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Author Topic: Andy Sephton's new proposals for UK Indoor Scale  (Read 4073 times)
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Graham Banham
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« Reply #50 on: July 22, 2014, 09:20:36 AM »

Somewhat out of context perhaps given how this thread has moved on, but from a personal perspective can we just dispel this 'expert' myth with regard to Kit Scale, and the illusory barrier that prevents the step up to Open?

I got into indoor F/F scale (for the first time ever) only 7 or so years ago: this marked my return to aeromodelling after a 25 year lay off. The only F/F models i built as a teenager were sport gliders and rubber power, with a few radio gliders.

I entered the inaugural KS and open rubber classes at the first Indoor Nats i attended in 2007. I knew i'd be at the bottom of the pile (i was Grin) as far as open rubber was concerned but so what? I had fun and no-one laughed too loudly. The models i flew were in the first half dozen scale models i had ever built that flew at all.

So in this context, i was without doubt a beginner: the introduction of KS at that time was coincidental: i would have entered open rubber anyway, as before the advent of KS there was obviously no alternative.

I am by no stretch of the imagination an expert: what i do have is now a moderate amount of experience, massively enhanced by Richard C and all the guys who taught me how to make the things fly. This resource is still available to everyone, beginner and experienced alike.

My motives for entering KS last year were driven by the unavoidable cancellation of the R/C event. Without KS, my round trip of 290 miles and overnight stay in Nottingham would have resulted in the sum total of 4 comp flights in open rubber. Even so, apologies to those who may consider that as an 'expert' i shouldn't have entered KS, much less won... Wink 

I do however agree that KS should encourage beginners, and more emphasis on the flying aspect, with less on the build standard/ painted/not painted, etc, would be a start perhaps?               
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« Reply #51 on: July 22, 2014, 10:42:41 AM »

Expert, no expert............ you win (or place?) you compete with a different model next time out - simples! Grin

I think that the focus may be better shifted to how we can make things happen on the day, rather than changing the rules?

For instance helping. Would more people help if they knew what different roles need to be filled, and what the roles consisted of?  It isn't always obvious

Take me for instance, I have perhaps a little afraid to volunteer because I'm too afraid I'd cock something up and ruin somebody's day/competition, Iam a t the best of time a bit gormless and I have the attention span of a small child, so timing things, and watching closely are not for me, but I could herd people up and get them to the start line ok......

I don't know if there are there things that prevent people from helping (which in turn makes the day more "efficient")?

Andrew   
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« Reply #52 on: July 22, 2014, 12:23:02 PM »

Having recovered from my strange 'mood' towards Andy's proposals, I have been thinking about things in a different way ... what I propose is perhaps the polar opposite to what might be expected from me.

There have been a lot of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' comments re. Kit Scale. But, in some respects it may need fixing.
From the perspective of someone that normally does well in the static aspect of the competition, I have noted the following facts:

Fact ONE:
The judges did not static judge all the models in Kit Scale this year before the flying was finished .... it was too much for them.
Fact TWO:
The static score rarely has any influence on the final standings .... the score just isn't very significant.

You might be expecting me to propose making the static element more significant .... but no.
Could we adopt an even simpler system so that the models just have to QUALIFY for the static element?
This would free up so much more time spent by officials I would think?

Just as an example 'framework' .... could we have ,say, four categories eg. Adherance to plan, sufficient build quality, sufficient scheme finish and, dare I say, sufficient 'scale quality'.
These could be scored: 1 point for more than adequate, 1/2 point for adequate and zero for a serious failing.
This would give a max of 4 points ..... if say, more than 1 point is dropped then the model does not realise any flight points.
Would this not speed things up and save folk worrying about an aspect that has proved to have very little bearing?
I also think that the 'bar' could be set that very few models would fail .... but it does still maintain a standard.
The flight scores themselves could cater for the more sophisticated models.
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« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2014, 12:51:55 PM »

That is a very interesting suggestion Russ! I rather like the idea at first glance.   Grin

