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Nick Filippone

re: Judging was: Haters group

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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. 

Dak

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Don't let me be misunderstood....the mis-perception most people have of us is UNTRUE. The judging is more than fair, despite being a flaw counting based system. And, as you point out, most of the people who aren't actually a part of IPMS are the most guilty of perpetuating our bad rep. We long time members know differently.

But like any other "myth", it's partially based in fact and experience, even if things have changed for the better in the last 20yrs. And when one of our "senior" judges takes such a rigid, condescending attitude it shows that it hasn't changed entirely.

I wish we could go to some sort of stratified levels of competition too. But there again, IPMS and the NCC seems very rigid in their approach to contests. However, since they HAVE been very successful with what they've been doing, it's hard to make a good argument that there's a NEED for a change, however desirable it might seem.

 

GIL :cool:

 

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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.

Dak

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Not "flawed counting"; but FLAW counting....

Face it, we IPMS judges in our 1-2-3 system generally look for mistakes when we look at the models in a category. Sure, we may take note of things we really like on any build, but all models start out on an even playing field and then begin to "sink" below their competition as you find problems on them. Big basic problems will eliminate a model immediately, while those with a few minor flaws will "make the cut". Unfortunately, at that point, the judges usually begin to get REALLY anal about finding more problems. In other words, the judges generally count flaws on each model, and the 3 with the least amount of problems win. Heck, even in a GSB judging system the number of flaws on a model will help determine what medal it earns, if any. What I dislike about the current 1-2-3 system is that it makes it tough to give credit for scope of effort and/or degree of difficulty. GSB allows for that easier, but even then, those probably won't be the determining factors.

While that sounds very negative, we judges know it's not as bad as it sounds. It's a logical way to judge craftsmanship; by determining who was the most consistent in its application in their build. If one builder goofs up more than another, then you can logically say that one displayed a higher level of craftsmanship than the other, AND you also have some concrete things to point out if questioned by the builder or your chief judge. Although it's a negative based system, it works well and is also relatively easy to teach to new judges. On the down side, it makes us look VERY nit-picky, especially when judges are hauling out measuring devices. It's purely a perception thing, but one that IPMS has never been able to combat well with modelers outside of IPMS and who do not actually judge.

I like the idea of different tiers of competition, but that also has some baggage. If you don't set it up correctly (say, use ribbons for the lower tiers), then your awards cost can be higher. Then there's the problem of determining exactly who is a novice, who is experienced, and who is a senior or "master". Those criteria can certainly be established, but there'll be some who will complain anyway about being forced into a level they don't like, or whine that they haven't been promoted to the level they deserve. It can also create a space problem as you almost have to set out your categories in triplicate. And then there's the problem of how you actually judge those 3 tiers....do you hold all of them to the same exacting standards? Or, do you go a bit easy on the novices and lean harder on the masters? Again, these problems are all solvable, but creating 3 levels of competition isn't the cake walk it sounds like at first.

As for GSB, I believe it's the way to go. But, you'll NEVER, NEVER, EVER "sell" it to IPMSUSA and the NCC. I cannot fault them for that. As I said above, IPMSUSA has one of the most successful contests in the world every year. Despite the headaches and complaints, it seems to keep growing and the job gets done no matter how many models show up. GSB comes with its own set of problems to tackle, chief among them the ability to judge 2500-3000 models during the show. I think I have a method to do so, and we'll be using that method at our JAXCON 2019 show in February. True, we'll only have 500-600 models, but if we can judge those in just the 5-6hours we have that day, then 2500-3000 should be doable over the 3-4 days that the Nats runs.

In any case, ANY change to the Nats contest is going to have to come from the grass roots; from the bottom up. Someone, somewhere will have to devise a system that proves BOTH practical AND popular. Next, they'll have to make it work for several years in a row to "prove" it. Then, if it's really a good new way to run a contest, other shows will adopt it and the system will grow and be used by more and more contests. Then, and only then, will IPMSUSA and the NCC sit up and take notice. And that's how it should be!

GIL :cool:

 

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Thanks for the clarification. I don’t think I have ever heard it referred to that way, but I know what you mean. 

