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I see that the word "cheap" has been used in the sense that it is a flimsy plastic tchotchke.  The medals we use are quality die-struck metals with an enameled front.  They have heft, and they serve the purpose of recognizing the category winners--which is the object of the exercise. 

Using your award numbers, and the cost per medal of the last order I placed:

603 awards X $2.85= $1718.55 for the category medals (1-2-3 in each category).

Color sublimated plaques--about the cheapest non-generic thing going--run between $6 and $8 each at our local trophy shop.  I'll use the lesser figure...

603 awards X $6 = $3,618 for the category plaques (1-2-3 in each category).

And if you don't have three models in a given category or if the host even has a 1% or 2% overage, you have awards that go unused.  What do you do with the left-overs?

A generic medal can be put back into the box and passed on to the next show.  The color-sub plaques are stuffed in a box and stored, never to be seen again.  If you can convince the trophy shop to take them back so they can re-use the plaques, fine, but they aren't going to refund any of your money.  And if you purchased laser engraved acrylics or some other elaborate award for the general category winners, you are stuck with them.

Why is this concept so difficult to embrace?    Spend the big bucks on the awards you know will be given--Class awards, Theme awards, Special awards, Best of Show awards, etc.  For the entrant, what do you do if you want one of those Big Shinys?  Simple--Build a better model.  (Of course, this gets on the subject of "How do I do that?", and IPMS/USA has no real answer to that question other than to say "Build a better model"...) 

Of course, could it be that some don't like medals because someone might mistake a contest that uses medals for awards as a show that uses an Open Judging system?  I can hear the argument now...

"I don't want to go to that contest!  They use medals, they must be some of them Pinko Commie Open Judging subversives!  We're 'Muricans, dammit!  We wants us some real winners, not them pansy 'ticipation awards y'all hand out to ever'one!"

To answer the other question, "What's the point?"

What's the point in competition to begin with--especially on something we supposedly do as a pastime?

Somewhere in the primordial days of IPMS, it was decided that a model exhibition would be a fun way to get together.  And hey, a friendly competition might be a good thing.  Oh, and maybe we'll give out trophies to the models a group of peers deems to be "good".  Somewhere along the line that concept got perverted into this Win At All Costs, "You ain't a 'real' modeler until you win at the National Convention", vision that far too many modelers these days hold in their noggins.

As I asked someone, are you seeing these simply as a token recognizing your effort, or are you redecorating your home and trying to make sure your model awards don't clash?

As I said, we put far too much emphasis on the award itself instead of what it (supposedly) represents...

What's the point, indeed...

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What"s the point in entering a contest where if I am judged good enough to receive the same ol award. BORING!!! You may not care about what awards look like but I don't need a bunch of generic cheap awards sitting in my case that I can't tell one from the other and when they were awarded. When we did medallion's in 2018 we and a small handful left over and thank goodness we did because we had to replace 12 that were stolen off the tables they were so popular. Vegas had more models on the tables than we did so I would venture to say they probably had less awards left over if any then we did in 18. 

Your arguments about it being a win at all cost are hype. And you haven't answered my question about what qualifies someone to "GRADE" my model. Are they an expert or something? You don't need that qualification now because judges are comparing flaws from one model to another and again not picking out what they like or inspires them like happens in Open/GSB. Also who is going to store these generic awards and haul them around from year to year?

DAK you stated>  Somewhere along the line that concept got perverted into this Win At All Costs, "You ain't a 'real' modeler until you win at the National Convention", vision that far too many modelers these days hold in their noggins.

Where do you get off making that assumption? That's nothing but hype to push your agenda. I see this argument being made all the time and NEVER see it. Maybe, just maybe because it is just like the premoridial days of IPMS where we get together and have a friendly competition.

