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Posts posted by ghodges

  1. Dave Kimbrell:

    Again, I take exception to your implying that the judges just capriciously make a choice. That is entirely false! While models often may be VERY close in their quality, there are distinct differences we base our decisions on. And even if they are basically equal (as you say happens more than it actually does); there are tie-breakers such as scope of work and degree of difficulty that we can fall back on to make our choices. These are all well defined judging criteria, and one model is NOT as good as the other at the end of the day once the judges have chosen.

    We reach a decision on the best observations we can, AND we (or at least I do) try to be able to tell why we selected 1rst, 2nd, and 3rd. We CAN explain our choices AND how we came to the conclusions we did.

    Where I agree with you is that often we are splitting hairs....the differences are VERY minor, but they ARE differences never the less! I also agree with your implication that "one model is as good as another" in that MOST all of them, even those eliminated, are builds to be proud of (which is why I favor GSB, where you can reward those types of builds). And I also understand that even when we do get a chance to "explain" our choices, is doesn't mean the builder will agree or be happy about how we judged, making it a futile effort.

    I know it's a bit of semantics here, but the way you toss around the phrase "coin flip" does a real disservice to all of the judges who spend so much time doing their very best to give the contestants the fairest results. It demeans their integrity by implying that in the end, they don't do the job fairly, but just give up and randomly choose the winners.


    GIL :cool:

  2. Bob: IPMS has tried to do what you suggested. As national judges, we've been asked to "hang around" the categories we judged in the contest room (our names are usually on the category signs) after the awards ceremony just so IF someone wants to ask for a critique, or an explanation of what we saw on their model, we can try to provide it. We will NOT discuss our opinions on the other models there in comparison; but only what we saw on THEIR model.

    The problem with that is that both the people AND those judges want to pack up and get to their room to get some rest before heading out the next morning. There's just not much time that late in the evening to truly be available or for everyone who'd like to know more to get their questions answered. And, it can't be done before the awards ceremony because it's too easy to give the results away while doing it.

    IPMS's answer has been to set up a "critique table" on Saturday afternoon with qualified judges available to critique your build. All you have to do is take it over to them. BUT, as David said, not many people actually want to hear a litany of mistakes they made; and even once they know that, it doesn't really tell them how they did in the category, or what the actual category judges thought in comparison to the competition. Most people who ask for a critique or explanation are usually ok...but then there are the idiots who want to argue your observations after asking you to give them!

    I don't like Dave's implying "it's a coin flip", because that sounds capricious and indifferent. However, he IS correct in that often it's VERY, VERY close, and we do "split hairs" in arriving at a decision. Also, if you change the judges, you'll probably get slightly different results....probably not entirely different, but not the same exact 3 models because there's such minor differences and different judges put more emphasis on different errors.

    The call for more feedback is mainly because SO many models in a 1-2-3 show that go home with nothing do so without any explanation as to why they didn't win anything at all. GSB does it a bit better simply because if you win something, that medal gives you an idea of the "level" of your build, though without any judge's comments you may still not know the exact problems that the model has.

    As a judge, I don't feel the need to comment on every model I judge. However, if there's something that's a "difference maker", I do try to write it down so the builder knows what knocked him out or down in the contest.


    GIL :cool:


    YAK 9



    YAK 9



    YAK 7



    YAK 7 cutaway



    MODEL of YAK 7...


    SO.....I can see where your confusion can lie....BUT, seeing as how pics of the wrabirds show the fork on the inside with the tire trapped on the outside between the fork and the gear door; that's how I'd build it.

    But, it wouldn't surprise me if the planes may have had 2 different landing gear types used depending on the exact mark, or perhaps which factory churned them out. Hope this helps a bit!


    GIL :cool:

  4. To finish out the request to provide some "facts" as to how GSB would actually work and operate, I offer the following "bullet" points....

    1) GSB needs more paper work, right? Not necessarily! In the system outlined above, the judges would still use ONE sheet of paper, but instead of 3 lines for winners, there'd be 25-30 lines to record EVERY model as they went AND what they got (or didn't get). Just like now, they'd record the model, entry#, builder's name, and what award (if any) it received. They would still have to write neatly (like now) as this is what the recorders would use to make the list of Bronze, Silver, and Gold medal winners from. BUT, these sheets would NOT be read at the awards ceremony (see below)! So, ONE sheet of paper, like now, gets the initial job done!

