I usually avoid discussions like this, but I feel compelled to add my views as regards the judging at Euro Militaire, a show which I have attended and competed at for many years.
By way of introduction, my name is Michael McLaughlin, I write articles for Military Modelling magazine in my spare time and I have been competing in the major model shows in the UK (Euro, On-Track, MAFVA Nationals and BMSS Nationals)over the past year. Going by the publicity and exposure theory I should have come home from Euro with medals.....
I entered four models at Euro 2011 in the diorama, military figure, civilian figure and miscellaneous civilian classes. Only one model was given an award; a highly commended which in layman's terms means: "Your model is close, but not quite up to medal standard."
I have to say that in my opinion my models were not as good as the medal winners, which in addition to being perfectly finished also had an extra 'something' which took them to a different level.
My favourite diorama,this year was titled "Benzin" which depicted a scene in the North African desert during a sand storm. The extra something hit me when I leaned closer to get a better look and I was convinced that I was going to get sand blown in my eyes, so much so that I instinctively closed my eyes and stepped back onto someone's foot!
It really is impossible to tell by looking at photos the standard of the models in the competition some models photograph well, but do not look so good to the eye which leads into the building for the camera or the eye discussion.
Last year I conducted an experiment, I entered the same models at the major UK shows and not model one model consistently received awards. One model which won best of show at Trucks 'n' Tracks did not receive an award at any other show and models which failed to get any award at Trucks 'n' Tracks received golds silvers and bronzes at other shows. Only one model received an award at Euro and that was a Commended.
I have come to the conclusion that in most competitions a model catches the judges' eye, but at Euro the standard of work,sheer volume of entries, inventiveness and originality makes it much more difficult to catch the eye of the judges. I think that the way that the standard of the medal winners improves year on year that my models will never bother the judges when they are deciding on the gold medal awards, but I will keep trying.
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