Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
Charlie Vlk wrote:
I remember walking around the Contest Room at an NMRA National during judging (somehow they were so wrapped up in their deliberations that they didn't kick me out!!!) and overhearing the judges arguing if the smudges on the side of a drop-dead beautiful scratchbuilt coaling tower were intentional weathering or poor workmanship....and, the conclusion was, since it wasn't noted on the entry form, it must not have been weathering . . .I understand your point, Charlie, but put yourself in the position of a judge. Evaluating by eyeball only is not how the NMRA contest is managed. Like it or not, the NMRA system is an internally consistent one with certain goals.
I don't know which contest you visited, but "open judging," in which anyone is welcome to watch and listen to judging (though not to converse or interject), is applied from time to time. Personally, I am greatly in favor of it. Contestants, present or future, learn an enormous amount by seeing what the judges are trying to do. I'm advocating that you see it in the same light.
Keep in mind that "drop dead beautiful" mostly describes "finish," and such a model may have numerous flaws in workmanship (small ones, evident to judges who examine closely), or in prototype conformity. Whatever the NMRA contest is, it isn't a "Beauty Contest."
Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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