Monday, March 30, 2015

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's 2015 spring open house was a success!

   Long time WMRC member supervises the running of the trains of the No. 1 Northern Division's Free-Mo group at the WMRC's annual spring open house.

 The WMRC would like to extend a very big THANK YOU  to everyone who attended our spring open house this weekend at the Charleswood Legion! We had a lot of very happy folks who love trains drop by. A lot of them stayed for hours, but that's okay - it's even encouraged!

    There sure was plenty to see! All of the popular gauges, from Z to G were on display, and there was even a display of rolling stock from the Assiniboine Valley Railway! Two big modular railways - the No. 1 Northern Division's Free-Mo group and the Kildonan Short Lines were up and running at the show. There were also two N gauge layouts, the ever popular Lionel "giraffe car" layout, plus the displays of the WMRC model and photo contest winners. Our charity of choice, our good friends at St. Amant, were also there with a big display.

    The good folks at the Kildonan Short Lines modular railway had lots of trains up and running!
   Frances South and her brother James were on hand to help volunteer with their mom running the canteen, and to help run the Lionel giraffe car layout!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Forum Art Centre publicizes Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's spring open house

   The WMRC would like to thank the Forum Art Centre for once again publicizing our spring open house for the second year in a row, without even asking them!

   Please note that the Forum Art Centre is also holding an event the same time the WMRC is holding their open house. They will be holding their Flea Market Fundraiser. They'll be selling everything but large furniture and clothing. There probably won't be any trains, but that's what you come to the WMRC open house for!

    However, we won't be selling any trains at our open house. But there will be lots of displays, exhibits and contest results! So why not go to both events?

    The WMRC open house will be held at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard on Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29. The hours are from 11AM to 4PM on both days. The Forum Art Centre's Flea Market Fundraiser will be held at their studios at 120 Eugenie Street from 10AM to 4PM on Saturday, March 28 and from noon to 4PM on Sunday, March 29. For more information about the Forum Art Centre click here.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Suzanne Lemon is the winner of March's Winnipeg Model Railroad Club photo contest

   WMRC Past President Suzanne Lemon won the club's March photo contest with her image of an eastbound CP intermodal streaking  through Gull Lake, Saskatchewan on the eve of April 23, 2012. AC4400 9654 leads the train.

   The artistic image was captured with a combination of a slow shutter speed at 1/6 of a second and use of the flash in Rear Curtain Sync Mode. The flash fires at the end of the exposure, rather than at the beginning, therefore capturing some sharp detail in the subject, while the rest of the locomotive and its train is a blur of motion.

   Suzanne won a cash prize for her image, and the image was published on the cover of the March issue of The Lantern, the official publication of the WMRC. For next month’s contest, the theme is anything to do with RUSTY equipment.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Moose Jaw Thunder Creek Model Railroad Club to hold train show on March 21 and 22

The Moose Jaw Thunder Creek Model Railroad Club will be holding their annual train show in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on March 21 and 22, 2015.

   The show generally draws around 1000 people over the two days. It is held at the Moose Jaw Western Development Museum, History of Transportation. The Museum’s collection includes a number of railway artifacts such as Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 locomotive 2364 and a 1913 combination car. The show is spread throughout the museum’s collection.

  If you have any questions concerning the show please contact Stirling Millar at or Bud Guidos at

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club posts model contest rules on-line

NOTE: This document was created in 1999 in order to present a more comprehensive and detailed account of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's model contest rules. It is being published on-line for the first time to provide access to all of our members and to the general public.

