Iron Modeler competition?


Clark Propst
 

Years back Ben Hom and I discussed doing a model version of "Iron Chef" (the
entertaining Japanese version, no Iron Chef America yet) competition. The
plan was to give modelers a pile of parts and a set time to complete a
freight car. Of course this never got off the ground, but it's been in my
memory bank. So, I decided to do a few pieces in the paper RR name that was
used to build the branch I model and one I almost modeled.
I ordered single sheath car sides with hat section bracing from Andrew at
Westerfield. I had some early Dreadnaught ends by Westerfield and for a roof
I've always like the flat steel roof with seam caps used on a bogus DS DD
AHM box car. I'll find an underframe once the box is built. I've painted the
roof galvanized and will paint the sides BCR, the ends black.
Thought I'd share this photo before I assemble and primes the pieces.

Clark Propst


ron christensen
 

I like the idea. I remember when model building contests actually had good attendance. 
i guess the great ready to run has taken over. The only way you improve skill is building again and again.
ron christensen


Bruce Smith
 

Ron,

Seriously? A couple of points. First, with respect to contests. If that's your thing, fine, but it's never been mine. While I certainly appreciate feedback on my models, I have never built them to please anyone except myself, and certainly not some "judge" using arbitrary guidelines, who probably knows less about that specific prototype than I do (not because I'm so amazing, but because I did the research on the model). I stay as far away as possible from "contests" of any sort for that reason... contests often have very little to do with modeling skill and especially prototype modeling. Typically, when contests go away, the number of models displayed GOES UP. I may be kidding myself, but I think I do OK as a modeler without the need for anybody else to pass judgement.

Second, with respect to modeling and RTR, you must live in a vacuum. We are surrounded by amazingly skilled modelers, perhaps more so than at any other time in the history of model railroading. Model building is alive and well. Just look at this list and other lists associated with folks who are here. I'm typing this from Cocoa Beach where the ballroom is full of models. a few may have been RTR (there are a few brass models and some RTR plastic) but none are "out of the box". Every one of those models has been worked on in some way. I have no fear that kitbashers and scratch builders will disappear.

In addition, I think you need to be careful being judgmental about what is "modeling".  Beautifully weathering an out of the box RTR Rapido car is also modeling and IMHO should be celebrated as such.

No. The sky is not falling,
Sincerely,
Bruce Smith
Live from Cocoa Beach, Prototype Rails 2022


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of ron christensen via groups.io <rxensen@...>
Sent: Saturday, January 8, 2022 6:09 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] Iron Modeler competition?
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
I like the idea. I remember when model building contests actually had good attendance. 
i guess the great ready to run has taken over. The only way you improve skill is building again and again.
ron christensen


Tony Thompson
 

Years ago, when I lived in Pittsburgh and participated in the NMRA’s Division 2 of Mid-Central Region, we sponsored an annual “Shake the Box” contest in which the entrants were challenged to assemble, against the clock, something like an Athearn “Blue Box” hopper car. There being awfully few parts, the winning times were quite short. It was fun, either to participate in or to watch, but in a real sense NOT model railroading.

Tony Thompson






On Jan 7, 2022, at 9:51 AM, Clark Propst via groups.io <cepropst@...> wrote:

Years back Ben Hom and I discussed doing a model version of "Iron Chef" (the
entertaining Japanese version, no Iron Chef America yet) competition. The
plan was to give modelers a pile of parts and a set time to complete a
freight car. Of course this never got off the ground, but it's been in my
memory bank. So, I decided to do a few pieces in the paper RR name that was
used to build the branch I model and one I almost modeled.
I ordered single sheath car sides with hat section bracing from Andrew at
Westerfield. I had some early Dreadnaught ends by Westerfield and for a roof
I've always like the flat steel roof with seam caps used on a bogus DS DD
AHM box car. I'll find an underframe once the box is built. I've painted the
roof galvanized and will paint the sides BCR, the ends black.
Thought I'd share this photo before I assemble and primes the pieces.

Clark Propst <IMG_0321.jpg>


Philip Dove
 

Competitions and judging inspire and motivate some people, but not everyone. I once submitted a model of an Irish freight car, for a competition. I saw only one boxcar had been entered for a contest and reckoned that the the model l just happened to have with me was better. The judges didn't think much of it. The judging criteria didn't make allowance for models made of card with  pre printed sides and ends. I haven't entered any thing in a contest since. I don't enter any parts of my stamp collection into competitions either. I aim for a standard and l generally know if a model or collection is OK by me. 


Tim O'Connor
 


Bruce, I agree. This photo I've included is a shot of a Ready-To-Run Athearn diesel, unmodified except for the
weathering applied by Gary Christensen. Gary builds incredible dioramas with realistically weathered RTR models.
And he photographs them as well. Younger modelers - not raised on kits - who can do this are all over the world
and can be seen at major train shows like Springfield MA every January (well, except for 2021, and maybe 2022).

So yeah, the modeling art is alive and well. :-)

Tim O'Connor


On 1/8/2022 1:02 PM, Bruce Smith wrote:
Ron,

Seriously? A couple of points. First, with respect to contests. If that's your thing, fine, but it's never been mine. While I certainly appreciate feedback on my models, I have never built them to please anyone except myself, and certainly not some "judge" using arbitrary guidelines, who probably knows less about that specific prototype than I do (not because I'm so amazing, but because I did the research on the model). I stay as far away as possible from "contests" of any sort for that reason... contests often have very little to do with modeling skill and especially prototype modeling. Typically, when contests go away, the number of models displayed GOES UP. I may be kidding myself, but I think I do OK as a modeler without the need for anybody else to pass judgement.

