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Ipms competition criteria


Muchmirth
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Hi all, 

I’ve never entered a model competition or been to a show (unfortunately can’t make it to the Irish nationals this year) hope to make it to a couple next year and hopefully have a few worthy entries in the competitions. I build mostly dioramas and AFVs and wondered if anyone had any experience with these? I’ve looked on line to try and find the Ipms uk or Irish guidelines for marking/assessing a model but drew a blank. 
  What do the judges looks for, obviously good models, but I guess my question is what in particular do they think makes a good model? I’ve heard decal alignment is one of the items (no good if they are wonkey, which is pretty much common sense) and that they shine a light into crevices to see if their any unpainted bits (which again makes perfect sense).

    What else makes a winner, specifically within the realms of dioramas and AFVs?

  Thanks in advance to anyone who maybe able to offer any advice on this. 
 Best for now,

Paul.

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I judged at a couple of shows some years ago. IIRC there were five categories laid down, each scoring 20 points, 100 in total. We were told to mark the first at 12-13 because, as good as it may seem, you may well see something better, and this starting point gives latitude for marking up and down. The judges will score each of the categories and naturally a winner will emerge at the end of the scoring. It seemed a very effective way to me.

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To be honest, at a provincial UK show the competition sections are pretty small with broad categories, so you are not going to get strictly followed guidelines, its more down to judge's personal preferences.

 

I did help with judging at an event once and it was just a discussion between the judges allocated to that category to pick a winner, no specific guidelines followed.

 

Diorama is a particularly hard category to judge as some of these scenes can be gargantuan with hundreds of figures.

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The full IPMS (UK) 'official' judging criteria is only really used at Scale ModelWorld. Any other 'IPMS' branded show may or may not choose to use the same criteria because they are judging far fewer models in a smalller number of classes, just as all the independent shows often use varying criteria.

 

The IPMS judging criteria focus primarily on construction and finish - properly aligned wings on aircraft, no mould seams or glue marks, no seam 'gaps' or obvious misalignment of parts, no silvering under decals, neatly applied paint and markings etc. 

 

The subject matter being judged in any competition class can be extremely varied, so concentrating on the basic modelling skills of the builder is considered to be the common 'level playing field' factor in a class of varied models. The other criteria to consider is that formal IPMS rules generally work on the principle of 'the best model on the table, on the day', rather than trying to judge against a pre-defined standard. There are advantages and disadvantages to that approach, just as there are in any other judging system (I've yet to come across the 'perfect' approach to judging model competitions, despite competing or judging or organising under a number of different judging systems over the years).

 

The IPMS Ireland rules and judging criteria are based on the UK criteria but might vary slightly - it's a while since I've been to the Irish Nationals. As others have said, the one indefinable element is the people doing the judging. They vary from show to show.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, John Tapsell said:

The full IPMS (UK) 'official' judging criteria is only really used at Scale ModelWorld. Any other 'IPMS' branded show may or may not choose to use the same criteria because they are judging far fewer models in a smalller number of classes, just as all the independent shows often use varying criteria.

 

The IPMS judging criteria focus primarily on construction and finish - properly aligned wings on aircraft, no mould seams or glue marks, no seam 'gaps' or obvious misalignment of parts, no silvering under decals, neatly applied paint and markings etc. 

 

The subject matter being judged in any competition class can be extremely varied, so concentrating on the basic modelling skills of the builder is considered to be the common 'level playing field' factor in a class of varied models. The other criteria to consider is that formal IPMS rules generally work on the principle of 'the best model on the table, on the day', rather than trying to judge against a pre-defined standard. There are advantages and disadvantages to that approach, just as there are in any other judging system (I've yet to come across the 'perfect' approach to judging model competitions, despite competing or judging or organising under a number of different judging systems over the years).

 

The IPMS Ireland rules and judging criteria are based on the UK criteria but might vary slightly - it's a while since I've been to the Irish Nationals. As others have said, the one indefinable element is the people doing the judging. They vary from show to show.

 

 

 

 

Well thanks to all the above, that really solves a lot of my curiosity about it all…. Seems pretty fair to me…. Just means to have work on becoming a much better builder!! 😂

cheers lads, much appreciate your input.

Paul

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I am not up on the UK criteria so take this for what it is worth.  I judge dios and Miscellaneous at the US Nats.  Think I have done 8 or so Nats.

Basic construction is the main criteria.  With tanks a big one is are all the road wheels aligned?  Is the track making contact where it should?  Is stowage sitting correctly (ie not floating)?

In dios we grade 50% on the story depicted.  There is also Vignettes which don’t have to tell a story but the whole base and figures are judged.

I have seen figures bring down a decent scene and improve a mediocre one.

Edited by philp
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1 hour ago, philp said:

I am not up on the UK criteria so take this for what it is worth.  I judge dios and Miscellaneous at the US Nats.  Think I have done 8 or so Nats.

Basic construction is the main criteria.  With tanks a big one is are all the road wheels aligned?  Is the track making contact where it should?  Is stowage sitting correctly (ie not floating)?

In dios we grade 50% on the story depicted.  There is also Vignettes which don’t have to tell a story but the whole base and figures are judged.

I have seen figures bring down a decent scene and improve a mediocre one.

I suspect you'll find the fundamentals are the same. We certainly based some of the wording for our 'out of the box' classes (categories on your side of the pond) and 'plain base' rules when we revamped our rules and criteria in the late'90s.

 

I did some judging at the 2001 Chicago convention and I didn't find it different in approach to what I was familiar with in the UK and I was the UK National Competition Secretary (Chief Judge) at the time, so I was living and breathing the process.

 

Personally, as a treadhead, I've always liked the philosophy behind the AMPS judging system, but the logistics and number of volunteers required for it to work effectively make it really difficult to implement when you rely on a (relatively) small team of judges.

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17 hours ago, philp said:

I am not up on the UK criteria so take this for what it is worth.  I judge dios and Miscellaneous at the US Nats.  Think I have done 8 or so Nats.

Basic construction is the main criteria.  With tanks a big one is are all the road wheels aligned?  Is the track making contact where it should?  Is stowage sitting correctly (ie not floating)?

In dios we grade 50% on the story depicted.  There is also Vignettes which don’t have to tell a story but the whole base and figures are judged.

I have seen figures bring down a decent scene and improve a mediocre one.

Thanks Philip… very interesting. I’m glad that their is a percentage of marking in regards to dios for story, as I’m heavily into this…. However on my tanks the stowage is connected by skyhooks (ask any uk based labourer for these and you’ll know what mean), road wheels are cockeyed and tracks… well aren’t they connected by imagination and a wing and a prayer?😉😂

  Good insight into the process, thanks again.

Paul

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I would suspect that - for the most part - judges are looking for defects, to eliminate models that will not be considered in the final stages. This is not being critical of the whole process - on a practical level, only the absolute best in class can really be discussed and mulled over. 

 

I think I would have this approach. I have seen model-makers get very annoyed at their creations not having won any recognition in a competition, but this whole business is very much a matter-of-opinion. What one judge considers awful, another might well praise to the heavens. 

 

Cheers. 

 

Chris.  

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