Contest rules

Revised January, 1999

a. It is the intent of this publication to list, define and clarify the contests authorized by the Winnipeg
Model Railroad Club Inc. (WMRC).

b. Contest Events
(1) Model Construction Event
(2) Photo Contest Event (rules for this event have been posted previously and are not included in this document)

c. General Rules
(1) Any member of the WMRC in good standing is eligible to compete.
(2) The WMRC can assume no responsibility in the event of loss or damage to an entry and no
insurance will be carried by the WMRC. Reasonable precautions will be taken for the protection of
all entries and exhibits.
(3) Each entry must be accompanied by a properly-completed official entry form signed by the entrant or his authorized proxy.
(4) Judges for the contest events will be selected by the Contest Chairman. All decisions of the judges
will be final.
(5) The Contest Chairman shall establish the time limits for entering models and their removal after
(6) Entries will be grouped by categories.
(7) Entries which have won a Contest Award for a model in a previous WMRC contest or a First Place in a previous WMRC Photo Contest cannot be reentered. A Contest Award is considered for the
purposes of this rule to be any of the trophies listed in the Club Handbook.
(8) Any entrant winning a first in a specific category for three successive years will not be eligible to
enter that category for the following two years. This restriction shall not apply to special events.
(9) The Contest Chairman shall furnish The Lantern (the publication of the WMRC) with the list of

a. Entry Instructions

(1) There shall be no restrictions on the number of models entered by a single contestant.
(2) Complete the official entry form as accurately as possible including name, WMRC number, category and model identification.
(3) On this form, list briefly all pertinent information which will describe the model to the best
(4) On this form, identify whether the model is scratch built or built from a kit.
b. Supplemental information to verify or identify a point may be submitted with the entry form. The
judges are, however, under no obligation to consult the supplemental information.
c. All scales will be combined within the various categories. There will be no divisions based on the scale of the models.

d. Categories
(1A) Locomotives – Steam: All types of road and yard steam locomotives.
(1B) Locomotives – Others: All types of road and yard locomotives, including diesel, electric and gas electric, excluding steam.
(2) Passenger: All passenger train and passenger carrying cars, including combines, baggage, express
(except reefers), RPO’s, streetcars, rail buses and dayliners.
(3) Freight: All revenue–earning freight cars, including express reefers.
(4) Non-Revenue: All non-revenue cars, including maintenance-of-way, cabooses, snowplows, cranes, wrecking cars, rail inspection cars and dormitory cars.
(5) Structures: All buildings, bridges, coal docks, water towers, interlocking towers, stations, tool sheds, ice platforms, freight sheds and roundhouses as long as they are not on a scenicked base.
(6) Displays: Anything with a scenicked base, usually including any of the following; buildings, track,land, trees, trucks, cars, people, weeds, junk and activity.

e. Judging
(1) The Contest Chairman shall act as Senior Judge, issue instructions to Technical Judges, clarify points of question, fill in for Technical Judges so they do not have to judge their own entries, break ties and tally up scores from the individual factors.
(2) The panel of five Technical Judges shall determine the score points, one judge for each of the five
factors, in conformance with the judging guide and point schedule patterned after National Model
Railroad Association (NMRA) rules.

f. Factors
(1) Construction: This factor deals with the apparent workmanship of the builder. Proper handling of
materials, applied labour, skill and craftsmanship as demonstrated by the construction of the model
is considered, including cutting, shaping, fitting, gluing, soldering and casting.
(2) Detail: This factor deals with the refinement of the model. The number of subordinate parts added
and the complexity of the model is considered.
(3) Conformity: This factor deals with what is commonly called prototype practice. Logical construction and application of parts is considered to be conforming to prototype practice, even though there may not actually be a prototype, Proper dimensions are considered in this factor.
(4) Finish: This factor deals with the general appearance of the model as reflected by surface treatment to achieve a specific effect, through the proper use of finishing materials, and proper application of lettering, either decals, dry transfer or hand lettered. Painting, aging, weathering and special effects are considered to be part of the finish.
(5) Scratchbuilding: This factor deals with all parts of the model which have been fabricated by the
builder. Preformed wood and metal are considered basic material for scratchbuilding. Being
scratchbuilt is no automatic assurance of extra points, but the builder is rewarded for scratchbuilt
work that is well done.

g. Point Schedule
(1) Construction 0 to 40 points
(2) Detail 0 to 20 points
(3) Conformity* 0 to 25 points
(4) Finish 0 to 25 points
(5) Scratchbuilding 0 to 15 points
Maximum possible total 125 points
    *Without documentation, maximum conformity score is 15.

