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If anyone believes the British are not very competitive by nature, a review of Tudor history alone should disabuse them of that misconception!

Whose Empire was it that the sun never set on? 

Regards, An incurable Anglophile💂‍♂️

Edited by Nick Filippone

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Back on topic, I have been doing a little local research and found those who grinch the most about IPMS being too picky, etc, also don't make much effort to fill out the comments/note section on an entry form. One guy said he didn't understand what the box was for? When people do weird things, they need to note and explain them.

We talk about only judging craftsmanship and not accuracy, but these things often over lap. We don't like seams and globs of glue because the are not accurate. I recently had some AMPS guys say the weathering was overdone on a model, yet all the weathering was based on specific photos which I should have included with the entry sheet. Or is heavy weathering poor craftsmanship?

Dak

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IMHO, for the reasons you describe, too much or too little weathering shouldn't be a consideration when judging.  The realism of the technique is what should be considered.   If the modeler chooses a factory finish or rust dripping to the ground, what matters is how well (or not) it was done and how realistic (or not) the weathering looks.

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28 minutes ago, Rusty White said:

too much or too little weathering shouldn't be a consideration when judging.  The realism of the technique is what should be considered.   If the modeler chooses a factory finish or rust dripping to the ground, what matters is how well (or not) it was done and how realistic (or not) the weathering looks.

How realistic a technique is done is a question of accuracy. Which is what I am saying, the two often go hand in hand. We may not judge how many rivets are accurate, or the shade of paint, but a big glue glob along the wing root is both poor craftmanship AND (generally) not accurate. However some glue globs in some places might be. Fogging around the edges of some canopies might also be accurate.

My point is the builder needs to let the judges know if this is done deliberately. Encouraging more people to fill out the comments box is something which could pay us back with happier entrants and better informed judges.

Dak

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Getting back to the PR  problem this thread is about, global IPMS perception. We tend to think that just about everyone into plastic models knows about IPMS, and it is surprising how many do not! Many myths and misconceptions have arisen over the years. One is that many think we are an aircraft only society. Another is that the society is too full of nit picking rivet counting experts and nerds and perhaps feel a bit intimidated about making a membership enquiry at a!l.

Maybe our passions run a bit high about rules  and standards eff that we forget that there are many hobbyists out there who simply want to have a bit of fun out of the hobby whilst learning a bit more. 

Another problem is, how welcoming are we to someone new arriving at our local club nights. Do we make sure that they are welcomed, or remain in conversation with our little clique in the club blissfully  ignoring someone who has just walked in and knows no one?

Edited by noelsmith

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Move the emphasis from competition to exhibition.  No contest, no "winner", no "losers", just a room full of models and modelers.

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Let me re-make a point here.  Where is it written that a person MUST care if they win or lose at the contest?  I know several people who attend, put the model on the table, and enjoy the rest of the convention without another thought about the contest.  They enjoy looking at a roomful of models without it impacting their self-worth.  Winning an award is gravy. 

 

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Ralph's comment to a certain extent may be passionate about how he feels. But has competition got to be the be all and end all for IPMS? Telford is an example of how competition and exhibition can go hand in hand without people feeling that they have to compete. Many Modellers are not bothered one jot about competition, yet the models they enjoy just exhibiting would do well in competition! There is room for both within IPMS. We have to ask ourselves if we are a modelling society promoting the hobby or a modelling competition society? Everyone was a novice to start with, and we should be reaching out to those people as well as more established hobbyists.

I fear that IPMS is in danger of taking itself a bit too seriously at times.

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How is being competitive in model building any different than soccer, golf, tennis or horse racing? The only difference is modeling building tends to be a personally creative and people tend to feel personally hurt or offended when others don't reward their work.

Human beings are by nature competitive. Competition breeds innovation. There is no doubt the desire to win has improved the art of model building and help drive manufactures to make better models. Is all competition good, certainly not. Some take it too seriously and that requires more and new rules every year.

Everything has certain inherent standards which some ignore or refuse to acknowledge. For example, a guy I know steadfastly refuses to address seams. He either leaves them open or filled with globs of glue. Otherwise he does basically good work. Yet, he doesn't understand why IPMS puts so much importance on filling seams. I have explained it to him, but he doesn't think it should matter.

Dak

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Noel (and all): I totally agree with you, and IPMSUSA has JUST begun to try to step us in the direction of de-emphasizing the contest. They've recently mandated that beginning this year and at all future conventions the host MUST have as many Display Only tables as their venue can provide. Of course that is AFTER they've taken care of the contest area first, so it will vary from show to show. Still, up til now, "display" has been only an occasional afterthought. Now IPMSUSA is going to encourage guys who don't want to compete to bring their stuff to display. Personally, I've reserved 2 display tables for ANYONE that'll be dedicated vacuform and resin models.

