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NRG Annual Conference

The annual Nautical Research Guild conference is a one-of-a-kind event that combines model ship making and maritime history.

The three-day conference includes incredible speakers on a range of topics, hands-on round tables, tours of amazing venues and museums, and an unmatched opportunity to interact with other model makers and nautical enthusiasts.

Every year, the Nautical Research Guild hosts this event a different location. Previous conference locations have included Newport News, Philadelphia, Manitowoc, Mystic, San Diego, and many more.

What to Expect

  • Three days of immersive learning about model ship building and nautical history.
  • Learn from technical discussions and interactive round tables with informative speakers on a range of topics.
  • Access to amazing museums, exhibits, and more, including incredible tours.
  • Meet other modelers and create lasting connections. Make new friends and reconnect with old ones.
  • Discover the latest techniques in model ship building.
  • Share your tips, tricks, and knowledge with other modelers.
  • Stuck on your current model ship build? Get advice and motivation from other attendees.

An Event for Everyone

Never been an NRG conference, or just new to model ship building?  Or are you an experienced veteran modeler?

The conference is perfect for people of all skill levels, from the first- time model maker to the seasoned veteran. You’ll find the information accessible, practical, and useful regardless of your previous experience.

Attendess come from all over and have a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Everyone is friendly, welcoming, and eager to talk about model ship building!



Upcoming Events

2021 Annual Conference

Oxnard, CA

2020 Annual Conference

Rescheduled for 2021

Previous Events

2019 Annual Conference

New Bedford, MA


2018 Annual Conference

Las Vegas, NV

2017 Annual Conference

St. Petersburg, FL

2016 Annual Conference

San Diego, CA


2015 Annual Conference

Mystic, CT


2014 Annual Conference

St Louis, MO


2013 Annual Conference

Charleston, SC


2011 Annual Conference

San Mateo, CA


2010 Annual Conference

Annapolis, MD


2009 Annual Conference

Buffalo, NY




Three Incredible Days

The annual conference is typically a three day event.  Most attendees enjoy taking in the full conference experience, but if time is short, you can choose to attend just one or two specific days.

  • Day 1 - The first day is usually dedicated to guided tours of nearby dockyards, museums, and other enticing landmarks.In 2010 we saw the US Naval Academy Museum with its magnificent collection of antique models, along with a tour of the Academy.
  • Day 2 - A full day of ship modeling seminars and interactive round table discussions, where master modelers explain in practical terms the techniques behind their amazing works, while answering questions from members.
  • Day 3 - The third day often focuses on general topics and maritime history, with sessions led by a panel of featured speakers, including noted modelers, authors, and naval historians from around the world.

Recent conferences have featured Daniel Martinez, historian of the USS Arizona Memorial and frequent host of Discovery Channel programs, as well as Arnold and Henry Kriegstein who have the finest collection of antique Admiralty models in private hands. 

Award-winning modelers such as David Antscherl, Gus Augustin, Rob Napier, and Clay Feldman have all graced our speakers’ list.

Networking and More

The NRG conference provides an unmatched opportunity to meet and interact with other modelers and nautical enthusiasts. From casual conversations between sessions to more formal social gatherings like the banquet, you’ll have the chance to reconnect with old friends and make new connections.

It is a great chance to get advice about a project, get some tips from other attendees, or just learn about what others are doing.

The conference has tons of time built-in for casual networking. Aside from mingling with the speakers and NRG board of directors, you’ll find that many of the attendees are big names in the field or on Model Ship World.

The event includes a gala dinner. As we dine, a keynote speaker entertains us, and we recognize the efforts of those who have made the past year a success.

The NRG's annual membership meeting is typically held at the conference.  The membership meeting is a great chance for NRG members to get an overview of the Guild's activities, talk the directors, and ask questions.

Model Exhibit and Vendors

When possible, the conference includes an exhibition of outstanding models from NRG members.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their models for display (advance model registration is required for space planning).  The model exhibit often includes vendor exhibits where you can stock your shop with books, tools and supplies, and talk to individual vendors.

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