h. Scratchbuilding Point Sub-schedule

(1) Motive Power:
i. Completely scratchbuilt except motor, gears, drivers, wheels, couplers, trucks and light bulbs 10 to
15 points
ii. Mostly scratchbuilt except as above plus locomotive and tender frames, pilot, smoke box front,
main and side rods, and cylinder block.
5 to 9 points
iii. Partly scratchbuilt except as above under (i) and (ii) plus valve gear, domes, stack, marker lights,
pumps, brake rigging and other commercial parts
0 to 5 points

(2) Cars:
i. Completely scratchbuilt except trucks and couplers
0 to 15 points
ii. Partly scratchbuilt except as above plus seats, cylinder, reservoir, triple valve, ventilators, latches,
turnbuckles, hinges, ladders, diaphragms, platforms, steps, grabirons, plastic and metal window sash
and other commercial parts. All metal and plastic shapes exempted
0 to 9 points

(3) Structures:
i. Completely scratchbuilt except light bulbs and wiring
0 to 15 points
ii. Partly scratchbuilt as above plus metal and plastic doors and windows, figures and animals, interior
fittings, grass, gravel, etc. All wood and plastic sheet and shapes are exempted
0 to 9 points

i. Awards
Best-in-Show, First Place in each category, Kit Award, Initial Modelling Achievement Award and Junior Achievement Award winners will be presented with a Club Contest Certificate, a small engraved plaque to keep permanently and the appropriate Club trophy to keep until the April meeting of the following year. In addition, all Second Place and Honorable Mention Winners in the various
categories will be presented with a Club Certificate. All winners will be announced at the Contest Open House and all certificates, plaques and trophies will be awarded at the Annual General Meeting and Banquet.

(1) Best-in-Show: The model scoring the highest total points shall be declared the winner of the Best-in-Show Award, and shall be removed from further competition in its category.

(2) Category Awards: Except where there is only one entry, the entry scoring the highest points in each category shall be declared First Place winner. The entry scoring the second highest total points shall be declared the Second Place winner. At the option of the Contest Chairman, further Honorable
Mention awards may be made for the entries scoring within a few points of the second place. Ties
will be avoided if at all possible. Where there is only one entry, a First Place or Honorable Mention
may be made at the discretion of the Judges dependent upon the quality of the model.

(3) Kit Award: This shall be made to the entry scoring the highest points in the Model Construction
Event which:
(a) was built from a kit.
(b) did not score more than 5 points in the scratchbuilt factor.
(c) did not win Best-in-Show or First Place in any Category.

(4) Initial Modelling Achievement Award: This shall be made to the modeller achieving the highest
points in any category in the Model Construction Event who:
(a) has never won Best-in-Show, First Place in any category, the Kit Award or this Award in any
previous WMRC Model Construction Event.
(d) does not win Best-in-Show, First Place in any category or the Kit Award in the current WMRC
Model Construction Event.

(5) Junior Modelling Achievement Award: This shall be made to the junior modeller achieving the highest points in any category in the Model Construction Event who does not win Best-in-Show, First
Place in any category, the Kit Award or the Initial Achievement Award in the current WMRC
Model Construction Event.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club model contest score sheet posted online

   Our members have requested that the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's model contest judge's score sheet be posted on-line for immediate access any time of the year. This score sheet is usually printed just once a year in the print and on-line PDF versions of our official publication, The Lantern.

   This post will remain as the top post of this blog site until Wednesday, March18. After is it no longer visible on the page, you can access it by scrolling down the page until you reach "access this blog", located on the right hand side of the page. Just type in score sheet or model contest judge's score sheet, and the form will appear.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club model contest tips

  Do you want to create an award winning model? These valuable tips will show you how!
By Morgan Turney - WMRC Model Contest Chairperson

So, You Want To Enter A Model In The Model Contest - Here Are Some Tips To Help You Get That Trophy!

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club hosts its annual model and photo contests each year at the club's Open House in the Spring. Why does the club have these events? It has been a tradition in the club since its beginnings and the club, over the years, has developed trophies to honour modelling achievement. It's an opportunity for Club members to highlight their modelling skills to others and learn to produce better models through an achievement program.

