I have been the organizer and (for a while) the only judge in a small local model contest. I actually stopped my participation in the event in part because of the backlash from participants, some of which was probably very legitimate. I did learn a few things from participating on both sides of the table.
1. Nobody knows the real quality of a model better than the builder. My own models have been skunked by other models of my own that I only brought along because I thought they were neat, not because I thought they were great builds.
2. Judging is indeed subjective, a beautifully built abliet "blah" model just doesn't get noticed on a table of red, yellow and plum crazy models.
3. The judge does not know if you built a model strait out of the box or if you completed extensive modifications unless you tell them, preferably with extensive documentaton. i.e. Once, a judge asked me where I got the kit for my 1930 Duesenberg Rolston Victoria. When I told him there was no kit he simply did not believe me. While I won the box stock class (I was happy about that) the other participants were not pleased to see me with the trophy because, justifiably, my model was not box stock.
4. Judges do not know every detail about every kit nor do they know the difficulty producing a spectacular model (unless it is a Pyro Cord, or any Revell multi-piece bodied kit) which everyone seems to know about.
5. There are some models and participants who are so pleasing that their enthusiasm outweighs the quality of their builds. I KNOW this is controversial, but it happens. I once had a participant show a model for the very first time. He built it as an 8 year old some 45 years previously and successfully argued that it should be in the youth class (he was the only one in the class by the way). It was a neat model for being 40+ years old. Later, I was then confronted by a participant who was holding literally an armfull of awards. He was mad that I had shown "favortism" and he vowed to never return to my contest. Good riddance!
6. In fairness to everyone, the best models don't always win. I have passed over a spectacular model (and arguably the best model at the show) simply because the builder won best of show the previous three years in a row. I decided (and that builder agreed with me when I talked to him about it) that we would lose participants if they felt there was no chance anyone else could win Best of Show at that particular contest.
There are probably other things, and perhaps I have stirred up a hornet's nest, but those are a few of my
The models I have seen in this thread all look great to me. Maybe some of my observations account for the reasons they were overlooked?
Edited by Eric Macleod, 17 June 2013 - 07:13 AM.