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crimsyn1919

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About crimsyn1919

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    Assembler

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  • FirstName
    Brian
  • LastName
    Latour
  • IPMS Number
    C3806
  • Local Chapter
    Ottawa
  • City
    Ottawa
  • State
    Ontario, Canada

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  1. I don't think the Red Baron went beyond the norms of what is expected in war and what is expected of a fighter pilot, unlike, say, a Nazi soldier rounding up children to be sent to a death camp. For me, I think discussions like these are fraught with pitfalls, and I think it is important to distinguish between my own personal rules for myself, what I think contests rules should be, and what in an ideal world I think people should adopt. This is also a difficult discussion as we are in a difficult time given real world politics as over the past few years, there has been a lot of high profile neo-nazi activity and terror attacks. It's hard to discuss these sort of issues when politeness demands you don't discuss politics at the dinner table or in the scale model group. Personally, I don't do Nazi stuff, unless it is portraying a rejection of the regime such as a captured aircraft in Allied or Republican service, or a Nazi flag being run over by an Allied tank. I don't like Nazis and don't want to in any way glorify them. Certain other historical figures are also a no-no, like, say, King Leopold. There is also some anime stuff that I stay away from because some of it can get a little creepy; schoolgirls and the like. Also, I'm not really into really exploitative nude figures, though I do have one topless weird squid mermaid figure in the stash. I also don't like combat scenes that are to "real" in terms of blood, gore, etc, or are really intense combat scenes with people getting shot, preferring the sort of "slice of life" stuff like some soldiers not under fire, pausing to check their maps and maybe grab a quick bite. The exception is in fantasy stuff where it is so over the top that it doesn't have the same effect as real-life gore -- an orc getting cut in half by the chainsaw-bayonet of a dude in powered armour is just so ridiculous that it doesn't have the same impact as a bunch of young guys getting mowed down by a machine gun. Those are my rules about what I want to work on and what I want to stare at in my display case. As for contests, I think we have to have rules to keep things family-friendly. These are public events where we want people to bring kids to to get them interested, not to mention that you need to respect the venue if they are uncomfortable with certain subjects. No nudes and some basic rules for keeping things in good taste, and of course if you are in a country like Germany where there are legal restrictions, you have to follow all relevant laws. Seems like a no-brainer to me, though there might be some grey areas here and there, but I think it is good to keep things a little vague and trust the judgement of the show organizers and head judge, just because there will always be instances where people think of new ways to push the envelope that the organizers didn't anticipate. Finally, in general, I think this is a hobby where a little more introspection on controversial subjects might be nice. There is the (silly, IMHO) debate over whether what we do is art, but if we want to claim to be artists, then we need to ask ourselves questions like why are we making a piece of art, what emotions do we want to convey, what story do we want to tell, etc, and those questions have to go a little deeper than "this is like a Bf.109 but smaller." I'm not saying that you shouldn't build German armour, but I feel like sometimes, attitudes towards Nazi stuff borders on an obsession that can be a little creepy. Occasionally, discussions go into some light Nazi apologia -- proclaiming the superiority of Nazi soldiers and equipment, whitewashing the crimes of the Wehrmacht, blaming everything on Versailles, pushing a false equivalence between the Nazis and Allied soldiers, etc. And there have been a couple times where I've seen people online start out saying "just because I build German armour doesn't mean I'm a Nazi" and then trail off into a bunch of racist or homophobic stuff, apparently not realizing that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... To be honest, as much as people complain about not having historically accurate decals, I think the Germans (outside of a resurgence in far-right ideas in some areas in recent years that needs to be kept in check) have the right idea -- take "Never Again" seriously by restricting the display and glorification of Nazi symbols, while at the same time making Holocaust education mandatory in schools. It's the same reason why I don't do Nazi stuff -- I don't avoid Nazi subjects because I want to forget the Holocaust; I don't build Nazi stuff precisely because I remember.
  2. Funnily enough, sometimes I feel worse when I win because I feel bad when that means other people lose. As for your second line... that's basically what I think is the biggest challenge and the fundamental question behind judging at any show. Finding a way to have the incentive of competition to encourage people to finish stuff and bring it out, but balancing that with the downsides that can come from being too focused on competition like drama, hard feelings, etc. That's what I think discussions should start with, because anything beyond that is just details.
