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LenPilhofer

Nats 2020 Contest Rules and Categories

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Thanks to Mark Persichetti and Team NCC for getting the 2020 National Contest Rules and Categories updated and ready for release. A few updates this year primarily in the Space/Sci Fi class. Check out the updates here:

http://www.nats2020.com/contest_pages/categories.html

http://www.nats2020.com/contest_pages/rules.html

-Len Pilhofer

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VERY interesting question! I'd like to see a response from the Chief Judge, or a couple of the Head Judges, as to what they think.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Assuming that a winning group entry (Cat 850) is superior that all other category winners in the Miscellaneous Class (VIII) it would be awarded Best in Class as a function of the judges assigned to the Miscellaneous Class.  These judges brief the Class Judge who acts as a proponent of the entry in further Best in Show determinations

Winners of all eight Best in Class awards are then evaluated by the Class Head Judges to determine the Best in Show.   The Overall Head Judge's duty here is to wrangle  a consensus of opinions among the eight head judges.    I can't say that it has never happened, but the Overall Head Judge does not cast a vote to break a tie.   This is a function which occurs after the rank & file judges have been dismissed from the contest room.

Yes, the winner of any individual category can potentially win Best in Show, but it needs to be superior to to other models in the class and to the  other entries overall

Ed Grune -- NCC/Head Ship Judge

 

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In regards to I-4,  II-3 and II-5...

I have a few potential entries that would I would like some clarification. I design my own parts to be 3-D printed. These are conversions to represent drawing board concepts for WWII Soviet SPGs. The 3D parts are used in conjunction with traditional scratch building techniques. The silhouette is changed substantially from the original kit. How would these be categorized? Would these be entered under 228, 229, 200-C or 821?

Thanks,

BK

 

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I'll throw my opinion to the problem.   For a definative answer check with Dave Kahn (head armor judge) and/or Mark Persichetti (head judge).  I have tried to get the NCC ahead of the 3D printing issue before we are met with the problem of a major 3D project dropped on the table and what do we do now?

First of all - parts are parts, be they plastic, resin, metal, wood, paper, or are 3D printed.

Paragraph I.4 addresses 3D printed KITS,  not parts.   A totally 3D printed kit may not be considered as scratchbuilt, even if done at home by the CAD designer.  It may be entered in the appropriate standard category.

Paragraph II.3;  the use of 3D printed parts disqualifies the entry from being considered using scratchbuilt parts, rather they are considered as commercial parts.  Even if they are printed & used by the CAD designer.

Paragraph II.5 identifies the criteria for armor conversions, either scratchbuilt only (228) or kit-bashed/commercial (229).

Categories

200-C Closed-top AFV through Korea, Allied.   Generally a safe choice as long as the subject is a real-world thing.   Real-world conversions do not have to be entered in a conversion category.

228 AFV Conversions Scratchbuilt.   Not a valid choice since 3D parts are not considered scratchbuilt.

229 AFV Conversions Kit-bash [Commercial] Conversions.   A safe choice since 3D printed parts are considered 'commercial' parts.

821 Hypothetical, Kit-bashed/Scratchbuilt.   If your entry is a hypothetical, non-real-world subject this is the place for it to go.   This would of course invalidate the 200-C or 229 choices above.   This category is for both scratch-built and kit-bashed (i.e. commerical) entries.

Ed Grune -- NCC Head Ship Judge

 

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Thank you  for clarifying Ed.

I'll  see Mark at a local show in March. I'll ask him then.

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My library is not deep in “ Luftwaffe ‘46” sources. However, one book I do have is “German Jet Genesis” by David Masters (Jane’s Publishing Company, Limited, 1982). Page 97 covers the Ju EF 126 and 127. 

This reference states that a full-scale mock-up of the 126 was built by the Germans during the war, but the aircraft did not fly during the war. It goes on to say that the Russians built an unpowered prototype which crash landed. The 127, according to this reference was discontinued due to inadequate endurance of the rocket motor that was to have powered it.

So, where to place this model? 

Theoretically, if you knew how the unpowered Russian example of the 126 was marked, you could indeed put it in the regular category in those markings- without engines! Any other depiction of the aircraft in any other markings would be hypothetical and place the model in the hypothetical category. I suppose you could build it as the German mock-up, but who knows what that looked like? ( Frequently, mock-ups do not even represent the entire proposed airframe.)  Furthermore, a model of a mock-up, not being a representation of an actual functional aircraft, might have to go in the miscellaneous category. 

The 127 obviously was never built in any form at all, and, regardless of markings, it would go in the hypothetical category.

The general rule to keep in mind is: actual aircraft + actual markings= regular category. If one of the two (or both) are missing, the entry would go to the hypothetical category. 

