Re: NMRA Sacramento


Now you know why judging doesn't work.

eric/past NMRA president

-----Original Message-----
From: Nelson Moyer <ku0a@...>
Sent: Thu, Jul 14, 2011 6:02 am
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: NMRA Sacramento

I had a similar experience with UP 182500 built from a F&C kit. An AP judge
questioned why Union Pacific was spelled out on only one side of the car,
thinking I had forgotten to decal the other side. The prototype was only
lettered only on the left side, as documented in the text and photographs of
my documentation, so the judge restored the deducted finish points. At least
he had the courtesy to ask me about it before assigning the final score. I'm
in favor of using judges that admit they don't know everything about
everything, and check their biases at the contest room door.

Documentation is critical, but in a tie, judges use their own criteria, e.g.
parts count, service age , etc. I lost a first place in the freight car
category by 2 points because I didn't state the number of parts (it was over
600) while the judges seemed wowed by a model with 147 parts enumerated in
the documentation. Sometimes the judges miss information in documentation,
e.g. they wrote a note on the back of the judging form that I didn't state
the service age of the model so they couldn't judge finish. I lost 10 points
as a result. The documentation said the car was built in 1907 and retired in
1921, and that the car was lightly weathered. They were looking for board
streaking representing peeling paint on a scratchbuilt truss-braced, single
sheathed box car that had been in service for 30 years, but my car was only
in service for 14 years and was finished to reflect its early years, i.e.
lightly weathered, so it didn't meet their expectation re service age and
weathering. No matter how complete and succinct your documentation is, there
is still room for unavoidable subjectivity in the judging process, even with
the scoring matrix, especially when they have to rejudge a tie-breaker. The
interesting thing about my second place freight car was that it won the
people's choice award. Go figure!


-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Steve Lucas
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 10:15 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: NMRA Sacramento

I've actually found that using a binder with all relevant info in it has
worked for me at NMRA contests/AP judging. Including the one national that
I've attended thusfar, Toronto in 2003. The judges are NOT REQUIRED to look
at this info, but I've found that they do. Most prototype modellers acquire
and use prototype info when building their models--how difficult is it to
include it with the contest/AP documentation? The trick is to tie it into
the categories for judging for the judges' easy reference. I submit to the
judges' opinion, not mine, when my model is on the contest table.

I've come close to losing points when a certain MMR felt that I'd committed
a grave omission on a model STMFC by leaving off a brakewheel. Another
contest judge knew why--the prototype car had a lever handbrake, as shown in
a photo of that car in my documentation that I had not called attention to.

And I can only agree with Richard's opinion on quality of models at RPM
meets. Actually, I've found far more quality models at RPM meets--they may
not be NMRA contest/AP models, but they are more attractive to me as models
in conformity with the prototype.

Steve Lucas.

And I will add further, having
served in the past as an NMRA contest judge, that it is very
difficult to judge prototypical accuracy and detail, even for an
experienced prototype modeler, unless the model builder has supplied
an extensive documentation file, which imposes a considerable burden
on contest entrants. It is also difficult - and, I think,
counterproductive - to make fine distinctions between one high
quality model and another. Given the fine models displayed at a
typical RPM meet, I doubt that there could be anything approaching
unanimity about which ones were the "best."

Richard Hendrickson

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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