WINNERS of the 2022 APMM Online
Student Model Makers Competition

SUBMITTED BY Will Strange

The APMM is committed to helping young people, and those new to our industry, to learn more about professional model making, to make connections, and find work. One of the ways that we do this is to organize a regular Student Model Making Competition.

The competition is named for Art Hedlund, the influential teacher of model making who taught many of today’s recognized professionals. An instructor at Bemidji University, Art established the program there and made it a priority to help students to develop skills that were valued by industry and needed in the workplace.

Long-time members will remember the traditional display of student models that were brought along to conferences to be displayed and judged at the events. In recent years, with ‘real world’ conferences paused for safety, we developed a way for the competition to continue as an online event.

Social media has become a powerful medium for communication and promotion. Though many of us struggle with the feeling that we can’t keep up with today’s technology, it is clear that LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have become a great way to find new talent or to promote oneself and get a ‘foot in the door’ of professional model making. Promoting oneself online can be difficult though, and often highlights the different priorities and approaches of the generation that is looking to join our industry and the generation that has the responsibility to recruit them…

Instagram is an established and very visual platform that offers a chance to celebrate great images of students' work, and give a concise description to explain the work. It is easy to register ‘likes’, and to add comments to the posts. You can see our posts that promoted the competition at our Instagram account (https://www.instagram.com/modelmakersorg/), and all of the entries and posts related to the competition can be found by searching for #APMMawards (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/apmmawards/).

Judges considered the entries with 4 criteria in mind. Presentation was considered by looking at how well photographed the models were, how clear the written description was, and how the ‘story of the model was made clear. Craftsmanship was judged by looking closely at quality of finish, the range of skills demonstrated and the balance of traditional and CAD/CAM techniques used. Commercial relevance was important too. Judges considered whether the models were made with skills and techniques valuable in industry and whether the entries were examples of the kind of work professionals are engaged in. Finally, credit was given to any ‘Wow’ factor and the first impression that the post made.

We received 85 entries this year and judges had a difficult time shortlisting the best of those. As usual we awarded 3 ‘top prizes’ and made 7 ‘honorable mentions', details below and also at #APMMawards on Instagram.

Issy Gilding, of Arts University Bournemouth (https://aub.ac.uk/course/modelmaking), scooped both 1st and second prize this year. This is the first time that a student has won both of the top 2 prizes.

     

Issy won 1st place, and was awarded a prize of $300, for her ‘Stanley Halls Project’ model. This model was made for ‘The Heritage of London Trust’ as part of their project to restore the real halls to their former glory. APMM president Michael Scribner commented ‘… the weight and scale of [the model] just feels right. This model is truly a work of art…’. 

 

Second place, with a prize of $200, was awarded for Issy’s ‘1:12 scale stop motion ‘Ice Cream Van’ model. This model impressed the judges with its great attention to detail and the narrative that was built into the design. The van’s design was inspired by stories of rival drug gangs in 1970’s New York using ice cream vans as a façade for their shady dealings. 

Third place was awarded to Gemma Sutcliffe, again of Arts University Bournemouth, for her models of a Fender Stratocaster guitar and Marshall amplifier. Judges praised the quality of the making and the accuracy in reproducing the well-known design, adding ‘A showstopper, we loved the sunburst finish!’.

Both Issy and Gemma also won awards at the 2022 New Blades event in London, UK (https://modelshop.co.uk/Static/New-Blades). This model making industry even, sponsored by 4d Modelshop (https://modelshop.co.uk/), brings together most of the UK’s model making graduates each year. Issy was voted ‘Best in Show’ by visitors, and also awarded the ATOM modelmakers (https://atomltd.com/) ‘Best Quality of Finish’ award. Gemma was awarded Asylum Models’ (https://asylumsfx.com/) ‘Best Model Making’ award.

Seven further entries were noted and awarded honorable mentions. These included wonderful sculptures of gorillas, some realistic ice cream sundaes, a giant grasshopper and an old fashioned Coca-Cola machine recreated at 1:5 scale. 

Check #APMMawards on Instagram for more images!

As in previous years’ competitions, we were blown away by the quality of many of the entries. It is often said that schools and colleges are not focusing enough on making skills today. Perhaps making is less common, but those programs that make it a priority are doing very well to provide the skills that professional model makers need.

It can be difficult to break into our industry, even if you know something about it. It can be very hard to find new talent to recruit in these times when there is less and less ‘making’ content in school and college curricula. Please help us to help those who entered the competition by commenting on the work that they have entered. A simple ‘Great work, thanks for sharing’ comment from you will be a big encouragement, and you’ll be helping to develop the talent that our industry will be relying on soon and in the years to come.                      

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