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Dakimbrell

IS OOB OBSOLETE?

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When Out-Of-The-Box was started in the late 1970s, there were a lot of kits that needed work to be competitive, so it made sense to have way for those who just wanted to do a nice looking model without having to super detail a kit, to compete.

However, it is now 40 years on and the quality of kits has dramatically changed.  So, I have to think we are perhaps past the point where OOB serves a true purpose.  I now hear people talking about picking a well detailed kit for the OOB category and I never see anyone doing old Aurora kits OOB. Perhaps it would be better to dump OOB categories and change those to categories like a true vignette category.

Dak 

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As long as a category is entered in sufficient numbers, it serves a true purpose. The National Contest Committee, in a sense, does not make the decision. They quite properly let the membership determine the desirability of a category based on participation. When the numbers drop off, a category is deleted. Nick

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To answer the question posed by the thread's title................. No.

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Say what you want about OOB but I contend it is the most difficult category to win.  Yes, kit selection is quite important, but the fact that you can't wow anyone with the extra effort and still have to nail your basic skills on every aspect of the model is a challenge all unto itself.  Yes, models have evolved and so have modelers.  It is no longer about building a crappy model to perfection,  it is still about a very level playing field.  Everyone has a shot at any kit and is limited to what is in the kit.  The only way to make it more fair would be to select a single kit for all. 

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I don't know, with most modern kits available, it seems to be more of a case of picking a well detailed model, than actually doing a superb job. Would a Lindberg Ju-88 stand a chance against a modern version? Yes, I there is always a chance, but realistically?

I find I build almost exclusively OOB these days because the kits have almost everything I need. My two winners at Chattanooga were virtually OOB.

21 hours ago, Nick Filippone said:

As long as a category is entered in sufficient numbers, it serves a true purpose.

But, would not newer categories also attract entries? There are a lot of people doing vignettes with no clear category for them. You either build bare bones or risk ending up in dioramas. From what I saw this year, some distinct vignette categories would see a lot of entries.

16 hours ago, PeteJ said:

Say what you want about OOB but I contend it is the most difficult category to win. 

Hard to prove. Hard to disprove. True, just picking a well detailed kit doesn't mean you are automatically going to win, but if you are a competent builder, it does give you an edge. Except every one else is also using something similar, so the category is rarely more than just another subject category.

Dak

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" Would a Lindberg Ju-88 stand a chance against a modern version? "

Absolutely!  The models are all judged by the same "basics" criteria.  An older, less detailed model would be far less likely to have errors than a far more detailed and complicated model.  The skill of the modeler will always win out in the end, which is the purpose of OOB.  And don't give me that; "What if they were both perfect" stuff, because everyone knows that ain't gonna happen. 

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Perhaps the objective of the category should be reviewed.Whether the OOB category should be eliminated depends on the objective. If the objective is to create a different (i.e., constrained) challenge for the best modelers, it should stay. However, with kits like some of Eduard’s “ultimate” kits that include substantial resin and photoetch, for aircraft anyway, it may seem redundant. If the objective is to offer a more “beginner-friendly” category, it should probably be eliminated and replaced by a category for those who have not previously won awards. If the objective is to offer a less costly category to compete in, again, it should probably be eliminated. My observation as a judge is there is little correlation between kit cost and winning awards. I have seen horrible, cheap kits built into stunning models as well as expensive, latest-technology kits built into so-so models.

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4 hours ago, Rusty White said:

Absolutely!  The models are all judged by the same "basics" criteria.

While this is basically true, the reality is often in favor of more and nicer detail. Most people want to do the nicest model they can and that means picking a "better" kit to start with.

3 hours ago, prhoff said:

Perhaps the objective of the category should be reviewed.

This is precisely my point; things have changed and the original intent is no longer valid. Certainly, beautiful kits can be trashed and poor kits turned into fine art, but it all rests on the skill of the builder. That is true in every category.

I think the OOB categories no longer reflect the changing modeling scene. People are wanting to do scenes which contain more than allowed in the main categories and not so much that they are strong dioramas.