  3. My first thought is that it should be considered that if a narrow victory for GSB isn't enough of a mandate to change, a narrow loss for 123 should also not be seen as enough of a mandate to completely shelve GSB and stick to 123 for the foreseeable future. 51% may not be a strong mandate, but neither is 49%. Honestly, I think Gil is correct. Following a lot of the commentary on here and on facebook, I think a lot** of the objections are based on not much more than assumptions -- for example, people assuming that GSB has to be done the way AMPS does it and is therefore too much work, or assuming that is too expensive, and therefore can't be done. Correcting these assumptions is difficult to do through online discussions because people rarely change their minds because someone on the internet made a good point. It would take firsthand experience with GSB to change those assumptions. **Not all, there are some that just prefer 123 or highly value direct competition. I personally disagree with that, but I feel like "I prefer 123 because X" is a more valid argument than "GSB can't be done because Y" where Y is an assumption that may or may not be based on reality. Personally, I think while this may be a good idea, I don't think it goes far enough to really address my fundamental concerns with 123 and how this style of competition ends up contributing to unhealthy attitudes towards the hobby. And to play devil's advocate, the people who like 123 because they dislike what they term "participation trophies" and need there to be losers so they feel good about winning probably won't like this either.
  4. Actually, while I haven't checked the math on the specific numbers, the purely statistical perspective rests on the assumption that the sample is randomly selected in a way that is representative of the population being sampled. Since those who voted self-selected rather than being randomly sampled and called up like in a poll, the idea of a "margin of error" doesn't really make statistical sense. Since people self-selected, I suppose it is theoretically possible that there is a silent majority that did not vote but lean one way or another. Further, there are a number of people who may have an interest in the question but are not eligible to vote, such as IPMS Canada members that regularly attend the nationals, that given the tightness of the results could have swung things one way or another if they were asked their preference. While one could argue that the razor-thin victory doesn't show a clear preference for either system, if the general attitude emanating from people in charge is one of "we hear what people have said and we don't care, lets shelf this whole GSB idea because we're never going to change it," that's not a good look either.
  5. I did see one or two aircraft in the markings of some Tintin fictional countries at a recent local show. Can't say I remember which show it was, which countries, or who the builder was.
  6. Good craftsmanship is separate from accuracy - or at least, most people tend to see it that way. If I have an extra antenna on a plane that that specific sub-variant of the real thing didn't have, that's an accuracy issue. If next to that antenna I have a big blob of glue on the canopy, that's a craftsmanship issue. Besides, if what we consider to be good craftsmanship is based on accuracy, then that would preclude any judging of a lot of sci-fi and fantasy subjects as you can't say that "well, that's inaccurate because the real thing didn't have seam lines, glue blobs, nub marks, and messed up paint" because there is no real thing to compare it to. The reason this concept is tricky for most people is because you are using a definition of "accuracy" that is not the same as the generally accepted definition, and which is conflating together what most people consider to be two separate concepts -- accuracy and craftsmanship.
  7. I'm not saying that a seam line is accurate, but that issues like that should fall under the category of craftsmanship issues as they represent an problem with the application of skill in the construction, not with research into the specific shape, colour, etc. of the subject. That's where we get into the semantic issue. Everyone agrees that seam lines are bad; it's just that most people file them under craftsmanship issues, because most people don't share your idiosyncratic definition of "accuracy" as it pertains to our hobby. As for the bright pink 109... I may be in the minority, but I would say that if is the best aircraft on the table, then it deserves the award, and I would personally congratulate the builder for his or her creativity. As an aside, I am currently working on a P40 that I plan to paint bright pink. I'm sure everyone knows that P40s weren't painted bright pink and that I should get dinged hard at first glance and not even make the first cut for doing such a grossly inaccurate representation of the subject, no matter how skillfully I execute it. But what if I were to show you a picture of Suzanne Parish's mount which inspired it?
