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Dakimbrell

Confessions of a contest judge...

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I was one of the judges at Chattanooga. With 3112 entries, it required some serious work to pick the top entries.

For dioramas, don't try to put EVERYTHING into a scene. Less is better. Consider how the main subject got into position; tanks, airplanes, and artillery are not weightless and need to be moved.

Remember, gravity is a heartless master, this on a ramp or slope roll down hill.

Dak

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Agree. I'm in favor of more compact dioramas and vignettes.

IMHO one focal point is all that is needed and if there is a lot of open space, it is wasted space and should be omitted.  I'm in a group on FB and all I see is all this open, empty space on a dio with maybe one vehicle and a handful of figures.  It may match the antique image, but unless one is being asked to recreate a scene for a museum, the dio could and should be made more compact.  Just my 2¢.

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The “I have a bunch of models, so let’s put them on the same base” is a poor approach to dioramas. I wish more would read Shep Paine’s books. 

Dak

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As a diorama judge for many years, my first question when I look at a diorama is "What story is it trying to tell me?" Those that make it very obvious, very quickly will have a greater chance of making it to the Final Three for that category. Another criteria is the consistency between items on the diorama. For example, if showing a desert scene, and 5 vehicles have matte finishes, but the 6th is glossy, I go read the entry sheet to see if the builder discusses why he/she did it this way. If there's no explanation, that inconsistency will make further progress more difficult during the rest of the judging session. The use of space is considered, but not as heavily as these two criteria. I hope these comments help you!

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Another thing I see, which is way too common, is neat rubble. For some reason many think rubble falls so vehicles will have  a clear smooth path on the ground or pavement. The builder wants a big pile of rubble and blown up buildings, except for this clear track through the mess.

If you want a dirty mess, don't make it look like someone swept up where the tank is rolling.

Dak

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Dave,

I suspect that happens because the builder wants to use a built piece of armor without having to take the suspension apart to make it work on an uneven surface.

JMO

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1 hour ago, jcorley said:

I suspect that happens because the builder wants to use a built piece of armor without having to take the suspension apart to make it work on an uneven surface.

I do not disagree, but it is not realistic and counts heavily (or should) against the builder when it comes to a contest. If I didn't want to do seatbelts in an airplane because I found it difficult, people would not be sympathetic.

Dak

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is this a fair place to introduce the "to weather or not" discussion?

some think thrice about slathering age & patina on a model after putting countless hours into its creation. should they immediately be scorned by others who insist it should be to their criteria? what about those who use stage tricks to cover inaccuracies in their assemblage? should they be getting a ribbon?

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On 8/30/2019 at 2:10 PM, Roktman said:

. . . one focal point is all that is needed and if there is a lot of open space, it is wasted space . . . 

a picture is framed without a mat border, the eye takes in its peripheral details. isolated by a mat, the view is focused on the subject. obviously there are extremes, but a bit of space around a subject can enhance the presentation.

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On 9/15/2019 at 5:02 PM, Dakimbrell said:

I do not disagree, but it is not realistic and counts heavily (or should) against the builder when it comes to a contest. If I didn't want to do seatbelts in an airplane because I found it difficult, people would not be sympathetic.

Dak

That's why realism is NOT and should not be a judging criteria..ever

 

Dave

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5 hours ago, tomqvaxy said:

some think thrice about slathering age & patina on a model after putting countless hours into its creation. should they immediately be scorned by others who insist it should be to their criteria? what about those who use stage tricks to cover inaccuracies in their assemblage? should they be getting a ribbon?

Mud has always covered a multitude of sins. So have tarps and other gear. That's merely part of the art of model building.

5 hours ago, tomqvaxy said:

a bit of space around a subject can enhance the presentation.

True, but many still seem to think more is always better and go to extremes. The seem to think a big base leads to a winning model, which is rarely trueDak

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4 minutes ago, dmorrissette said:

That's why realism is NOT and should not be a judging criteria..ever

This is simply not true in IPMS judging. While we may give the builder the benefit of the doubt, we do judge gross accuracy and often in the specific. GENERALLY  SPEAKING....While an airplane with a crooked part may not be "good craftsmanship", it is also not "accurate". Tanks with floating tracks are not accurate, but it is also considered poor craftmanship. We may not judge specifics like the location of a unit marking or the shade of color, but we do judge accuracy. If not, then why put so much time into the effort? We could just pick the ones we think are pretty.

Generally speaking, heavy rubble with a neatly cleared path for a tank's tracks shows a lack of consistency, which is a consideration in judging. Many times I have seen vehicles put into locations where it would be impossible to get into...or out of.... without a helicopter. This is poor craftsmanship and shows a lack of consistency.

Dak

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