Second, with respect to modeling and RTR, you must live in a vacuum. We are surrounded by amazingly skilled modelers, perhaps more so than at any other time in the history of model railroading. Model building is alive and well. Just look at this list and other lists associated with folks who are here. I'm typing this from Cocoa Beach where the ballroom is full of models. a few may have been RTR (there are a few brass models and some RTR plastic) but none are "out of the box". Every one of those models has been worked on in some way. I have no fear that kitbashers and scratch builders will disappear.

In addition, I think you need to be careful being judgmental about what is "modeling".  Beautifully weathering an out of the box RTR Rapido car is also modeling and IMHO should be celebrated as such.

No. The sky is not falling,
Sincerely,
Bruce Smith


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Tony Thompson
 

Having served 5 years as a Contest Director for an NMRA region (Pacific Coast) and having been a judge in NMRA national contests, I do know contests and judging. I happen to have been one of the folks who, in 1995, got the NMRA “Prototype” category bumped up from 10 to 25 of the 125 points. This does require prototype documentation be supplied. I judged in a contest in which a Westside Lumber Co. flat car was submitted, and it had no sill steps. That happens to be prototypically correct, but the modeler submitted no documentation, and obviously many judges would not have detailed knowledge of the Westside. Luckily a judge in a different category did know.
As a judge, I have seen voluminous documentation submitted that could easily be a novel. NO JUDGE in real time can possibly even skim huge amounts of material. This shows that the entrant didn’t take the time to distill down the information to what is essential. Of course some entrants hope to amaze and baffle the judges, who would thus not read the material, but give full credit.

I personally believe that contest have their place, but each one has a set of rules, and if you want to do well, you have to understand those rules BEFORE you start building, and build accordingly. Certainly in the pre-1995 days, one often saw in NMRA contests models built with odd construction techniques in order to maximize points. This is easy to laugh at, but it can be the result of any set of rules.

Personally, I really like the RPM approach, where models are displayed and the modeler is nearby to chat with visitors about the model. This is immensely more instructive than a judged contest. In fact, as many know, the partly built, or built but unpainted, model can be far more instructive than a beautifully finished model. And no one runs into a “gotcha” in the rules.


Tony Thompson
tony@signaturepress.com


Clark Propst
 

Models nearing completion. I used a Fox Valley plastic B&O underframe leftover from a ChicagoLand project. Have no idea who's trucks these are? A kind gentleman made the decals for me. I didn't cut the numbers and initials apart before 'planting' them on the car. Had to cut them apart on the model...messy...Now I'm more cautious (never applied that word to me before) I've cut out printed lettering for the name to know where to make cuts while still on the decal paper. My original plan was to use a wood door. This Youngstown door came with the sides so not thinking (that does apply all the time) I just put them on. I might put small slogans on plaques added to the doors? We'll see?
Clark


Clark Propst
 

Hit the wrong button. Here are a couple photos


Douglas Harding
 

Clark I’m glad to see you bring this thread back around to modeling. Intriguing concept of just “dumping” some parts in front of someone or raiding the “parts box” and seeing what they produce. Your models look very plausible, raising a “what if” concept. Esp helpful for those who incorporate freelancing in their prototype modeling. I could easily see a few of those CI&WC cars running on my layout.

 

Doug Harding

https://www.facebook.com/douglas.harding.3156/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK8X8Yb8NEAZqbZjHT5z0sA

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Clark Propst via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 10:25 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Iron Modeler competition?

 

Hit the wrong button. Here are a couple photos


Bruce Smith
 

Doug, Clark, Folks,

 

When the “Iron Modeler” concept first came up, as I recall we had several ideas in play. The first would be that at a meet like Prototype Rails, we would have a head to head “competition” with two modelers at adjacent tables building something from the same pile of stuff, like Iron Chef. The logistics of that quickly got the better of the idea, since model building takes time, even under pressure (although Clark might have no problem with that!). The next idea was more of a “silk purse from a sow’s ear, where modelers, with a fixed amount of time (but weeks, not hours) would start from the same raw material and make it into something better. We were actually to the point of having selected a kit, but as I recall, it sort of sputtered and died out there. I even have the kit on my shelf, an old Athearn quad hopper.

 

Regards,

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL

 

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Douglas Harding <iowacentralrr@...>
Reply-To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 12:32 PM
To: "main@RealSTMFC.groups.io" <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] Iron Modeler competition?

 

CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.

Clark I’m glad to see you bring this thread back around to modeling. Intriguing concept of just “dumping” some parts in front of someone or raiding the “parts box” and seeing what they produce. Your models look very plausible, raising a “what if” concept. Esp helpful for those who incorporate freelancing in their prototype modeling. I could easily see a few of those CI&WC cars running on my layout.

 

Doug Harding

https://www.facebook.com/douglas.harding.3156/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK8X8Yb8NEAZqbZjHT5z0sA

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Clark Propst via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 10:25 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Iron Modeler competition?

 

Hit the wrong button. Here are a couple photos


Clark Propst
 

Here's my fantasyland "Iron Modeler" concept car...Years in the making...Well maybe about as long as some guys take to build a resin kit, if they ever do?  ;  ))
Clark


O Fenton Wells
 

Excellent, a great fantasy build  Love the Tall Corn Route
Fenton

On Sun, Jan 23, 2022 at 10:03 AM Clark Propst via groups.io <cepropst=q.com@groups.io> wrote:
Here's my fantasyland "Iron Modeler" concept car...Years in the making...Well maybe about as long as some guys take to build a resin kit, if they ever do?  ;  ))
Clark



--
Fenton Wells
250 Frye Rd
Pinehurst NC 28374
910-420-8106
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