There are two major differences here in the USA as compared to the UK and Telford. First and foremost, our Nats is the way it is because it started out with a competition format and has steadily grown from there. It's a VERY successful show, and the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies to a great degree. Would it be as big and successful with less of a contest here in the USA? Perhaps.....but I'm not sure any host wants to take that financial risk since the current format is a "money maker". In other words, we're sort of stuck with what we have because it's what we've always done and it works well!

The second difference, as I mentioned before, is our vast distances to our shows. Anyone in the UK is a day's drive from Telford. Even a lot of Europe can be there in a single day's travel time WITHOUT having to hop on a plane. That makes the transport of models and stuff needed for booths much more practical. I consider the upcoming Chattanooga show to be an easy drive, and it'll be close to 7hrs. I plan to drive to the Texas show in 2020, and that will involve two days of driving and probably no less than 20hrs travel time. The rest of the shows involve airplanes where you're lucky if you can carry more than one model on, not to mention the hassle of TSA security checks! Only in the eastern US, or possibly southern CA, where there's a greater density of clubs per state, could we possibly have what Telford has with club booths...but with no tradition of doing that, the "clubs" never really consider it.

Rick Jackson NAILED IT in his post above. Just bring your models, put them on the contest tables and go enjoy the show for the sake of the show and don't worry about winning or losing!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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You have made some good points Gil. Our geographical dispositions dictate to a greater extent the show format.

Telford has developed over many years to what it is today. For many years the UK Nats as they were then ran for over 25 years in a very similar fashion to your own annual event. The competition still remains the core of the show as does yours. It is just that our show has developed slowly into today's format and the US has retained the format that works best for IPMS USA.

Telford, because of how it developed naturally gives more opportunity to show models out of the competition, whereas the US Nats may be a bit more constricted for display space.

Regarding winning or losing, a bit of philosophy.

Your model will be no better or worse when you take it off the competition table to when you placed it on the table!

Edited by noelsmith
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I have enjoyed reading this post.  Gil put it better than I ever could describing the overall devewlopment of the US and UK events.  As long as display space is made available at the nats here in the US, we will see the development of the event grow to the betterment of the Society.  I also believe the contest will develop naturally into a GSB or 123 event at the will of the participating membership's popular demand.

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FYI, it is farther from my house to Chattanooga than from Scapa Flow to London.

In the UK, they think 100 miles is a long way. In the US they think 100 years is a long time.

Dak

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Thanks for the geography lesson Dak.

Having driven in the US, Canada and all over Europe at different times, driving Mid West in sparsely populated Oklahoma is a different proposition to driving on our poor road  congested isle. If you get to the UK, we have some marvellous museums, galleries, castles and stately homes to visit. You may get a bit frustrated with driving to them however!

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14 hours ago, noelsmith said:

Thanks for the geography lesson Dak.

Having driven in the US, Canada and all over Europe at different times, driving Mid West in sparsely populated Oklahoma is a different proposition to driving on our poor road  congested isle. If you get to the UK, we have some marvellous museums, galleries, castles and stately homes to visit. You may get a bit frustrated with driving to them however!

LOL You should try Africa and Pakistan for bad roads and traffic.

Edited by Dakimbrell

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Driven in Cairo and Mombasa in Afrika, also Columbo and Kandy in Sri Lanka (ex Ceylon), similar to Pakistan for driving I should imagine. Quite an experience. No one seems to either know or give a damn what side of the road they use. The use of mopeds for family transport has to be seen to be believed. Dad Riding, Wife on  Pillion, 2 kids on back pannier, another sat across fuel tank and a baby in a basket on the front.

You should try the East West main commercial supply road through Kenya. The weighbridge guys take bribes to allow trucks through that are far too overladen. Result, the road has collapsed in many places making craters big enough for you to driver a car into up to the roof. It was easier to drive alongside the road in the rough in a 4x4. Not a road to drive on at night due to the craters and various opportunist carnivores about I hasten to add.

LOL Been there, done that and got the Tee shirt as they say.

Anyway, we are drifting away from the PR Problem, so maybe we had best get back on track before a moderator reminds us.

Cheers

Edited by noelsmith

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On 6/23/2019 at 12:36 PM, Dakimbrell said:

Back on topic, I have been doing a little local research and found those who grinch the most about IPMS being too picky, etc, also don't make much effort to fill out the comments/note section on an entry form. 

My experience is that the reason modelers who think IPMS is too picky  “aren’t filling in the comments box” is  because they aren’t entering  the contest to begin with!

I think those of us who are active online often lose our perspective.   We are a small subset of a niche group, not the mainstream.