Many modellers enjoy showing and sharing with others the models they have built throughout the year and this is their opportunity to do so. In order to select which models in their respective categories are trophy winners, a points system is used which the club has adopted from the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA). The NMRA standards of achievement are high. However, there are some easy 'rules' to follow to earn the points necessary to earn a trophy.


I'll begin with the categories that are judged. These include steam locomotives (includes shays, climaxes, etc.), diesel and other locomotives (other being electrics, self-propelled, etc.), passenger cars, freight cars, non-revenue cars (cabooses, M of W, work cars, etc.), structures (buildings, water towers, coal tipples, etc. not mounted), displays (modules, scenes, etc. mounted) and a special event category (each year, the Special Event changes). Trophies are also awarded for the best model built from a kit (the kit can be from any of the above categories); the best model entry in any category for anyone who has never earned a first place trophy (Tyro Award); and the best model entry in any category from a Junior Member (under 16). There is also an award for the model that most represents railroading in general (Clark Summers Award). And just a note here: if your model is mounted on a

All model categories are basically judged in the same way. The idea is to accumulate as many points as you can in the five different sections that the judges consider when awarding points. The five sections are: construction, detail, conformity, finish and lettering and scratch-building.
Obviously, the more work you have put into your model, the more points will be awarded in each respective section. Keep in mind, too, that it's not just one judge that judges your model in all the sections. There are usually 3 or 4 judges, each one looking at only their assigned section. Judge number one will judge only the construction section; judge number 2 will judge the detail section; and judge number 3 will judge conformity, etc. Therefore, judge number one doesn't know what is written in the detail or conformity section. If you have done something to your model that fits into more than one section (let's say weathering), be sure to mention that in detail, finish and lettering and perhaps conformity. The more information you give to the judges (as written down) the more points that judge can award to that section. If there is nothing written down, there can be no points awarded!

Judging Tips

So, what are some 'tips' from the judges that can help you get those points? There are several. First of all, don't wait until you have finished a model before you take a look at the Judges' Score Sheet to see how it will be judged. Study each of the sections to see what the judges look at in each and keep them in mind as you do your model. Fill in the sheet as you go along. Secondly, to the judges, the most important category (other than construction), believe it or not, is the conformity section. After all, you are trying to duplicate the prototype so why not show the judges what you are duplicating? If you supply a photo of the prototype that you have based your model on, that will show the judges that your model conforms to that prototype. If the photo shows a rust streak down the side of a box car, and you added that detail to your model, more points can be awarded because it conforms to the photo. The same with a horn or bell that you moved to conform with the prototype. If you have a photo of the prototype with the bell moved to the underframe, and you modelled that feature, you will get more points (assuming that you wrote it down as being moved). And again, these items can be mentioned in more than on section.

Gaining Points

Each section is allotted a maximum number of points so, as you gain points in each section, you'll end up with more points in the end. If you don't write anything in a section, no points are awarded - the judges can't give points for nothing done. Therefore, try to do something to your model so that you are legitimately able to write in what you did in that section. As mentioned before, much of what you did will qualify to be entered in more than one section.

Let's look into each section in more detail. The construction section is fairly self-explanatory - there are boxes to check-off for the work you performed. This section actually mirrors the scratch-building section so the more you have scratch built on your model, the more points will be awarded. Be sure to write a detailed description of the work performed. Some modellers keep a written record as they make a model so that, when the time comes to fill out the judges' sheet, they already have the work they did written down.

In the detail section, the judges want to know what details you added to your model to make it look more prototypical. Were the details from a manufacturer or did you scratch-build them? If you replaced the front pilot on a locomotive with, lets say a Miniatures by Eric detail part, write it down. If you added a tack board on the side of a box car that wasn't on the original model, that too, is added detail. Also, if you added a decal that wasn't on the model before you started, that also counts. And don't forget your weathering details. If you haven't weathered your model because you want it to look factory-fresh, write it down. But remember, a building or a box car that's 30 or 40 years old doesn't look brand new - put some weathering on it.

