ModelFiesta 40

Contest Rules

I. Eligibility

  1. IPMS/USA Alamo Squadron’s ModelFiesta Show and Contest is open to the public. All entries except Proxy entries, Buddy Builds (as described below) and Chapter/Group entries must be the sole work of the individual whose name is on the model-entry form. Commercially built and/or finished models that do not require significant additional work by the modeler are ineligible for entry in this contest. Pre-decorated assembly kits may be entered, but MUST be accompanied by the kit instructions.
  2. Proxy Entries. A person may serve as a ‘proxy’ to enter models for an absent contestant not in attendance. Proxy entry forms must include the builder's name as well as the name of the person serving as Proxy. The cost of proxy entry (or entries) will be the same as an in-person entry (or entries).
  3. Juniors. Junior Class categories are limited to entrants 17 years and younger. Those categories will be split into two age groupings: Pre-Teen, for ages up to 12 years; and, Teen for ages 13 through 17 years. Junior entrants may, at their own discretion, enter any or all of their models in Senior-Class categories; however, models entered in Senior categories will not be eligible for any special Junior-Class awards.
  4. Prior Winners. Models having won a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place award at any IPMS National Contest, or at any previous IPMS Region VI contest, are not eligible for entry in ModelFiesta 38 with the following exceptions: previous award winners can be used as noted in Collections, Triple Play and Group entries. Models that have won an award as part of a Collection, Triple Play or Group entry may also be entered individually in subsequent ModelFiesta contests.
  5. Pre-Production Examples. "Test Shot" or pre-production examples of kits not yet commercially available may not be entered in any ModelFiesta.
  6. Inappropriate Entries. The Chief Judge may exclude/remove from competition and display, any entry considered by the Chief Judge and/or the Event Director 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 ModelFiesta:
      1. There shall be no depiction of excretory functions depicting any human being or animal.
      2. There shall be no depiction of sadomasochistic 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.
      3. 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.
      4. There shall be no depiction of any nude human male or female figures where the genitalia of the figure are exposed or 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:
      1. Depictions of any nude human male or female figure, subject to the provisions of 6A, above.
      2. 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.
  7. Contest Duration. Contestants are encouraged to leave their models in the display/judging area until the awards ceremony is complete and the attendees have had the maximum opportunity to view them. Models removed from the contest area before the conclusion of judging may not be adequately judged and thus not eligible for any award.
  8. Category Placement. Correct category placement of entries is the sole responsibility of the contestant. If in doubt about what category is correct for an entry, see the head class judge or the chief contest judge for clarification. Models placed in an incorrect category after the commencement of judging will not be evaluated nor relocated to the appropriate category by the judges.


  1. Judging. Category judging of 1st, 2nd, & 3rd places will be by the committee method and will follow general guidance contained in the IPMS/USA Modeler’s Guide to IPMS Contests, which will be available for review if requested. It may also be downloaded from the ModelFiesta website ( The model contest area will remain open to event ticket holders during the judging. Models will be judged for skill in construction, finish, realism, and scope of effort; authenticity may be used as a criterion for determining final ranking for similar model subjects. Additional criteria are considered for special categories such as Dioramas, Collections, Conversions, and Triple Play. Models are judged as three-dimensional objects and are examined in all aspects. Entries will be handled by judges, both for proper category placement and for judging, as required. Models in the contest area 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 unless the modeler has given explicit, written approval in advance. Models in cases will not be judged, except in instances where removal of a case could cause damage, and in the judgment of the respective Head Judge the case will not impede effective judging; in such instances, a display case may be left on during judging. Such an arrangement must be made prior to judging and noted in writing on the entry form by the Chief Judge. The Chief Judge will have the final and exclusive authority to allow or deny this exception. IPMS/USA Alamo Squadron is not responsible for damage to entries by judges or the public.
  2. Composition. 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.
  3. Scratch-Built. Scratch-built models must not significantly be derived from existing kits/models. They 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.
