Space: 1999 was front and center in this year’s amazing event! Here are some of the highlights that you were waiting for all year from the Crowne Plaza hotel in Louisville, KY June 10th and 11th!
It all started months ago when Todd Morton (the other half of Space: 1999 Props and Ships Facebook Member Group) that we were spit-balling ideas on what are we going to do this year at Wonderfest. After doing a rather intimate exhibit up in our deluxe suite in the Crowne Plaza Hotel for the last 8 years, I wondered what it would take to bring that exhibit down into the actual vendor halls in the event. Todd knew the WF organizers and it appeared that they caught wind of my 88″ eagle we displayed last year and were excited to have us show it off downstairs (The 88 was originally built by Andrew Grimshaw with help from Jeff Gaskell and Phil Howard out of the UK). Originally decided to place the exhibit in the contest room, those plans rapidly changed as we got closer to the event since there was all the buzz that there were to be more folks attending and entering the contest this year than ever before. Their predictions were correct since they had a record turnout of over 1000 contest entries.
Todd and I also were in discussions with Jeffrey Morris of Futuredude Productions to perhaps host Nick Tate for this event. Not sure if you remember, but Nick made a 2016 appearance at Wonderfest hosted by CultTVMan’s Steve Iverson. The next thing I knew, the plans were set in motion, and Nick and Jeffrey were to attend this year’s event. Nick is partnering with Jeffrey to help get his documentary off the ground. Although late in the game for the Wonderfest budget, the organizers were extremely gracious to provide Nick with a Table, and advertising. Props and Ships FB group would officially be the sponsors of Nick Tate’s appearance. We managed to have more advertising than most other folks just with these flyers for their website and social pages. Jeffrey also announced that Wonderfest ’23 would be his “kickoff” producing his documentary.
Time to get uber-busy! We descended on the hotel that Friday afternoon. We got immediate access to both dealer rooms to start the setup for the Eagle display, and the Props and Ships table. We had four things going on at once. Good thing the fourth “thing” wasn’t showing up until later that evening. The assembly of the 88 was perhaps the most complex thing which required three persons. The theme for the display was mainly “Eagle 4” in scale formation. I also wanted a Transporter scale and lastly Mike Reader’s gray 44” Eagle Transporter build highlighting all of the aluminum goodies he offers right there front and center. A huge shout out to the “team”: Tom Eilerman, Mike & Debbie Reader, David Boyer, and Keith Mayfield. Todd and I couldn’t have done this without them.
Setup of the Props and Ships table (primarily manned by our David Boyer) and Mike’s Machining table by Mike and Debbie Reader (that’s actually Tom taking a selfie with her; it would appear that I cannot find a good pic of Mike from this year, just a small one above both sitting next to Todd) was no small feat. Both tables had a lot to offer for those builders that want to improve/expand their collection/display.
There were a number of vendors showing off some really amazing Space: 1999 items. This year was the year that you get to build the Voyage One ship (offered by Timeslip Creations). Round 2’s offering was the three new kits for this year and for 2024, the Gerry Anderson series UFO line up featuring the UFO, the Interceptor and the S.H.A.D.O. Mobile vehicle. I simply loved Mike Reader’s 44″ Eagle grab arm that he meticulously created. Absolutely amazing work of arts from all of those vendors.
This year in our suite, we managed to share a large portion of exhibit space with some of the other returning builders that are a part of our Props and Ships family. Keith Mayfield brought his 44″ Eagle, the David Jacobs Swift, the TB2, and a modded starship from “that” universe. Eric Longstreet brought a 1999 universe WIP probe ship and the biggest highlight was BP Taylor’s works including his collection of his “Eagle 1B’s” creations and a new entry: the “Moondog” concept ship from a parody show idea he calls “Spaced: 2099”. Although it was a parody ship, it was amazingly built with such fit and finish, it was a sight to see. Nick Tate made a nice nightcap showing to chat with our participants and even signed the Moondog for BP. He also took the liberty to sign Oggie Gonzalez’ Commlock.
Nick Tate signed autographs practically all day the first day as the line was almost constant. He was such a wonderful guest chatting with the fans, posing, telling stories and just being very appreciative of his fans all around. It was a pleasure hosting him for the weekend.
Come Sunday morning, time was tight with all of the tasks we were covering down. Jeffrey arranged for a professional video crew and a photographer and wanted to capture some moments of us Props and Ships team in our exhibit suite. Later that day, there was a Futuredude Entertainment presentation by Jeffrey and Nick showing off the “The Eagle Has Landed” documentary proposal taking fans’ questions. There was also some filming and interviewing downstairs at Nick’s table and around the dealer’s booths.
Here were some of the Space: 1999 contest entries. All well done builds.
It was an absolute whirlwind of a weekend. To meet some folks for the first time and to see familiar faces once again at this event is always heartwarming. My wife calls this “Nerdfest”. Well, I suppose it is. I am proud to be a part of this awesome venture as well as Todd’s partner in our group. The group has grown and I have nothing but appreciation for all of those that consider us family and appreciation for their fine works of art. That’s what this group and this event is all about. The love of building, collecting, appreciating, and sharing this art form with the world. Our favorite television show lasted only two years, but it has expanded and influenced our lives and I am privileged to be a part of it. Additional thanks go to Rosie Badgett, Becky Eisenhuth, Donald Hayunga, Beverlee Ballon, and Roy Bjellquist for their assistance and help throughout the weekend. In addition, thank you, Jamie Hood, for working with me on plugging the MPC Eagle 4 kit into the Eagle display. I hope you all had a great time.