In the conformity section, the judges look for how the model conforms with what the prototype looks like. Photos, drawings and plans are essential if you want points in this section. If you have used a magazine article to build your model, be sure to mention that in the written portion and have the magazine article spread-out with the model. If you weathered an engine to conform to a photo of the prototype you have, be sure to write it down. Remember - pictures are worth a thousand words.

In the finish and lettering section, be sure to fill in the boxes that apply to your model and write down how you painted the model (air brush or hand-painted, etc.), what decals you used, how you painted the building's roof, etc. If you made your own decals and applied them, tell the judges. Don't forget to tell the judges how you weathered the model (chalks, paint, eye shadow, etc.) and how it conforms to the prototype photo you provided (see how all the sections fit together?).

And finally, in the scratch built section, tell the judges what you have built from scratch and added to your model. If you bent grab irons and added them on, write that in this section as well as in the conformity, detail and construction sections. If you cut your own logs to simulate a log load, this qualifies as scratch building, too. Anything you added that was manufactured by your own hand is considered scratch built.

In summery, filling out the Judges' Score Sheet isn't that difficult if you follow some of these simple rules. The best part is that now you know what the judges are looking for! The contest judging is designed to help you become a better modeller.

In 2013, the WMRC introduced a medal system to signify achievement. Models are judged on a points-type system as above and the accumulated points determines whether the entry receives an Honourable Mention, Bronze Metal, Silver Metal or a Gold Metal. This basically eliminates the 'category' system of first, second, third and/or honourable mentions, replacing it with non-category achievement. The trophy for each of the categories (steam, diesel, passenger car, non-revenue, etc.) can still be presented but only with the achievement of a gold metal in the category.
All models entered in the contest are judged in the same way and from the scores accumulated. Personal awards (Kit Award, Tyro Award, Junior Award, Clark Summers Award, Special Event Award and Best in Show Award) are still be up for grabs, with or without a gold metal placement.
The point awards for medals are established as follows:

Honourable mention - less than 45 points
Bronze Metal - 45 to 65 points
Silver Metal - 66 to 86 points
Gold Metal - 87 to 125 points.

Each person entering a model is entitled to receive only one metal from each class (bronze, silver, gold) and if a second is achieved, they will receive a recognition bar to go with their metal in either bronze, silver or gold.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Ed Mulholland's layout showcased at Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's March meeting

At this Friday's meeting, former WMRC President Ed Mulholland will give us a presentation on his N scale Cumbrian Mountain Lines layout, which is considered to be one of the finest model railroads ever built in Winnipeg. The presentation will feature prototype videos and slides of this layout, with Ed describing its construction and operation.

The layout replicated Britain's famous Settle & Carlisle Railway and Ed modelled the line in very fine and accurate detail. His layout was probably the world's most complete model of this historic line. Ed's layout was prominently featured in model railroad magazines in Britain and in North America, and was even showcased one morning on CBC radio. This layout has since been dismantled for another that Ed is currently working on. He will be giving us quick preview of that layout, too.

Our March 13 meeting starts at 7:30PM in the Tank Room of the Charleswood Legion at 6003 Roblin Boulevard. The Tank Room is located in basement of the Legion. Please enter on the west side of the building.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Photo contest entry form for the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club

   By popular demand, we are posting the photo contest entry form from the February 2015 issue of The Lantern, the official publication of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club. The form has been only previously available in The Lantern, and hard copies have always been available at the meeting before our spring open house, but they've never been available on-line before.

    Now the form will always be available for anyone who wants it. After it has been replaced by other posts, you can always scroll down on the page, go to "Search this Blog" on the right hand side and type in "Photo Contest Entry Form". 

Monday, March 09, 2015

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's annual photo contest rules

Our members have requested that the WMRC's annual photo contest and model contest rules be posted on-line, along with the application forms for these contests. This is the first post in this series.  The next post will be of the actual registration form for the photo contest, followed by the rules for the model contest and the registration form for that contest.