  4. Conversion. Conversion category (235) 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 describe in 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.
  5. Markings (Aircraft Class). Aircraft categories are generally defined as Military Aircraft unless otherwise noted. Entries carrying only civil markings will be placed in the appropriate Civil Aircraft category. They do not need to be marked with a national civil registration (e.g. N-number for the USA) to be entered in a Civil Aircraft category. Models of CIA, NASA, Treasury Department, and other government-marked (but non-military-marked) and operated aircraft will normally be placed within the Civil Aircraft categories. Movie planes, war birds, and those with combined civil and military markings (e.g. NASA band and USAF titles) likewise will usually be placed in Civil Aircraft categories. The same general principle applies for entries in the other Classes: markings will determine the category in which a model is entered.
  6. Missiles. Winged 'airplane-type' missiles will generally be entered in an appropriate aircraft category. When a missile's transport vehicle or launcher is the predominant portion of the system (e.g. Patriot, SCUD), 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.
  7. Jets. Jet Aircraft categories include manned, rocket-powered aircraft such as the Me-163, X-1, X-15, X-24, etc.
  8. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Models of UAVs (drones, flying bombs, winged missiles and other aerial vehicles, powered or glider, designed to fly without carrying a crew) to include aircraft originally designed for manned control but converted to remote-control operation (e.g. QF-4) will be entered in their appropriate aircraft category. For example, an MQ-9 Reaper UAV, being of a single prop design, would be entered in category 245 or 265 (if 1/72 or 1/48 scale), or, if 1/32nd scale or larger, category 230.
  9. In-Flight Aircraft. IPMS/USA Alamo Squadron does not create a separate category for aircraft modeled in-flight (mounted on a pedestal with gear retracted). Models rendered in this regard will be entered in their corresponding aircraft category.
  10. Bases. Bases are allowed in all categories and will not be considered in the judging except in the Diorama Categories. 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 basic 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 dry docks). The base must not be the predominant feature of the entry and must be of a size proportionate to the model. The ModelFiesta Director 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 Vignette or Diorama, which must then be entered in the proper category.
  11. Bases – Military Vehicles. Any AFV model that is displayed upon a base may have ‘basic’ groundwork; i.e., dirt, grass, roadway, a low stone wall, etc. No part of that groundwork may extend taller than the topmost portion of the body of the model; i.e., no trees, buildings, structure, chimney, water-tower etc. Any vehicle entry that has more than basic groundwork will be defined as a Diorama (see Rule II-16), and will be transferred to the appropriate Diorama Category for judging there. Any model entered into an AFV category that is displayed upon a base, permanently or temporarily, may have no more than two (2) figures in total and the figure(s); must be a crew member; only one (1) figure may be affixed to the base off the vehicle; a second figure must be affixed to or within the vehicle model. If there are more than two figures total, the entry will be defined as a Vignette, and will be transferred to the appropriate Vignette Category for judging there.
  12. Multi or Towed Vehicles – Military Vehicles. Any grouping of two (2) or three (3) vehicles (no more), attached to each other, will considered one entry. For example: any towed artillery and prime mover; an artillery piece with a limber; a tank trans- porter/trailer, with or without a load vehicle; or any other combination of two or three vehicles that are attached to each other. The attachment system can be a ball & hitch, fifth wheel, whiffletree, or tow chain/cables designed specifically for such purpose. The model(s) may be displayed on a base with or without basic groundwork, either temporarily or permanently affixed to such a base. Like other AFV model entries, if the multi-vehicle display has groundwork that extends past the highest point of the basic body of the model(s), and/or has more than two (2) figures, as defined in Rule II-19, the entry will be defined as a Vignette, and will be transferred to the appropriate Diorama Category for judging there.
  13. Figures. Figures-Class entries will not be classified as Dioramas by the inclusion of accessories supplied in the figure kit.
