Welcome to the Celebration! Our new name reflects the wider range of model, photo and craft activities we are offering convention attendees. We'll be running all the events introduced over the last three years, including People's Choice Awards, Model Showcase, Kit Built Model Contest, An Afternoon of Meet the Modeler, Photographer & Crafter, and finally, Contest Score Review Period.
The traditional judged (scratch built) Model and Photo Contests will also be held. The Kit Built model competition, which will run in parallel with the Scratch Built Contest, uses the same method of scoring and features a parallel array of award plaques. It is intended for models built from commercially available kits that have not been altered more than 50%.
An Afternoon of Meet the Modeler, Photographer and Crafter is a meet and greet affair (Tuesday) designed to foster exchange of tips and ideas between builders and viewers. It is open to anyone entering an item in any of the events and of course all attendees.
The Modeler Score Review Period will take place Thursday morning, with the awards ceremony following in the afternoon. Judges and staff will be present to answer questions and entrants will be able to review their scores. Additional details to follow.
Contests & Displays
All contest events will be conducted in the Contest Room, except for the Module Contest. The setup, viewing, judging of and awards for the Module Contest will take place at the Train Show. Entries will be taken at the Train Show or in the Contest Room.
Eligibility and Entry
All NMRA members are eligible to enter any of the events in accordance with the applicable rules of the contest, with the exception of the Arts & Crafts Contest, which is open to all convention registrants, whether NMRA members or not. See the NMRA website/contest webpage for detailed rules and guidelines. All rules and entry forms are available in the Contest Room, as well as on the NMRA website. Contest officials and volunteers will be available to assist contest entrants. See the "Quick Links" to the NMRA website along the right side of this page for more information and contest forms.
Help with Contest Forms
If you are concerned about your paperwork and whether you have provided sufficient information for the judges, you can now get your model write up reviewed in advance. The National Contest Staff will review your paperwork and provide guidance on how to improve your submission. Just send it to the National Contest Chairman, Bob Hamm and he will forward it to the committee. For more information, go to the NMRA website.
Since the Module Contest is conducted at the National Train Show®, its schedule and entry procedures are different from the other contests. Changes will be posted.
Entry – Filled out forms shall be assembled with the Contest Entry Form #901 on top and attached to the front of the Module being entered – Friday, 8:00 am
Alternate – You may also drop off Module entry forms at the Convention Contest Room – by Wednesday noon, 12:00 pm.
If your module is to be set up at another location, you must contact the National Contest Chairman, the Module Contest Chairman, or the Train Show Modular Layout Manager to make arrangements, and you must drop off your entry forms at the Convention Contest Room by Wednesday noon, 12:00 pm.
Form Pick-up – Contest staff will pick up and leave a "brightly colored" receipt – Friday, 8:00 am to 9:00 am
Judging – Friday, starts 9:00 am. You need not be present at the time.
Awards ceremony – Held at the Train Show. Contact the Train Show Office for exact location – Friday, 5:00 pm
Judges are divided into five teams, with each team assigned to judge one of the following five factors and award points as shown, with a maximum total of 125 points:
Construction (Maximum 40 points)
Detail (Maximum 20 points)
Conformity (Maximum 25 points)
Finish & Lettering (Maximum 25 points)
Scratch Building (Maximum 15 points)
Models competing in the Kit Built classification are judged in the same manner as those in the Scratch Built class except that Kit Built models may not be awarded more than eight points on the scratch building factor. (Scratch Built models may achieve a maximum score of fifteen points on that factor.)
The final point score is the basis for award ranking. Additionally, attaining a point score of 87.5 pts. or 70% entitles the entrant to a Merit Award which counts towards Master Builder Awards for the categories of motive power, cars, and structures in the NMRA Achievement Program. Merit Awards are not awarded in the display category because contest and AP judging criteria are different.
Categories - Models may be entered in one of nine categories. All scales are accommodated in each category. The categories are:
Diesel and Other Locomotive
Classifications – Models built from commercially available kits which are modified less than 50%, as determined by the entrant, are eligible to compete in the Kit Built model classification. Any model, scratch built or kit built is eligible to be entered in the scratch built classification.
Model Contest Score Review – Entrants will be allowed to view their point scores and comments. Judges and staff will be available for discussion.
Forms – Contest Entry Form #901 and Model Contest Judges Score Sheet Form #902 are required. Entrants are urged to take care to properly describe their models on Form #902 and provide prototype documentation in order to maximize their point scores. Contest officials and volunteers will be available to assist in filling out the forms.
Awards – Full arrays of place award plaques will be presented for each of the classifications (Scratch Built and Kit Built). In addition, six special NMRA and fifteen very special award plaques by outside sponsors and, of course, the prestigious Gold Award for the overall Best of Show model will be presented. Additionally, judged models of motive power, cars, or structures attaining a score of 87.5 or more points will be entitled to a Merit Award which will be provided after the convention by the respective region's Achievement Program Manager.
Models and photos entered in the respective judged contests are also automatically entered in the People's Choice Awards.
Arts & Crafts entries are eligible only for People's Choice Awards; there is no judged event.
For model entries, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place plaques for the winners of the best train and photo match contests and 1st place plaques for locomotive, rolling stock, caboose, structure and display categories will be presented.
Special awards include Best of Show, Creativity Award, Bar Mills Favorite Model Award, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Thumbs Awards for most humorous models.
For photos award plaques include 1st place plaques for Best Print and Best slide.
For Arts & Crafts items awards include 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place plaques for best General Entry, Railroadiana Entry, Needlework Entry and Best of Show.
Model Showcase and An Afternoon of Meet the Modeler, Photographer & Crafter Events
Judging – None, the showcase is a non-competitive, display-only event.
Categories – None, any and all types of (railroad-oriented preferred) models, photos, and Arts & Crafts items are welcome, whether complete or in progress.
Event Format – Items are entered and displayed. Entrants are encouraged to be present in the Contest Room to answer questions, discuss and generally show off their creations during An Afternoon of Meet the Modeler, Photographer & Crafter event from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Tuesday and any other times the Contest Room is open.
Judging – The contest is judged using the Module Contest Judging Guidelines (Section 2), as published on the NMRA website. (NOTE: This section is under development as of 1/26/11. Check back here or on the NMRA website for future updates.)
The judging is conducted by a team of at least two judges.
Categories – There are two categories:
Module — Individual – A module built by an individual person
Module — Group – A module built by more than one person