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Why were dioramas eliminated as a class?


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Dioramas: The Dioramas Class has been reorganized - all Diorama categories have been moved to their respective model-subject classes. (All aircraft dioramas are now in the Aircraft Class, all automotive dioramas are now in the Automotive Class, etc.) No other changes have been made to the quantity or definition of the Diorama categories. Some class or category numbers have been changed to accommodate this realignment. Per Rule IV-1D, Vignette (Small Composition) includes a single vehicle and/or no more than 5 figures; Diorama (Large Composition) includes more than one vehicle and/or more than 5 figures.

Dioramas seem to be increasing in numbers the past twelve years, so I have to ask why it was decided to eliminate them as a full and separate class. Is their contest placement going to be mixed in with the other categories of the respective class? As presented, it doesn't make sense to me. Looking for information before I go into a rage and begin tearing my shirt and overturning tables.

Dak

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Tearing your shirt and overturning tables would be a useless overreaction.

You have answered your own question.  If you look at the published category list ( and the section you quoted) you will see that every diorama/vignette that previously existed in Dioramas is now within that class.

Rick

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So, we can assume the dioramas and vignettes will now be displayed throughout the contest room and not in one area as a class.

Still, this does not answer the question why so many entries which seem to be increasing are now downgraded. Why is it BETTER to eliminate a diorama class? Is everyone afraid they are distracting from all the other models? This reminds me of the way armor was treated in the eighties which resulted in the creation of AMPS.

As a hardcore diorama guy, I don't understand the idea am asking why we go from a separate class to a sub-category of a class.

Dak

 

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Not being privy to all the discussions, I would venture an uninformed guess that by putting an aircraft diorama, say, in with the other aircraft it would have aircraft judges judging the aircraft. Same for mil.veh, etc. I know there are other aspects of a diorama to be judged, but those, such as theme, story, composition, etc, could be judged by any judge. However I know if I look at an aircraft diorama I can judge all those other aspects of it but do not have the expertise to judge the main object in it, the aircraft. Just a thought. 

Edited by Ron Bell
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Now days we tend to look for the basics. We are not judging accuracy to any great degree. When looking at seams, alignment, paint and glue, it is not a major problem. As a big diorama builder, I am of the opinion too many don't give the best consideration to the story. Or they expect all dioramas to be like the excellent Steve Hustad work duplicating a photo.

Still, the main question is why is this seen as a good way to go? Why is the diorama CLASS deleted? I'm open to new ideas, however this is coming as a bit under the table and that has bad implications.

Based on what I have been seeing in recent years, I was expecting dioramas and vignettes to be expanded.

Dak

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Maybe Phil was wanting to retire and nobody else wanted the job?

Maybe one of the NCC regulars will answer the why of it.

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Every year the NCC is faced with entrants who cannot or will not read and follow the rules.  DAK is an outlier.   The NCC and/or local committee is hit with [select any or all that apply]

Why was my model handled?

Why was my model moved across the room?   Who moved it?  When was it moved?  How was it moved?

My model is not where I left it -- it must have been stolen!  Why is there not better security?

In an effort to address some of these questions the decision was made to handle dioramas as is done in many local contests -- include them in their standard classes.  An entry may still be moved, just down the table.   

You are not loosing any award packages.  There are still as many vignette/diorama awards as there were before.   

It also means more work for the head judges.  Instead of having the Diorama class judges select the Best Diorama award, each class head judge will now have to ask the judges who judged their diorama categories for the best vignette/diorama per class and then we (the NCC members) will go around the room like we do for best in show to select the best diorama award.   If any thing it would mean that an entry could conceivably win best in class. best diorama and best in show -- not possible before 

And to James' point - it is an open secret that Mark Persichetti is retiring as Chief Judge after the 2023 show.   Eileen retired as Contest Recorder after Omaha with her producing the final report the last official action.   Phil Perry will be the new Chief Judge.   At the last NCC meeting we were still waiting for the Eboard to ratify Phil's selection under our charter.  For 2024 there will be a new Miscellaneous Judge replacing Phil.  

