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Accuracy or Craftmanship


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I have been working on a 1/35th Tamiya Char B1 bis and while researching it, I found that a number of model builders put the exhausts on upside down. This illustrates the problem model judges face. Is this a craftmanship issue, or an accuracy issue. We don't want to judge accuracy, but with the exhaust tuned downward, the part is technically misaligned. But how many will know this? How critical is it to the overall model? Would something similar be ignored on another type of model? It would be easy if all the models were the same, but when they are all different types, it gets tricky. Craftmanship or accuracy, or both?

It is easy for people who never judge to criticize those who do judge as too picky, when they don't have to make the decision.

Dak

exhaust 1.jpg

exhaust 2.jpg

exhaust 3.jpg

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Fit and finish.  If there are no gaps, or reasonable gaps (as in it looks as if they were designed to be there and are symmetrical), move on.  Every judge in the group won't posses the same knowledge, so how many would pick up on this error without doing the same research you did?

Sometimes judges get lost in the weeds.  If it looks the part, give the modeler the benefit of the doubt and move along.

Ralph

 

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But Ralph, are you saying you would accept parts going the wrong direction on an airplane? Or even a wrong part——day Spitfire exhausts on a P-51 or 109? At what point do we draw the line? 

In a contest, these models might still do quite well compared to others in the category. 
 

But you see my point about the reactions of non-judges. Some would argue that the judges were stupid for ignoring the wrong part while others would scream about us being too critical.

Dak

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This is a question that has always bothered me. When is an accuracy mistake so egregious that it becomes a craftsmanship error?  Or worse, some errors could be one or the other, depending on who is evaluating it. If the builder who installed the exhausts up side down because he honestly thought it was the right way, it’s an accuracy mistake. But if he had the instructions in front of him, and did it wrong anyway, it is a craftsmanship error. How is the judge to know? Some mistakes, even honest ones, are too obvious and to outrageous for a judge to allow- like a model photo posted on this Forum a few years ago, during this very discussion, of a P-40 with the wheels inside of the main landing gear struts instead of outside. That is just too hard a “mistake “ to make and reflects work too carelessly done on a very well known and easily referenced aircraft- even if he or she did not have the instructions in front of him or her, which is not likely. 
 

In the end, on Judgement er, judging day, the builder is throwing him or herself on the mercy of that judging team. This is such a grey area with no clear policy or answer-how could there be? I guess the builder better hope those judges are in a forgiving mood. At the very least, depending on the seriousness of the error, if spotted, it is likely to be “points off.”
 

Nick Filippone, Senior National Judge

 

 

 

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That is a tough one to answer.  At one Nats a first place car had a beautiful finish, but an auto modeler friend harshly criticized it because it had a different engine fitted.  I would have never noticed.

Regarding the Char Bis example, it never would have occurred to me to install the exhaust tips that way.  But that is because I know what a Char Bis looks like.  But if someone put F-15C wheels on an F-15E, I would miss it.

One backwards installation I have seen several times involved the German WW II Fritz X glide bomb’s main wings.  I guess it is easy to mix up fore/aft orientation.  But if you knew what the Fritz X looked like, you would notice.

So it all boils down to what the judges know, which for all practical purposes, cannot be 100%.  So it falls back to craftsmanship for judging.  My 5 cents.

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Interesting topic.  I would speculate that this is why we expect the judging team to have a modicum of knowledge on the subject. The example of the P-40 would jump out at most aircraft builders.  This is a much easier question for OOB in that the instructions are on the table with the model and if the instructions say it goes together a certain way and it is not that way, then bigtime ding city. 

In other categories, particularly armor, aircraft and cars, there is now so much information on the internet, I would bet you could find a restored tank somewhere with them on upside down. Particularly if it is kept in an outdoor environment.  Rain water accumulating in the exhaust would cause corrosion.  Turning them over would be an easy conservation technique. 

 So without an instruction sheet, it becomes difficult to make a definitive call.  Since we are not in the business of requiring documentation on every model, then the benefit of the doubt should fall to the builder on finer details such as this.  Extensive experience by a judge should not  be a detriment to the builder.  To someone who is not well versed in that tank, those exhausts look like a highly skilled model builders work. 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting replies. As you can see, this is why those who don’t judge have it easy. They can fixate on one model and wax poetic about its good or bad point and how the judges were blind or over critical. They rarely get down at eye level with all the entries and compare them. 
 

Also, this shows the advantages of our system. Several judges reaching a consensus. And as a group, the information base is increased which aids in making decisions. 

Dak

Edited by Dakimbrell
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Well, since they are in the instructions that way, how many judges would know that to build it right, is to build it wrong?

