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Jantrix

Contest models that got skunked - show 'em!

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I don't go to contests with hopes of winning as judges don't know anything about the category I build, Imports. From what I can tell, the shiny paint jobs catch more attention. After seeing the ones that won in the category I was in, I feel that if they had more knowledge on the subject, I would've atleast placed 3rd with this one.

Even some of the guys that placed in other catagories had asked if I won anything? When I said no, they were surprised. So dunno...

Would I change anything?? Nope, it's the look and style I wanted. I'm happy with it.

os510029.jpg

os510007.jpg

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Since the armor and planes are their main focus, the judges are from those genres. Think about what would occur if you or I were asked to judge the military categories. We wouldn't even be able to identify the subjects, never mind know if they were modified and if that work is correct. And that's what happens when the armor guys are let loose on the cars! A couple guys from my clubs went to the local IPMS show this year and were chuckling as to what cars won awards.

I understand and agree with your point, I think my point is that IPMS contests should have judges for the civilian car classes that are qualified and/or capable to place and judge civilian vehicle entries to the standards that they judge the armor/air classes. If they have none, they could ask local model car clubs for volunteer judges, preferrably persons who have placed or won awards.

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Thanks Austin. Dunno man, but like I said I don't go with any hopes for winning anything.

I just like sharing my builds with others.

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There isn't a single model in these pages that I would pass up at a show. I think they all have their merits and warrant attention.

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I'll try for brevity since this could become a long post.

In general,overall build quality and the amount and type of modifications made(where applicable) are what (should) determine what models win awards and which ones don't win.

In reference to Jantrix's Cougar-did the other cars in class have more detail?More modifications?Better build quality?Gloss paint jobs?A good flat paint job is far easier to do than even a single color good gloss job so right there is a difference in any judges eyes in effort made between two entries.We don't see pix of the underside.Was there plumbing added?Did the other entries in the class have mods the Cougar didn't have?

Were the modifications spelled out on the entry form or just described as "a lot" or "many"?That's a BIG turn off.Judges may be able to see some mods but not all of them.Listing them improves the chances of the model being judged fairly against the competition.A build sheet or book is even better.If any of you have ever seen a model built by Steve Perry at the GSLs or at a contest here in the Detroit area you may have seen his build books.They go into extreme detail and are very well organized.I've even told Steve he should enter one in the Miscellaneous class just for grins and giggles.They're that well done.

At a contest,take a look at the other entries,even in classes you don't enter.A "gotcha factor" shouldn't influenence your judgements.Try judging the other models yourself.See what stands out (good and bad) and soon you too will be able to discern what makes one model better than another one.

Remember, the same model can win at some contests and not at others.Many factors contribute to that so no model is assured of a win every time.

We are currently attempting to create some judging standards for contests in the Detroit area.I've been looking at the criteria used at the GSLs as a starting point.Once we sort out what we want and write them out we hope to print them up and make them available for all the contest managers.

Edited by ZTony8

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IMG_2406-vi.jpgIMG_2408-vi.jpgIMG_2409-vi.jpgMVC007S-vi.jpgbabyseat-vi.jpg

I wasn't going to show this one here, but what the heck. I finished it in the early 1980s and it was my very first car that I built all out for contests. Back then, being new to the hobby, winning in a model contest had been on my Bucket List from when I was a kid. So I was very enthusiastic!

The early 1980s wasn't a time to be different. I'd bring the car to contest after contest and never won anything, even in smaller shows. There would be 4 cars in the category and they'd give out 3 awards and skunk me, giving 3rd to a snap kit one of their wives snapped together. I wanted to do better so I'd ask judges why my car wasn't winning and I'd get some really out there reasons... I was told it would never place because the color scheme was ugly. There was another more traditional street rod in the very same colors winning at the time. I was told my car was 'unrealistic' because nobody would ever build a car like that... same contest gave an award to a '39 Chevy with a Ferarri drive train. Talk about something nobody would do in real life! One show even told me they 'disqualified' my car because 'it was sacrilege to do that to a Ford! My favorite was a judge who told me my car would've placed but got discounted because I had no battery... you should have seen his face when I told him it was a VW, the battery was under the back seat!

