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Competition , Good or Bad ?

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  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Competition , Good or Bad ?
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, January 13, 2018 9:23 AM

Hi;

 I know , a lot has been written about this , including by yours truly . I still quaill when I hear that word " Contest "  Why ? well  , why can't we get together to just compare notes , work and the models themselves without saying " Well , he's better than the other guy ".

 Acknowledgement is always good , yes , But why does it Always have to devolve to ribbons , trophies and placques ! If I see an awesome model I would rather seek out the builder shake his hand , make the conplements then ask " how'd you do that ?"

 I think that most would be more impressed if that happens rather than some bunch of strangers who don't build the genre saying " You're better than the rest in this category" .

 It's a proven fact that some take competition so seriously they will get angry if they don't even place in a class . I have seen some bad behavior from Grown men , and Women too , when they didn't take the ribbon or plaque .

 I thought modeling was supposed to be fun . I learned after two of my models were "accidently" damaged by others . because they thought theirs was better .This is what competition of this sort  can and does breed , sometimes . 

 Sure it was a fluke . In the Golden Gate Model Yacht Club , No Member , judges anything . Only the public speaks . Contests of vessel handling and such are graded but the winner of the category  only gets recognition for that .Then the " Static Display " ( That's when the public Picks what they like best ). Prizes are usually " Board Points " and a gift card .

 We just all play with our  vessels and comment back and forth on fine points and suggestions for handling and other stuff . When done we part as friends and not bloodthirsty competitors .

 I have seen modelers almost assault judges as well . This is not healthy adult behavior, When the kids act better than the adults it's time to examine the system .

    I don't mean we shouldn't have shows , but here's a good point . I don't compete .Why ? I am considered a Proffessional Model Builder . Never mind where the level of craftsmanship is . I have earned money with my skills .That should prohibit me from competing . That alone says , as a hobbyist I should  be teaching and showing how rather than  competing .

 For me it's a Moral thing . I should be sharing and teaching , Not " Grabbing the Gold " at the show . There are those that will disagree with me . That is what makes this hobby great . Now that I have cleared the air in my thinking , anyone want to beat me down ?  Bring it on . I won't change the way I feel . 

 Tanker - Builder            P.S.  No , I haven't published or been  in a lot of galleries or such . I don't feel that negates what I do or what I am . I haven't been published in this wonderful mag or it's sibling . Why ? I choose not to .

   I have been featured in the local news publication . Gosh , a three page spread .Why ? Because they picked up my business card and were curious as to what a proffessional model builder did .

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, January 13, 2018 9:44 AM

There is an old saying- I believe it comes from horse racing- competition improves the breed.

I certainly believe this. I know entering competitions has improved my models.  Certainly at club show & tells I do see what my fellow club members do, but especially when I go to regions and nats, I get to see more.  Would I improve as much if these bigger events were just conventions and shows with no competition?  Not sure, but I believe competitions tend to validate new ideas, processes, methods, and accessories.  I like the competitions.

Also, I find they encourage to get back to work on a model I have placed on my deferred shelves.  I especially like contests that have a theme, and those that have special awards.  These sometimes encourage me to try a type of model I do not normally build, so it encourages a growth process.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2016
Posted by Murphy's Law on Saturday, January 13, 2018 9:58 AM
If you don’t build to enter contests then why is this an issue for you in the first place? I don’t show either, I place them in a display case and perhaps show them on this forum or ones similar. I have yet to feel the need to out do someone else or have I ever received a comment that mine wasn’t as good as someone else’s. I guess I just don’t see where your coming from. If you enter a contest that’s what your doing.. competing against others. If the hobby is putting this much pressure on you maybe it’s time to reevaluate things. This is just my two cents... nothing personal against you Tanker Builder.
  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:20 AM

I used to go to all the contests I could, and would build (almost) every model for competition. I had contest "goals"...first, it was to take 1st in every catagory I entered...then it was "Best of" in every catagory...and "Best of Show". Then it was to place at Nationals. The contest part, for me, was never about being better than anyone else...I was only competing against myself, and my previously entered builds. 

