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  • Contest-Quality Models:

    Once a year the best modelers, from the United States and Canada, gather to display their best these are the winners in most of the national contest categories.

    The very best model, in the National Model Railroad Association's annual model building contest - regardless of category - for 1970 was judged to be Gil Frietag's HO scale working model of a steel lift bridge. Note the realistic wood, steel, and concrete textures. Gil also won the first place ribbon in HO scale structures with a model of a narrow gauge coaling dock. 

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 104 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 105

    Model railroaders, as a group, are not really a competitive sort. Most are content to practice their art in the relative seclusion of their own homes or among members of a club or similarly-oriented friends. Like any artist, however, most modelers are justifiably proud of their creations even if the "creation" is simply a snap-together kit that they've added a touch of thin ned down 'dirty' paint to, to simulate the grime common to most real railroad equipment. Some of the members of the model rail road fraternity, though, are craftsmen in the true sense of the word, fully capable of making a complete steam locomotive from a pile of brass rods and sheets. The modelers most proud of their efforts often enter them in regional or model contests where they can be admired by national hundreds of appreciative enthusiast and, perhaps, be judged by a panel of their peers to be the best of the show or at least best in a particular category.

    The majority of the active model railroaders belong to the National Model Railroad Association (more about this group appears in the chapter on "Clubs"). The NMRA divides the country into geographic areas. Each of these areas has a regional branch of the club that functions much like a scaled-down version of the 'national' with an annual meeting of the members and, usually, a model contest for the members with in the region. You can obtain the address of the secretary of your region, along with your application to the NMRA, from Box 1328, Station C, Canton, Ohio 44708. You may just want to enter one of your most prized models in the next regional contest in your area. The models pictured here are the winners in the various categories of the NMRA's contest program. These models, however, can fairly be judged the best in the country since they won their recognition at the NMRA's national convention for 1970 in St. Louis, Mo. The contest criteria makes point-earned allowances 'for models that have been completely scratchbuilt' as well as kits - it is possible, then, for a highly detailed kit-built locomotive, car, or structure to win over a model that was scratch built from raw materials. Most of the winners, however, were scratchbuilt and they are beautiful indeed. For most of us, models like this are only a dream; a goal we can work toward in our modeling efforts - material proof that it really is possible to incorporate such detail and realism in a mere handful of model.

    PAGE 106 TOP: Robert Wilhelm picked up first place in the NMRA's locomotive category with this On3 scale model of a Porter diesel. Model was hand-made from sheet brass and lost wax castings.

    PAGE 106 BOTTOM: James Moore's HOn3 Shay locomotive was another scratch built entry in the locomotive class; it tied for third place.

    PAGE 107 TOP: This On3 Flanger was used by the prototype Denver & Rio Grande railroad to clear snow away from the rails after the larger snowplows had moved the bigger banks. Model took first "cars".

    PAGE 107 BOTTOM: Carl Lundquist's HOn3 combine garnered a first place in the passenger car category of the NMRA national contest. Tiny model has full interior and underbody details.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 106 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 107

    PAGE 108 TOP: Another first-in-class model; this On3 four-wheeled caboose is a near-perfect replica of the type used by the narrow gauge Colorado & Southern Railroad. Scratchbuilt by Gail Gish.

    PAGE 108 BOTTOM: Bob Corriston's HO scale station has that realistic clutter of both interior and exterior detail that makes a model look like the real thing. Bob took first in structures with it.

    PAGE 109 TOP: Mal Harvey's 0 scale tri-level automobile car is another winner. Each of the fifteen scale model Mustangs sported a different paint or trim style just like the real loads do.

    PAGE 109 BOTOTM: Diorama's are often the most interesting models because they can almost be considered a miniature of a complete model railroad. Many apartment dwellers build such scenes to be incorporated into a complete layout whenever they move into a house with adequate space. This HOn3 locomotive servicing setting won first place for Gil Freitag in the diorama class.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 108 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 109


    PAGE 110 TOP: Cliff Cheesman's HO scale engine terminal diorama was built almost entirely from super-detailed kit structures. Real-life railroad branch lines used similar areas in the days of steam.

    PAGE 110 BOTTOM: Pickle cars are popular models with many, yet few miniature railroads provide the industry to warrant moving such cars. This HO scale pickle works was assembled from stripwood pieces. 

    PAGE 111 TOP: John Reid captured the rural flavor that was characteristic of many of the smaller full-size railroads with his 0 scale country scene. Track is a model of 3-foot "narrow" gauge.

    PAGE 111 BOTTOM: There are some industrial facilities that have an almost indescribable character that charms any railroader. David Donkle's HO scale coal yard and bins is a perfect example.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 110 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Winter 1970 - Page 111

    Article Details

    • Original Author 1001 Model Railroading Ideas
    • Source 1001 Model Railroading Ideas
    • Publication Date Winter 1970

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