OK, my two cents on the subject of touching my models at a show for ANY reason, be it to be judged, photographed, or moved for any other reason such as table space, etc...
TOUCH MY MODEL AND I BREAK YOUR FINGERS!!!
At most of the contests I have attended I never have had a problem, and the shows I've judged have been the same way, because they had a strict "NO TOUCH" rule. If we needed a model touched for any reason, we found the owner and had them move it, simple as that. I feel it should be like that no matter what, there are ways to find the owner and, for example, a magazine wants pictures, leave a note with the model for the owner to bring it to the photography area or find the owner and ask them to move it there.
If it comes down to displaying or seeing hidden details, then make sure they can be seen if you want them seen. I learned at an early age, a simple mirror no larger than the model (for those who like to throw a tizzy about bases) and the old square clear tubes toothbrushes came in at the time were perfect to show off the underside of a car. I even won one show in particular just because the judges could see under the car and the detail I was displaying and the other model another teenager had they could not. How do I know for sure that was why I walked off with the first place for that one?? I overheard the judge telling the other kid's mom while she was throwing a soccer mom tizzy fit why her son's great model was beat by mine, and the judge said to her "because we could see underneath his, and we could see that his driveshaft was even painted the correct color". For the record, it was a NASCAR and the driveshaft was painted the correct white.
For at least the contest at the Detroit Autorama next year we're considering banning display bases.There's some debate as to how much the display should be part of the entered model(excepting dioramas,of course).The current feeling is that the base isn't part of the model and should be ignored for judging purposes.
Picking up a truck and trailer?If they can be separated for judging,they will be separated.
Underside detail and craftmanship can be the difference between models being awarded or not if the other parts of the models are equally well done.An excellent example is a '39 Chevy sedan delivery entered in the Street Rod class in last weekend's Autorama model contest here in Detroit.This entry had a beautiful fogged blue paint job(and except for an unfortunate scratch in one front fender it would have been awarded Best Paint) but there was no extra detailing done with painting or parts to the model.It was basically box stock.It didn't even place in class judging.
So, are you saying that my tractor trailer should be separated when I want it judged as one unit just because it can be separated.