WAUKESHA, Wis. — After months of hard work from hundreds of modelers nationwide, the 2021 Walther’s National Model Railroad Build-Off has officially drawn to a close. The last day to submit a layout for consideration in the contest was May 31, with judging taking place over the past month by an anonymous panel of experienced modelers. Layouts were evaluated by the judges via photographs sent either online or in the mail.
According to Zach Thompsons, Walthers Director of Product Marketing, layouts were judged on a range of criteria based on creativity and talent, and said there was no shortage of impressive submissions from this year’s competitors.
Walthers originally started the competition with the intention to encourage modelers of all ages and skill levels to embrace their love of the hobby, and to work together with others to complete a layout they could be proud of, win or lose.
First-place winner for the HO-youth category is Josiah Jamieson, second-place winner is Oren Lindridge, and the third-place winner is John and Sam Bartz. The HO-youth category was open to individuals or teams 14-years-old or younger, with a module size requirement of 2-by-2 feet.
HO-adult individual winners
First-place winner for the HO-adult individual category is Chris DeAngelis, second-place winner is James Brassill, and the third place winner is Alex Hoffner. The HO-adult individual category was open to individuals 15-years-old or older, with a module size requirement of 4-by-2 feet.
HO-adult team winners
First place winner for the HO-adult team category is Patrick Iwanski and EJ Porth, second place winner is Brian and Jake Scharfstein, and the third place winner is Christopher Freire and Cody ickman. The HO-adult team category was open to individuals 15-years-old or older, with a module size requirement of six-by-two feet.
Open class winners
First place winner for the open class category is Matthew Richards, second place winner is Craig MacEwan, and the third place winner is Michael DeSensi. The open class category was open to all ages, individuals, and teams, and could be completed in either N, HO, or O scale.
Depending on the category and what place each individual or team contestant placed, winners will receive up to $3,000 in cash prizes or over a hundred dollars’ worth of Walthers product bundles.
However, it’s not just the Walthers judges that get to cast their votes. This year, Walthers is hosting the #NMBRO People’s Choice Award, which lets the community choose their own favorite layouts. The top five entries from each category will be displayed on Walthers’ Instagram and Facebook pages, and every “like” a post receives counts as one vote. Voting closes July 23, and the post with the most votes will be crowned winner of the #NMBRO People’s Choice Award.
Are you a modeler interested in competing but missed this year’s deadline? Don’t despair; Walthers is already working to put together the competition again for next year. In the meantime, practice makes perfect, so take some time to fine-tune your skills now to show the nation what you’ve got in 2022.