 I am extremely critical of myself, and want to do things (in anything I do) to perfection. I know, as well as everyone else, perfection is not really achievable. Having achieved those contest "goals", I know where my "bar" is, and am much more relaxed in building and far less critical of myself. Much more enjoyable!

 The other part to contests...it's much like this, or any forum. It's a gathering of like-minded (for the most part) people. You have all the same benefits as the forums, but you're face to face. You can ask and be asked, and learn and teach others. Best of all...the vendor room and consession stand yum rockets (hot dogs)!!!

 On the "bad" side of contests. I have seen that behavour you speak of. Grown men, losing thier minds because they "lost". The worst one, many years ago...after judging was over, I went to collect my Revellogram TBD, that I bought for 10 bucks...that won "Best Aircraft"....some guy was ripping one of the judges, up and down, because he had spent nearly 100 bucks on aftermarket items for a Tamiya P-51, and "I'll be damned if I don't get first after spending that kind of money!". The judge, keeping his cool, said "sir, it doesn't matter how much money you spend, it's about the basics, and this guy (motioning toward my model), basically did the basics better than you". That guy SLAMMED a perfectly good, $100 1/48 P-51 into the trash can on his way out. I have seen a couple others also drop models off in the big round bin, on their way out the door. I don't get it.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:21 AM

"Competition, Good or Bad?"

I think if one enjoys them, they are good. If not, then not so much.

I also think some folk are competive by nature, some are not, so that maybe adds into to this somewhere. For example, I haven't a competive bone in my body, and I have no interestest in entering a contest.

But that doesn't make contests bad even for me. I went to one once and thoroughly enjoyed looking at all of the models.

And who knows, maybe someday.

I can see how bad experiences have bothered people, even good-natured you. Stuff like that would likely bother me too.

-Greg

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:40 AM

I've often said that if people didn't bring models to shows, there'd be no shows. Competition is what drives many modelers to bring their models to shows. I've built many models, but only bring a few models that I deem "contest worthy" to shows.

If there wasn't a competition, then there would be no motivation to bring models into shows. Wanting to bring a "contest worthy" kit to a show is what motivates me to do a really good job on certain kits. While I still get enjoyment out of finishing a kit, if I really like the build, I give it a little extra effort if I know I want to enter it.

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:43 AM

   TB, I really appreciate your unique perspective on competition. I think the reason you don't "show" is valid and honorable, If I lived in Texas I would be your best friend trying to gleen as much information from you on how to create picture perfect ships.

     I personally like shows however I do not expect win, if I place great if not I still enjoyed the build and am happy to show off my handywork. Do I want to take all the awards... Yes, do I get angry if I don't..... No, but thats just me.

    Not to hi jack this topic but does anybody think the experience at shows are regional? I have been to shows in the south and they feel WAY different than the " local" events I attend up here in the north.

    Good topic TB, not kissing *** just giving respect where it is due.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, January 13, 2018 11:07 AM

armornut

    Not to hi jack this topic but does anybody think the experience at shows are regional? I have been to shows in the south and they feel WAY different than the " local" events I attend up here in the north.

   

I can't speak to the difference in "feel" of contests, based on region....but I can tell you, the south has a very different "feel" than the north. The further south I get, the more relaxed, friendly, and slower paced, things seem to be. I think there's a general "attitude" difference between regions...which could account for the different feel at shows....mayhaps???

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:22 PM

   I agree Fermis, I always felt welcome and included at the shows in the south. Since I have woke up abit, it wasn't an uncomfortable experience just different.

     To help put the thread back on the original topic. I think competion is a good thing, people have to grow and adapt as we go through life. Model contests allow that process in probably the most gentle way out there. Even the most hardened builder will share a technique or experience with a fellow modeler, young or old. As for peoples reactions to where they place...thats on them, this is a hobby full of fun and comaraderie, I will allow someone to rant and rave over thier disappointment and will never lose a wink of sleep over it. I try and take thier response to press my skills even more and try real hard NOT to legitimize thier behavior by gloating.