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Posted (edited)

I realize the awards will be the same, and I’m not worried about that. I am dubious that this will work well because the dioramas will now be scattered around, and I think this will cause some problems. To many are afraid to judge dioramas.

I also suspect diorama judging may take a bad hit. By that I mean it may be done by people that aren’t good at judging it. 

However, I’m willing to see how it goes. But I do question why this wasn’t discussed publicly before changing it and to announce it more publicly. One person, who was asked last summer to be a possible head judge for it wasn’t even notified. 

It looks like I will have to make some posts promoting what I see as better diorama/vignette judging.

To me, dioramas/vignettes have 3 legs of judging to make them winners. One part is the base model(s), one is the base work, and one is the story. All three are EQUAL and the winners should have that balance. 
 

Dak

Edited by Dakimbrell
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1 hour ago, Dakimbrell said:

I realize the awards will be the same, and I’m not worried about that. I am dubious that this will work well because the dioramas will now be scattered around and I think this will cause some problems. To many are afraid to judge dioramas.

I also suspect diorama judging may take a bad hit. By that I mean it may be done by people that aren’t good at judging it. 

However, I’m willing to see how it goes. But I do question why this wasn’t discussed publicly before changing it and to announce it more publicly. Steve Foster, who was asked last summer to be a possible head judge for it wasn’t even notified. 

It looks like I will have to make some posts promoting what I see as better diorama/vignette judging.

To me, dioramas/vignettes have 3 legs of judging to make them winners. One part is the base model(s), one is the base work, and one is the story. All three are EQUAL and the winners should have that balance. 
 

Dak

Dave, not every decision by the NCC has to go through a public debate.  That would be unworkable.  Besides, as already established, this is a location change--it's not like it was done away with.  It doesn't reach the threshold of earth-shattering.  Now, let's hope those that do end up judging using this structure meet with your approval.

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Public debate is one thing. However, someone should have posted information about it and specifically notified those individuals they had been talking with about it earlier. That would have not upset some people who brought it to my attention because they know I will publicly ask about it. 

We will have just have to see how it plays out now. And in the future, perhaps those making a change could simply post a notice about such types of things. Such an action would probably defer umbrage taken by the un-consulted.

Dak

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Things change in life and we just have to accept the change for what it is.

I, personally, am a Corvette enthusiast. I drive Corvettes on a daily basis. To me Corvettes should be a front engine rear wheel drive automobile. But change happened, I don't like it but it happened. Then again, no one from GM or Chevrolet or Corvette asked me for my opinion on the decision to change the layout of the Corvette to a mid-engine design, which by the way I do not like at all. Changed the rules on Sports Cars and I will have to live with it but it won't stop me from enjoying the hobby or attending the shows.

I say all this to say, DAK maybe you need to put your hat in the ring as the "Head Diorama Judge" and get the NCC to reestablish dioramas to their own category once again.

Have a nice day.

David Von Almen, gentleman modeler

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Well, I’m willing to see how things work even though I do think the NCC should formally and clearly explain the reason for the change. The nature of our event often requires changes. 

I would love to be a head judge, but that will never happen because I am extremely opinionated and do not always agree with the the NCC decisions. I do think the IPMS method and style of judging is generally the most superior for the contest we have and would never go with other formats. 

Like Grune said, I am an outlier and I come to play even when things don’t always make me happy. Some people can’t stand losing at Nationals and act really stupid about it. I have no tolerance for those types.

Dak

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For historical info, I’ve judged armor since ‘95, diorama categories used to be within the major categories they fit in, Armor dio category in Armor, Aircraft dio category in Aircraft, etc. I can remember judging dios at Columbus in ‘97, I don’t remember when it was changed to a stand alone category. I can not fully explain the reasoning but I do know in armor we end up moving a good number of entries from other armor categories into the dio category due to these rules;

