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Judging Models

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  • Member since
    August, 2008
Judging Models
Posted by tankerbuilder on Monday, July 21, 2014 7:44 AM
Hello . I read the thread about the I.P.M.S. and modeling skill levels . This fascinated me . I have been an I.P.M.S. member off and on for over forty years . The judging at a show has always bothered me somewhat . You might ask why .Well , there is this .If you entered , say a ship model .Then if you volunteered your time , you might be asked to judge Armor . Okay , this works . No It Doesn't ! Not really ! Why ? well there's this . What if you've NEVER built an Armor model in your life ? besides the basics , how do you know the questions the other judges will ask before picking 1,2,3 ? Do you know about the type ? NO ! Do you know about the color schemes for that theater ? NO ! So , how can you judge , other than the basics and what if you didn't know the guide teeth are supposed to be in the groove in the center of the running gear ? Unless it's a damaged tank that's modeled . Same goes for all the categories . I think the judging needs changing and at least one person on the team MUST have experience with the type Although NOT be entered in that class . That way NO ONE would get ignored by anyone because their model , as in ships , is smaller than anything else entered .Think about this please . Tanker - Builder
  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Monday, July 21, 2014 7:45 AM

I give up on the spacing .I just can't seem to get it to come out right here .

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Monday, July 21, 2014 11:05 AM

One of the things which is tried to be offered to entrants in IPMS contests is at least the semblance of fairness in judging.  You are asked to recuse yourself from judging categories in which you have entries.   Does it always happen?   In local shows where there are fewer categories and fewer judges there may be a problem.  Find the category head judge, or the contest head judge and say you have a conflict of interest in judging this category and ask that a substitute judge be assigned

Are you saying that you have an entry in every category and that prevents you from judging any category?

At the National level there are 15 ship categories plus several preplanned split trophy packs.   This does not include juniors or  the diorama category. 

Of course by judging in other than my main interest categories I have seen some fantastic models up close,  learned some new techniques, and been able to develop some new skills which I have been able to transfer both to my hobby interests in general and my prefered genre' in particular. 

Dilatant prospectus tuus

  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 8:19 AM

Hi;

At the last show I judged I had one car and one ship entered .So I recused myself from judging those classes .I do judge armor because I build the models for me .I cannot seem to get completely out of it .

The early 1/48 Bandai kits really got me into armor so I stay in it for special units like the short lived , few built " DickerMax "self propelled guns .That one came to me by way of a door prize .

  I do know what to look for, but , I believe in being gentle to the " newbies " because if they don't progress they will never come back .That's my take on it anyway .

  • Member since
    May, 2006
Posted by Rob Beach on Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:14 PM

Tankbuilder, in a perfect world, such problems you opined would not come about.  But in practical terms, such scenarios will still rarely happen in reality.  Consider this: the usual standard is to have three judges.  Why? In case of an absolute tie of opinions, it offers a chance for a tie-breaker.  Also, this means more experience & improved 'observation' (more eyes), yes?  So even if you are judging models you've never built yourself, the others on the team can help you understand what you're dealing with & guide you.   After all, you are a modeler and understand the process.  It is a matter of looking at the work before you and applying first the basic standard; after that, where direct experience comes into play, the others can help bolster your 'ignorance'.

Shows have a progression that supports the judging population, as well.  Smaller shows, where the judges have less experience, are fewer in number and have more possibility for conflicts of interest - they also have lesser numbers of entries, the overall skill standard may be lower and hence the judging more 'obvious'.  Often the best models will be quickly culled from the pack so the focus falls to just the few.  Even then, minor (instead of major) construction issues may determine the outcome without ever reaching the level of 'splitting frog's hairs' over accuracy, difficulty or refined skill.

Larger shows, conversely, will have more entries, more candidates for judging with higher levels of experience.  Again, the balance is achieved that helps keep the 'noob' from creating havoc.  The only risk is where an entire team are neophytes to a category they are judging AND the models are of such high standard that discrimination is only possible if you are a SME (subject matter expert.)  What then?  Then the coordinating judging will be called to 'step in' and officiate or make adjustments to the team.  So, the checks and balances will take care of the problems - as long as judges are honest about their abilities.

