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Posts posted by Dakimbrell

  1. 9 hours ago, Highlander said:

    Actually, you have to be able to explain your choice to someone ... the head category judge, for example.  I offer that no two models are equal and that an experienced judge can note and cite differences between them.  I have yet to see the perfect model.

    The challenge is not, IMHO, when discriminating between two very good models, but between 2 or 3 or 4 models with multiple problems.  The best of best is relatively easy, the best of the worst is tough. 


    I don't disagree with you basic remarks, but I was speaking in more general terms. Explaining it to a head judge is easy, because he is experienced and understands your reasoning. Explaining it to an angry, self-absorbed, belligerent, contestant is a different matter. "That doesn't matter" is their favorite phrase. Unpainted plastic, it doesn't matter. Crooked parts, that shouldn't matter. They often start extolling how the model we didn't like won numerous awards at other contests all the time ignoring the words "other contests".On the other end, explaining why three guys picked the Ferrari over the Mustang to a hard core Mustang guy is a headache. Telling a modeler you bumped him down because of a small fleck of hard to see dust is ridiculous.

    I have lots of friends who look at my stuff long before it gets to a contest. They are more than willing to point out all the problems in extreme detail. If it is something I can fix, I will, but if it is unfixable without rebuilding the model, I will take the hit and just accept it. I simply don't want to hear what the judges thought, because form past experience, they will not help me and I don't really think they help anyone else. There are countless sites and magazines showing of models and techniques which show what most consider good models. Why does anyone need to ask a contest judge after the event?


  2. In the cases I’m referring to, there was no real tie. The judging team had no real problem coming to an agreement. It is just that in the end we saw it as a toss up. 

    When we ran the choice by the head judge, he had no problem with our decision. 


  3. When you get down to the very end and have to choose between two very nice models....one with a little silvering of a decal and another with the trace of a mold release mark.... but otherwise equal in work, you have to make a choice based on simple appeal. Sometimes that means you pick the one you personally like most. Bluntly, any judge that won't admit this is deluding themselves. Everyone has pet peeves that they pick on. Trying to explain this tiny almost trivial point to a self-absorbed person without them getting angry is impossible. In 2015, I had to choose between a model with a bad decal and one with a cracked window. One got a 1st and one got a 2nd. The only other model there got 3rd. In ANY other category, NONE would have placed.

    I have been judging model contests since 1972, and have attended and/or entered a contest every year since 1969. I looked at lots of models and take my responsibility as a judge seriously. I have seen judges debate for thirty minutes whether water running by a log should have had more wake, then bump it because of such a silly point. I have seen arguments on whether a ship should be bumped because it had no anchor. You can say we don't judge accuracy, but enter your P-51 without a propeller and see how far you get.

    I bet the guy with the micro dust speck thought it was irrelevant. And to me, it would be too. This is the biggest reason I would prefer a GSB system, and this is also why I don't want to have feedback. Knowing about that tiny speck will not improve my work. It would be something impossible to plan for because you won't know about it until it is done and then it is too late. And quite frankly, building at my level, I would never ask why I didn't win first. My ego is not so shallow that I have to have explanations for every non win.


  4. Capricious? When you are choosing between two equally good models, both with equal, but different flaws. It is impossible to explain your choice to someone.

    If you really want to improve things, we should ditch the category system and go to a skill level division set up using GSB.


  5. The problem is that most entrants don't want or need feedback on their work. In most cases, they are quite aware of their short comings. What most want to know is why the other guy won, which judges are not allowed to discuss. 

    As I commented earlier, The difference between a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd is often the mental flip of a coin. Trying to explain that to a disgruntle contestant is unpleasant. Sometimes, it is not even possible.



  6. The problem with the current 1-2-3 system is it is time consuming and requires more and more splitting of categories. I believe eventually it will become untenable as it is now, if the numbers continue to grow. We need to start working out ways to make changes.

    Personally, I would prefer a GSB combined with a skill level division rather model type categories.


  7. Gil,

    You don't have to sell me on the basic GSB concept. I've been a advocate for over forty years. In fact, I think some of your remarks overly complicate the idea.