So my club mates and I would go to show after show and it was a running joke that this car would never win.. then one day it took 2nd place in Street Rod at Masscar. We didn't know what to do! It did win a few awards after that.

Anyway, looking at this car now with more learned eyes, I can see things that are wrong with the build that I didn't see then, so it's not the greatest model in the world. More important, people do comment on it. So I enjoy talking to them. That's better than winning awards. It had been broken in a box for about 10 years and I fixed it last year. So maybe I'll bring it out again!

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The only true judging is from the GSL, Heartland Nationals shows where they take there time and really look at how the cars are built and the build books, If you are going to do custom work or a lot of scratch building then start doing build books for your work showing the judges what you did. Remember you have to tell them what you did, they do not have to guess at it! For most of the cars here they all have 1 thing in commen and thats they are black!

Black cars like in the real world do not win shows on the norm as there is no wow factor like big red corvettes and such.

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Color isn't a factor in judging a model.Any black vehicle (real or model) is difficult to do without flaws.But the effort to be flawless can be equalled with any color model.

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Remember you have to tell them what you did, they (should not) not have to guess at it!

Words to live by there, Chas!

I've been going to model contests for a long time now, including IPMS shows with hundreds of military models, miniature figure shows, and model car shows, and I've got to say that the one thing that separates these genres of the hobby is that 90% of car modelers are really horrible at presenting their work. Models are shown too close together, with little or no information on the build. If you want your model to stand out, display it on some kind of base, and provide some detailed info about what you did to it. You don't need to write a long narrative (chances are it won't get read), just a list of coherent bullet points listing noteworthy features and modifications, corrections, etc. Your base doesn't need to be anything elaborate. Can be as simple as a circle or rectangle of colored mat board or foamcore. If the base is a square or rectangle turn the model at an angle to give the display a little drama.

The model itself should first exhibit excellent basic workmanship. Nothing crooked, out of place, off kilter. No glue showing. No unfinished plastic (milky white plastic whitewall inserts should be painted!). The model should sit level with all four wheels on the ground and the wheel placement in wheel wells should be consistent from side to side. Paint should be be neatly done, without excessive orange peel, rough surfaces, improperly masked edges, etc. If the basics aren't done well all the scratch and aftermarket goodies in the world aren't going to save you. Make sure you engine is straight and level if it's supposed to be. Learn to objectively judge your own work. Know your weak points and your strengths, and when your piece is on the table at a show, look at the other pieces in the category and honestly appraise your model in the context of the other works present. In well-populated, competitive categories it is much harder for an individual piece to stand out, and if there are only three top awards in a field of 50 models, one little bit of dust in your paint, or a ragged bit of foil, could be the thing that keeps it out of the running.

In NNL-style popular vote contests excellent models that are competitive at any judged contest often win simply because they are so superb. But if it's a relatively low-key car that isn't presented well, in a muted color, chances are it's going to get passed over when folks are filling out their ballots. Flat black cars with dark interiors may look bad-ass in the 1/1 world, but make for really boring looking models that don't catch the eye or stand out on a contest table.

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It looks like we're "preaching to the choir" in this thread and we seem to have strayed a bit from the original post, I don't have any models l feel I got skunked on that are still in presentable shape but I'm guessing there are still some out there that can be posted here.

Maybe we could critique them if the people posting them want some feedback (just in case they wish to campaign their "skunks" again).

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Sorry, this one may not be the answer your looking for.

But I did the contest scene for several years, even won a few .