Case in point, I myself judged figures for the first time at the 2014 Nationals (with the consequent high standard of modeling to boot.)  I was an OJT (on-the-job-trainee) judge, but my opinion was listened to being a modeler and having judged before.  Even with these beautiful figures, where painting technique apparently reins supreme, the basics still mattered - to a point.  I learned quite a bit about figure modeler's expectations by this experience - and know it isn't the same as say, aircraft or armor modeling.  I also joined in with some Diorama judging which also had a different subjective emphasis (and rightly so...)

If there was anything that I felt truly needs to be addressed, it is the issue of model placement in categories.  To illustrate, consider an aircraft model that is largely scratchbuilt.  In fact, it would meet the criteria for the scratchbuilt category.  However, being an aircraft subject, does this not also mean it can be entered in the 'regular' aircraft category?  I believe that decision should be left to the modeler, not a judge.  If something meets the criteria for a category, then it should be left there and not moved *just because it could also fit another category.*

This issue became apparent to me when several armor-type vehicles, affixed to 'natural landscape' bases with several figures (but consistent with vehicle crews) were relocated to the diorama categories.  These models did not 'place' in any fashion because they didn't illustrate any prerequisite 'story' that a diorama is supposed to "tell".  They were merely vehicles with crew figures and, as per the rules, met the criteria for the 'vehicle' categories - where they were originally were placed by the modeler.  Yet a judge some how determined they belonged elsewhere solely based on what they deemed was excessive groundwork or figures.  What was missing was the 'story telling' aspect of a true diorama entry.  To rationalize this one judge actually stated 'well, it just has to have a 'story line' doesn't mean it has to be a good one' or words to that effect.

To me, this is wrong and frankly, arrogant.  So what if a model has an intricate base or figures around it in a 'vehicle' category?  That just means those elements are to be ignored for judging.  Such things would be considered only if entered in a 'vignette' or 'diorama' category - otherwise, they mean nothing.  Criteria for categories should be objective and not subjective.  Otherwise, we have happening what did happen: a hatching baby dinosaur was NOT in a diorama category - but why not?  Certainly, there was more 'story' to that subject than a single crewman smoking a cigarette next to a jeep - which *was* moved into the diorama category.  I say, if a subject meets the criteria of a category then it should remain in that category in spite of any other elements that may be present.  I say a large scale rider astride a military motorcycle could be in Figures, or with military motorcycles/ vehicles (under the correct scale) OR in with the other automotive motorcycles.  Let the modeler decide which of the possible, and correct, categories to compete with the knowledge that the category will determine how it will be judged.  Doing as we have been doing just makes things harder and more contentious.  Why should the builder's decision be subject to second-guessing?  The criteria aren't that complex or general that they are open to interpretation, after all - except for things that make them that way unnecessarily.

That should be addressed, and soon.

Regards,

Robert

  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:29 PM

I'm not competent to take a position on any of these arguments. I'll just observe that this thread strengthens a more general position that I've held for about 25 years: I don't believe in model contests.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Lowell City, Mars
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Thursday, August 21, 2014 5:37 PM

Me, too, thank you, jtilley.  I thought I was the only guy on the forum who didn't believe in model contests.  I build to please myself.

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: near Nashville, TN
Posted by TarnShip on Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:15 PM

Contests are still the best way to see built up models today.  We all know how "kind" the camera is to a model, but, in person, they are either good models to look at or they aren't.

That is why I prefer to look at models at a show (contest) and don't show many of my models on the various forums.

Tables at contests are much closer to the "feel" you get when looking in a person's model display case at home,,,,,,online photos aren't much like that at all.  In person, you see all the models at once,,,,,,,online, a person might throw out each model after it is posted and only have one physical model at a time, with photobucket for the rest of "the collection"

Rex

almost gone

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, August 22, 2014 9:54 PM

Tarnship, you - and many other people - make a false assumption: that a model show necessarily involves a competition. It doesn't.

A couple of weekends ago, I made a five-hour (round trip) drive to attend the IPMS nationals. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I spent about $100 at the vendors' tables, and spent quite a bit of time looking at the models in the contest room. Some of those models were really fabulous, and I was grateful for the chance to see them. I drove home without finding out who won the awards, because I don't care. And I don't think that ignorance had any detrimental effect on my life.

