I'm not sticking up entirely for the NMRA and their contests but you have to realize there is a certain formality in them which includes paperwork. The system was designed so a non knowledgeable judge could make judgement on what the modeler said he did. BTW each judge only judges one catagory, not the whole model. I never enrolled in many things in life without some formalities including paperwork. If that is too hard to grasp, it's probably best to avoid the contests and all in life that require proper paperwork.
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--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "up4479" <up4479@...> wrote:
IMO, its always been that way and it can get worse. I plugged into RPM with Joe Delia at the 1986 NMRA convention in Boston. I entered a kitbashed caboose in the NMRA model contest. They trashed my model because of the paperwork I submitted. Little did I know but the decision maker for a major award was a supporter of RPM. I came in last in category in the NMRA contest but won the UTU Brass Lantern Award! I was encouraged to take my model to the RPM room (where there were a lot more models) and got a blue ribbon in the popular vote contest! Everyone was supportive and enthusiastic. I met really nice people that I still keep in contact with 23 years later. I took more interest in the steam era after looking over Richard H's ATSF models. The rest is history. (I go to NMRA nationals for the RPM guys!)
But there's more to the story. The NMRA told me to put on a suit, show up at the banquet and be prepared for photos during the awards.
My wife and I go home for my suit and show up at the banquet with Joe D in tow. They had me arrive at the beginning and told me that it would be about 3 hours before they got to me and that we couldn't eat because we didn't buy tickets with our registration. We couldn't even buy our way in.
We left for a nice Italian dinner at one of our favorite spots. The photos were done another day.
So I was a bad boy because I didn't understand the paperwork requirements and took first place at the RPM room and the UTU rep decided I had the best caboose to represent their organization despite a poor showing in the contest.
I won't ever enter a NMRA contest and I won't attain NMRA master model railroader (though I could qualify) because IMO they want peopoe to fit their mold. That's OK! Its a big hobby. They can have fun their way and we can have fun our way.
I have to go do some steam era model work now.