2014 Miniature Figure Collectors of America
73rd Annual Show and Mart

  (Page One - MFCA Intro)

May 26, 2014

This year’s Miniature Figure Collectors of America show took place several weekends ago, on Friday, May 9th and Saturday, May 10th. This was the 73rd hosting of the show, and the seventh time I attended this event.

The show was held back at its usual locale, the Valley Forge Casino Resort, located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, (just half-an-hour west of Philadelphia, PA).

As has become the norm at this show, the quality of the contest model entries continued being very, very high.

Although the MFCA show was initially known for the high quality miniature figures and scenes which were entered in their exhibition, throughout the years their contest has expanded beyond its initial scope of historical miniatures to also encompass Fantasy, Aircraft, Armor, and Automobile models of all different scales.

Another very novel thing about this show is it regularly attracts MANY artists from overseas. There is a large contingent of miniature figure sculptors, builders and painters who travel from England, France, Germany, and Italy (along with other countries), to regularly attend this show.

(Something a bit different this year?)
Sometime last year I approached several of the MFCA members about an idea of mine. I noticed that there seemed to be something lacking at the MFCA Shows. When comparing them to shows like Wonderfest and JerseryFest, there were no "How-To" programs taking place at MFCA.

With all of the very talented artists from other countries who regularly attend this show, I felt that this would be both a great opportunity for some of them to share their modeling and painting tips-n-techniques with the masses who attend this show, along with giving these attendees an opportunity to learn painting techniques from some of the masters.

Dennis Levy, one of the club’s members agreed with my thoughts and assessment, but explained that with their membership being short-staffed, it was often a bear just getting the regular, routine tasks at their annual show accomplished.

Dennis DID add that if I felt strongly enough about these programs, I was invited to step in, roll up my sleeves and take charge with the organization and coordination of the painting programs at next year’s show. (I guess it’s true what they say…"Be carefully what you say and ask for").

After giving some consideration to the offer, I decided to step forward and take on the Program Coordinator role. Roughly 2 months prior to this year’s show, I contacted 3 of the European artists who have become regulars at the MFCA Shows. They were Matt Cexwish (from Berlin, Germany), Phillippe Gengembre (from France), along with Matteo Murelli (from Milano, Italy). All three agreed to conduct painting programs at the show.

After going back and forth via email, we finally ironed out the programs. Matt would conduct a program on Painting Realistic Wood along with Applying Weathering Effects on Wood Finishes, Phillippe would do a seminar on Painting Faces, and Matteo would talk about Painting Metallic Finishes. (Later on Matt informed me that a fellow figure artist Ben Komets, who would be traveling with him to the show, was also interested in participating painting programs, conducting a seminar of his own).

I was able to schedule these programs to take place both at Friday’s and Saturday’s shows.

(Friday afternoon’s late arrival & late departure)
After leaving school on the Friday of the show at around 3:00 pm and proceeding to fight the Center City, Philadelphia traffic (which always starts forming waaaay too early on Friday afternoons), I arrived at the Valley Forge Casino a bit before 5:00 pm, (which was the closing time for the show for Friday). I entered the convention center and was able to locate and meet Matteo. I introduced myself to him, shot the stuff with him a bit and then proceeded into the exhibition room. (I wanted to take as many pictures as I could of the entries out on display).

(Page Two)

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