  14. Gundam. Gundams, powered sci-fi robots, armor or machines, with limbed features or humanoid construct will be placed in the Gundam & Gunpla category (720) of the Spacecraft/Sci-Fi class. Such models may contain or display an operator figure as long as it is not the dominant part of the model; mechanical features should predominate. Otherwise an entry will go in the appropriate fantasy or sci-fi figures category.
  15. Dioramas. Entries with two or more vehicles and/or more than five figures on a base will be placed into Diorama Class and 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 ModelFiesta winner may be used as part of a diorama as long as it not the primary focus of the diorama.
  16. Vignettes. Entries with no more than five (5) figures Vignette category.
  17. Judges. The Chief Judge will brief all judges before the contest judging commences. Junior members may not serve as voting judges, but may be assigned to judging teams as participating observers. Judges may not judge a category in which they are entered. Judging teams will be composed of multiple judges, preferably representing different clubs. Strict impartiality will be observed, and violators will be removed from judges' lists for future ModelFiestas. Any judges disqualified for cause may not assume any role related to the contest at future ModelFiestas. 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 ModelFiesta. Specially designated judging teams will monitor the display/contest area prior to judging to ensure models are in the proper categories for judging. With approval from the Class Head Judge, judging teams will also move models to accomplish the “splits” required in the larger categories.
  18. All Judges' Decisions Are Final. Attempting to cover every potential category a model could fit is impossible if not economically impracticable. IPMS/USA Alamo Squadron has made every effort to cover the most popular scale modeling Classes and categories but is constrained by a sensible operating budget. Contest registrars will help determine proper categories for models during registration, but final category placement is at the discretion of the Chief Judge.
  19. Category Splits. With the advice and consent of the Chief Judge, Judges may split categories during judging.
  20. ModelFiesta Committee Rules. The ModelFiesta Committee is solely responsible for the creation, modification, addition and deletion of all Rules and Categories for ModelFiesta. Any exceptions sought by both members and non-members of Alamo Squadron must be submitted for consideration by the ModelFiesta Committee no later than 6 weeks prior to the execution of ModelFiesta. Alamo Squadron will provide a sufficient number of trophy packages to account for all categories and preplanned splits.
    1. The Chief Judge is responsible for all category placement, splits, and judging decisions. Contestants changing entry placement without prior approval of the Chief Judge or ModelFiesta Director will be disqualified. Entries may not compete in more than one category.
    2. Category placement errors that are brought to the attention of the judges AFTER judging has been completed on any affected category shall remain as entered.
  21. No liability. No liability for loss or damage to contest entries is implied or assumed by IPMS/USA Alamo Squadron or the contest judges.
  22. Waivers. The Chief Judge may waive any rule if circumstances warrant.


  1. Box Stock. IPMS/USA Alamo Squadron will include separate categories in selected classes for Box Stock entries, also referred to as “Out Of Box” (OOB).
    1. Models that meet the Box Stock criteria (outlined below) may be entered into these categories, but they are not required to be there. Modelers may, therefore, choose to place their model in a standard category, where it will be judged against the other entries with no reference to it being Box Stock. It will not, in that case, be considered for a Box Stock award.
    2. The general Box Stock approach is to build what came in the kit to the highest craftmanship using basic plastic modeling skills. In some cases, however, this may result in an incomplete or inaccurate model. For this reason, the Box Stock 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. Exemptions vary from Class to Class, but allow for commonly accepted construction techniques and standards while still maintaining the general Box Stock 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 Class Head Judge to avoid being disqualified in the Box Stock categories. In complex cases, the Chief Judge will initial the entry sheet to inform the judges of his decision and prevent subsequent errors or reinterpretations.
  2. Box Stock entries will be governed by the following rules:
    1. Kits. Any commercially available kit may be used. Single media kits are limited to the use of the plastic parts included in the kit and indicated in the instructions, with limited exemptions noted herein. Any parts provided in Multi-Media kits 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 Judge in advance of the judging.
