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 flex...one 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
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!