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Posts posted by Dakimbrell

  1. Gil, I not sure what you mean by “flawed counting based system”, please elaborate. 

    I think the current system will need a total revision in about tens years. It is fast falling behind the curve of contest entries. 

    Stratified competion along with the GSB system and body-of-work design offers the best flexibility, speed, and ease.

    Let’s face it, the nitpicking over exactly which single model is better than others is far from the best system for a creative activity. I have lost track of the numerous times my team has agonized over which of two extremely good models is “best”. Or which is the least bad.


  2. However, I think the perception Gil speaks of is a myth. IPMS judging is....today.....fairly well balance and easy going. By my personal standards, sometimes to liberal. 

    Those I have met, who are the most critical, are simply a sour grapes bunch. They are extremely lazy and find it easier to bitch, than improve their skills. AMPS is far more critical in their judging.

    The problem IPMS has with the “public” is more to do with the fact too many are ashamed to talk about the hobby and the Society. In my local group, I am virtually the only one who will talk to people at the store and chat up the club or IPMS.

    I’m not saying IPMS is perfect. If it was up to me, the contests would be organized more along the lines of novice, experienced, and master divisions. This would give the beginners a better chance and more prestige to those more skilled builders.

    But generally, I’ve been happy with IPMS the past 15 years or so since they got away from the old aero-centric silliness and accepted there are more models than airplanes. 


  3. Just making a point about the wording which illustrates my point....different things bother different people. 

    For me it is lack of consistency. Particularly in detail and weathering. I have often see models with one area very well detailed and others ignored. Also weathering like muddy tracks, but hardly anywhere else.

    I think the current guidelines work well, but some judges still tend to ignore things. That is why I like the collective judging method used by IPMS. It is the superior methodology. 

    Dak, national judge. 

  4. Well, Nick, you did use the word precision and the word accurate is in the definition... I looked it up.:biggrin:

    Is the precision measurement of the wing height from the ground done with hard inflated tires or with bulged tires. If you want precision in the wing span, then shouldn't you be concerned with the thickness of the canopy, too? I would think in true scale a 1/72nd trailing edge would probably be sharp enough with which to shave. If you measure the wingspan, do you also measure the propeller blade length? This is what I mean by too many variables. Who has ever put a hard measurement to a car model? Additionally, different things upset different people, just like the Tiger I I mentioned in the earlier post. And judges often don't pay attention to reality, even when they are faced with photographic proof. While it is true IPMS judging has really improved over the past twenty years, there are still moments when things are over looked.

    However, we have to have some standards with which to work. There is a different mix of judges at every National and many become enamored with specific models. The rules for craftmanship are the only things that keep things in check. That the judging must be done in such a limited also means measuring every model for precision work is impractical. But checking to see if the all wheels touch the ground,  that wings are level or that the gun barrel is not warped are quite proper things to check.

    Dak, National Judge

  5. I don’t think the “hobby” is dying. There are way too many new kits produced too think it is dying. 

    And I disagree our models are toys. To me, they are ART. The same as any sculpture or painting. No to models come out looking the same. Every builder interprets the subject in their own unique way.

    If you want to expand IPMS membership, quit trying to appeal to children and aim at college age to mid twenties age people. Architecture, engineering, art schools, and history are all related to what we do. Run ads in college papers and such. 

    But strict accuracy in a model seen at most IPMS contest is a myth. There are too many variables. That doesn’t mean some don’t get stuff wrong. And yes, I find it irritating when see someone get  simple things wrong or ignore that heartless bitch gravity.

    For example, I once saw a Tiger tank with the entire engine deck HINGED....not lifted off....up because the builder didn’t understand there was a hatch for the engine. He told me it was the only way it could possibly work! In that case accuracy was an important feature. 


  6. Nick,

    While I like accuracy, it is pretty absurd to think it can be achieved at our level of model work. Accuracy as you describe requires extreme information. That is not available to most of the people nor are thy interested. 

    There are simply to many variables to consider and even top people writing the books make mistakes.

