VSM Model Show Show & Contest Rules & Categories

Rules and Definitions

Adapted From The IPMS USA Competition Handbook


The VSM Island Open Contest and Show is open to anyone who wants to enter their model for competition or just for display. Affiliation to an IPMS Chapter or any other club is not required to enter this contest. There is no limit to the number of models a person may enter.

Entry in the Contest is open to all within the particular age groups: Thirteen & younger are Junior, fourteen to eighteen are Intermediate, and nineteen and older are Adult. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE THE SOLE WORK OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHOSE NAME APPEARS ON THE ENTRY BLANK, except for Team, Family, or Club entries. Entry Fees are: first five are $5.00; each additional entry is $1.00. For paid up members of VSM/SPAM the maximum fee is $15.00 for any number of entries.

There is no charge to bring in models for display only.

Pre-decorated kits will only be permitted for Junior & Intermediate Categories.

Pre-finished models of any kind are not permitted in any category (e.g. Corgi, Franklin Mint, GI Joe, 21st Century Toys, Dragon, Tamiya, etc.).

Previous Island Open winning entries ARE NOT ELIGIBLE. Previous non-winning entries may be reentered.

The Contest Chair or Head Judge may exclude from public display any entries he/she considers offensive to generally acknowledged standards of taste and acceptability.


First, Second and Third place awards (medals) will be given in each category. Medal winners in each category will be chosen by the entrants in each Class through a system of voting. Ties shall be broken by a three-member judging panel appointed by the Contest Committee.

Special sponsored plaques and trophies shall be awarded in addition to the medal awards. Winners shall be chosen by a panel of judges appointed by the Contest Committee. Ties are allowed only when they are deemed deserving, and only when approved by the Head Judge. Sweeps (one modeller winning all awards and/or trophies in a category) are allowed.


1. JUDGING (Trophy Categories Only). Models will be judged for skill in construction, finish, realism, and accuracy. Additional criteria are considered for special categories such as dioramas, collections, and 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, only with the entrant’s prior permission. 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. 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 where, in the judgment of the 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 by the Head Judge in writing on the entry form. The Head Judge will have the final and exclusive authority to grant or deny this exemption.

2. COMPOSITION. The use of plastic as the primary material of construction 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. COMPLETENESS. All models considered for judging must be complete in every respect, that is, all reasonable building, painting, decalling etc. shall be accomplished before the model is judged. In other words, unfinished models are not eligible for judging. The Head Judge shall determine whether a model in question is considered complete.

4. SCRATCH BUILT models may incorporate parts from other kits, but those should be generally unrelated to their original identity, except for minor parts such as wheels, guns, etc. Conversion models must contain significant structural changes to the basic kit involving extensive changes in contour or configuration. As a rule of thumb, use of commercially available conversion parts (for example, aircraft noses, resin cast turrets, or resin cast car bodies) does not call for the level of effort needed to qualify for entry in the conversion category.

5. FIGURES. Class entries may be made of metal, plastic, resin or vinyl or any combination thereof. The inclusion of accessories supplied in the figure kit will not cause the figure to be classed as a Diorama.

6. COLLECTIONS. A collection is any group of five or more closely related items. For example: five WW II fighters would not be a collection, but five WW II Messerschmitt fighters would. Similarly, five WW II tanks would not form a collection, but five WW II Panzer IVs would. The closeness of the relationship within the collection is a significant factor in judging. The entire collection must be the work of one person.

7. MARKINGS. In aircraft and 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 Twin Prop category, but if it were in airliner markings, it would be placed in the Civilian category. All racing aircraft (other than conversion/scratchbuilts) will be placed in the Civilian category.

8. MISSILES. All ground based, vehicle carried missiles will be placed in the Armour division. All missiles in flight attitude or on landing gear will be entered in the proper aircraft category. Missiles used in space research, which originated as military vehicles (eg. Atlas/Centaur or Mercury/Redstone) will be placed in the Spacecraft category.

9. BASES/DIORAMAS. Bases will be allowed in all categories and will not be considered in the judging except in the Diorama categories. The base must not be the predominant feature of the entry and must be of a size proportionate to the model. The Contest Chair and Judges reserve the right to exclude oversize bases. 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.