    2) Recorders: This would change, as 1 or 2 would need to be available (on duty) from Thursday afternoon til end of judging on Friday night. However, like the judging teams, they can coordinate and trade off shifts and times. Also, the recording staff could be expanded (and should be expanded now for 1-2-3 anyway). There's no reason a Head Genre judge couldn't be available to do some recording, since they have less to ride herd on Friday evening and should have done all of their team organizing before the show even started.

    3) WHAT is being recorded: This too changes, shifting emphasis from the MODEL to the PERSON that won. When a recorder gets a sheet for a Zone, they record any person's name who got a medal, and the model, on a MASTER MEDAL SHEET (or on that list in a computer, preferably); one for Bronze, one for Silver, and one for Gold.  They use a tally mark for each medal won by that name as time passes and more sheets are handed in. Thus, when later sheets are turned in, IF that name is already there, they add another tally mark to denote their 2nd, 3rd, or (whatever) medal of that type they've won. If it's not, they add that winner to the list and what won. On paper, this is tedious...but in a computer, with a name search program in the header, it's a piece of cake!

    4) Placement of awards: There's several options here. The first is that each judging team places the Bronze and Silver medals on Friday evening in the zones they judged. They could do it better and faster than anyone else. The down side is that on Saturday, any great looking model with nothing beside it is more than likely a Gold. Also, it opens the medals to being pilfered since they're so much more easily pocketed. It's a worry we should NOT have, but it's also a reality. (That option only works best for a one day show with limited time for the awards to be taken) The second option is to close the room and try to do it like we do now in 1-2-3. Not a good idea, since you have 3 times more awards to place and the people putting them out have to FIND them. The BEST scenario is as follows: compile a list of the winners; ANNOUNCE the Bronze and Silver winners at the ceremony (names and models that won), and have them pick them up from a designated area AFTER its over. The Gold medal winners have their name AND a pic of their model shown, and then they get their award after the ceremony too.

    5) The ceremony: After all of the other "niceties" are finished and we get to who won what in the contest, it's done as follows. First the list of Bronze medal winners is read, along with HOW MANY of that award they won (Jane Doe won 4 Bronze awards for her Panzer, her Elf, her P-51, and her Jaguar; Joe schlep won 2 Bronzes for his USS Enterprise and his P-51, etc.). The same would be done for the list of Silver medal winners. These lists could be read relatively quickly (with no applause, as they do NOW), with NO pics of those models; giving everyone their due recognition while moving rapidly along. The Gold medal winners could be read more slowly, as a pic of that Gold Medal model would be shown with the announcement. This GREATLY reduces the picture taking task for the ceremony! If there's only 50 or so Golds, you might allow them to come up and get the medal then. If there's more like the 100 Golds I used in my example above, then they pick up the medal after the ceremony like everyone else. Worst case scenario, you're still only showing 1/5 the pics we sit through now! Want a pic of your winner shown? UP your game and take a Gold medal! By the way, the same goes for the Journal here too....

    6) The above operation should greatly shorten the awards ceremony by at least 30mins to an hour. The same area of the contest room used for recording could be set up for giving out the medals. I would start with 5 stations with lap tops. Two stations each would be for Bronze and Silver awards (each with the same lists), and one for the Golds. Joe Blow, who heard his name at the ceremony and now knows he won 3 Bronzes and 1 Silver goes to each of those stations, gives his name and what he's supposed to get, they call it up on the computer to double check, a "helper" has dug those out of the box and hands them to the winner as soon as the recorder confirms the request as valid. Does this take some time at the end of the show?....Yes! However, first of all, the system is designed to get out earlier which allows MORE time to do it. Second, Although you're handing out a lot of medals, you're not dealing with any more PEOPLE than we do now. Also, people don't have to go there immediately...they can go pack up and THEN go get their awards. Heck, the awards stations could even be set up as early as 7PM in the contest room (no need to keep it closed). Anyone could walk up, give their name (and provide ID if needed), and the computer would tell them if they won and what they won, making attending the awards ceremony completely optional, and cutting down on the crowd later on.

    7) No need to worry about "splits" and mis-placed models: Unless you get a zone with 25 or more models, there's no need to split it. The only thing to consider in a zone is how it will affect judging time. Nothing is competing against each other in any zone, so IF a model is put down in the "wrong" area, it can still be judged right where it sits!

