Gremlins in the Garage!

Wonderfest 98: Review

Review by:
Michael Oprean (


Winter, for me a time to build and paint models, lots of models hopefully. To get some of the kits purchased off the pile and onto the shelves. Last years "Wonderfest" and "Chiller Theatre" purchases are still piled high in the workroom. I'll need to complete some soon because Spring is just around the corner, which means I'll be heading to "Wonderfest" again.

May arrives, several kits are in mid-production, several have been finished. I guess that leaves enough room to add some more to the ever growing backlog. To me, this is a rite of Spring. Head south to Louisville. Buy more kits than I can possibly finish before the next show. Also it's the first time for me to see what all the producers have have doing all Winter. As always, it's also the time to see what all the kitbuilders been been doing all Winter. So "Off I go to Louisville".

It's an 8 hour drive from Milwaukee to Louisville. Excitement keeps me from getting a good nites sleep so I leave here at 5:30 a.m. The weather and road conditions are great this year and I make record time, arriving at the Executive West Hotel around 1:39 p.m. on Fri.

Wonderfest U, is in full swing. Looks like everyone involved is having a good time. This seems like another good idea to me. Maybe next year I'll give it a try.

Sat. morning, after a good breakfast in the hotel dinning room, I join the line already formed to get into the dealers room. Much talk and anticipation is easily felt as hundreds wait for the doors to open. The appointed hour arrives (10:00 a.m.) and the buyers move smoothly into the room. The crowd seems less frenzied this year, more patient. I work my way around the room, noting things of interest and figuring what I MUST pick up and what will be gotten at a later date. My first purchase is a Horizion "J.P. Raptor" for $30.00, a real sweet deal.

I spot several items to buy, several to put on my "want list" and many more to just dream of having. The dealers are friendly and helpful. Some tables are loaded with great buildups, some with more models than I could ever finish. Some with items I can only wish for. I've made my plan and vow to stick with it, so I know I won't be picking up very much, but just seeing many of the kits makes the trip worthwhile. The contest models start to be displayed, this is almost model sensory overload. Lots of great kits, lots of great work done again this year. I wish the judges luck in their decision making.

The dealers, the contest, every where you look, you see things that stir the imagination. I may not buy a lot this trip, I will take home lots of good ideas and the desire to deplete the stockpile back home. I do find several kits that I'm looking for and a few that I wasn't but like just the same. My cup runneth over with the display of things to do, to use, to add to the hobby. This is what Spring means to me. I may not leave Louisville with an abundance of product, but my interest is ignited. I will leave with a renewed interest and desire to produce more this year than last.

Early Sun. afternoon, I load my bags, take one more trip around the dealers room. Buy one last kit, them head for home. This Spring will remain with me long into fall. Then I'll await next Spring, so I can journey back tp Louisville, to experience the rites of Spring known as Wonderfest.

Photo Index

Any and all information that I know will be in the captions. Any information that anyone else can supply would be helpful. (

Contest Photos

2) Jim Fawkes "Pallia Mores" by unknown
3) "Rancor Monster" by Joe Dunaway
4) "Anime" by ?
5) "Anime" (Bunny Girl Costume) by ?
6) Real "Alien on Pedestal" by Ron Landis
7) "Mars Attacks" Martian by Ron Landis
8) "Death Rider" by Ron Landis
9) Netherworld, "Vincent Price" by ?
10) Sideshow, "Bernie Wrightston's Frankenstein" by ("Scary") Terry Beatty
11) "Zombie Gunslinger" by Larry Brackney
12) Dark Horse, "Alien 3" by Larry Brackney
13) "Iria" (Anime Version) by ?
14) Dinosaur Diorama by ?
15) "Time Machine" by ?
16) River Bottom Blackheart by Gabriel Marquez
17) "Borg Queen" by ?

Contest Photos - Mature Theme

18) Vision Models "Vampirella" by ?
19) Vision Models "Commandant Lee" by Dave Hacket
20) "Lady in Tub" and Seth from "From Dusk Til Dawn" by Chris Dobsch
21) Screamin' "Celina" by ?
22) Bowen Designs "Decapitator" by ?
23) Alternate Images "Queen of the Nile" by ?
24) "Genocide" from England by ?

Contest Photos - Diorama

25) "Psycho House" by ?
26) "Batman" Diorama by Dan Jorgenson
27) "Jason and the Argonauts" by ?
28) Cellar Cast "Deamoness" by ? (Mature Theme)
29) Takeya "Alien" by ?

Dealers Room Photos

30) Mad Labs "Ymir" Bust
31) Mad Labs "Cyclops Base" with "Sinbad" figure
32) "Mr. Hyde", buildup by David Fisher
33) "Lon Chaney Jr.Tribute", buildup by David Fisher
34) Xacto Facto "Mistress X"
35) Xacto Facto "Agent X"
36) "Vampirella" ?
37) "Gargoyle and Cat" ?
38) "Egyptian Queen" ?
39) Monsters In Motion "1930s Style T-Rex"
40) Monsters In Motion "1930s Style T-Rex"
41) Zotz "Esmarelda"
42) Zotz "Sentimental Journey" (at the Puff'N'Stuff table)
43) "Archangel" ?
45) Sugita "Vampirella" by ? (Contest Photo)


The Gremlins in the Garage webzine is a production of Firefly Design. If you have any questions or comments please get in touch.

Copyright 1994-1997 Firefly Design.