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Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Discussion and planning of large-scale Castle Themed displays and events

Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby Caelan » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:12 pm

Someone asked how Brickfair runs...so here it goes from a veteran:

1. Brickfair runs generally from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm (except Thursday, which opens for MOC set-up at noon) or later depending on if they are running "adult swim" or not (if you are not 21...don't expect to stay). There is a strong rumor that Wednesday is being added for 2014 with no extra cost. We are all excited about this because the normal flow goes...
- Thursday, everybody shows up early and has to wait to set up their MOCs until noon, when the convention center will finally allow them. Table and sign set up is prior; a lot of folks desparately running around sweatily putting tableclothes over very poorly-leveled cheapo-tables. Sorry but the tables are old and substandard...although they do not collapse, thank goodness...There are delineated areas for the different genres. A Map will be out about a month prior. Castle generally gets prime real estate.

- Most people spend all Thursday and a lot of Friday setting up their MOCs, especially the larger displays. There are seminars and games most of the day Friday, with the opening ceremony at 6:00 pm. Free Lego prizes are called out at random but you have to be present to get them. Games go on until 10:00 pm.

- And then boom! next day here come the barbarians... er, public. Saturday mornings at 11:00 am they stream in. 7,000 to 10,000 non-FOLs pour in and there's noise and confusion until the doors shut at 4:00 pm and they are forced out at 5:00 pm. Todd has to turn off the lights for 15 minutes to get them out. No, seriously, turn off the lights! Otherwise they won't leave. I enjoy the public for the most part, but I appear to be in the minority...

- Then at 5:00 pm Saturday there's the Yard Sale. It is just like it sounds. No Seller's fee but you've got to get table space. Great place to sell those Jar-Jar Binks figs you've always wanted to off-load.

- Saturday night is the best time to tour other people's MOCs, and there are a lot of great builders who stay to show them off or talk. I believe Adult Swim is Saturday night. Goes all the way until 2:00 am, I think...

- Sunday is the same as Saturday, except after the public is forced out people start cleaning up like mad. Closing ceremonies is at 6:00 pm, with more prizes, but then there's this crazy and somewhat depressing urgency to get out. For those of us with large displays, this is a harrowing time...

2. Minifig displays. The reason why Zachary is Lazy stated that large fig displays without a diorama are annoying is because of what we call the "Cloner kiddies". They bring 100s of the things, set them up at attention on plates and then expect FOLs to respect such an unimaginative table-wasting display. Whereas AK_Brickster is dead on right; what eveybody wants is a big randy battle. 3 years ago those of us in WAMALUG set up no less than over 1000 Napoleonic-Era figs (Imperial Soldiers and Armada from Pirates theme) in a huge battle over a bridge and gatehouse, with trees, cavalry, cannon, explosions, etc. Instant crowd-pleaser.

3. Who wants to start a war? So I have about 20 Lenfel Scout Snipers, 25 Loreesi, about 15 Outlaws and a measly 6 Garheim I can throw in if we do a collab battle scene. I have huge numbers of white horses too, from buying so many Cavarly Builders to build up my Army of the Potomac.

Cheers!
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby SSchmidt » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:15 pm

Caelan,

As a veteran your insight into the fair is very much appreciated! It has given me many ideas and answered a lot of questions that I am sure many of us might have had!

You know there was the "battle of the five armies" in the Hobbit. Who's to say we couldn't have the "battle of the lands of classic-castle" with 1,000 or so figs set up? :D When it comes down to forces, I have close to the realm of 500ish Outlaws with 20 or so Garhims, 50 Loreesi and about 100 Lenfels. There are some opportunities there.

Side note: what exactly is the adult swim?
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby ZacharyIslazy » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:09 pm

AK_Brickster wrote:I'm not part of the BFVA discussion, but thought I'd respond to this. I don't think that conventions are 100% based on skill and creativity. They are also about entertainment value. If it were not the case, then massive MOCs like Hogwarts wouldn't have such universal appeal and huge throngs of people pushing in to get a better look (not to say that there isn't a lot of creativity going on in that MOC, but what it really has going for it in terms of crowd appeal compared to the myriad of other amazing MOCs at a convention is obviously the scale). On the same note, a fantastic vignette with tons of NPU will probably be overlooked by most, because the majority of the public doesn't know what they're looking at, so they don't recognize the genius of using a part for an unintended purpose.

