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Nick Filippone

IPMS/USA Member
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Everything posted by Nick Filippone

  1. Nick Filippone

    Judging Question

    A rose by any other name is just as useful to a judge who wants to be informed about his or her responsibilities and to a contestant who cares to inform himself or herself about how the judges will be assessing their work. Since it is on the website, how can it be said that it is not provided before or available during judging? (They have this great new invention. It’s called a smart phone. Lt. Uhuru will show you how it works.) Handbook, primer, guidelines, visual aid, reference, etc- what’s the diff. We are all big boys and girls. No one in IPMS is going to check to see if you have done your homework! A conscientious judge will prepare him or herself to judge by reviewing the “whatever you want to call it.” A smart contestant will do the same. Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge (who always does his homework.)
  2. Nick Filippone

    Judging Question

    IPMS has a Judge’s Handbook and we are briefed at the Nationals by the IPMS Chief Judge each year just before judging begins. Nick
  3. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    It is not a micrometer that careful, competent and scrupulously objective judges use to assess alignment. (A micrometer is used to measure the thickness of an item.) Rather, most of us use a hem measurer to, as always, compare one model to another. Such a measurement should not nor would not disqualify a model on that basis alone in the hands of a conscientious IPMS judge. It would permit he or she to decide which models achieved the best alignment AS ONE OF THE SEVERAL CRITERIA that the IPMS Judge's Handbook mandates that we use to evaluate entries. As the hem measurer is brutally objective, it also helps to put the lie to the opinions of those less than careful judges who stand ten feet back from table and swear that a model is out of alignment. A quick application of the hem measurer will prevent this modeler's entry from being unfairly eliminated from competition by sloppy, lazy judges. The hem measurer is an excellent way to make rapid and very accurate assssments of alignment. As usual, if mistakes are being made in its application, don't blame the tool. Blame the workman! Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  4. The oldest continuous Regional convention in IPMS USA will be held on 12 and 13 April, 2019 at the Holiday Inn Express in Latham, New York ( just outside Albany). Hours are 12 Noon to 5 PM on Friday, the 12th and 9 AM to 5:30 PM on Saturday the 13th. Please google Noreastcon 2019 or IPMS Northeast New York for show details. You may also contact me directly with questions at <bpbittern@frontiernet.net>. Thank you. Regards, Nick Filippone, Convention Chairman.
  5. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    Noel, As neat a summation of a discussion about judging as I have ever read! And I loved that quote from your British friend. I am definitely going to write that down. Leave it to the mother country to put things in proper perspective for we colonials! Regards, Nick Filippone
  6. Nick Filippone

    AARP Confirms: Model making is Good for us Oldsters!

    Yes, I realize it must have been about 10 years ago. I meant could it have been at a National? Nick
  7. Nick Filippone

    AARP Confirms: Model making is Good for us Oldsters!

    Thanks for posting this. Do you have any idea when they might have interviewed me for this article? I confess I have no recollection of it. Maybe this modeling thing isn’t preserving my brain like it’s supposed to. Regards, Nick Filippone
  8. Nick Filippone

    IPMS USA PERMANENT VENUE?

    Gil, Respectfully, that is the most galling bit of sophistry I have read in a long time! You seem to say ‘ Californians, New Englanders, now, the show is NEVER going to be near you, so, happily, you can stop whining about it!’ That would be clearly “unfair.” It is also worth remembering that the old system of rotating geographically reflected the sense of fairness that the organization felt toward the entire membership. It was discarded not because the current system was better, but because the bids dwindled so that we had to take whatever we could get regardless of location. A policy of a permanent venue that many members will never be able to afford to reach, either due to lack of time or money or both, betrays the typical ‘ take it or leave it’ mentality of a leadership of an organization dangerously indifferent to the legitimate needs of its members. This would be particularly counterproductive in an organization that is constantly concerned about membership recruitment and retention. A reasonable compromise would be to work with a single hotel chain that has venues all across America (this is not a new idea) and try to cut some kind of deal based on offering garunteed, predictable business. Trying to be fair to as many as possible is not an unworthy aspiration. Nor is it a sign of weakness. Nick
  9. Nick Filippone

    IPMS USA PERMANENT VENUE?

