[Starship Modeler's 23rd on-line modeling contest: Departures]

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Starship Modeler is proud to announce our twenty-third online modeling contest. The theme for this one is "Departures". It's an Alternate History contest, and the sky's the limit.

The premise is that some event - trivial or pivitol - happened differently along the way to change history as we know it.

  • What if Lee's orders were not inadvertantly discovered before Antietam and as a consequence, the Union lost the US Civil War? Would the South have developed a space program? Would the thus-fractured Union have reached the moon?
  • What if the Native American tribes had a technolgy base equal to the US government's? What if, then, Crazy Horse was a flying ace who eclipsed the Red Baron in popular mythology?
  • It's 2003 and there are no flying cars. But what if the dreams of the 50's really had come true?
  • What if the Soviet N-1 project had succeeded and they now dominated the world from their lunar outposts?

Any historical timetable is fair game for revision in this contest. So, you could also speculate:

  • What if the Federation had lost the Klingon War because the Enterprise-C did not return to fight at Narendra III?
  • What if Anakin Skywalker had never met Princess Amidala?
  • What if the Martians had not succumbed to terrestrial bacteria/viruses in War of the Worlds?
  • What if Apothis had succeeded in dominating the Earth and the SGC was a guerilla movement?

Here's your chance to show off your imagination - in model form. While this is primarily intended to showcase vehicles, figures, hardware, and/or a combination are all eligible, if they meet the rest of the criteria in the rules (read on). Steampunk? Dieselpunk? Luft '46? It's all good.

[V-S Day by Allen Steele] There will be three categories: Kits, Scratchbuilds/Kitbashes and Dioramas. Each of these categories will have three "Popular Vote" awards plus an Editors' Choice award. There will also be a Special Prize - a People's Choice award for the best over all entry, regardless of category. The winner will receive a signed, hardcover copy of Hugo-award winning author Allen Steele's latest novel, V-S Day.

(Read the book. Seriously. Its a gripping tale - and you may well get some great contest entry ideas to boot).

Judging/voting will be done by the Starship Modeler readership, just as in the past. Every reader gets a single vote in each category, plus the overall "People's Choice". A simple (free) registration form must be filled out to qualify voters and prevent ballot stuffing. Once placed, you may change your votes but you can not vote a second time.

The deadline for entries is Sunday, June 8, 2014. The voting feature will be activated as soon as possible thereafter. However, please get your entries in as soon as possible. Lots of last minute entries means delays in getting the voting feature up and running. A five dollar fee is required for each contest entry (to offset event and site expenses - primarily the purchase of plaques for the top finishers). You may submit entries in advance of payment, but they will not be posted to the site until we receive the contest fee. Payment may be made via PayPal, by credit card or check/money order in US funds made out to "Starship Modeler". Send your payment to: Starship Modeler, PO Box 549, Lake Villa, IL 60046 (USA).

You do NOT have to buy your models or supplies from Starship Modeler (though you can if you want to do so).

Please read the full Contest Rules below for further details.

Contest Rules    |    Entries/Results    |    Home

Contest Rules

Awards will be given to an overall "People's Choice" and in three categories:

  • Kit A box stock/limited conversion model built from any commercially available model kit that is recognizable as the stock subject. Your kit can be lighted, super-detailed, have a wild paint job or extensive battle damage, but at the end of the day, if it looks like what comes out of the box, then it fits the "Kits" category. Aftermarket and scratchbuilt additions (accurizing kits, cockpit details, photoetc, etc.) may be used as long as the bulk of the model came from a commercially available kit.

  • Kitbashed/Scratchbuilt: A Kitbashed model is one built from one (or two, or many) model kits that is not instantly recognizable as the subject from the box. A Scratchbuilt model is built primarily from raw materials or found objects. It may contain kit parts.

  • Diorama: Any model incorporated into a display with other models, figures, etc. that tells a story or presents a snapshot of an activity. The model may be a stock kit or a kitbash.