    For example, you do an airplane with interesting markings in a photograph. Are those markings the same on the other side? With only one picture, you can’t know. 

    Or there is a tank with a distinct feature. Maybe it got knocked off in the first few minutes of battle. 

    Years ago, a guy kept telling me the measurements in several books were wrong on tanks. He had been measuring them in museums where they were missing parts. The books took those parts into account, he did not. 

    The old 1/48th Lindbergh F-86 still looks like an F-86. 

    If the difference in scale measurements is 5% or less, humans can’t normally see it.


  7. Gil,

    If you took the time to read my earlier posts, you would see I have already emailed the NCC regarding the matter. Additionally, you will see I have no problem if they do not agree with my reading f the rules. I simply will not bring the model aircraft to the contest.

    The rules clearly state the figure would not be judged unless in a diorama or vignette category. Since the actual model is not altered in any way, I fail to see this as a problem, myself.

    1 hour ago, ghodges said:

    It's a place for people to compete against each other with ONLY what comes in the box, and nothing else. You get to choose "the box" you go with, but since you chose one without a pilot, why should you be condoned or given a pass for adding one from elsewhere?

    As to your remark, you know this is blatantly untrue. Over the years, the rules have changed allowing things not in the box to be added. And the type of models being entered reflect this, also.

    So, please explain how a figure that cannot be judged effects the judging of a model? Are you saying all figures should be excluded from all categories

     because they might effect the judging?

    1 hour ago, ghodges said:

    OOTB categories were created for the purpose of not having to go head to head with the honchos (which you admit IS your purpose).

    I'm not sure I understand this remark. I do not want to put this model up against the "honchos" as you call them, which is the reason I sent the NCC an email. Do not get angry because I found a loophole in the rules. I ALWAYS make sure my entries conform to the rules and I have repeatedly emailed the NCC for clarifications. As I said, if I can't enter the airplane in OOB, then I simply won't enter it. I was not planning on doing so before I discovered the loophole, so it is not a problem. I will continue to build and display my works as I see fit and if they do not conform to the rules, then I don't enter them. I am not whining about how unfair it all is, merely trying to take advantage of a loophole.

    Do you think figures included in the kit should be judged in OOB? I would think as part of the kit, they should be.


  8. Jim,

    This is the Revell 1/32nd He-162. I has won several awards for finish, but will never see a national because the seat is crooked. The seat and bulkhead are a CMK aftermarket and is molded crooked and I did not catch it until it was too late. Given the three category 137B, 2018 winners, it would never make the final cut, so why waste space in the car? The V-1 is the 1/32nd Bronco kit. Fairly well done, but modified, so it can never be OOB and the figure is clearly not a crewman, so it could be bumped into dioramas. personally, I always want it in Field Rocketry because it was operated by artillery units, but most times, they want to put it in jets, or drones.

    I choose not to enter them to avoid problems.





  9. Pete,

    The situation is not the same. In this case, having read the rules, I found a loophole which would allow me to enter a model I had originally not intend to bring along. I have helped sort out the armor at nationals and in those cases the wailing and gnashing of teeth was because people ignored the rules which had been available for a long time. In my case, if the NCC says no deal, then I simply will not bring the model and no hard feelings.


    First, I am adding nothing to the model. The figure in no way alters the model and the rules state the figure will not be judged....I am not asking for it to be ignored, merely seeking to confirm my understanding of the rules.

    As to why I don't think my airplane would be competitive in other categories...…60 years building models, 53 years entering contests, and 40 years judging under IPMS, AMPS and MMSI rules. I am a strong midrange, multisubject, model builder, not a specialist. Additionally, I am a real gambler, not just metaphorically and there are some games I do not play or bets I do not make. At Chattanooga, I expect a strong turn out from Atlanta and most likely the mid west states. My gambling instincts tell me it would be a pore bet to waste cargo space on a model that, at best, would have a one in three chance of placing. My handicapping would only give it a 7 to1 in a regular category. For example, the U-boat is a bit different. The differences between submarine OOB and regular submarine categories is marginal, hence it is a better bet.


