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Is it possible to enter minis for special awards only, outside of the general categories?   For instance,  can you enter for the mousling category consideration without having that mini be considered for say, the painters category?  

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In a way? You can enter multiple figures in the Open category for example. The judges will only judge one figure for Open... but maybe now I see the deeper question. If a figure gets picked for the Open, but you entered a second figure in Open which was a mousling, would it be considered at all for the mousling portion of the contest?

 

I want to say that it will, regardless of which figure you entered that gets judged for that Open category (as an example). But hopefully there's an answer coming tomorrow. Weekends are always light.

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There are Six (6) threads filed under 

“Home > Reaper Discussion > ReaperCon” that deal with the MSPOpen rules. (The same level as this short thread) Most of them are pinned threads. 
 

It is surprising this topic is not already covered in one of them. 

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Let me preface this by saying I am not a judge and I've never been involved with the judging, all of the below is all based on my experience and observation only, and if I've missed something or got it wrong I'm sure someone will help correct me

I can say from past experience entering multiple pieces in Painters, that unless they change how they handle it, you have to choose one of the 4 'main' categories, (Painters, Open, Diorama, Ordinance.)  Then you can also choose a minor category (mouslings, chibi, theme, monsters, etc).  There isn't a way to enter something only in a minor category

 

Believe it or not, this is actually a GOOD thing.

 

BUT, the item that is chosen for judging for the main category does not prevent other items you entered from being considered for the minor category they qualify in.  

For example, say you have a bust you've painted that you think is your best piece.  Since there's no conversion, and it's not a diorama or ordinance, it needs to go in Painters for the best judging.  

You also have a Mousling and a Bombshell Chibi, both of which are also not converted and not a diorama.  They also need to go to Painters.

 

If, when the judges come around, they agree that the bust is your best piece, they will judge it for the main competition.  

When the Chibi crew comes around, they'll still judge your chibi.

When Bombshell comes around, they'll Also judge your Chibi since it was one of their models.

Then the mousling crew will judge your mousling.

At the awards ceremony, you could get a medal for your bust, a dogtag for your chibi, and then potentially a trophy for either the chibi or the mouse. 

 

Here's where the real benefit comes in.  Lets say when the judges came around for the main competition they took a look at your bust and agreed that it's well done, but doesn't show off any techniques more challenging than smooth blending and directional lighting.  But say your chibi has OSL coming from a torch, and freehand brocade on it's cape, and both are also done very well. They MIGHT decide that they can give a better score on the chibi than the Bust, and that might result in you scoring a silver medal when the bust may have been only at a bronze level (This is all hypotheticals here).   It also doesn't matter for the main MSP competition that the chibi is not a reaper mini.

 

Edited by Cygnwulf
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Hi thedogfather1! I am one of the primary judges at the MSP Open. I'm not entirely sure if I understand the concern behind your question. If the following doesn't answer your question, please provide a little more information and I'll try again, or let the Executive Director of the contest know he needs to pop by to answer.

 

Is your concern along the lines of what Cygnwulf posited? Let's say a scenario like this. You enter three figures into the Painters category - a Bombshell alien, a Reaper dragon, and a Reaper mousling. Is your concern that if the judges choose to award your dragon with a bronze medal then your mousling can't get considered for the special mousling awards?

 

If that is your concern, Cygnwulf is right, you do not need to worry about that! I'll go into the details below, but if you just want the short version, it's this: everything you enter is considered for everything that it's eligible for. We are always striving to do everything in your favour.

 

There are essentially two contests running at the same time. The overall MSP Open is the main categories, and one miniature from your display in each is chosen for judging in the medal system.

 

All of the other awards are judged completely separately from that system. The Sophie trophies, the Mousling trophies, and the Giant Sized Monster trophies are manufacturer awards sponsored by Reaper. Other manufacturers may choose to sponsor awards, and individuals and groups can, as well. The special awards are not judged at the same time as the medals, and may not be judged by the same people. Manufacturers and others who sponsor awards can select their own judges, and use their own judging criteria. All of the figures that are eligible for a given special award are considered for that award. It does not matter whether they were judged for a medal or not.

 

Here's how the scenario I suggested above might play out in practice:

 

When the judges look over your display in the Painters category, they decide that your dragon piece is the best representative of your work. They look at it more and realize that it is actually a diorama that tells a great story. They discuss whether they would award a different medal if the piece were judged under the Diorama category standards rather than the Painters category standards, and they think it's possible it would get a silver in diorama, but would only receive a bronze in Painters. They check whether you already have anything entered in Diorama, and if you do not, they transfer the piece to that category. I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the criteria for each of the categories and enter pieces accordingly, but it's a lot and can be confusing, so we move stuff around to people's benefit when that's an option.  

 

The judges would return to your display and consider your remaining two Painters entries. They decide of those two, the Bombshell one shows your skills to best advantage, so they judge that and award a bronze medal.