  8. I think this argument over "accuracy" is coming down to semantics, and the issue that keeps coming up is that Dak's definition of "accuracy" that considers things like seam lines and glue blobs to be accuracy issues is one that isn't really shared by anyone else. Personally, I would put things into three categories. 1. Craftsmanship: This is stuff like seam lines, alignment, brush strokes in the paint, glue blobs on the canopy, etc. 2. Composition: Stuff like vehicles on soft ground with no tracks to how they got there, how the various elements go together in such a way that they tell a story and make sense. This is primarily a factor in dioramas, but also can be an issue in figures where you are painting highlights and shadows and need to have a consistent light source. 3. Accuracy: Does it represent something that his historically accurate -- are the markings a historically accurate representation of a specific vehicle, is it the right shade of paint, does it have the right number of rivets, etc. This is something that we really can't and probably shouldn't judge for a litany of reasons, including the vast subject matter expertise needed to prove someone right or wrong on every possible individual marking or detail on every possible variant of every possible vehicle.
  9. I just went to the Sword and Brush figure show in Toronto this past weekend. While judging is a little different in that they use the open system, they still do have "best of" categories which are directly competitive. Regardless, all the names were plainly visible and everyone knew what everyone else entered and the sky didn't fall. I suspect this tradition does more for the perception of objectivity rather than objectivity itself. As Dak points out, a lot of the time, especially at local shows, judges have a good idea who entered what anyways, and are pretty objective regardless. I don't think it does much for actual objectivity; it's just a little piece of theatre to make the entrants feel better. Finally... Dak makes a good point in that there are benefits to having names public. In the world of social media, if someone made a piece you like, you can look that person up and talk to them about it, maybe make a new friend (which is way more valuable than a plaque or a deal in the vendor hall), or ask them for advice. I once had someone try to look me up after a show because he liked one of my pieces, but since my name wasn't visible, there was a lot of "hey, does anyone know who made this?"
  10. Personally, my preference for GSB isn't based on a lack of confidence in my abilities or any other personal failing (of which I have many!). While I do occasionally have that self-hating artist streak, I will gladly enter into both 123 and GSB local and regional contests. And, not to brag too much, I do have a decent collection of hardware from both, so I would say that I can at least hold my own in my area of expertise. For me, the crux of the matter is that I believe GSB promotes and encourages a much healthier attitude towards competition and towards the hobby in general than 123.
  11. That is fair. Personally, I don't like the skill level format because I end up agonizing over what skill level I am at. I end up being not sure if I'm ready to swim with the sharks, but also don't want to just be a big fish in a little pond forever. It can be especially tricky for these talented first time contest entrants to know what category is most appropriate for them in advance. I think that question is a little moot in the world of GSB though as it is more focused on self-improvement and objective standards than going head to head with people -- those who are at lower skill levels can simply manage their expectations and shoot for Bronze one year then once they achieve that, shoot for Silver the next and so on. Regarding percentage of winners... that is a good point, and to be honest, I think this is a bit of a fundamental issue with the 123 system. A lot of the time, it feels we say we want a 123 system because we want to have that hardcore competition and don't want to just give out participation trophies. But then when it comes time to actually name a small number of winners and a large number of losers, it feels like we balk at that and end up splitting categories down finer and finer so that more people have a shot at taking home a trophy. I mean, I've seen people push for splits mainly because they feel there are too many models in a particular category and they need a split so more people have a chance (not to mention drama over accusations of judges splitting categories to give more awards to their friends, or people wanting a split so they can take home a little trophy). To illustrate a point, Richard posted above that he likes the 123 system because he sees the IPMS nationals as like the Olympics of our hobby. However, if want to have that level of hardcore Olympic-style competitiveness... well, the Olympics doesn't go "geeze, there are a lot of entrants in the 100 metre dash this year. Let's do a split between runners who are wearing Nikes and Reeboks so we can keep a reasonable ratio of entrants to winners and give out more gold medals" Basically, with all the splits and ever more granular categories, it feels like we have started out with a system that is competitive and not about participation trophies or everyone winning, but then watered it down once people realized that no participation trophies means that often they are going home empty-handed.