Now I no longer build models to please a judge who most likely has no idea if my stuff is accurate or not. I build to please me and me alone. In the past 15 years I've been to a total of 2 contests and have only entered builds on one of them ( didn't place with any either) I went to show off my daughters build and hang with some friends I don't see much

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I entered two cars in what I thought was just a show. Later I found out that all entries were being judged. When someone called out my entry numbers to explain my builds. I was told that my 1992 Cougar Cabrio looked like it was built by a 2 yr old child. Talk about heart dropping. My other build was my 1990 Ford F350 Extended Crew Cab. I was asked about it and then shot down again this time with harsher criticism.

Here are my two "Childish and Toy Like" builds.

1992 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Cabrio Concept

CC1.jpg

CC2.jpg

1990 Ford F350 Extended Crew Centurion Custom

DSCF0642.jpg

DSCF0641.jpg

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Well done those judges. Way to encourage Jason.

D**ks

I don't enter shows to win prizes.

I go to shows to meet old & new friends, to spend money I don't have on kits I don't need and to look at models.

I enter shows to show off the models i've built since the last time I entered that show.

If I win something it's a bonus. If I don't I'll still go home satisfied if I had a good time.

I don't enter IPMS type shows as a judge isn't necessarily a builder. NNL shows are judged by the entrants and those are the people I want judging me.

Back to the original question though.

Jant - it's the non-gloss black. It always looks too much like you took the easy way out and just blew over it with a rattle can (I have been known to wax flat or satin black - it gives it enough of a sheen to look like you took much more effort) However, if that's what you wanted then who are they to tell you otherwise. It's your build. Your vision in your head. Now that vision may seem to be be horribly warped and twisted to "normal" folks but you owe it to yourself to stick with it and not cave in to their way of thinking. You won't get a prize but so what. What do they know anyway. Pah! Prizes? We don't need no stinkin' prizes...

Edited by zenrat

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Jason, I don't know where that was, but I've never heard of a show where judges would treat someone like that. Sounds like that show isn't around anymore because nobody would ever go back. The judges must have had a very high opinion of themselves to be so crass.

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Rob,

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder .....

What transfers from the head , to the hands , and then to the workbench , doesn't always translate well on the show table . Building for yourself and building for the show table are two totally different animals !

Yes , the same basic skill set is involved , however , colors , finish , use of aftermarket products , and overall build conception all come into play when building a show winner . Zen is right , the flat black killed the car as a show piece ! Where you see beauty , A judge sees a lack of effort .....

Color and shine are always going to rule the day ! The most exquisite build with the wrong color on it or a mediocre paint job is going to be passed over time and time again .

Jimbo Walsh and I went round and round over this subject , years ago . To prove my point , I built two ' 64 Belvedere pro street cars that were identical , the exceptions being the paint color and the wheels . One was done in a wild custom mix of orange I named after his dad , the other was painted a dark metallic grey . In every show that they were placed in , the orange build won an award , the grey build won nothing ..... Ever !

Identical in detail , finish , stance , etc , the grey never stood a chance because it lacked the " wow" factor when it came to the color . Build whatever and however it makes you happy , just be aware that it just might not make it a show winner in anybody else's book but your own . But .... That book is the most important one !

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I attended a prestigious figure show, once. In fact Shep Paine, Mr Diorama, was the key note speaker. While talking with a friend, we saw a late arrival was placing his work on the tables. One judge walked up to another judge and said loud enough for all to hear "I don't even know why he's here, his work is just lousy."

I did place in two catagories that time, 2006, but never went back.

Don't get me started about judges or bad behavior at shows.

G

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I'd like to thank everyone who replied. For what it's worth, I think Fred, Donn and others that mentioned the flat paint are probably correct. It really is a shame too. I can't tell you how much prep went into that old AMT body to get it smooth enough to not look like crappola in black.

I recommend anyone who wants some honest opinions and critique to continue posting your work. These guys will help you.

