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Schmitz

IPMS/USA Member
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Schmitz last won the day on March 17

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  • FirstName
    Don
  • LastName
    Schmitz
  • IPMS Number
    35303
  • Local Chapter
    Three Rivers IPMS (Pittsburgh)
  • City
    Gibsonia
  • State
    PA
  • Gender
    Male

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  1. Modelers have been abusing the term "acrylic" for a long time - "acrylic" does not mean they're non-toxic water-based, its just the chemical family that the paint resin is drawn from. Out in the real world, there are "acrylic enamels" with petroleum-based solvents and "acrylic lacquers" with even more aggressive petroleum based solvents. Read the labels, if it comes out of a spray can you almost certainly need to wear a respirator if you're using it indoors.
  2. For the curious, there are financial statements online for the 2016 and 2021 Nats: https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/minutes/files/2021nationalconventionstatementofactivity10092021.pdf https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/minutes/files/ipmsusa2017businessmeetingpresentation.pdf Remember that the 2021 Nats were unusual in many ways (no 2020 Nats and in a higher cost city than typical); the 2016 Nats (in Columbia SC) are probably closer to typical.
  3. Quite a few medals fit in the kind of cardboard box many of us already have stacked in our basement/attic/etc - they are a small part of the contest supplies our club officers already have stashed somewhere in their homes.
  4. About 1-foot square is pretty common; any smaller than that gets hard to include enough to "tell a story" and is more likely to become a vignette (or whatever we're calling small dioramas these days).
  5. Totally agree a World Con is bigger and pricier than the IPMS Nats - they have 3x the turnout and prices are 3x as high. What was interesting was that they essentially finance their shows through (very) early registration. That's a fundamental difference compared to the Nats: a World Con is "built to order" while a Nats is more like a limited-run product where the organizers have to guess how many customers they might have. I was looking at early-registration as a way to avoid the mad rush for hotel rooms, but the business model might also help if we ever want to grow the Nats beyond the 2nd-tier venues we're limited to today.
  6. I'm trying to figure out how the SciFi guys actually do this - it seems... complicated, and I may have gotten the terminology wrong. Here is how I imagined using this at a Nats: 2 years out a location and date are announced. The hosting club puts out a basic outline for their show: convention center, hotel(s), theme awards, special events, registration fees, etc. This probably isn't set in stone, but presumably they will have worked most of this out before getting the bid. For 3 months the hosting club sells "shares" (or "memberships" or "sponsorships"). There can be different levels with different privileges attached. These are just examples - prices/levels/extras could be fine-tuned to the particular site/event: $50 - bronze - pays for convention registration, option to reserve a room 1 day early on a first come/first serve basis. $75 - silver - convention registration, plus banquet ticket, guaranteed option to reserve a room $100 - everything in silver plus special swag (e.g. polo-shirt with show logo) You can cancel your sponsorship up to 6 months before the show, but the refund isn't issued until after the show, and your room reservation is canceled too. Paying well in advance gets you a small discount on the prices of registration/banquet-ticket/etc, plus you get to skip to the front of the line for room reservations. The host club will know how many room reservations they've "guaranteed" and how many are likely, and they can use that to help size the room block. Likewise, they know how many banquet tickets and shirts are already sold - it can take some of the uncertainty out of their planning. And they've generated seed-money, which may not be as important as it used to be before the National organization underwrote the expenses, but money upfront is usually better than at the last minute.
  7. Don, what issue are you thinking about for the referendum?

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. jcorley

      jcorley

      Well, there have been Gundam specific categories added FINALLY

      Here in R3, I have triple splits in Gundams a few times now.  It is the single largest segment of the hobby now 

    3. Schmitz

      Schmitz

      Yes, we're taking some steps in the right direction - but I was at the Chattanooga NCC meeting where getting those Gundam categories was fought tooth and nail - when as you say its the only part of the hobby that is growing. I was amazed when my 30 year old daughter who never had any interest in my modeling bought some pricey Gundam kits - because those are her childhood memories.

      I've been spending a lot of time in the Facebook wastelands (moderating the IPMS group) and I see lots of the supposedly non-existent young modelers getting into the hobby; and they are running blogs and podcasts with huge followings and writing how-to books and inventing products - and they by-and-large don't think highly of IPMS. If we can make them welcome I think the organization has a future beyond my own 😉

    4. VonL

      VonL

      From the Peanut Gallery...

