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"They certainly don't give much useful information to provide direction for changes or improvement."
I believe judges are available on the Sunday for criticism and comment. Several friends have made use of this to ask how to improve their models and where they may have come short of a certain standard
Personally I have never availed myself of this because I don't want to build to win, I just want to model better, so I focus all my efforts on just trying to improve in every way because my goal is to be a better modeller, not a better competition modeller, but that specific, in-depth advice is available from the judges if you want it
As for the judging, as I've said before, I do compete and will continue to compete at Euro. My personal best is a bronze this year for scratchbuilt/ converted and finished (Like MIG I think a model should be finished rather than shown naked, but its a personal opinion)
I compete for the fun of it and whilst I know the judging may not be perfect I have not got my 'awards' for following fashions or knowing the judges. Given I am a nobody in this hobby I doubt they know my models either. Personally I was very happy with a bronze. To me Euro is a tough competition. A bronze there is like a gold elsewhere. It doesn't bother me that a model that won me gold at MAFVA Nationals got nothing at Euro because in my eyes that toughter judging makes achievement at Euro that much sweeter
Maybe if I was used to getting golds I'd feel different, but personally I enjoyed the show and the competition.