I'm a big fan of model EXHIBITIONS. The club I'm in holds one every year - in addition to our monthly "show and tell" sessions. When I joined, almost twenty years ago, I said that the minute any competition developed in the club I'd leave. It's never happened. Our meetings and exhibitions are informative, often inspirational, and always fun.

I also believe in the concept of the juried exhibition - the sort that frequently takes place in art museums and galleries. Participants bring their work to the museum, and a panel of experts determines which ones come up to a particular standard. Those go on public exhibition for a set time period. Nobody pronounces that one piece is "better" than another. Some years ago Mystic Seaport held a juried ship model exhibition that, as I understand, was a big success.

I've been building models for over fifty years, and I've lost count of how many contests I've seen, entered, and judged. (The last one I judged was the Mariners' Museum international competition in 1990.)  Never again. I'm convinced that competitions do more damage than good for the hobby.

I've sounded off about this subject several times in this Forum. Plenty of folks disagree with me, but I've been surprised at how many feel the same way I do.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: near Nashville, TN
Posted by TarnShip on Friday, August 22, 2014 10:09 PM

I may be among the unwashed misguided folks that believe that model shows involve competitions.

I admit that,,,,,,,but, that is probably because the 10 Local and Regional shows and the Nats following that Anne and I are going to attend between now and next July, all include competitions as the way to view models.

There isn't a single "view only" show in the driving radius of our house.  I will grant that it is possible to pay the entry fee to just show off my models,,,,,,,,but, that show will still be a competition for the others.

Since I can't find a "view only" show in a 5 hour one-way radius, I still say that seeing "live" models is better than seeing choice photos online. (both are good, live is just better)

I "only" have 49 years in at this model thing, though. (1965, age 8)

Rex

almost gone

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, August 23, 2014 1:34 AM

I certainly agree that seeing the actual model is preferable to looking at a photo of it. And apparently a lot of modelers take it for granted that model show = competition. I wish the hobby could break free of that mindset. I also wish more museums - maritime, aviation, military, etc. - would get interested in sponsoring non-competitive exhibitions. I wish for all sorts of things, I guess.

Our ship model club meets at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, in Beaufort. (Meetings at 2:00 on the last Saturday of every month, September-May; new members and guests always welcome.) There is no competition in the club whatsoever. I've never heard two club members exchange an unpleasant word. We have guest speakers, movies, occasional field trips (in the museum's van), our monthly "show and tell" presentations, and the annual exhibition every May. The exhibition is held in conjunction with the museum's Wooden Boat Show. Members bring their models and set them up in the museum's auditorium, and we hold various sideshow-type activities. We have a pool for RC operations and - one of our biggest successes - "build it yourself" models. The guys in the museum's boat shop put together extremely simple trawler "kits" made from wood scraps, and sell them for $3.00 apiece to kids and their parents; a club member then helps the kids put the kits together. (Most enthusiastic participants: Girl Scout troops. Typical reaction: ecstasy.) No lost tempers, no insults, no "those judges obviously were idiots," no "I hope that guy never comes back." Just fun and education.

One year we collaborated with the U.S.S. North Carolina folks in Wilmington to set up an exhibition down there. It was up for about three months in the visitor center on the pier next to the ship. The concluding event was a lunch, sponsored by the ship, in the officers' wardroom, followed by a public presentation about various aspects of ship modeling. Hundreds of people attended, and everybody had a great time. I don't think anyone noticed that there was no competition involved. That's my kind of model show.

At almost every model competition I've ever attended, on the other hand, somebody has gotten torqued at the judges, the other competitors, the people who wrote the rules...or somebody. I've never seen such silly, egotistical, childish behavior as I've seen at model contests. They seem to bring out the "inner children" in otherwise well-balanced, agreeable, and outwardly stable adults.

After the Mariners' Museum contest that I judged, one jerk spent months writing nasty letters to the museum because his model didn't win a medal. He said those three judges should never be permitted to judge a competition again anywhere, and threatened to report us to the authorities. (The letters stopped when he was informed that there are no such authorities.) He was from out of town, and had never laid eyes on any of the models that had beaten his.

I know some people are proud to be "naturally competitive." I guess they have a right to feel that way. I don't. At this point in my life I don't feel any compunction to prove myself to anybody, or to compete with anybody about anything (and I've held that opinion for at least thirty years). As long as there are "naturally competitive" people, I suppose model contests will be the only things that entice them to show off their work. (That coin has two sides, though. I know of several outstanding professional modelers who refused to enter the Mariners' Museum contests because they were afraid they'd lose commissions if they didn't win.)

