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Where is the Judging Survey?

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Other than an announcement by Rusty on the Steel Navy forum and a discussion on this forum of the pros and cons of judging systems, I can find no link to the actual survey itself. Shouldn't this be posted prominently on the web site? I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but why has it not received more publicity?

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Michael,

IMHO, the E-board and I have gone above and beyond to make this survey as well advertised, successful, and accurate as possible. 

  • Ron Bell contacted me to tell me that the survey had been posted on-line (SURVEY) with the election ballot.  A pleasant surprise I was not expecting.
  • The E-board guaranteed the survey would be published (a mail-in card inserted) in the April/May election issue of The Journal.
  • The E-board gave the survey a full page in the April/May issue of The Journal explaining both systems of judging you will see at the URL I supplied above.
  • Mike Moore (convention chairman) has allowed me a table at the nationals registration area in Chattanooga for members to fill out the survey.
  • Mike also has allowed the survey to be printed at the bottom of every registration form at the IPMS/USA nationals, so if you enter, you can make your preference known.
  • Eric Atalia has allowed the survey to be pinned at the top of the forum contents on the News and Announcements page, to give the membership a constant awareness of it's presence there.
  • I have posted the survey announcements on the IPMS/USA Facebook page as well.

I and the E-board have done everything possible to put the word out and make the survey known.  The only thing we have not been able to control is "word-of-mouth" which I am hoping you and the membership will handle.  SPREAD THE WORD!  Every IPMS/USA member has an opinion on GSB and 123.  Here's your chance to make that known.

So to be honest, I don't how much more could be done to promote the survey.

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I hope to bring this up at our monthly meeting this month so word will get out there at least.

 

Thanks for getting this done in a timely manner and getting it out there. Way to go guys!

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The ballot/survey isn't recognizing my username or password.  I checked my login information & reset my password but it still says it's unrecognized.  Anybody have an idea what I'm doing wrong?

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Let me check   

Eric

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Your email for the Voting site is a gmail.com address...  if you still have access to that, please use https://voting.ipmsusa3.org/user/password to reset your password.


Eric

51 minutes ago, nmertes said:

The ballot/survey isn't recognizing my username or password.  I checked my login information & reset my password but it still says it's unrecognized.  Anybody have an idea what I'm doing wrong?

 

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22 hours ago, Eric Aitala said:

Your email for the Voting site is a gmail.com address...  if you still have access to that, please use https://voting.ipmsusa3.org/user/password to reset your password.

Thanks, Eric.  I checked my account settings.  It didn't show my gmail account.  I'll correct it tomorrow.

 

 

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Since we are on the survey, the voting form requires a selection of 123 or GSB else it will not let me vote for board candidates.

Shouldn't there be an Abstain or Don't Care or Neither option on the survey ?

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John.....This is just a personal guess, but my understanding is that the purpose is to find out whether GSB or 1-2-3 is preferred among those who DO care. After all, if you have no strong opinion, you're going to simply go with the flow when you attend, and aren't necessarily interested in the direction of IPMS over the next decade (and probably aren't voting in the first place). If you believe that one or the other is better for IPMS, or if you simply like one better than the other, then your vote needs to be recorded one way or the other.

As for having it as needed to actually place a vote in order to vote in the general election, I think that's meant to (again) avoid apathy. Only a fraction of the membership will vote either on-line or by mail. If you allow people to abstain or cast a "don't care" vote; IPMS learns nothing as to the preferences of 1-2-3 vs. GSB.

I can see where some people like yourself feel like they're being forced to enter into a fight they don't care about. But, I think if you stop and consider it more as a referendum on whether we should change for the future or continue with the status quo for the future; you can come to an easy decision personally.

 

GIL :cool:

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Maybe instead of an abstain selection, maybe there could be a "No preference" vote for those who don't care which system is used as long as awards are being offered for competition. I for one really have no preference for the system used; I would enjoy the contest either way.

 

 

Something to consider.

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Gold, Silver, Bronze versus 1,2,3 ?       What's that all about?   Both are equivalent to one another as far as I can see, so why all the debate?

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In 1-2-3, there are only the three winners and everyone else walks away empty-handed. With G-S-B, you are instead modeling to a set of standards and judged on meeting at those standards as opposed to competing with one another. So you can still walk away empty-handed, but if you show a certain level of skill, the category could have a group of builders achieving bronze, another group at silver, and a very highly skilled group.at gold...instead of just three, there could be a dozen or more awarded. It's not just a participation award though...you need to have a certain skill level to place.

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3 hours ago, noelsmith said:

Gold, Silver, Bronze versus 1,2,3 ?       What's that all about?   Both are equivalent to one another as far as I can see, so why all the debate?

