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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 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?"
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. There are a number of ways to do this, but: 1. The whole point of the system is that models are judged against an objective criteria instead of each other. This means that you can give out any number of any colour of medals per category (and yes, zero is a number). If you have four amazing gold-tier models in a category, you can give out four gold medals. 2. Since models aren't competing against each other and you can have multiple medals per category, you don't need as many categories in order to have like competing against like and a reasonable number of models per category. You could simply have a few categories, such as aircraft, armour, automotive, figures, etc. 3. One thing to consider is whether you want to judge every single model or a modeller's work within a category as a whole. By this, I mean if I enter eight models in a category, should I get one gold, five silvers, and two bronzes, or should I just get a single gold to represent my best work? There are pros and cons to each; the second way of doing both cuts down on award expenses and doesn't drag on the award ceremony, but it means that entrants have to put all their models within a category next to each other in a little group so you can tell at a glance which models all belong to the same person.
  9. For Badger airbrushes, I always pick up the high roller trigger. It drops straight in to replace the regular trigger, and is taller and more ergonomic. Because it is taller, it gives you more leverage, which helps make the pull smoother and gives you better fine control over the needle.
  10. Regarding accuracy and reference material, since we are explicitly not judging based on accuracy, then while it can be interesting, the only time that extensive documentation of historical material would really matter would be if you are intentionally trying to do something that is accurate but which could be mistaken for poor craftsmanship such as markings that were hastily applied in the field, surface detail that happens to resemble mold lines, etc. Rather, I think it is more important to include details of the build on the entry form. As both a judge and an passer-by, I find details info such as which parts were scratchbuilt or modified, how you achieved certain effects, etc. to be more informative and interesting than proof that this specific tank with this specific serial number had this specific marking on this specific date. Also, "showing your work" helps with judging scope of effort. This then brings up the question of, if we are not judging for accuracy, does it really matter whether something is a "what if" or not? And do we really need to have separate categories for this sort of thing? If I did a Mig 29 in the colours of the air force of Tannu Tuva, would it make more sense for it to be compared to other modern jets of the same scale, or to a biplane in the colours of a fictional country from Tintin? Of course, this, and the issue of skill level that was raised, could be both addressed by going to GSB, but that's a whole other topic.
  11. I think on an individual basis, the best you can do is point towards the official judging handbook, which emphasizes that it's about craftsmanship, not accuracy, and then encourage them to volunteer to judge and get some insight as to how the proverbial sausage is made. However, in a larger sense, I suspect that it is easy for people to get this mistaken impression. Sometimes, the way individuals and clubs conduct themselves, both in person an online, can give the impression that they are a bunch of obsessive, miserable people who argue over the correct number of rivets on the glacis plate of the mid-war model and take this hobby way too seriously, or that you need to be at a certain skill level to be welcomed and appreciated, or that people who build mostly less traditional subjects like fantasy figures and gundams aren't welcome. While that hasn't been my experience, I do think there is a negative stereotype about IPMS and modelling clubs in general that it would be nice if it could be corrected. Personally, I try to do my part to explain things to gundam guys and the like. Also, Dak has a good point about style. Different sub-genres have adopted different styles, and often different judging systems at their own shows. Some of this can result in misconceptions or frustration where what does well at one show doesn't do well at others and people aren't sure why. For example, I know that my style is very different from what is common at gundam competitions, so how I place can be a bit of a crapshoot.
  12. I have not used it personally. To be honest, I have sort of avoided it because I've seen a lot of negative reviews online. The main complaint I've seen is that it shrinks a lot as it dries so it only works on very small gaps. My understanding is that Vallejo Plastic Putty is basically what Liquid Green Stuff should be, so I've stuck to that. I'm also not sure how well it sands; it may be one of these things that is better for organic shapes and adding grimy texture than it is for filling gaps on vehicles.
  13. Not sure if this is worth considering, but I competed at the Sword and Brush figure show in Toronto last year, which is an open system. There, they do GSB, but competitors are told to put all their entries in one category next to each other and they are looked at as a whole. I'm not sure about all the intricacies of judging, but even if you enter multiple models in a category, you can only get one medal, generally representing your best piece out of what's on the table. As such, you won't have the issue Gil mentioned above with running out because one guy took home 30 or 40 medals by himself - he would just win two golds, one for his best plane and one for his best figure, and his "Best Of". Categories are very general (IPMS could probably get away with about 10 categories -- aircraft, armour, automotive, figures, etc.), and it doesn't matter how many models are in a category, so you don't have to worry about things like splits and merge So, for example, I entered about a dozen models split across three categories, of which I would say that all were probably at least bronze-worthy, but came away with two Silvers and a Bronze for my best works in each of these three categories. The other thing is, I don't think the medal had a year on it -- so unused medals could be thrown in a box and reused next year. Finally, regarding the "every model a winner" idea... I feel like there is a similar thing going on with the 1-2-3 system. You end up with things like splits and very finely detailed categories, because the contest organizers don't want anyone to feel like they don't have a chance because their category has so many entries. Let's face it -- there isn't that much difference in technique between building 1/35 German WWII armour and 1/35 Allied WWII armour; the only reasons for splitting categories up by nationality like this is so people don't get upset over it being harder to win a medal in a more popular category and so we can have more winners.
  14. Consider this -- in spite of all the talk of the hobby dying, the best-performing company on the London Stock Exchange in recent years is a plastic model company. No, it's not Airfix, it's Games Workshop. While I haven't dug too deep into this, and not all these companies are publicly traded and have their financials easily accessible online, I would bet good money that the two largest plastic model companies in the world by sales over the past year are not Tamiya and Airfix, but Bandai and GW. Food for thought; take it how you will.
  15. I think you may have misinterpreted me. The point was, turning the output from a 3D printer into a finished model requires the same skill and level of craftsmanship as turning a box full of sprues into a finished model. Possibly even more given some of the unique challenges with working with 3D printer materials.
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