Andrew
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« Reply #54 on: July 22, 2014, 01:02:01 PM »

Thanks Andrew .... if you don't mind me using your Havard as an example?
It would take seconds to judge your model as more than adequate in build, finish and scale quality to give you a 'pass' with three points.
A few more seconds looking at the plan and another half would give a 'credit' .... a full point for four marks in total would give a 'distinction'
The biggest saving of time in the most popular class?
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DavidJP
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« Reply #55 on: July 22, 2014, 01:22:03 PM »

Yes - spot on I think.  Gives it credibility as a scale event without getting overheated.  I could certainly live with it.
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« Reply #56 on: July 22, 2014, 02:00:02 PM »

It still seems like a good idea, even after walking the dog Grin

The only flaw I can think of is those static things that would would affect flying performance, ie weeding out "cheats" such as moving the peg forward, altering wood thicknesses, a built up instead of a sheet fin etc......how would such things be adequately "punished" (if at all)?

Andrew

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« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2014, 02:27:41 PM »

Serious changes would give a 'fail' in 'adherence to plan', leaving you on the verge of a no score .... would anyone risk that? (possibly make this aspect score one and a half points to make it a possible 'eliminator'?)
I must admit that I'm not that bothered about some changes, but to keep it simple maybe being a bit brutal might make everyone build to plan .... and pick more suitable subjects? (am I listening  Roll Eyes ) A clear list of 'definite NOs' would save embarrassment?
I would possibly restrict alternative power types to ones that are detailed on the plan too? .... it's been a bit of a grey area with alterations for different power being allowed, but no alterations for the power stated if rubber re. peg position.

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« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2014, 03:21:18 PM »

I think that you need to do your official "written response"!  I assume that same strategy could be applied to glider too?

Andrew
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« Reply #59 on: July 22, 2014, 04:04:46 PM »

Might wait to see if any 'head-slapping' faults come to light yet! .... only a 'first stage' idea at the moment.
Seems a way of saving time on the busiest event and possibly making it even more 'newcomer friendly'?
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« Reply #60 on: July 22, 2014, 04:24:55 PM »

For me I think the static judging is an important measure of your own skill - which in turn builds confidence to progress. So while I can see advantages to simplifying for the sake of the schedule I would like to know where I come in the static pecking order  Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2014, 04:38:19 PM »

Yeah ... like I said 'my own personal' version of kit scale for selfish reasons would have more emphasis on static .... but as the static score is already of little significance it seems a good way of cutting down on administration.

I think the maximum static score is just under 30% of the total potential points? .... but if you take into account the usual spread of static points of around 50 to around 90, then the most you are looking at gaining is about 11%? This is rapidly eclipsed by the flying scores and is only really a decider for close performing models (and then usually the static marks are close too!)

The conclusion I have reached this year is that, if I want to see how I sit with regards to static ... enter the open classes, peanut or pistachio.
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DavidJP
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« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2014, 05:13:20 PM »

It is generally better when laying down directives in any situation to be "positive" - e.g. "Thou shall not deviate from the plan in any respect". 

But that is possibly too inflexible, so the idea of marking the adherence to the plan is perhaps more in keeping with the intentions. But what about allowing say (and I crib from the outdoor kit scale) specified things such as "built up empennages in keeping with the prototypes design in substitution of solid originals".  Likewise perhaps plastic for wooden props? Maybe scale outlines too?

I must admit to becoming a little confused of the intention now behind all of this. 

If say it is to encourage "beginners" then beginner must be defined?  However if to entice newcomers to "indoor" then that covers just about everyone, and does not prevent or deter established indoor flyers from also entering.  Therefore the task is to produce a set of rules that it is thought may entice new blood (not necessarily just the inexperienced) - but at the same time not dissuade established indoor people from competing.  Otherwise numbers could be static as some join and others leave. 
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« Reply #63 on: July 22, 2014, 05:51:57 PM »

Don't complicate things anymore!  If you build up the back end, change the outlines to be more scale then that isn't the original design as kitted or at least to it's spirit.  If you want to do all of that enter the open classes.  However as it stands (iirc) the prop amongst a few other things is not judged.  The absolute only change structurally that I would allow would be the addition of a removable nose block, not allowing that concession would pretty well rule out all of the KK flying scale and Veron Truflite range as not competitive....