    8- GSB encourages people to bring more models: There's no need to worry about "sweeps" since no one prevents anyone else from winning anything. A great builder can (rightly) win as many awards as they can qualify for. Also, unlike now, where if you put 2 of your own models in the same category one of them will DQ the other (since only one can win anything); you can put as many as you want in any one zone!

    Is GSB the "perfect" awards system? NO! If you LIKE true competition and "beating" everyone else; you won't like GSB. If it's ever instituted, will it it run perfectly? NO! It will have problems to be ironed out and worked through, just like 1-2-3 has over the years. Is it possible the judges might be too lenient and give out too many awards? Perhaps...BUT, I do NOT think they'd do so CONSCIOUSLY. They, like everyone else, would be learning how to adjust to the idea of awarding more deserving builds, while also learning where and when they need to be more discerning in order to maintain the value of being awarded. And if MORE people go home happy in the meantime...IPMS might find that's not such a bad thing too!

    Mr. Kimbrell asked for some "facts" and for some "concrete" ideas on how GSB might be done. I'm not saying my ideas are infallible, or that what I've written coudn't be improved upon. I believe the numbers I used and cited are WELL within norms, and base them on decades of not only attending the Nats, but also in helping run one of them. My entire purpose was to simply show that it CAN be done, and it IS being done in more and more shows across the country.

    In closing, I'll repeat again what I've been saying: GSB WILL NEVER BE VOTED ON AND CHANGED AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL! GSB has to PROVE itself at the Local and Regional level. GSB has to become second nature to those who routinely do it, and become the "norm" at most shows across the country. Then and only then, when the members go to the Nats and ask WHY are they still doing that old fashioned 1-2-3 that ignores so many good builds;  will IPMSUSA and the NCC decide it's time to change. Cheers!


    GIL :cool:

  5. Ok....I've covered the "facts" of GSB costs, and GSB Standards for judging, but there's always the idea that it takes SO much more TIME to do GSB judging. This can be true, if you use a labor intensive "scoring" system! But why do that, when we already have a group of highly trained, experienced judges who CAN do the job without that?? (see above!) You still judge GSB in teams of 3, and you still use ONE sheet of paper (I'll get to that in the last post).

    There's a judging premise that I think is true for both 1-2-3 AND GSB: The lousy models and the outstanding models are easy to spot! It's the vast majority of the REST that you have to spend your time on to determine what they get. In the 1-2-3 system, many models are eliminated very quickly, and sometimes on the basis of ONE flaw (how completely fair is that, in the OVERALL picture?), simply because there are (obviously) 4-5 more in the category that do NOT have that (those) problem(s). It's also not uncommon to walk up to a category and think "ok, 1rst place is obvious, now what gets 2nd and 3rd?"; and spend all your time doing that. In GSB, if you approach a model and it has obvious, easily spotted flaws; it's more than likely going to be eliminated just as quickly! Also, if you see a build that is vastly superior even at a glance, you can determine in the course of the next 60 seconds if you truly want to give it a Gold medal. It's those Bronze and Silver medals that will take the time to wade through and work out.

    So, lets go through the actual "nuts and bolts" of judging a GSB category. Again, since I'm an aircraft judge, I'll stick to that genre as an example. The added advantage of doing this is that it also gives us some of the largest numbers that would have to be tackled by the judges, since these are generally some of the most populated categories. In other words, consider the following as a worst case scenario.......

    The GSB team approaches a category with 25 models in it (not uncommon in the a/c divisions). The team has NOT previously looked at them (not entirely likely, as judges are looking at the models for hours over the days before judging starts). So, you take 5 minutes to look them all over and gather your thoughts before the "team" begins work. The team starts at one end of the category (actually a Display Zone, but more on that later). The team leader asks for a "vote" on the first one right away....if all three agree immediately, your done! Write it down and move on to the next one! If not you discuss what differences you have and why (#1 judge sees more problems than #2, while #3 lends more weight to a problem seen than the other two; and you hash that out). That may take 3-4 minutes, maybe 5 minutes. By the way, 5 minutes doesn't sound like much, but start discussing ONE item and focus on THAT for 5 FULL minutes and I think you'll see you do NOT have to "rush". So let's say half the models go quickly (2 minutes or less) and half take  an average of 5 minutes (a few a bit more, and a few a bit less). So, 12 take up 24 minutes of your time, and 13 take up 65 minutes of time. Wow, you just spent an hour and a half judging ONE big category! It'll take you 3+ hours to do TWO categories of that size (including a 15 min. break) on judging night! Sounds like a LOT of time, right? WRONG!!

