I've noticed that the type of car you build has a huge impact. I'm 28 and I know most model judges that I've seen are nearly twice that age. They tend to appreciate cars they are familiar with more than cars they know nothing of. A beautifully built GT-R or Toyota AE86 aren't gonna draw the attention of a classic or muscle car. Flat colors are the same way, not many people are in to them. I'm building a 1990 Ford Taurus SHO right now. I know that no matter how great it turns out it will never EVER win anything simply because it's a factory stock Ford Taurus. What appeals to you won't always appeal to the judges. There's just too many factors that are out of your control. Build what you like and have fun. That's probably the best advice I can give.
Ummm, I don't think so. I am a little bit more than twice your age, I was the head judge at the L.I.A.R.S. Challenge(until we moved to SC) and it doesn't make a difference to me what kind of car I might be judging- they all get judged by the same standards. You might want to really look at your "factory stock Ford Taurus" to see why you think it "will never EVER win".
I have judged, been judged, went home with four awards for four entries and I have been skunked more than once. I have taken first place in categories in which mine was the only entry(which is kinda embarrassing). I don't know all about judging but I've been on both sides often enough to have heard it all about judges, judging, contest entrants and their entries. In my opinion, judging is purely arbitrary, seemingly heavily influenced by tides, astrology, sunspots, phases of the moon and the state of mind of those judges at that time. IPMS or not, there are no hard and fast rules and regulations that are used by all model contests. Not all contests are judged; some winners are determined by the popular vote of those who did enter that contest or even those who merely were in attendance at that contest.
I once participated in an event at a MASSCAR exhibition called "You Be the Judge." Three teams, with three experienced judges per team, checked out three models to determine 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The results -surprise!!!- differed for each team. Go figure.
I have seen a judge pick up a model (mine) that was displayed on a clear platform which was raised almost two inches above a clean mirror that was larger than the model itself- you could see everything on the model. The entry form that was with the model indicated "Please do not touch". These guys were eating nice, olive-oily NY pizza shortly before judging. Duhhh...
It wouldn't be fair to offer an opinion as to why a model did or didn't do well at any particular contest by photos alone. Photos can change a models true appearance- I've seen the results. The model really needs to be seen up-close-and-personal.
If you really want to know why your model didn't do well at a contest, you should quietly, politely ask the judges. They should be able to explain their decision and advise what you might have done to obtain better results.
One thing I do know is that you need to have your basic modeling skills nailed down. A shiny paint job and all the glittery P.E. stuff available won't compensate for loose parts, sloppy glue application or seams where there should be none.
I don't build just for contests. A majority of my builds are not what would be considered contest-quality, but I enjoyed building them. When I set out to build a contest-quality model, I put my heart and soul into it. I'll make pages of notes, find reference material, amass all components and raw material and put my best effort into the build. If (I realize that) I mess something up, I'll do it again until I get it "right". It works for me, but it's a lot like work.
Edited by johnbuzzed, 21 June 2013 - 07:51 AM.