The 2016 Wagon Building Competition
NOTICE. The 2016 Wagon Building competition is now closed. Please visit the Results page for the latest information.
2016 Wagon Building Competition - a Van
(a reflection on the announcement in the Newsletter no.101)
Another year another wagon competition... Newsletter no.101 contained an announcement for the 2016 Wagon Competition with the subject being a covered wagon, maybe better known as a van. Correspondence since last summer has raised questions about the subject and the rules for the competition. In this article I shall try to respond to some of questions relating to the rules, the subject for this (and future) competitions.
Questions about the rules
As some modellers are now using CAD and photo-etching techniques I have been asked about the eligibility of models where parts of the model have been produced by the modeller. The committee's original intention, in 2014, was for a wagon building competition which encouraged members to build models quickly and easily from kits. Whilst still wishing to retain that intention the committee recognises that the hobby moves forward and that modellers may wish to use new techniques in their hobby. If a modeller produces a set of parts for a wagon, using for example:- resin casting, and makes those parts available to other modellers then a model built from those parts can be considered as kit-built and hence is eligible for the competition.
Similarly, I have been asked about "kit-bashing" and "cross-kitting", for example:- replacing plastic / white-metal parts with etched components. Just how much of a "kit" can be "bashed" before the link between the original kit and resulting model becomes tenuous is open to discussion. Replacement of parts with more accurate items, for example:- wheels / brake gear / couplings, is acceptable as this can be considered as being within the ethos of modelling to S7 standards. The use of parts from more than one kit, for example:- substitution of an underframe to convert a model from "unfitted" to "fitted" is acceptable for the competition provided that the origins of the model are noted by the entrant. Wholesale replacement of a body by parts cut from sheet material... or from resin mouldings... or 3D prints... might be considered as approaching scratch building. If in doubt on this question then please contact either myself or the Secretary (Rob Thompson).
Questions about the subject
Experience with previous competitions (2014 - Peco Wagon, 2015 - open wagon) was that a simple description of the subject produced questions about possible entries with some possible entries being outside of the intended scope for that year. To provide a focus for the 2016 competition the scope of wagon types has been limited to vans in revenue service (for a description of what vans are eligible / not eligible, please see NL. 101 available on the S7 Group web site). A consequence of restricting the wagon type for this year is that there are options for the 2017 competition and for subsequent years.
A question has been raised about the restriction on the overall wheelbase of the prototype wagon and the consequent exclusion of recent, air-braked, stock such as the VGA and IZA designs. The reason for the wheelbase limit is to focus attention on goods stock as against vehicles from the non-passenger coaching stock arena. I think that members can expect a future competition subject to be inclusive of wagon designs from the 1980s onwards.
Judge for the 2016 competition
As with previous competitions the committee is working to arrange for a well-known personality of the model railway world to be the judge of the competition. I hope that I shall be able to announce the judge in the next newsletter.
The Award for the winning entry
Entries for the competition are displayed "anonymously" - each wagon in the display of entries is identified only by a number which is allocated by the person receiving entries at the AGM. The competition winner is announced, by the judge, using the allocated number whereupon the modeller's identity is revealed. A previous chairman of the S7 Group, Dave Nicholson, provided the award for the competition and the Chairman's Cup - actually a shield - is retained by the winner for 12 months.
Future kit-built wagon competitions
The wagon building competition has the potential to become a regular feature of the S7 Group AGM and the committee has ideas for future competition subjects. Members may wish to suggest wagon types for the competition and I shall be pleased to receive suggestions. The subject for 2017 is to be announced at the 2016 AGM.