Dak

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“Yes” it is obsolete, at least in terms of the original objective.  Modern kits make it downright silly. (An Eduard Profipack Kit is eligible, but the same Weekend addition kit, with the addition of just some of the same Eduard accessories is not! ).  Most of the clubs around here have dropped it.  Of the six contests held each year in this area, I can only think of one still holding on to OOB in any form.

It seems to me that, at the Nationals level, anyways, the primary benefit today for all the OOB categories is to significantly increase the number of categories, and hence, awards given out.   Taken to an extreme, how many people would bother to enter if we only had 5 aircraft categories to give the current out 1-2-3 awards in?   ( I know this is a perfect segue to the GSB debate- but that topic has already been beaten to death elsewhere.)  

I’ve never been to a Nationals-  I was a bit surprised to hear there are no Vignette categories there. All the local shows have them, and they seem to be popular.   IMO, it is a great way to dip your toe into the Diorama pool.   But adding vignettes categories would not be enough to replace all the OOB categories getting eliminated- you ‘d need other new ones to fill the gaps.

 

 

 

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If most of the OOB categories were eliminated, those categories could be changed to allow a broader range of entries.

Dak

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I'm going to mention the one thing NOT mentioned thus far that was applicable when the OOTB categories were created, and that is still applicable today: the builder's perception.

OOTB was created because the "regular" builders had the perception that the ONLY way to win at the NATS was to be able to scratchbuild. Remember, back in those days there was NO aftermarket....no resin, no pe, no 3D printing.....so if you wanted to super-detail a model, scratchbuilding was the name of the game. People wanted a category where they didn't HAVE to do that....so  the OOTB categories were created.

While it's true that the kits are better today, the PERCEPTION of the builders is that you still need to do some sort of extra work to have an true chance at winning in a "regular" category. True or not...THAT is still the perception by a lot of builders. Thus, the OOTB categories are STILL relevant, since they give builders the perception they have a better shot at winning without having to go head to head with the honchos.

The proof of this (as mentioned above) is in how well populated those categories still are at every Nats. The idea of competing on a more level field of play is not obsolete, despite the rise in kit quality. OOTB should not be eliminated until the majority of builders feel that they can go head to head with anyone and have a chance of winning, and they stop entering in the OOTB categories and switch to the regular categories. In short, when OOTB dies of its own natural causes due to lack of particpation.

As long as there are 1-2-3 contests where models are pitted against each other, that perception of wanting to compete against builders of a like skill level will persist, and OOTB is the simplest way to do that in 1-2-3.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I've long thought that OOTB has outlived its usefulness, given the advances in kit design and manufacturing since the category was established way back then, and given the exceptions which are allowed which have really turned it into "OOTB+". I'd like to see it eliminated. Redefine OOTB as strictly OOTB: Use only what is in the box, built per kit instructions with no major modifications to the parts (rigging and antennas allowble if suggested by the kit instructions). Put OOTB entries in the same categories as the others. If only the basics of construction and finishing are judged, then it's entirely conceivable that a well-done OOTB entry can beat a poorly built super-detailed model with a lot of aftermarket stuff.

Perhaps a partial solution is to create new categories for older kits: "Classic kits" (those over 25 years old), "Antique kits" (those over 45 years old), and "Vintage kits" (those over 60 years old), and allow whatever improvements the modeller wishes, from none to an all-out maximum effort.

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3 hours ago, ghodges said:

As long as there are 1-2-3 contests where models are pitted against each other, that perception of wanting to compete against builders of a like skill level will persist, and OOTB is the simplest way to do that in 1-2-3.

That pretty well supports my case for a skill level based contest. In a skill based contest, the entrant would get to choose at what level he wants to compete.

1 hour ago, SkyKing said:

Perhaps a partial solution is to create new categories for older kits: "Classic kits" (those over 25 years old), "Antique kits" (those over 45 years old), and "Vintage kits" (those over 60 years old), and allow whatever improvements the modeller wishes, from none to an all-out maximum effort.

Perhaps the way to go is regular categories and then super detail categories in place of OOB? These days, the OOB categories are pretty much the same level as the regular stuff due to kit design, so create categories for those who go way beyond the kit, but are not scratch builds or conversions. Something like using all the PE available and resin replacement items like tires and such.