  12. tl;dr on my post above: I think instead of trying to prove that anything other the way we currently do it is impossible because of small details, we can have a much better and more informative discussion by starting with the assumption that both GSB and 123 are possible and doable. With that assumption in place (for the moment, at least), now let's talk about which one we prefer and why. Do we like the good old-fashioned American-style competition with each other, or do we want a focus on self-improvement against objective standards over direct competition? Do we like a system where everyone can win if they work hard enough, or is that too much of a namby-pamby participation trophy thing? These are the important questions that need to be discussed before we start going into the weeds on details.
  13. Thing is, a survey on preference is far from the detailed proposal stage, and none of these questions are dealbreakers. I think rather than agonizing over easily worked out details like "what does the judge's sheet look like," and then saying that it can't be done instead of putting in an honest effort to make it workable (which it has been proven to be at some local and regional shows), the focus should be on what systems one prefers in broad strokes. I like GSB because I feel that it can be easy in this hobby for competition to make people lose focus on what it is all about. I feel like competition should be about learning and self-improvement. If you are competing in order to express your dominance as the lord of styrene, that can very easily lead you down into a road of toxic attitudes. Also, I think that GSB contributes to a more positive atmosphere, because seeing your friend do well isn't bittersweet because Some people like 123 because they want that old-fashioned American competitiveness, or they simply like the way things are done now and don't want to change. That's okay. All systems have strengths and weaknesses, and everyone has their own preference. Some people like the idea of segregating competition by skill level, some don't. That's fine. But I think it is better to at least be honest about it instead of nitpicking on details. For example, I strongly disagree with Richard's post on the previous page about the importance of having winners and losers. However, I can at least see where he is coming from so I respect his opinion, and we can have a good discussion about whether it is necessary or even desirable to have this sort of cutthroat competition be the focus of the premier North American event. I feel like this is what the discussion should be, but this thread keeps getting sidetracked in details. Saying "we can't do GSB because (insert easily resolved detail here)" or because it hasn't been done at this scale before (thank god that attitude wasn't prevalent during the Apollo program!) seems to be more nitpicking because one doesn't want change than actually contributing to the discussion about what is the best way to do a competition. Agonizing over details like what the entry sheet looks like is putting the cart before the horse. What is really needed is a broader, more philosophical discussion about why we compete, what the goals of our competitions are, what people's preferences are, what would encourage more people to show up and bring models, etc. If people feel that it is important to have clearly defined winners and losers and that the current system is fine, then discussing details is a moot point. If people generally agree with the premise of the open system that it is better to compete against an objective standard and for competitions to be about self-improvement, then once a general opinion is reached, then that's the time to work out the details. Anyways, if we want to go down that rabbit hole of details, my thoughts: GSB doesn't need the same level of granularity in categories to have like compete against like and to manage the number of entries per category. Ergo, you can just have the basic 8-10 or so -- aircraft, automotive, armour, figures, ships, sci-fi, etc. As someone who is involved in planning a 123 show, figuring out categories for GSB is in fact way, way, WAY less of a headache than trying to figure out the dozens of categories required for that sort of show, how many splits you need in popular categories like 1/48 single prop aircraft, making sure they are all mutually exclusive and exhaustive of all possibilities, and figuring out what to do when someone brings in an entry that falls in between the cracks (for example, if a show splits 1/48 "Axis" and "Allied" and someone enters a Swiss or Swedish WW2 era plane that is neither axis nor allied, or if someone does some oddball prototype that is neither fish nor fowl). No. AMPS does it that way, but that isn't necessary. You don't need to, and I'm not sure where this number is coming from. Judges could work in teams as they do now. All they need to record is the model information (entry no, name, etc) and which award they have agreed to give it (G,S,B, or no award). They can be given a form with the category name on top, four columns (entry no, modeller's name, model name, and award) and as many rows as can fit on each sheet. With one row per model, assuming you can fit about 30 rows per sheet, if you have about 3000 models, you only need about 100 judging sheets. Generic, inexpensive coins for GSB, and nicer custom awards for special awards like themes and "best of" is probably the best way to go. Depends on if you want to award each individual model, or a modeller's work within a category as a whole. The latter makes reduces the cost of awards, but you would have to require modellers to group all of their entries in a category together (again, this is a preference thing -- either way can work, and it would be worthwhile to have that discussion if there is appetite for GSB). Either way, you can make a decent estimate for either by looking at previous attendance and entry records. As for the award rate, you would probably want to use generic re-usable coins for the first couple years and be a little liberal with your order quantities; once you start figuring out that, say, you are awarding 10% Gold, 30% Silver, 40% Bronze, and 20% participation ribbons, you can be more precise in your estimates and not have to have a huge inventory. That may have to be changed, sure, but there are a number of different ways to do it, depending on your space and time constrains.
