2018 MER Convention, Crossroads of the MER, Oct. 4-7, will feature both
judged and popular vote contests that are part of all MER conventions.
There will also be Special Awards
including the President's Award, the Blue Lantern Award, and
others. Contests will be located in the Lincoln Room at the
hotel. The Contest Room will be open for contest entry on:
— 9:00 am - 9:30 pm.
Saturday — 8:00 am - 9:00 am.
will begin promptly at 8:30 am on Saturday! The
Contest room will close promptly at 12 pm on Saturday!
Judges will assemble in the Contest Room with the Contest Chairman to
start judging the entered models at 8:30 am on
Saturday. Any persons wishing to be an Apprentice Judge
should contact the Contest Chair as early as possible and plan on
spending the day judging with several of the judging teams.
do not bring large purses, shoulder/back
packs, camera bags, etc. into the contest room.
contest items must be picked up and removed from the Contest Room by
12:00 pm on Sunday, Oct 7.
wishing to display a model can bring it to the Contest Room, and
pending available space, there will be a table just for these models.
Please check with the contest staff when you come by the room or
contact Martin Brechbiel (email) directly if you have
categories for the judged Model Contest include:
Freight Car (Revenue)
On-Line Display (Diorama)
Off-Line Display (Diorama)
Note that modules are eligible (a special judging
form is available –
contact the Contest Chair (email) for a copy!)
will be awarded for first place in each model category. Second and
third place awards will be awarded a certificate.
model winning the Best of Show Award allows other models in that
category to move up one place for a 1st place plaque.
your model scores 87.5 points or greater, it will earn a merit award
from the Achievement Program. For more
the AP, contact
the MER AP Manager, Dave Chance (email),
or your division AP Coordinator.
Vote Model Contests
popular vote categories associated with the model contest: The
Favorite Train Award and The Favorite Model. You can fill out your
choice on the Popular Vote Ballot. The winners of each contest will
receive a plaque for his modeling efforts.
Contest Rules and AP-only Judging of Models
model contest rules are short and to the point! We follow the basic
NMRA National Contest rules.
Visit their site for a more
detailed explanation of all these rules, and to down load the forms
needed to enter all the contests; if you need help or forms, contact
Martin Brechbiel (e-mail)
Entrants must be current members of the NMRA.
Contest entrants cannot be professional model builders, i.e. derive
over 50% of one's income from constructing models.
Each model, photo or piece of craftwork must be accompanied by the
official NMRA Entry Form #901, filled out and signed by the entrant. In
addition, model entries must have a filled out Judges Score Sheet #902.
Writeable Entry Forms and Judges Score Sheets are available from the
NMRA and the MER website. Go to
either website, download the form, fill out as a Word
document, print and bring them with you to the Contest Room at the
You may enter the contest by proxy. Whoever submits an entry for
someone else, however, must present the owner-builder's NMRA membership
Models that have won a 1st place in any prior National or Regional
contest cannot be entered in the same category at this contest.
There are no restrictions on the number of models entered by a member.
7. For those modelers who wish to have
judged for the Achievement Program only, your models will be judged
when the model contest is judged.
MER allows NMRA and Region officials who wish to help judge the model
contest to do so and still enter models in the contest. Those who judge
and enter models must, however, recuse themselves from judging the
entire category in which they have entered a model.
wishing to judge or learn to judge by being apprentice judges are
encouraged to contact the Contest Chair!
questions? Please e-mail the Contest Chair, or speak with one of our
contest staff members:
Brechbiel, MER General Contest Chairman, NMRA Contest Manager. (email)
staff will be available in the Contest Room during the Convention.
Prototype Photos: Steam Related. Images of prototype steam locomotives.
Prototype Photos: Non-Steam. Images of any locomotives, rolling stock,
structures, etc., except for steam.
Model Photos. Images of model railroads and related model items.
will be by popular vote. In the event of a tie, it will be
the judgment of the Contest Chairman or his appointee to break the tie.
addition to the 1st place plaque, and the 2nd and 3rd place
certificates, a Best of Show (plaque) will also be chosen from all of
the entries by highest overall point total.
All current NMRA members are eligible to enter.
You cannot be a professional photographer and enter this contest, i.e.
you cannot derive more than 50% of your income as a photographer.
Participants may enter up to 5 prints in each of the 3 categories.
(Slides are not accepted.)
The maximum size for each photograph is 96 square inches (i.e. the
equivalent of an 8 x 12 photograph). Entries may not be framed.
