The 2016 MER Convention, Tracks to the Triangle, Oct. 20-23, will feature both judged and popular vote contests that are part of all NMRA and MER conventions. There will also be Special Awards including the President’s Award, the Blue Lantern Award, and others (see below). Contests will be located in the Durham room at the hotel. The Contest Room will be open for entry registration on:
Judging will begin promptly at 8:30 am on Saturday!
The Contest room will close at 12 pm on Saturday!
All Judges will gather for a mandatory meeting with the Contest Chairman and Refresher course at 8:30 am Saturday morning. Any persons wishing to be an Apprentice Judge will be required to attend the Judging training clinic that will be given at the Convention if they have not done so previously.
Members wishing to display a model can bring it to the Contest Room, and pending available space, we will have a table just for these models. Please check with the contest staff when you come by the room or contact Martin Brechbiel directly at email@example.com if you have questions.
For security purposes, please do not bring large purses, shoulder/back packs, camera bags, etc. into the contest room.
All contest items must be picked up and removed from the Contest Room by 12:00 pm on Sunday, Oct 23.
The categories for the judged Model Contest include:
Plaques will be awarded for 1st place in each model category. Second and third place awards will be awarded a certificate.
The model winning the Best of Show Award allows other models in that winning category to move up one place for a 1st place plaque.
There are TWO popular vote categories in the model contest: The Favorite Train Award and 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.
Our model contest rules are short and to the point! We follow the basic NMRA NationalContest rules. Visit their site for a more detailed explanation of all these rules, and to downloadthe forms needed to enter all the contests; if you need help or forms, contact Martin Brechbiel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 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 must, however, recuse themselves from judging the entire category in which they have entered a model. Those wishing to judge or learn to judge by being apprentice judges are encouraged to contact the General Contest Chairman!
Any questions? Please e-mail the General Contest Chairman, or speak with one of our contest staff members:
The staff will be available in the Contest Room during the Convention.
Winners of these categories are determined by popular vote. Instead of just one vote, you may vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of the four categories. When the votes are counted, 1st place counts as 5 points, 2nd place as 3 points and 3rd place as 1 point. This system helps equalize differences created by varying convention localities and the possible tilting of scores away from recognizing the quality images our members produce.
In the event of a tie, the higher number of first place votes will break the tie, otherwise, it will be the judgment of the Contest Chairman or his appointee.
In addition to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place certificates, a Best of Show (a plaque) will also be chosen from all of the entries by highest overall point total. The Best of Show be removed from its category, a la the Model Contest, thus moving others up a place in ranking.
Make sure while at the Convention to stop in and vote. Even if you have not entered the contest, it can only help the camaraderie of model railroaders. The ballots will be available in the contest room after all entries have been accepted.
These rules are reviewed on a continuing basis by the Contest Chairperson to see if the activity can be improved even more as time progresses. If you have questions or any suggestions, comments, etc., please contact Martin Brechbiel at email@example.com
Special Awards are those sponsored by the MER, various Divisions within the Region and private groups:
THE BEST 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 convention!
THE PRESIDENT’S AWARD for 2016 will be chosen by MER President Mattson and given for a Diesel.
THE CLYDE GERALD AWARD is sponsored by the MER and 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!
THE BLUE 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.
THE 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 $25!
THE PRIDE OF DIXIE AWARD, sponsored by the James River Division, will be awarded for a backwoods/portable sawmill this year.
THE RAY 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. The narrow gauge model that scores highest in the model contest is presented a plaque.
THE GREAT 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 also includes a cash prize of $30.
THE FAVORITE TRAIN AWARD 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!
THE FAVORITE MODEL AWARD, is another popular vote award and will also be included on the Popular Vote ballot. Yes, those same members who found their way to the contest room and fill out a ballot get to choose their favorite model in the room, too!!
For further details on the criteria for all of these awards, please visit the MER website, http://mer-nmra.com/Achievement.html Click on the names of the Special awards for more information on each award. Or, you can just contact Martin Brechbiel, MER General Contest Chairman, NMRA Contest Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).