IPMS Seattle April Show Contest Rules


  1. Anyone is eligible to enter any number of models in the IPMS-Seattle show and contest. An entrant may also serve as a "proxy" to enter models for others who are not attending the show. All entries except chapter/group entries must be the sole work of the individual whose name is on the entry blank. Commercially built and/or finished models that do not require significant additional work by the modeler will be ineligible.
  2. JUNIORS. Junior division categories are limited to members 17 years and younger. Junior members may, at their own discretion, enter any or all of their models in senior divisions; however models entered in senior divisions will not be eligible for special junior award.
  3. Models that have won First place, or Out-Of-The-Box awards in any category of any previous IPMS-Seattle Contest may not be entered in any subsequent IPMS-Seattle Contest. Basically, previous award winners can be used as noted in collections and group entries. Models that have won an award as part of a collection or group entry may also be entered individually in subsequent IPMS-Seattle Contests. Models that have won individually, and then won as part of a collection, or group entry are not, however, eligible for subsequent IPMS-Seattle contests.
  4. The Head Judges will exclude/remove from competition any entry considered by Contest officials to be inappropriate or offensive to generally acknowledged standards of taste and acceptability.
    1. The following are prohibited in competition and may not be placed on display at any IPMS event:
      • There shall be no depiction of excretory functions depicting any human being or animal.
      • There shall be no depiction of sado-masochistic activity, equipment, settings or situations, to any degree, regardless of whether there are figures in the model and regardless of whether any figures present in the model are clothed.
      • There shall be no depictions of explicit sexual conduct, bilateral or autoerotic, regardless of degree and regardless of the clothing-status of the participants, that involves the touching of the breasts or genitals or other erogenous zones of any depicted figure.
      • There shall be no depiction of any nude human male or female figures where the genitalia of the figure is exposed where the clear intent of the same is to portray a sexual scene.
    2. The following may be entered in the competition or put on display but can be presented only behind opaque screens or similar visual barriers and only where visitors are provided with a fair description, in written format, of the contents of the models behind the screen. This screened presentation covers competitors and the general public, but no person younger than 18 will be admitted except in the presence of an adult responsible for the young person, subject to the provisions of governing local law:
      • Depictions of any nude human male or female figure, subject to the provisions of 4A, above.
      • Models or dioramas of historic events (e.g., general dioramas or specific depictions of the result of the activities of the communist Cambodian Pol Pot regime, a Soviet Gulag, or a Nazi death camp) where the suffering of human beings, or the result of a pogrom, is depicted. Where the theme, content or subject matter of presentations is graphic or would violate any provisions cited above, then the presentation is prohibited in any setting.
  5. Modelers entering pieces that exceed four feet in either width or length, or that require special power support or special placement, must notify the Show Chairman at least one month in advance of the Show. The limited space for the Contest requires pre-planning for such entries. Failure to provide advanced notification for such models could result in their being unable to compete or inadequate special support.
  6. Exhibitors are strongly encouraged to leave their models in the display room until the awards presentation is over and the attendees have had the maximum opportunity to view them.