Rules Revised March, 2008

Transparency: Prototype or Model

Photo Prints: Film Print - Prototype Digitized Print - Prototype Film or Digitized Print - Model
Snapshot: Prototype or Model
Special Event: Film or Digital Print or Transparency
1. The Special Event will be on a special subject prescribed by the photo contest chairperson and the winner to receive the Peter Abel Award.
2. Transparencies must be in standard 2” x 2” mounts and should be spotted in the lower left hand corner.
3. Film and Digitized Prints may be mounted on flat rigid cardboard, (no folders or glass frames). Photo and/or mount may not exceed 12” x 16”, (30cm x 40cm) in size. Minimum mount size is 8” x 10”, (20cm x 25cm), and minimum print size is 5” x 7”, (12cm x 18cm).
4. Digitized Prints are defined as any print that has been taken with a digital camera or any picture scanned into a computer. All work to produce the final print and the original exposure or sliced must have been done by the entrant personally.
5. The snapshot category shall be defined as any unmounted, straight-forward print as obtained from your photo finisher in the standard sizes. Total picture area is not to exceed 24 square inches. Polaroid type pictures are perfectly acceptable.

B. Rules for Entry

1. Each member may submit up to ten, (10), entries with up to five, (5), in any one category.
2. Members entering Photo Prints or Snapshots must choose to compete in EITHER category. They may NOT enter both categories.
3. Entries may be submitted prior to the Model Contest Event at a time and place determined by the Photo Contest Chairperson, normally at the preceding WMRC Meeting. Time and place are to be published in The Lantern.
4. Entries must be identified by the owner. Prints must have the owner‟s name on the back. Prints with names on the front will not be accepted. Slides should have the name on the mount.
5. Exposure of the original negative or slide must have been made by the entrant and shall not have won a first place award in any previous WMRC Photo Contest.

C. Judging Procedures

1. The Photo Contest Chairperson shall select a panel of at least three judges. Each selected ideally should have both some ability in judging photographic techniques and an appreciation of the aims of model railroading.
2. Experience has indicated that the judging is best done on a group basis with the objective of eliminating the "also-ran" photos early. The following judging system (called the Melbourne system) has been used in competitive camera club settings for many years.
3. For the transparency categories the process is to go through all the slides in a category one time to get an overview of the entries. The judges then go through the category again and each judge indicates whether a slide should stay or be eliminated. During this run through a positive vote from any one of the three judges will keep a slide in the running. This run through process is then repeated another time and this time it takes a positive vote from two of the three judges to keep a slide in. This run through process is repeated again and this time the finalists are chosen from those with positive votes from all of the judges.
4. For the print categories the practice that has evolved is for each judge to go through the category individually to decide which photos he thinks should be included in the finals. The judges then get together to compare results. Any photos that have the support of all of the judges are automatically in the finals. Any that have the support of only one or two judges are discussed and may be put in the finals if the judges agree.
5. At this point most photo contests should be down to the top 12 or so entries. The judges must review the photos or slides until they come to a consensus as their order of finish. Usually this is a matter of considerable discussion and different teams of judges will likely produce different results. This is not surprising as photos are a very subjective medium.
6. Similarly after all of the categories have been judged, the judges must go through the same judgment process to determine the Best-in-Show from amongst the First Place Award Winners. Best-in-Show is then re-moved from its original category and the other winners moved up one place.