10. JUDGES. A Head Judge must be chosen and he/she must brief all judges before the contest judging. Judges should be chosen by the Head Judge for their skill and experience. Judges may not judge a category in which they are entered and must declare a conflict. In such cases an appointed alternate will judge the category. Strict impartiality will be observed. Contest Registrars will help determine proper entry categories for models during registration, but final category placement is at the discretion of the contest judges. Categories will be expanded or consolidated as required. Models will be relocated by the Chief Judge or a category Head Judge if they are found to be in the wrong category. If they must be moved, all reasonable effort will be made to notify the owner of the model prior to it being relocated. ALL JUDGES’ DECISIONS ARE FINAL.

11. IPMS/Canada, Victoria Scale Modellers (VSM), SPAM, the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, or the VSM Contest Committee assume no responsibility or liability for the transportation, handling, entry, registration, loss, storage or damage of any model entered or displayed.


1. HUMOUR. Models entered in the Humour category will be judged on both their humour and the degree of modeling skill that they represent. Entries must not only be funny, but also well done.

2. OUT-OF-THE-BOX entries will only be considered at the Adult level. They will be judged on basic modelling techniques only. These include: finish, decalling, seam filling, alignment and general workmanship. Antennas and seat belts can be added, gun barrels and exhaust pipes can be drilled out, but no other detail may be added. Instructions must be included with all entries. Out-of-the-Box entries will be governed by the following rules:

    a) KITS. Any commercially available kit may be used, but based on styrene content only. The number of categories incorporating Out-of-the Box awards will be determined by the Contest Chair or Head Judge.
    b) FINISH. The natural plastic finish may be retained, or it may be foil wrapped or painted with brush, spray cans, or airbrush. Decals other than those included with the kit may be used. Insignia, markings, and instrument panels may be hand painted instead of decaling. Weathering is permitted.
    c) CONSTRUCTION. The modeller may fill seams and gaps; sand off rivets; drill out gun ports; thin to scale such parts as trailing edges, flaps, doors; add rigging and antennas if they are on the instruction sheet or box art; add simple belts or decal seat belts in the cockpit of an aircraft or the interior of a vehicle.
    Note: NO manufactured hardware, eg. photo-etched or resin parts, unless they come with the original kit, is allowed.
    d) IT IS NOT PERMITTED TO: vacuform, manufacture, or replace any part, or substitute parts from another kit; to cut or separate canopies, surfaces, hatches, doors, etc. (no major surgery); combine a standard kit with a conversion kit; add anything other than specified in the instruction sheet as noted in the Construction section above.

3. FAMILY entries are for the combined work of an adult and a junior modeller. It is meant as an introduction to the hobby of scale model construction.

Victoria Scale Modellers

Island Open Contest and Show

Classes and Categories

2010 Model Show & Contest


Class A: Aircraft


Larger than 1/48 Scale

A1) Biplanes & Rigged Types

A2) Single Propeller

A3) Multi-Propeller

A4) Single Jet

A5) Multi Jet


1/48 – 1/71 Scale

A6) Biplanes & Rigged Types 

A7) Single Propeller

A8) Multi-Propeller

A9) Single Jet

A10) Multi Jet


1/72 Scale

A11) Biplanes & Rigged Types 

A12) Single Propeller

A13) Multi-Propeller

A14) Single Jet

A15) Multi Jet


Other Aircraft

A16) Out-of-Box, all scales

A17) Airliners, all scales

A18) Other Civilian, all scales

A19) Helicopters, all scales

A20) Small scale: 1/73 and Smaller

A21) Scratchbuilt

A22) Major Conversions

A23) Components

A24) Collections (5 or More)

A25) Junior Aircraft

A26) Intermediate Aircraft

Aircraft Dioramas

A27) Small Composition (single aircraft, no more than five figures) all scales


A28) Large Composition (two or more aircraft, and/or more than five figures)



Class B: Military Vehicles


1/35 and 1/32 Scale

B1) AFVs (through 1945)

Tanks, Open Top AFVs, Assault Guns and Self Propelled Guns.