I don't imply that my views are the only ones; if other people enjoy contests, as many of them obviously do, that's certainly their privilege. I do think, though, that many, many model clubs would find that they prosper and grow if they took competition out of the picture.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: near Nashville, TN
Posted by TarnShip on Saturday, August 23, 2014 2:22 AM

I think I have told you this before. But I think it is worth repeating.

If I ever find myself near a "display only show" as we travel, or if one comes near us,,,,,,,,,,I will support it whole-heartedly.  To the point of making multiple trips out to the truck to bring in display only models to help fill the tables.

It is just not the way it works for us around here,,for the next 11 shows, anyway,,,,,,maybe that will change someday.

Geez, I just sit and shake my head at the thought of writing letters for months like that guy.  "I'll turn you in to the Model Competition Authorities" has a heck of a ring to it.

The next show Anne and I will go to, I have a Very Poorly Designed model kit that I am building and entering as a joke, because there isn't a humor category in their list,,,,so it will have to go into an open category.  I would be extremely embarrassed for myself and the show if it wins something.

The other "real" entries will just ride back home and go into their slots by number,,,,,,,win, lose, or not carried along they all fit in the same places on the shelves in the end. (VA-63 being to the right of VF-62, etc, etc)

Rex

almost gone

  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:00 AM

Hi;

  Now ,you have just hit the nail on the head .The last ever show/contest I went to, had one, yes, one table devoted to display only .That was it, and that covered ALL categories . Like Proff. Tilley, I like Juried displays very much .The fact is Tarn , I just like looking at models of anything .

      I would probably be quietly respectful of your planes .Why ? Well I don't build many " Things with Wings " Unless it appeals only to me at the time. I do have favorite planes such as the A-10 and the A-6-E aircraft . Why? Well, relatives flew the beasts.

     I like going to somewhere and just looking .Why create an atmosphere of distrust and dissatisfaction in the group ? At Golden Gate Model Yacht club we rated a model not just on workmanship ( some weren't even true models of anything extant) But overall appearance and of course, how well the operator did his Or her job .

    Shoot, I was beaten soundly in the 12-meter sailing yacht category by a thirteen year old girl ! Why ? she just handled her sailboat better than I did. She couldn't run the course for motorized craft without hitting something though .

What I liked about this event though. There were No classes except the sailboat classes . Because the club was founded as a sailing club .The girl in question had built her boat out of strips of Bubinga wood and Red Heart wood .Then sanded the heck out of it till after four coats of varnish it was as smooth a the proverbial " Baby's Butt ".

Craftmanship and Camaraderie was the rule of the day and everyone went away with a smile on their face . This is ,to me the right way .Compete if you want, BUT , you don't have too, let's just talk about what you did here and how did you do that ?         T.B.     P.S. Beside the steak sandwiches they had that day were the best I'd ever gotten from a caterer.

  • Member since
    April, 2012
Posted by F-100 John on Saturday, August 23, 2014 3:18 PM

Perhaps  an  ex aircraft mechanic could judge the aircraft models just like someone who worked on armor could judge that stuff. Judges might have the building skills , but someone who has seen the real article could certainly judge the most accurate model

  • Member since
    February, 2014
  • From: N. MS
Posted by CN Spots on Monday, August 25, 2014 1:36 PM

Do the judges at these events converse with each other about specific models or do they judge independently?

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: near Nashville, TN
Posted by TarnShip on Monday, August 25, 2014 2:05 PM

In IPMS they work in small teams and have a head judge in the categories, with an overall head judge for the show. That is the ideal anyway. Some of the smaller IPMS shows only have a few judges, that also work as a team, and one head judge. (at smaller shows, they are always looking for volunteers to train on the spot) The teams talk to each other about the models they are judging.

Rex

almost gone

  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 11:40 AM

You Are Correct ;

  now that said .How about this scenario ? I judged a contest . I judged Armor , Planes and Cars  . Why ? well as I have said, I had a ship entered . Oh, I was also asked to join the team judging figures . I get asked to judge because I am the only professional builder , I guess . I don't know if that's true , but it seems to be the case .