 

Jim Clar

Edited by JClark
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Curious.  Since you seem to be addressing my comments but attributing them to others, allow me to retort:

1.  I never made any assertions about judging qualifications in this thread.  Frankly, I'm over beating the judging dead horse--I have purposely avoided the judging question of late, simply because my opinion differs from the "Because we said so!" and "We've always done it this way!" attitude of the NCC. 
2.  I replied to a comment on a way for IPMS/USA to reduce their ever-expanding awards budget.  Simple category awards, purchased in bulk, save money BECAUSE they can be re-used.  Spend the big money on the Class, Special, Theme, and Best in Show awards.
3.  When I personally witness one man threatening to "beat seven shades of s***" out of a Head Judge at a show, I can make the comments I do about "Win at All Costs".  When I see it at multiple shows, that means there is a pattern of this bad behavior. 

And yes, Jim, there are modelers in the world who look down their noses at people who have not won at the Nationals, whether you want to see them or not.

You and I will NEVER agree on competition.  Let us just leave it at that, shall we?  As you keep saying, "What's the point?"

With that, I'm done with this thread.  Have a nice day.

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As a nation, we are a competitive lot, or perhaps you guys missed the Super Bowl.

I just think medallions are classier than bowling trophies. They offer many advantages even if each one is unique to a particular show.

I have found there is more of a “we want to have a contest of our own “ mentality than anything else. Every chapter that puts on its own local contest hurts us by diluting the resources for contests. No one wants to work together to do a decent regional. 
 

Dak

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For your information, Dak, the members of my chapter are working together to organize what will be much more than a “decent regional!” IPMS Northeast New York will celebrate the 50th anniversary, not only of Region One’s first Regional but IPMS/USA’s first Regional. Noreastcon@50 on 29 and 30 April, 2022 in Latham, New York (near Albany) will put the lie to yet another of your sweeping generalizations. “No one” Dak? Consider getting your facts straight before disparaging every member of IPMS/USA! Nick 

 

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Having gone back and read through this string, I have some observations:

1. We like contests. They will continue to be the main draw of the National convention. However, there are some people who are obsessed with an established ranking of the winners.

2. Judging will continue to become more difficult as the number of entries increase. In theory, the number could eventually reach a quantity we cannot judge in the time available.

3. The line between accuracy and craftmanship is often hard to see. There are numerous situations where the judges clearly based their opinion on what they thought was accuracy.

4. While choosing winners based on what we like is more the fact than the exception and really isn't all that bad a concept. Just because it is the one "I LIKE BEST" doesn't mean it isn't the best crafted.

5. While many ask "what is wrong with my model?" most really want to ask "why did the other model win!".

6. Any discussion of winning models will always be hampered by the social convention of not discussing other people's models, particularly if they won an award you thought they should not have gotten.

7. While the Saturday morning critique table is fun, it also may undermine the judging if the individual is one who won.

Dak

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3 minutes ago, Nick Filippone said:

Consider getting your facts straight before disparaging every member of IPMS/USA!

Nick,

We always talk general terms. Getting too specific often leads off topic.

Dak

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Ralph

         To bad you're done with the thread because I was not talking about any of your posts, I was replying to DAK... I thought that was fairly obvious when i quoted him in my post, but I guess not. As for ever increasing awards costs how does that apply when we have a fixed amount of awards every years that hasn't changed in how many years now? What has more to do with costs is what the local decides to do for the national show. You may like to receive re-treaded awards year in and year out but I would venture to say most do not.

   As for bad behavior, well humans are>  "Insert favorite adjective here _____" ... I've never seen it in the past 25 Nationals I've been to. Local shows? well all bets are off. 

 

 To Dak

   > While choosing winners based on what we like is more the fact than the exception and really isn't all that bad a concept. Just because it is the one "I LIKE BEST" doesn't mean it isn't the best crafted. 

     Then those judges are doing it wrong. Period, no where in the guidelines we use does it allow for us to be bias and pick what we like, again how is any entrant supposed to know what a judge likes and how do they build toward that goal? they can't thus it's unfair ... So to answer your statement > Just because it is the one "I LIKE BEST" doesn't mean it isn't the best crafted. I say it isn't the best one because you have already allowed bias into your decision making process so there is no way to tell if it truly is the best one because you are bias and we have no time for bias in our judging.

  >  While many ask "what is wrong with my model?" most really want to ask "why did the other model win!".