In that vein, I think that massive army displays have a lot of appeal to the public, particularly young kids who unequivocally adore minifigs more than most adults do. We set up a few hundred castle figs on a table at BrickCon just charging towards each other, and everyone loved them, so I'd be careful about criticizing someone's contribution, because you never know how it will be received by the public.

I don't think a huge baseplate of minifigs is any more of a show of "how much money you can spend" than a 100,000 piece MOC is. Sure, it might be a different investment of time and creativity, but a lot of people (myself included) actually spend many hours fiddling around with fig combos and assembling their troops, so it's not really fair to poo-poo their efforts just because their contribution doesn't match what your expectations are.


It's true indeed, that much of the planning for conventions is to crowd please. I mean otherwise there wouldn't be large scale conventions! :lol: I'll also agree that a massive amount of minifigs in a collab, like a battle scene you mentioned or a marching formation like Gary said, can be a giant crowd pleaser. My distaste wasn't aimed at those builds, because they're definitely impressive. I was more referring to what Gary said. The "clone kiddies" who line up an endless number of minifigs on 64x64 baseplates and think they're the bees knees. I always take these "displays" as a show of "how much money you can spend" because they're not nearly as creative in my mind as a 100,000 piece MOC even if it's built out of nothing but 2x4s.

royalbrickcustoms wrote:Well said AK. :)
Sorry RBC. I didn't mean for my comments to feel like a personal attack on you or your builds. I shouldn't have directed my opinion at you like that because it wasn't intended for you. I'm sorry for being so pompous and overbearing :(

SSchmidt wrote:
You know there was the "battle of the five armies" in the Hobbit. Who's to say we couldn't have the "battle of the lands of classic-castle" with 1,000 or so figs set up? :D When it comes down to forces, I have close to the realm of 500ish Outlaws with 20 or so Garhims, 50 Loreesi and about 100 Lenfels. There are some opportunities there.

Side note: what exactly is the adult swim?
500 Outlaws! Man, I thought Mark had the biggest number of Outlaw figs, ironically. I'm glad we are on good terms! I'll be sending that start-up money for the Akademy as soon as I hit those Garhiem shores ;)
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby SSchmidt » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:38 pm

That start up money is most certainly welcome!
Once the Akademy receives it, the board has decided to open a whole new wing of the Akademy titled "The Boethius Wing of Mercantilism." It will be an entire wing dedicated to the training of Outlaws in all things related to Mercantilism! The actual display of the Akademy is a castle like structure, and I plan on (time permitting, and I've got nothing but time :lol: ) bringing it and a microbuild of it to BF VA. I was hoping to get everything finished in time for BF AL, but unfortunately, I just don't have the time. I envision this build taking me around six months to complete.

All Outlaws are welcomed in the confines of the Akademy. I hope to get all Outlaw character figs together for a picture, and also it would be cool if we could get the LCC figs together as well. These are all ideas i'm just putting out here now, so as not to leave them behind in the next 9 months :wink:
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby colobustaco » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:17 pm

I'm super interested! It'd be my first convention/fair. Being a Virginian, this all see practical to me. I like the Battle of Four armies idea, but we do have quite a bit of time before the actual event. :D
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby Caelan » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:48 am

I know Zachary didn't want a big battle, but it's possible to do both vignettes and separately a melee on a good dio. We are doing this for the Civil War dislay in 2014; Battle of the Wilderness but also vignettes on the side. SO I still think we need to come up with neutral territory we can collab on, which also doesn't conflict with the storyline of LCC.

We don't know where the storyline is going but my money is on an eventual overthrow of the Queen, most likely through combination of insurrection and a big battle. Perhaps this is the way then if the story works out that way. Big battle with Schmidt's 500 Outlaws ( :twitch: ) on one side, and a unified Loreesi-Lenfald-Garheim army on the other. And, active insurrection in the capitals, allowing some vignettes. Just a thought.