    Models will be judged for skill in construction, finish, realism, and scope of effort. Additional criteria are considered for special categories such as dioramas, collections, conversions. Models are judged as three-dimensional objects and are examined in all aspects. Entries may be handled, by judges both for proper table placement and for judging, as required. Models in the Contest Room may be covered by cases while on general public display, but such cases must be removed from models for judging. Judges will not remove cases from models. Models in cases will not be judged. The following is an exception to this rule. In instances where removal of a case could cause damage, and in the judgment of the respective Head Judge the case would not impede effective judging, the case may be left on for judging. This arrangement must be made prior to judging and noted in writing on the entry form by the Head Judge. The Head Judge will have the final and exclusive authority to allow or deny this exemption.
    The use of plastic is encouraged; however, the use of other modeling materials is allowed as the builder sees fit. Judging standards of finish, attention to detail, and authenticity will be the same, regardless of the materials used.
    Models may incorporate parts from other kits, but these should be generally unrelated to their original identity, except for minor parts such as wheels, guns, etc. Models determined to be scratch built must be entered in the proper scratch built category.
    The Conversion category entries must represent a version different from that provided by the basic kit. The conversion must contain significant structural modifications to the basic kit involving extensive changes in contour or configuration. In addition to the normal judging criteria common to the entire contest, judges of the Conversion Category will give special consideration to the complexity of the conversion. A conversion accomplished with primarily commercial aftermarket parts will be at a disadvantage, therefore, against a conversion accomplished primarily by the builder’s craftsmanship - assuming both are finished to similar standards. Simple conversions may be entered in regular categories. More extensive conversions, however, must be entered in the appropriate conversion category. The builder must detail the conversion changes made to the base kit on the entry sheet or accompanying documentation. Judges have the ultimate authority to determine a model’s category placement, and such decisions by judges will be final.
    Class entries will not be classified as dioramas by the inclusion of accessories supplied in the figure kit.
    In aircraft and military vehicle Classes, markings will determine the category in which a model is entered. For example a C-47 in military markings would normally be placed in the Large Prop category, but if in airliner markings it would be placed in an Airliner category. A Shuttle, either by itself or attached with fuel tank and booster, goes in Real Spacecraft, while a Shuttle on the back of a NASA Boeing 747 goes in civil Aircraft.
    When the missile's transport vehicle or launcher is the predominant portion of the system (e.g., SCUD, Patriot), the model will be entered in the appropriate Armor category. Military launch vehicles (e.g., V-2, ICBM, IRBM), civilian launch vehicles (e.g., Scout, Saturn), and military launch vehicles modified for civil missions (e.g., Atlas/Agena, Jupiter C) will be entered in the Real Spacecraft category.
  8. JETS.
    Jet Aircraft categories include manned, rocket-powered aircraft such as the Me-163, X-1, X-15, X-24, etc.
    Bases will be allowed in all categories and will not be considered in the judging except in the Diorama classes. A base may be a piece of undecorated wood, plastic or glass or it may simulate the natural surface on which the prototype would be found; however, nothing other than that surface may be used. Aircraft and military vehicles may rest on simulated ground or paving, and aircraft that need beaching gear or dollies may be so equipped. Ships may be displayed in water (no drydocks). The base must not be the predominant feature of the entry and must be of a size proportionate to the model. The Contest Chairman and Judges reserve the right to exclude oversize bases. The model may include primary crew figures. The addition of any other figures or equipment outside or not attached to, the model (e.g., support equipment, shell splashes, or buildings) will make the model a Diorama, which must then be entered in the proper Diorama category. Dioramas are judged not only on the technical merit of their construction but also on the strength of the theme or story they present, so that if two dioramas were technically equal the one having the stronger theme or story would win. A previous IPMS-Seattle contest winner may be used as part of a diorama as long as it not the primary focus of the diorama.
  10. JUDGES.
    Judges may not judge a category in which they are entered. Judging teams will be composed of multiple judges, preferably representing different regions. Strict impartiality will be observed, and violators will be removed from judges' lists for future IPMS-Seattle Contests. Any judges disqualified for cause may not assume any role related to the contest at future IPMS-Seattle Contests and may not be present in the room during the judging for any reason. This will include, but not be limited to, administrative, scoring, photographic and other support responsibilities. Judges will be provided with a special ribbon or other device to allow their easy identification during the Show. Specially designated judging teams will monitor the contest room prior to judging to ensure models are in the proper categories for judging. They will also move models to accomplish the “splits” required in the larger categories.
    Contest registrars will help determine proper entry categories for models during registration, but final category placement is at the discretion of contest judges. Judges may split categories during final judging.
  12. No liability for loss or damage to contest entries is assumed by IPMS-Seattle, or the contest judges.
  13. The Head Judges may waive any rule if circumstances warrant.