    I am not opposed to an increased cost...if needed....and I personally would like to go to a generic award for the National, in a general effort to cut costs. I just think it needs to be clear if there is a need for increased cost. Too often, complications get glossed over in the heat of enthusiasm.

    I am opposed to a point system used in judging and I dislike the concept of judging with non judges in the room.

    Hopefully, your remarks illustrate what others are thinking.



  8. I agree there would be no need to retrain the judges. If you have reached the point of judging at an IPMS National, you should be pretty much aware what is good modeling work. There is no such thing as a national standard, but like porn, I know good and bad work when I see it. The idea of IPMS judges being too picky is ones of the silliest myths I have ever heard. If anything IPMS judges are too forgiving.

    I do not like trying to judge when people are in the room, so I think it should all be done at one time, as is done now. Time is not an issue, in my opinion. Judging is generally easy for me. In most cases, the "winners" stand out. In those cases where they don't, that is why the team works well.

    I'm still not convinced Gil's cost estimates aren't over optimistic. I also think Gil does not take human nature into account. If judges can give more than one award, I think by nature, they will. Gil seems to set his own standard here. I have seen many cases where there are several gold level models in a single category, and I think many Judges...at least the first few years... will be inclined to be gold heavy. I like having the head judges review what the team has done and have them justify their choices.

    3 hours ago, ghodges said:

    GOLD: Do you think 1 model in 10 is a Gold? Not in my experience....perhaps 1 in 20. So, 5% of 2500 is 125 models, but THAT sounds a bit high too, so lets knock it down to 100.  It's a GREAT Nats and 1 in every 25 models qualified for a Gold!


  9. Rusty,

    Fixing it as we go, is what has caused so many problems over the years. That is no way to make a major change to an important event.

    Currently, the 1-2-3 system works because everyone...both judges and contestants....know how things work.

    It is clear, to me, from talking with people about this for years, that no one has presented a cost analysis, or put down precisely how it will be done. Right now it is still just a loose idea.

    I think it behoves those who strongly support GSB to put out some hard facts.


  10. I have heard lots of general talk about GSB over the years. To date, no one has offered a clear and precise description of what we would be getting. Yes, I get the general idea, but I would like the GSB proponents to address some details.

    For example, I would be in favor of GSB if we used our current judging method, but I would not be in favor, if we went to a numerical scoring. Also, I really want to hear how it will be paid for...not some ephemeral "we'll work that out later".

    I agree, in general, that being able to give multiple awards would be more equitable, but if the cost would jump dramatically people need to be aware before they start supporting or opposing a method. People also need to understand under the GSB there will be occasions where a category only has Bronze medals because of general poor quality work. Ans would we be required to give an award, at all?


  11. I like the basic concept of the GSB as long as it is based on the current judging methodology. I.E.The collective judging in teams of odd numbers. I believe this to be the best way to judge an art form. I find the collective discussion, give and take, gives the best consensus of the group. I like to understand why a team judge feels a way he does, because he may have an observation which may change my opinion, or I may have one that will change his opinion.

    However, the big bottleneck for IPMS would seem to be cost. How do you estimate the needed number of awards without setting a limit? And setting am limit defeats the main advantage of the GSB. IPMS has shown a reluctance to go to a generic award for all chapters to use , as each hosting chapter seems to want its own stamp on each National. Some may think this a trivial point, but it is one that needs to be addressed early before other stuff gets going.

    Another point needs to be addressed, too. Do we keep the judging time as we do now, or change to a rolling judging that starts on the first day entries are put out? I for one, don't like judging with a crowd of spectators because it inhibits discussion.

    Dak 39410

  12. At the last national where I judged, we had the basic issue of the top four models, in the category, all being very good. In the end, we made the final choice based on our personal preferences. All the entries were good, and all had minor defects, just different ones. Quite frankly, any could have been first. I have found this to be quite common particularly on the inverse...all are equally poor.

    If there is a gap on the real thing....the base of the Panther cupola, for example.... and the judge says the reason I lost was because I didn't fill it, then I am a bit annoyed. We always judge accuracy, to some degree. That is why we don't like seams on the wing of the Spitfire, or silvered decals, or misaligned parts, etc. I have seen silicone used so heavily on real aircraft that the REAL thing would not win an IPMS awards. There has long been an ongoing debate on the correctness of some weathering.