  True! but in your case you can simply tell them you didn't like it, since you favor biased judging. I want to see how that one goes over...

Judging will continue to become more difficult as the number of entries increase. In theory, the number could eventually reach a quantity we cannot judge in the time available

   Well then we must be doing something right to keep getting the attendance we are getting. So yeah let's toss it out the window and do something completely different... How does that make any sense at all ??? You run the real risk of ruining everything that's been built and killing attendance thus any money that's made or now lost. I assure you IPMS can't afford to many National contest/convention failures.

We like contests. They will continue to be the main draw of the National convention. However, there are some people who are obsessed with an established ranking of the winners.

   Well DAK that's what a contest is. Ranking of winners. It's not a grading at an exposition, 2 vastly different things....

> The line between accuracy and craftmanship is often hard to see. There are numerous situations where the judges clearly based their opinion on what they thought was accuracy.

Not really, Things have to be straight, there is mechanical accuracy that have to be accounted for. Example I had a category this year with 19 entrants all of which had crooked gear except for one. A basic issue but somehow some people think these models need more recognition ? So lets trash our current system, and now allow for more awards and recognition  but yet we can't get by a first cut since all have basic issues that are wrong. So yeah lets just toss out basics, look for awesome paints jobs (Which many have advocated for) and award the ones we "Like" .... Seriously ?  No Thanks, I'll pass...

 

Jim

 

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6 hours ago, Ralph Nardone said:


3.  When I personally witness one man threatening to "beat seven shades of s***" out of a Head Judge at a show, I can make the comments I do about "Win at All Costs".  When I see it at multiple shows, that means there is a pattern of this bad behavior. 

I've never seen threats of physical violence at a national, but I have seen boorish behavior from sore losers. One was described to me as acting like "a monkey with Tourettes" (I think it was at Columbia 2016) and thought it was an apt description! I have seen many guys get upset that their particular masterpiece lost out to "home cooking" and swear they'd never go back ... and then I see them re-enact said display the next year.

We have attendees (not all of them are members) that are WAY too competitive,  and I honestly think they are not good for IPMS in the long run. I do wonder if their outbursts drive off first timers.

Edited by jcorley
Grammar
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8 hours ago, JClark said:

DAK you stated>  Somewhere along the line that concept got perverted into this Win At All Costs, "You ain't a 'real' modeler until you win at the National Convention", vision that far too many modelers these days hold in their noggins.

Jim,

I never said this, or anything like it. In fact, I have serious doubts I said it in any string at any time. Additionally, you seem to be reading more into what I wrote in other posts than is really there. For example, you seem to think my #2 remark was a criticism. It was not, it was merely---and nothing more---an observation about something unavoidable we will need to deal with. For some reason, you seem to be taking this extremely personally and are getting a bit insulting.

By the rules, we must give out all awards, correct? Also, we must pick the winners from what is entered, not based on some standard, correct? We also must give benefit of the doubt to the builder regarding detail accuracy, correct?  Then that means a model with glue spots, seams, and other major craftsmanship flaws can win a first place award under the right conditions. (i.e. low entry count in a category) It would also mean a Korean War P-51D with a neat seam on the top engine cowling and WWI bombs could be a winner, correct? All the tedious work of the judges is not going to change this. When you talk about this being a competition, I agree, and I never said it was anything else.

What is good craftmanship varies from one genre to another. Alignment? On some Sci Fi that is a pointless question. The car guys tend to look at finish first, and second before moving to other things. Aircraft guys don't like seams even when they are genuine.

I am in no way saying we should trash the current system. I am saying basically competent judges USING THE GENERAL GUIDELINES can pick winning models without spending hours agonizing over whether something is improperly aligned, or questioning whether something is a glue spot or suppose to be fluid spilled on the floor. (We actually had this very problem in Figure Dioramas this year.)

Bad behavior at the Nationals, I have seen it. One year, a well known individual began pontificating loudly about my friends model tank having the wrong road wheels. My friend had done the model based on a tank actually in service with another friend who was also in attendance. Long and short, the well known person started calling them both liars.