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In a judged contest appealing color and, to a degree, fine points of accuracy ("Is that the correct shade of '56 Lincoln Evening Orchid?"), should not be factors. Quality of workmanship and finish should be, along with "level of effort."

In a popular vote contest the "eye candy" quotient is a much more important consideration.

Jason, I'm sorry for your experience at that "contest." Any event where "judges" verbally critique builders' work before the group doesn't deserve the support of any modelers. I've never heard of an event like that. This isn't a Master of Fine Arts class, it's a hobby.

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P.S. Rob,everyone here that posted is correct.Because it is their point of view. I have seen some great car models that have not won.The cars posted here are super models. I guess it is just like anything else that is a competition ,sometimes you do not agree with the ref or umpire but this is where it stands. Just build from your heart. Man you build a great model! This is why NNL events are really cool.Very relaxed. People get to display their models,talk car talk and have fun. IPMS is fun,but you have to be able to take criticism. When I saw a IPMS judge use a flashlight,mag glasses and a measuring instrument, boy that was hard to take. My heart sunk. But when I saw Mr,Chans formula 1 ferrari,I knew I had to step it up.The ferrari was not only perfect in build quality,it had the best detail I have ever seen.It does make you a better modeler.I have a very long way to go to measure up to Mr.Chans work.I just keep working at it and have fun along the way. Keep up the great work. Regards, Bruce

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...When I saw a IPMS judge use a flashlight,mag glasses and a measuring instrument...

Don't forget their most important instrument, their Rivet Counter.

Now. Lets discuss peoples choice awards. Biggest and shiniest with no regard for quality wins, right? :D

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When I saw a IPMS judge use a flashlight,mag glasses and a measuring instrument, boy that was hard to take.

Don't know about the flashlight, but we should all be using mag glasses or optivisors, and measuring instruments (dividers, rulers, or calipers) when we build.

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Now. Lets discuss peoples choice awards. Biggest and shiniest with no regard for quality wins, right? :D

In NNL-style popular vote contests excellent models that are competitive at any judged contest often win simply because they are so superb.

John got this one right. I'm involved in NNL East and can tell you that out of that room of 1500-2000 models, the public always finds the top model. And there is no definitive formula other than quality. In the past 5 years, the award has been won by a VW, a Ferarri, a Mack, a Toyota, and a diorama. The common denominator has been the quality of the build. Check out this link, you can see the results page for NNL East for 2003-2013 http://www.nnleast.com/

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Ahh-"People's Choice".Where those voting just wandered by the contest area and may never have built a model in their life.The "gotcha factor" is most at work here.Shiny paint,elaborate graphics,and sometimes wild styling are what attracts the novices in the crowd.However-since the voting public doesn't always have the best access to the models,what other recourse is available?I don't think we modelers want just anyone picking up our models (many builders go apoplectic even when the judges pick them up) so unregulated access is out.

One thing I've realized about People's Choice type contests-get your entry on the table as early as possible to garner the most possible votes.

Tom G. makes a good point.In a show like the NNLs where the attendees are predominantly modelers the results are more in line with what a judging panel would find.

Edited by ZTony8

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This probably won’t be what most of the people posting their work in this thread want to hear, but it is an honest viewpoint to the question that was asked, “What could have been done better”.

I’m not going to point out specifics here as this is not a contest and not knowing what the competition was for each model, who is to say if the judges made the right call that day or not? It’s like racing, you only have to beat what is on the table at the time…

But, many of the models posted in this thread clearly show some “fatal flaws” in the photos when it comes to competition judging. If I can see that in the photos, it makes me think there are probably more flaws that would be visible in person.

Another issue may be that some contests are judged subjectively and others critically. If you have a low key but well-built model in a subjectively judged contest, you might lose out to a flashy and less well-built entry. It isn’t a bad idea to ask what the judging criteria (if it is not posted) are so you have some idea what to expect.

Factor in favoritism and “leveling the playing field” and there are even more reasons why some models that many would expect to win don’t.

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