      Enter the perfectionist .Here's a fellow who comes to our group ,armed with a flashlight, magnifying glass and jewelers loupe . None of the rest had such stuff .Well , I did have a flashlight to shine on seams and stuff  . As you know the models do get handled sometimes , with the builders permission , in our case .

    He handled every model , turned dioramas around to look at the back, and so on . The result , his findings pissed off a lot of folks and not just the modelers , but the folks sponsoring the event ! His figurines left a lot to be desired, I found . I wondered why he was so critical of everyone else .I have NOT judged since then .        T.B.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 1:57 PM

I saw something similar once. A couple of guys showed up at a contest sponsored by a local hobby shop. (They entered some large-scale figures of the Vietnam period - and I have to admit the figures looked great.) These guys weren't judges, but they walked around looking at things and taking notes. I got a glance at some of the notes. They were all criticisms of how the contest was being run, and included some pretty nasty stuff.

The organizers and judges had nothing to do with that behavior. And as far as I'm concerned, the two characters were idiots who didn't have enough to do in their lives. People like that are one big reason why I don't believe in model contests.

I once judged a contest at a museum in Massachusetts. The judges didn't have flashlights magnifiers, or any other tools - but I sort of wished we had. Sort of. Several models of Coast Guard ships were entered. I had excellent closeup eyesight in those days (I don't any more), and when I took a close look at the Coast Guard emblem on one ship's hull, I discovered that the lettering on it said "Union Pacific." The builder had used a railroad decal. The Union Pacific logo looks a lot like the Coast Guard emblem - from a distance. The other two judges couldn't figure out why I suddenly burst out laughing. When I pointed out the reason, they couldn't read it.

Then there was one in the Mariners' Museum contest. One of the most beautiful entries was an immaculate scratchbuilt naphtha launch. The guy had custom-engraved the labels on the gauges in the cockpit, the lettering being about 1/64" tall. One of the gauges said "naptha" - without the first H. I caught it; one of the other judges had an Optivisor, and confirmed it. The other judge couldn't read it. When the museum curator called up the builder to tell him he'd won the best-of-show award, the curator told the guy about the spelling mistake, they both got a good laugh out of it.

A little sympathy for judges with less-than-perfect eyesight is in order. But a jeweler's loupe is going a bit overboard.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    September, 2014
Posted by Mr. Creosote on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 12:11 PM

Why wasn't a hatching baby dinosaur entered in a diorama category?

Because there is a specific DINOSAUR category at the IPMS Nats.

  • Member since
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  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 3:40 PM

I understand all that's being said here, and agree with most of it. I used to salivate at the thought of the next big contest coming up, and would build like crazy to get at least one model ready for it. Then I noticed what others have mentioned here - egos, including, and especially, mine. So, I gave up on contests. But, I do believe in them whole-heartedly. I just prefer not to participate in them anymore. It seems that what I'm interpreting from what I'm reading here, though, is akin to the gun debate - take away the guns so no one gets killed anymore. And so, accordingly, I'm surmising that "contests are no good - get rid of them! They make people say bad things about others, and cause unwanted feelings, so take the contests away!" I hope I'm wrong about that, but that's the way it's sounding to me. I'm all for contests. I think they're good for the hobby as a whole. It's the 10% that are making it seem bad for the rest of us. I prefer not to participate because I was letting my ego get in the way, but I realized it was me, and not the contests, that was the problem. Wish others could realize the same thing. When they enter contests, they should have enough sense to know what the rules are and what they're getting in to. To enter a contest expecting to win before you even see your competition just ain't right, as we say down South. Again, hope that I'm wrong about my assumptions.... Good discussion topic, though.....

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 4:15 PM

Devil Dawg, I couldn't have said it better myself. I swore off model contests about thirty years ago.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 1:54 PM

I build models for my enjoyment and relaxation but also enjoy entering a contest at a model show once in a while. It's one way to compare and exchange techniques.

I do have one beef with IPMS judging. They should adopt the AMPS method of including a critique of your model on the entry slip so one can correct any issues in the future. The AMPS judges will note on your entry slip what you did right and what needs to be corrected, something I never get at the IPMS events.

My favorite part about the shows is getting those great deals at the vendor tables!:whoo:   

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: From the Mit, but live in Mason, O high ho
Posted by hogfanfs on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:39 PM

plasticjunkie

I build models for my enjoyment and relaxation but also enjoy entering a contest at a model show once in a while. It's one way to compare and exchange techniques.