Think of it this way-

 

In 1-2-3 judging, you take the modelers best kit in that class and compare it to other modelers best kits. With no sweeps, a person who is outstanding can't sweep a category.

 

In GSB, you are evaluating the models individually so if a person builds 25 1/48 scale aircraft , in theory, they could win 25 awards.

 

Dave

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It doesn't matter what style of contest you enter, you are still building to "a standard".  Those not familiar with Open Judging hold that out as the stinky diaper, when, in effect, "the standard" is exactly what is laid out in the IPMS Modelers Guild to Contests as it is written and published to the IPMS/USA website.  And what, you might be asking, is the standard?  It all hearkens back to craftsmanship:

  1. Molding defects (ejection pin marks, sink marks, mold parting lines/flash, mold shift, excessive draft angles, etc.) addressed.
  2. Tight, gap-free glue seams with no glue slop.
  3. Model properly aligned (everything straight, square, and plumb).
  4. Construction defects (gaps, seams, steps, scratches, knife marks) addressed.
  5. Finish flaws (thick paint, thin paint, runny paint, rough paint, sloppy paint, decal silvering) addressed.

In a nutshell, that's what ANY contest judge worth his or her salt looks for, regardless of whether it is a "1-2-3" or "Open Judging" system.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I get it. Your gold silver bronze is about models built up to a standard.

We used to have an annual exhibition here in the UK named the Model Engineer and Modelling Exhibition where multiple golds, silvers and bronze medals were awarded if the standard of the models attained a certain number of points even if I'm the same class.

At Telford the IPMS UK awards GSB  but it is simply a straight 123 decision for each class within a subject. The best overall model from within each subject category  wins  a best of subject trophy (e.g. Best Aircraft, Best Civilian Vehicle) in its own right and all of these subject winners go forward to be judged again to decide the overall show champion.

Looks like I misinterpreted IPMS USA's  understanding of gsb  thinking it similar to how ipms uk judges.

Only drawback with GSB judging being based  on achieving a certain standard/ number of points or whatever as  far as I can see will be the expense of having to produce a great number of trophies, not knowing how many, but taking a guess at estimating enough  to cover the eventuality of many models reaching each of the GSB standards set.

Unlike IPMS UK or USA the Model Engineer and Modelling Exhibition was a commercially run show ran over two weeks duration by the now defunct Model an Allied Publications. They produced a number of different modelling magazines covering many modelling genres, so I would guess that the cost of multiple trophies for their GSB awards could have been offset as legitimate publicity expense.

Edited by noelsmith

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Given that a structure, methods, and the like haven't even been thought about yet, the questions about the "Hows" are premature.  Right now, the only question at hand is which you prefer, once the poll is over and the votes tallied, whatever needs to be done will be done.

However, the answer to the "How many medals?" question can be answered several different ways, and I'm using an IPMS National Convention as the example:

  1. IPMS/USA National Competition Committee provides a common medal from year to year.  Order in bulk, and replenish as needed.  IF a local show wants to follow the National example, make medals available to the Chapters.  Medals are inexpensive--we (IPMS/Mid-Carolina) ordered 100 medals from Mission Awards last year at a cost of around $300.  Compared to plaques, we would have paid around $1,200 for color sublimated plaques.
  2. Rather than award a medal to every *model*, award a modeler for their body of work in any given category.  So, your category is 1/48 Allied Single Engine, WWII (by markings).  You enter five P-51's from the 8thAF.  One scores a Gold, two earn Silver, and two earn Bronze.  ALL of your scores are recognized and recorded, but you take home ONE Gold Medal.

But it remains to be seen IF we will go that direction.  

Ralph

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Ralph, your paragraph 2 in last post. Looks a bit complex and seems as though it could be very time consuming to judges. As I read it (and correct me if I am wrong) judges would have to firstly find sets of like models from each individual entering, then group and collate each of their GSB  marks and then add them up before comparison with other competitors?

Just recently, I helped in redrafting  the judging criteria for SMW Telford to just 3 headings on the judging forms. The idea being to reduce the amount of time judging a huge number of models. I learnt shortly after the show that the revamped forms were received well by the judges. So much so that I learnt from our competitions Secretary that since then Ireland and Finland have adopted the same format 

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Noel:

If anyone used the GSB format under #2 in Ralph's reply (and the Orlando FL club does), then people who enter their models group them together on the table instead of putting them in various "categories". There's no need to "hunt them down". They can then all be judged to arrive t a "consensus" for the group; or, the judges can pick one and judge it as being "representative" of the group. Either way, the MODELER gets ONE award for their work in that particular genre. That way, the number and costs of awards is held down as compared to a straight GSB competition.