  10. Nick, now you are being condescending. I am not a novice and have plotted categories like a degenerate gambler at the roulette table.

    If you bother to read my previous posts, your questions would be answered. In short, if I can't enter it where I want, I see no point in bringing it. See above posts. I don't bet the hard ways at the craps table; I do place bets.

    Jim, you have never given an answer to my question.


  11. Jim,

    Don't take this the wrong way, but you are missing the point. This model is an interim project for me; a simple study in painting and weathering. I think it will look good and based on my study of the OOB categories, I feel it would be competitive there, but no where else. I want to move on to other, more important projects and not spend a lot of time on a subject of minimal interest to me. I am looking for opinions about the figure, not suggestions about whether to enter it in OOB or another category. Building the model my way is more important than entering the contest.

    I have contacted the NCC and have asked for a ruling. I don't even want to bring the model, if I can't place it in OOB. An OOB tank takes up very little space in the car. Large models of even small aircraft take up far more space as well as being more delicate. I read the rules closely before I enter a National and do my best to conform to the established rules and I have no particular problem with them. However, as noted in the rules, not everything can be covered until it comes up.

    Additionally, you are coming off somewhat condescending. I have plenty of contest experience over many years, in several different regions and I build six to ten models.....mostly dioramas.... a year. You may have also noticed my name on Journal articles for the past couple years. My original IPMS number was way lower than my current one, but I dropped out for several years getting my current one on my return.

    The standing question is....does the addition of a non-kit figure violate the spirt or letter of the OOB rules? I say it does not, for reasons stated earlier.


  12. I have been entering contests for 50 years. During that time I have learned there are some areas you don't compete in unless you are prepared to go all in. With this model, I am not. My current project has no seatbelts or a dozen items I regularly see in winning models in categories like 103, 120,131, 135, etc. As for OOB, note that one category...132... only had two entries, this year. However, as in shooting craps, past performance is not guaranty of future performance.

    I make no assumption that OOB is a cake walk, but the is a definite difference in truly competing and merely being in the category. Traveling 900 miles, I choose to bring those models, which in my opinion give me the best chance. It is a distance thing, a couple hours away, I might say what the heck, and bring it to show. But twelve hours on roads I know are going to be bumpy, no way. I have several other pieces which could take up the same space and are a lot easier to transport.

    As for the U-boat, that is a different thing. I have two of the Bronco kits and plan to build one full hull and one in a diorama. Since there is not a lot you can do to a submarine model before it becomes a diorama, OOB seems like a good place to enter it and I always include figures with all my models.

    We began discussing the concept at my local chapter and I felt the question would be a good one to discuss and get some broader opinions. So, do you feel the figure on the OOB airplane violates the OOB rule? if so, why?


    National Judge

  13. First, a clarification. The Me-109 shown above is not the model I am talking about. In fact, it is not even my model, it is just being used to illustrate my point. My model will be on a scale scenic base with the figure standing on the airplane and that will not change. All I am seeking is a clear understanding before I pack up and transport a large model 900 miles (1800 miles round trip) to Chattanooga, only to find the entry MUST go in a category where it does not have a snowball's chance in hell of even placing. If the head judges consensus is no to the figure, then I will make no plans to bring the model to the contest. 

    The model I have under construction is being done as a study in assembly, painting, and weathering. The kit does not even have seat belts. I have neither the interest or time to turn it into a competitive model for a category like 131 or 135.

    Having read the 2018 rules, several times, my view is even though the figure is not part of the kit, it in no way violates the letter or spirit of the law because figures are only judged in the diorama and vignette categories. The pilot figure can be ignored just like any other model with a figure.

    In fact, I am planning on an OOB submarine with a similar display. An OOB 1/35th Bronco Type XXIII U-boat with a crewman standing on the hull. Again, the model itself will in no way be altered. Certainly, all figures are used to enhance the model, but they are regularly ignored while judging and I see no difference here.