 

That is what would happen for the MSP Open side of things. Almost none of what happens with that medal judging has any bearing on any of the special awards. The only place it might intersect is with the Sophie trophies, since those align with the main categories. Your dragon is now in Diorama, so it would now be eligible for a Diorama Sophie award instead of a Painters Sophie award.

 

All of your entries would still be considered for any other awards for which they are eligible. It does not matter which one was judged for a medal placement. The available special awards can change from year to year as companies, individuals, and groups can sponsor additional special awards, but this would be an example of the eligibility for each of your figures:

Bombshell alien: eligible for the Bombshell manufacturer awards

 

Reaper dragon diorama: eligible for Diorama Sophie trophy, eligible for Giant Sized Monster Award

 

Reaper mousling: eligible for Painters Sophie trophy, eligible for Mousling Award

 

All of your entries: eligible for Best in Show (voted on by contest entrants), eligible for Theme Award (assuming they fit into that year's theme), and your overall display of your miniatures in either Painters or Diorama would be eligible for the Display Award.

I hope that helps, but if it doesn't, please give me more information about your concern and I'll try again!
 

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@Wren @Cygnwulf or other knowledgeable people please speak up if I'm wrong here. 

I seem to recall at the 2018 MSP contest that a couple of entries were tagged with a note that said something along the lines of "do not judge for painters, mousling only" or something like that. 

I know that at least one of Anne's pieces had a note like that, though it may have just said "not for judging". 

Now whether or not that had any bearing on what was judged for what or how, I have no idea. 

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If you read this previously I have received clarifications on some of the statements I made earlier as regards MSP Open rules and procedures. Skim through and look for bolded sections like this for the updated info. I have crossed out the statements I made that are inaccurate rather than editing them out.

This could relate to a few possibilities, so I'll cover all of them.

 

I believe that if an entrant made a note on their entry card to NOT consider them for a special award that we will respect that. I really don't see any reason why we would not, but would have to check with Michael Proctor for the final verdict.

 

An entrant might choose to do that because they painted the piece by commission for a manufacturer and that manufacturer doesn't consider it eligible, but the person(s) doing the judging for the manufacturer might not be aware of that. Or maybe the entrant is only interested in the main placements or doesn't want awards they'll need to dust.  I don't think we'd need to know the reason, just giving some examples.

 

It is also possible to put figures in your display that are not eligible for judging or that you do not want judged. They are not entered into the contest system, and you display them with a card that says "Display Only". Those pieces essentially do not exist within the contest system (including the special awards) and no one related to the contest looks at them in an official capacity.

 

Entrants might do this if they offer a commission painting/sculpting service to give more people a chance to see their work in person, or they have a piece they want to show off to friends but it's fragile so they don't want to carry it around with them all con.

The Executive Director let me know that if there is a situation where someone would like an entry considered only for special awards and not for the main MSP medal judging, we will try to figure out how to do that. That is just one reason why Michael Proctor is such a great Executive Director!

 

So far as I know, it is not possible to do a mix of those things to get to the scenario that thedogfather1 originally proposed. You cannot enter a piece as 'display only' from the point of view of the main MSP judging, but have it be considered as an entry for special awards.

 

One reason for that is the Here are some technical details of how the contest works. Each entry is entered into the computer system. It receives a unique entry number. That entry includes information about the entrant's name, the entered category, the manufacturer(s), and possibly a few other things I'm forgetting. A picture is taken of the entry that is associated with that entry number and entrant.

 

In the past we've allowed entrants to enter anonymously. Their name is in the system for reading out awards and such, but it is not printed on their entry cards nor on the judges papers. Note that a judge will recuse themselves if they feel they have such strong feelings for or against an entrant that they can't judge them impartially, or if they can't be impartial because they offered a lot of advice on the figure, or for any other reason personal to that judge. We have alternate judges standing by who step in when that happens. The information is not currently displaying on the MSP Open rules page, but entrants can still choose to make their entries anonymous. Let the entry desk person know that is what you want to do when submitting your entries.

I am not finding any information about entering anonymously on the current MSP Open rules page, but I do not know if that is because we have discontinued the practice or it just needs to be added to the online rules. I will try to find out!

 

When the main MSP categories are judged, the judges are given pages with information for us to find all the entries, and to record our assessments. So say I'm judging painters, I might get the pages for entrants with last names starting with A through L. The section for Sue ExampleEntrant will list all of the entry numbers and names for the pieces that she put into painter. We circle the one we choose to assess, and enter our assessment. We also make marks on the entry cards to show the display was judged. 

 

This allows us to do several important things:

 

* The contest admin scans all the displays and makes sure the judges marked off one of the cards in that display. If there is no mark, they double check that there isn't an error in the system and make sure that the display does get judged.

 

* If the judges can't find an entry on their sheets, the contest admin helps them find it. Maybe the entrant put it on the wrong category table. The contest admin can call up the photo to help make it easier to find.

 

* If there is a wide discrepancy in the assessment scores of the three judges, the contest admin calls the team back in. We double check that everyone was looking at the same figure, and that no one made a mistakenly wrote down the wrong number. Judges are not asked to change their scores, just make sure they scored the correct figure and that they do really intend that score. (An example would be one judge gives a 1, and the other two judges award 3s, or vice versa.)

