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Clinics, Clinics & MORE Clinics!

6 Rooms with clinics from the start of the day until evening.

Scores of experts will be presenting clinics on prototype, modeling and even hands-on seminars all in rooms within easy walking distance from the vendor and modular layouts.

Clinic Schedule

As of today. As always subject to change. Be sure and down load the Whova app for the convention to get the latest and most up-to-date clinic info

Clinic Schedule for Printing 2023-08-27.jpg

Updated 6-5-2023

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Interested in Presenting a Clinic?

Thanks for your willingness to share your knowledge. Click on the link below, fill out the easy form, and one of our clinic chairs will be in touch.

Model & Photo Contest

We have a large and well-lit room for our contest, and we look forward to seeing everyone's entries. See 2023 contest rules below.

43rd Annual National Narrow Gauge Convention
Denver, Colorado 2023

Model and photo contest registration, viewing and voting will be the Telluride Meeting Room.

Wednesday, August 30
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm                  Contest entry open.
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm                  Contest room open for entry, viewing, voting.

Thursday, August 31
8:30 am – 12:00 noon             Contest room open for entry, viewing, voting.
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm                  Contest room open for viewing and voting.

Friday, September 1
8:30 am – 12:00 noon             Contest room open for entry, viewing, voting. VOTING CLOSES AT NOON
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm                  Contest room open for entry and viewing.

Saturday, September 2
8:30 am – 12:00 noon             Contest entry pickup.

Photos of Contest Entries

Photos of contest entries may be taken whenever the contest room is open for viewing and voting.  No tripods or table-based mounts will be permitted.  Monopods are allowed.

Contest Room Security

Entrants must remove all packing containers from the contest area immediately after placing an entry.  Packages and bags are not allowed in the contest room during viewing hours.  Viewers arriving with bags/packages will be asked to store them in a holding area adjacent to the entrance of the contest area. Touching any entry is strictly  prohibited.  The contest room will be staffed continuously during viewing/voting hours and locked down at all other times.

Contest Rules and Procedures


Contest winners for the general contests will be selected by popular vote of convention registrants.  Only ballots supplied with registration packets (one per registrant) will be allowed for voting.  Replacement ballots will not be supplied.  Ballot boxes will be kept under supervision in the Contest Room and all ballots must be submitted by 9:30 pm Friday evening to count. Judging for the special awards will be conducted in a manner designated by the award donor.  Awards will be presented for First, Second and Third, unless otherwise stated in the category descriptions.

General Contest Rules

Rules and guidelines governing specific general contests will be detailed with each listing of contest categories.  General rules are:

  1. All models shall be built entirely by the entrant or photographed by the entrant without help from any other person.  Entries should relate to narrow gauge subjects or related items.  Only registered convention attendees, vendors or volunteers may submit entries; no “proxy” entries will be allowed.

  2. A limit of one model or photograph may be entered for each category in the contest.

  3. A model or photograph that has won first place in a previous national convention cannot be entered in the same category unless it has been significantly changed or altered.

  4. Photo size may range from 5″ x 7″ to 12″ on the longest side.  (This will be strictly enforced).  Photos with mounts may range in size from 5″ x 7″ to 12″ x 16″.  (This will be strictly enforced).  No frames or glass cover will be permitted, but photos may be matted.  Un-matted photos must be mounted on cardstock or foamcore board or similar.  Digitally and computer enhanced photos (such as adding smoke or backgrounds) are permitted but shall be so identified.

Contest Entry and Information/Description Forms

Each entrant must complete a Contest Entry form for each item entered. In addition, each entrant is encouraged to complete an Information/Description Form to be displayed with each entry prior to arrival at the convention in order to expedite the receipt of the entries.  Forms may be downloaded from  and the 2023 NNGC Committee highly recommends filling these out in advance to expedite the entry process.  No magazine articles or pictures are allowed as entries.

Contest entrants will be responsible for placing their models/photos on the appropriate tables.  Entrants should be aware that Convention Committee members and volunteers may need to rearrange entries as needed for spacing purposes and for photographing contest winners. Should a question arise as to the category a model should be entered in arise, the Contest Chairman  or their designee will make a determination and that determination will be Final.