In my view, the change is inevitable. The current system is starting to crack primarily due to the categories that get heavily entered. 1/2/3, isn’t cutting it very well. Cost of a GSB would be about the same because if you keep splitting categories you need more awards. 

I like the body of work contest design. Instead of all the categories, you just have the three tier divisions and the entrant puts all his entries together. All are basically judged as one entry. The award goes to the builder, not the model. Award cost would not be much different, overall.

Deciding who is a novice, is no problem. Leave it to the entrant. But once you enter a division, you no longer can go to a lower division. I.E. enter the masters division, you can’t go back to the other two. 

A bronze in the Master division would be more prestigious than a bronze in Novice. Of course, the judges reserve the right to move a model, as always.

You keep the Best of and Judges awards and any specialty awards.

Like I say, I believe the current system will start failing in a few more years....if it is not failing right now and we are too close to see it. 

Dak

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Gil and all,

Not to change the subject.  This year we will be taking a formal survey endorsed by the IPMS/USA e-board to see what judging process our members prefer.  It will be a VERY simple survey merely asking which process you prefer; 1,2,3 or Open Judging (G,S,B).  The questions will put on the web site ,and the voting will be done via The Journal, and in person at the Nats in Chattanooga on the registration forms.  NOTHING is in the works to change anything.  This is merely to supply data to the e-board to give them the most current information of the membership's preference.  Pass the word.  The more who vote, the more accurate the info will be.

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Survey is interesting and it can be compared to the one that was done before in the early 2000's.

As for 1-2-3 cracking, not even close. GSB is still a minority mostly dealing with figures and armor. Some contests like the R4 convention tried GSB for a couple years and are now back to 1-2-3 due to modelers requesting the change

And, FWIW, I am a figure builder and familiar with several ways the GSB works and do not think there will be a change in the next few decades for this in IPMS

 

Dave

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5 hours ago, dmorrissette said:

Survey is interesting and it can be compared to the one that was done before in the early 2000's.

As for 1-2-3 cracking, not even close. GSB is still a minority mostly dealing with figures and armor. Some contests like the R4 convention tried GSB for a couple years and are now back to 1-2-3 due to modelers requesting the change

And, FWIW, I am a figure builder and familiar with several ways the GSB works and do not think there will be a change in the next few decades for this in IPMS

 

Dave

I guess we see difference things as cracks. The changing kit design and availability coupled with continued or increased reliance on splits will probably cause major problems by the end of the next decade. 

Certainly using GSB awards with our current system would be a failure. However, using it with the body of work system I described earlier along with our current team methodology, would work well and solve many problems we have and make for a smoother running event. Attempts at partially changing the current 1/2/3 system will almost always result in failure and dissatisfaction.

Of couse, there is no perfect system. No system relying on human beings will ever be perfect. But in the end, all our judging is based on opinions. There is no way to perfectly gauge an creative or artistic activity. 

Dak

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The Orlando show here in FL uses the GSB "body of work" approach. It helps keep their award costs low by rewarding the builder instead of the models brought to the show. If you bring (for example) 5 planes to the show, they'll only judge one of them and award it; or they may decide to award you for your "body of work" if they deem all of them to be very close in craftsmanship. Either way, you get one award. The only way to get more is to build and enter in other genres.

The down side is it gives no incentive to bring more than one model in any genre. Also, you don't have a say in which of your models they pic to judge if you do bring more than one. This often leaves people scratching their heads when (in their opinion) their own best effort is not judged!

In the end, I try to keep in mind (and remind others) that it's only  model show! In the scheme of things, it's not nearly as important as we might think it is the day of the show!

 

GIL :cool:

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When I say body of work I literally mean ALL your entries are judged, not just the best one. The number of models and diversity of your entries are considered in the judging. Your models would be treated somewhat like an unrestricted collection.

The judging criteria would be the same we use now: craftsmanship with some consideration for diversity and creativity.

Dak

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Jack Ryan:  "It is wise to study the ways of ones adversary. Don't you think?

Captain Marko Ramius: "It is."