Dak

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On 8/24/2019 at 8:17 AM, rcboater said:

“Yes” it is obsolete, at least in terms of the original objective.  Modern kits make it downright silly. (An Eduard Profipack Kit is eligible, but the same Weekend addition kit, with the addition of just some of the same Eduard accessories is not! ).  Most of the clubs around here have dropped it.  Of the six contests held each year in this area, I can only think of one still holding on to OOB in any form.

It seems to me that, at the Nationals level, anyways, the primary benefit today for all the OOB categories is to significantly increase the number of categories, and hence, awards given out.   Taken to an extreme, how many people would bother to enter if we only had 5 aircraft categories to give the current out 1-2-3 awards in?   ( I know this is a perfect segue to the GSB debate- but that topic has already been beaten to death elsewhere.)  

I’ve never been to a Nationals-  I was a bit surprised to hear there are no Vignette categories there. All the local shows have them, and they seem to be popular.   IMO, it is a great way to dip your toe into the Diorama pool.   But adding vignettes categories would not be enough to replace all the OOB categories getting eliminated- you ‘d need other new ones to fill the gaps.

 

 

 

Category 730 was Vignettes in Chattanooga

 

Dave

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On 8/24/2019 at 7:29 PM, SkyKing said:

I've long thought that OOTB has outlived its usefulness, given the advances in kit design and manufacturing since the category was established way back then, and given the exceptions which are allowed which have really turned it into "OOTB+". I'd like to see it eliminated. Redefine OOTB as strictly OOTB: Use only what is in the box, built per kit instructions with no major modifications to the parts (rigging and antennas allowble if suggested by the kit instructions). Put OOTB entries in the same categories as the others. If only the basics of construction and finishing are judged, then it's entirely conceivable that a well-done OOTB entry can beat a poorly built super-detailed model with a lot of aftermarket stuff.

Kits being so nice doesn't defeat the spirit of the category.  It's been said many times, a bunch of extra details (whether they are additional plastic parts in the box or aftermarket) simply gives you more chances to screw up.  It doesn't guarantee a win.

As far as the OOB+ is concerned, only Ships have a real category that welcomes the high-tech kits into OOB as well as a separate, traditional OOB category.  It seems to be working but the other classes haven't yet decided to adopt that format.  They continue to have the limited, 40-year old exceptions as to what can be added and still be OOB in each class.

Integrating the OOB into the regular categories was tried for several years.  It proved to be a judging headache because the teams had to basically judge each category twice.  You had to figure out the OOB winner but also if the OOB was going to win as a regular 1-2-3 winner.  If it did, you had to go back and pick up the second OOB as that winner since the rules prevented you from winning two awards.  Then there was also the chance that there wouldn't be an OOB in a category so the physical award would be wasted.  Making a separate OOB category(ies) effectively guarantees the category will be filled out. 

And, as it has been pointed out, it's not like the current format is going wanting for entries.

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2 hours ago, dmorrissette said:

Category 730 was Vignettes in Chattanooga

According to the 2019 category list 730 was Figure Vignettes. Hardly any solstice for someone with a tank having a driver, loader and commander filling the hatches. It hardly seems fair to force a guy into dioramas when all he did was use the three kit provided figures in a prize cow model. (I agree you have to cut it off somewhere, but I think the line needs to be revisited.)

1 hour ago, RJackson said:

Kits being so nice doesn't defeat the spirit of the category.  It's been said many times, a bunch of extra details (whether they are additional plastic parts in the box or aftermarket) simply gives you more chances to screw up.  It doesn't guarantee a win.

This is true of virtually all the categories and always has been so. As noted, most people will start with the best kit available and rarely willing choose a fifty year old kit with weak details. How many Monogram 1/48th C-47s do you see in OOB, with those raised panel lines?

OOB rules take up more space than any other item in the contest rules. That is a lot of clarification for something designed to be "simple". That is the best argument for its elimination. I agree trying to do OOB as part of a regular category is a nightmare. Modern kits are way to complex to easily determine if extra work or parts have been added. Some one could add all sorts of stuff and most judges would not know for sure, even with the instructions at hand.

Dak

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A simple question.  Of those participating in this discussion do any of you actually build OOB?  I do.  I prefer the non-OOB method for most of my models,  but from time to time I like to test my basic skills with OOB builds.

