You heard that right, I’ve held off of announcing it until we had a few things locked in but we will be holding a club show again this year! For the sake of my sanity have enlisted the help of my VP as Show Coordinator. But Don’t Worry folks. I’m still sticking my oar in constantly. I have an agenda that I want to push during my presidency, and this will be my last year so it’s now or never. It’s time to drag IPMS Santa Rosa and lead Region 9 as a whole into the 21st century. I want us to continue embracing the future of this hobby. Not at the expense of the fine history of the hobby but in addition to it. We have plenty of scope to be awed, wowed, and blown away by 1:72 fighter planes, Sci-Fi scale models, figures, dioramas and gunpla (Gundam models) all equally.
Ok ok I hear you all say, this has been my soap box for the last two years, this is nothing new… what’s new?
OPEN JUDGING BABY!!!
That’s right people. I have brow beaten the club into agreeing to everyone’s favorite form of judging – the Participation Award! So if you want to come along and get a prize for whatever PoS scrap of plastic you can scrounge up… come on down! I am single handedly making the entire concept of a club show a total farce, I am taking all value out of the noble art of judging and showing models. I am going to be ruining the whole hobby for everyone. And I am very much looking forward to the dozens DOZENS of letters telling me in no uncertain terms that this is exactly what I’m doing. So if you’d like to weigh in yourself please by all means drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or even my real email address if you feel so inclined.
Alright now that we’ve sent the folks that have no interest in actually changing their mind scuttling off to unearth my real email address and shout into the void… here’s what I am actually trying to achieve with all this:
It is my belief that Podium judging (1st,2nd,3rd) in IPMS has been watered down to the extent of being little better than a participation award in many instances. Everyone knows those people that will build subjects they don’t have much passion for because it’ll be a light category… IPMS breaks down categories to more and more granular subjects to ensure there aren’t too many entries in a single category. This is required for judging but it also means that you’re really not competing against as many other entries as you might think. We ran the numbers on last years show and almost half of the entries got an award of some kind.
So why is Open judging the solution? Well there is one thing that I value that a well run Open Judged Contest (Sometimes referred to as Gold, Silver, Bronze or GSB) provides that is not present in standard Podium judging: The ability to easily assess how you are progressing as a modeller year upon year. Did I finally get a Bronze this year? Amazing. The effort paid off! AND I can work towards a Silver next year, then Gold after that…. ok so what about those talented bastards that get Gold every year? Well they STILL get to compete against the other talented bastards for the Best in Category or event the Best in Show. This judging format, in my opinion (if you haven’t realised this whole blog is just my opinion… honestly why you’re reading it at all is quite beyond me), is capable of encouraging and growing our hobby far more effectively than Podium judging, People’s Choice or No Judging (aka Display only). You are able to get input on how you are doing, without necessarily feeling like you have to be the best of the best. If you’re new to the hobby, you get to see what others are doing and see how you can progress as well as peg where you are now. And of course it still has the awards for the top competitors.
Ok ok but what about it just being a participation award I hear you thinking loudly at the computer screen. Well that’s entirely dependent on the calibre of the Judges at the show, the Judging standards being used and the running of the show. I already mentioned how much I value consistent judging year on year and assuming the club chooses to run this again in future years, I want to establish a rigorous judging basis that considers and carefully weighs both technical and artistic merits with consideration for the specific category being judged. This is still a work in progress and I am working closely with my nominee for Head Judge to establish this. I am in fact putting more work into this than I did in planning all of last year’s show. It is a task I do not take lightly. This is the biggest thing I want to achieve in my presidency and I have only one shot at making it a success – a fact I am very mindful of. What are the details of this judging? I confess they are not ready to be shared yet, BUT! They will. in the next few weeks I hope we will have initial guidelines and from there we can start selecting and training judges. (That’s right – we are looking to establish the judging teams BEFORE the day of the show).
So have I convinced you this is a valuable way to run a show? WONDERFUL! Looking forward to seeing you and all your latest creations at our show on October 12th
Still skeptical? I ask that you give it a chance. We are working hard to run the best show we can and hopefully it will be one you can enjoy! Put that date in your calendar now, just in case – October 12th
Not interested in changing your mind? No way Open can compare to Podium? Come to the show! I’ll be there all day and with a show coordinator doing all the hard work, I’ll have nothing better to do than hear you lecture me, at length, about how wrong I am… while you’re at it – why don’t you bring some of your worst models to demonstrate how it’s nothing more than a participation award? I’ll be there with my earplugs and polite British Accent ready to face your ire and outrage.
During our last business meeting – we settled on the theme for our show: Evolution! Is it on the nose? Hell yeah it is but it’s also going to give plenty of opportunities to get those dinosaur models painted up and on the table!
2024 IPMS Santa Rosa show – Evolution
October 12, 2024
Rohnert Park Community Center Multi Use Room
5401 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Full fliers and details to follow in the next few weeks.
One last thing – This show will be our first time at a new location, with a new judging format, with a very strict time window for the show. Things will go wrong and we beg you all to be patient with us as we work through it all and if you feel so inclined, consider volunteering and lending us a hand to make this a success.