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2021 Photographic Ship Model Review and Juried Competition

Official Rules

Want a printable copy of the rules?  Click here to download the rules as a PDF file.

Welcome to the NRG’s Ship Model Competition. Our previous juried competitions have drawn a large as well as wide variety of entries. We anticipate you will again appreciate the challenge and rewards of this competition and look forward to seeing the results of winning entries in a future issue of the Nautical Research Journal.

Please review the following rules carefully; there have been some changes and improvements since our last event in 2015. Most important, entrants will continue to be classified into Apprentice, Journeyman and Master categories without regard to type of vessel entered.

As done in previous Competitions, the judges will award Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals to the top three scoring models in each Category plus a Best in Show award. Additionally, Blue, Red or White Ribbons will be awarded to models based on the average score as described in Section 6.

This Competition emphasizes craftsmanship and artistic expression as well as historic fidelity. As in the past, there will be multiple judges across all three entry categories and all entries will be scored with a point system in two categories: Craftsmanship and Artistic Impression. To underscore the broader education value to their participation, every entrant will receive copies of their judge’s scoring and commentary sheets for their model(s).

The participation cost is $30 per entry. The Competition is only open to NRG members in good standing; entrants whose membership lapses will be disqualified. Multiple entries are welcome, but they must be in the same category (Apprentice, Journeyman, or Master). NRG directors, officers and judges are not eligible to enter this event.

Good Luck, NRG ship modelers. We look forward to seeing your entries soon!

2021 NRG Competition Rules


All entrants must be NRG Members in good standing. Entrants whose membership lapses will be disqualified.

The event is divided into three categories. Depending upon the level of experience of the Modeler, each entrant will self-select from the following:

Apprentice – a modeler who has built one or two models to completion and/or whose skills are best described as beginner level.

Journeyman – a modeler who has built at least three models to completion, and/or whose skills are competent and knowledgeable, and whose models demonstrate superior craftsmanship and visual appeal.

Master – a modeler whose work demonstrates a consistently high level of skill, historical fidelity and a superior artistic appeal.

Each model entered must have been built by the entrant alone, although Apprentice and Journeyman entrants under the age of 15 may have received assistance from a mentor (please supply the name of the mentor). Entrants will determine the appropriate category to enter their model(s) based on their skills. Any entrant who has previously won a silver or gold award, or its equivalent, in the Journeyman or Master categories cannot enter a later contest in a lower category. All gold medal award winners must advance to the next higher category.

A model which won a medal in a previous NRG Competition event may not be entered again. Models which have been entered in a previous NRG Competition may not be entered again unless there has been a significant change to the model since the previous competition.

A model that has won a gold medal or its equivalent in a prior national ship model competition, (e.g., Mariner’s Museum, WI Maritime Museum, IPMS) must be entered in the Master Category.

Each modeler may enter as many models as desired, but they must be in the same category. A separate entry form and entry fee is required for each. Separate scoring and commentary sheets will be given for each entry. Each modeler may only be awarded one medal.

The NRG reserves the right to re-assign a modeler to a more experienced category to prevent unfairness in the Competition.


This competition is open to all types of ship or boat. Sailing ships, powered ships, small craft and even dioramas and ships in bottles will all be evaluated equally using the criteria of Craftsmanship, Historic Fidelity, and General Artistic Impression. Scratch built, kit built, or any combination thereof is permitted.

The model must be of a boat, a ship or a diorama that includes a boat or a ship. Engines, cannons, and other subjects that do not include a boat or a ship are not eligible. The model must be completed; a “work in progress” is not eligible.


Each entry shall consist of at least eight but not more than twelve digital photos of the model. The following eight views must be provided:

    1. The overall model taken from midships abeam, from port.
    2. The overall model taken from midships abeam, from starboard.
    3. The overall model from dead ahead.
    4. The overall model from dead astern.
    5. Stern port quarter diagonal view including the deck.
    6. Stern starboard quarter diagonal view including the deck.
    7. Bow port quarter diagonal view including the deck.
    8. Bow starboard quarter diagonal view including the deck.

Four additional photographs may be of any view(s) or detail selected by the entrant.

All photos must be in .jpg format with a maximum size per photo of 15 Mb. Photos submitted in any other format will be disqualified. The photos may be color balanced or cropped but any other editing or enhancement is not permitted. Evidence of image manipulation beyond these two considerations is cause for disqualification.

The object of all submitted photos is to provide an accurate representation of the model. The NRG reserves the right to ask the entrant to resubmit some or all of their photos if they do not comply with these requirements.

Each digital photo image file must be identified with the name of the model and the view depicted (e.g., “HMS Victory–bow quarter.jpg” or “Titanic–deck chairs.jpg”). Photographs that are identified solely by numbers, letters, or camera-generated designation will not be judged. Important: The files must not reveal the name of the modeler.


