Author Topic: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?  (Read 1754 times)

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Ridgeline

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What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« on: January 24, 2013, 10:17:16 PM »
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I get the feeling that this site is full of people that have already done or are capable of doing what I would like to do... I hope to earn the NMRA certificate for Master Builder - Cars, as outlined here: http://www.nmra.org/education/achievement/ap_cars.html

Reading through the requirements I can't help but get stuck on section 2, which reads "You must earn a score of at least 87-1/2 points on four of the eight models in either an NMRA sponsored contest or in AP Merit Award judging." Since I've never had a car judged, I'm wondering what it is about a car that puts it at or above that mark.

I've looked over the NMRA Judging Form and read through the definitions.... I guess I'm trying to get examples of what kind of cars fall into the 88+ category.

Your input on this matter is appreciated. Thanks in advance,

Andrew

wcfn100

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 10:55:41 PM »
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The first thing you do is download the judging form.

http://www.nmra.org/education/achievement/pdf/2006-jf-mbc.pdf

One thing to take note of is that you can't get more than 85 points without scratch building something.  One loop hole so to speak (at least it used to be) is that you can take a manufactured part and make a mold of it and the resulting cast part is now 'scratch built'.

I've been on both sides of the judging thing.  Sometimes with N scale it's all a matter of who judges your model.  There's a 90% chance that it's an HO modeler, but there are two different types of judges.  One that doesn't take N scale very seriously and doesn't give points where they are due, and the second which really appreciates how much harder it is to work in N scale vs. HO.

The points are pretty well self explanatory.  But the amount of work that is expected to achieve those points is judge dependent and you won't know until it's judged.  Remember you can have your model judged more than once.

As a general rule, try and scratch build as much as possible.  It can get you points in four categories.  And don't weather your models.  It will work against you almost all the time.

Finally, if after you do a contest you are asked to judge, do it.  You'll learn a lot about what's expected.


Jason




RioGrandeRod

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 12:36:27 AM »
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Nothing personal about the NMRA, but when Mike Danneman buys some of your freight cars, I think MMR pales in comparison.

bill pearce

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 12:38:16 AM »
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A frined and I were invited to present clinics at a NMRA convention in another town, as as a result were asked to judge the contest. I was, well, let's just say horified to find out the amount of politics involved. Who knew whom was a critical element in the judging, and several times an inferior model was given the highest award because old Joe had entered so many times and deserved the encouragement.

I looked over what it took to become a MMR and it includes a lot of stuff not related to skilled modeling.

Bill Pearce

Ridgeline

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 12:47:48 AM »
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Jason, I wasn't expecting to hear "don't weather your model," but I've specifically noted that point. As to scratch-building: is it acceptable to use an OEM frame and scratch out the details? I've a half dozen MTL 50' frames that need work... I'll have to figure out if that casting loophole is still open... I haven't found any info yet on building the car ends, either. I built a craftsman kit once upon a time, but it came with metal end pieces and frame.

Rod, Its not likely Mr. Danneman is even aware of my existence...  I'll start with the MMR. :D

Bill, I suspected there may be some politics involved and I, unfortunately, am not a politician. I figure I'll start with the models, and cross the remaining bridges if I reach them.

Thank you for the responses thus far,

Andrew
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 12:54:39 AM by Ridgeline »

Ian MacMillan

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 01:07:54 AM »
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IMHO MMR doesn't really mean much these days. There are so many very very epic modelers out there that arn't MMR's nor participate in NMRA that I think that it may be moot at this point. Just a personal observation from the modelers around me...it may be different on other boards and/or circles. IMO you should strive to be epic on your own and not what some org says...especially since MRing is an Art and not a science, so you really can't be a master at it.

I too have seen and heard about the politics and ways of some of NMRA events/doings, which is why I left NMRA a long time ago.... ~1995ish.
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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 01:20:38 AM »
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Andrew, sorry to be off-topic here but I just couldn't help myself: With a user name you have, are you by any chance the owner of this:


As far as titles go, I was honored to be named the Master Modeler by Mr. Tamiya, at the 2005 TamiyaCom. But even nicer than the title was the 10-day, all-expenses-paid, and fully-guided trip to Japan!   :D Something that I would otherwise probably never have done within my lifetime.

But like Ian said, titles (and certifications) don't really seem to mean all that much. Sure they indicate that you successfully completed series of tasks, but does that make you a better modeler?
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wcfn100

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 01:26:19 AM »
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Jason, I wasn't expecting to hear "don't weather your model," but I've specifically noted that point. As to scratch-building: is it acceptable to use an OEM frame and scratch out the details?

First of all, you certainly should double check the part about the weathering.  I can only go by my experiences but those are from a while back.  But to that point, this is a modeling contest.  Weathering only obscures all the work you've put into the model.  Save the weathering for a popular vote situation.

It may be best just to go down the judges list.