Edited by PeteJ

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1 hour ago, Dakimbrell said:

 

OOB rules take up more space than any other item in the contest rules. That is a lot of clarification for something designed to be "simple". That is the best argument for its elimination.

If people would simply stop trying to find loopholes and figure out ways to beat the system it would be simple.  Virtually every rule there was in response to some entry that wasn't kosher.

 

Edited by RJackson
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There is still value in an OOB category. It harkens back to a simpler time when kits didn't "need" dollars worth of extras just to be built.

Even with today's intricate multimedia kits with metal barrels, single link tracks and photo etched frets, some modelers still purchase additional items to enhance these kits.

But there is still a place for modelers who like to assemble plastic kits out of the box and enter them in contests.

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1 hour ago, PeteJ said:

A simple question.  Of those participating in this discussion do any of you actually build OOB?  I do.  I prefer the non-OOB method for most of my models,  but from time to time I like to test my basic skills with OOB builds.

Yes, while I usually have a box full of regular entries I often have an OOB entry.  At least four of the last five years.

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3 hours ago, Dakimbrell said:

According to the 2019 category list 730 was Figure Vignettes. Hardly any solstice for someone with a tank having a driver, loader and commander filling the hatches. It hardly seems fair to force a guy into dioramas when all he did was use the three kit provided figures in a prize cow model. (I agree you have to cut it off somewhere, but I think the line needs to be revisited.)

This is true of virtually all the categories and always has been so. As noted, most people will start with the best kit available and rarely willing choose a fifty year old kit with weak details. How many Monogram 1/48th C-47s do you see in OOB, with those raised panel lines?

OOB rules take up more space than any other item in the contest rules. That is a lot of clarification for something designed to be "simple". That is the best argument for its elimination. I agree trying to do OOB as part of a regular category is a nightmare. Modern kits are way to complex to easily determine if extra work or parts have been added. Some one could add all sorts of stuff and most judges would not know for sure, even with the instructions at hand.

Dak

Solstice- one of two times in the year when the sun reaches its lowest (winter) and highest ( summer) point in the noon sky. Solace- support, consolation, etc. 

Just sayin,’ Nick

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Part of the problem here is that how you view models depends on what you build. I see this primarily based on armor models and what I saw this year judging some of the OOB categories.

1 hour ago, RGronovius said:

There is still value in an OOB category. It harkens back to a simpler time when kits didn't "need" dollars worth of extras just to be built.

Even with today's intricate multimedia kits with metal barrels, single link tracks and photo etched frets, some modelers still purchase additional items to enhance these kits.

But there is still a place for modelers who like to assemble plastic kits out of the box and enter them in contests.

My point is that even the non-multimedia tank kits are so much better, they have now become the standard. There is no need for dollars worth of extras...that has become a myth. The 1/35th DML Jagdpanzer IV L/48 I am building needs nothing. The only thing I am adding are Fruilmodel tracks, two figures, and a wire antenna. However, the kit DS tracks look fine, and are light years ahead of the Tamiya tracks for the same vehicle. In fact, some of the detail is BETTER than can be acquired through the use of PE.there is no need. As I said, most of what I do these days are virtual OOB models, even though they don't qualify as OOB.

20 minutes ago, Nick Filippone said:

Solstice- one of two times in the year when the sun reaches its lowest (winter) and highest ( summer) point in the noon sky. Solace- support, consolation, etc.

That is a moo opinion. What a cow thinks doesn't matter.😁

I do not build OOB and generally find it impossible to follow those rules. It's not worth the hassle.

Dak

 

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" That is a moo opinion. What a cow thinks doesn't matter.😁 "

I know it wasn't intended as such, but I want to stop this NOW before it goes any further.  And yes, I am aware of who started it, and Nick's comment is trolling and isn't allowed either.  Stop this now or I will shut down the thread.  Let's play nice everyone.

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Moo -the sound a cow makes. Moot- having no practical relevance. And my aircraft builds are almost always OOB. Nick- you know- the “obtuse” one. 

 

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1 hour ago, Nick Filippone said:

And my aircraft builds are almost always OOB

So, over the past five years, how many OOB fifty year old kits have you built? What is the oldest edition of a kit you have done OOB?

Dak, The Renaissance Modeler

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