    SO...what ACTUALLY happens NOW in our 1-2-3 system? Hmmm.... it's not unusual for a 1-2-3 team to spend 60-90 minutes, especially in a large category with lots of well built models, figuring out 1rst, 2nd, and 3rd. Most categories may take only 30-45 minutes, but those are categories with fewer entries and more clearly cut differences between the entries (which would also take less time in GSB!). So, that same 1-2-3 team would also need 3+ hours to judge another category of the same size and quality spread. I'm not trying to exaggerate or equivocate here.....I believe other experienced aircraft judges will agree that the times and numbers I've cited above are NOT uncommon!

    So, how about the overall number of judges needed for GSB? More? NO!

    There are currently 53 Aircraft categories at the Nats. Although, GSB does NOT use categories, it DOES need to be "organized" so people know where to put their models, so lets simply call them "Display Zones" and keep them exactly the same for figuring the number of judges needed.

    There are (currently) about 75 aircraft judges on any given Nats night, but lets go lower and say they only have 60 guys, so that's 20 TEAMS. Now, lets say it's a tough Nats with lots of models and great quality, and HALF those teams (10) can only judge 2 zones between 7-11pm (FOUR hours, by the way). That means that the other 10 teams have 33 categories to judge. BUT, since they're spending at (most) 45mins/zone, they can judge THREE zones each, and still come in well under THREE hours to get those done. I'll propose that there's enough "slop" in my numbers (including one whole extra hour) that those last 3 categories will also be judged by 11pm, as there ARE quite a few a/c "zones" (like scratchbuilt, vacs, planes on poles, etc.) that don't have very many entries and can be done in 30 minutes or less.

    So, GSB judging CAN be done with the current staff of IPMSUSA National judges, AND it can be done all in ONE NIGHT, as it's done now! But wait, THERE"S MORE!

    One of the HUGE advantages to GSB is that you do NOT have to wait until Friday night to start judging! Any model can (if the team is ready to work) be judged from the time it hits the table; from Wednesday afternoon til close of entries on Friday evening, since its award does NOT depend on what else comes into its zone! So, IF the Head Aircraft Judge was to organize teams and assign them ahead of time (entirely possible with the use of modern communications), they could start judging on (say) Thursday afternoon or evening. They could judge their assigned "zones" for 30 minutes, do what's there, and come back the next morning for a second shift of 30 minutes, and do the ones that had arrived since. Then they get together on Friday evening to judge the last arrivals AND to be sure that ALL models in their assigned zones are done.  This makes Friday evening MUCH more relaxed, and less of a rush. And, if a team cannot get together early, there's STILL the regular Friday night session to get the job done. AND, for those judges that just LIKE to do that, they can stick around and do more than the 2-3 categories they got out of the way earlier in the day or evening! GSB has some VERY inherent advantages that 1-2-3 cannot provide!

    There are a few IFS in the above scenario.....but nothing outlandish or outside of our CURRENT abilities. The idea you have to accept and wrap your mind around is that while there are differences, they're not as great as you might first think! Most of the doubts and questions stem from being unfamiliar with GSB and insecure with having to change from what you're "comfortable" with.


    GIL :cool:


  6. By the way, as alluded to above Jaxcon also has a Junior Standard. Here it is:

    The Junior Standard

    Junior Gold- The model should be neatly painted in its entirety. Decals should be neatly applied, but may or may not be flawless. Details should exhibit an ability to be added and painted in a sharp manner. It should exhibit no gross basic flaws in its construction and finish. Weathering is not required, but can be considered as an advanced technique for a Junior builder, and should appear appropriate, even if not perfect. In short, the model should display advanced craftsmanship for a Junior and possibly appear as if it could be entered into the Adult division.

    Junior Silver- The model may have some apparent problems, but nothing that would be considered a gross basic flaw. The finish should show an attempt to be painted and decalled in a more advanced and neat way, though it may not be as smooth or neatly done as a more experienced  modeler would achieve. Weathering, if applied, would look either out of place or out of scale (builder did not achieve the goal intended in adding weathering). In short, this model would be considered as an advanced effort that is a cut above most Junior entries, but that is NOT ready to compete with the Adults.

