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5 pages of Rules!
That's why I gave up on IPMS.
We use basic IPMS USA judging criteria - basic modeling skills, including seam work, proper alignment, no glue marks, mold lines removed, paint finish, etc. Consistency counts for a lot, too. Accuracy is a secondary consideration - as an hypothetical example, a judge may have proof that a Panzer Mk.III made in June of 1940 may have had rounded fenders, but, bot having them on a model in competition does not mean anything because that judge or set of judges would have to have encyclopedic expertise for ALL of the other tanks it's competing against. That's the only way to be fair. Whatever extra work a modeler does on an entry, must be carried out with the same clean modeling skills, so if he opened all the hatches, but left glue marks on the connections, that is going to count against it. In most categories (except for dioramas), bases are NOT considered during judging. Personally, I like a nicely done display base, supported by things like patches, data plates, etc.
Here's a link to the IPMS USA Contest Rules. https://ipmsusa.org/sites/default/files/2021_ipms-usa_national_contest_rules.pdf
I don't attend many modeling shows as my main interest is the real thing. But let me share an observation as an outsider:
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.
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