Let me see if I understand you. You went to the biggest IPMS show in the Pacific Northwest and wonder why most of the hardware was taken home by IPMS modelers?? What did you expect?
If you paid #10 you were an entrant, not just a spectator. For you ten bucks you got a free raffle ticket for every model you entered and registration to a contest that featured over 500 models. Granted, that is pretty stiff competition, but since many of the winning entries were truly fine work, the fact that you might not have won anything is nothing to be upset about.
Incidentally, the raffle tickets were not even mentioned by you. Some of the stuff was a top of the line Aztec Air Brush, the new Revell 1/72nd U boat and several other very expensive kits. Apparently you didn't do any good there either.
We made the decision to go with certificates instead of ribbons several years ago. We re-evaluate that after every show and will do so again this year. We think the certificates are much more reflective of our show than just another ribbon. Cheap Blue "Copied" paper? I don't think so Every year we try to find both an original NW artwork for the front, and design another unique certificate to be signed by each of the show chairman. This year we had four. As for the paper, it always is chosen from the best stock available.
Now, down to the meat of the matter. We have used the same judging criteria for at least the last 40 years that I can remember. Each year it is tweaked and changed to reflect what we learned at the last show. The judges come from all over the Pacific Northwest, NOT just the Seattle area. The rules and judging criteria is clearly posted at every show and were available on the IPMS - Seattle web site several months prior to the show. Should have been no surprises for you there.Your implication that the judging is somehow biased is strongly resented. You have no facts and never will because it just ain't so.
I have been a judge at almost all of the Pacific Northwest shows (IPMS and others) for most of the 40 years I have been involved and I can tell you that good workmanship is the ONLY way you are going to get an award from me or from most shows. I could care less who built it. If it warrants winning it will. As a further aside, my team of three included me and two very pleasant guys from Vancouver, BC. I did not even know them prior to judging, but I do now and consider them fellow modeling friends.
Just as an aside, I might point out that most of the hardware walked out the door in the hands of Non IPMS Seattle members. And that has been the case for many years. We like it that way. This show is our effort to put on a great model show for Seattle, not to feather our own display cabinets. The popular best of show was won by a non Seattle entrant,. Wayne is a previous best of show winner here and also a National winner.The best in each of the small armor categories that I judged was about evenly split between people I knew to be IPMS member somewhere and others that I did not know.
If (as you indicated) you entered the contest, you know that there is no mention anywhere on the entry form about IPMS (or any other) affiliation. Nor is the name of the entrant displayed where the public or the judges can see it. We had judges from as far North as Northern BC, Idaho, Portland and Salem, Oregon and Spokane just to mention a few. The teams are know only to the Contest committee prior to show day and the judges don't know who they will be judging with or what categories until show morning. Now you tell me how they (or us) can rig that?
I am sorry you did not like our show. Everyone I talked to during the show and afterward thought it to be the best show they attend every year.
Now here is the bottom line. If you were truly an attendee and are willing to send me some proof that you indeed did attend and enter, and it matches our entrant records. I will personally refund your ten bucks.
Norm Filer Sec/ Treas IPMS Seattle