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Jantrix

Contest models that got skunked - show 'em!

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The show/contest I entered was one that was canceled back in Feb and rescheduled for this past weekend. Just a local Memphis Hobby Shop hosting something for their customers. When I asked to speak to the person in charge I was told "They are at lunch and don't know when they will return." I finally figured out who to send an email too, but haven't heard a word back yet and probably won't. I took a third car, but had to put it away as people wanted to keep picking it up and I was afraid it would walk away or worse get damaged. A mirror did get knocked off but luckily I found it. Even with signs that said "Do Not Touch the Models" clearly laid out on the tables. I can honestly say that I'll never be back or shop at that Hobby Shop again.

This is the third car:

2006 Concept Camaro Gone SEMA

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Rob, you car is confused. Is it a Road Warrior, Rat Rod style, Pro Touring or a Street Machine? It just lacks the details to push it firmly into any of these categories. And the finish is not helping. I know, it was the look you wanted, but, as a judge we expect some pop. Everything appears to be just one piece. Subtle color shift would have done wonders. I like it, but, honestly, I would eliminate it from the judging when I first look at the table.

I only enter models to help fill tables at the local contest. I never expect to win and I listen when folks critique my models. Even when someone is clearly bashing me, I try to draw something useful out of it.

Reading about people not being encouraged to build is baloney. You should be building because it is your passion, not because someone is pushing you to do it. When it comes to building, we, not them, are our own worst enemys. We can head the advice or keep plowing into the same walls. If you expect to win contest, then build to win.

Need more crazy thoughts, just ask!

Jesse C.

Edited by Daddyfink

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The most I have ever gotten with this car is a "thanks for showing up" ribbon, never asked why. I know the paint is not as perfect as the rest of the models, not as much detail, and the scratch building is ok, but I think it should get a nod. I think it's defiantly unique, and cool in it's concept.

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Rob, you car is confused. Is it a Road Warrior, Rat Rod style, Pro Touring or a Street Machine? It just lacks the details to push it firmly into any of these categories. And the finish is not helping. I know, it was the look you wanted, but, as a judge we expect some pop. Everything appears to be just one piece. Subtle color shift would have done wonders. I like it, but, honestly, I would eliminate it from the judging when I first look at the table.

For the record, I was thinking about none of those things. It is a fictional build, a sort of "what if?". I had just finished reading Stephen Kings, Dark Tower series. I was naturally artistically inspired when I finished, and thought, what would a Stephen King villain drive? Rather than go with Christine, or the Dark Half's Toronado, I decided on an original piece. The criteria was, full size, low, dark, non-reflective, high horsepower, aggressive, with custom touches to make the car look rather industrial. I settled on the AMT Black Cat Cougar. The tag reads RFLAGG, King's recurring villain, The Man in Black.

I even built a Gunslinger inspired dio-base for it. Dark Tower fans will see several nods to Mid-World.

I understand than none of the above would make this get very far with a judge, and I never included this info on the build sheet, but I always thought the quality was there even if the "class" was rather ambiguous.

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Edited by Jantrix

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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.

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I can only relate that my time spent judging in Arizona contests that the judging teams were made up of persons that had a lot of experience and knowledge in the classes they were judging and lots of time was spent deciding best in show and all other master awards. I'm assuming(hoping) that most of the people that are still active in the Arizona model clubs are keeping these standards alive.

Yes.

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The only true judging is from the GSL, Heartland Nationals shows . . .

That's an ignorant statement. Have you been to and studied the judging protocols at EVERY show?

GSL and Heartland are not the only well judged shows in the world.

Black cars like in the real world do not win shows

That's another poor statement.

I know of black cars that have "won shows." Many.

Just to name two, Augie Hiscano set the modeling world on its collective ear more than a decade ago with a pair of black Best of Show winners at consecutive GSLs.

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An incident happened at a local model show around here at the end of last year. I entered a model in the Curbside Class. When I put my model on the table, there was another model already there of a Lowrider style build that had an opening hood with fully detailed engine compartment, opening doors, and opening trunk. It clearly did NOT belong in the Curbside Class. I mentioned it to a member of the host club who said that they would look into it. Later on I was told that since it was fairly late in the day, and, since it was Peoples Choice balloting (NNL Style) that it was too late to move the model and to try to get everyone who already cast their ballots to recast them. That model won the Curbside Class. (I also noticed that the person whose model it was, had a large entourage of people with him, who obviously voted for his model.)

Now I'm not complaining because MY model didn't win in Curbside (I took a First Place Award in Replica Stock, a First Place Award in Custom, and Best In Show). My point is that the Lowrider model did NOT belong in the Curbside Class. I'm thinking that the builder looked over the entries in Custom Class and didn't feel that his model would win there, so he put it in the Curbside Class where none of the other models had the detail that his did.