    2. Finish. All finishing techniques are allowed. Decals other than those included with the kit may be used. Use of aftermarket “3-D” printed decals is NOT permitted. Insignia, markings, and instrument panels may be hand-painted instead of decaled. Weathering is permitted.
    3. Construction. 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.
    4. Exclusions. It is not permitted to vacuum-form, manufacture, or replace any part, or substitute parts from another kit; articulate/separate single-piece parts, 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 Judge.
    5. Instruction Sheets. Modelers must place the kit’s instruction sheet on the table under or adjacent to their entry and be accessible to the judges for review during judging. Models entered without an attached kit instruction sheet will not be placed in a Box Stock category and must be placed in their corresponding non-Box Stock category. Models placed in a Box Stock category without accompanying kit instructions will not be judged.
  3. Triple Play (Category 810). Three models of different Classes grouped and displayed as a single entry. The models will be judged as a group, with overall quality determining placement. Credit will be given for diversity of entries. Entries must be composed of three models selected from three of the following Classes: II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and X. Models constituting a Triple Play entry may not, simultaneously, be competing in other parts of the contest. Models comprising a winning Triple Play entry may subsequently be entered individually, if they were not themselves previous winners.
  4. Collections (Category 805). A Collection is any group of five or more closely related items. Past ModelFiesta 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 in future ModelFiestas as individual entries, if they were not themselves previous individual winners.
  5. Club/Group Entries: Alamo Squadron has retired the Club/Group entries from ModelFiesta due to low entry numbers in recent years.
  6. Theme Award. ModelFiesta 40's Theme is Per Aspera Ad Astra - Through Hardship to the Stars. This encompasses a model that depicts resilience in the face of hardship. The Theme Award is intentionally general in order to encompass as many subjects as possible. If a contestant wishes to enter his/her model as theme eligible they must do so on the Individual Model Entry Form. Only models identified as such on this form, and logged in the Theme Award Entry Sheet will be judged for the theme award. Contestants are responsible for ensuring their entries are properly designated and logged.


  1. No monetary value. No awards associated with placement in the contest will have any intrinsic monetary value beyond the cost of their materials and production. Monetary awards, certificates and scholarships tied to placement in the contest are expressly prohibited.
  2. Sweeps are permitted. An entrant may enter more than one model in a category and is eligible to win more than one trophy in that category.
  3. Theme Award. See Rule III.7. above.
  4. Class Awards. Besides the Best of Show and Theme Awards, 'Best' awards will also be presented for each Class in the contest and are listed below. The 'Best' entries in each Class will be determined by a vote of the judges assigned to that Class, led by the Class Head Judge. The best of Show Award will be chosen from among the Class Best award recipients by vote of the Class Head Judges, led by the Chief Judge. Models entered in Senior categories by Junior members are not eligible for special Junior awards.
  5. Show and Class Award Names. "Best" Awards. The following 'Best' Awards will be presented:
    • Best of Show/Alamo Squadron Memorial Award
    • Theme Award
    • Best in Class
      1. Young Modlers
      2. Aircraft
      3. Armor
      4. Automotive
      5. Ships
      6. Figures
      7. Space/Sci-Fi
      8. Collections
      9. Dioramas
      10. Miscellaneous
  6. Individually Sponsored Awards (ISA). Various individuals and groups may present awards at ModelFiesta. These awards will conform to Rule IV-1, above. The screening/selection for these awards is accomplished by the individual sponsor and not ModelFiesta judging teams. These awards will be announced with the Class with which they best match up (for example, “P-51 Mustang Award” will be announced within the Aircraft Class awards). In order not to conflict with the judging of the Class and Category awards ISAs shall not have the term "best" in their title. If a contestant wishes to enter his/her model as eligible for an ISA, they must do so on the Individual Model Entry Form. Only models identified as such on this form, and logged in the appropriate ISA Log Sheet will be judged for the theme award. Contestants are responsible for ensuring their entries are properly designated and logged.