Rather than repeat everything I've posted over the years on the common judging structures in use, and rather than spending a lot of time speculating how the "other guys" do it, why not read?

First, the IPMS/USA rules, 2018 edition:

http://www.ipmsusa.org/files/Nats2018/2018-IPMSUSA-National-Contest-Rules.pdf

There's a lot of bad, misleading, and false information flying around about "that other" modeling organization and how they do it.  Get the news from the source:

https://www.amps-armor.org/SiteMain/AMPSJudgingSystem.aspx

And, finally, here's the Old Grand-Dad of open judging, and their take, including on the International scene:

http://www.military-miniature-society-of-illinois.com/opensystem

Is there a "one size fits all"?  Nope.  But I can tell you which one I prefer--the words "judges' feedback" should clue you in.  To me, that's more valuable than any plaque, medal, or trophy.

Cheers!

Ralph

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I have participated in AMPS competition and found the Judges feed back to be totally worthless. 

In all cases, they missed the flaws and gigged things that were correct. For example, in one case criticized the tracks as too rust even though I provided a color photo showing exactly what I did. 

I do not say all AMPS feed back is bad, but that for me it did nothing but make me angry. I would rather NOT know what the judges thought. Give me an award or don’t, but don’t try to tell me how to build models.

Dak

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1 hour ago, Dakimbrell said:

I have participated in AMPS competition and found the Judges feed back to be totally worthless. 

In all cases, they missed the flaws and gigged things that were correct. For example, in one case criticized the tracks as too rust even though I provided a color photo showing exactly what I did. 

I do not say all AMPS feed back is bad, but that for me it did nothing but make me angry. I would rather NOT know what the judges thought. Give me an award or don’t, but don’t try to tell me how to build models.

Dak

Did you inform the show's Chief Judge? Did you inform the AMPS Chief Judge (Dave Vickers does it now, Mike Petty used to do it).  Those are things AMPS judges are specifically told NOT to do (i.e., there is no such thing as too much or too little weathering).

Part of any judging structure is participation on the part of everyone involved.  Entrants need to understand the rules prior to the show.  Entrants need to see the rules in action, and the best way to do that is to judge.  And when something isn't right, the entrant needs to speak up--go all the way up the chain, if you have to.  Bad judging is just that--BAD.  Sorry you had that experience--I've only had positive experience with that system.

Cheers!

R

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Ralph,

I did not say the judging was bad, but that the remark was stupid and wrong. No, I did not discuss it with the head judge. It was not at a National event, either. But the same thing applies to IPMS. I do not want to hear or read the judges opinions. It has never been a good experience for me. 

I am not so vain that I can’t learn, but I’ve simply never gotten any good feedback from contest judges.

And as a judge,  I don’t like leaving anonymous comments for the entrant. If they ask my opinion, I will give it and put my remarks in context. However, short scribbled notes without context do no good, in my opinion. 

I have been an AMPS member and dropped out because I like more variety. Also, I find the judging methodology too rigid for my taste. I think the freer flowing team method of IPMS gives better results than the point system used by AMPS.

Do not perceive this a an attempt to slam AMPS because it is not. AMPS is fine for what it does, but is far to limited in scope, for me. Some find the environment more comfortable than I do. 

My only complaint about AMPS members are those that show up at an IPMS show and whine about “that’s not how AMPS does it”. I might even attend a contest, if you hold one in Oklahoma.

Dak

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David, there's so much going on in that statement, much of it geared towards "that other scale modeling organization", and really has no place being debated here.  I'll just say that we have different takes on things, and that's cool--difference makes the world go around.  

My original point was that people need to take time to read the rules and understand the criteria used at that particular show or for that particular organization.  If they did, there would be far less gnashing of teeth and "whining" going on.  

But people don't engage in the process.  They don't read the rules.  They don't volunteer to judge.  They show up, pay the fee, plop their models on the table and catch a cool breeze for the rest of the day until the awards ceremony, where they expect to pick up their haul of medals, plaques, or whatever (I can only guess, but I suppose this is because they feel that much superior to the rest of us mere mortals who stick plastic toys together).  When they don't "win", they get pissy and start badmouthing the show, the judges, the other modelers, etc.--everyone is, and pardon my French, "an a**hole."

