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Smallspace Model Show 2015 - Reports by Anniew and Littlesue

HANSLOPE VILLAGE HALL, Sunday July 12th 2015


It was a small space. The car park took up half a field but the models were crammed into a courtyard, two rooms and a marquee, all heaving with visitors. 

"You can't miss it," said the car park attendant as we asked the way. "Turn left and walk a bit. You'll see robots and a metal dog." 

We did. There were also two Tardises, Cybermen, Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper, a collection of Daleks and about thirty people gathered around the Whomobile - an impressive vehicle! It was attended by several Doctors: two Third incarnations, Three Fourth incarnations, an Eleventh and a Twelfth Doctor. The costumes were amazingly accurate and the look-alikes did actually resemble the Doctors they were cosplaying. For a pound you could buy a raffle ticket to win a chance to sit in the Whomobile. Gary won one of the events and proudly 'drove' it wearing Keiller's Space Princess uniform. He looked great.

Inside the hall were stands each displaying detailed, beautiful models of every sci-fi spaceship and monster you could think of (except sadly, Liberator and Scorpio). There were Hellboy's spare teeth and horns, Lady Penelope in her car (but no Parker), Orac, two mini Oracs - and those were just the ones I could identify. And K9... K9... never my favourite addition to the show, but now making me dewy-eyed with nostalgia. A brave girl wandered around in full early Cyberman gear despite the heat, and there were so many Baker scarves worn or on display that it was a wonder there was any wool left in Buckinghamshire. One chap had even hand-dyed some to get authentic colours. 

Clanger68 had a wonderful display - Liberator and Scorpio guns, a Federation Trooper gun (all of which I got to hold and which were engineered to an exceptional standard, and much more chunky than I'd expected) a Star Wars gun, a little pink Clanger and far more models than I can remember. Gary had his costumes, beautifully made with surprising details. Little Sue and Daughter Number Two (as Donna Noble, complete with spider) and her partner were a fount of information about the event.

It was surreal queuing for bacon sarnies with a Tom Baker (with the shorter length scarf) and a John Pertwee in a fluorescent green shirt.  It was lovely to meet the Horizon Crowd and see Exterminator in person (much less scary in the flesh than his Avatar suggests), Spaceship Dispatcher with Linda his mum, Richard and Andrew both with mini Oracs, PurpleCleric and Son, Clanger, Gary, all so willing to share their knowledge, all so knowledgeable and friendly. Sue's son-in-law shared details about his amazing costume (with the long scarf, which is very, very long. Tom had to hoist it daintily like Cinderella in her ball gown when required to run to avoid tripping and breaking his neck). And Sue herself encouraged my Avon passion by suggesting I got up close and personal with the infamous bacon foil costume from Horizon and Gambit as modelled by Andrew.  

Now, did you know it's made from wonderfully soft, silver leather, not silver foil fabric? The basic tunic has an attached skirt, full sleeves elasticacted at the wrists and velcro fastenings at the shoulders. The French seams joining it together are immaculately sewn and the overstitching detail is beautiful. The placket at the neck was inserted later to accommodate the fact that Mr Darrow had gained a little weight between episodes! The trousers look to be standard dress trousers designed to be worn with braces, but were cut off at mid-calf to fit comfortably under boots and with a side zip rather than conventional flies. That must have led to some interesting moments when Nature called... Strings attached to the trouser legs enabled Mr Darrow to anchor them under his feet and thus prevent them 'riding up' during action sequences. Encouraged by Sue, I examined these trousers somewhat intimately while Andrew was still wearing them! My only regret was that the costume did not come complete with the thigh-high boots that were such a startling addition to the ensemble. Oh, and that Paul was not modelling them himself! 

After two and a half hours it was time to leave. I'd promised my bemused husband a chance to revisit the homes we'd occupied in Bedfordshire during our early marriage, and we needed to get home by 5.00 pm to take charge of our twin granddaughters. That meant, sadly, I missed seeing Trevor Travis and ClaireBlues. Fortunately, I did stay long enough to witness the Orac-Off between Andrew and Richard and to examine the weapons box housing Andrew's Orac and signed by the late, great Peter Tuddenham. Fortunately too, I missed the deluge that threatened to wash away the displays mid afternoon! 