    One needs to recall, on this forum, how upset the west coast membership was when there were no bidders several years running for west coast venues. They felt isolated and too far from mid- America and east coast Nationals to attend. This country is just too big to have the same venue every year and be fair to all. Nick
  10. Nick Filippone

    A DYING HOBBY?

    For the record, my father was also born in Italy. The difference is that Italians were relatively quickly allowed to assimilate and never experienced the pogroms,wars of extermination, ongoing imprisonments on reservations and persistent discrimination that Native Americans have been and are subjected too. I am happy to get back to another vapid conversation about modeling. But I was not the one to bring up the topic of sensitivity in America- you were. Before I am American or an Italian, I am trying to be a Christian gentleman. I am entitled and obligated to dissent. Nick
  11. Nick Filippone

    A DYING HOBBY?

    The dictionary defines “Redskin” as currently used as a “contemptuous” term for all Native Americans and First Nations in Canada. That this entire race of people has somehow been reduced to “one small tribe” on this forum is frankly as revealing as it is embarrassing. It has been said that the definition of a gentleman is ‘someone who never unintentionally offends anyone.’ Nick Filippone
  12. Nick Filippone

    TBF frustrations

    Looking at J.F. Dial's book made me start to think how this thread and the discussion of whether the models we build are toys or historic miniatures intersect. I mentioned in a previous post how IPMS started with a goal to seek the same credibility as wood modelers. Intrinsic in that crusade was to demonstrate that building plastic models was not ' playing with toys' but the creation of legitimate replicas of historic objects- researched ( as best we could in 1964) and carefully executed. Mr. Dial's book is a perfect and significant early example of that quest. In the next 50+ years, the references alone have proliferated exponentially - not even including the Internet. It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that IPMS members have been indispensable in creating the demand for more references, better kits, accurate paints, marking options in decals, after market parts, etc. No single other organization can claim this accomplishment for all of plastic modelling! It was and is our ' raison d' etre.' Non- members should be thanking us. If not for us, they would still be building bright red Migs that don't look like any actual aircraft, they would be building a U.S.S. Maine that is really sort of an Olympia, and they would still be sewing tank tracks together with thread. Nick
  13. Nick Filippone

