My Comments on Judging at the 2013 IPMS/USA Contest

By Rodney Williams

1:32 SCALE

Text by: Rodney J. Williams
Photos by: S.V.S.M. staff member

I was one of three judges, including one lady “OJT” person. OJT is defined as: “On The Job Training”. We judged the above stated category.

One of the other team judges was appointed by the head Aircraft Judge Mr Bill Devins to be our “team leader”.

Our team leader elected to write on the back of each entry form what was wrong with each model (eg: dust, seams, gaps, alignment etc.).

When we were finished judging this category we turned over the entry forms and counted up the flaws. This gave us the selection of three models that had the fewer amount of imperfections.

Thus our team leader CAREFULLY picked up each model and we all looked on the bottom of the model(s). The team leader had on a rubber glove so he did not leave any residue on the models. He did not break any models.

Enclosed are the three winning models that we all agreed upon, including our “OJT” judge, who does not vote. However we felt that she was a great help to us so we ask for her comments.

If your model was not in the winning circle then it contained more flaws than the three winners. If you did not pick up your entry form with your model, then you will never know why your model did not win.

The losing models had several of the basic flaws:

Gaps, Sink/Mold Marks, Bad Seams, Wing, Tail-Plane, Canopy and Landing Gear Alignment, Decal Silvering and Paint Problems.

Dust on models from the “home front” was a problem and we discounted any dust from the carpeted convention hall floor.

If you become an “OJT” like I did back in 1987, you will learn how to build a winning model.

Some of the helicopters that we judged in another category appeared to have a large accumulation of household dust on their models, which could not be blown off.

Suggestion to all modelers:

Please deep clean your models prior to bringing them to ANY CONTEST.

From the time I finish my models and take their photos they go to my dust proof showcase and/or in a dust proof plastic box.

Three decades ago my finished models were placed on a shelf in our living room and/or on a shelf in my model room. Within just a couple of months they were cover with kitchen grease and then dust settled on them. I tried wiping off the “goo” and ruined most all of my 27 models.

Today, August 25, 2013 I have models in my showcase that were built in the late 1980’s and in the 1990’s. They still look as if I finished them yesterday and they are dust-free.

Cheers and have more modeling fun.

Rodney J. Williams
IPMS/USA #21268

The fist photo is the 3rd place winner and the second photos is the 2nd place winner and the first place winner is the last photo as per their alignment in our club's website (

© Rodney Williams 2013

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This article was published on Monday, August 26 2013; Last modified on Monday, August 26 2013