D. Judging Factors

As stated above and will be evident to the experienced observer, photo contests are much more subjective than the model contest event. This is because a prize winning photo is perhaps more a matter of art and luck than execution of technique. Certainly the photographer is faced with more things that are beyond this control than the model builder.
Notwithstanding this subjectivity there are some judging factors that are brought to bear by the experienced Photo Contest Judge. These will be given an appropriate, albeit intuitive, weighting as the judges on the panel come to their consensus.
1. IMPACT: This is best explained when a photo evokes comments such as "I wish I'd taken that picture". Given a choice, action is prefer able to a static scene; rare or unusual equipment is more interesting than the ordinary. In model photography, the choice of the model will contribute to the impact of the picture. Does the photograph reveal obvious distracting modelling flaws, or has the photographer taken pains to be sure that all of the elements shown will work together to produce a pleasing result. When the environment is exceptional or the viewpoint makes the ordinary, extraordinary. Full credit should be given for the contribution that the photographer's sensitivity brought to the subject.
2. COMPOSITION: The arrangement of the forms within the photo should be pleasing to the eye. How well did the photographer use the available space within his format and did he or she follow the guidelines as taught in art and photography courses? If the rules were broken did the result justify that decision?
3. ARTISTIC APPROACH: This is a rather subjective area where a strongly graphic or symbolic composition may move one judge and a "typical calendar shot" may be more moving to another. One tends to evaluate artistic and aesthetic qualities on the basis of one's own experience. What moves us and the degree to which we are impressed will change as we are ex-posed to more and better images. A Judge should not start out looking for a special kind of artistry. To do so would be imposing his or her own values, sensibilities and preconceptions.
4. LIGHTING: In photography, "Light is law". It is the only thing that makes it possible for us to expose film. If it is skillfully handled the result can be a work of art, if badly handled the result can be total failure or maybe a snapshot at best. A model shot made with on-camera flash and no background light would be a snapshot. The photographer should be given full credit for his or her use of multiple flash or off camera flash and supplemental reflectors or a well developed room lighting system, depending on the quality of the execution. Natural sunlight should be superior to many flash systems, but can and often is badly handled. The best execution of any lighting system in model photography is one that produces a realistic natural appearance without multiple shadows, (there can only be one sun), and without excessively sharp contrast and black holes devoid of details.
5. EXPOSURE: If a print appears washed out or shadow details are obliterated it may be obvious that the negative was underexposed. If a slide is too dark it is underexposed, if bleached out it is overexposed. Beyond this simple evaluation the judges can also decide whether the exposure is skillfully handled to achieve a desired mood or dramatic effect.
6. FOCUS: Model photographers should strive to maximize the appearance of sharpness throughout the photo to achieve realistic results. Generally "selective focus" is not desirable in model or prototype photos since it produces fuzzy areas that are distracting, but there are always exceptions and the judges must determine whether the photographer achieved his or her desired purposes.
7. DIFFICULTY: Difficulty in photographing the prototype relates to motion, lighting conditions, (including weather), selection of an appropriate viewpoint, inherent danger and the knowledge of special techniques and equipment. Night photography, for example is considerably more difficult than shooting an idle loco-motive with the sun over the left shoulder. Model photography involves a different set of technical skills required for close-up work while maintaining acceptable depth-of-field. Model lighting requirements can also be quite complex and difficult as well.
8. SPECIAL EFFECTS: This would apply to deliberate blurring or panning to accentuate motion, long night exposures to create light streaks, multiple exposures, shooting through fog or smoke, using special effects filters, print toning and any other effects limited only by the photographer‟s imagination. In model photos special effects include smoke and steam simulation, fog making, panning and wheel spinning, storm simulation and more. The final evaluation should be a response to how well the effect achieved the desired results. Did it work and is the result pleasing or evocative enough to have made the effort worthwhile.
9. TECHNIQUE: The judges must decide whether the colour values are pleasing, correct or believable. Col-our saturation should also be evaluated. To some extent this is influenced by the quality of the processing. However, whether the final result is accept able or not is a judgment for which the photographer is responsible. Black and white values are more often controlled by the photographer because more do their own processing than do their own colour. Good blacks, mid-tones and clean whites as well as careful contrast control are essential to any contest quality prints.
10. FINISH: Prints should not be streaked or blemished and should be bonded correctly to the mount with carefully measured borders. Mounts and mats should be clean, lie flat and excess mounting tissue should not show at the edge of the print. Transparencies should be clean and free of fingerprints and scratches. They should be in mounts that protect them from possible damage and keep the film flat. If a slide or print be considered for an award.