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Sad to say,but I've seen well known builders do the same thing.Either they won't take first in class or they don't want to compete against their friends in the same class.If a trophy or a plaque means that much to you go out and buy one.Me,I would rather have a pic taken of the vehicle.

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An incident happened at a local model show around here at the end of last year. I entered a model in the Curbside Class. When I put my model on the table, there was another model already there of a Lowrider style build that had an opening hood with fully detailed engine compartment, opening doors, and opening trunk. It clearly did NOT belong in the Curbside Class. I mentioned it to a member of the host club who said that they would look into it. Later on I was told that since it was fairly late in the day, and, since it was Peoples Choice balloting (NNL Style) that it was too late to move the model and to try to get everyone who already cast their ballots to recast them. That model won the Curbside Class. (I also noticed that the person whose model it was, had a large entourage of people with him, who obviously voted for his model.)

Now I'm not complaining because MY model didn't win in Curbside (I took a First Place Award in Replica Stock, a First Place Award in Custom, and Best In Show). My point is that the Lowrider model did NOT belong in the Curbside Class. I'm thinking that the builder looked over the entries in Custom Class and didn't feel that his model would win there, so he put it in the Curbside Class where none of the other models had the detail that his did.

Uhuh ! Always the " old guys " paying attention ! If not for the entourage , he would not have taken home half the hardware that he did . Someone found a way to circumvent NNL style judging ! It wasn't the first time , sadly , it won't be the last !

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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.

I'd love to have your take on what I've done wrong also Mark, you're one of the guys out there that i really look up to in this hobby, and your opinion means a lot to me as I'm sure it does others here!

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Jantrix, I have to ask, what does that "eye" symbol represent on your diorama. Sorry if this is a dumb question but this crazy kid at my high school used to use that to sign all of his papers rather than write his name on them. That, and he also always wore an army helmet and carried around a broken piece of wood. :huh: Any info because I have been trying to figure it out for over a year now.

Scale-Master, not to overload you, but I would also be interested in you critique. I have always enjoyed seeing your work and having someone with your skill set give me some pointers would definitely help my building. I know this is sort of a grey area on most of these forums so if you wanted to do it by PM that would be fine.

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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.

I thought mine was flashy enough for the judges. Hey Mark go ahead and critique mine, I would like to know what I could have done to make it better.

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...Reading about people not being encouraged to build is baloney. You should be building because it is your passion, not because someone is pushing you to do it....

True. But actively discouraging someone entering their first show is a dogs act and is unnecessary.

And to be clear, NNL judging is Modellers (or entrants if you like) choice (or at least it at the shows I go to). Peoples choice is different. It's voted for by the punters who come to look but don't enter.

Edited by zenrat

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True. But actively discouraging someone entering their first show is a dogs act and is unnecessary.

And to be clear, NNL judging is Modellers (or entrants if you like) choice (or at least it at the shows I go to). Peoples choice is different. It's voted for by the punters who come to look but don't enter.

The show that Rich was referring to uses what they refer to as an NNL " style " judging . Both the contestants and the general public vote on the models in each category . The Buckeye Classic is voted on by the contestants only , neither the club members nor the general public is involved in the judging process .

Both shows are showing a steady growth pattern , so this seems to be working for them . Although neither is a perfect system , the usual problems that crop up are kept to a minimum !

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To reiterate simply... In a true judged contest such as GSL or IPMS, judges SHOULD NOT BE JUDGING AN ENTRIE'S COLOR CHOICE! ONLY how well the color is applied!

In an NNL-style popular vote style contest eye-catching color IS very likely to play a factor! The vagaries of the popular vote are much more subjective. While quality often appears to be the deciding factor, it's also been known to happen where the biggest and busiest entry is the favorite. There is no "judging" at an NNL contest.

In RAMFINS' example where a full-detail model was incorrectly displayed in and won the popular vote in the curbside category, the knuckleheads counting the ballots or the contest chairman should have disqualified it and given the award to the next highest qualified vote-getter!

JANTRIX, your Cougar display looks like a diorama to me. Was it entered in that category? If you were entered in that category at an IPMS or similar judged contest then the judges would appraise the model and the base as a unified entry. If it were entered in the related car category ("Street Machine" or whatever) the judges would be permitted to judge only the model, not the base. If it were entered in the diorama category at an NNL contest it seems like it would have a much better chance of winning simply because the whole display with the model is much cooler than the model by itself among 50 other cars in whatever category it were entered in.

Edited by John Goschke

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In RAMFINS' example where a full-detail model was incorrectly displayed in and won the popular vote in the curbside category, the knuckleheads counting the ballots or the contest chairman should have disqualified it and given the award to the next highest qualified vote-getter!

When running a people's choice balloting, the host needs to be careful. At NNL East we have a team of over 30 people running the show. We all keep an eye out for things that just aren't right. For instance, one year a guy had his young daughter walking around asking people for their ballots. People who weren't going to vote and thought she was cute gave them to her. In the end, we watched the count and pulled out the votes for that mediocre model.