Here is another thought though to encourage the building of well presented models in kit scale.

As Russ has identified, reducing the load on the judges is possibly the way to go.  But how to reward those who make well presented models too?  Well why not have two elements with two separate prizes but making the flying a prerequisite for progress to a "static" element?

To explain further......,So go with Russ's proposal for the flying element ie qualification plus flying so you get your 1,2,3 plus a qualification to enter the second element (ie you would have to get in a couple of qualifying flights to enter the second element.  This second element would be awarded via a vote by your fellow competitors, ie everyone would vote for their "best model" in terms of build quality and presentation 1,2,3 and the score added up and averaged etc...it would be a bit of admin BUT nowhere near the burden of judging.... Ie we all do a bit of judging!

Just another idea!

Andrew
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« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2014, 06:13:11 PM »

I must admit that I like the static part 'done and dusted' as early as possible so I am free to wreck the model!
It might be hard to gather people together perhaps? ..... or would at least need the information to be collated. But yes, it's another thing to consider.
Another way perhaps would be to gather together only the models that have achieved a 'distinction' and then the judges (edit) put them in an order of merit ... less models to consider and still a quicker way of processing overall?

One thing I would say is that I am not picking apart the original rules ... they have made for a very successful event. I'm just looking at the problem that arose when static judging about thirty models.
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« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2014, 06:25:41 PM »

One thing I would say is that I am not picking apart the original rules ... they have made for a very successful event. I'm just looking at the problem that arose when static judging about thirty models.

I don't think that anyone would suggest that, I think that your idea has merits simply because it aims to reduce the judges burden and speed things up.

As far as the "vote" is concerned you would just do it during the day, and pop a "form" in the voting box....

Andrew
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« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2014, 06:36:33 PM »

Yes, that could work .... the only thing that would bother me with that is that it would only be the build and finish quality that could be taken into account, unless everyone studied the plan and colour scheme information?
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« Reply #67 on: July 23, 2014, 05:08:19 AM »

Thank you Andrew for explaining.  As I said  way back I have no experience of competitions. Keep it simple saves work for the judges and minimises complications on interpretation.

So the idea is that the model has to be well built, finished and faithful to the plan, with certain specified permitted changes or variations to generally to do well. Detailing is not required. Realistic flight pattern yes.

That is fine and should certainly be un daunting to most. If they want to go into detail then there are other classes as you say.

That probably makes it a level playing field (as far as one can) from the point of view of a newcomer - that is some one who has not entered beforehand the established entrant? Such expertise he/ she my have in detailing for example is no advantage. But ther will always be some one who for a variety of reasons will be more able than another. Were it not so then competitions could not happen. Anyone fearful of meeting some one better than they should not enter competitions.
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« Reply #68 on: July 23, 2014, 05:25:51 AM »

Err, I think I know what you mean.

Above anything else I think what Russ has proposed has the longest legs of anything else suggested (forgetting any other tweaks) simply because it directly addresses the resource and time issues that are perceived.....

Andrew
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« Reply #69 on: July 23, 2014, 06:50:27 AM »

I agree. Kit-scale is clearly successful at attracting newcomers as it is, so any changes should be minor. Simplifying the static element makes sense because it wouldn't make the event any less attractive to newcomers, but would ease the burden on the judges. This is important - if helpers and judges are in short supply, seeing judges having such a tough time won't help encourage new volunteers.

If there was going to be a separate award for 'peoples favourite' or 'best in kit scale' type of thing, I would suggest people vote for their favourite three models. Winner is model with most votes, obviously.