  1. OUT OF THE BOX (OOB). The IPMS Seattle contest includes the opportunity for modelers to compete their models as an Out Of Box entry, but the approach is slightly different than the way the National IPMS organization goes about it. For the IPMS Seattle show, modelers are allowed to enter their OOB models in any of the standard contest categories. OOB awards will be selected from among any OOB entries within those standard categories and models that are entered as OOB are also eligible for any placement awards within the category as well. Modelers must indicate on their entry form if they are entering their model as OOB. The following additional criteria are applied to OOB models.
    1. Models that are entered as OOB must be presented with a copy of the instructions to allow the judges to confirm the model is built OOB. OOB models entered without their instructions will not be considered for an OOB award.
    2. The general OOB approach is to build what came in the kit. In some cases, however, this may result in an incomplete or inaccurate model. For this reason, the OOB requirements allow for some exemptions beyond what was strictly in the box. These include but are not limited to, for example, the addition of rigging wires, seatbelts and antennas on aircraft, antennas and closed sponsons for military vehicles, and rigging and deck railings on ships. Exemptions vary from Class to Class, but allow for commonly accepted construction techniques and standards while still maintaining the general OOB approach.
    3. All possible exemptions cannot be pre-defined, so modelers who are unsure of whether their work falls under these representative exemptions are strongly encouraged to check prior to the judging with the respective Head Judge to avoid being disqualified in the OOB categories. In complex cases, the Head Judge will initial the entry sheet to inform the judges of his decision and prevent subsequent errors or reinterpretations.
  2. OUT-OF-THE-BOX entries will be governed by the following rules:
    1. KITS.
      Any commercially available kit may be used. Any parts provided in the kit may be used, regardless of their material (i.e., brass, resin, plastic, etc.). Generally, only parts that are included with the kit and found in the bag or box may be used. As provided above, exemptions may be allowed but must be approved by the respective Head Judges in advance of the judging.
    2. FINISH.
      All finishing techniques are allowed. Decals other than those included with the kit may be used. Insignia, markings, and instrument panels may be hand-painted instead of decaled. Weathering is permitted.
      The modeler may fill seams and gaps; sand off rivets; drill out gun ports, exhaust pipes, or other appropriate openings; thin to scale such parts as trailing edges, flaps, and doors; re-scribe panel lines lost in construction; and add rigging and antennas.
      vacuform, manufacture, or replace any part, or substitute parts from another kit; cut or separate canopies, surfaces, hatches, doors, etc. (no major surgery); combine a standard kit with a conversion kit; add anything other than specified on the instruction sheet except as shown in Section C above or specifically exempted by the respective Head Judges.
      Modelers must attach at least the first page of the kit instruction sheet to the entry form and have the rest of the instruction sheet accessible to the judges for review during judging. Models entered without an attached kit instruction sheet will not be considered for an Out-of-the-Box award.
  3. HYPOTHETICAL (Categories 802).
    In general, models that do not represent a factual, physical prototype will be entered in one of these hypothetical categories. Each Class has its own definition of hypothetical, dependent upon the tradition and practice within that Class. Head Judges will determine whether models will be judged within the regular Class categories or moved to one of the Hypothetical categories. Entrants may chose to enter their model in either the overall Hypothetical categories (802), or in the regular categories in their Class (armor, aircraft, etc.). Final placement, however, will be determined by the Head Judges.
  4. COLLECTIONS (Category 801).
    A collection is any group of five or more closely related items. Past IPMS-Seattle Contest winning models may be included as part of a collection, if they comprise no more than 40 percent of the collection. The entire collection must be the work of one person. The closeness of the relationship within the collection is a significant factor in judging. For example, a collection based on variants of a single airframe is a tighter relationship than one of different aircraft operated by a unit. Models comprising a winning collection may subsequently be entered as individual entries if they were not, themselves, previous winners.
  5. IPMS CHAPTER/GROUP ENTRY (Category 804).
    The Chapter/Group entry shall be the only exception to the rule calling for the work to be done by a single individual. The intent is to provide a forum for displaying a project that is too extensive or complex for a single individual to complete in a reasonable time. It is also intended to provide a vehicle for an IPMS chapter or a group of IPMS members to exhibit a project that may have been prepared for an event or display other than the IPMS-Seattle Spring Show. Subject matter, time frame, scale, location, etc. are open. Models comprising a winning chapter/group entry may subsequently be entered individually if they were not, themselves, previous winners.


  1. First, second, and third place awards will be given in each category. Those categories specifically noted in the category listing will also include a Best Out-of-the-Box Award. This award will be in addition to the standard first-, Second-, and Third-place awards.
  2. Additional theme awards (“Specials”) may be presented at the discretion of IPMS-Seattle. The Special Awards list is posted on the IPMS-Seattle web site.


  1. Prior IPMS-Seattle First Place winning models are not eligible (except in Collections Category and Group Builds).
  2. IPMS-USA National Contest Rules generally apply. Please see the Contest Rules link on this this page for specific rules for the Seattle IPMS contest.
  3. Head judges' decisions are final! If you have a question please contact them.
  4. Only one category per model.
  5. Where classes are subject to interpretation, the entrant may choose the category;. Judge's may reassign models to a more appropriate classes at their discretion.
  6. If your diorama is overly large, or has special requirements, please contact the show chairman prior to the show.
  7. At the judges' discretion "HIGHLY COMMENDED" ribbons may also be awarded.
  8. At the judges discretion categories may be split.
  9. Judges wear ID tags. After awards are posted, feel free to discuss your results with them.
  10. There will be One "Best Out of the Box" award per designated (*) category.
  11. Models in display cases during judging will NOT be judged. No exceptions.
  12. All Out of the Box entries must have the kit instructions on the table with the model to be eligible for an OOB award.

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