I found is many models had distractions. By that I mean things that draw your attention away from the model to something else,
Such distractions included display bases full of patches and other memorabilia (I am not counting dioramas here). There were some wingy things with way too many access points opened. When I tried to look at the model, I found my attention being pulled away by distractions that were part of the entry.
I found the models much easier on the eye when they had simpler bases (e.g., textured colored glass instead of attempts to simulate water) or no bases.
I presume there is some modeling rule that judging is not supposed to take the base into account. Nonetheless, all but one of the winners (an armor diorama) had either no base or a simple base.