At another event--a regional-- a guy through his award on the floor and stormed out because it wasn't what he thought he deserved. Something similar may have occurred at the 2003 National.

Dak

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The Las Vegas event was fantastic. One very organized event. I do not know how one could even judge the event as all the builds were great. But someone has to win. My hats off to those who spent the time and great effort judging. I was very pleased with the results in all of my entries. Did I take first? No .. but did not throw a fit over it. I learn and just try harder. Great event , great judging. Great time and thanks to all involved. Good job guys and gals. I will try to be at the next nationals. Thank you for a fantastic event! 

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So Dak

      3 runners show up, run a race and 3 cross the line.No records broken but they finish. So according to you if none of them meet a supposed "standard" none get awarded? That's the point, there is no standard in a competition. Each contest against each other, NOT a standard, that's why it's a competition.... it's the most fair and un bias way to do what we do. Do anything other than that and you open the door to bias. 

   And you are correct,  I miss quoted you and quoted Ralph.

 

Jim

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Sore losers!    Don't we all just love them.  NOT!

If someone feels bad enough about losing to threaten a head judge, or throw a trophy to the floor like a spoilt brat in a fit of anger because they are convinced that their model should have been judged better, then they have no place in IPMS. Judges are damned if they do and damned if they don't unfortunately by those sort of people. Fortunately they are in a very small minority and IPMS would not suffer if they simply walked away from the society. 

The vast majority take losing with a bit of dignity it has to be said. There are many who support the contest year on year never win anything and never grumble. Without those competitors the competition tables would be a sorry sight. Most of them take the view that their models are being shown at a prestigious event in the model making world. It is those modest guys who pay their subs and contribute to the society and the nationals by entering  regardless  of whether they win of not that keep the society flourishing at grass roots level.

This society like others has very competitive individuals at top level. Fortunately most of those top modellers however are quite approachable and only too willing to share tips and techniques with others enabling them to develop their skills too.

 

 

Edited by noelsmith
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Jim Clark, 

A race has a winner or winners because some are physically faster than others. This applies to many things. However, model building is creative. Even just doing OOB, the builder has to make multiple decisions on how to make the model look appealing. Which is a better model, a Bf-109G6, a Fw-190D-9, a A6M5, or a P-51D? All four are Tamiya 1/48 kits and built by very good modelers. Pick only 3 and put the those in a descending order of quality. This is the problem faced by IPMS judges every year.

I see you acknowledge I did not make the earlier remarks, but don’t actually apologize for slandering me twice. You seem to be making this whole discussion extremely personal.

I only made a suggestion and I have explained my idea repeatedly and also said—as I do now—there would need to be some additional changes, but otherwise the judging methodology would remain the same. I have also said I don’t expect the current setup to be changed. Yet, you continue to harp on the idea.

While I have thought my idea out in some detail, I see no reason to write out 15 paragraphs in this forum and bore everyone to death.

IPMS has a reputation as a bunch of sanctimonious nit pickers because we try to be as fair as possible. That after all these years, we still have “oddities” and complaints crop up every year, shows me we are missing something in how we do things. So, review and reflection seems to be a proper thing to do. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.

Dak

Edited by Dakimbrell
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DAK

    What you see as a problem I see as an opportunity to fair adjudicate a contest. It's not a problem..

    Change the system and guess what, you'll still have complainers and people calling us elitists . The way we do things works, works well as is evident in participation and is as fair as it can be.. Change it as you suggest and we run the real risk of ruining the National event.. So yes. that's why I'm defensive about what we do and defend it against "ideas" based on "feelings" and preconceived notions. There isn't a need to change. I'm all for change if needed but it's not here. 

 

Jim

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Guys,

I think this thread is now getting a bit wearing.

Hopefully we all agree that judges give up a lot of their own time to adjudicate and do the job to the best of their ability. We should be thankful for those folk taking the task on.

Debating about contests, classes, trophies, judging and so forth can go on ad infinitum, and this thread appears to be testament to this.

Judges feedback. The idea in principle is good, but I fear that it can lead to judges setting themselves up for face to face confrontation with an aggrieved contestant.