 

This is the reason that I will join both IPMS and AMPS Yes

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 4:37 PM

jtilley

Devil Dawg, I couldn't have said it better myself. I swore off model contests about thirty years ago.

Thanks, jtilley. I'm assuming that you gave it up for the same reasons that I did? I still like going to the contests, especially for the vendor tables, and to see the great builds, but I don't enter any models.

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: 1/48th Academy Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion; 1/48th Hasegawa A-7 Corsair II; 1/48th Hasegawa F/A-18F Super Hornet; 1/48th Eduard Fokker Dr. 1 Triplane; 1/48th Eduard/Hasegawa Ultimate Sabre with "MiG Mad Marine" markings; 1/48th Monogram Douglas TBD-1 Devastator; 1/48th Monogram Pro-Modeler A-26B Invader

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 5:25 PM

I always enjoy looking at models and talking to model builders. But I have no interest in model competitions.

I'm a big believer in model EXHIBITIONS. No winners, no losers. Everybody just shows off his/her models. Our ship model club has such an exhibition every May. Everybody has a great time, and I've only heard one cross word at one our exhibitions. That happened when a 12-year-old snatched a radar screen off a club member's 10-foot Aegis cruiser and started running around the room with it. What I said (or rather yelled) to that kid was cross in the extreme.

To each his own. Personally. I think the hobby would be better off if there were no model contests. But lots of people seem to enjoy them, and that's certainly those people's privilege.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    May, 2006
Posted by Rob Beach on Wednesday, October 08, 2014 3:44 PM

So, catching up:

Mr. Creosote: my point wasn't that the dino egg wasn't moved, it was why was the jeep?  To me, they were essentially equivalent (non-diorama subjects) equally applicable to the Open categories (and equally *not* applicable to the dio cats...)  So, it is an example of how inconsistency is rampant at times.

The point about all of the 'judging aids' is that sometimes it is good to have enough light (and magnification) to actually see what you're looking at (especially in some of the venues that shows find themselves in.)  As long as the aids are used throughout (so all entries get the same level of scrutiny) there shouldn't be a problem.  As noted, a lot of us don't have the same eyes as in our youth.

Many may have noticed that shows in England seem to be primarily exhibitions.  During work travel, I had occasion to attend at least a couple of model shows and they seem to operate under a very different paradigm.  Much of the 'table space' was for club tables, manned by members showing off their work.  Those displays may even have a competition, though I was unaware of it.  Adjunct to this was a 'contest', which consisted of much fewer models.  Since I was just observing, I didn't get into the details of how things were organized but that is my general impression: vendors, club displays and a small contest on the side.

In the US, I think we are organized as 'contest, vendors' and essentially *no display* components because club displays are just not usually practical.  In short, individual modelers attend shows, not club contingents.  That may change, but there has to be a desire for that to happen.  Physical distance plays a part in this, I'm certain - among other things.

The 'AMPS' vs 'IPMS' contests discussion has come up again and again.  When AMPS shows start having all kinds of entries (not just military vehicles), then we can compare them.  Until that happens, we're looking at grapes and peaches.  Or until IPMS 'shows' start being genre specific...

To be (a competitor) or not to Be!  As evident, it is a personal decision of whether one enjoys competitions or not.  Also evident, there are A-doughnut-holes every where in life, even at the lowly model show.  It is often a matter of 1) maturity & 2) tolerance.  I think for the vast majority of participants, they see it for what it really is - an excuse to get a whole lot of cool models together & attract the vendors.  Win, loss or simply gawk you can't take it too seriously since we all *should* be building for our own enjoyment.  It is nice when things are well run and highly organized, but what do you want for an ad-hoc group of volunteers?  I'm just happy when it doesn't take all day to finish!  And lets face it, those who drop to the ground and start kicking their feet, they make a good 'amazing story' later in the day... if good folks who go to shows stop trying to bring some sanity & civility to the whole thing, then it certainly won't get any better.  We're not talking Olympics... everyone should be able to have some fun in spite of the contests (certainly not because of it...)

