A Change to Kit Review Voting


TL;DR Version – Voting will be changing so that a portion of the votes for the winning kit are retired. This preserves ownership, ensures shifting influence in the voting pool, and answers the question of when votes expire (they don’t – but they can be used up)

The voting structure for this whole contributor-funded kit reviews venture is simple:

$1 contribution = 1 vote

But looking back after the first round of voting, it may be too simple.

This setup works fine for one vote, but it runs into some snags when projected forward into future votes, for three reasons.

First, some have voiced hesitation to jump aboard because they feel their preferred kit choices will never be selected. A totally fair criticism. And while some genres will just not be represented, because I don’t consider myself equipped to review them as they deserve (see cars, ships), there’s something to be said for armor, or for smaller scale aircraft, for example. I mean…if half of the total votes are always going to break in favor of the big 1/32 prop, what hope does a new 1/72 jet kit have?

Second, as contributions rise, there could also be a rising sense of disownership. 20 votes goes a long way in a pool of 100 votes. It goes substantially less far in a pool of 500, or 1000.

Third, there’s the question of when votes expire. After a set number of cycles? A year? Seems pretty vague in my opinion.

To address these snags, and shore up voting to be more equitable for everyone, I’ve decided to shift things up a bit. Bear with me, here, as we’re going to be venturing into math.

$1 contribution still equals 1 vote

The actual voting will remain unchanged. If you contributed $20, you will have 20 votes to distribute as you see fit. And you can keep voting until your votes are retired.

Retired? What the…?

The change comes after the votes have been cast and a kit selected. If the kit(s) you voted for does not win, the votes roll over to the next voting cycle.

But what if the kit you voted for wins? Well, that’s where it gets interesting.

Vesting and Prorating

Let’s work with those theoretical 20 votes. It makes the math easier.

Say you put all 20 votes toward the kit that ends up winning. At that point, those 20 votes are vested. They – in the form of that original $20 contribution – are going to support the kit you wanted to win. You are, in essence, supporting a review of a kit you want to see reviewed.

But wait!

Say the winning kit nabs 200 votes (again to make the math easier). And costs exactly $100 to source. That leaves $100 left over.

Of that remainder, 10% – in this case $10 – would be directed into the Raffle Fund, which is exactly what it sounds like.

The remaining amount would then be prorated back as votes. In this case, that amounts to $90, or 45% of the votes. Out of 200 votes, 90 votes would be prorated. So if you put your 20 votes to the winning kit, you would get 9 votes back.

What if you end up with a fraction? Say you put 10 votes against the winning kit and were looking at a return of 4.5 – the fraction would also be rolled into the Raffle Fund, so you would get back 4 votes.

To put it as a formula:

  • V = Vote total
  • K = Kit cost
  • N = Number of votes you put toward the winning kit


I suck at writing out formulas, so my apologies.

An example

To see how this would play out in practice, let’s use some numbers from the first round.

A contributor, we’ll call him Steve, gave $20, and put 10 of his votes toward the winning kit, the 1/32 Fly Hurricane. The Hurricane won the voting with 168 votes. And cost a total of $74.67 to source.

That leaves a remainder of $93.33.

Of that remainder, $9.33 goes into the Raffle Fund, and $84 gets prorated back as votes. 84 votes equals 49.99% of the vote total.

Math-3 Math-2


So how does that work out for Steve?

Well, out of those 10 votes for the Hurricane, Steve would get 5 back (10 x .4999 = $5), and 5 would be vested in the Hurricane.

The 10 votes he committed to other kits would flow back to him as well, leaving a remainder of 15 votes to use going into the next round of voting.

Bleh. This sounds complicated. Why bother?

Again. Three reasons.

  • First, it establishes when votes expire. And that’s when they win (and even then, you get at least some portion back).
  • Second, it prevents voting from getting stale and returning predictable results. I don’t want these reviews to be the “1/32 Scale Prop Show”. This method ensures shifting vote pools over time, which keeps things interesting.
  • Third, the complication is on me. If you’re voting, nothing changes. Submit your votes. If you’re among those who vote for the winner, you’ll find out after the kit is sourced how many of your votes will flow back to you. You’ll also see what percent of the upcoming review you “own”.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jon Bius says:

    I’m no math person, by any stretch, but I understood this. Of course, that may not be a good thing. 🙂

    But the logic does make sense.

  2. Ryan B says:

    Sounds like a solid plan to me. Any plans to restrict kit voting to “what didn’t win” the previous round? IE for round 2 no 1/32 prop kits included in the voting.

    1. Doogs says:

      Not at this point, but if it becomes an issue, I do like that as a possible countermeasure.

  3. J Anderson says:

    Great solution, as long as you don’t mind the effort I think this seems very fair, and will allow some “second tier” interests to eventually rise to the top.

  4. Patrick Brown says:

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t participate initially for many of the reasons you listed. I still am a little dubious that anything I’d like to see reviewed will get chosen because I generally like to build oddball armor subjects, but I’m not crying about it. I think there is a solution though.

    This is all a great concept and your vote tallying formula looks valid, but the whole show is limited to what YOU can fit onto your plate alone Matt. Doing one kit at a time is inevitably going to get stale due to the time it takes to do a build review right. Face it; even old farts like me have, in some ways, developed the attention spans and patience of our millennial kids. For this reason, I think you’d be very wise to create a stable of reviewers to tackle kits in addition to what you do. This will accomplish several things;

    1) It will raise the number of kits that can potentially be reviewed. Instead of just one kit per round of voting you could allow people to vote on multiple kits. More happy voters = more participants.
    2) There won’t be a weeks or month long lag waiting for a review to happen. You could even stagger them so that reviews are hitting the interwebs on a weekly basis.
    3) You won’t get burned out. I’ve tried ventures similar to this and fatigue is a factor. Keep in mind that reviews take time away from what YOU want to build. Fielding build reviews from other competent modelers will keep you from getting burned out on the project and keep fresh points of view on stage. This will keep the discussions humming which is very healthy, three legged donkeys notwithstanding.
    4) You can widen the variety of kits that get reviewed. The 1/72nd-o-philes will get their fill. Armor fans won’t feel left out. Again, more happy voters = more participants.

    I could go on but you get the picture.

    You’re good a this for sure, but remember that there are other guys, on the SMCG site alone, who can build, take pictures and write too. I’m sure you know plenty of guys off the top of your head who could do it who have already published in magazines etc. Or you could audition builders to tackle a review and have them send samples of their work.

    I’m not suggesting that you turn all control over to a group or committee. You should definitely keep editorial control on everything that gets chosen and posted. You’ve got the vision and should keep at the helm, but you’re making it a mistake if you do it alone, and I’d really like to see it succeed.

    Just some thoughts and advice from someone who manages teams and projects for picky and temperamental superiors.


    P.S. Just so there is no misunderstanding, I am NOT volunteering or in any other way kibitzing to be a reviewer. I have absolutely no interest in doing that again. Ever.

    1. Doogs says:

      It’s something I’m considering for down the road. Think it’s important to get it established before trying to deal with the wrangling of reviewers.

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