      Suppose there was a judging item/factor for 'Special Effects,' maybe parsed out between electronic and non-electronic (paint, etc), disply setting/mirrors, etc. Or maybe make a separate category for SF (i.e. 'inflight' display of aircraft) where the entrant selects that category of consideration?

       

  8. guess no one liked the olympic-tie idea; GSB-vs-123 suddenly reminds me of "Groundhog Day" 🦫
  9. Another year and the prime Nats rooms sold out in under an hour. I understand the complication of sizing room blocks in advance and hotels playing fast-and-loose with their own rules, but maybe there is a better way? The "World Science Fiction Convention" is a big event held in a major city around the world every year, attendance is typically 3-5000 people, with registration costing $2-300 with budgets in the one million dollar range. Interesting thing: there is no national organization running the shows - the event sponsors are small local clubs that raise the funds themselves. One of the ways they generate seed money is to sell "supporting-shares" at $100-250 a share - basically they pay for registration several years in advance, maybe with some sweetener like a discounted registration or special event thrown in. Could IPMS do something like this where the pre-pre-registration sweetener was a guaranteed reservation in the convention hotel (just the chance to get the reservation, not the room fee)? Since you would know the number of pre-registrations two years in advance, the organization could use that knowledge to size the room-block, and reduce the rush for reservations. Just wondering...
  10. If you're going to change how judging works, then you have to change how it works - the contracts change. Adding a few extra awards is not exactly defying the laws of physics.
  11. We're talking about the Nats, we already buy extra trophies for splits, and charge more than cost to sponsor trophy packages to cover extras, so yes - we could order some percentage of extras. Worst case we give some someone an iou and mail their trophy a month later.
  12. Ralph, this seems to be a somewhat special case for the high jump. There is a lengthy website listing all the ties, the general rule seems to be extra medals are awarded when breaking a tie would be unfair or impractical (eg. making two runners with the same time run another tie-breaker race). There is a certain elegance to it that I think would work well at the Nats without the heavyweight change that GSB would entail (leave GSB for local/regional events).
  13. Watching the olympics this summer, I was surprised to see a tie in an event (high jump I think), there were 2 golds and a bronze. Apparently this happens fairly often. The rules seem to be that (olympic) medals go to the top 3 finishers in the event. If there is a tie, finisheres with same score get the same medal. If there are 2 finishers with the same fastest time, they both get gold, there is no silver and then 1 bronze. In theory you could have everyone tie for a of medal, but in practice its almost always 3 and never more than 5 medal winners. So we could let Nats judging teams declare a tie when there was no clear "best" or "second best" and let the awards fall where they may. The big advantage of using something like this for the Nats is that when there are two (or more) models that are both well done, the judging team could award 2 or 3 "golds" and all of them could compete for "Best Aircraft" (or whatever). And it would expand the number of awards slightly, without the problem many GSB systems have with awarding a huge number of bronze medals.
  14. I have suggested a few times that the detailed category descriptions be printed on the table signs identifying the categories, to make it easier for judges and entrants to see when placing models. I've even volunteered to type them up for Omaha. If you think it's a good idea you might want to lobby your favorite NCC member.
  15. I heard "if it ain't broke don't fix it" from my Dad starting about age 12. He was a mechanic and that was his frame of mind: cars either worked or were broke, and if they were broke you put them back the way the manufacturer built them. He sent me off to engineering school, where we learned that the people who designed things were constantly innovating and making tradeoffs trying to make things work better, because their competitors were doing the same thing. It's not obvious to me that everyone who didn't win would leave on Saturday morning. Many attendees would have already made travel plans, bought banquet tickets, raffle tickets, tour tickets, have non-refundable hotel reservations, be waiting for the vendor clearance-sale, or want to take one more circuit through the contest room. A modeler with vendor-money left in their wallet isn't about to leave. As long as there is stuff to do on Saturday afternoon there is no real reason to pack up early. There would be a tendency for non-winners to start packing up around 3-4:00 PM Saturday afternoon to beat the rush, but you could minimize that by having some "big event" about that time: a big name seminar or a pre-awards happy hour that was already included in the price of registration, so that people would want to stay for what they had already paid for. I'll be the first to admit trying this would be an experiment; we wouldn't know if it would work or not. That is the nature of innovation: you study it as well as you can and make contingency plans, but in the end you don't know if it works until you flip the switch and see what happens.
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