I still think AMPS, IPMS and any other organized modeling group (RC, railroading, shouldn't matter) should be getting together to organize an annual week of ModelFest (or some such name) where we'd gather, show our stuff, do a bunch of workshops, demos and stuff with the kids and just generally 'get out there' to promote our pastime.  If it were going on all across the country so at least one day that week, the major & not so major population centers would know, modeling was going on in their communities.  Locally here in Southeastern Virginia, we used to do mall demos & airshows, but those things have gone away (for some reason.)  I still recall seeing a huge traveling display of 1/72 scale aircraft models at a mall once that gained a lot of attention, all the efforts of one man (well, he teamed with his wife, too.)

But, then circuses are in decline too, so perhaps we are just seeing things change as they must... when we are living ensconced in our homes, entertained without leaving, where can community begin to be formed?

R/

Robert

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Wednesday, October 08, 2014 4:36 PM

CN Spots

Do the judges at these events converse with each other about specific models or do they judge independently?

I can speak for IPMS at the National level and how our local club does it.   Other organizations may do it differently based on rules or volunteer judge availability.

Models are judged by teams of three (generally).     The three judges discuss their observations of each model and come to an agreement on the placement of the winning entries.    One of the judges may be an On the Job Training level.     His/her options are solicited and included in the decision.

After the judging team has reached their decision,   they present their findings to the category head judge.   He questions their results with questions such as what would have come in 4th?  what about this guy over here?,   did you consider this?  He may send them back.   If he accepts their findings they move to the next category

  • Member since
    May, 2006
Posted by Rob Beach on Wednesday, October 08, 2014 5:26 PM

Category Head judge?  Second guessing the judging team kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?  How is it one guy can override three others?  Makes no sense.

  • Member since
    January, 2011
Posted by Bugatti Fan on Saturday, November 22, 2014 9:18 AM

The differing points of view in all the preceding posts made for some very interesting reading. Modelling competitions will always be the subject of hot debate.

Personally I enjoy entering competitions. The reason being that it 'ups the ante' for me as a modeller, so that I develop my skills, have a timeframe to work within and it makes me actually finish a model off. There is nothing like a deadline for doing this. I dropped out of competitive modelling for a number of years and started again about 4 years ago. Whilst in the 'doldrums' so to speak, a lot of my models remained half finished for ages (if they got finished at all in some cases)!

I have seen competitive modelling from both sides both as a competitor and as a judge at SMWUK.

As a judge, I always looked at the build quality and the finish of the model before anything else was considered, to sort out the ones that would be in contention from the also rans. I have never felt the need to use a jewellers loupe, torch or magnifying glass to do any judging. Judges that resort to using those sort of things only look as if they are going over the top instead of looking like experts my opinion. After all it is only models being judged not micro bioscopic samples!

As was earlier suggested, writing comments about the models for each entrant on the day would simply be too time consuming to complete anyway. The suggestion is well meaning, but the downside to this is if a modeller takes umbridge and disagrees with any comment it could lead to unpleasant incidents. Judges sacrifice a lot of their time at any show to do what sometimes can be a thankless unpaid task. Best left alone I think.

As a competitor, I enjoy the challenge and it is nice to be a winner once in a while, but I do not lose any sleep about it regardless of whether my models win or lose, and aim to do better with the next model. I always bear in mind the philosophical words of a late friend of mine and highly regarded model maker Tony Woolett who was winner of the IPMS UK National Championships on a number of occasions.

'REMEMBER THAT YOUR MODEL WILL BE NO WORSE AT THE END OF THE COMPETITION THAN WHEN YOU FIRST PLACED IT ON THE COMPETITION TABLES'

  • Member since
    August, 2014
Posted by BlackRook on Tuesday, December 02, 2014 9:32 AM

I will enter a contest or two, when the schedules and moons align.  Not for the chance of winning a prize or ribbon, but for the drive that it gives me to do better.  I can easily overlook a mistake here and there if it is "Just for me", but when the thought occurs that this will be sitting on the table and getting scrutinized by better modelers than myself?  I take a deep breath, and go correct that mistake.  

It makes me a better modeler.  It makes me enjoy the hobby more.  It makes me strive for my own excellence.

I have entered exactly one hobby store show, and took best of show with an A-4 that was unweathered, unweaponed, and unfinished.  No, it wasn't a super small show, but I was proud.  I gave that model away.

I will build another.  And another.  And another.  Sometimes I will show others what I have done.

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