    TBF frustrations

    Wow! I have Dial's book! Is my retirement nest egg sitting in my archives? Just kidding. I would never part with it. It was one of the very first references I ever bought. I love pulling books like that out if not to consult it but just to reminisce about the early days of this hobby and the founding, ground breaking members of IPMS. Richard Marmo- Thanks for the memories. Nick -Aging But Not Yet Senile (I think) Modeler -Filippone
  14. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    But I specifically did not use the word accurate because I sought to distinguish CRAFTSMANSHIP as the IPMS Judges Handbook uses it( How skillfully the model is assembled, the criteria by which we are charged to judge the entries) from ACCURACY the way the Judges Handbook uses it ( how faithful the entry is in every detail- colour, shape, number of rivets, etc to the prototype, criteria by which we are specifically enjoined by the Society NOT to judge the entries.) I looked up accuracy also. It uses the word "exactness " but I am not sure what cherry picking words out of a long definition has to do with anything. Nick
  15. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    In my entire post, I never once used the word accuracy. You all keep harping on accuracy. Accuracy, the way you seem to use the word, refers to how close are colours to real life, where are panel lines, how many rivets, etc. Craftsmanship - the word I DID use- refers to properly and neatly assembling and painting and finishing the kit such that mold marks and parting lines are removed, things that are supposed to line up actually do, things that are supposed to be at the same angle are, parts come together where they are supposed to without seams that do not belong, paint is evenly, and smoothly and consistently applied, clear parts actually are clear, decals are applied without silvering and look painted on, and there are no glue marks and finger prints visible. ( If this all sounds familiar, you have hopefully seen it a least once in IPMS's Judging Handbook.) I don' t give a tinker's dam what the true shade of O.D. is. Why would I count rivets? I don't know how many rivets there on the wing of a P-51. And how could any judge possibly take the time to count them? What some people cannot seem to get through their heads is that for skilled, experienced IPMS judges, these issues never come up because long before the shade of RAF Dark Green needs to be debated, so many of the other entries in the category have already been eliminated because of basic craftsmanship failures as described above, the point is moot. I, of course, cannot speak for low level judging at low level shows. That is a crap shoot because anyone can judge where there are not the quality controls and the clear instructions we have at the National level. So, don't blame IPMS because some one-day show judges are trying to decide if someone's Skyraider has too many rockets under the wing. They choose not to follow or are ignorant of IPMS Judging Handbook criteria which clearly state that our competitions are evaluating craftsmanship NOT ACCURACY. It would seem, therefore, that the fault is not with IPMS's theories of craftsmanship, but with failure of some of its judges to execute them by not being able to correctly distinguish between said craftsmanship and accuracy. With our first, second, third system,all but but three entries are losers. There is no way everyone can win. My task, as a judge, is to apply the IPMS Judge's Handbook criteria as objectively, honestly, even- handedly AND PRECISELY as possible to decide who those three winners should be that day. This is the mandate issued to me by the National Contest Committee in certifying me to be one of their judges. If I fail to do so, I have no business judging. Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  16. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    I demand I high degree of precision to my judging as in everything else I undertake! I apply the same degree of precise scrutiny to every entry in every category I judge. "Eyeballing it" is imprecise and therefore unfair to the entrant. My personal experience is that people who criticize precision in judging and prefer sloppy judging work are likely sloppy in there own judging and therefore modeling. They don't want their own sloppy entries scrutinized too closely for obvious reasons, so, likewise, they do no want anyone else's scrutinized too carefully either. Craftsmanship and precision are synonomous. In a conscientious workman, they never take a day off! They are applied by him or her uniformly and consistently to everything he or she does. I am painfully aware that we now live in a mediocracy where the so-so is considered praiseworthy, However, I was better brought up than that. Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  17. Nick Filippone

    3D printer for Modeling

    Ok, Rusty! You have simultaneously shamed me and challenged me. You are right. I need to get over the hump, screw up my courage and cast it. I have done a lot of vacu-forming but it has its limitations. I do want to get into resin casting and your metaphorical glove across the cheek may be just what was called for. Thanks- I needed that! Regards, Nick
  18. Nick Filippone

    3D printer for Modeling

    What would best serve my needs would be a service to copy a part I made myself. I friend of mine says one of our local libraries has such a device. I guess it scans the original and prints out copies. Is this for real? Nick Filippone
  19. Nick Filippone

    OOB question

    Assuming that a category under-entered one year will continue to be so and will therefore be a slam-dunk the next is drawing to an inside straight. Full disclosure: I have tried that myself years ago. It does not work. I can assure you that you are not the only contest entrant or reader of the latest Journal with it's Contest results who noticed the low numbers in 132 and are also greedily licking his or her chops as they anticipate Chattanooga. Furthermore, as the National Convention moves about the country, the interests and target categories of the different attendees will affect category "census." Jim's advice is best. And I will add more. If winning at a National Contest is important to you ( as, I admit, it is to me) spread your "bets" around the contest room by building (to the best of your ability) for several different categories. To bring only one entry to the IPMS National Convention Contest with high expectations of winning is a recipe for disappointment. Regards. Nick- doesn't put all his eggs in one basket- Filippone
  20. Nick Filippone

    OOB question

    Jim is quite right. Why in heaven's would you assume an OOB category is some kind of a cake walk at the Nationals. If you approach the building of an entry for the Nationals "...with neither the interest of the time to turn it into a competitive model" you will end up with just exactly that: a model that is not competitive - in any category! Nick - long ago gave up looking for a quick and lazy path to a National trophy- Filippone
  21. Nick Filippone

    OOB question

    We active aircraft judges spend a lot of time in the days BEFORE the judging even starts patrolling the room and checking on category placement. We discuss it amongst ourselves and refer any knotty problems to Bil Devins, the Head Aircraft Judge for final adjudication. The opinion of the modeler with respect to where he or she thinks his or her entry should be placed is considered, but in the end the final decision is that of the judges as they endeavour, in fairness to all entrants, to apply the posted rules as even-handedly and objectively as humanly possible. Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  22. Nick Filippone

