- Mold lines should be removed. Any door, hood, trunk, fender or other lines visible on real cars should be visible. Any flash should be removed.
- Modifications to the body should appear as a natural part of the vehicle.
- Clear parts should be free from fogging, glue marks and fingerprints. No glue marks should be visible.
- All wheels should be aligned with each other when viewed from the top or the side. They should also contact the ground in a prototypical manner.
- Exhaust pipes should be drilled out. The wheel should have valve stems.
- If appropriate, the tires should be lettered. Lenses like side marker lights and taillights should be represented by colored tint rather then by opaque paint.
- Chrome, represented by paint, aluminum or foil, should have sharp edges and consistent shine. The dashboard and instruments should be detailed. The doors should have locks plates and stems, where appropriate.
- Seats should have adjustment levers, where appropriate. The door handles and other interior details should be painted.
- Details such as brake lines, fuel lines and parking brake cables should be added where appropriate. Engine details, such as ignition wiring, electrical wiring for the headlights, starter and battery.
- Throttle linkage and water hoses should be added. Any working parts should look real and operate realistically.
Painting and Finishing
- The paint finish should have no “orange peel” or “egg shell” effect to it. It should be free of runs/sags, fingerprints, dust and fibers. The model should have a uniform level of glossiness to the finish.
- If decals are used, the decals film should not be readily visible. Decals need not have the same level of glossiness as the rest of the model.
- The interior should be painted in a manner that looks like fabric (flat) or vinyl/leather (semi-gloss).
- If the model has carpet in the interior, it should de differentiated from the seat and door panels by a different color, shade or texture.
- Insulation on the inside of the hood should be represented by paint or by material.
- Appropriate decals should be added to the engine components like the battery and the oil filter
- Flash should be removed from all parts. Mold, sink, copyright and ejector pin mark should be filled or sanded off. Contour errors should be corrected.
- Seams must be filled and adhesive marks must not be visible.
- Detailing that was removed while accomplishing the first four steps should be restored to the maximum extent possible. Wings and horizontal stabilizers should have the same amount of dihedral or anhedral on both sides.
- When viewed from above, the wings and stabilizers should line up correctly with each other and the centerline. Fins or rudders in twin combinations should be aligned when viewed from the front and side, and their angles in relation to the stabilizers should be the same.
- Engine pods, nacelles and cowlings should be lined up correctly when viewed from the top, side and front.
- Landing gear should be properly aligned when viewed from the bottom, sides and front. Main gear should be aligned with each other when viewed from all 3 positions and all wheels should touch the surface.
- Canopies and other clear areas should be free of fogging, fingerprints or white areas caused by glue. Scratches in clear parts should be polished out. Gaps between the canopy and other clear parts and the fuselage should be eliminated unless they would be visible on the real aircraft.
- Thick parts, like the trailing edges of wings and tails, bombs and missile fins, etc., should be thinned down to scale or replaced.
- Wheel wells should be built if no kit detail is given. There should be no “holes” through which the interior of the wings is visible, unless the real plane was built that way.
- Intakes should be blocked off if they allow you to see into the empty, un-detailed fuselage.
- The openings on guns, exhaust stacks, intakes, vents, etc. should be drilled out if possible.
- Details added to the model should be in scale with the rest of the model.
- External stores should undergo the same care in construction as the basic kit. Care and research should be applied to make sure the combination of weapons and tanks is consistent with reality.
- Any aftermarket parts should integrate well with the basic model. Photo-etched parts that require shaping should be precisely shaped and any surfaces that need to be built up to a thicker cross-section should be smooth and uniform.
Painting and Finishing
- All glue marks should be removed.
- Judges shouldn’t nit-pick colors, but any model with an especially unusual color scheme should be accompanied by documentation.
- Frames on clear parts should be painted with crisp, straight lines.
- Paint should be even and smooth, unless there is prototypical evidence to the contrary. There should be no brush marks, no “orange peel” or “egg shell” effect to the paint. No fingerprints, dust or fibers should be embedded in the paint.
- Paint edges that are supposed to be sharp should be sharp.
- Weathering should show concern for scale, the terrain and weather condition in which the prototype operated and should be consistent across the entire model.
- Decals should be aligned properly, unless the modeler has documentary evidence to the contrary. Decal film should not be readily apparent and there should be no silvering or bubbling of the decals.
Armour / AFV
- Seams should be filled. Sink, mold and ejector pins marks should be removed.
- No glue marks should be visible.
- Gaps on tanks located around the hull between the idler and bogie wheels should be closed.
- Contours should be corrected, where necessary.
- All wheels and tracks should sit firmly on the ground.
- Motorization holes on the bottom of the chassis should be filled.
- There should be no gaps or overlaps where track lengths join.
- The model should sit squarely and not cant to one side.
- Tracks should not bow in or out when viewed from the front or back of vehicle.
- Road wheels should always suit flush on the track.
- Track cleats should face in the correct direction.
- Gun barrels should not be sanded flat where seams were filled and sanded.
- Machine guns, main guns and exhaust pipes should be drilled out.
- Parts that are unrealistic or out of scale, should be modified or replaced.
