Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I call BS!

Fair warning here. Undiplomatic language coming!

This is the kind of shit that really pisses me off about the NMRA and its "judging" system for modeling contests.
Go have a look at George Dutka's blog post about the Grand River Express convention.

I'll wait.
Down at the bottom is a amazing model of BX tower, that still stands here in St Thomas.
From what I can see, the model is nigh on perfect. Drawings, full interior, even the colour is right!
And yet it can't earn enough "points" to warrant a "Merit Award"?
Likely it was missing graffiti, or ad signs or such bullshit , that was kept off of the prototype.

If an almost perfect recreation of a prototype can't earn enough "points", maybe it's time that whole scoring system be revisited. This is not the first time I've heard of stunning models being denied their proper due because of an antiquated scoring process that rewards caricatures of the world rather than faithful renditions.

And the NMRA wonders why it's not attracting more members these days.

I'm done for now, on with your day.


Don Janes said...

I was wondering the very same thing when I saw that

up4479 said...

Things haven't changed in decades. I know a serious modeler that entered a model contest at a NMRA National. He got creamed due to his paperwork. They were very vague about what was required for entry and even though a great deal of kit bashing and scratch built parts were included, the model was dumped on for inadequate documentation. The local host committee model contest chairman was however the guy who determined who would win the Brass Lantern Award for the best caboose model. Out of spite for the national model contest committee, he chose the dumped on caboose model for the Brass Lantern Award. He felt the guy that spent years building a large scale caboose using board by board and bolt by bolt construction with reams of paperwork was gaming the system! That model won the regular contest and best in show but it was felt the model lacked the spirit for the Brass Lantern Award. The look on his face when he discovered that he didn't win the Brass Lantern Award was priceless. The presentation of the Brass Lantern Award was at the convention banquet but the National Convention Committee refused to offer the guy dinner. He offered to pay and was told to stand in the wings while he was to wait for the presentation and watch everyone else eat. Instead,he pissed off the NMRA by going out to a nice Italian restaurant with his wife and model friends. The NMRA had to chase him the next day for a photo opportunity and the presentation in order to not embarrass themselves with the UTU, the Brass Lantern Award sponsors. The dumped on caboose won the popular vote in the RPM room the next day. The RPM guys were great. The modeler with the dumped on caboose went home happy and became an early RPM member and promoter. He knows who his friends are and they are RPM modelers, not the NMRA. He still builds nice prototype models for himself and occasionally shows them in public. He will never play the NMRA game again after being treated so poorly.

Craig Bisgeier said...

I can't disagree with your point - it is beautiful modeling - but as George said himself it is all about playing to the contest requirements and not just about the modeling. The rules and expectations of what's expected are published and simple enough to understand: they expect you to provide documentation with the model and that counts for a significant part of the points total. If you don't provide that, you don't stand much of a chance even if your model is perfect.

If you want to get merit awards (or win NMRA contests) you have to follow the instructions and score points in all the categories. It's just like entering a sweepstakes - if you don't follow all the instructions to the letter you get disqualified. If you don't work to score points in all the categories, you get penalized.

It isn't just about how nice your model is. That's not what the contest is about. I sympathize with George, but he should try again and just add the minimum effort into meeting the other criteria. If he does he'll have no trouble acing the contest.