You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time.

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Darn those specifics! They always annoyingly get in the way of what one of my teachers called ‘ hasty generalizations.’

Some prefer heat. I prefer light.

Nick

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3 hours ago, noelsmith said:

Judges feedback. The idea in principle is good, but I fear that it can lead to judges setting themselves up for face to face confrontation with an aggrieved contestant.

AS I said, I was up on Saturday morning both in Chattanooga and Las Vegas. I generally enjoyed the experience, and found most of the people to be positive. However, it has made me wonder if it actually undermines the judging when a number of these people win awards. Unless you specifically judged the category, your opinions may not match what happened.

Dak

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5 hours ago, JClark said:

What you see as a problem I see as an opportunity to fair adjudicate a contest. It's not a problem..

Jim,

Of course you see the system as fine. You are in a position of authority and such people are rarely ready to admit there may be a better way to do things. Next, you throw out the specter of "ruining the National Convention" to instill more fear of change. I have not said we need to change things now. I merely put my ideas out as food for thought because things do change and we need to have some ideas where the problems may develop and have some possible answers at hand. (Acting, not re-acting.) Rather than ask for more details or explanation---even through a private message, all you have really done was belittle and stone wall the subject.

I would also point out, it was rigidity to change which created AMPS, in the 1980s, when IPMS was so areocentric they refused to listen to the armor guys, who then went and started an entirely new group which has syphoned off members, money, and attendees from the IPMS National.

I also note you just ignored the the problems I brought up. (Which have been on going for decades.) You also haven't apologized for slandering me.

Dak

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2 hours ago, Nick Filippone said:

Some prefer heat. I prefer light.

For several years, I have tried to pull together various groups to do one show rather than five or six. Make it a better draw for the vendors. However, the idea has been repeatedly rebuffed for a variety of reasons. Of course, the pandemic has screwed things up the past couple years and the dust has not yet settled. You are fortunate to live in an area where multiple groups are willing to work together. Good luck with it.

Dak

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Dak> 

Of course you see the system as fine. You are in a position of authority and such people are rarely ready to admit there may be a better way to do things. Next, you throw out the specter of "ruining the National Convention" to instill more fear of change. I have not said we need to change things now. I merely put my ideas out as food for thought because things do change and we need to have some ideas where the problems may develop and have some possible answers at hand. (Acting, not re-acting.) Rather than ask for more details or explanation---even through a private message, all you have really done was belittle and stone wall the subject.

I would also point out, it was rigidity to change which created AMPS, in the 1980s, when IPMS was so areocentric they refused to listen to the armor guys, who then went and started an entirely new group which has syphoned off members, money, and attendees from the IPMS National.

I also note you just ignored the the problems I brought up. (Which have been on going for decades.) You also haven't apologized for slandering me.

 

     First off I'm not in a position of any authority it's much more an administrative position and I have only done this job for one year. But I do have experience in the system of many years. The GSB arguments are nothing new, Back in 2004 at the National this was talked about so it's far from nothing new and all the points you brings up were brought up back then. As for ruining it you and other don't' realize the amount of people that will leave IPMS if a change is made. We have talked about this before. How do you grow the society by doing something that will make people leave it? So the new ideas aren't really that. Those are facts and no belittling is occuring. Just rehashing history...Actually AMPS firsat year was 93 and yes it was born out of IPMS's reluctance to change. SO what? Good for them for starting thier own thing. I admire that kind of drive and attitude. If you don't like something, don't try and change it start something new. They wanted to be more like all the rest of the shows in Europe using the open system. Why should IPMS do like all the rest? why can't we offer something different ? You say I belittle but then you use words like  "IMPS being s so aerocentric" IPMS has always been the one show that welcomes everyone. It's not IPMS's fault if aircraft is popular. And who says they didn't listen? just because they didn't enthusiastically embrace the idea? And when you say it "Has" syphoned member's, well I see a lot of APMS guys year in and year out at the National so AGAIN how bad is IPMS? that they attend our show, set up stands, and enter the competition. So I'm not buying that...What problems have been going on for decades, I've been in for decades and I don't see the problems you see so are they really problems or jut issues you don't like? And for the slander , well please point out where I supposedly did that. I admitted to the mis-quote but Slander????