Display Table

There will be a special table(s) set up for display-only items for those who desire to display a model/photo in a non-voting environment.  These items will not be included in the popular vote contest and no plaque will be awarded.  Display-only items will be allowed only as space allows.  We highly recommend contact with the Contest Chair prior to bringing a large display, as space will be allocated in a first-come, first serve basis.  We have already received a number of display requests and space availability is limited.




Contest Registration and Pickup

All entries need to be retrieved by noon on Saturday.  The 2023 NNGC Committee will not be liable for any entries remaining in the contest room after this time unless prior arrangements are made (these are discouraged and will be allowed only in the rarest of cases). 

Contest entrants will be asked to sign in before placing any items in the contest room and sign out at pickup.  We thank each and every entrant in advance for their cooperation in this endeavor.

Model and Photo Contest Categories and Awards

Best of Show

Registrants may vote for their favorite item entered in the contest.  Please note that some entries such as modules may be located outside of the contest area (see modular category below).  Only first place is awarded in Best of Show.

Youth Award

Any model built and entered by someone age 18 or younger.  Entries eligible for this award category will be identified by a check-box on the Contest Entry Description Form or the Contest Photo Description Form.  Only first place is awarded in Youth Award, one award for Models and one award for Photos.



  • Photos – Color Prototype

  • Photos – B&W Prototype

  • Photos – Color Model

  • Photos – B&W Model


Structures may be stand-alone or mounted on a limited base.  A limited base extending from the structure is acceptable (but not required) to contain items related to the structure, such as debris, tools, racks, etc.  The maximum limits of this base shall be measured from the footprint of the structure are listed below.  Entries that exceed these distances will be classified by the contest staff as dioramas.

  • N-scale:  maximum 1”

  • HO-scale:  maximum 1”

  • S-scale:  maximum 1”

  • O-scale:  maximum 2”

  • Large scale:  maximum 2”


  • Structures – On-line

  • Structures – Off-line


Dioramas may be stand-alone or mounted on a base, no restriction on size.  Limits shall be measured from the footprint of the structure as follows:

  • N-scale:  minimum 1”

  • HO-scale:  minimum 1”

  • S-scale:  minimum 1.5”

  • O-scale:  minimum 2”

  • Large scale:  minimum 3”


  • On-line Diorama

  • Off-line Diorama


A module is different from a diorama in that it is designed to be part of an operating layout.  Individual modules may be displayed in the contest room or they may be a part of the displays and operating layouts in the exhibit section of the convention center.  Modules in the exhibit section that wish to be entered in this contest category will have a Contest Entry Form with a contest entry number affixed to the front of the module.  A list of modules entered in this category and their locations will be in the contest room.  If the module is part of a larger modular layout, vote only for the individual module.

Modular Layout

Modular layouts are entered as a complete layout, including all modules.  An individual module of a modular layout entered in the contest may also be entered as an individual module.  Vote for the complete modular layout.

Chopped – Mining theme

For this year’s convention we have a special category and connecting it with Colorado, this is any model, display, structure or diorama that is based on any mining industry.   All scales are acceptable as long as it’s on a rectangular base of no more than 144 square inches.    No height limit, but the must be a rectangle between 12″ x 12″ to 9” x 16” (strictly enforced).

Like the TV Show Chopped, your challenge is to build this diorama, so it contains at least 1 of each of the following items:

  • water,

  • something blue,

  • a door,

  • a pick ax,

  • a shovel,

  • a locomotive or freight car wheel(s)

  • a piece of rail.

Motive Power

  • Rod Locomotive

  • Geared Locomotive

  • Internal Combustion Motive Power


Rolling Stock

  • Caboose

  • Revenue Freight Car

  • Passenger Car

  • Logging Car

  • Special Equipment

  • Maintenance-of-Way


Automation is a relatively new category.  Any type of model can be submitted in this category though most will be dioramas or similar displays.  Models entered in this category MAY be simultaneously entered in other categories.

Automation may be powered by DC or DCC circuits.  For safety’s sake, no automation powered directly by 110V AC will be accepted.  Power strips will be supplied for the entrants’ power supplies.

Automation should have a means of activating the automation that will allow contest voters to activate the automation.  Automation with sound should be activated on a momentary or time-limited basis (such as 20-30 seconds), not continuous.

Special Awards

Various special awards have been a part of the National Narrow Gauge conventions in the past and we expect this tradition will continue for this convention.  We are working to confirm these and will announce them once they are confirmed.


Updated 17 Jan 2023

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