Chiller Theatre Toy, Model and Film Expo
(Halloween 2002 Show)
(Page One)


November 2, 2002

With the arrival of October comes a cooling of the summertime heat. Foliage explodes into a myriad of vibrant colors in many locations in the U.S. In addition, there are little ghosts, ghouls, demons, and all sorts of junior-monsters-in-the-making gearing up to once again go out on their annual evening stroll, collecting as many goodies as they can get their grubby little hands on.

Another thing that takes place is the Fall Chiller Theatre Show. This frightful event is held in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel (located directly across from the Giants Stadium).

Although the show takes place twice a year during both the Spring and Fall, October’s show usually has more excitement in the air. There are many a costumed visitor on hand to add flavor to the event.

This year’s Chiller Show took place on the last weekend of October. As was the case with many of the previous shows, I was once again in attendance. This go-round I had both of my “Mini-Mees” with me. This was the second time my son Anthony attended and the first for his younger brother Michael.

I had been drafted by Ed “Diceman” Bowkley to conduct a seminar at the show. We finally agreed upon an “Assembling Models and Seam Filling” discussion.

The Costumed Crowd
Upon our arrival we were greeted by a number of grown-up “kids” who had gotten into the Halloween spirit.

After we obtained our admission wristbands we proceeded up to the third floor of the Hotel to the seminar room. I (thankfully) had arrived several hours early, (which was somewhat out of character for me).

I deposited my tools and supplies into the seminar room and proceeded across the hall to the contest room.

Contest entries

Anthony had scrounged up three of his models that hadn’t been entered in the any of the previous Chiller Contests. Two were Gundams – (naturally) – a Wing Zero and a V-Gundam. In addition, he brought his Liger Zero (Zoid).

We registered them and then Anthony went back over to the seminar room to hang out with his brother. I popped out my camera and proceed to take pictures of the entries.

The number of models was down from the 100-plus count that usually shows up for Chiller's October Model Shows. However, what was out on display was up to the usual high caliber of quality that’s become the norm for this contest.

One thing that was really nice was the number of junior entries, which was up a bit. In addition, a number of the kids really did some top-notch work on their models.

One that caught my eye was a really nice Polar Lights’ Headless Horseman entry. The paint job was really well done, with some nicely detailed paint and subtle weathering applied.

Another model that left an impression on me (in the non-junior category) was a really, REALLY GRIM and MORBID diorama of The Batman. He was lying lifeless, vertically, with his arms outstretched on a cross. There were numerous bullet holes riddling his body. A maniacal Joker was stooped down to one side of the base, with either a grimace of pain or a BIIIIGGGG SMILE on his face.

This entry was done very well (I thought), with very subtle characteristics like the steel colors of the ends of the bullets that were visible, along with a trickle of drying blood trailing down from each hole. This was one really good (and equally disturbing) piece.

Another entry that was equally good (and warped) was a diorama scene depicting what appeared to be deranged Clown-in-the-box, with an array of "death-toys" positioned at its base.

There were two really kool Gundam entries. One was a full diorama, showing the end of a battle between a Zaku and a Gundam, on some shoreline. The builder did an excellent job in creating waves coming in. In addition, the overall composition of the scene was done very well.

With the second Gundam entry (titled something like "Start over again)”, the robot was MAJORLY MELTED!!!! The builder had used a lighter to melt certain areas of the Gundam. He used the naturally occurring Brown-burnt color to add that burnt look to it. For the shield, he had accidentally sent it on fire, (quickly putting it out). I got a chance to talk to him while he was registering it.

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