- Extra parts, like tarps, bedrolls, chains and fuel cans, should be added if practical, but they should be in accordance with references to justify them. If they are included, there should be a hook, rope or tie-down to hold the article in place on the vehicle if meant to travel with the vehicle.
- Small details like rivets, nuts and bolts should be added where appropriate.
- Simulated or molded on equipment should be replaced. Molded intake screen should be replaced with real screen.
- Tracks should demonstrate the sag between idler wheels that the real vehicle would demonstrate.
- Windshield wipers should be added where appropriate.
- Headlights and taillights should be drilled out and replaced with lenses.
- Cables and electrical lines should be added to lights and smoke dischargers.
- Valve stems should be added to tires. Instrument and dashboards should be detailed.
- Gas and brake pedals should be added where appropriate. The interior of the road wheels should be detailed.
- Molded-on grad handles and hatch levers should be replaced with wire or stretched sprue.
- If the underside of the model can be viewed, it should have the same level of detail as the top. It should be painted, weathered and finished in a manner consistent with the rest of the model.
Painting and Finishing
- Weathering should be appropriate for the model and not overdone.
- Any decals used should not demonstrate silvering or bubbling.
Judges look for four elements: basic construction (criteria are the same as in the regular categories for each specific subject), story line, presentation and ground work.
The modeler should start with a simple story idea that will be told through the use of scale models. The story may be a duplication of a photograph, or it could be part of history or its chief aim may be fictional. Whatever is chosen should be historically correct and make visual sense. Story line is worth about a quarter of the score in the diorama category.
An intangible quality which may be described as making the scene look candid. Examples are: situating the entire scene on an angle to the base, rather then making it square with the sides; posing automobiles with the front tires turned slightly or buildings with windows that are half open. In the event of a tie, the diorama with the better presentation will be chosen as the winner.
This covers terrain, buildings, roads, etc. The construction elements (vehicles, figures, etc) should set well together. The terrain should blend with these elements in terms of weathering and camouflage.
- Flash should be removed. Seams should be filled. Mold and sink marks should be eliminated.
- Rifles, bayonets and sword and saber blades should be straight or curved (depending on the weapon) in proper alignment. They should not be bent in multiple angles or be shaped like a pretzel.
- Shoulders and other jointed portions of the body should have smooth contours to them, to avoid a disjointed appearance. This also applies to any animation of the figure that is either provided for, in the basic kit, or attempted by the modeler as a conversion.
- There should be no glue marks visible.
- Small detail should be replaced if these details are heavy or out of scale on the kit.
- When possible, details like sheet-lead straps (in place of molded straps), chevrons, epaulets, shoulder boards, hat cords, shoulder cords and medals should be added.
- When possible, gun barrels and the mouths of figures should be drilled out.
- Texture should be added to hair, moustaches, beards and sideburns. Crepe or nylon hair should be used for horses’ manes and tails and for horsehair plumes on helmets.
Painting and Finishing
- Paint should be even and smooth. It should exhibit no brush marks or embedded hairs.
- Paint should be matte in finish except where a special material like leather or metal is being depicted.
- There should be no harsh lines in the shading of the figure.
- Weathering should be consistent and in keeping with the figure.
- The uniform depicted should be proper for the time period depicted.
- Flash should be removed. Seams should be filled. Mold, sink and ejector pins marks should be eradicated. Contour errors of the kit should be corrected.
- The configuration of the ship should be appropriate for the time frame modeled.
- The ship’s superstructure (platforms, cabins, funnels, etc) should be aligned vertically when viewed from stem to stern. Glue marks should be removed.
- The masts should be parallel to the vertical axis of the ship when viewed from stem to stern. The rake should be uniform, unless the real vessel had differently raked masts.
- All small parts including masts, bulwarks, splinter shields, railings and rigging, should be as close to scale as possible.
- Small details that are sanded off during construction should be replaced with scratch built or aftermarket material. Gun barrels and vents should be drilled out when possible.
- Sailing ships should be rigged correctly for the era modeled and the lines used.
- Deadeyes should be right side up and rigging lines and blocks should be in proportion to each other.
Painting and Detailing
- Paint should be of a matte finish, unless for special effect.
- Paint should be even and smooth, exhibiting no brush marks or “orange Peel” effect.
- Color schemes should coincide with the era being modeled.
- Weathering should be kept to scale or to a visible minimum due to the small scales involved.
Space & Science Fiction
- There should be no seams, glue marks or sanding scratches. Parts and joints should be filled where necessary.
- Scratch-built items or added detail to kits should be consistent in construction and detailing. If panel lines on joints show on one part of the model, the same effect should integrate together well.
- Parts that are kit-bashed should integrate together well.
- Small rockets and thrusters should be drilled out when possible.
- Kit antennae that are out of scale should be replaced.
- Details peculiar to specific vehicles (tile weathering on the Space Shuttle or metallic thermal blankets on the Gemini adapter section, for instance) should be duplicated.
Painting and Finishing
- Paint should be smooth and uniform, with no smudges, runs or fingerprints.
- Models of TV or film subjects should match their on-screen appearance.
- Weathering should be subtle and to scale.
- Decals should display a uniform finish and show no film or silvering.
- Re-entry vehicles should show aerodynamic heat damage and weathering, if subject is depicted in a post-flight mode.