Viewers Choice in the 2023 contest. Lee Turner for his magnificent Southern Central Tavern/Baggage with full interior.

Got a piece you’re particularly proud of? Enter it in our model contest! It’s open to all vendors and attendees of the show. There are several different categories to enter. All submissions are evaluated by a panel with certificates awarded. The public also votes on one piece from the judged entries to be awarded “Best of Show.” The contest is run by The O Scale Resource Magazine, and all winning submissions will appear in The O Scale Resource Magazine.
Again this year, we welcome models for display only so bring your projects whether completed or not.
The O Scale Resource Magazine will present the top winners with a gift certificate worth $25 towards any merchandise from the advertisers listed on the certificate as presented.
NMRA members have evaluated thousands of models using forms and guidance developed and improved over many years. The information and forms are available on the website and people do not have to be NMRA members for access. For this March O Scale Meet Contest we will be using NMRA criteria and non-NMRA members may submit models for contest evaluation. NMRA members in good standing will be eligible for Merit Awards for their models.

All the NMRA information including evaluation criteria is on the website:



This year’s categories: Diesel, Steam, Passenger Cars, Single Structure, Display/Diorama, Traction/Trolley, Freight Cars, Heavy Electric, Gas-powered, Caboose and Non-revenue.
    1. The model contest will be held Saturday March 16, 2024 at the March “O” Scale Meet. Models must be entered prior to 11:00 AM on that day. Once entered in the contest, the models must remain in the contest area until 4:00 PM on Saturday March 16, 2024. Models may not be picked up before that time.
    2. All models will be evaluated by teams using NMRA established guidelines. Categories that have only one model will be evaluated, but no placement will be given. In these cases, The O Scale Resource gift certificate will be awarded to the sole entrant in that category. Best of show will be a popular vote.
    3. Evaluation will start at 10AM. No entries will be accepted after 11 AM!
    4. NMRA members in good standing can receive Merit awards if the model receives over 87.5 points and the evaluation can be used for NMRA Achievement Program progress.
    5. All models must be put in the display position by the modeler, and only the modeler may handle the model. The modeler agrees that the evaluators may need to handle and position the model to complete the evaluation.
    6. Model evaluation requires completion of the both the Form 901 Contest Entry Form and the Form 902 Contest Judging Form. The information provided on the Form 902 Contest Judging Form is used by the evaluators to understand the goal of the modeler and the construction methods and materials used. Modelers often use a separate page or two providing the information for each of the five categories. Without this information detailed evaluation is not possible. Any descriptions, photos, or other information relevant to your model will be attached to this entry for the duration of the contest, and will be made available to the judges. The material will be returned after the contest along with the entry and judging form
    7. I hereby certify that the model entered is my work. I also hereby release The O Scale Resource Magazine (the contest sponsor), Pioneer Limited LLC (the show promoter), the NMRA and all persons connected with the contest from any liability due to damage or loss of the model entered.
    8. I hereby grant The Model Railroad Resource, LLC photo reproduction rights for publication of this entry in The O Scale Resource Magazine and/or use on their Website or the March “O” Scale Meet Website, as well as, the NMRA including the Midwest Region of the NMRA for use on their website and publications.

Form 901 Entry Form: Download and fill in before the show to save time at the entry table.
Form 902 Contest Judging Form: Download and complete before the show.
Please note that this Form 902 is extremely important and if not filled out in it’s entirety will possibly cost points.

Want to learn more about contest model evaluation, be a future evaluator?

You are welcome to participate in the evaluations to learn about how each part of the judging form is completed using the NMRA matrixes and discussion between the evaluators. If you are interested talk with one of the evaluators before 10 am.