Fogger has attended both SlayerCon’s and has graciously provided us with a complete rundown of the Con. In case you missed our Exclusive interview with SlayerDave that was conducted before the Con you can revisit Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here
I’d been looking forward to the show since SlayerDave announced the dates. As anyone who browses our forums already probably knows, I love this show!
I live about an hour away from the area of Maryland where Slayer Design Studios (SDS) is located and where they’ve held SlayerCon both times. As happened last time, my work schedule prevented me from making it up for the “meet ‘n’ greet” at Famous Dave’s BBQ on Friday night. I was able to attend both days of the show itself, though.
I wore my Fighting 118th logo shirt on Saturday (REPRESENT!) and brought along a 1:18th scale Super Cobra and Huey on Sunday, which attracted some attention from people who’d never been able to see how big they are in person.
The show is held in the Ramada Inn in Edgewood, Maryland, just north of Baltimore, Maryland. If you’ve ever thought about coming down to the the Baltimore-Washington Airport (BWI) is just south of Baltimore, less than 20 miles away, and there are two Amtrak stations within that distance, as well.
The first day opened in a smaller room than expected, but we didn’t stay there long. I arrived in time to help with set-up, meet some new people and reacquaint myself with people I’d met last year. Lots and lots of dio pieces were brought in, as well as bins of parts, tools, molds, air compressors, pressure pots, and more.
A prevailing theme for the weekend was zombies – Dave had several new zombie sculpts on display that haven’t shown up in the store yet, including several heads and emaciated male and female torsos. Several customizers had also brought along their own zombie customs, including several modified Hasbro Zombie-Vipers.
At any given time, people were browsing the goods on sale, watching or playing the Relic Wars games on display, or customizing on their own or with others.
Several of the attendees had customs and/or dioramas on display. I spent some time asking the more experienced customizers (which was just about everyone present) about some of the problem areas I’ve had, and got some good tips.
Dave demonstrated on day one how to cut parts from an envelope mold, a tricky process. He also talked about the time it takes to prepare and make an actual mold, which is usually several hours – and that’s just to prepare the mold, not to actually get parts from it. He also cast parts throughout the weekend, so that people could see the process.
Day two saw a demonstration by DarkWynter on how to use foam for cliff walls – surprisingly simple given the results. He also showed how to make both deciduous and coniferous trees for dioramas. He gave the demonstration pieces out when we finished – I snagged the deciduous tree.
Jedi Master Ben, one of the in-house SDS sculptors, was working during the weekend and was answering questions for anyone who was interested. Ben works in wax, where many sculptors (including the other SDS sculptor) works in resin.
SDS was showing off the cover artwork for the first Relic Wars module, as well as several complete figures related to the game. All were made using their modern o-ring system. Speaking of o-rings, a lot of work was going on at the show on o-ring style figures, that I believe was related to “Project ARAH”. I’m not an o-ring guy, so I didn’t pay much attention – sorry o-ring fans!
We set up a big table in the center of the conference hall, with multiple diorama displays on it, and set up for demo games of Relic Wars. We played a simplified, starter version of the game. The very first game was intended to be solely for demonstration purposes, to drum up interest and introduce new players to the concept of roleplaying, so we played a group of random people trying to survive during a zombie outbreak. My character made it about a foot on the table (18 scale feet, woo!) before becoming a snack. This would become a theme, as my characters only managed to live through one of the many games I played. Later games played around with some concepts and demonstrated the fluidity of the starter rules.
A friend of Dave’s who is not involved in the hobby stopped by to see what it was all about, and brought his teenage son along. We roped him in to playing the tabletop game that was being demoed – big mistake. Never, ever invite teenagers to play games of any sort – he trounced everyone else in a PvP match and went on to be the lone survivor of a zombie horde in his second game.
While we played with diorama pieces and (mostly) custom figures, the game is simple enough that it can be played with “stock” figures and household items or a large sheet of paper to represent terrain. At its basic level, that and some dice are all that are needed, although with a little creativity large scenarios can be made.
Dave brought a few hundred sculpts with him for sale on day two, and attendees descended on the store. Carl (YGAGG on the JoeCustoms forum) had several boxes worth of “I’m a hoarder and it’s gotta go” items for sale, including a BBi Blackhawk and two of the Target BBi Hind helicopters. JoeCustoms member Nova had several large bins of Transformers, GI Joes and other toys, including a number of items that were free to whoever wanted them. Asphalt (from Hunter Artworks) had a number of free items as well. Local comic book store Collectors Corner had a presence on day two as well, with a number of older Joe items for sale, mostly still in the package. It looked like just about everyone went home with something.
This is one area that expanded greatly from last con, and I’d love to see expand further. I’d be great to see even more people set up at the shows in the future, possibly with other customs or dio goods for sale.
One of the things I like best about both of the Slayer Cons I’ve been to is the friendly atmosphere. Members of various forums were in attendance, including representatives from JoeCustoms, the Slayer Design Studios forums, HissTank and (of course) the Fighting 1:18th. Attendees included Obi-Shinobi, Pluv, YJAGG, Ronin, Nova, Bamphalas, Jedi Master Ben, Cap (and his lovely wife), Livevil, DarkWynter, Asphalt, Jaimanstone and others I know I’m forgetting.
It’s a great show for hanging out and talking, and I was a little sad when I had to leave. Dave’s already talking about when to hold the next show, so if you’ve got some feedback, chime in! I know I’ll be back next time.