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Figure With Base


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It's always bugged me that judges in IPMS contests (and non-IPMS events I've been to as well) are supposed to ignore the bases on which figures may be mounted in the Figures class. Some kits, particularly the Aurora figures, have had elaborate bases that - in terms of parts count - might make up more than half the model. But all that has to be overlooked according to the rules.

 

Sure, this makes it fair for figures that come with no base. But is it fairly to the builder of, say, the Aurora/Polar Lights Bride of Frankenstein? Of almost eighty parts, only nine make up the figure. The main aspect of such a kit is its presentation of the character, not so much the figure itself.

 

Currently, if a modeler wants to have his or her work on the entire Bride of Frankenstein model judged, he or she must enter it in a category other than Figures. The Dioramas category might be considered but, as the model has little in the way of a narrative element, it would be at a disadvantage. The Bride could also be entered in the Miscellaneous category, but then it would have to compete against entirely unlike subjects - guitars, railroad equipment, and such.

 

At the Northwest Ohio Spring Invitational that was held on May 22, I tried something new by creating a "Figure With Base" category. This allowed any type of single figure to be judged with its base. If a model was mounted on no base or maybe just a simple wood plaque, it could be entered in the appropriate Figures category. If the presentation included a strong story-telling feature, it could be entered in Dioramas.

 

I am happy to report that this experiment met with success. The Figure With Base category had four entries, second only to the Science Fiction/Fantasy category in which six models were entered. The Best Figure award went to one of the Figure With Base entries. Better still, the figure modelers I spoke with at the show all said they liked the idea, whether they entered a figure with an elaborate base or not.

 

I think this is an idea whose time has come!

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Surely you jest! You mean you tried something new?

 

Seriously, I'm not a figure guy (one look at the 1/48 and 1/35 figs I've done to support aircraft and armor will prove that!) but I applaud you initiative and congratulate you for the warm reception your idea was met with. A little more thinking like that is just what this place need IMHO.

 

Well done Mark!

 

Mike Moore

 

It's always bugged me that judges in IPMS contests (and non-IPMS events I've been to as well) are supposed to ignore the bases on which figures may be mounted in the Figures class. Some kits, particularly the Aurora figures, have had elaborate bases that - in terms of parts count - might make up more than half the model. But all that has to be overlooked according to the rules.

 

Sure, this makes it fair for figures that come with no base. But is it fairly to the builder of, say, the Aurora/Polar Lights Bride of Frankenstein? Of almost eighty parts, only nine make up the figure. The main aspect of such a kit is its presentation of the character, not so much the figure itself.

 

Currently, if a modeler wants to have his or her work on the entire Bride of Frankenstein model judged, he or she must enter it in a category other than Figures. The Dioramas category might be considered but, as the model has little in the way of a narrative element, it would be at a disadvantage. The Bride could also be entered in the Miscellaneous category, but then it would have to compete against entirely unlike subjects - guitars, railroad equipment, and such.

 

At the Northwest Ohio Spring Invitational that was held on May 22, I tried something new by creating a "Figure With Base" category. This allowed any type of single figure to be judged with its base. If a model was mounted on no base or maybe just a simple wood plaque, it could be entered in the appropriate Figures category. If the presentation included a strong story-telling feature, it could be entered in Dioramas.

 

I am happy to report that this experiment met with success. The Figure With Base category had four entries, second only to the Science Fiction/Fantasy category in which six models were entered. The Best Figure award went to one of the Figure With Base entries. Better still, the figure modelers I spoke with at the show all said they liked the idea, whether they entered a figure with an elaborate base or not.

 

I think this is an idea whose time has come!

 

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I think ideas like this come if A: somebody is interested enough to find a constructive solution to a problem and B: if that somebody's chapter is supportive. In this case, as long as my idea for a new figure category didn't adversely affect the aircraft and armor guys they were fine with it. Good enough for me, good enough for the figure builders I spoke with, and no adverse effects on the aircraft and armor models!

 

 

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As a past figure modeler, I would say that presentation is important. But, if the figure is poorly painted, no amount of base work should override it. Usually it's not a problem, as the base will probably be poorly executed as well.

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Check out pictures from any figure show if you can't get to one. There are basically NO figures presented without a base and doing so would pretty much keep you out of the running for a better award. If I had my druthers, IPMS would follow suit and judge the base/presentation as part of the figure judging. Much of what the comp guidebook says about figures is ignored/irrelevant. I worked closely with the line judge at the recent local regional and he asked me and my travelling buddy, both figure painters, if we wnated to judge to the CH or judge the figures as we would have in any other venue. I think we did a pretty good job on our own. As the previous poster said, the base won't rescue a poorly painted figure but may certainly enhance a well done one.

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  • 2 months later...

Great idea Mark. Lots of quality work can be put in the base as well as a figure. Presentation counts. That being said so many figures come without bases that I would hate to see a finely done figure disregarded for not being on a base or on a basic wood base. It's good that the "Figure with Base" is a separate category. It allows for models to be judged on a level plain. If I remember correctly figures at Wonderfest are judged solely on the figure regardless of the base. Unless it's the diorama category. I could be wrong. Maybe they should consider adding your new category?

 

Great work

John

IPMS #46800

Edited by RogueJ
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