    As you can see from the pictures below, figures are common in the OOB armor. These appear to be Tamiya kits and come with figures, which raises the question.....if figures are actually part of the kit, should they be judged in OOB classes? But that is a separate issue for another day.


    National Judge






  14. I have looked at the rules and have even discussed a similar question with Rick Jackson. His opinion is since the figure is not doing anything and is not judged, then it is probably not be a problem. The OOB rules make no mention of figures even though some models come with figures and have them included. At least one OOB winner in 2018 had a figure in the vehicle. Also, I think one from last year had a figure in it. If a figure is part of the kit, is it judged as a part of the model? Would that mean any kits with figures could have them judged as part of the model?

    Since the figure is not judged, there should be no conflict, in my opinion. The figure is more for a since of scale, than a strict enhancement to the model.

    I intend to add the figure regardless. The difference is whether I make the effort to bring it or not to the National. I don't want to waste space transporting an OOB model which will get bumped into a category where it has absolutely no chance.

    To me, the issue is whether or not the figure is judged. To say it disqualifies the model, implies some fear that it will be judged and that throws a cloud on figures in the regular categories.

    Can open: worms every where!


    National Judge

  15. I am working on an OOB airplane and want to add a pilot figure, like this, to the modell. The figure is not part of the kit, but if figures are not judged unless it is a diorama or vignette, then it seems it should be fine, since it does not modify the kit in any way. Others might disagree.

    Looking for clarification.



  16. It as been my experience many do not understand the contest they are entering. I enter a figure contest every year and the rules and expectations are not the same as an IPMS contest. And every year I've been to the Nationals, I here someone say "that's not how AMPS does it!" Well, duh!


  17. Well, guys, strict accuracy is not important. Based on IPMS rules, on any given day two pieces of plastic glued together and dropped on the table can win by being the only thing there. Even if there were two other entries in the category, the object would still get a third place. If something leans and is noted it is done on purpose, then the judges will give it the benefit of the doubt.

    Giving your airplane a flat tire in a diorama, to hide a twisted fuselage,  also works.

    How would you check alignment on something like this broke chopper? For that matter, who would know if most of it was wrong in every detail? (I'm not saying it is). 



  18. Well off topic, I see. LOL

    I like the IPMS methodology for contest judging. I done the AMPS thing and some others, but in the end, I think the IPMS system works the best. All those which try to quantify judging are just wasting time. They do not provide any better results, nor do they provide for a collective opinion. I do wish we could do more than the three awards in one category (a sort of BSG system.). I also, wish judges had the option of only giving a third place, in some cases. I grok why we don't do these things, but I can still wish. I believe the give and take discussion of the odd number judging team works the best. The IPMS judging rules work well because they are things you can clearly point to as a defect. The trick is knowing it IS a defect and not some variation or modification which turns out to be accurate. Sometimes ALL the winners have major  visible flaws.

    The more I have learned, the more I have to understand that "accuracy" tends to be an illusion for 99% of the models we see at contests. Of course, there are hard facts...F-4 Phantoms were not used by the Germans at the battle of El Alamein, in 1942...... that sort of thing. But I have seen numerous experts run afoul of reality. In 1982, in St. Louis, a well known modeler was criticizing the roadwheels on a friends M-60 tank. That style was "never" used on that tank. Unfortunately for him, the owner of the real tank...a captain in the ONG...was there to explain those were the type used on his tank, the subject of the model.

    Too often, the entrant is his own worst enemy. They show nothing in the comments box or provide any information about some unusual point. For example, is the crudely hand painted insignia deliberate, or poor painting?



  19. I have been entering contests for over fifty years and I have never seen anyone use a measuring device to judge a model except to determine if something was out of line....like one wing being higher than the other. For the past thirty-five or more years judging at various IPMS style contests, I have always been admonished not to worry about accuracy. And any question of accuracy would only come in the end when we were trying to separate first from second, etc. And then we were told to give the entrant the benefit of the doubt.

    Given the IPMS system of judging models against others in a category, and not some set standard, putting calibers to a model seems pointless for a tiny measurement of a few millimeters.


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