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NewType BuildCon 2019 San Francisco Recap

NewType launched their very first Gunpla oriented event called “BuildCon”. I discovered this about a couple months ago when I finished my latest build. I was happy with the build. Matter of fact, happy enough to scour the Internet for possible competitions. And BuildCon was one of the very few contests in NorCal.

“Contestants get 50% off their entry ticket”

I signed up immediately.

Saturday morning, sunny. It was time to bask myself in some serious Gundam goodness.

The event took place at the Bespoke venue of the Westfield Mall in downtown San Francisco. I parked about 10-minute walk away. Holding my finished model, I paced across Yerba Buena garden with my chin up high. Confident and optimistic. Ready to crush this competition.

Ben Albert of @uberscosplay

Yea, it was awesome already. The Badassery The first item on display was this 1/12 Char Zaku (custom painted, too, I think). The guys at NewType were just flossin’ now.

Might have to sell my kidneys to get this guy. The bad guys just look so much more badass.

Got my wristband and goodie bag.

Stickers, decals, filers.

On the way to the checkpoint I got a few compliments about my model. Felt good.

After checking in, the staff pointed at the table next to us and told me to place my model wherever I find suitable. This was the battle ground. This was where I meet my contenders.

I was blown away.

What laid across the table were masterpieces. Absolutely gorgeous works of art by veterans and super talented craftsman. The intricacy and creativity of the builds were off the chart. My confidence was short lived. While I didn’t lose faith, I understood that no one walked in here trying to wing it.

More to come.

As more entrants showed up to set up their builds, I took the time to get familiar with the venue. The scale of the event was smaller than I expected, but it had all the key anatomy for a fun experience. I would say the entire space was about the size of a full basketball court. It was then broken down into different sections:

The Store

where your wallet goes to die. People were buying up these kits like hot cakes.

The Stage

Throughout the day, artisans and master-builders would host open workshops and sprinkle us noobs with words of wisdom. All the guests were humble and down-to-earth, despite the fact that some were championed by hundreds, if not thousands, of fanboys as they were winners of GBWC, one of the world’s largest Gundam model building competition. (I just learned about GBWC this past few weeks.)

TJ & Dennis @TheKrowSama on stage here.

The Construction Zone

Open tables for anyone to build their latest purchase. Actually, it was open to every attendee because EVERYONE got choose a free kit to build here. Big ups to NewType and their sponsor BlueFin. The kit options were either Goku or Gundam RX-78. Of course. I had to choose the RX-78, the OG.

The Display

There were a series of glass cases stood along the wall. Black backdrop. Bright LED lights bounced off the matte and metallic finishes of the mecha. Within each case were meticulous work of past winners. They were majestic.

Like, come on. By @anchoret_yao
By @anchoret_yao
By founder of NewType, John. @NewtypeHQ
By Kevin Zhang @Kdash71 on facebook
By Doltan, who I believe also won the speed build contest.


The Contest 

The arena, the battlefield, the place where time slips away as you dive deep into the craftsmanship of fellow contestants. I may not have been able to capture every single entry, so for those that I’d missed, I’m truly sorry. And If I’ve misspelled or mis-credited the work, please shoot me a line. My Entry

This was my entry. Char Zaku Statue—The Lost Decade. Hey look. It’s Norm from I happened to be in the right place at the right time to have the opportunity to share about the build: Finally, the time we’ve all been waiting for. Ladies and gents, the galore of Gunplas:

Dre Ward himself

By Dre Ward
This was the 3rd place winner for age 17 & under.

The Winners

3rd Place Janus by Kaz Adams

This was the 3rd place winner. Janus by Kaz Adams
This was the 3rd place winner. Janus by Kaz Adams

Here’s a feature by with the builder, Kaz: 2nd Place Master Grade PMX-003 the O by Max Plastix

This was the 2nd place Winner. Master Grade PMX-003 the O by Max Plastix

1st Place Medusa Repair Squad by Michael Skyers

This was the 1st place Winner. Medusa Repair Squad by Michael Skyers
This was the 1st place Winner. Medusa Repair Squad by Michael Skyers

What an exciting event to partake. Though I didn’t win, (and after looking at the entries, I know I wasn’t even close) I got to see the levels of winners and they were truly inspiring. And it’s event like these where you get to see the phenomenal builds in person, can you truly appreciate the details and the degree of intricacy and realism that one takes to create true masterpieces. These builds put you in your place. Now I’m getting itchy fingers to build something new.

Other shots of the event: ’til then.