models started showing up.

And it was something to see, as European cars are smaller than US cars - but they were filled!  And with small boxes, but really big boxes! So moving models required many people going back and forth with boxes in hand.

I met one of the MINDSTORMS people and got a glance at what the group was doing - they made one arm bandits for the kids to play with. Using small Technic pulley wheels as tokens, the machines would run the bandits, where kids could win one or more tokens..then they could cash in on another machine 5 tokens to get a piece of candy. There were three machines set to arrive for the show.

I also saw a bunch of boxes get opened up and moved to make a model of the Frankfurt train station. The model is VERY large and is beautiful to look at - the architectural work that was modeled is astounding. The roof is arched and made from 1x2 bricks woven to of the rool sheets looked like it could almost be rolled up. The parts of the station were fitted in a base piece by piece with a group of people and then details added by the builder. The model has a bit to go in terms of completion but as it stands, is something special to see.

I also got to help out with a mosaic - it wasn't complete, so I was one of a few people who took some time to finish it. The idea was simple enough: to reflect a large element from side to another. However, when it's a six-foot wide mosaic, it's hard to keep track of what was being built. I spent some time on it, and others joined in...but then more models showed up.

I also noticed that there was food and drinks (including beer) coming in and being placed in the kitchen -  this became the green room for the event - people could pick up a snack (or more, I learned) and a drink. The drinks included soda, mineral water (soda water, a VERY acquired taste), and beer. And so there was always a group of people there taking breaks and chatting through the entire event.

The other really nice thing was that the event was very laid back - it is a smaller event, and as a result, the planning was very general. There were no diagrams of floor space, no coordinators in teh normal sense, just a bunch of friends who are putting a show, as one of the guys put it.

And I was picked up by the Event Coordinator to goto my hotel...and he didn't tell me! There was a real sense of community here, and it was really nice to take part.

The generosity of the people is a nice note too - even though I know almost no German, everyone helps me out, either with English, or with a couple of quick explanations with a gesture or two. My worst case of American/German communications gone wrong was in teh electronics store, where I had to explain that I needed an adapter for the special plugs in Germany - and I had my adapter on hand. He looked, reached under the counter and pulled out exactly what I needed! The only problem after that was paying...Euros are strange and tiny compared to change I am used to.

And yes I was offered a drink. And I did - I did a LOT of drinking.

Anyways, back to the story...

The aircraft carrier came in....and it fills the builder's car. Literally. I watched as teh stand was brought, then the boat sections....this model dominates floor space!

Not too long after that, HoMa and his church shows...and many other models come in...

I have met at this point (spelling will really be wrong):

Jan Beyer, Jürgen Broctoch (Event Organizer), Malle Hawking, Marco Taglioferro, Holger Mattes, Rene Hoffmeister, Axel um - I don't know his last name, but he's with 1000stein, and many more that I need to get names from - I am LOUSY at that.

I hung out at setup until 1 am.

And Day 1 was busy. It started out rainy, then it snowed. Snowed! Too bad it didn't stick. And people came.

The people were from allover and were couples and families. And things were very quiet - it was like people attending an art gallery sorta.

Until you saw HoMa with the Bionicle gun,

So things were fun to watch and talk about - but I did get a chance to slip away to teh Munich LEGO store, Looks like one of the US stores, but a bit bigger, And more expensive! Sothat was a short visit:-)

On return, I went with everyone else to a local restaurant where they had a buffet ready for us...and we drank. I drank (which is not a normal thing for me). And ate. And had a lot of fun!

St Nicklaus showed up to give presents to the kids of the attendees, and there was an auction duringthis time - and there were sets and even a couple of MOCs auctioned off. The biggest item, though, was a Factory tour by Jan Beyer, one box of 'stuff' from Rene Hoffmeister, and free admission to Skaerbeck and meal - that was sold for 280 euros - over $300 bucks!

And what did the auction pay for? The banquet! Had enough money for anotherr round of drinks too!

And we went from the restaurant back to the event site to chat and drink more....

what a day!

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