      On any given day one man can beat another, sometimes your the bug, sometimes your the windshield.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, January 13, 2018 6:07 PM

armornut

      On any given day one man can beat another, sometimes your the bug, sometimes your the windshield.

Truth!

My "Best of Show" model, at a local contest, didn't even place at Regionals. The only reason I took it to Regionals was because, for the entry fee, you could enter X number of models....I took it to fill the slot, and get a piece of humble pie! 

 There's always going to be somebody that does better than you, no matter what it is you do. Ya might beat Joe in one catagory, and Joe might beat you in another. In the end, none of it really matters...the pat on the back does feel good though!

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 13, 2018 7:40 PM

I've competed in shows in NY, NJ, New England, Alabama, KY, Indiana, Ohio. I don't think I've noticed a noticeable difference in attitudes. Some were local shows others regional. Good models tend to be good models. I know in the various local shows, the same kits make the "rounds" for that year. They may win in one show and not place in another.

Regional shows tend to bring out the big guns where outstanding modelers will drive hours to get there. The level of competition is high with many outstanding models.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, January 13, 2018 8:45 PM

Hello Murphys Law:

 I and my son have read your  response . Now for the record it is an issue for me as I as an adult , Model building male of the species  ,does not like to be shamed  by the behavior of " supposed " grown men in public  . Even my son and I after a party have behaved better !

 As the competitive part . I get asked to judge because of my proffessional viewpoint and pure curtiousness in public . I do like competition , but with manners and camaradie and respect for those of our peers who are asked to judge .

 We sometimes don't see it . My son says ," if the hobby is pressuring you" . " Was that necessary ? It's not ( I can't print his next words ) What is pressuring my dad . It's the ( unmentionable ) out there who act like kids with a temper problem" . And the part about " Nothing Personal " Really ???

 We both , T.B. and Humper 491 build for pleasure and information , plus we both get a kick out of a Happy Fun Show with Kick Butt vendors and lots of Fermis's models.

 We don't like to complain , BUT , Contest season is upon us and We hope those that would not usually curb their bad behavior would leave it at the door . Why ? So That The rest of us can enjoy the event . We put stuff in cases too  , Why ? because We don't care to build to some impossible contest level with more aftermarket stuff that We should save for my son's kids braces.

 It is a Hobby . Look at the definition of a hobby in the Websters dictionary .This is what it should be looked at as  and experienced as , okay ?  T.B. and  Humper 491 , 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, January 13, 2018 9:04 PM

Not all hobbies are relaxing. I used to run 5 and 10k races. Tell you what, sometimes I'd finish in pain, ready to puke my guts out. I didn't participate to win, I'm a short guy not born with a runner's body so I do not expect to win any foot race. I ran for the challenge; to do better than I did the previous race. Some days I did better, some days not so. To practice, I'd run rain or snow, virtually regardless of weather. It wasn't always fun. It was my hobby.

I build models to relax. I enjoy assembling well fittings kits. I also enjoy tackling older kits trying to bring them up to modern standards.

I enter shows when I have the time and if I have a "contest worthy" model to show. I do it to participate in the hobby in a larger sense. Also to see if my skills have improved from the last time I entered. I do not enter because I think I will win. I am hyper critical of my own work and think most all of the kits entered are better than what I brought.

If I win something, I am happy, but I don't think I "should" have won anything. Like when I won a small medal for being third in an over 50 age group. I was happy to have won, but I didn't expect to win anything.

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, January 13, 2018 9:53 PM

I really like the contests.  So many amazing and talented people.  I haven't been a witness to some of the poor sportsmanship stated earlier and find it unacceptable behavior.   

I stopped competing because I got to where I was building for contests and for me it took the fun out of it - bad case of AMS. As you can see by my posts ;) I'm okay letting some stuff go these days.  I shoot for overall looking about right lol.