And I should start out with you should write everything down.  The whats and the whys.  Make sure the judge knows all the work that has happened (with pictures if you have the foresight)

Workmanship.  It's not just about how well you've completed the model, but it also sits in the back of the mind how much work was put into it.  You could have the best model in the world, but if the judge feels like it really only amounted to a few hours work, he may be reluctant to give full points.

Detail. Now this is mostly just about quality and amount like the sheet says, but you can also catch a judges eye by adding things he wouldn't think of, especially in N.  For instance, if you model an express box car, add in the signal and steam lines.  Or something like detailing an Atlas Rebuilt box car, change out the K brake for a an AB brake.  It will either go over the judges head, or it'll be what gets you max points.

Conformity.  This is one where you pretty much need to spoon feed the judge with a written paper all the things that you did to better match your prototype.  You want to convince them that you took the time and effort to create a well detailed, prototypical car.  What you don't want is the impression that you just added a few easy details to try and get the points.

Finish and lettering.  I always found this to be pretty soft.  As long as the paint and lettering are clean and straight, you should really have too much problem getting points.  This is one of those that sort of works backwards where the judge looks to take points away.

Scratchbuilt.  Is what it is.  Whatever you can fabricate yourself is gold (obviously it needs to look the part).  I think the points use to be higher, but honestly, you could get all 15 points on sheer volume of scratchbuilt items.

Again this is just what my experience was.  I'm sure some things have changed.  Just do your best, get it in a contest and see what happens.


Jason

up1950s

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 11:09:02 AM »
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As far as titles go, I was honored to be named the Master Modeler by Mr. Tamiya, at the 2005 TamiyaCom. But even nicer than the title was the 10-day, all-expenses-paid, and fully-guided trip to Japan!   :D Something that I would otherwise probably never have done within my lifetime.

Quite an honor and trip .

I won a contest to see who could bait more fishing hooks in 2 minutes .

wm3798

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 11:55:39 AM »
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I've never been caught up in the peer recognition thing, especially when the peer group tends to look at N scale as something of a novelty.
I enjoy doing my model building for myself first, and for the enjoyment of this crowd.  (Mostly they enjoy telling me how slap-dash it all is!) :ashat:

But hey, if you can rack up 87 points on something that's not 1:87, then go for it!

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Kisatchie

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 11:55:53 AM »
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I won a contest to see who could bait more fishing hooks in 2 minutes .

Aw man, I wish I had known about that contest.


Hmm... Kiz would
probably eat the bait...


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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 12:12:17 PM »
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......Since I've never had a car judged, I'm wondering what it is about a car that puts it at or above that mark?

Andrew

A few hundred dollar bills to pass around.     :ashat: :ashat: :ashat: :ashat: :ashat: :ashat: :ashat:


Kidding aside, you have been given great advice so far.  I have only had one locomotive judged by NMRA, and that was 1989 in Houston- so I have no idea what has changed since then.  But the use of MULTIPLE materials was one of the keys I remember.  Metal, styrene, brass, wood, etc.  Mine came in second and the model that won (which was indeed the best) was a Shay that used homemade cast white metal parts.

Got the idea?

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M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 12:32:44 PM »
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Best stuff I've read about the MMR program is by Gerry Leone on his site:
http://home.earthlink.net/~gerryleone/trains.htm
He takes you through step by step what he did in a very well-written and well-presented fashion.
Good sense of humor, too, for a HO dude  :ashat:
M.C. Fujiwara
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http://sv-free-mon.org/

bill pearce

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 01:04:45 PM »
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If I recall, when I looked into this, you could take a mechanism from any manufacturer and forge your own brass with which to build the most detailed shell ever, and it would not qualify. Wag that I am, I said to someone, "So, does this mean I have to wind my own motor?" No response. But, also, I do think the locomotive catagory was heavily weighted in favor of steam.

What this told me is that one of Dave Hussey's incredible scrachbuilt shells of a seventies era diesel wouldn't stand a chance. And if there ever was a Master Modeler...

Bill Pearce

Hyperion

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Re: What does it take to score 87 1/2 points?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 01:14:31 PM »
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As far as titles go, I was honored to be named the Master Modeler by Mr. Tamiya, at the 2005 TamiyaCom. But even nicer than the title was the 10-day, all-expenses-paid, and fully-guided trip to Japan!   :D Something that I would otherwise probably never have done within my lifetime.

Wait a sec -- you're that Peter?!  I was just flipping through an old back issue of a Tamiya model magazine a couple weeks ago (I was giving some old mags to a younger brother who's into scale modeling like I am) and there was a little blurb on the '05 TamiyaCon.  That was a beautiful bike.  And I would have to agree -- winning your category and "Best of Show" in an international, no-volunteer judging contest, and being named "Master Modeler" by Mr. Tamiya himself is much better than getting an MMR certificate.  That is really awesome.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 01:16:06 PM by Hyperion »
-Mark