E. Bases – in General. Bases will be allowed in all categories and will not be considered in the judging, except in Small/Large Composition (vignette/diorama) categories. A base may be a piece of undecorated wood, plastic or glass or it may simulate the natural surface on which the prototype would be found. However, nothing other than that basic surface may be used. Aircraft and military vehicles may rest on simulated ground or paving, and aircraft that need beaching gear or dollies may be so equipped. Ships may be displayed in water (no dry docks). The base must not be the predominant feature of the entry and must be of a size proportionate to the model. The Contest Chairman and Judges reserve the right to exclude oversize bases. The model may include primary crew figures. (See Rule IV-3B for limits for Military Vehicles.) The addition of any other figures or equipment outside or not attached to the model (e.g., support equipment, shell splashes, or buildings) will make the model a vignette or diorama, which must then be entered in the proper diorama category. (See Rule IV-1D.) So, if you want to compete in a single-subject category, don’t make a Vignette to see how far you can push the boundary!

B. Bases – Military Vehicles. Any AFV model that is displayed upon a base may have ‘basic’ groundwork; e.g., dirt, grass, roadway, a low stone wall, etc. No part of that groundwork may extend taller than the topmost portion of the body of the model; i.e., no trees, buildings, structure, chimney, water-tower etc. Any vehicle entry that has more than basic groundwork will be defined as a vignette (see Rule IV-1D) and will be transferred to the appropriate category for judging there. Any model entered into an AFV category that is displayed upon a base, permanently or temporarily, may have no more than two (2) figures in total and the figure(s) must be a crew member; only one (1) figure may be affixed to the base off the vehicle; a second figure must be affixed to or within the vehicle model. If there are more than two figures total, the entry will be defined as a vignette, and will be transferred to the appropriate category for judging there.

That puts a strain on the dio judges as there never seems to be many volunteers to judge that as a stand alone category. I imagine this change was in part due to the reality over the last few contests of the lack of judges to do the job. I don’t see this as bad for dio modeler’s, judges will follow the rules and having an armor dio judged by armor judges and aircraft dios judged by aircraft judges seems like a plus to me.

If it doesn’t work I imagine a change in the future.

 

 

 

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I've been involved in judging models since 1977. We'll have to see how things go. This may turn out to work well, or it may cause problems. We won't know until it all plays out this summer. It seems the number of diorama/vignette entries is increasing. (See my post in the Diorama Forum)

I still would like to understand why it was chosen, and why it wasn't simply put out in the journal or on the website. Also, those responsible have made no effort to clear up that question. It is this sort of thing which eggs on the anti-IPMS lackwits and those who never partake in the judging. There are a lot of people out there who decline participation but complain about the judging with no actual first-hand knowledge.

Dak

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All I would say is this. It was mentioned to everyone that is a member of IPMS. It was shown in the new rules, for this year.THAT IS the official notification for everyone. 

    As to why, well one reason may be that as DAK stated,  the entries are getting larger. People volunteering to judge is not. By doing it this way it exposes more models to more judges since the other classes tend to have a larger pool of judges. And the judges that used to judge the Dio class will now be absorbed into whichever class they choose to now work in, if at all.I know I will use all the former Dio judges that volunteer for aircraft in the 3 categories the aircraft class has now inherited. I'm assuming that will be what happens in the other respective classes.

 

 

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15 hours ago, JClark said:

All I would say is this. It was mentioned to everyone that is a member of IPMS. It was shown in the new rules, for this year.THAT IS the official notification for everyone. 

While true, this does not explain why a seemingly expanding class has been eliminated without some open discussion. This isn't a class slowly fading away, but exactly the opposite.

As I have said, I think the IPMS judging system is the best around for a large contest. However, perfection is never an option. This may work fine, and perhaps it will encourage more people to learn how to judge dioramas, as long as the head judge checks up on things properly.

Dak

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In the past, Ed & Rusty have loaned a team to Phil to judge the Ship dioramas I have been on the team several times. I even judged just Dioramas under the tutelage of Art Gerber. It's not a big deal, and this precludes the need to loan teams to Phil.

 

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Well, I guess this is going to be a way to train more people how to judge dioramas and vignettes. 

Hopefully, they will balance their choices on my three points.....model, base, and story. 
 

Dak

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