But do carry on with the contests!  Nothing more impressive than the tables at the IPMS nationals!  

And perhaps some type of consequence for bad behavior. 

 

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Denver
Posted by tankboy51 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:21 PM

I build models as a fun pastime.  I have IPMS meetings at my home regularly.  I have entured (and won) at many contests, local and National.  I don't really like to compete on anything.  However, I like building models and model shows made me a much better model builder.  Going to events and learning how to judge models has helped make me a better modeler.  So, yes, the contests have improved my modeling.  They are fun as well. 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, January 14, 2018 9:13 AM

Hi Retired :

 What you say hits a chord .For many years I felt like I was treated as an  "inferior ' because everyone around me built those ridiculously expensive Tamiya and Hasegawa Plane , Car and Armor models .What did I build , Ships ! 

 Oh , terrible , My cars were AMT , MPC , IMC and Monogram and Revell . I couldn't afford twenty Five bucks for a John Player Racecar in 1/12 from Tamiya . Now today on Social Security .I  still can't afford one , If I could find one .

 I still build ships . You might ask Why can't you afford it ? Well , It's like this .I raised a Family . I built a business and I had obligations when a family member passed or we had a housing Emergency etc . Models took a back seat to life .

 When I finally did compete , it was against the skills of friends . That became fun to see if we could step it up at the next contest .You know " What in Good sense Will he come up with next ? "

 That's when I started judging  models and building a reference Library on Ships . Oh , I still build cars and planes , but only for me . my Armor extends only to special Pieces and unarmored or lightly armored subjects . An occassional Sci-Fi and whatever stuff and Paper Models of all things . .

 I still remember a kid .You wouldn't know it , but he was a special needs boy .Why ? His dad came home from Viet- Nam , a Wheelchair Invalid . Unable even to speak to his son . The boy chose model-building because his Dad could watch.

 He tried to build model cars . When we had a statewide contest he was soundly defeated in junior .That was the first time I saw cruel behavior in modelers . Some of the visitors and home club members told him not to bring his " Junk " to shows anymore !The visitors could be excused maybe . But , our own president's sons , NO !!

 I don't believe that any model builder is  "inferior " to another . They may be novices in their class but " Inferior " NO . Why ? Shoot , we all had to start somewhere didn't we ?

   Back to that Boy . I was so concerned  I followed his mom and him Home  . I let his Mom know what happened . I then met his Dad . Omigod ! he was one of the Chopper pilots that landed in " Hot " L.Z.s to bring us Jarheads out of bad situations . He recognized me but couldn't say hello .He teared up and looked at me with pride .

 I took his son under my wing and six months later at our club's first hosting of an I.P.M.S. event he took a first and second in Autos ! Me , I swept the Most popular and Best Ship category ! I was actually embarassed .

  Me , Sweep a class ? Gosh that felt good . I have made it my guide to my behavior at contests  since then . Although the bad behavior has tainted them for me . I still Go . Like I said , for the Vendors and Fermis's models .

 Also to see how the new level of modelers are doing in their chosen modeling tastes . Some , right now , what with aftermarket and all , are far superior Auto builders than I . That's okay too . That is what non contestant displays are for too .

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, January 14, 2018 11:35 AM

 

As to the affordability of ship models, the way to avoid the expensive plastic models is to scratch build.  Remember, ship models were the original models.  For centuries before there were kits, people built model ships, but they scratch built them.

Even today, I believe the ship modeling is the likeliest genre to see scratch models. I remember when general interest magazines like Popular Science and Popular Mechanics used to include ship plans in their mags.  Rarely did they publish any modeling projects like cars or planes.

There is still a big tradition of scratch ship modeling today.  Lots and lots of plans available.  Basswood may be a bit expensive these days, but I have built nice models from clear pine, aspen, and poplar.  And ten or fifteen bucks gives  you enough wood to build a nice 20 to 30 inch long ship model.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, January 14, 2018 12:54 PM

Ship modeling has been around for centuries because ships have been around for centuries. Tanks, planes and automobiles have only been a 20th century invention.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, January 15, 2018 11:54 AM

Retired In Kalifornia

Thanks for the post Tanker - Builder.