SSchmidt wrote:Side note: what exactly is the adult swim?
It's name is taken from the TV network which offers naughty and strange programming (my best interpretation, never having watched it myself). In other words, AFOLs getting drunk, playing poker, and playing practical jokes on other people's MOCs. Nothing harmful of course, but you could come in on Sunday and find a ride-on lawnmower MOC in the middle of your LOTR Rivendale model, or lovely flowers planted at the feet of your Duel-To-The-Death Mecha Battle, etc. They are very disciplined about it, no one's MOC is actually harmed...except Bob did drunkenly crash into his own train trestle bridge a few years back and smashed it...
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby SSchmidt » Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:54 am

Caelan wrote:We don't know where the storyline is going but my money is on an eventual overthrow of the Queen, most likely through combination of insurrection and a big battle. Perhaps this is the way then if the story works out that way. Big battle with Schmidt's 500 Outlaws ( :twitch: ) on one side, and a unified Loreesi-Lenfald-Garheim army on the other. And, active insurrection in the capitals, allowing some vignettes. Just a thought.

It's name is taken from the TV network which offers naughty and strange programming (my best interpretation, never having watched it myself). In other words, AFOLs getting drunk, playing poker, and playing practical jokes on other people's MOCs. Nothing harmful of course, but you could come in on Sunday and find a ride-on lawnmower MOC in the middle of your LOTR Rivendale model, or lovely flowers planted at the feet of your Duel-To-The-Death Mecha Battle, etc. They are very disciplined about it, no one's MOC is actually harmed...except Bob did drunkenly crash into his own train trestle bridge a few years back and smashed it...



I like the idea of a big battle, and had actually thought we could pit three forces against my own. Let's keep our tabs on the LCC storyline and see what direction the KC takes.

Adult Swim does not appeal to me at all, but thanks for the info on it!
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby ZacharyIslazy » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:14 pm

Although I'm a bit apprehensive about doing a big battle MOC, if that become the general consensus among the majority of attendees I guess I'd have to cave. :roflol:
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby Andared of Lenfald » Sun Oct 20, 2013 1:15 am

Personally, if I am able to attend, I am more inclined towards building something architectural or "artful" rather than a big battle. When you consider LCC as a whole, the focus is rarely on violence (especially in the LCs), at least, not on the grand scale that we are talking about.

My two suggestions/propositions are:

A large map of Roawia. I believe this was mentioned earlier, and I rather liked the idea. It seemed to embody the spirit of LCC and also do a great job of representing it (more definitive than any abstract battle, IMO).

Or...

The LCC Guild Hall. This has never been attempted before, but I think it would be a fun thing to try, and a convention would be the perfect place/time to do it! We could have people sign up to design different section of the Hall (e.g. Caelan and Zachary worked on the Heroes Guild, RBC and Schmidt did the Merchants guild, etc.) and then come to the convention and combine all our wings into the Great Guild Hall.

What do yall think?
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby ZacharyIslazy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:59 am

I wouldn't be opposed to the Guild Hall. I think we'd have to check with Jordan first, since he's in charge of guilds.
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby AK_Brickster » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:17 am

Building a guild hall is one of the master tasks for the Mason's guild, actually.

If you guys want to do that, it's fine by me. I prefer the map idea, personally, but its really up to you guys :)
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby ZacharyIslazy » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:30 pm

Seems like everyone can't agree on what to do :lol: What if we did Roawia's landmarks? Like famous taverns, ruins, shrines, towers, statues, gates etc. ?
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby SSchmidt » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:19 pm

That's another good idea.
It may take us a while to agree on something, but I think if able, we need to have a lot (or one big) LCC build/s to promote the program and also traffic website as well. Seems like we could get a lot of interest, and AK, correct me if I'm wrong, but Didnt you hand out every LCC card you printed? We may have the same results!
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:22 pm

I put 80 cards on the table in front of my coronation display, and they were gone within a few hours on the first day. :eyebrows:
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Re: Brickfair Virginia 2014 Coordination Thread

Postby royalbrickcustoms » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:58 pm

I could make up "goodie bags" of 1 cape and banner for the first 20-30 members who sign up at the convention. :)

Just a thought.
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