How Judging Occurs at the GSL Championship
The GSL Championship has a three-judge panel that, as a group, views and evaluates each entry in every Class. GSL judges are expressly prohibited from
competing in any juried Class, and must consciously set aside personal preferences and preconceptions about every entry. The judging is conducted on Saturday night and into early Sunday morning, after the Contest
Hall is closed to the public. This ensures privacy and the unrestricted ability of the judges to exchange their views openly and candidly. In this setting, each judge discusses and debates their individual
perspectives about the relative strengths and weaknesses of each entry with the other judges. Additionally, a non-judging professional auto mechanic is on hand to answer technical questions that might arise about
how realistic, authentic and practical specific mechanical details are on each model.
An overview of the GSL judging process for each model is described below. Please note that the following is presented only as a general description of how GSL
Initial Determination, Basic Craftsmanship.
Entries in each Class are first evaluated by the judges for basic craftsmanship, with the top models identified for further judging. This initial evaluation can mean that sometimes well-detailed models are rejected from further consideration because of poor craftsmanship or poor basic assembly techniques. The GSL judging philosophy places a premium on basic model-building competence and craftsmanship, upon which sophisticated details can be added. Each model is examined critically for the neatness of the build, for how the parts are assembled, and with what level of fit and finish. Removal or repair of all manufacturing evidences or flaws, including molding and parting lines, sink marks, ejection pin marks and copyright notices are expected. Evidence of adhesive residue, complete and appropriate finishes on all visible surfaces, clean and accurate assembly, and how the model "sits" are all considered. In essence, have fundamental craftsmanship issues been addressed by the builder before more aggressive steps were undertaken?
The next item to be evaluated is how mechanical and other details are handled. Is the detailing convincing, authentic, and realistic, given the definition of the Class in which the model is entered? Said another way, a high-gloss custom paint finish isn't appropriate for a factory-stock Fifties Ford, any more than chrome reverse rims are appropriate on a factory-stockModel A. What about ergonomics—can someone sit on the front seat and operate the controls, and is there enough headroom if the model was scaled up to 1:1? Is there enough room for all the parts to work? For instance, can the front wheels rotate, turn, and clear the fenders, inner panels, and suspension components? Are the chassis, body, interior, drivetrain, and suspension all persuasively presented? The judges also check to see if the mechanical, hydraulic and electrical lines, brackets, hoses, fittings and clamps are used realistically and consistently within accepted 1:1 mechanical standards. The judges also look for subtle detailing like "blueing" on chrome headers, and signs of weathering, wear or use where appropriate, and realistic details such as open grills and louvers. Are "glass surfaces" clean and polished where appropriate? Are factory overspray, assembly and code markings, and similar details present where appropriate to the Class? If relevant, are the parts used consistent with the time frame, era or theme that the model represents?
Scale Accuracy and Consistency.
Are the sizes and scale of parts, major components, wiring and other elements in scale to the overall model? Are panel thicknesses realistic? Does everything "look right" on the model?
Working Features. Any functional elements are evaluated for proper, realistic and accurate operation. For example, do the doors open inward or outward
on the hinges from the fenders or cowl, as they do on a full-size vehicle? Has the builder successfully created particularly difficult or unusual working features?
Fit and Finish.
Do all body, chassis and other major components fit together properly? Do panels line up evenly with adjacent panels? Are there appropriate panel line gaps, whether or not those panels operate? Do bumpers, grilles, lights, trim and other details fit the bodywork as appropriate or do they sag, or fit unevenly side-to-side? Does the "glass" fit the opening authentically? Is it clean and polished, or realistically dirty if appropriate? Are the finishes in scale or are the metallic particles too large for a factory finish and look like custom metalflake paint? Are the colors and levels of gloss appropriate and/or accurate? (A vintage factory paint job would be not clear coated.) Do metal finishes persuade the viewer that they represent the kind of materials portrayed? If appropriate to the model, are weathering, wear, and "patina" realistically represented, or is such evidence of use overdone? Are subtle details (like cowl vents and gas door reveals) clear and visible, or obscured with heavy coats of paint? Is the paint too thick or thin? Does the painted surface reveal consistently-applied paint (e.g., the absence of "tiger stripes," light and dark metallic splotches, or paint rubbed through to reveal the primer)? Is the paint heavily "orange-peeled," or does it show scratches or other imperfections? If twotoned, are paint separation lines sharp, and show no presence of bleed-through? If used, are decals appropriate and well applied (without silvering)?