D. Awards
1. Awards shall be given for First, Second and Third Place in each category together with as many honourable Mentions as are deemed necessary by the judges. The decision on awarding honourable Mentions will be influenced by the quality and number of the entries, (i.e., the degree of difficulty in picking the top three awards from amongst the finalists). Second and Third awards may be omitted if there are insufficient entries of reasonable quality.
2. If there are few entrants in a category than the number of awards to be given out, (normally three), the Con-test Chairperson should limit the number of awards to the number of entrants in the category. If there is only one entrant in a category the judges may award either a First or an honourable mention at their discretion.
3. Best-in-Show will be presented with a Club Contest Certificate, a small engraved plaque to keep permanently, and the Club Trophy to keep until the April meeting of the following year. First Place winners in each category will be presented with a Club Certificate and an engraved plaque. All other winners will be presented with a Club Certificate. All winners will be announced at the contest Open House and all certificates, the plaque and trophy will be awarded at the Annual Banquet.

E. Administrative Matters

1. Prior to the event the Photo Contest Chair should confirm with the Show Committee that the space allot-ted for the Photo Contest is adequate. A projector and screen must be arranged in order to judge and show the slides.
2. A number should be assigned to all entries and a record kept of all entrants to ensure that the entries are returned to the proper owners.
3. Prints should be grouped and displayed by category to the extent possible.
4. All award winning entries should be marked with a stamp or sticker that indicates that the photo has won in that year‟s WMRC photo contest.
5. A report on the Awards winners names by category should be provided to The Lantern editor within three (3) days of the event.
6. Prints may be accepted on a "display only" basis. These will not be judged.
7. The Photo Contest Chairperson is responsible able for ensuring that the Photo Contest Judges are arranged for and that the necessary supplies and entry forms are on hand.

Good luck to everyone! The WMRC hopes that you have great fun with your photography in this most exciting endeavour.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Vendor tables still available for the Selkirk Model Railroad Association's Model Train, Plane and Automobile Show

   The Selkirk Model Railroad Association's Model Train, Plane & Automobile Show still has vendors tables available! Tables are available for only $25.00, and that's for the whole weekend! It's a great opportunity to sell your surplus model railroad equipment, new or used.

   Reserve your table NOW by calling Joe at 204-344-5260 or Peter at 204-482-7412. You can also download a registration form by clicking here.

   The show will be held on April 18 and 19 at the South Interlake 55+ Centre, located at 5 Keith Cosens Drive in Stonewall, Manitoba. The hours on Saturday are from 9AM to 5PM and on Sunday from 9AM to 4PM.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Win a night's stay at the Northern Rail Traincar Inn

   The organizers of the NMRA's TLR 2015 regional convention in Thunder Bay have come up with a truly original incentive to get your registrations in early! Every registration received before the early bird registration deadline of April 11, 2015 will have their names entered in a draw for a one night's stay at the Northern Rail Traincar Inn, located just outside of Two Harbors, Minnesota!

    This hotel has been described in the media as one of North America's most unique hotels, and for rail fans and model railroaders, it's definitely a must-stay place! And what would be better than staying there for free?

    Get your registrations in early, so you can qualify for this wonderful draw! You can download a registration form by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The model railroader's joke of the day

   Our good friend and long time WMRC member Chuck Huard always sends us such marvelous things to post! Chuck will be long remembered not only as Past president of our club, but for doing such a marvelous job of managing Elmwood Hobbies so so long!

   This was one joke that we couldn't resist posting. If only it were true, and we actually could get more of our kids to love model trains!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Chuck Huard's entry for the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's monthly photo contest

     Here's another entry in last month's photo contest, submitted by member Chuck Huard, who took this shot of the CPR's eastbound Canadian at Schreiber, Ontario, a long time ago. The deadline for the next photo contest is midnight Tuesday, March 3rd, and the theme is "essence of velocity" (meaning speed).

     We've changed the award as well. Instead of a cash prize, the winner will receive a weekend in Regina! The second prize is TWO weekends in Regina!

     Just kidding, folks. That's a favorite joke of our president, Larry Leavens. The cash prize remains the same - $15 if we get less than 10 entries, and $30 if we get 10 or more. And the winning photo gets to be on the cover of The Lantern, the official publication of the WMRC!