Each entry must be accompanied by a statement of not more than 500 words which should guide the judges to such details as the modeler may wish to bring to their attention. To preserve anonymity, do not put your name or other identifying information in the statement. If the model was entered into a previous NRG Competition, the statement must include a description of the additional work done to improve it. The statement should focus on the model although a brief history should be provided so that the judge can reference any plans or historical references that were used. The statement should provide details as to the source of plans used, the construction technique (full frame, plank on bulkhead, lift method etc.). The statement should also provide a listing of any research documents and, if desired, how conflicting information was resolved. For example, the model builder could discuss why the driver sail is bent on a gaff rather than a lateen yard, or why the masts are raked at different angles. Also, the builder can, and should, point out features that the builder may want to bring to the judge’s attention. For example, “all of the brass fittings on this model have been fabricated by the builder”.

To preserve the anonymity of the modeler, please do not put your name on the statement.


The panel of judges are NRG members who are highly knowledgeable and regarded in our hobby community. The judges will not be aware of the entrant’s identity.

All Models entered will be evaluated in two areas of achievement:

Craftsmanship - The demonstration of the skills of the modeler in fit and finish, assembly, metalwork, rigging, etc., as well as in the use of materials, the difficulty of the subject chosen, the level of detail, the fidelity to scale, the absence of obviously anachronistic details and historic accuracy. In this category there will be a maximum of up to 60 points.

Artistic Impression – The model’s overall artistic appearance and the creation of a compelling impression of a real ship. In this category there will be a maximum of up to 40 points. This category will be used to break any ties for awards.

The judges’ scores in the Apprentice and Journeyman categories will be handicapped to allow these categories to more fairly compete against the Master model builders.

Each model will be evaluated independently by three judges. The final score will be the average of the three judge’s scores. Winners in each category will be the models with the highest average of points scored.

Each judge will fill in a scoresheet for each model with scores in both areas of achievement and provide short written comments on both the positive and negative features of the model. Copies of these score sheets will be given to each entrant, but not otherwise disclosed. The identity of the judges will not be disclosed on the score sheets or in commentaries.


Medals - In each category (Apprentice, Journeyman & Master) the three highest scoring models will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals respectively (9 medals total). One model will be selected from the three Gold Medal winners as Best in Show and this entrant’s model will receive a separate award. Models that are candidates for the Best in Show Award will be reviewed by the entire judging panel. If there is a tie for Best in Show, the tie will be broken by the Competition Administrator using the Artistic Impression criteria defined herein.

Achievement Ribbons - Models with an average panel score of 95 points or greater will receive a Blue Ribbon, models with a score of 85 to 94 points will receive a Red Ribbon, and models with a score between 70 and 84 points will receive a White Ribbon. It is possible that there can be multiple Blue, White or Red Ribbons awarded in a particular Modeler Category or none.

Contest results will be announced at the 2021 Membership Meeting and placed on the Nautical Research Guild website. Individual modelers will be informed of their result via the email address provided on the Entry Form. In addition to posting photos on the NRG website, a future Nautical Research Journal issue will feature photos of award-winning models, the modeler's name and their respective awards.


Each entry must be via a completed Entry Form. Models associated with incomplete Entry Forms will be rejected. The modeler identity will not be divulged to the judges of their model(s).

    • Each Entry Form, Statements, and photographs are to be submitted digitally via We Transfer
    • An Entry Fee of $30.00 for each model entered must be paid at the time the Entry form is submitted.
    • All completed entries and payment must be received not later than August 1, 2021.

8. WeTransfer DIRECTIONS

WeTransfer is a free secure file transfer application that the Directors have been using for a few years. It is not necessary to have an account with WeTransfer to send files. However, if you do not have an account, there will be and extra step (read on). The application can be found at

On the left side of the screen there is a box which allows you to enter your files and asks for the email address of the recipient and your email address. This is used to send you confirmation of the files being successfully sent and tells you that the files have been downloaded. WeTransfer does not share this information and does not spam you.

Click on the  and add the file names. Type in the Email to section. Add your email address. In the Message area type in the name of the model, your name and city of residence (we have members with identical names). If you do not have account or do not wish to open one, you will be asked to input a security code that verifies your email address. That code is emailed to you (check your junk or spam folder if you don’t see the email in your in box). Enter that code.

Click on Transfer and wait until you are told that the transfer is complete. The transfer process may take several minutes based on the speed of your internet connection and the sizes of your files. Do not close WeTransfer until you receive confirmation that your files have been transferred. You will also receive email confirmation that the files were successfully transmitted and when the files are downloaded. If you do not receive this confirmation within thirty minutes, your files were not successfully transferred.

Note that no forms or photos can be submitted until payment has been made.


Photo Usage - By entering a model, the NRG is granted the right to use an entrant’s submitted photos on the NRG or Model Ship World websites, in the Nautical Research Journal, or for any other legitimate purpose of the NRG, including education, publicity, advertising, and commercial reproductions such as DVDs, calendars, etc., so long as the modeler is credited appropriately.

Copyrights – Other than as described above, all copyrights to the submitted photos remain with the modeler.

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