I hope this helps. ( I look forward to the inevitable hair- splitting and the Jesuitical debate that I always enjoy!) 

Regards, Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge. 

 

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I for one think you nailed that answer perfectly Nick. I don't know how anyone could argue that; it is clear, concise and well spoken. Cameron, I think you have your answer.

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I’m going to let someone else take this one!🙄🤔😬

Nick

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"What are the advantages and disadvantages to entering in the out of box categories? "

Cameron:  the  short answer is NOT MUCH....anymore.

The OOTB categories were invented decades ago to give people who didn't scratchbuild details a place to compete without having to go against models with those extra details. Those were the days BEFORE "aftermarket" (PE parts, resin cast parts, and now printed parts); when the model builder had to build all of the details in a cockpit or wheel well. Some builders couldn't do those things, and others didn't want to put that much time into a build, but felt they were at a severe disadvantage having to compete against the "honchos" that did those things.

That perception was generally wrong to start, as it's ALWAYS been the basics that determine the outcome 95%+ of the time, no matter how well detailed something is. BUT, perception is reality as they say, so OOTB categories were put in place to make competitors feel they had more of a chance on a more level field against people who built like they did (OOTB).

The problem today, is that not only is there a plethora of aftermarket that allows a less experienced builder to put a better detailed model on the table, but many of the kits now come with PE and resin parts IN the box, and thus are technically legal for an OOTB build. So, it NOW depends on the kit you choose, as older kits with less detail are (seemingly) at a disadvantage, even in the OOTB category, IF you still carry the perception that the detailing is more than a tie-breaker!

So where does OOTB make a true difference? In my opinion in the BIG categories, like 1/48 and 1/72 WWII prop and in jets. This is where you WILL, at almost every Nats contest, run into someone's "labor of love" that they took 1-2yrs to build and put everything into. If you want to avoid ever having to end up in a category against such a build, then OOTB will keep them away from you. Otherwise, even the OOTB builds aren't plain or simple anymore.

The BOTTOM LINE, no matter the category, is for you to nail the BASICS! If you haven't ever judged, you may find it hard to believe how LITTLE detailing and/or accuracy matter, because accurate and well detailed builds are knocked out by crooked landing gear, misaligned tail planes, poor seam work, silvered decals, rough/sloppy paint finishes, and/or sloppy clear parts.

IPMS judges on craftsmanship, not knowledge (detailing and accuracy). NO ONE (and no judge) can know enough to be 100% sure of what details are right or just how accurate a subject is, due to any number of variables and very simply "the exception to the rule" that there always seems to be (yes, there was a pink sub!). Thus, we judge how well built something is, because we can judge the differences in craftsmanship applied to a build, no matter what category it ends up in.

And in my opinion, since we DO judge that way, the hypothetical category is a complete waste of time....it's a model on the table and can be judged on the craftsmanship applied to the construction and finish without concern as to whether it was ever produced in the real world. "Hypothetical" could be a tie-breaking determiner, if ALL else was equal (and many judges will say that NEVER happens) and you had to decide; and in which case the "documented" model would win versus the "what-if".

Hope this helps!

Gil :smiley16:

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Nice summary, Gil. And I absolutely agree with you on hypotheticals. An additional argument to do away with it is that it violates one of our basic principles of judging: comparing like to like entries! As you know, the hypothetical categories are not just for aircraft but for all genres of models- auto, tank ship,etc. How can these be competently compared to one another? 

Regards, Nick

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You two are onto something....

 

 

Jim

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Ships did away with hypothetical years ago. A planned, but never executed variant or even a totally fictional watercraft, goes into the category it would otherwise belong to 

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Jim, I was a little embarrassed when I read your post and realized that I had suggested that there were still ships in the Hypothetical category. Thank you for setting me straight. More importantly, you bring out that there is already precedent for moving hypotheticals into their appropriate regular category. Thank you for pointing this out. 

Regards, Nick

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The problem still exists with cars, tanks and aircraft which are the predominant participants in hypothetical.  Unlike models competing against each other is to me a bigger problem then if they were back in the regular category or in their own hypothetical category within their respective class. 

 

Jim

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15 hours ago, Nick Filippone said:

Jim, I was a little embarrassed when I read your post and realized that I had suggested that there were still ships in the Hypothetical category. Thank you for setting me straight. More importantly, you bring out that there is already precedent for moving hypotheticals into their appropriate regular category. Thank you for pointing this out. 

Regards, Nick

No need to be embarrassed, most people don't know about  that little quirk of ours.

The point was that there has been a precedent for eliminating hypothetical for several years now. My favorite hypothetical that got by the judges was a purple Braniff L-1011 about 15-20 years ago, a beautifully done Hasegawa kit that should have been moved.

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