I used to have an employee who couldn't work with anyone else on the team--"He's an a**hole."  Every time I teamed him with someone else, I got the same complaint.  I finally told him, "You know, if you think everyone around you is an a**hole, maybe it might be time to look into the mirror so you can get a good look at the actual a**hole."

The same logic stands.  If all a modeler can do after a contest is blame everything around him (or her), maybe they should look in the mirror to see the actual root of the issues.

 

 

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Ralph,

You are the one who introduced information on other groups and made a remark about judge’s feedback. I was merely explaining why I did not like feedback and that I was not trying to rag on other groups....specifically AMPS....about how they do things. If I “go off”, I name names, dates, and places.

Generally, I agree with the rest of your statement. Far too many don’t get involved. Don’t read the rules. I do. And I read the rules carefully and in detail.

Some years ago, I started getting tagged to judge cars. Not only did I read the rules, I actually talked to car builders to see what they look for, since I am primarily tanks and dioramas. I take judging seriously and try to be good at it.

As for me personally, generally if I don’t place, I’m sad, of course....I like to joke that the models are badly judged until I win...., but I don’t go around whining and complaining, I go back to the work bench and plan for the next one.

My remarks about feedback stand. For me, it is rarely useful and I think short remarks out of context are pointless. I certainly hope you did not perceive this as somehow blaming others for my short comings as a model builder, because it is not.

Dak

 

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Yes, I introduced the other judging structures so that people could read for themselves the various ways scale models are judged.  I'm willing to discuss methods other than IPMS, bu tin this case my reply would have been very heavily slanted away from the topic at hand.  No harm, no foul, and I agree, it doesn't work for some folks.  The comments about the people who project were not directed towards you at all...apologies if you thought they were directed at you.

As for the rest, you "get it".  Like you, I am able to judge pretty much any category at an IPMS show.  Why?  I build all types of models, and I have an understanding of the rules particular to those categories.  It isn't difficult.  It doesn't take a degree in Advanced Engineering to do.

Honestly speaking, I prefer a Model Show (exhibition) to a Model Contest.  But exhibitions without contests will never fly in the U.S.

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Well, since the “topic” was originally groups that hate IPMS, I think it was on topic.

Am conversant in all three of the rules systems you posted. And I have no problem playing by the rules as long as everyone else does, also. Even though I do enjoy finding a loophole and exploiting it. 

I like the team system currently in use by IPMS and think it superior to point systems. However, in the end, the winning models are all a matter of opinion on a creative/artistic creation regardless of which system you use to pick a winner.

But I also think the current Class/Category system we use is getting outmoded and needs serious overhaul or there will be problems, if contests continue to grow in size.

Dak

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Interesting to read the quite passionate differing posts in this thread.Judges at model competitions are 'Damned if they do and damned if they don't'. Some are very pernickety and others have a bit more of a liberal approach. Nothing wrong with either as far as I am concerned. Not keen on judges being  encouraged to speak directly to modellers and give a verbal critique afterwards as (a) It can lead to unpleasantness (b) Judges give enough of their time to do the judging without having it prolonged by individual discussions afterwards. At the end of the day does it really matter that much whether your models win or not? I have placed models into competitions. You win a few and you lose a few because  judging is subjective and it is just someone else's opinion after all. I certainly don't lose any sleep over a judge's decision about any of my models. A late very good friend of mine and past senior champion of many IPMS UK Nationals as they were back then had a nice philosophy about entering models into competitions. His take was 'No matter how your model is judged, it will be no better or no worse when you take your model off the table to when you placed it on the table'.                                

Me?    I am just a Serious Modeller Who Doesn't Take Himself Too Seriously.

Edited by noelsmith
typo
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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

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Nick, one of your earlier threads mentioned that IPMS USA judges use a guidance handbook. I judge at SMW so it was interesting to learn this. The UK approach is a bit different as we just have a judges briefing beforehand and are then  left to get on with it.

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