Screenshot_20210627-161729_Chrome.jpg

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I guess it depends on which version you are building. I'm working on the German version. But this isn't really about the B1 bis as much as about judging problems.

Dak

IMG_6087.jpg

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23 hours ago, Dakimbrell said:

But Ralph, are you saying you would accept parts going the wrong direction on an airplane? Or even a wrong part——day Spitfire exhausts on a P-51 or 109? At what point do we draw the line? 

In a contest, these models might still do quite well compared to others in the category. 
 

But you see my point about the reactions of non-judges. Some would argue that the judges were stupid for ignoring the wrong part while others would scream about us being too critical.

Dak

I guess I'm weird that way, but yes, I would probably ignore the positioning error as long as the fit and finish is consistent with the rest of the model.  I've judged a few P-51's with the main landing gear doors on the wrong side, but there were no glue uglies or parting lines, so I let it be.  Here is where some sort of feedback would help the modeler, because I would wager that 99% if instances like this, the modeler has no clue the parts have been assembled incorrectly.

I've always been told that we (IPMS/USA) don't judge accuracy--and the same holds for most other modeling organizations, too.  I haven't judged an IPMS contest in a few years, but at last check the emphasis was still on build quality--how well did the modeler address the molding flaws, construction flaws, finish flaws, and alignment (my "straight, square, plumb, fit, and finish" mantra)?  Even if some of the bits are installed backwards, if the fit and finish is consistent with the rest of the model, nine times out of ten most judges don't catch it.

 

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I have never gotten any significant feed back from judge’s notes. Usually, they miss the real flaws and pick some point where they are actually mistaken and I was correct. It has gotten so bad, that I really don’t want to know what the judges think. Give me an award or don’t, but don’t lecture me on what you thought was right or not.
 

Personally, I think the Saturday morning after action judge table is more helpful to people. Being able to talk directly with some of the judges and have them look at a particular model is better than impersonal notes on a paper.

There is a fine line between accuracy and craftsmanship. That is why we need a group of judges working together and why those who never judge will never understand the problems we face as judges.

Dak

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23 hours ago, Dakimbrell said:

I guess it depends on which version you are building. 

Perhaps they fixed it, my old one was the original release.

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OK....I'll just sacrifice myself here for this one......

While most people here seem to think this is a significant problem, I don't see it that way. Nick actually hit the nail on the head when he asked: Is the mistake egregious?

And here's where I let the bus roll right over ME.....if and when a builder makes such a HUGE mistake, he is liable NO MATTER the craftsmanship of the build. Here's what I mean....

1448674648_CollectaireE-2CHawkeye.thumb.JPG.15ae1efb24600f94ee25e9d6420fa93d.JPG

I didn't spot the problem until I tried to apply decals....and I decided NOT to correct the problem! Why? It was going on my shelf anyway, the alignment was PERFECT (great craftsmanship! 😉 ), and I would have had to literally break them off (resin parts, epoxied in place!) If ever I DID take this to ANY contest, and the judges noticed it (and it's surprising how many don't!), it's on ME because I wasn't paying close enough attention to a MAJOR assembly.

Now, that said, the initial example of the exhausts pointing the wrong way is NOT an egregious error, and in fact, in the light of incorrect instructions, is NOT a mistake at all! And this is more common than many people think....I built a 1/48 F-18G Growler a couple of years ago and the instructions would have had you mount the wingtip jamming pods upside down AND too far back! It was more luck than diligence on my part that helped me catch it.

Many of we judges have caught models with the wing star on upside down; and the model has suffered in judging accordingly. On the other hand, I've also seen a WINNER or two with that mistake when the judges failed to catch it at all...but the craftsmanship justified it's award otherwise. THE JUDGES WERE CORRECT IN BOTH INSTANCES.

In the end, we're human! Judges will catch some things and miss others. It can be somewhat embarrassing for all 3 judges to miss something others THINK is egregious, but at the same time, the only true judging problem is if any decision was made in a dishonest manner.

 

GIL :cool:

 

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Gil,

Like many you missed the point. I was not trying to show a major problem, but in part discuss the thin line between accuracy and craftsmanship. 

Also, I was hoping to illustrate the problem many judges face as well as how many grinches focus on a small detail to “prove” how fickle IPMS judges are.

As it turned out, additional information shows that there is some variation in the Char B1bis exhausts.

The free range system IPMS uses allows a free flow of information and that is what makes it such a good system. It has a wonderful redundancy which generally works well.

In the end, how “good” or “bad” an entry is depends on your personal interest in the subject. 
 

Dak

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No.....as usual, you ignore everyone's answer that what YOU think is important, is not; and continue to argue the point.

