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Fall 1971 - Page 84

The most a ttract ive aspect of the model ra ilroading hobby, t o mo st en t husiasts, is that it is one of the most relaxing a nd creative pastimes possible. The concept o f a contest, then, seems a b it out of keeping wit h what the hobby offers at its best . St ill, hundreds of modelers enter model b uild ing con t es t s in all parts of the coun try ; and the most enthusiastic enter t h eir mod els in t h e o!1ly na tional model build ing contest o f the y ear at the Na t io nal Model Railroa d Association's a nnual co nvention. The answer to the seem ingly o p posing concepts o f a relaxing hobby and any form of competition lies in the fact that t hese contests are more a best showcase of the talents the entrants have developed t han they are a competitio n . Ma ny of the en trants spend m o n t h s or years of their spare time on a special model project t ha t results in what they feel might j ust be at least as rea list ic as anyone, anywhere, could b uild - the na tional contest is a chance for them to see j ust how w ell t heir effo rts d o stack up against others and, most oft en, gives them t h e chance to see where their models and t ech niq ues can be even further improved to produce even b e t t er models. The spectators that can ob serve t hese cont ests a t the N . M . R . A .'s national and regional conven t ions benefit fro m seeing these men's work al most a s much as t h e builders. There are few p laces where so ma ny superior-q uality models are gathered together for t h e viewer to see j ust how realistic a railroad mo del can be. Y o u can share your b est models with o ther model railroaders (who else

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7. T he "Best in Show" trophy and "Best Steam Locomotive" class was won by Ed Groth 's scra tchbuilt HO scale model of a Porter steam locomo tive that opera ted on "narro w gauge" track (the rails spaced 2-feet rather than 4-feet 8 -inches apart). Ed fabri cated all of the parts from bits of brass and o ther me tals including a pencil eraser-size motor. The brake shoes on the drivers can actually be actuated by a lever in the cab of the engine!

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