Our vote counting team has a lot of experience and knows how to spot anything out of the norm. For instance when you get a wad of 10 ballots all in the same hand writing, all folded in one wad.. And that's why the same team does this job every year.

One year we had a very nice Munsters house diorama win in the Junior category. Upon investigating, we found out it was an adult model, that the guy placed on the junior table because there was an electric outlet there to plug in his lights! So we went to the next highest vote.

We do go out and get a visual on the winners prior to awards announcement. As said earlier, 99% of the time the crowd gets it right. The best in show is always a hands down winner.

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and a little story... let's just say in a far away land a long time ago there was a first year event with peoples choice voting. One of the guys running the event took me aside to ask for advise on a dilemma. There was a participant who entered models in many categories. They weren't very well built models. He brought two boys, maybe 9-13 years old with him to the show. Neither kid had any models to display. He had the two kids walking around and asking people for ballots. Then the show team realized that a stack of ballots disappeared off the registration table when they weren't looking. So the show team knew this guy had stuffed the ballot box. I asked just how bad.. they said they'd have to give him every award at the show!

So obviously all of his ballots were tossed out, and the contest results went from there. At the end of the awards ceremony this guy was livid. In his mind the contest was about who 'collected the most coupons'. He kept calling the ballots 'coupons'. He thought he was crafty and had won the contest. Every so often you get someone who has ideas from friggin Mars, and no moral fiber at all. He had no concept that a contest was about building the best model, only how to pull one over on the crowd.

Never mind what he was teaching those kids!

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Jantrix, I have to ask, what does that "eye" symbol represent on your diorama. Sorry if this is a dumb question but this crazy kid at my high school used to use that to sign all of his papers rather than write his name on them. That, and he also always wore an army helmet and carried around a broken piece of wood. :huh: Any info because I have been trying to figure it out for over a year now.

Josh, the eye is a symbol from Stephen King's Dark Tower series, the Eye of the Crimson King, the villain that resides at the Dark Tower that is trying to destroy all reality. And yeah, that guy sounds like someone who needs more hugs from mom and dad.

JANTRIX, your Cougar display looks like a diorama to me. Was it entered in that category? If you were entered in that category at an IPMS or similar judged contest then the judges would appraise the model and the base as a unified entry. If it were entered in the related car category ("Street Machine" or whatever) the judges would be permitted to judge only the model, not the base. If it were entered in the diorama category at an NNL contest it seems like it would have a much better chance of winning simply because the whole display with the model is much cooler than the model by itself among 50 other cars in whatever category it were entered in.

No. I have never brought the dio-base to a contest. It's my first attempt at such a thing and I don't feel its good enough to show as a diorama, compared to most dioramas I have seen at contests. Also I know the subject matter it's based upon, would only appeal to folks that have also read the series and would be lost on most judges. I have only ever entered the Cougar as a street machine.

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Josh, the eye is a symbol from Stephen King's Dark Tower series, the Eye of the Crimson King, the villain that resides at the Dark Tower that is trying to destroy all reality. And yeah, that guy sounds like someone who needs more hugs from mom and dad.

Thanks for the info. That has been bugging the heck out of me forever! :lol: It all is definately beginning to make sense now.

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I totally respect those who build for contests, but I quit building models to try and win contests a long time ago. These days, I build stuff to please myself and I enjoy building a lot more now.

Nice job on the Cougar BTW. It's a neat piece and I'd be happy to have it on much shelf. I wouldn't change a thing.

Edited by S. Svendsen

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Sean I have seen your work, if those do not win contest's then I have no ambition to ever try to enter a contest

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Scale-Master, not to overload you, but I would also be interested in you critique. I have always enjoyed seeing your work and having someone with your skill set give me some pointers would definitely help my building. I know this is sort of a grey area on most of these forums so if you wanted to do it by PM that would be fine.

Ditto. While I'm well aware my old sparkly orange '70 Chevelle has more than its share of shortcomings, I'd like your spin on it too....since you brought it up.

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........ but I quit building models to try and win contests a long time ago. These days, I build stuff to please myself and I enjoy building a lot more now.

I'm always intrigued by this attitude, as I don't see where entering contests has to detract from the pleasure of building. I build exactly what I want, when I want, and how I want....but if I'm pleased with the results, I'll enter a car in a contest just to see how it does against other folks. I'll NEVER build anything any particular way to impress a judge, but since I'm constantly trying to improve my skills anyway, I figure I may as well compete if I happen to turn out something I'm really happy with. Losing doesn't make me dislike the model one bit, nor does it add any pressure to a build (cause i never know if I'll bother to compete with one until it's done).

I've talked to a lot of 1:1 builders I know around here, and it's interesting to hear the varied opinions of the car that won this years AMBR. The competition was among cars that were, for the most part, the highest build-quality hot-rods on the planet, and so the judging was necessarily quite subjective. I'm sure this occurs with models frequently too.

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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

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