Case in point:   My IPMS club has about 45 members.  Only 7 of us are IPMS members.  At a meeting last year, with about 20 members in the room, I asked how many peruse one or more of the online forums.  Six hands went up. I asked about the IPMS forum, and one other hand besides mine went up.   I found it interesting that the non-forum readers were also the same majority that doesn’t enter contests. 

Now everyone in the room used the internet to help with the hobby- just not forums. They aren’t Luddites— They watch “how to “ videos on You tube, read build articles on modeling websites, look at finished models on Facebook, etc.  ( Generally all less critical environments.)

The perception amongst many  is that IPMS is all about contests, and contests are all about fault finding.  

DAK started this (very interesting - thanks DAK!)  thread to talk about the “Perception problem” the Society has, and it quickly turned into a thread about contests, complete with slams  about modelers who aren’t good enough builders.

And we wonder why non-members think we’re all nit-pickers.....?  Or that the society should be renamed IPMCS... the International Plastic Modelers Competition Society..?

-Bill

Edited by rcboater
Fix typos

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Bill,

I'd have to agree with much of what you are saying regarding the excuses that we hear about joining IPMS and participating in contests, mainly nitpicking, but I think that it is really something else that keeps most modelers from either joining the national organization or entering contests. That is that they don't really care about competition, or winning awards. In other words they don't build for competition. If you look at who enters our local contests you will see that it is the same folks year after year.  Whereas there are members of our own club who bring in models quite regularly to the meetings, but don't even show up at Patcon, let alone enter. These members just like sticking pieces of plastic together, having fun, hob knobbing with other modelers, and couldn't care less about awards. Yet there they are at the monthly meetings. Then you have members such as myself who used to enter quite often at the National and Regional levels, but just got tired of building to rules (note: not competition, but rules!) where I couldn't build the model the way I wanted, couldn't enter it as I wanted if I did ( such as more than 2 figures with a tank, open hatches without a figure in them go into open top, something like a dead tree trunk higher than the tank puts it into vignette). I almost stopped going to the Nats because it just wasn't fun. I did quit judging. Then I decided to just build as I want and the heck with competition. I'm enjoying my hobby a whole lot more, and how! I now go to the Nats just to enjoy the models, seminars, shop, and drink a few beers with friends.

So what am I saying? As you point out it is just a small number of members who even participate on this forum . I believe the vast majority of members are silent because they are satisfied with the way things are, and are happy with what they get out of the society. Whether that is full blown competition, or just going to contests to look at the models or shop. And those who are not members who say we nitpick are just using that as an excuse to not join because they are not that interested in what IPMS is all about and don't want to get into an endless harangue about joining. Not that they really think we are bad, just that modeling is a way to have some fun, but there are other interests that are more important to them. I feel that if you look at where the society is now and has been for many years now you will see that it is a varied group with each getting what they want out of their membership with just a very active handful engaged in these discussions.

We all, as members, have the right  to discuss whatever we wish, expound whatever views and opinions we wish, and discuss issues from whatever angle as we see fit, but I don't see that anything discussed here will ever change anything because I don't really believe the vast majority really cares about any of these issues. In other words they are content with what is and couldn't care less if others don't agree, or join us!

My two cents,

John

 

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I strongly disagree. I have found 99% of those who call IPMS to picky and ad all about contests to be people that mediocre at best and must find a way to justify not winning. They don't win because they have visible seams, glue and miss aligned parts. They then get angry because others do a better job. Jealously, pure and simple. I have seen them do this for fifty years and I find it sadly amusing to hear them make complaints like " I can't afford the good kits", or "look how much work I put into this model, the crooked parts shouldn't matter." (These are literally two statements made to me.)

Many do not join IPMS simply because they are cheap and lazy. They do like to win, but are not willing to do even basic work, nor are they willing to learn and improve.

IPMS is not perfect, and I for one have seen some really stupid rules over the years. But given some of the stuff I have seen win and been FORCED to give awards to, I know we are not picky.

Dak

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John Walker has just given in my opinion one of the most succinct views about percption of IPMS in general, members and non members attitudes, and how competition is viewed both from outside and inside this organisation.

Dak's last post about modelles not joining IPMS because they are cheap and lazy is a bit strong. He is missing the point as there are many an excellent modeller out beyond IPMS who make models purely for enjoyment to their own style and not have to be hide bound by any competition rules. Also, there are people out there that cannot afford the latest big kit that is released. On my retirement pension you can count me amongst those folk, but I still remain a member since I joined back in 1974.

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David,

I guess that it must be a regional thing because in my 39 years with the society I have never (that I can recall) anyone here in New England expressing the attitudes you describe regarding IPMS competition, and I belong to 3 clubs here (two in Massachusetts and one in New Hampshire). However, I have on many occasions talked to people who either never joined, or were past members who let their membership lapse who stated in one form or another that they just didn't want to be bothered with us. They were content to be exactly as they were. Again, not because they thought that we were a bad organization, or that we "nitpick", but because they had other priorities, such as their camera club, or taking the kids to soccer practice, and modeling was low on their list. Whatever.