 

* While we identify most of the figures eligible for a special award by eye, the entry information allows us to double check manufacturers and other pieces of information. A lot of sculptors work for multiple companies, so we can't just assume that a Bobby Jackson figure is a Reaper figure, it might be a Dark Sword figure.

 

* Medal assessments and special awards are added to the relevant entry in the computer system, and this is what is used to generate the lists of winners that is read out at the award ceremony, and the gallery online at ReaperCon.com.

 

* Entrants have a receipt for each entry. Contest admin check that you have this before allowing you to go into the display room and grab something. (You can give your receipt to a friend if you're busy at entry pickup time, we check the piece of paper, not facial recognition. ;->)

 

So essentially, something isn't an entry unless it has an entry number in the system, and that is used is for the benefit of entrants or contest admin organization (an organized contest is also to the benefit of entrants!)

 

To my mind, the other reason is that the overall contest IS the MSP Open. Everything else is icing layered on top of that cake. You are entering the MSP Open, which has an additional bonus Mousling contest and a bonus Bombshell contest, you're not entering just a Mousling or Bombshell contest. That is my interpretation, at any rate, but I'll try to get verification on that, as well.


If thedogfather1 or anyone else has a situation where they feel it's reasonable they be allowed to enter just a bonus contest and not the main awards, they could contact the Executive Director of the MSP Open (Michael Proctor) and he'll determine whether there's find a way to work that out.

 

 

 

 

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Something happened last year that I found a bit odd that may be sort of related to this. So I'm going to mention it here for the benefit of anyone reading this, and then try to figure out how to get the word out more globally, as well.

 

Last year we had several people who had one figure as an entry, and then a few other figures as display only, but this did not seem to be for the sort of reasons I outlined in the message above. My understanding is that those entrants wanted to make sure to get feedback on one particular piece, so they only entered that one. There is no need to do anything like that!

 

You can ask your specific judges or anyone else in artist alley for feedback on a figure of your choosing. You don't even have to enter the contest at all to ask for feedback! But if you do enter, you are not limited to receiving feedback only on the piece that was judged. If there is a line of people waiting for feedback we might only have the time to comment on one piece, but you can pick that piece, it doesn't have to be the one we judged.

 

In fact, why even wait until AFTER the contest to get feedback? Avoid the rush and come talk us us Thursday or Friday! There might be exceptions, but I would say as a general rule that unless you're placing at high silver level or higher, any given three of the artists on artist alley is likely to identify similar issues and accomplishments to what the specific judges of your figure would, and they will also be able to give you some ideas of how to improve. It can be beneficial to get feedback from two or three people since different people explain things in different ways and one might click better for you.

 

We are often terrible judges of our own work, so it is to our advantage to enter 2-5 of our best pieces in a category and let the judges pick which one they feel best reflects your work. It might not make a difference in medal placement - but then again, it might! I feel like "Why did you pick this one to judge?" is actually the most common question we're asked in the post-contest feedback session. And I've been there! I have more than once been very surprised by which of my entries the judges pick to assess.

 

Conversely, as a general guideline we'd prefer that people not enter 6 or more pieces in a single category, unless those pieces are wildly different* from one another or they are part of the overall composition of a more elaborate display**. The judges have hundreds of entries to look at on Friday night, and after several hours, we start to get tired and hungry and cranky. Anything that streamlines the process helps keep your judges happier, and everyone wants happy judges, right? ;-> Streamlining entries also reduces the work burden on the contest admin staff.

If all or most of your 6+ entries are gaming scale humanoids painted around the same time with the same techniques, chances are good that any one of them would be assessed with the same score. Ask a couple of friends to help narrow it down a little if you're having trouble deciding which to enter. If there is some reason you want them all out as part of your display, like if all of them are part of your adventuring group, you can submit a few as entries, and include the others with for display only.

 

Likewise, if you've painted a unit for a skirmish game where all the figures have the same basic gear and colour scheme, any one of them would likely be assessed with the same score. Enter the leader and the best squad member as entries, and put the rest out in your display as display only for viewers to enjoy the impact of them as a group.

 

* What do I mean by wildly different from one another? Examples of types of figures that are different from one another include: gaming scale humanoid, bust, larger scale (54mm, 120mm), monster, natural animal, garage kit, a repainted Barbie doll, a puppet, a paperweight, a bas-relief sculpture.  Another reason you might want to enter a larger number of figures is if you've been you're experimenting with different techniques and styles (wetblending, drybrushing, airbrushing, real metallics, NMM, etc, etc) and you want to see which the judges pick to judge.

** Sometimes entrants create an overall base that a set of figure slots into, or even 3D display system for the figures in their display. Note that you do not have to submit all of the figures in an elaborate display as entries into the main contest to set up the display. Even if you enter only a subset, your overall display will still be eligible for the best display special award.

 

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