If required by the rules of that Class, is the documentation present and sufficient to inform the judges of the authenticity of the details portrayed on the entry? Regardless of whether the Class rules require documentation, is any research clearly presented, well-organized and easily accessible to the judges? If there are "in process" photos of the build, do these images and accompanying text adequately inform the judges of what the builder intended to accomplish, and reveal the steps taken to build his/her model? A portfolio assembled by the builder is of great value to that entrant because these materials will assist the judges when they are faced with a tough decision between two models. Such a documented narrative can also make the judges aware of the details and work undertaken on an entry that might not always be clear from simply viewing the model.
Additional Judging Considerations.
The Best of Show Master Award is selected only from the Best of Class winners. When evaluating models for the other Master Awards, the GSL judges evaluate all models entered in the GSL Championship. In making the selections for the balance of the Master Awards, the judges evaluate only that relevant aspect of each entry (e.g., the finishes for Best Paint), and ignore all other aspects of the model. This is why a model that didn't win fourth through Best in Class might, for instance, win the Dave Shuklis Award for most/best working features. Finally, the GSL Popular Choice award is selected only by ballot distributed to both competitors and registered attendees at the event.
The GSL judging standard depends upon knowledgeable and thoughtful judges who enjoy the confidence and support of those entering the event. Similarly, the
judges have a serious and solemn responsibility to completely disregard any personal preference or bias for styles of vehicle, favorite Classes, and the "gotcha factor" a model may exhibit. Rather, GSL Judges work
to discipline themselves to the standards that reward the amalgam between the excellence of the final model and the work and chances the builder undertook to create that model. All GSL judging decisions are
unanimous and final.
GENERAL RULES, MODEL CONSTRUCTION GUIDELINES, MODEL ELIGIBILITY / CLASSIFICATION / PRESENTATION
Section A. General Rules and Guidelines.
The GSL Championship encourages the development and display of the greatest range of building skills and techniques in each competitor's scale model. Ideally, each scale model
entered by a GSL Championship competitor will be of a complete vehicle that will demonstrate his or her mastery of a full range of craftsmanship, fabrication, construction, painting, and related building
techniques and skills within the rules of each Class. For example, if a model of a complete vehicle and a model of a component of a vehicle (both entered in the Miscellaneous Class) are equivalently rendered,
the model of the complete vehicle would prevail. Another example: If a model of a complete vehicle wins Best of Class (in any Class but Miscellaneous), and is competing against a model of a component that is
the Best of Class winner in the Miscellaneous Class for a Best of Show or other top award, and if the two models are of equivalent quality and craftsmanship, the model of the complete vehicle would win
. However, while there is a strong preference for scale models of complete vehicles exhibiting a full range of building skills, a sufficiently complex and exquisitely rendered scale automotive component, or
auto-related subject (e.g., a diorama), will be eligible and compete equally for any award, including Best of Show. The style of a model isn't a factor in judging or competitive success.
Entrants are reminded that the First Goal for competitors in the GSL Championship is the mastery of excellent basic craftsmanship. An expertly rendered "basic"
model will prevail over a more aggressively detailed model that displays less skill, care, effort, and expertise in meeting basic craftsmanship objectives.
GSL entrants should carefully reconsider the common assumption that successful entries must display either a pristine factory/show car appearance or a heavilyweathered
appearance. Carefully crafted entries, in any GSL Championship Class, that display evidence of occasional or regular on or offroad use (e.g., light stone chipping, modest road debris, or fluid leaks) might
present some unique challenges and competitive opportunities for entrants.
Generally, the GSL Championship does not permit any contestant to enter any model that features a prepainted body, or prepainted or preassembled components, whether the parts were
painted and/or assembled by the kit manufacturer or by an aftermarket company. The exceptions to this prohibition are kit manufacturer prepainted metal diecast and plastic kits that may be entered ONLY in the
BOXPLUS Class (This exception does not permit the contestant to have an aftermarket company or individual paint any model that is entered in the BOXPLUS Class). With the sole exception of the BOXPLUS
Class, only the contestant may apply a finish to (paint, decals, foil, upholstery materials, etc.) or do the assembly of any part of his or her entry. You can use an aftermarket company for plating parts for all Classes except for
BOXPLUS Class, which imposes some restrictions on plating.