 

GIL :cool:

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Gil, thanks for your response. I can see the sense in the grouping as you mention. I fully understand that the society both at international and branch/chapter level have differing ideas on judging at shows. It is interesting to make comparisons, and  judging is a learning process like modelling. At Telford the criteria was to reduce the judging time so that the competition area could be reopened as soon as possible on the Saturday afternoon of the show. Naturally other show organisers have different judging criteria depending on the how the show needs to be run, time available, and allocating judging time to suit. It matters not what judging system is put into place as long as it works for any particular show.

I wish IPMS USA all the best with your judging survey.

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Let me clarify...

IF IPMS was to go to Open Judging, the category structure as we know it *should* be simplified quite a bit.  Using the Aircraft class as an example:

  • CLASS:  Aircraft
  • Categories:
  1. Aircraft, Allied/NATO, Prop (by markings)
  2. Aircraft, Axis/WarPac, Jet (by markings)
  3. Aircraft, Civil (by markings)
  4. Aircraft, Rotary Wing

Remember, this is a gross simplification, should this system be developed, who knows how it will shake out?

So, here's how it works.  You build six P-51's--three from the 8th AF, one as a captures Zirkus Rosarius airplane, and one as "Thunderbird", the race airplane that took part in getting the film of QEII's coronation to North America.

So, you have three airplanes in Category #1, and one each in #2 and #3.  Why?  The Zirkus Rosarius airplane carries Luftwaffe (Axis) markings, and "Thunderbird" carries a civil registration.

Now, in Category #1, two models earn a Silver and one earns Bronze.  You take home ONE silver medal.  The other two earn Gold in their categories, so you will also take home two Golds.

If you built all six as Allied airplanes, they would all enter into Category #1, and you would take home ONE medal corresponding to the highest award earned.  So, say one earned Gold, three earned Silver, one earned Bronze, and one didn't quite make the cut--you take home a Gold medal, period. 

In this scenario, each model is being evaluated on its own, so it won't matter that you have different scales, or single vs. multi engine airplanes in the same Category.  Whether you keep a numeric score or use the Chattanooga/First Coast rules, no model is compared to another.

In my scenario, the ONLY time one model is compared to another is when it comes time to award Best Aircraft.  In that case, all the Gold medal models are grouped and judges as we do under the current IPMS/USA system.

Again, though, a lot of things need to happen before we get there.  First, the poll needs to show that the membership supports a change.  Then, the system needs to be devised, written, and approved.  That's a far way off right now...

Cheers!
 

Ralph   

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A few weeks ago, this appeared in my inbox, and I thought about responding then; but then more serious priorities came up and I was unable to follow up on what I had wanted to say.

That said, IPMS uses an unweighted system that is frequently unworkable at the local level. National judging criteria has been online forever; but my experiences been that nobody actually ever reads the national rules, and put them into practice. I have been a member of IPMS since February 1967, I have been to a lot of contests; I have judged many of them, including a Nationals a decade or so ago. As president of the Sacramento IPMS Silverwings Chapter for 10 years, I have done my share of running contests. I have also taken home my share of awards over the years.

IPMS is one of the few competitive organizations that I am aware of that absolutely refuses to use some form of numerical standard for evaluation of competitor performance. Think of it, everybody else uses a point system to evaluate performance in various categories of competition, whether as professional sports, Olympic competition, such as figure skating, or whatever, they all use a point system. We do not. We use a system that is inherently arbitrary, inefficient, inconsistent, and mostly focuses on inconsequentials.

Go to any collection of models in a contest, and it is an absolute guarantee that 95 percent of them will have obvious flaws, whether it is in alignments, sloppy painting, flawed construction technique; you name it. In many contests, models of differing scales are lumped together for no other reason that the number of entrants in any standard scale are likely to be insufficient to generate effective competition. All biplanes together; all airliners together, sci-fi, automobiles; whatever. Actual accomplishment is rarely considered. I would be the first to agree that modelers often attempt projects for which they all too often have insufficient skill, commitment, or patience to do the job properly. On the other hand, there are modeling venues, especially among older modelers, where some models might take years to complete, such as model shipbuilding, where built up hulls are laboriously constructed from hand cut frames; plank-on-frame exterior, rigging, and all the other features and accouterments of old-time men-'o-war take years of study and practice to do the job properly. Needless to say, we do not see much of that in our contests.

In the contest itself, getting people to judge can be like pulling teeth. I can remember occasions where I personally judged nine categories of models in a single afternoon, often with one another judge. That makes for a long afternoon. It also makes it tough to get the awards announced, and getting people on their way back home before late afternoon. And Sacramento has long had the reputation of running the better-attended contests in Northern California.

This next month, we will be hosting a judging clinic at our monthly meetings in order to get potential judges primed and ready to go, both at our contest, and elsewhere in our area. This is long overdue.

