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Heisler

Judging the Reaper Con MSP Open - Diorama Division

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This is the third in a series of four posts each concentrating on a different entry category. You can find information about the scoring system itself in the Painter Division post. From here forward I will just concentrate on how the component guidelines apply to the other three divisions

 

Diorama Division

The Diorama Division does not exist in the MMSI structure. At MMSI a diorama goes into the Open Division as it encompasses the same set of skills. I, however, felt the Open Division ignored or down played the story and what is a diorama without a story?  This is the division that lets you show off the same skills that the Open Division does and wrap it around a story. Again if you have just a single entry then the judges can just go ahead and score your entry, no discussion is necessary. If you have multiple entries, then there will be a discussion between the judges on which entry they want to score. That conversation is typically the only conversation although these discussions tend to be longer than they might be in the Painter Division.  However, when selecting the scoring entry the conversation is still based on “I can score this one higher than the others” or words to that affect, till they come to a decision just as it would be for the Painter Division. 

 

Let’s take a quick look at the scoring guidelines the judges use (which is published as part of the MSP Open rules. One cautionary note’ these particular scoring guidelines may change slightly):

Difficulty: 15%

Creativity: 15%

Workmanship: 25%

Painting Skill: 30%

Presentation: 15%

 

What does this mean for the Diorama Division? In this division we are really want to see all your hobby skills as well as your story telling ability. While the components remain the same the emphasis has obviously changed a great deal.

 

Difficulty: This is a tough one for the Diorama category, since most dioramas are difficult to begin with. We reduced the emphasis here because we feel that you should not take a hit for a good story that is comparatively simple to tell.  

 

Creativity: Creativity steps up a bit here.  While painting is still factor this is the portion that shows us the story you are telling. Now painting is combined with your ability to convert, sculpt and tell a story to your audience. The entrant’s imagination comes into play here, you are looking to tell a story to your viewers. You are striving for the audience to understand your story without commentary from you. It can be subtle or in your face but if you have to explain it then you have not succeeded.

 

Workmanship: This remains a pretty straightforward component but in the Diorama Division there is a higher emphasis on it. It reflects how well constructed the entire piece is. Any type of non-painting effort is represented here. This is includes your ability to do conversions and/or scratch sculpt or at least be able to blend your miniatures in with the scene you have constructed. A missed mold line, poor assembly or a poorly executed conversion could easily drop you a while numeric value in the scoring.

 

Painting Skill: Everything that was said about painting still applies in the Diorama Division but there is less emphasis. At this point workmanship and creativity components exceed the painting component. While we don’t expect your abilities to be exactly equal in those areas you cannot count on your ability to paint alone to carry you over the top.

 

Presentation:  There is more emphasis on the is component as well. You are building the entire entry, essentially from scratch, and the presentation of everything you do affects the story. From the miniatures to the setting, this is where it all comes together. How you present it can be the difference between gold and silver.

Edited by Heisler
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