Except for limitations specified in some GSL Championship Class definitions, each contestant may use any building techniques and construction materials, and may build in any scale
or style. Each contestant should note that the rules for each GSL Championship Class, as specified below, will be strictly observed by the GSL Judges, including required documentation in some
Classes. Please be careful to avoid disqualification by not meeting applicable Class rules and requirements.
A combination of vehicles may be entered and judged in any GSL Championship Class as one entry if they are a logical combination (e.g., a car and trailer; a race team car, truck and
trailer; a truck tractor and semitrailer, etc., may be entered as one entry). If there is any ambiguity concerning in which GSL Championship Class a model should compete, the GSL Judges will make a final
determination, prior to the actual judging if possible, and will also make every effort to notify the builder of their decision.
If a contestant wishes to describe the features of the model and the work done, the material must fit in a standard size 9" x 12" 3 ring binder or, preferably, a smaller size
album. (See B-6 below for more details).
The contest hall was filled for three straight days with eager and helpful contestants and visitors.
Section B. Model Eligibility, Classification and Presentation.
To better understand the rules of the GSL International Scale Vehicle Championship and to make sure
that your entry(ies) will meet the qualifications for competition, please carefully review these eligibility and classification rules:
1. Model Eligibility/Individual Craftsmanship. The GSL Championship rewards and encourages individual craftsmanship and creativity. GSL rewards individual effort, not partnership,
committee or "contract" construction of entries (except as noted in the BOXPLUS Class regarding models prepainted by the manufacturer). To be eligible for competition, each model must be
constructed exclusively by the entrant. No one other than the builderentrant may: i) install any
upholstery, materials or kits, ii) apply any finish/paint job/graphics design work (aftermarketpainted kits are not permitted in competition under any circumstances, and manufacturerpainted kits are
eligible only for BoxPlus Class); iii) install any component preassembled by anyone other than the builder/entrant (such as a prewired distributor), or iv) do any assembly tasks.
However, contestants may use any aftermarket/unassembled part(s) including: a) decals from any source (except where prohibited by specific Class rules), and b) parts or components
speciallymanufactured for that contestant, as long as such speciallymade parts are not assembled, detailed or installed on any part or element of the entry by anyone other than the builderentrant.
Where two entries display equivalent basic craftsmanship and advanced building techniques, but where one entrant has individually constructed the parts (as opposed to using commerciallyavailable
parts or parts made by another source) on his or her entry, that model will be preferred by the judges to the equivalent model featuring commerciallyavailable parts or parts speciallymade by others.
2. Classification of Models. Though the greatest possible latitude is afforded each contestant in
the placement of a model in a particular Class, the final determination of the appropriate placement of each model is reserved for the GSL Judges. The process of determining the classification occurs as
follows: First, the GSL Championship registration personnel will assist the entrant in making an initial Class determination if there is any question about Class placement. Second, the GSL Judges will
review all entries placed in each Class for appropriate placement before the Contest Hall closes at 5:00 p.m. Saturday. In the case of an incorrect or questionable placement of a model in a particular
Class (where disqualification from that Class might occur -- see section 3 below), the GSL Judges will attempt to notify the entrant (or the entrant's representative) to discuss the problem(s) before
judging starts on Saturday evening. Often, problems can be resolved by a clarification or simple reclassification of the model. If the GSL Judges cannot locate the entrant (or the entrants
representative) to discuss the issue, and if a simple reclassification will permit the model to remain in competition, the judges will reclassify it. To avoid Class disqualification (see section 3, below), it is
essential for GSL Championship contestants to provide documentation where required by Class rules, and to observe all Class requirements. Whenever possible, the GSL Judges will move a model to
another Class in order avoid disqualification.