If I could put one finger on where things go wrong, it would be that judges get hyper-focused on one aspect of model judging, typically looking for flaws rather than looking for quality of work. And by quality work, I am talking about balance. I have seen judges looking inside jet air intakes looking for scratch marks that no one can see without a penlight, looking way in the back, just to be able to find something on which to hang his hat in order to make a decision. At the same time, sloppy detailing in paintwork and decaling often go unnoticed. Environmental effects such as weathering are overdone or are inappropriate to the era and circumstances that the model is supposed to represent (paint chipping on a sea-borne, carrier-based aircraft? Really?) That is absurd! And it is also unfair. I see three or four so-called 'experts' hyper focused on trying to decide which is Number One, and which will be Number Two, when there are still several other categories of models that need to be judged, and judged efficiently.

There are ways to do that, and do it efficiently; but it does require the judging cadre to be able to separate out the important from the accidental or inconsequential. Regrettably, this penchant for 'finding the flaw' has been baked into their consciousness to the extent that they cannot imagine any other consideration. At the same time, the meter is running, and people are getting impatient to pack up and go home!

At the national level, we do have judges who know what they are doing; at the local level, not so much.

After doing this stuff for more than 50 years, I have come to the conclusion that things will not get any better, because the untrained new guys are taught to ignore the bigger picture of what the model actually represents, and instead, they are told to get down into the weeds and add up the perceived mistakes and flaws in execution. Pretty sad, when you come to think of it. And that is one of the reasons why it is so hard to get people to judge contests.

That may also be the reason why over the past decade or so, model contests have become progressively fewer in number, and have fewer attendees. Those modelers who attend contests tend to be older. Model making as a pastime tends to attract older men generally nowadays, even as the quality of model kits has never been better. But, with better and more detailed kits now available, expectations have also risen over what modelers expect of themselves by way of accomplishment. Nitpicking and flies pecking is not the way to grow the hobby.

Whether the Gold-Silver-Bronze is a better one from the one that we have now I could not say for sure; but the one thing I can be sure of is that the existing system is not worth a damn, not the way it is being done now! At least with the GSB system, there is the hope and expectation that quality standards would predominate, or at least get a fair hearing. I do not see that happening with the existing IPMS system.

Art Silen IPMS No. 1708

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Art, your comments as a senior member since 1967 (makes me seem like a junior having joined in 1974!) made very interesting reading. Naturally there is a big difference between judging at national and local levels, whereas the national contest tends to have the pick of knowledgeable judges in their own subject matter, and that is only right. At local level however, it is a different matter altogether where judges are often 'roped in'  to manage the task. You have quite eloquently described scenarios at local level. Local shows do not have to rigidly follow the IPMS judging criteria but can just use them as tough guidelines. Alternatively they can just write their own local competition rules to suit themselves.

As you also pointed out Art that often as not competition entries appear to be declining in local shows. Over here in the UK it is also a bit similar. It makes you wonder whether competitions at local level will eventually dwindle to a point where they are not worth the effort of running them at all. For example sometimes a category may only draw one of two entries of indifferent models. Very often I have seen better models on the table displays at shows where the makers are quite content just to show their models , have no interest in entering contests and just prefer to chat to people who take an interest in their models.

At senior contest level however, it would be interesting to look at a direct comparison of IPMS UK ScaleModelworld competition rules with the IPMS USA National  Competition rules. I would imagine that they would be very similar.

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Comments that are critical of ‘finding the flaws’ and ‘ignoring the bigger picture of what the model actually represents’ ( I don’t even know what that means) frustrate me as an experienced and scrupulously objective judge. 

As long as we as judges are required to identify three winners and X numbers of losers in a finite amount time, we will need a system that is efficient while also is able to be fairly applied to all entries.

While theoretically you could compile all the things done correctly on each entry, that would be too time consuming. So efficient knowledgeable judges will start be looking for where most builders make common mistakes. These are craftsmanship competitions NOT an assessment of how much enthusiasm the modeler has for his or her subject. Likewise, the judges are not trying to answer the question: ‘What is the artist trying to say?’ In modeling contests, as in war, the winner is often the one who makes the fewest mistakes.

There is a very simple way for the builder to get past this first cut of common faults. Read the Competition Handbook and do what it tells you to do. Despite this, the common errors appear with predictable frequency- admittedly more at the lower level shows than at the Nationals- but they are always there. Most categories will thankfully contain the gross misalignments, the wide-open seams, sloppy paint work, the silvered decals. Once these are out of the running, the really hard work in a 1,2,3 system begins. Now comes the necessary nit-picking. Now some of the virtues of a G,S,B system become apparent.

But under either system, there are going to be disappointed entrants. If you do not want to be one of them, you have two choices: build better models or keep your models on the display-only table. 

Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge

Edited by Nick Filippone
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