Frequently Asked Questions
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO ENTER?
Anybody who builds models can enter. You do not need to be a member of any modelling club.
WHAT MODELS CAN BE ENTERED?
You can enter any model that you have built from a plastic kit, provided that it complies with the competition rules printed in the handbook. There will be a category for your model whatever it may be. There are also categories for models that may be built from materials other than plastic; refer to Conditions of Entry, Rule No 8.
ARE THERE CATEGORIES FOR THE LESS EXPERIENCED AND JUNIOR MODELLER?
Yes, the Out-of-Box (OOB) categories are intended to encourage the greatest possible participation of the less experienced modeller. OOB category models will therefore not have to compete with the superdetailed models entered in the Modified (MOD) or OPEN categories but still you can tweak the model a bit such as adding seat belts and other allowable changes
There are JUNIOR and INTERMEDIATE categories as well. If you are under 13 or under 18 on the 1st June in the year of the competition, then you are eligible to enter any of the Junior or Intermediate categories listed in the handbook.
HOW DO I ENTER?
Simply bring your models to the Sandown Entertainment Centre, Sandown Racecourse, Princes Highway, Springvale at the following times on the When and Where pagePlease take the instruction sheet along as a reference for the model at the bare minimum or have a look at the "Model Reference How To" to get ideas on how to present the references and get those valuable points.
ARE THERE ANY TROPHIES?
Category winners and placegetters receive a trophy in all divisions. Commended Certificates and Encouragement Awards are given. Also there are Special awardsfor some subjects. such as Best RAAF, Best Automotive for example. See Competition Categories for a full list of current special awards. There is an awards presentation time late afternoon on Monday.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE TO SEE ?
Products will be on sale from the retail stands. The retailers will be showing the latest products and will be happy to discuss the latest developments in the hobby of scale modelling. In addition a number of modelling clubs will also have displays and demonstrations, and they will be more than happy to share their enthusiasm for the hobby with you.
WHAT ABOUT THE SWAP & SELL AREA?
A Swap & Sell is held on the Monday morning from 10.00am until 12noon. It is for private sellers only and no retailers are allowed. The Swap & Sell is held in a separate area and an admission fee is charged. The fee does not include admission into the Model Expo display area, which has its own admission charge. See the Model Expo flyer or this website for full details.
THESE MODELS ARE ALL SO GOOD ? HOW CAN THE JUDGES PICK A WINNER?
Many models look good sitting on the competition tables but the close scrutiny of the judges often reveals flaws in basic construction that aren't readily apparent to the casual viewer. In a category with a small number of entries, it's not unusual for the judges to finish their first 'eyeball' appraisal and discover that everything in the category has one or more problems. That's when the judging really gets hard! The mistakes are usually basic and relatively minor; seam problems on one model, silvered decals on another, misalignment on a third, etc. It's easier if one of the models has something that distinguishes it from the others. Some extra work that's been done well, a particularly nice finish, etc, but if all the models are built to approximately the same standard, the judges end up having to determine the winners based on which models have the fewest mistakes.
CAN I ASK A JUDGE ABOUT MY MODEL?
After judging is finalised, most judges are happy to discuss the good or bad aspects of a model with the entrant. However it's not a good idea to corner a judge demanding to know why your model didn't win. Judges are experienced modellers but they are only human and will react to unreasonable demands in a human way, resulting in no useful exchange of information. These judges have most likely spent a good portion of the previous night judging into the early hours of the morning, so they need their private space to recuperate before answering questions. Don't monopolise their time as there may also be other entrants waiting to ask them questions. All you have to do is ask, but do so in the same way you would want to be asked if you were in the judge's shoes. A good way to improve your modelling skills is to join a club, or volunteer to do some judging. Working together with an experienced judge will teach you more about judging and model building than you could learn in a whole month of Sundays. Remember the old saying, the judge's decision is final, and it's true, so don't expect results to change just because you don't like the outcome. Be positive, listen to the judge's critique and be determined to win by acting on that advice given to improve your modelling skills.
CAN ANYBODY JUDGE?
Model Expo has a set of guidelines for judging that all judges follow. We encourage modellers to judge outside their specific area of interest. In fact in many ways we prefer judges who have an interest, but may be do not build a subject, to judge the models. They follow the guidelines closer and tend not to use any prior or own knowledge when judging. Model Expo now has a core of about 30 to 40 judges that come each year and have at least 3 years experience. We rely on that more than specialising.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DOES A JUDGE NEED?
Model Expo encourages the judging experience and training is done at Model Expo. The first year a person judges will see them paired up with a highly experienced judge. The second year may see them paired with a person who may have only 2 years experience. The Chief Judge always takes a keen interest in the Model Expo judging teams and maintains close vigilance on them to ensure that any problems or difficulties are quickly resolved.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN NNL STYLE EVENT AND A FULLY JUDGED CONTEST?
Basically, at an NNL (National Nameless Luminaries) event the winners are chosen subjectively (by eye) by the public and/or modelling peers. At a judged contest the winners are chosen after technical inspection of each model entered. Each method involves judgement decisions and each has merits and faults, so it really only depends on the entrant and whether or not he wants his model to be primarily "judged" by the viewing public, or by protracted inspection by modelling experts. This also raises an old argument as to whether only experts can judge the quality of cultural output, or whether the taste of the public also has merit. However it is generally felt that in certain situations, experts are better judges because of their impassionate approach to the task and the anonymity of the entrant. Model Expo competitions are judged to strict guidelines, as detailed in the handbook.