    Junior Bronze- The model is painted and/or decalled, even if less than neat in overall appearance. It exhibits the ability for the builder to follow kit directions, and interpret and attempt to finish the model as an authentic subject (unless hypothetical finish is specifically intended). The model may have some very noticeable basic problems, but none that detract from the builder’s effort to “get it right”. In short, it should appear as if the modeler did more than slap some parts together to play with.

    Junior medal (possible) disqualifiers- The model is not painted (for models that are intended for paint, and not molded in varying colors so as not needing painting). Decals are completely absent or applied in a haphazard manner. Grossly misaligned parts. Missing major assemblies (such as an interior or engine the kit obviously had).

    Guiding Judging Principle in Junior Divisions- Judges should consider EFFORT to a much greater degree, as opposed to results, when judging the Junior divisions. The models will have problems, but did the builder show some craftsmanship? Does it look like the builder attempted to build a model, and not make a toy? That said, these are NOT “soccer trophies” and not all Juniors will deserve a medal, so do NOT give out a Bronze as a “participation” award (see ACE awards below).

    Jaxcon A.C.E. Award

    The ACE Award (Achievement of Competitive Effort) is now a Junior award (it has NO place in the Adult divisions).  While Jaxcon believes in setting standards that make earning a medal an achievement, it also understands the need to recognize builders in the Junior divisions who are at least trying to compete. We want Juniors to know that their efforts are valued, but that we will only give medals to the models that have met the Standard established for the Junior divisions. Jaxcon also believes that those Juniors who do not get a medal, need to learn the lesson of falling short of a goal, with the accompanying disappointment; so they can also learn the satisfaction of gaining experience, trying harder, and then succeeding at meeting that Standard. In general, ALL Junior models that do not get a medal will be given the ACE award.

    And this is the ACE award ( a metal card)


    GIL :cool:


  7. The discussion of judging needs to start with the STANDARD. After all, THIS is what makes winning a medal worthwhile, yet also give us the ability to make it something earned, and not simply "given". NO ONE in GSB is a proponent of giving "participation awards" (and we're sick of people making that equivocation)! Again, I'll use our Jaxcon Standard as an example just so we have a "fact" established. I'd expect the NCC to establish and then fine-tune their own GSB standards for the IPMSUSA Nats.


    “The ADULT Standard”

    GOLD- it must be for all PRACTICAL appearances (if not technically) free of any basic problems. The craftsmanship displayed in the construction should be extremely superior. The finish should appear flawless in all areas AND also exhibit higher level finishing skills such as a non-monochromatic finish, while also maintaining authenticity (NOT accuracy). It may exhibit a higher level of effort both in scope of work and degree of difficulty. There should be evidence of some very superior skills in any extra detailing work that is done. Aftermarket items, if used, should be expertly added, exceptionally painted, and (perhaps) enhanced further. In more general terms, think of a Gold medal worthy effort as being a model that you deem as one of the best of its genre. It should be a model that deeply impresses you in ALL aspects of fit, finish, and detailing.


    SILVER- It should be nearly flawless in appearance of the build and finish. Any problems should be extremely minor and not necessarily apparent at a first glance. A Silver medal winner would be considered one of the best in its group/category on any given day, and a cut above simply being competitive. In the 1-2-3 system, this would be a model you would deem that would be in the running to place 1rst, 2nd, or 3rd.


    Bronze- It cannot have more than a few relatively minor problems, and should not have any major basic building or finishing flaws, especially upon casual observation. The minor flaws should not be the type that are "in your face" (easily apparent) nor should they be more than one or two different types of minor flaws. Evidence of several different kinds of flaws, even if minor, would disqualify a model from the Bronze prize. It should be a model that would "make the cut" (be considered VERY competitive) under the 1-2-3 system.

    A further explanation of the JAXCON GSB standard and system

    The above criteria, purposely, has some wiggle room in it. Many of you have judged, and we’re NOT going to try to make you learn it all over again! It’s slightly vague in precise definition of flaws because we all have a slightly different weight that we personally assign to each type of them. Some judges give more weight to a certain flaw than others, while others tend to be more lenient. The JAXCON GSB system will use the “law of averages” to allow for BOTH types of judging! So, if you judge (and we hope you will!), judge as you always have!