 

Jim

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1 hour ago, JClark said:

As for ruining it you and other don't' realize the amount of people that will leave IPMS if a change is made.

Jim,

Nonsense. We have had change in the past and I have heard this silly argument, year, after year. Yes, you undoubtedly would lose some people, but we probably lost a few members from the diorama rule change in 2012. But in mass, where would they go? That AMPS members attend the IPMS events, proves that no one will abandon IPMS in such numbers as to wreck the Society. This is just one of the myths often played to scare people.

But we probably lose some people because some have felt we are too picky and some because we don't reward accuracy better. I have no doubt we may have lost a member for having a convention in Sin City. I know for a fact, we have lost members because they did not win an award when they thought they should have.

And at any rate, I repeat, I am not advocating any change right now. I am not in favor of a GSB system, although I do favor giving more than three awards per category. (None of my ideas involve GSB. Nor do I advocate point based systems.) I like the free range system we use now and would like to see it made easier on the judges. Any major change should be clearly discussed with the membership, anyway.

I am a member of IPMS because it is multifaceted and not a member of AMPS because they are armor only. When I say aerocentric, this is what I mean: Around 1980, there were a number of rules created which were made for armor by aircraft guys. For example, a tank with an open hatch was considered an open topped AFV. When it was suggested, by that reasoning, an F-4Phantom with an open canopy should then be considered and open cockpit airplane, the aircraft guys said we were crazy and stupid. The point being they were completely unable to see it from our perspective. (Note: AMPS was started in the 90s, but it had been preceded by AMS the Armor Modelers Society which was formed in the mid 80s.)

One should be able to consider an idea without embracing it. The free exchange of ideas often leads to enlightenment and compromises which may build a better structure. However, one should refrain from turning custom into dogma which is what I think you have done.

No problems? Sure.

As for slander, perhaps that is too strong a word, but you have yet to apologize. Yes, you said you made a mistake, but not once have you simply said "I'm sorry". That is bad manners where I come from and a suggestion you really don't think you were wrong.

Dak

 

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Guys, some of the posts in this thread are getting a bit fractious.

Maybe this thread has run its course now and the arguments are becoming a bit repetitive.

Some of these replies must be eating away at a lot of modelling time!

Why not just agree to differ and move on.

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Specifically on the topic of feedback from the judges on the entry sheet, I have never found it useful, personally. In most cases, the judges seemed to focus on a element that was done based on documentation and missed completely something I saw as a problem.

I once had a judge tell me I had done a bunch of stuff wrong, even though I had provided pictures documenting what I did.

So now days, I really would just know whether I win or lose and not get a critique of the work.

Dak
 

 

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Jim and Dak,

I love the passion that you both have for the hobby. 

Jim, you state that we should be judging on what the best crafted model is. I agree. How do we do that. Yes, the easy way is alignment because it can be measured. I get your point of view. What I think you fail to realize is that what the majority would differ considerably. No one buys a magazine because "wow, look at that alignment."  Yes, it can be hard to judge based on likes. Keep in mind that it is not being judged by one person but generally 3. What if that was expanded? The problem I see with the way things are is that winning an award at IPMS means less than being "judged" by other contestants that come by and tell me what they liked about it. Some in the hobby may see a great reward from a perfectly constructed model, but the hobby means different things to others. This also comes to the awards. Cool looking awards are a lure but there is more to the value. Do Olympians have more motivation based on the look or scrap value of the metals?

I also like how you see success as number of entries in the contest. That may be one way of looking at it. Have we looked at other goals other than sheer entries? Number of new members? Number of Juniors? Satisfaction from surveys? It just comes off as the one cable company in town thinking that they are doing well because the sales figures are doing fine. 

You may say that your role is an administrative role but you have an elected title. You also set the direction for how the rule book is interpreted. You also represent the organization in these forums and social media. 

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