I left clutching the tomato soup cans I won at the tombola, reflecting on the conversation I'd had with Purplecleric. We agreed that Blakes 7 fandom is full of the nicest, friendliest people you could wish to meet and reflected how odd this is when you consider the abrasive and downright hostile depiction of personal relationships in the series! 


LITTLESUE - Hurricanes Hardly Ever Happen in Hanslope (except on a summer afternoon in July)

Well, after dragging myself out of bed at 4.00am on Sunday 12th July 2015, I managed to persuade Hubby to drive me to Daughter No. 2’s house in Sholing, and then from there we went through Southampton towards her Significant Other’s house where we picked up K9, AKA ‘The Mutt’. I had only had about 4 hours sleep, if that, and I was feeling very tired. But soon we were on our way at about 6.30am, up the M27, then the M3, then the A34…in the rain. But as we approached the M40, we could see sunshine in the distance! Hooray.

I should add that I was sharing the back seat of the car with K9 and his trolley, making sure that he didn’t bounce about and damage his ears. Goodness knows what anyone thought as they passed us and then had a quick look! We pulled up in a field, kindly on loan from the farmer, and proceeded to unpack K9. Then who should pull up alongside us? None other than the Third Doctor… all Six Feet plus of him! “I remember you when you were a Scarecrow!” says I.
He didn’t have his thinking head on, but he did have cake!

And so to the main event, the fourth Smallspace, held by Mat Irvine to raise funds for his Village Hall. As usual, everyone was rushing round… sort of organised chaos, and it didn’t help that Mat had fallen downstairs that morning and had hurt his arm! But he manfully carried on.

I located the K9 café and managed to get a drink of tea and a cheese roll and then decided it might be a good idea to actually pay my entrance fee!

I found Phil and Andy in the large gazebo outside with all their displays, including our Gary’s treasured costumes. Then Gary turned up with Mr Kinnear’s Gold costume. The Whomobile was unveiled and then tickets were sold for the hourly draw to see who would get to sit in it… and our Gary won the second one. It was strange to see ‘Keiller’ sitting inside this vehicle and it was difficult to resist saying “Welcome aboard the Space Princess….” And I think it was Mr Irvine who carried on with the rest of the script from B7!

It should also be noted that Green Ticket No.9 was called out last-but-one, but it seems the ticket holder could not be found, so number 10 was hauled out of the crowd - none other than a very bewildered PC’s Dad!
“Don’t touch anything!” we all cried.

Sopron arrived with son, PC had PCminor and her Mum and Dad, SD and his Mum arrived, then shortly after Clareblues turned up and pointed to the dark cloud in the distance. “I’ve just come through that. It was horrendous.”

About thirty minutes later, there were spots of rain, which got harder. I got under the gazebo just in time. The heavens opened and the wind blew up. Phil was standing by the Regatta wind break which broke free and wrapped itself around him!

Everyone dived for cover. The small Tardis was pushed inside, the Cyberman was rushed into the foyer of the Village hall and kept the ‘Are You My Mummy’ model company, but the larger Tardis got well and truly wet.
As for me… I suddenly saw the end gazebo about to take flight as the wind roared around and I dashed for the corner. Four of us (including two young lads) hung on for dear life, with people inside the hall taking photos of us! If that had taken off, three Daleks would have been ruined and Sarah’s Significant Other’s K9 would have been soaked as well.

Speaking of Daleks, one very young girl went to have a look at K9 and was suddenly confronted by three of the monsters. She started screaming that she wanted to go home because the Daleks were out and after her. No amount of soothing could console her. Even ‘Matt Smith’ and his sonic didn't work, nor ‘Tom Baker’s’ Jelly Babies. So her Mum and Nan had no other option but to leave.

As the event came to a close, all the Doctors in their various guises were rounded up and had their picture taken with the Whomobile. All of us Horizon mob who had stayed the course had our photo with a Dalek, and then it was off home.

Thank you Mat Irvine for holding this event, the fourth so far. He conceded that he may have to get a bigger location next time!

Thank you to Phil for supplying the coke when I suddenly felt light headed at about 11am, and also to the lady who did all the realistic wounds, for allowing me to sit on her chair for a while, to ‘Avon’ Andrew for making Anniew’s day and to all the exhibitors for giving their time and making this event so enjoyable.


Photos by Littlesue and Clanger68
More photos can be found on the Forum Thread


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