    It may seem odd that under our GSB Standard there are references to the 1-2-3 system as a comparison. This is simply because most judges have much more experience with the 1-2-3 system, and we want to establish a framework they can understand and use to judge and award gold, silver and bronze medals. Thus a Gold model would certainly be a “knock your socks off” model, and one that (in the old system) you might nominate for a “Best Of” award. A Silver medal winner might be deemed as a model that would almost surely be one of the models would make the cut to be considered for a 1-2-3 award. A Bronze medal winner would be those that are competitive, but that would go totally unrewarded in the old system, being a notch below those that “make the cut”. While as a judge, while you may be looking for “flaws”; also keep the BIG picture in mind: the OVERALL craftsmanship displayed. Is it , very superior, above average, average, or below average? Judge accordingly!

    The HUGE advantage at the IPMSUSA Nats is you're starting with a large core of VERY experienced National judges. They know the basics, and they know how to spot errors in building and finishes. There's NO need to retrain the judges in order to use GSB! The target here is to refocus on overall craftsmanship and get away from nit-picking and flaw counting. And, though it IS a "mental" shift for the judges, it's a system grounded in BASIC building demands. If you make those errors, the judges WILL see them and they will lessen the award or eliminate you from getting a medal. The bottom line is that a STANDARD for the awards CAN be established; models MUST have merit and EARN their award; and that the experienced core of National IPMS judges can do this NOW without any need to learn anything "new".

    The argument that GSB uses some sort of esoteric, undefined, fuzzy standard to award models is baseless and false! The idea that a model can qualify through being flashy or impressive (or any other "wow" factor") is also false! If a model has obvious basic problems, no amount of "wow" will help it. However.....if those errors are NOT egregious or gross, and the builder HAS done more in degree of difficulty or scope of effort, GSB does allow room for a judge to allow for that! GSB doesn't demand flaw counting in comparing it to its neighbor on the table. Instead, it asks the judges to evaluate the overall craftsmanship applied to the build and award it accordingly.

    I think I've used this post to establish the fact that the IPMSUSA group of National Judges CAN move to GSB with little to no problems as far as being able to JUDGE what gets what. I'll use the next post to discuss the other judging boogeyman: TIME!


    GIL :cool:




  8. Rusty is right in that there is NO proposal to change the IPMSUS Nats to GSB. This survey is simply to make sure that no one is getting the cart before the horse. The survey is to see if GSB is even wanted by enough people to EVER make a change.

    Some "hard facts" about GSB......Ok....that's fair, and actually not that hard, though it gets a bit tedious. So here goes.....

    COST -

    Actually, GSB may NOT be  as costly as imagined!

    First, what does 1-2-3 cost? Well, as pointed out by our Chief Judge, it's a FIXED cost with only @500 category awards (162 cats x 3 places = 486 plaques; I'll use 500 to make the math easy). Now....the BASE cost for a modest plaque (per Crown Awards, our clubs source for our GSB medals) is $4.49-$6.49@. Let's use $5 as a base cost per plaque. So, 500 plaques will cost $2500. That price is for the LEAST expensive type of plaques they have, and as you know, some shows want to spend a bit more so as to have a more distinctive or special looking plaque. So, they could cost more....... and I believe if you were to analyze the ACTUAL yearly awards costs over the life of the Nats (it'd be nice if TJ could provide this info!), you'd find no less than $3000 was being spent yearly! By the way, we're ignoring the costs of Specials and Best Ofs, as BOTH GSB and 1-2-3 make these awards at about the same costs, using the same types of awards (plaques, crystals, etc.).

    Next, the cost of GSB medals. I'll use our own club's experience with Crown Awards as the basis for GSB costs. We pay $2.50/medal for 500. There's another price break at 1000, and another at 2000....so, the more you order, the less you pay. I'm guessing that with 2000-3000 models at a good sized Nats, you'd order at least 2000 medals, seeing as how they'd be designed to be used year to year. So....let's say you get the price down to $2/medal by ordering 2000 medals, which costs $4000. Sounds like it's significantly more....but is it?!

    This next part is a bit theoretical, but follow along as we explore the USE of the medals. As a l-o-n-g time Nats attendee (the 'Noog will be my 33rd in the last 42yrs) I'd venture to say that there's a LOT of models that are deserving of SOME recognition. In a 2500 model 1-2-3 show, we only recognize 500 of them. Only a FIFTH of the models are given anything. That's a LOT of well made, basically sound models getting the short end of the stick! So how would GSB shake out in comparison?