[Al Petrie's White Swan USN Shuttle]

Examples include, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, the following:

  • An AT-AT walker with additional scratchbuilt parts fits the "Kits" category as long as it is still recognizably an AT-AT
  • A Spindrift riding the Space Shuttle's ET/SRB stack fits the "Kits" category (it's still recognizably a Spindrift)
  • A steampunk airship using the fuselage of the Apollo 27 as its armored gas bag fits the "Kitbashed" category (the parts/shape may be identifiable, but the subject is not an Apollo 27 rocketship)
  • A family sedan using the hull of a WW2 battleship and the interior, drivetrain and wheels of a 1/35 scale truck fits the "Kitbashed/Scratchbuilt" category.
  • A Fireball SG (Ma.K) suit painted in a wild Chris Foss-style paint scheme, complete with heavy battle damage, fits the "Kits" category (it's still recognizably a Fireball).
  • An ISS Enterprise NCC-1701 would not be eligible, unless it depicted a non-canon or "non-historical" version of the ship. We're looking for alternate history, not alternate universe. For more examples and clarification, please see the Discussion Board.

1) Eligibility. We're looking for models that feature in, or result from, an alternate history. A "what-if". Your entry may depict a spaceship, ground vehicle, powered armor, figure or piece of hardware -- as long as it meets the rest of the guidelines below, of course. Your descriptive text should include an explanation of the alternate history.

  • As long as you can plausibly describe your entry as fitting the theme of the contest in some fashion, we'll allow it in the contest.

  • We have no desire to nit-pick what "is" or "isn't" science fiction, alternate history or what belongs in the contest. As long as you can convince the contest staff that your entry meets the criteria, we'll probably accept it.

  • Kitbashed entries may be constructed from any other materials/components. These parts may be cut down, altered, sliced/diced/julienned. They must otherwise meet the eligibility rules. Take plenty of pictures of the construction phase, just in case!

  • If any doubt exists as to whether a design is eligible, Starship Modeler staff will ask for documentation proving the design meets contest rules. All decisions of the Starship Modeler staff are final.

    [Steve Hilby's Land Ironclad] 2) For the purposes of this contest, Dioramas are defined as any collection of models and/or figures that tells a story, or presents a snapshot in time. Simply adding one or more figures to a model will not qualify it for this category; neither will adding a scenic base. It must be placed in an environment/context, and some sense of action or activity must be conveyed.

    For examples and clarification, please see the Discussion Board.

    3) You may enter as many models as you like. Each entry must be accompanied by a $5 entry fee. All payment must be made via PayPal through the StarshipModeler Store, by credit card (VISA or MasterCard), check or money order for US dollars, made out to "Starship Modeler". Send payment to: Starship Modeler, PO Box 549, Lake Villa, IL 60046 (USA).

    4) All entries must be received by midnight (CST - GMT -6.00) June 8, 2014. Judging will take place between for approximately 10 days afterward. Voting will be performed online by members of the Starship Modeler readership, as well as the staff for Editors' Choice awards. Starship Modeler staff and relatives are not excluded from the entering the competition but cannot win any of the prizes. All judging is final. The Starship Modeler staff will determine the winner in cases of a tie.

    5) Entries must include:

  • Your name
  • Your postal and e-mail address
  • Contest fee
  • Model description, including how you built the model. Fictional historical overviews are fine, especially where they justify the entry as meeting the theme of the contest, but we'd rather hear what went into making the model. Long monographs covering every action in which the ship may have ever partcipated will be ruthlessly edited.
  • At least six pictures. Three of the pictures should be a front view, top view, and side view. The remaining images are optional and can be used to show off specific details or just to shoot the model from some of its more attractive angles. If more than six pictures are sent, the Starship Modeler staff reserves the right to chose which, if any, additional images to include.

    You can send your submissions via eMail, or if you are unable to scan your photos, just mail them to: Starship Modeler, PO Box 549, Lake Villa, IL 60046 (USA). Photos WILL NOT be returned unless a properly posted SASE is included. All entries will be posted, as long as they meet these Contest Rules.

