It's like a whirlwind. Everywhere you look is something new and cool, or old and cool, and you want it all. Too much to take in. I'll let you know right off the bat, I didn't take any pictures. My camera, for some reason, has a 10 minute battery life. But there are plenty of pictures on other sites for you to enjoy, which I suggest visiting when you have the chance.
Now for the things that really stood out in my mind:
1. Lots of nice people. From the dealers to collectors, everyone I met was super nice and ready to talk about what they brought or what they had bought. Being able to put faces to online names is almost worth the trip alone.
2. New stuff - Barzo's Robin Hood, Conte's Spartans, TSSD's Cavalry, and Mr. Weston's Gunfighters and Peasants were what I was most interested in. There was of course lots of other stuff that was outside my interest range, but these were the things that I went to see. I have to say, each of the above makers/dealers were super nice and helpful. Anyone that has met Ron Barzso knows what a super nice guy he is, and always willing to talk about his newest creations. Jim Clouse, who sculpted the Barzso buildings, is also a real addition to the hobby and fun to talk with. Richard Conte, who always manages to cause waves in the hobby for one reason or another, was nothing but extremely friendly and helpful. Even though his room was full, and had people clamoring to talk to him, he took the time to go digging into the top corner of his closet to find me a set of Viking figures. (Thanks!) And of course, Nick and Deanna from TSSD, even though they seemed pretty busy the whole weekend (probably a good thing!), were always willing to stop and talk to Stephanie and I. Hope to see ya'll at the Texas Show in 2008!! Steve Weston, who has the new gunfighters and peasants, is also just a really nice guy, and you can tell is just way into the hobby. If the weekend seemed like a rush to me, who was just wandering around shopping, I know it had to seem even worse to these people, having to set-up, tear down, and then set-up again, all the while selling and talking about their product. Thanks to them for taking the time to stop and "hobby talk" with Stephanie and I.
One of my favorite rooms to be in was the Hobby Bunker. The guy has everything (.50 cent buckets!!!!) and gave a good dry-brush painting demonstration on his foam buildings. I got myself the unpainted two-story blown up building and going to give it a shot. (don't worry, I think Stephanie is going to help... a lot.)
My favorite part of the weekend was after my 7 year-old nephew bought a set of the Barzso Merry Men and we went to eat at the Cheesecake Factory with him and his parents. I took out my Airfix Cowboys, and he took out his Merry-Men, and we had a grand ole' battle right there between the fried macaroni and the bannana cheesecake.