    The following is as I see it with the STANDARD for each medal being set as demanding, yet attainable....

    BRONZE: As I said, there are a lot of solid, basically sound builds at a Nats! But, with a Bronze Standard that demands NO gross basic mistakes and allows for only a few small basic problems, there will still be many totally eliminated. So, let's say TWO-THIRDS the models "make the cut". I'll go with 1800 being Bronze worthy or better at any given National of 2500 or more models.  That means that 700 models are going home with nothing. BUT, compare that to the 2000 that go home with nothing as it is now!

    SILVER:   A Silver is a  medal with some prestige attached. It means you're building at better than the basically sound Bronze level, but didn't quite build well enough (or impressively enough) to get a Gold. Do you think half of the of the Bronze models are THAT good? Probably not, since a Silver is more demanding in the Standard.  So, let's go with 1/3 of the Bronze models being that good. That's 600 models that get a Silver. That sounds a little low to me, so let's generously up it to 700.

    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!

    So, in GSB we awarded 100 Gold, 700 Silvers, and 1000 Bronze medals; and have 200 medals to reuse the following year.  The bottom line is that 1700 models of the 2500 will probably qualify for some sort of recognition at the bottom 2 levels. So, are more than half, and actually more than 3/5s of any given Nats models good enough to be recognized for their craftsmanship? In MY experience, YES! And THAT is the crux of the debate. And I'm not even including the 100 Gold medal winners in my numbers, since that's so much more theoretical than qualifying for a Silver or Bronze medal.

    So, if you go to GSB instead of 1-2-3, you get to award THREE TIMES MORE MODELS for that extra $1000 in awards costs. Considering the profits that are being rung up at the Nats, is there anyone who thinks that $1000 off the bottom line wouldn't be  well spent to TRIPLE the recognition given to our members who earn it at our yearly National Contest? $500 isn't chump change to IPMSUSA or the local host (since the $1000 is split); but in this case it's not really missed since it was part of the costs. And, again, I'm betting that the ACTUAL real yearly cost of using plaques and crystals at the 1-2-3 NATS is well north of the $3000 I used for in my example; so there's even LESS difference in the cost of GSB than I've outlined.

    OK....enough "facts" for one post! I'll cover judging in the next one. Take a break! :smiley2:

    GIL :cool:


  9. I'm betting you're right....the aftermarket people will be quick to cover any shortcomings in the kit, including corrections for those that care about the imperfections. In any case, even with any problems the kit may have, it has to be head and shoulders above the old Hawk/Testors kit!


    GIL :cool:

  10. I get where you're coming from David....but I also think you're in a very small minority. The vast majority of builders DO want some feedback.

    I agree that many comments can be incomplete and don't show the full picture. After all, if a judge writes "silvered decals", that tells you where to look for a problem on the model you may have missed. But, did it eliminate you, or did you still make the cut only to lose in the final round? All you know is that a judge pointed to a "problem" he spotted and that it more than likely made a difference in how you finished. I don't think any judge expects you to take it home and correct the problem for a future show (though I know some builders who do!). But if you have several models with the same types of commentary, you may spot an area of your building and/or finishing techniques that you need sharpen a bit.

    Most builders are MUCH more frustrated going home with NO comments and no idea of "what" the judges thought they saw. In a 1-2-3 show that's especially true, since there's no recognition for anything below the top 3 and the 4th place guy (1rst loser) may or may not have problems that are easily spotted.

    I do not think comments are for "intangibles", and in my many years of judging experience it's almost always VERY tangible (basic) items that can be pointed to as having eliminated or lowered a model in the standings. In my mind, IF a model makes the cut (is in the running for an award), and something knocks it down a peg or two to where it doesn't end up winning; the judge should mention what it was that made the difference.

    Will it make everyone happy? No....and it can open up another whole can of worms when the builder thinks he sees the same problems you commented on on the winning models.

    Right now, judging comments are the exception rather than the rule when it comes to judging. If it starts becoming the "norm", then I think anyone who feels as you do should be able to write "no commentary please" on your entry form and the judges then can skip yours.


    GIL :cool:


  11. Interesting Nick....So you worked with Rusty (and the others), fought with Rusty (and the others), pounded the table with Rusty (and the others); and you point this out as a POSITIVE in that you all accomplished something despite individual differences. Yet, you want to hold Rusty alone to blame because he let Mark write the 1-2-3 narrative?