    6) You can include as little, or as much, of a "back story" explaining the timeline from which your model springs. Lengthy stories will be set apart as a separate link. Please also include some descriptive text on how you built your model! Remember - this is a model contest, not a writer's symposium; tell us about the model.

    7) Do not add or subtract detail from your submissions, digitally or otherwise. i.e., do not add starry backgrounds or laser fire. All photos should depict the model, showing off its features and workmanship. We suggest you photograph the model in natural light against a plain, monochromatic background for best results. Scans should be done AT LEAST 100% (200% is better) image size, and at 72 ppi. Do not send images with greater density than 300 ppi, as it dramatically increases download time and we're going to downsample them anyway.

    8) Awards will be delivered by mail and sent out within one month of completion of judging.... more or less, depending on how organized we are this time around.

    9) Starship Modeler reserves the right not to post images that are deemed distasteful. We're not going to be prudish, but all images should be presented in a tasteful manner. Any hull/nose/wing art, and the like, should forswear the depiction of genitalia, for instance. Think: "Would I show this to my mother?"

    10) In the Kits category, detail sets such as aftermarket lighting kits or decals are allowed. While such extra detail could increase your chances to win, quality and creativity of the work is still a major factor in judging.

    11) Entries can be models which were completed prior to the contest, but can not be ones that have been previously published anywhere on Starship Modeler. This includes reviews, features, Reader's Gallery entries and completed projects displayed on the forums.

    12 Entries are to remain anonymous until the contest ends. Your name will not be attached to your entry(ies) until winners have been announced. This is intended to ensure the playing field remains level. Do not announce on the discussion forums (ours or anyone else's) which entry is yours - until after the voting has ended. Oh, and don't bother eMailing your mom, your siblings and your only friend to vote for Entry Number XX ... it's really, really obvious when that happens and those votes get thrown out.

    [Hail Zog!] 13 We use Windows machines with Photoshop and the other usual suspects loaded. This means we can take almost anything you want to send - but for the love of all that is holy, Mac users please PLEASE don't make us jump through hoops to decode your esoteric files. Come to think of it, don't anyone else make us jump through hoops either. Send your text description as a text file or a Word document or in the body of your eMail. Send your pictures as JPGs, PNGs or GIFs (JPG is the preferred format). Do NOT, under any circumstances, send us your pictures as part of a Word file or your whole submission as a PDF. That's just asking for trouble. And by "trouble" we mean "rejecting the submission while drawing cartoon mustaches on all your pictures".

    14 We make allowances for people whose first language is not English. In almost every case, however, their written English skills are better than those of the average native English speakers (though here's a special note to German writers: the first person pronoun "I" is always capitalized in English. Just FYI). Every computer has a [Shift] key - use it. Don't make us go back and capitalize every single word that should have been capitalized (proper nouns, the first letter of a sentence, etc. - c'mon, you learned this in the first grade). ENTRIES TYPED IN ALL CAPS WILL BE SUMMARILY REJECTED. Every word processing program and almost every eMail program has a spell check function - use it! We're not expecting post-graduate level prose - just don't make the editing job harder than it has to be, please.

    15) Starship Modeler reserves the right to reject any entry we feel does not meet the guidelines published here, or the underlying spirit of our contest. Don't make us go there.

    If you have any questions about these rules or other contest details, please ask us by dropping a note, or use the postal address given above.

    Contestants: make sure we have your mailing address!

    A link will bring you to the Vote Page, once it becomes active after June 8, 2014.

  • Awards

    Allen Steele has generously autographed a hardcover copy of his latest novel, V-S Day as our "People's Choice" award.

    Starship Modeler will provide plaques for the first three places in each category, as well as Editor's Choice.

    Companies or individuals interested in sponsoring this contest should contact the Starship Modeler staff.

    Copyright Notes

    These pages are intended strictly for personal use of those who appreciate the hard work, intelligence, artistry, and effort that go into making real and fictional spacecraft. This site is not intended to infringe on the intellectual properties of any copyright holders. Please address concerns, questions, and any notices we may have inadvertently missed to site administration for resolution.

    This page was last updated 22 May 2014. © 2014 Starship Modeler