Thirteenth Custom Clinic Photo Contest!

By Mark S. Gustavson

Restyle a model, build a Custom, and Win!

General Notes: If you’ve always had the idea that you could better design a car, here’s your chance to show off your talents in scale! The revived Custom Clinic Contest is presented here so you can show off your best, most thoughtful miniature automotive designs. Chop, channel, section, mold – present your thoughtfully redesigned model car or truck kit of your choice! Don’t enter an essentially factory stock vehicle or truck with trendy graphics or just big wheels, and don’t enter a replica of a famous custom or a factory concept car. You must present a fresh, unique scale custom of your own design. Keep in mind that the model must be finished and painted, and don’t forget that photography can make or break an entry!

You can enter in one of two Classes: Adult (18 and older)or Junior (17 years old and younger). I’ll need a MINIMUM of six (6) high definition digital images (or glossy print photos if you participate by mail). Note that high resolution digital images are strongly preferred. You must also submit typewritten/computer printed, or e­mailed, brief description of why you designed your model as you did, and how you carried out the construction of your entry(ies).

This Thirteenth Custom Clinic Photo Contest is open to modelers anywhere in the world; Adult and Junior­Class women builders are heartily encouraged to enter!

This Photo Contest was first announced in the July 2014 issue of Model Cars Magazine. I express my deepest appreciation to Editor­in­Chief Gregg Hutchings, Managing Editor Darryl Gassaway for their enthusiast support and embrace of this revived contest, and to Art Director Harry Pristovnik for his excellent layout of the article in the July issue. These guys are great to work with.

As I’ve done previously in Custom Clinic Photo Contests, in the feature on the winners that will appear in the September 2015 issue of Model Cars Magazine, the styling of each entry will be critiqued and evaluated, its strengths and weaknesses candidly discussed, but never unkindly. Winners will be selected and awards will be presented: First through Tenth Place (Adult) and First through Fifth Place (Junior) will be presented along with the prestigious Valley Custom Styling Analysis Award.

Be sure to carefully read the Contest Rules below!

Contest Rules

1) The aim of the revived Custom Clinic Photo Contest is to encourage the construction of original scale custom vehicles that display moderate­-to­-significant body modifications. Mere custom painting or adding large wheel/tire set ups does not qualify a model for this contest, nor does building a replica of a factory concept car or a famous historical or contemporary custom. The model must be finished – no “rat custom” entries will be accepted. No attention will be paid to engine or chassis detail, though the model must have an interior and clear glass to show the interior. Entries will be judged on the basis of the elegance of the scale customizing exhibited on their entry; the feature article on the winners in Model Cars Magazine will present both praise and critiques of the designs.

2) Send no fewer than six (6) gloss ­finish color prints or high resolution digital images of your entry (no Polaroids, no matte ­print images, and no low ­resolution electronic or print images will be accepted) plus the required keyboarded (keyboarded/printed if you entry by mail – no handwritten text) that describes why you styled your model the way you did, and how you built it. If you intend to be eligible for the Valley Custom Styling Analysis Award, submit text analyzing your entry and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your design. Required photos must include low­ angle photos of the left three quarter front and right rear three­quarter, an overhead view, photos of the principal body work of your entry, and anything you’d like to photograph. Entries must be photographed against a neutral/plain light-colored background and must not be photographed in a diorama setting. All photos must meet minimum “printability” requirements (high resolution, good depth of field, contrast, focus clarity); poor photographs will disqualify an entry.

3) Anyone may enter the Custom Clinic Photo Contest, except the editors of Model Car Magazine and its publisher. Winners agree to solely absorb any duty or tax imposed on their winnings; contest sponsors are not responsible for these levies.

4) Entries will be judged in two age categories ­ “Junior” for entrants up to and including 17 years of age, and “Adult,” for those 18 years of age and older. If age does not appear on entry blank, contestant will automatically be entered in the Adult category. Winners in the Junior category agree by entering the contest to give proof of age, if requested (no phantom “Adult” entries!). ALL entrants must provide their email addys or phone numbers in case of a problem or question.

5). You may submit up to two entries, total (not per category). Models entered in prior Custom Clinic photo contests in Scale Auto or Car Modeler magazines (whether or not these models were winners) are not eligible. Commercial truck, motorcycles, boats powered by car engines, or military vehicles are also not eligible.

6). Upon entering PhotoCon.13, you agree to let Model Cars Magazine, and the Custom Clinic Web site, publish and otherwise use your descriptions and photos for all editorial, advertising, and public relations purposes and in all formats, print and electronic, without compensation, including coverage in my Custom Clinic site. All entries (photos and text) will ultimately become the property of the International Model Car Builders’ Museum.

7). This Contest is void in states and countries where prohibited.

8). You can enter one of two ways: Mail your high resolution, glossy prints (no borders, no matte ­finished pictures), descriptive text and fully filled­ out/signed Entry Form to: Mark S. Gustavson, Revived Photo Contest, c/o International Model Car Builders’ Museum, 10291 South 1300 East, PMB #131, Sandy, Utah 84094. OR: Upload your entry using the form on this website. Your text and photos will be automatically e­mailed to me. Go here to the submission form for electronic entries. Entries must be date ­coded or postmarked not later than May 1, 2015.

9). The feature article on the winners of the Thirteenth Custom Clinic Photo Contest will be printed in the September 2015 issue of Model Cars Magazine!


1st Place­ Adult: One prize awarded ­ a hard copy of How To Build Championship Scale Vehicles, Construction Considerations of Building Championship­-Caliber Models that Bob Wick and I wrote, a tin of Evercoat polyester putty with hardener, a 1st prize award certificate. Model will be featured here on this site ( ).

2nd Place­ Adult: One prize awarded ­­ a hard copy of How To Build Championship Scale Vehicles, Construction Considerations of Building Championship­-Caliber Models, and a “Place” certificate. Model will be featured here on this site. (

3rd-­10th Place ­ Adult: a CD containing the book How To Build Championship Scale Vehicles, Construction Considerations of Building Championship­Caliber Models, “Place” certificates. Models will be featured on this site.

First Five Junior Entrants Are Winners! 1st Place ­ Junior: a hard copy of How To Build Championship Scale Vehicles, Construction Considerations of Building Championship­Caliber Models by me and Bob Wick, and a tin of Evercoat polyester putty with hardener, a 1st place award certificate. Second through 5th place Junior winners: a copy of my Custom Car Research Bibliography and a special certificate. All winning models will be featured on this site:

Valley Custom Styling Analysis Award will be presented to the best written critique of his or her entry, as prepared by the entrant. The prize for this award is a hard copy of my Custom Car Research Bibliography and a special certificate.

Honorable Mention certificates will be presented to all entrants who don’t place in the Classes.

Go to the submission form for the Thirteenth Custom Clinic Photo Contest!