    I can see your point, and agree that the 1-23 AND the GSB narratives should have been written by the group wanting and conducting the survey. However, I cannot see, after his participation and hard work WITH you, why Rusty would "sabotage" the effort as you imply. On that I think you're mistaken. I have no problem with pointing out his mistake in including Mark at all....but think you (once again) decided to make it personal, which comes off as nasty.

    I'd be interested to know why Rusty would think it was a good idea to ask Mark to write the 1-2-3. There's no reason to expect him to be unbiased. Perhaps Rusty can offer us an explanation.

    Where I differ from Rusty, as he says he doesn't want to accuse Mark of bias, is that I HAVE, and will continue to do so. But...I will say that after Rusty's inviting "the fox into the hen house"; I better understand why Mark wrote what he did. I am truly saddened that he choose the low road, but then I also think Mark believes 1-2-3 is best for IPMSUSA and is working to keep the status quo no matter the consequences.

    The sad part is that the most likely outcome (no matter what) is a poor response to the survey, just because ALL surveys in the Journal get little to no responses. Also, even though we may get 1000 people to attend a Nats, only a little over half of those are actually members and compete in the contest. A even lesser percentage of those who compete actually care what system is used. I'll be surprised if 300 "ballots" are turned in. Predictably, in that case, even if ALL of them are pro GSB, the NCC will simply say it's "too small a sampling" to rely on or make any decisions on.

    As I stated when you guys began this....I've been there and done that (GSB committee) already more than a decade ago. That's why I've decided the ONLY way things will ever change is from the bottom up. GSB has to become THE dominant system for Locals and Regionals, establish a way to make it work for a lot of models, do it routinely and well for several years, and only THEN will the membership go to the Nats LOOKING for a GSB format and start asking why the NCC is so far behind the times! And if it fails at those lower levels? Then Mark and the NCC was right, all along!


    GIL :cool:

  12. Brian (and all):

    The example of GSB that you cite is yet another possible variant of that system, and is designed to reward the BUILDER instead of the models. This is the system that Orlando uses for GSB. As you point out, the big advantage there is it greatly reduces the awards costs since (theoretically) an attendee only gets one award per genre entered. The down side to that (as I've experienced it in Orlando) is that they pick which of your models in your group to judge (it may not be the best of your group in your own opinion), so there's really no incentive to bring more than one model per genre you want to enter.

    That system might be a good one for IPMSUSA to consider, IF they want to establish a "hierarchy" of builders (another whole can of worms). It might also encourage some people to expand into other genres IF they wanted to find out if they're as good a builder in THAT genre as they are in their regular building genre. However, besides the problem of establishing a hierarchy, it would probably also dissuade people from bringing as many models as they do now. That, in turn would bring on the appearance that the show was shrinking (starting to fail) and then open up another whole set of problems.

    What the current 1-2-3 system has encouraged and fostered is for builders to enter as many models as they can in order to win as many awards as they can. A completely open GSB system allows that to continue. The "limited" GSB you cite, while a much more accurate barometer of the builder, probably won't satisfy the long established "need to win" with most IPMS contest goers.

    Your mentioning of the medal not having a year on it is also a common complaint about GSB awards. At Jaxcon, we have self adhesive white discs available to anyone who wants them so they can put them on the back and record what year/etc. for their own posterity. So, even if you end up with several of the same looking medals in your case after a few years, you can differentiate between them if your memory fails you.

    Your last paragraph I think is a bit mistaken in that it suggests that splits at a 1-2-3 contest are made to allow more people to win. That is the RESULT, but usually NOT the reason. The reason, especially at the big shows like the Nats, is to give the judges a grouping of models that they can more easily handle. If 50-60 entries show up in a category, it'll take forever for the guys to try to pick 1-2-3. However, if it's split 3 ways so they're only having to judge 15-20 in each category, they can not only do a faster job, but probably (since they don't feel as overwhelmed or rushed) do a more thorough job of judging them. I know when Jaxcon was 1-2-3 we DID design it with many more categories than most other shows with a two-fold purpose: to (as you said) give people more of a chance to win something somewhere; AND to keep the numbers in each category manageable from the start, and we seldom had to add a "split".


    GIL :cool:

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