I believe that what Bill was trying to say is that if the only face we show to the community is us discussing the negative side of competition, then why are we surprised that the average modeler shies away? I say it has nothing to do with us at all, I believe it is because the average modeler, that guy you see buying models at your local shop, or who stops in at the local contests, is just not that into our side of the hobby. There is no use chasing these folks and arguing that we are a great organization, they are not interested. It doesn't matter what we offer, they are just not interested. We need to stop tilting at windmills and realize that the people that are interested in IPMS are well aware of us and are current members, those others are also well aware of us, but just aren't interested in joining.

An afterthought, one other thing that may be at work here are the specialty clubs that have sprung up over the years, such as AMPS, the car clubs, model RR clubs, figure organizations, etc. I know of one old time member who scratchbuilt ship models that dropped out years ago when he joined a group associated with the USS Constitution model builders' guild. I run into him now and again and we greet each other with a friendly handshake,  but he is not coming back to IPMS because he has everything he needs right where he is. Then there are other friends that are into AMPS (as am I), or belong to the local and national model RR clubs that are more than content where they are. There are also 2 brothers from my town that belong to MassCar. They used to dabble with IPMS, but we could never compete with MassCar for their attention. What could we offer that they don't have in spades right where they are? Now I could see some of the members of these organizations having a negative concept of our organization, but what of it? They are them, and we are us, and if the twain never meet, what of it?

In closing, and my final words on the subject, I say we just enjoy what we have and never mind what others think.

Model on,

John

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Model building is an art and nothing emphasizes this than the anger people exhibit over being told their creation is poor or not good enough. There have always been those who resent not winning and they are never going away. However, the myth that IPMS is all about contests and excessively nitpicky really got started in the 90s by Bob Letterman of VLS. At that time, the VLS products were getting a bad reputation for bad detail, fit, accuracy, and generally being a poor product, which they were.

In the monthly VLS flyer, Letterman ranted on numerous occasions about how their products were sound, but IPMSers were getting to picky and demanding; IPMS simply didn't get how grand the VLS products were. This is when VLS created Mastercon, what has now become Eaglequest. This contest was a superb place for those who want to build grand, but with not worrying about reality or even close scrutiny of their model. See the pictures (FYI, 1/35th scale) as an example.

If IPMS is guilty of anything, it is trying to be fair. (Now, if you want picky, look at AMPS judging) That is the biggest reason models get looked at so tightly. There is always good work there and some are so close, it is extremely difficult to decide which is the best. This means, from time to time, the judges will get something wrong.

John is correct that new more specialized groups have effected the membership. Additionally, the internet has spawned greater communication and splinter groups. Some find it is more fun to hang with only those of similar interests. It is also true people develop new or different interests as they mature. I had dropped out of IPMS back in the 80s when the aircraft lobby was seemed to be trying to make the IPMS a strictly airplane club. I came back because I have many interests and found AMPS too restrictive in subject.

It is true many just build for whatever pleasure they get and have no interest in contests. Some don't see any use in being a member. Those are not the problem. What is the problem is the continued repetition of the picky myth and the myth we are only about contests. And they are myths. Yet, we...IPMS.... don't seem to be making any concrete effort to oppose them and that will hurt us in the future.

Dak

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Maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree...

John was spot on-  there are lots of ppl out there building some fantastic models who don’t care a whit about competition.  They are perfectly happy where they are, doing what they enjoy.  

Maybe we shouldn’t be worrying about how these ppl perceive our contests, because as John pointed out, it just doesn’t matter.  

Maybe what we should be worried about is not the perception that we are nit pickers, but that the society is all about contests and competition.  If you are not interested in competing, why join IPMS?    As far as I can tell, there are only three tangible reasons:

You are an officer in an IPMS chartered club; You want to enter the IPMS Nationals;  You want a subscription to the Journal.

Note that I’m talking about the National Organization only— not the benefits of joining a local club.  

As John pointed out, people in our area (New England)  have a variety of clubs they can join. For nearly all of them it isn’t about “IPMS vs. non-IPMS” clubs,  picking a club is about subjects, people, locations, the “vibe”, etc.  Like John, I am also a member of three area clubs, but only one is an IPMS chartered club.  I get similar benefits (comraderie, primarily) from all three.

To be honest, the only reason I joined IPMS in the first place was because I’m a club officer.  When I leave office someday, I’m not sure if I will renew or not...

Edited by rcboater

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22 hours ago, Dakimbrell said:

(Now, if you want picky, look at AMPS judging)

 

Care to elaborate?

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