  14. In fairness, the AMPS method seems to be a particularly time-consuming variant of GSB because they use strict rubrics, points systems which requires them to do math and tabulation, place a little more emphasis on accuracy & references, offer written feedback, have four man judge teams but discard one of the scores, and judge every single entry rather than judging only an entrants best work in a category like at figure shows. I suspect that the number of man-hours per model could be reduced by not using rubrics and numerical scores, not offering written feedback, and awarding one medal per entrant per category instead of judging in detail every single model. Basically, work out the details in a way that works instead of just copying AMPS.
  15. In fairness, there are a lot of details about the current style that vary from show to show. How many categories and what they are, how willing they are to split or merge categories, whether sweeps are allowed or not, whether they close the display room while judging or not, etc. I would avoid getting too hung up on details, as there is no reason to think that they are an insurmountable obstacle that can't be sorted out in the transition -- we have ample evidence that both GSB and 123 are workable systems. Also, getting hung up on the details prevents change -- after all, if we currently used GSB and were talking about going to 123, then we could just as easily avoid making a decision and stick with the status quo because we are stuck on "should we allow sweeps or not" Here is an example of a show that uses a GSB system that I have been to: https://swordandbrush.ca/painting-expo/ As for specifics, I have some opinions, but they are simply opinions: 1. Don't keep the unjudged models off display. 2. Written judge's comments aren't necessary; I would rather just not bother with them and encourage competitors to talk to judges and fellow competitors for feedback (after all, you don't even need to go to a competition to get feedback) 3. If a model wins a Gold at one event and a Silver at another, that will just imply that certain competitions are a little more elite and have higher standards than others. And, that isn't necessarily any different than what we have now -- it's one thing to win first in your category at a small local competition, it's another to win first in your category at a national competition. 4. "Sweeps" aren't really a thing in a GSB system, so no need to worry about them. 5. You could do either multiple medals per person or simply judge a person's best work in a category. I like only one medal per person because it is cheaper, it reduces the work of the judges (if I enter six busts, they only have to judge the best one in detail), and because, let's face it, a lot of us don't need lots and lots of fancy plaques collecting dust. The only thing is, you would have to instruct entrants to group all their entries to make the judging easier -- for example, if I enter three aircraft, I put them all next to each other so it is easier for the judges to see which ones are mine instead of one at each end of the table and one in the middle. 6. I don't like strict rubrics and points systems like AMPS and GBWC, but I think a lot of the criteria would be similar to the criteria we have now for the various categories. Are the seam lines filled, are there any glue marks on the canopy, etc. It would simply be a matter of deciding on base standards, so I can see Gold being a model with very few or no visible errors, silver being a model that is well done but has some mistakes that do not detract too much from the model as a whole, and Bronze being something that is competently built, but still has some mistakes and whatnot that do detract from the overall model. 7. Composition is and should be an important part of dioramas, as the whole point of a diorama is to portray a scene, not just a random collection of multiple models. 8. One of the advantages of the GSB system is that you don't need to have as many categories. In fact, you strictly don't need to have categories at all, but I think basic categories are useful both to recognize people who are skilled in multiple domains (like aircraft and figures), to group all the like models together, to enable awards like "Best Aircraft," to help get judges who have expertise in the thing they are judging, and to allow for the creation of a junior category. I would suggest that you could just have a few categories - Aircraft, Armour, Automotive, Figures, Ships, etc. - instead of the dozens and dozens of categories that a 123 system entails. 9. Best in class would be relatively simple -- once you are done judging all the entrants, take a look at those who won Gold (or, if no Gold medals were awarded, look at the Silvers) and make a call between them in the same way that it is done now with category winners. Then for best in show, make a call between those.
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