Every modeller has their own idea of how an excellent model should appear. This fact inspires the incredible diversity of construction techniques, paint finishes, weathering and additional detailing we see displayed each year at QMHE. It is, however, something which can make judging competition models incredibly challenging. While most modellers share common views about the standard of construction expected of a winning model there are many different ideas about the:
- degree of importance judges should place on the standard of construction versus, say, the addition of enhancements to give that added "wow" factor
- appropriateness of certain weathering techniques and painting styles
- importance of accuracy to the references provided
Ultimately, deciding which model wins in a closely contested field is a subjective process. Judgements must be made about the overall impact of each model, taking into account construction, finish, special work, accuracy and scale realism.
Our judging system
Many different judging systems are used to decide the outcome of competitions like QMHE and ours is just one version. It is similar to the judging system used at international competitions such as the US Nationals held annually in America.
We do not use a ‘points based’ system.
Three judges are allocated to each competition category and asked to determine, by consensus, the winning models. Their decisions are ratified by the chief judge. By using a panel of three judges to select the winners we hope to ensure the personal views of one judge about what a winning model should look like are balanced by the views of other experienced judges, and that a fair decision is reached.
How are our judges selected?
QMHE member clubs are asked to nominate experienced modellers who judge regularly in local competitions or have judged previously at QMHE, who then join our judging panel.
What do you mean you don’t agree with the judges’ decisions?
In every competition there are winners and losers. Modellers and visitors attending the show will have their own personal favourite models. Sometimes, the judges’ decisions won’t reflect the decisions you would have made had you been judging. We don’t expect that everyone will agree with all of the decisions made by our judges, but we trust that our judges will be fair and use their experience and expertise to ensure the right choices are made to the best of their abilities.
Possibly the most important rule for competitors
Read the competition rules closely and enter your model in the correct category. While most modellers understand and accept the subjective nature of the judging process, they will not accept people deliberately entering in categories that do not comply with the rules of the competition.
While we try to ensure each model is entered in the correct category through our scrutineering process, there are an incredible number of kits available on the market. Occasionally, we’ll be unsure whether a modeller has added parts not included in a kit or made modifications not permitted by the category rules. For this reason, we have to be able to rely on the information modellers provide us about their models when they enter. If we overlook something, and inadvertently allow a model to be entered in the wrong category, we know one of the many experienced modellers attending QMHE will notice... and word gets around very quickly.
There is no value in winning or placing in a category if you did not comply with the competition rules.