B2) AFVs (post 1945)

Tanks, Open Top AFVs, Assault Guns and Self Propelled Guns.

B3) Armoured Half tracks and Armoured Cars (all eras)

B4) Soft Skinned Military Vehicles including Jeeps, Trucks, Un-armoured Halftracks, and Motorcycles (all eras)

B5) Artillery, Towed, including Missiles 1/35 and larger and all scales of Railroad Guns (all eras)



Large Scale Military Vehicles

(1/31 and Larger, all eras)

B6) Fully Tracked

B7) All other types, plus Artillery


Medium Scale Military Vehicles (1/48 Scale, all eras)

B8) Fully tracked

B9) All other types, plus Artillery


Small Scale Military Vehicles (1/49 and smaller, all eras)

B10) Fully tracked

B11) All other types, plus Artillery


Other Armour

B12) Components

B13) Collections (5 or more)

B14) Out-of-Box, all scales

B15) Junior Military Vehicles

B16) Intermediate Military Vehicles

Military Vehicles Dioramas

B17) Small Composition (single vehicle, no more than five figures) 1/48 and larger

B18) Large Composition (2 or more vehicles, and/or more than five figures) 1/48 and larger

B19) All Military Vehicles dioramas 1/49 and smaller


Class C: Figures


Military Figures:

C1) Mounted 1/31(55mm) and larger

C2) Mounted 1/32 (54mm) and smaller

C3) Foot 1/31(55mm) and larger

C4) Foot 1/32(54mm) and smaller

C5) Non-Military, all scales

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Figures:

C6) Large Scale (Garage Kits)

C7) Medium (54mm-200mm)

C8) Small (up to 53mm)

C9) Gaming Pieces

C10) Anime


Other Figures:

C11) Busts

C12) Junior Figure

C13) Intermediate Figure

C14) Collections

Figure Dioramas

C15) Vignette (5 or fewer figures)

C16) Diorama (more than five figures)






Class D: Space & Sci-Fi


D1) Real Spacecraft and Vehicles (kits & scratchbuilts)

D2) Film & TV Spacecraft and Vehicles (kits & scratchbuilts)

D3) Fiction/Fantasy Spacecraft and Vehicles (kits & scratchbuilts)

D4) Junior Space

D5) Intermediate Space

D6) Science Fiction Dioramas, All Scale 


Class E: Nautical

E1) Warships/Naval Vessels 1/500 and Smaller

E2) Warships/Naval Vessels 1/450 – 1/250

E3) Warships/Naval Vessels 1/200 – 1/96

E4) Warships/Naval Vessels 1/72 and Larger

E5) Civilian/Merchantmen, all Scales

E6) Submarines/Submersibles, all Scales

E7) Sailing Vessels, all scales (Including Period Ship Models)

E8) Ship Dioramas, All Scales

E9) Collections

E10) Intermediate Nautical

E11) Junior Nautical



Class F: Humour

F1) All Humour


Class G: Family

G1) All Family Entries (Trophy Only)


Class H: Miscellaneous: Anything that does not fit in any category

H1) Miscellaneous


Class K: Automotive


1/32 – 1/20 Scale

K1) Street Stock – very minor mods OK [engines required]
Foreign Autos & International Sports Cars curbside acceptable
K3) Street Machines & Tuners –1949 and Later [engines required]
K4) Street Rods – 1948 and Earlier [engines required]
K5) Road Rats – Rods & Customs [engines required]
K6) Customs & Lowriders – [engines required]
K7) Curbside – [non-competition vehicles, interior required]
K8) Slammer – [no interior]
K9) Competition – Open & Closed Wheel [engines required]
K10) Curb Side Competition – Open & Closed Wheel
K11) Light Commercial/Municipal
K12) Heavy Commercial/Municipal

K13) Nostalgia Drag Cars


K14) Small Scale – smaller than 1/32

K15) Large Scale – 1/18 and Larger

K16) Out-of-Box – all scales

K17) Motorcycles – all scales
K18) Automotive Dioramas – all scales
K19) Junior Automotive – all scales
K20) Intermediate Automotive – all scales

K21) Special Interest – all scales

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