You've had at least 2 (or more) national judges with over 20yrs experience tell you that your example is just a part of judging, and we cannot always tell which way to go, or catch everything, or always be right.

When YOU judge, feel free to try to solve this dilemma in a way that satisfies you, as none of us can do so.

 

Gil

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17 hours ago, Dakimbrell said:

There is a fine line between accuracy and craftsmanship.

What you call a "fine line" exists only because YOU drew it.  Read the CH:  We.  Don't.  Judge.  Accuracy.

If the work is "seamless" and consistent with the rest of the work, and you go looking for perceived errors in configuration and placement, you enter the realm of trying to judge accuracy.  And you become, by your actions, a "rivet counting" nitpicker, exactly what the modeling organizations have worked hard over the years to avoid.

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God is in the details, but if you do it well enough, no one will think you did anything at all.

Of course the line is thin between accuracy and craftmanship, and it moves depending on the category, number of entries and the opinion of the judges. We decry being too picky, but give the highest praise to those who achieve both accuracy and excellent craftsmanship. A model with a mispositioned part by itself is a minor thing. In a category with three entries, it becomes more critical for the judges. In a category of ten models it may mean the model doesn't place.

I chose the tank exhaust as a concrete example of a visible point where the two concepts collide. As it turned out, it became an excellent example of why we cannot judge accuracy. James Corley showed that depending on which version---French or German--- the instructions show different positioning.

If you carefully read my opening post, you will see, I am am pointing out how things like this are difficult for judges to deal with. A limited amount of information is why we don't judge accuracy. It is also why we employ multiple judges and have the head judges check what and why winners are chosen.

It also serves to illustrate why many who grinch about the judging are wrong to do so. Two kits of the same model with two different, but correct positions. With out a doubt there will be someone who insists the tank shouldn't have placed because something was clearly wrong! At least based on their information, which is incomplete.

However, it is also true many who will accept something as trivial on one type of model will then be very upset when they see it on their personal favorites. I cite as an example, the guy (in 1979) who told me a Panther tank with an open hatch was an "open topped vehicle", but an F-4 Phantom with an open canopy was not an "open cockpit airplane".

Dak

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Gil, Ok! You got me. I have stared at the photo of the E-2 and I will be darned if I can see the error. It does appear you did a beautiful job on the model. I have looked at multiple photos of the real aircraft and I still can’t find your mistake. If you were intentionally trying to make your point about experienced judges perhaps not seeing an error, you have at least made me look silly 😜. Can you please tell me what the problem is so I can sleep tonight? Lol🤔 Thanks. Nick

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It’s the wrong color grey. 😛 And the incorrect color red for the stripes. 🤪EVERYONE knows that shade of red was not used until 2010. And the tires aren’t bulged properly.😝

Dak

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6 hours ago, Nick Filippone said:

Gil, Ok! You got me. I have stared at the photo of the E-2 and I will be darned if I can see the error. It does appear you did a beautiful job on the model. I have looked at multiple photos of the real aircraft and I still can’t find your mistake. If you were intentionally trying to make your point about experienced judges perhaps not seeing an error, you have at least made me look silly 😜. Can you please tell me what the problem is so I can sleep tonight? Lol🤔 Thanks. Nick

Take a good look at the vertical stabilizers. The only reason I know is because Gil is one of at least two people I know who have done this and divulged it.

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I concede that I looked at the vertical stabilizers but could not tell, not being a more head on view, if they were not angled enough to be correct. Thanks. Nick

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Based on a photo of the real thing they are upside down. The long segment should be down. 
 

This backs up my opinion. The part is misaligned or improperly positioned. Accuracy or bad craftsmanship? Or both? A fine line. But how many would know right off? But from now on, it will be the first thing we look at on a Hawkeye model. 

The model looks fine, and in a light category could still place. In a heavy category the upside down parts would  probably bump the model, if someone caught the problem. 

Still, someone who didn’t judge will bitch about how stupid or picky the judges were.

Dak

C61F8751-7A0E-4C54-AD31-9A38B20D5E2F.jpeg

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Yep.....UPSIDE DOWN! And don't feel bad Nick....if I don't mention and put it on a table it's VERY seldom commented on. Personally, I blame it on a lack of alcohol that night....😉

 

GIL :cool:

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Oh, yes. I will admit that I did not and, judging it, probably would not have picked up the fact that the end vertical stabilizers and rudders are up side down. But, as Dak said, “ if someone caught the problem” might be the difference in placing or not. It might serve as a tie breaker, depending on the competition. 
Modelers and judges are only human…..aren’t they? 
 

Nick

 

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