Each participant must fill out Contest Entry Form #901 to enter each
photo into the contest. Participants should try to bring their photos
in as early as possible within the contest room's announced hours of
operation to facilitate the popular vote process. No entries can be
accepted after the model contest judging begins on Saturday morning.
Do not enter the same image(s) in more than one category. That includes
changing a color image to a gray scale or vice-versa.
Any image that won a first place or Best of Show award in a previous
MER photography contest may not be entered again. If you change a
previous first place-winning image from color to gray scale, or vice
versa, it is still the same image and may not be entered again.
If your entry has won first place or Best of Show at the National
Convention you may not enter it — but you can display it to show off
your winning entry.
The participants of the photography contests will be totally
responsible for their images and will not hold the MER, the host
Division or people connected with the contests liable for damage or
The Contest Chair or appointed representative shall make the final
judgment on all questions or questionable entries dealing with the
sure to stop in and vote while at the Convention. Even if you have not
entered the contest, it can only help the camaraderie of model
railroaders. The ballots and ballot box will be available in the
contest room near the photo display rack.
rules are reviewed on a continuing basis by the Contest Chairperson to
see if the activity can be improved over time. If you have questions or
any suggestions, comments, etc., please contact Martin Brechbiel (email).
Awards are those sponsored by the MER, various Divisions within the
Region and private groups:
OF SHOW AWARD is given to the model that scores the
highest point total in the judged model contest. In addition
to the plaque, this award also provides registration to next year's
PRESIDENT'S AWARD for 2018 will be chosen by MER President
Mattson and given for a Gondola.
GERALD AWARD is sponsored by the MER and named for the
late Clyde Gerald, former MER Business Manager and longtime modeler. It
is awarded to the kit-bashed model which scores highest in the judged
model contest. Be sure to check the definition of kit-bashed
for this award!
LANTERN AWARD is privately sponsored and chosen by long
time MER modeler Terry Nesbit and his Narrow Gauge Car Shop. The Blue
Lantern is given to a model best representing branch or private line
equipment or facilities, which contain no more than forty (40) percent
commercial parts. The prize-a genuine railroad lantern-is presented to
the winner by Mr. Nesbit.
LIBERMAN AWARD is given for the model freight, passenger,
caboose, or MoW car that would, in the opinion of the awarding
committee, be the one that Bob Liberman would choose as the best
detailed car in the contest. The award includes a plaque and
$100.00 Gift Card/Certificate to Hobby Store of choice.
PHILADELPHIA DIVISION MODELER AWARD rewards excellence in model
building by first time entrants in the MER judged model contest. The
highest score achieved by a new modeler in the contest is worth not
only a plaque, but a cash prize of twenty-five dollars!
OF DIXIE AWARD, sponsored by the James River Division,
this year will be awarded for a 2-bay coal hopper car for a railroad
(1) operating in a state in the Mid-Eastern Region and (2) that
originated (loaded on its own tracks) coal loads south of the
Mason-Dixon Line. These states include: Delaware, Maryland,
West Virginia (the panhandle is in MER), Virginia, North Carolina and
South Carolina. All questions regarding eligibility should be
directed to JRD's Contest co-chair Shannon Crabtree at
firstname.lastname@example.org AND CC'd to the JRD Superintendent at
BILODEAU NARROW GAUGE AWARD is also privately sponsored by
a group of narrow gauge modelers, and encourages building models
depicting aspects of narrow gauge railroading.
DECALS! AWARD is an award for an excellent model that
includes a Great Decals! product in its construction and/or finishing
achieving the highest judged score in lettering & finish for a
model that employs a product demonstrated to be from Great Decals that
also receives a Merit Award. This award is worth not only a
plaque, but a cash prize of thirty dollars!
FAVORITE TRAIN AWARD, sponsored by the Tidewater Division,
is a popular vote award and will be included on the Popular Vote
ballot. Yes, members who can find their way to the contest room and
fill out a ballot get to choose the winner!
FAVORITE MODEL AWARD is another popular vote award and
will also be included on the Popular Vote ballot. Yes, those same
members who can find their way to the contest room and fill out a
ballot get to choose their favorite model in the room!!
further details on the criteria for all of these awards, please visit
the MER website, http://mer-nmra.com/awards.html. Click on
the names of the Special awards for more information on each
award. Or, you can just contact Martin Brechbiel (email) MER