3. Disqualification Rules. Any model entered in the GSL International Championship will be
disqualified from competition in any Class (but not necessarily from the Championship) if:
i). It is unfinished, defined as lacking a major component or components necessary to be
eligible to compete in the Class in which the model is entered. The GSL Championship Judges recognize that the lack of any particular detailing element (e.g., the existence of a throttle
linkage) does not necessarily characterize any model as "incomplete," but the absence of a necessary element, such as an exhaust system in Factory Stock Class, or a missing interior, or
missing glass, would disqualify that model from competition in that Class. In this case, the model will be disqualified from competition; or
ii). Isn't a subject matter recognized by GSL (e.g, a model of an airplane) in which case the model will be disqualified for competition in any Class;
iii). The model does not qualify for the Class in which it is placed initially, whether because: a)
of an inconsistent subject matter (e.g., a custom 1949 Ford entered in the Street Rod Class), or b) the contestant has not provided the documentation required by the rules of any particular
Class (e.g., Replica-Class entries), or c) because necessary equipment (as determined by Class rules) is not present on the model. As stated in Section 2, the GSL Judges will reclassify a
model in these events to avoid disqualification if possible; or
iv). The model has been previously awarded a Best in Class or any Master Award in any GSL Championship. In this case, the model will be disqualified from competition; or
v). The model has been "teambuilt." This prohibition includes club-built dioramas, such as a
drag strip or a street scene. These jointly built modeling projects, however, are welcome if placed in the "display only" area. (There is no entry fee for these display-only models). Each
competing model must be EXCLUSIVELY constructed by the entrant as described in General Rules, Section A (above). For instance, if any basic assembly or craftsmanship tasks were
performed by anyone other than the entrant, (e.g., prewired distributors, prepainted bodies where prohibited, and so forth), that model will be disqualified from competition;
4. Restricted Access During GSL Championship Judging. No contestant, GSL Championship
attendee, or other unauthorized person is permitted in the GSL Championship Contest Hall during judging. Only GSL Championship personnel and preauthorized representatives of the hobby media
are permitted in the Contest Hall. Additional administrative personnel may also be admitted at the discretion of the GSL Championship Judges. In addition, the GSL Judges may choose to clear the
Contest Hall during certain portions of the judging process, and will notify the additional personnel when they can return to the Hall.
5. Entries. Once a model has been officially entered (defined as registering, paying the Registration
Fee for an adult contestant, receiving a registration sheet and placing the model in the Contest Hall), a model may not be withdrawn from competition and must remain in the Contest Hall until Sunday
morning after the Awards Brunch (except where special arrangements are made with GSL Officials). No work may be done to any entry (other than repairs) once it has been officially entered, and any
repairs must be made in the Contest Hall at an official repair station, except with permission of a GSL Championship Official. Models may be generally retrieved from the Contest Hall on Sunday morning,
just after the Awards Brunch, or earlier by special prior arrangement with a member of the GSL Championship Staff. All models must be placed in the Contest Hall by 3:00 p.m. Saturday. NO late
entries will be accepted.
6. Research and Construction Documents/Display. If a contestant wishes to describe the
features of the model and the work done, the material must fit in a standardsize, 9"x12" 3ring binder or, preferably, a smallersize album. The contestant may also choose to provide a series of stacked
note cards, in any size not to exceed 4" x 6". The contestant should place this documentary information on the table in such a way as to protect adjacent entries from physical damage. Where
the Class rules require the presentation of research materials, the contestant should carefully and economically organize these materials to avoid taking up too much table space or posing the
possibility of damaging another model. Entry forms for each model will be available at the registration table.
7. Displays, Including Dioramas. If any measurement of a diorama is larger than 18" in any
dimension, or if the entry (not a diorama) will include a display base or similar presentation element more than 4" larger than the models(s) in any direction, regardless of scale (this size limit does not
include your research materials), the contestant MUST write to GSL Championship Headquarters, no later than April 1, 2007, to make special arrangements for its display. (See the "How to Reach
GSL" section at the end of this document for contact information). Every effort will be made to accommodate the large diorama or model with a display base based upon the space available, but
only if the contestant writes the GSL Championship Headquarters in advance.
The contest hall tables are filled with hundreds upon hundreds of high-quality models
each representing untold hours of work
8. General Standards of Good Conduct. The success of the GSL Championship depends on the
personal integrity and goodfaith of everyone participants, contestants, GSL Championship staff and the judges. Everyone's enjoyment of the GSL Championship is enhanced when all abide by the written
rules and observe rules of common courtesy, and when no one tries to "bend the rules," or take
advantage of the rules by entering a model not built in accordance with the "letter" and "spirit" of the
GSL Championship rules. Lobbying of the GSL Championship Judges is inappropriate and is strongly discouraged.