Not many dedicated Regia Aeronautica Italia builders like I out there but have seen number of spectacular build photos with aftermarket parts & scratch built add-ons to old models ala the Airfix Savoia-Marchetti S.79 up on the Internet never mind those built after 1991 when Eastern European crafters came out with their plastic & resin kits.

Far as I know photos of my recently completed Savoia-Marchetti S.78 seaplane are the only ones up on the Internet, this after extensive searching. If I'd entered it in a model contest "mark-downs" would be over supposed construction mistakes but those judging near certainly would not know the airplane existed given little has been published about it so do hope "unusual subject matter" would sway them for the Bronze if nothing else.

IPMS Silverwings Sacramento is my local club but don't know if they're still active, i.e. last model contest flyer posted on their website is for 2016. The IPMS Silicon Valley Scale Modelers in San Jose have been consistant in holding contests so if I'd entered in it would be 2-1/2 hour drive plus constant worry over my model getting damaged in transit.

What I'll do first though is attend their 2018 contest, see what competition am facing, "evaluate" those running the club & judging, see who wins in my building category, look over the winners, then consider entering in the 2019 contest. Meantime will keep going with my 2018 builds, hoping to get 25 done this year.

 

Lol, one of the guys in our club built very little but 1/72nd French WW2 aircraft. And at one show he was laughing about one of the judges stating: 'Censored if I know if it's correct or not. I don't know anything about French airplanes...' 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, January 15, 2018 11:58 AM

I go to shows every once and while but don't really compete. I just like to build the things so they look good to me. I've had a few that I thought should have won something that didn't but I just get a a little depressed for a day or two and then get over it. 

Personally though even if I can't compete I'm glad the contests are out there. I'd rather lose than to get awarded a participation ribbon along with everyone else. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, January 15, 2018 12:35 PM

I look at it this way:

I do recognize the impetus competition gives to any field.   But model contests bring out the best and worst in some people, just as other competitions do.  Some people are mature enough to show the kind of sportsmanship that may seem old-fashioned today, winning gracefully, and losing even more gracefully.  Others do not.

If people want to compete with one another for prizes in model building, that's great.  I choose not to.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087~original

  • Member since
    December, 2017
  • From: Plano (Dallas), Texas
Posted by mmthrax on Monday, January 15, 2018 12:44 PM

For me, competition with others is bad.  I am not interested in the least.  Competition with myself is good.  To continually try to do something better, quicker, more efficiently.  That's how I live my life.  To try to be the best me I can be.  

Just keep picking away at it...

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Monday, January 15, 2018 12:56 PM

Gamera

Lol, one of the guys in our club built very little but 1/72nd French WW2 aircraft. And at one show he was laughing about one of the judges stating: 'Censored if I know if it's correct or not. I don't know anything about French airplanes...' 

 

Been there. As a 1/72 scale armor modeler, all the subjects are normally lumped into one category whereas 1/35 scale are broken down into WW2 German, WW2 Allied, Modern, Softskins and whatnot.

I know some basic knowledge about other genres; for instance I would know a King Tiger would not be in Afrika Korps markings, but I wouldn't know if that kit in certain markings should or should not have zimmerit or a particular paint scheme.

With this in mind, I judge the basics. Seams, alignment, glue marks, silvered decals, painting (not paint scheme, but the quality of the paint job). I don't have to know about a subject to judge whether or not it is built and finished well.

  • Member since
    January, 2014
Posted by Silver on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 12:41 AM

The event brings modelers together for that one time a year showing off their work.This hobby is almost out for the count.Hobby shops are gone and this type of event is sustaining life for the hobby.I myself have other hobbies like RC aircraft/drone ,and aquarium fish keeping.IPMS To me is just a title.Building models is the real fun just like any other hobby.My old hobby was flying the F-100 and F-4.Life was good for me.

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