    Even providing information does not always work. I once provided pictures to back up everything I did. The judge told me they never looked at the information. Another even told me he only judges on craftsmanship and never looks a documentation. This is why I no longer want "feedback" from judges. Give me an award or don't, I don't want to know what the judge thought. Ignorance is bliss.

    I maintain what people really want is to hear why the other model won, not why theirs didn't.

    Personally, I ALWAYS look at the documentation. When I see something odd...like poorly hand painted markings, for example, I assume it is poor craftsmanship, unless I see some documentation.

    As for Open/GSB, I like it, but the final factor will be cost. I don't believe it can be implemented with out some major funding for the needed awards or going to a generic award purchased on a National level.


  13. The definitions of art and craft overlap. Regardless of whether you are carving a twenty foot marble statue or a 1/72nd Spitfire kit, the process is basically the same...inspiration, planning, rough work, and fine finishing. Removing unwanted stone is fundamentally the same as smoothing out the edge of a wing.

    Everyone posting here knows quite well what IPMS judges look for during the contest. As noted, that information is quite well known and easily accessible. You also are aware a model is judged relative to other models in the category. A model that places first in a field of four might not place in a field of ten.

    Everyone also knows judges are often unfamiliar with the subjects they are judging and that they will sometimes mistake an accurate element as a failure in craftsmanship. This has happened to me on several occasions. How would you feel if the seam or bad paint you judged as poorly done craftmanship turned out to be accurate?

    How can you explain to a contestant that the model did not win because when choosing between a Spitfire and a P-51..... both excellently done.... that the Spitfire won because they liked the camouflage better than natural metal?

    Can open; worms everywhere. Why is that a good idea?


  14. I just do not feel judges comments are truly helpful in any measure.

    In a field of entries where most of the contestants are experienced model builders, the margin for mistakes is paper thin. On any given day, the difference is little more than the flip of a coin. I don't mean they flip a coin, but that the judges find two entries so close either could be first place, etc. To try and quantify the "why" of the choice is simply a truth people don't really want to hear and offering it is going to just make people angry.

    We chose this one simply because we liked the paint scheme. We liked Ferraris better than Mustangs. The ammunition brass is too bright. The mold seam on your undercarriage is more important than the seam on the other guy's wing. People don't want to hear that sort of thing, but in the final cut, that is what happens.

    I don't think people really want feedback on their model, but rather what people really want is to understand why a model they see as inferior beat them out. That is not going to happen.


  15. I was reading the "survey" and one thing I am personally opposed to is feedback comments from the Judges. It has NEVER been a good experience for me and if there was a specific place on the form for judges remarks, I would scratch through it.

    All the criteria used by judges is well know and easily accessed by the public. It is also doubtful any defect...."a seam on the wing", for example...will ever be changed on a finished model. At least not on mine.

    Having been a judge many times, I have often found a model that did not win, was not a bad work. It simply lacked something intangible which is virtually impossible to convey to a disgruntle modeler. Try explaining that the model is to clean and neat. Or that it is over weathered.

    Model building is an art and perfection is not an option. All I want from the judges is fair and experienced judging.


  16. Like I say, if they move it, I simply withdraw it. I got tired of the rationalization about why something should be moved. It's just easier and causes less headache.

    Actually, I disagree with the idea judges have more experience than the entrants. I think it is about even. Lots of contest goers ….like me... have been doing it for decades.


  17. Everyone likes validation from their peers. Why do people get upset when their favorite sports team loses? Some even get so angry they threaten coaches and players. Yet, that is often considered "normal".

    It's not a hobby for me; it's a way of life. I have several hobbies, but building models is not one of them. I do not do it to relax, but as an art form and I work at it almost everyday in the same way a musician practices or an athlete works out. I don't get grossly upset if my model doesn't win if it is in a category with lots of good work, but there has been more than one case that left me going "huh?".

    Still, I read the rules and place my model in the category where I think it has the best chance of winning. If the Judges move it.....splitting is not moving.....I just take it off the table. The last time I let that hat happen was in 2011 when they moved a figure diorama to a vehicle diorama category.


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