    OOB question

    Check the National Contest Rules for 2018-which are likely to be pretty much what will be used in 2019. Yes, it is clearly not a vignette or diorama. But it may move it outside of OOB although I am not sure. It is not a vignette or diorama but it does enhance the model. Because it is a figure, does it fall outside the rules barring enhancement with extra parts? It is an interesting question. One might argue that anything might be added to an OOB entry with the instruction on the entry form to the judges to " not judge" whatever he has enhanced the model with: underwing stores, extra cockpit detail, etc. The convention to not judge the figure on a non diorama entry was to make sure the figure did not give an advantage over an entry without a figure. Can that convention also be applied to an OOB entry? Maybe, maybe not. If you want it to be an OOB entry, why not just leave the figure off. Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge
  23. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    To pass muster with respect to alignment, the wings AND the empennage must align. And, ok, Pete. You caught me on a last ditch technique to correct a misaligned model: shaving the bottom of a wheel or shortening a landing gear leg to make a model "stand straight!" If it's not too obvious, it will fool the judges' eye. But overdone it is easily spotted. Of course, I would NEVER do anything so sleazy LOL. Yes, I would l like to see your device in use. Perhaps in Chattanooga. Rusty, Relax! We are all just having a little harmless fun. No need to summon the Forum police! Nick
  24. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    I see what you are saying with respect to the alignment of the LANDING GEAR. But your last post seems to assume that a misaligned landing gear is the only reason for a misaligned model. It is a very common reason but not the only one. Just as common is the builder who simply glued the wings or elevators on at incorrect or unequal angles such that one is higher or lower than the horizontal plane if the parts have no dihedral or the dihedral (when called for) is unequal. The landing gear could be "true" to each wing and/ or the fuselage and of equal length but the flying surface tips will not be the same distance off the table. An engine cowling glued on with a droop will also not be corrected by proper symmetric installation of landing gear. Are you able to rest the bottom of the instrument on the table to do the manouvers you describe? If not, ( and your use of the word "visually" suggests that you cannot) then you are assuming that your perception of the horizontal when it is held in your hand in mid-air is always really horizontal and therefore the vertical line and everything parallel to it is also really "plumb." Any and all cases of misalignment will quickly and accurately and objectively be identified with the hem measurer with no opportunity for the eye to be fooled. The CAUSE for the misalignment, as I said, is frequently irrelevant. I might add that I keep a hem measurer on my bench and employ it regularly as I assemble my models. It has kept me out of trouble on many occasions! Regards, Nick
  25. Nick Filippone

    re: Judging was: Haters group

    I do not know if you understand how a hem measurer works when assessing alignment or even if you understand what most judges mean by proper alignment. By setting the bottom of the hem measurer on the surface of the table adjacent to whatever structure on the airframe you are examining ( usually wing tips and horizontal elevator tips but occasionally underwing stores or propellor spinners), adjusting the cursor to the height of that structure and then moving it to the other side, those structures are either at the same height or they are not! If the heights are equal, those structures and the model are considered to be aligned. If not, they are considered not aligned. WHY they are not aligned is unimportant in judging ( except perhaps when many entries are misaligned and one is trying to decide whose error is less egregious ) although it is usually easy enough to spot the cause once one has been " tipped off" as it were by the hem measurer. I am not sure how your aircraft plotter works but if you are holding it up in mid-air and not resting it on a level surface, it is affected by slight movement by the holder and his or her subjective idea of what is horizontal. Also, without some type of gradation marks for vertical height, even if resting on a level surface, I cannot see how height can be assessed other than by " eyeballing it." In my experience as I pointed out above, that is not a reliable technique. Your plotter is also limited by its fixed width in the horizontal plane. Since models vary greatly in span, unless vertical gradations, even if they were there on the plotter, are exactly apart the same distance as the structures being compared, one still would have to guess to some extent that the heights off the table are the same. For judging purposes, the hem measurer does not even need any gradations or units of measure. The cursor either hits the structures on each side at the same spot ( aligned) or it does not ( out of alignment.) Nick
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