If people seek more feedback, it might encourage them to make the 'leap' to open scale. Of course, this will put more work on the open judges table...
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 07:01:54 AM by Fat Dragon » Logged

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« Reply #70 on: July 23, 2014, 10:59:57 AM »

Thank you Andrew for explaining.  As I said  way back I have no experience of competitions. Keep it simple saves work for the judges and minimises complications on interpretation.

So the idea is that the model has to be well built, finished and faithful to the plan, with certain specified permitted changes or variations to generally to do well. Detailing is not required. Realistic flight pattern yes.

That is fine and should certainly be un daunting to most. If they want to go into detail then there are other classes as you say.

That probably makes it a level playing field (as far as one can) from the point of view of a newcomer - that is some one who has not entered beforehand the established entrant? Such expertise he/ she my have in detailing for example is no advantage. But ther will always be some one who for a variety of reasons will be more able than another. Were it not so then competitions could not happen. Anyone fearful of meeting some one better than they should not enter competitions.

The last para. is garbled - sorry.  It should have read..... that is someone who has not entered beforehand. As to the established entrant such expertise......

Quite happy with a "favourite" selection method but for me at the moment I just want to take part. If I won i or placed it would be embarrassing because it would mean everyone else's model had suffered damage or destruction - the entrant had caught the plague or otherwise become indisposed and the judges suddenly afflicted with a state of lunacy.
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« Reply #71 on: August 06, 2014, 10:14:55 PM »

Just read through this thread tonight, my the waters are muddy!!!

Kit Scale static judging is where the time saving is to be gained so I like Russ's proposals, but I'm not sure what 'scale quality' is, sounds somewhat like the undefined 'character' bit in the BMFA judges notes. As any commercially produced kit (passed or present) is eligible for entry, then 'scale quality' is dictated by how accurate the kit plan is (unless I have misunderstood you Russ). I feel that building to plan is the cornerstone of Kit Scale, if it's not to plan it's not the kit, with the possible exception of changes to nose blocks and bent pins pushed into balsa u/c legs on some of the older kit plans.

Kit Scale judging is primarily about accuracy to the plan. If you want to save the judges time, drop the character bit, it's all in the accuracy, build quality and colour scheme, but I do agree with your rationalisation of the judging process Russ; should save a lot of time if KS competitor number remain high.

Quite like the idea of combining the two smaller classes, they're both duration comps if I remember correctly, so that could make sense.

As to the idea of an intermediate class (between KS and the open classes) how about an kit/open class with less emphasis on detail and DOCUMENTATION!!!! This  would open up the possibility of flying models of aircraft we never see in the Indoor Nats because of the lack of colour photos etc..
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« Reply #72 on: August 07, 2014, 01:24:15 AM »

John,
If by ´the two smaller classes´you mean the two nuts, they are already combined in flying.
I agree about the ´Character´bit. I don´t know what it means. Vague rules like this can lead to judge´s bias and are to be avoided at all costs; this could be removed.
The best way to reduce the number of judges and the judging time is to have one judge and maybe a helper to wield the models. This is what I do in outdoor comps where we are short of time and want to get flying. Judging takes about a quarter of the time and the result is the same. We have good judges here and more than one is rarely necessary, especially in ´prescriptive formula´events like KS and Peanut. Multiple judges are essential only at events where one, or two out of three judges don´t know what they are doing eg, RC World Champs.
This is what I shall suggest to Andy
Bill
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« Reply #73 on: August 07, 2014, 04:45:46 AM »

Scale quality? .... yes, harder to quantify in some ways ... but I do think most of us have more of a feeling for this than we think?
Eg. There are P30 models that vaguely look like a Spitfire ... I would describe that as inadequate scale quality for kit scale.
A KK flying scale model would be described as adequate etc.
Just a way of avoiding the introduction of kits aimed at this class that are performance models dressed up as scale.
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« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2014, 05:32:54 AM »

Is the point of 'character/scale quality' mainly to try and ensure that those models which stand out as something a bit special (eg Andrew's Harvard) get moved up the table a bit? And if so, is there a way to do this in a more precise, less subjective way perhaps (such as low winger bonuses etc.)?
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