The Worst Model Contest

Nicholas Kalis

My friend Ari Pappas serves as a contest judge for the International Plastic Modeler’s Society (IPMS). Not too long ago, Ari told me of a wonderful contest his local IPMS chapter holds from time to time at their monthly meetings. I thought that this contest would work wonders for local as well as national NMRA gatherings. Here it is – a contest is held to award a prize for the worst model submitted. “What possible purpose could be served by that – aside from some laughs?” I can hear some say.

The benefits of seeing such models at these contests are many.

q       Submitted models remind us that some of the better modelers around were once rank amateurs. Is this to take them down a peg? No. It reminds us that even the best of us started at the bottom in terms of skills. Hence, there is hope for us.

q       They create a camaraderie that we all have built some models that flunked the looks test.

q       They teach us that there is no shame in failure only in not trying.

q       Poor models are an indispensable part of the learning process. They are our ladder to modeling success.

Let’s try running such a contest at one of our mini-conventions and see what happens.