Nautical Research Guild Photographic Ship Model Competition


In the past, entering a ship model competition required the shipping and storage of the physical model so that it could be judged in person. This was both risky and expensive, which meant that some great models were never entered. It was also the major reason why museums backed out of hosting such an event. But in today's world good digital cameras are inexpensive and most modelers, or their grandchildren, have one. Now it is possible to open up such an event to a much wider spectrum of our community.

The Guild is happy to host and sponsor, every two years, a juried Photographic Ship Model Competition.  But despite its name this event is not primarily a competition.  In keeping with the aims and goals of the Guild, the purpose of this event is to encourage modelers of all levels to advance and refine their work, as much as it is to recognize excellence in the art of building scale ship models.

The first event of this kind took place in 2011.  Over 60 models were entered and the winners in each Division justly deserved their prizes and awards, as the pictures here and elsewhere on the website demonstrate.  We learned a great deal about how to administer the event, and have incorporated the lessons learned and suggestions from the competitors so the 2015 event will be better than ever.
For this next event (2015) we are still limiting entries to members of the Guild, although if you are not currently a member, you can enter the event and sign up for membership at a combined discounted rate.   Click here for a complete explanation of the 2015 Contest Format and Rules (PDF) together with the official entry form.    Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the 2015 NRG Conference in Mystic Ct.

So dust off your digital camera, tie the last few knots, shoo the cat out of the room, and take some pictures of your pride and joy ... Ribbons, Cash and Fame await ...!


To that end, every model entered will be reviewed by a panel of knowledgeable judges and their evaluations, scores and comments will be returned to each entrant.  Red, White and Blue ribbons of achievement will be awarded to all models which receive a qualifying score. To level the playing field there will be separate Divisions for Apprentice, Journeyman and Master model builders. In addition, the top models in each of these Divisions will also receive medals and cash prizes. A selection of the best photographs of the best models will be published in the Journal for all to enjoy.

But it is not a competition to determine which is the best photograph. The quality of the photographs will not enter into the evaluations and no digital retouching or adjusting of the images is permitted. The judges may even request additional images if the model warrants close examination but the images submitted are not sufficient.  

If you are uncertain about your photographic skills there will soon be a page on this website from our experts  with suggestions for Better Photographs of Your Ship Model.  If you are uncertain about your computer skills and worry about getting your images to us, our administrative staff will answer any question that you may have, and will do their best to make your participation easy and rewarding.