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135
Fool's Gold Abrams

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The Meng M1A2 TUSK 1/TUSK II SEP Abrams is one fine kit. I was immediately drawn to it as a "change of pace," planning to build it OOB for AMPS Nationals last Spring. I failed in my vow to build the kit OOB, instead opting for a Voyager metal and resin barrel, various resin stowage, bottles and soldier gear, and an array of Orange Hobby aerials. The details, however, that I felt "made" the build were the Live Resin .50cal. spent cartridges and discarded belt clips I scattered around the various machine guns. With the Abrams resorting to more remote-controlled MGs, I surmised there would be more discarded rounds left lying where they fell.

While Meng is rapidly replacing Tamiya in my opinion as the maker of the best-fitting, best designed armor kits, I did experience more problems with some of the fit on the side skirts of the tank than I expected. The results, nor surprisingly, were marked-down scores that resulted in a Bronze Medal.

Duly chastened, I went home a fixed the problems with the kit, as well as adding a bit more to the look with a couple of additional drink bottles (both filled and crushed). This Fall, I took the kit to ArmorCon, thinking that in some ways, it was a new build (or at least a greatly-improved one).

Roped into judging as usual by my good friend, Georg Eyerman, the head of judging for the event, I was working with a crew of three others when someone said "you know, it's technically against the rules to enter a kit that has medaled at AMPS." I don't remember how this came up, but it got my attention immediately. Unaware of the rule, I had of course assumed this was in some ways a different build than the kit entered for AMPS Nationals.

But in the spirit of full disclosure, I called Georg over to the table where I was judging and told him the situation. His face turned ashen, and he was something you don't see about Georg very often: pretty much at a loss for words. He went to check over the scores of already-judged kits, then came back with a very sheepish expression.

"I have bad news. Your Abrams was awarded a Gold Medal." I laughed as good-naturedly as I could, and asked Georg to fix things. The tank got its Gold Medal, but the medal wasn't awarded at the closing ceremonies. But both Georg and I (and the four who judged it) knew it was a Gold Medal Abrams, even if that gold was the fool's gold variety.

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About the Author

About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.


Comments

Congratulations Bill ! You know in your heart that you had the best Abrams there and that's what counts! Build questions : What did you use for anti-slip ? And, are you going to put in a diorama in the future ? Thanks for sharing with us!
NOV 01, 2017 - 10:30 PM
Enjoyed the story and your Abrams is Gold quality indeed!
NOV 02, 2017 - 01:11 AM
Thanks, Darren, and all of you for your compliments. The best one I received so far was from a Gulf Vet who said I must've served or used very good references. Made my day. Specific questions: Robin, I'm strictly press-ganged into judging and don't know the rules very well. Perhaps Georg will jump into this thread? Ivanhoe, I believe I used fine-grain sand over glue for the anti-skid, but may have used some of Tamiya's granular paint (which I did use on the Buffalo mine plow I'm building now). As for dioramas, I'm generally disappointed in the way dios are scored at competitions and may not enter mine in the future. I'm still evaluating.
NOV 02, 2017 - 05:01 AM
Hi All, Sad but true, this is a rule for most AMPS shows. BUT being that next year's International will be at the beginning of May, rather than early/mid April, we are considering dropping that requirement next year. Stay tuned and I'll keep you posted. Regards, Georg
NOV 02, 2017 - 12:05 PM
Its kind of funny ironic that this happened Bill.... I had brought a kit to the Amps nats in CT hoping to medal with it because I spent ALOT of time doing improvements. It didnt even get bronze. The kicker was that the table judging it was next to mine, and the ACJ spent an unusually long time explaining some things to the table about how they had gigged me so much that I missed even bronze by one point. When I reviewed the judging sheets ( I value this more than the medal itself!) I was left with a little disappointment because the scores were very low, but lacked alot of comments. Comments are what makes AMPS well, AMPS. Its how we all improve. FORTUNATELY for me, it didnt get a medal at the Nats...... so I was able to bring it back and improve it greatly..... and hopefully in OH it will see something shinny.... or good comments that I can continue to improve my building with !
NOV 02, 2017 - 01:57 PM
Georg and I spoke by phone last night, and I don't think I'm talking out of class when I say that the goal of the judging and comments should be to help modelers improve. As the old saying goes, "you learn by your mistakes, not your successes." I took the comments about my tank seriously and fixed the problems. Clearly the results speak for themselves. So shouldn't the rules allow for an entry to move UP in the judging if it has been reworked? Isn't that the goal of the judging: to help us improve? Why can't we then be rewarded for making those improvements, rather than have to start over with a completely different model?
NOV 03, 2017 - 02:41 AM
You bring up a really interesting point. I think the general fear would be that the same models would be winning the same categories all the time, and the INTENT was to try and prevent the same model from winning the same category. In execution though, your point is super valid in that a bronze at the nats could be worked on twice more till it made gold..... certainly something for the powers that be to chew on a little bit and try to weigh the risk/benefits of making a change. Like Georg said, stay tuned I guess!
NOV 03, 2017 - 05:58 AM
You bring up a really interesting point. I think the general fear would be that the same models would be winning the same categories all the time, and the INTENT was to try and prevent the same model from winning the same category. In execution though, your point is super valid in that a bronze at the nats could be worked on twice more till it made gold..... certainly something for the powers that be to chew on a little bit and try to weigh the risk/benefits of making a change. Like Georg said, stay tuned I guess! [/quote] A rather simple rule could be that Gold awards disqualify a model from entering into further contests. Additional rule could be that a model which gets the same denomination of award twice is disqualified (due to "no improvement") from entering a third time. You get a second chance, take it and improve or enter a new model the next time. Is there any rule about a non awarded model entering again? If there isn't such a rule there could still be a largish group of models showing up at every contest. I would assume that most modelers would like to show off their latest masterpiece instead of dragging the same sorry heap of plastic to show after show so the need for such a rule should be minimal. / Robin
NOV 03, 2017 - 08:53 AM
Guys, I'll take this up for discussion with the powers that be. Stay tuned!
NOV 03, 2017 - 10:08 AM
looks great !!
NOV 08, 2017 - 01:23 AM
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