Photos from the NMRA Contest Room in Hartford

Lotsa Pictures!  Be patient until they all load.

Click on images for larger  versions….


The first batch of pictures from Hartford are of some of the fine models on display in the contest room.  This is the same room where I set up the Bronx Terminal on Monday and operated it during the week.  While technically the contest room, it really is a room for people to come and browse all the items on display and socialize.  I had the layout here until we moved it down to the Train Show on Thursday right after the awards presentations.

I’ll provide a bit of narrative for the models I know something about, the others are just images of some on display that caught my eye.






This fantastic HO scale model of a Howe Truss float bridge was built by Tom Griffiths.  I received a set of drawings for this float bridge about a year ago and wondered who “T. Griffiths” was, as that was the name at the bottom of all 26 pages of hand drawn plans.  This model was built by him.  The drawings were made in the late 70’s early 80’s and according to Tom the model was started then.  It sat for 35 30 years until he finished it up last year.  I know, I had to do the math to to actually believe that the early 1980’s was 35 30 years ago.  Geez.

Anyway, the model is exquisite, right down to the thousands of nut and bolts.  It is a dead on match to the drawings.  I tried to convince Tom that it would look good on my layout as it is the exact model I need….

I plan on building one of these in the next year, I hope I can get it to turn out as good as Tom’s.  He took home a lot of awards for the model, 5 or 6 I believe.  All deserved.





This building was built by Earl Smallshaw.  A very good looking model of a brick firehouse.  It was very well done although I am not sure how well it did in the contests.  When the awards were being given out I was quite busy setting up for the Train Show.




I don’t know who built this model, but it was very well done, especially the detailed removable roof.  Perfect colouring.

Update – This was built by Chuck Diljak and received an honourable mention in the structures scratch built class.




This roundhouse model won best in show.  While I felt there were better models on display, it was very well done.  I espeically liked how he finished the roof, it was very convincing.  For some reason I didn’t photograph the whole model, only the roof.



A couple of well weathered pieces of equipment.  The CSX car was especially well done.






This beautifully constructed sawmill was built by Carl Laskey and took first in the diorama kit class.  It was a huge model and fully detailed.









This fish seller model was by far my favorite.  I had this pegged for the best in show, but surprisingly it only got an honorable mention.  Built by Sam Swanson I felt this was an extremely well built model.  The quality of the colouring and level of detail was impressive, right down to the bemustachioed fish mongers.  A detailed rack of drying fish can be seen off to one side.  Keep in mind that this is in HO scale.

The rust effect on the oil drum is beautiful.

I am very curious why it didn’t place higher.







This sawmill model was built by Richard Newmiller and placed first in the diarrhea diorama (stupid spell checker) scratch built category.  The detail on this was extensive and very well done.  The roof was raided raised to reveal the fully detailed mill interior.  A close look into the dormer on the roof shows someone sharpening a saw blade.

The HO scale pickup trucks were very well done and painted perfectly.




Richard Waltz got an honorable mention in the structures scratch built class for this coal dealer model.  Another fine example of modeling.  Great job on the fine details, the scattered trash under the main building is very convincing.








Standards and Conformance Department manager Di Voss offered to check the trackwork on my Bronx Terminal to see if it conformed to NMRA standards.  It passed and I received some points toward my Civil Engineering certificate.  Clark Kooning, the Canadian Director of the NMRA also checked it, it takes two executives to award points.  Checked were a turnout, three way and a crossing.

That pretty much covers all the shots I took in the contest room.  I have many, many more from the show to sort through and will get them posted shortly.


About the Author:

I'm your host, Tim Warris, a product developer in Port Dover, Ontario. Since March of 2007 I have been documenting the construction of the former CNJ Bronx Terminal in HO scale. For my day job, I design track building tools for Fast Tracks, a small company I own and operate. Fast Tracks makes it fast and easy to hand lay your own trackwork. Stop by our website to learn more!

Posted by: Tim | 07-17-2009 | 09:07 PM
Posted in: 2009 NMRA Train Show - Hartford | Latest Posts | Next Show


  1. Tim,
    Those are some fantastic models and wish that I was able to make it out and get some of my stuff entered, even though I don’t think I would have fared to well.

    Thank you for sharing these with those of us that couldn’t make it.

    Also you might want to fix this typo “placed first in the diarrhea scratch built category.” It made me laugh, thanks.


    Comment by Chris Brimley — July 17, 2009 @ 10:25 pm
  2. Tim – spelling error:

    This sawmill model was built by Richard Newmiller and placed first in the diarrhea scratch built category.

    I’m pretty sure Richard didn’t enter that contest!

    Comment by Chris Arsenault — July 17, 2009 @ 10:47 pm
  3. I sure hope early 1980’s to today is not 35 years. I am old enough as it is.

    Thanks for the terrific Bronx Terminal blog. I find myself checking it every daqy.


    Comment by Cos Georgia — July 18, 2009 @ 2:39 pm
  4. Any idea where I can get a set of those float bridge drawings for myself?

    Comment by Shane — July 20, 2009 @ 12:46 pm
  5. Tim,

    Another ‘spell checker’ thing: Roof was RAISED (vs. raided) – also on the Richard Newmiller dialog! Ain’t modern maturity fun.

    Good shots – well done. Nice having seen you again.


    Comment by Ed McCamey — July 21, 2009 @ 3:49 pm
  6. Geez, I really should not write these things late at night…


    Comment by Tim — July 21, 2009 @ 3:54 pm
  7. Is the float bridge model wood or styrene? And if the later, any insights as to painting, etc? It does look great . . .

    Comment by Philip H — July 22, 2009 @ 3:40 pm
  8. Hi,

    The floatbridge is all wood construction. In fact I believe Tom won the Mt. Albert award for a scratchbuilt wood structure.


    Comment by Tim — July 23, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

Comments RSS TrackBack URI


Leave a comment