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Author Topic: Scale Rules Review  (Read 1308 times)
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FreeFlightModeller
Russ Lister
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« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2019, 07:00:14 PM »

Yes, a quick email saying “Please leave it alone” doesn’t take long at all.

In recent years though, there has been one new thing that’s given a huge boost to the long term prospects of scale flying competition in this country and is inspiring many more people to be take part...

it’s called the Vintage Model Company!  Grin
I agree that there is no essential need to change anything.
I had a look at the ratio of numbers between open/duration/kit Scale this year ... each looks healthy enough.
I agree too re. VMC, but was surprised to notice that only 3 or 4 models in kit scale were VMC. Good in a way to see such a diverse entry though.
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TheLurker
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« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2019, 12:33:17 AM »

Had a reply.  Apparently leaving the rules and classes as they are isn’t a valid opinion or option to be considered, apparently there must be changes to them...

Andrew
That's just ... silly.
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« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2019, 02:18:56 AM »

I will expand, as I think I ought.

The reasons given was that the entrants are falling (?) and the event is loosing money.  Only 2 or 3 years ago we were basking in record numbers and struggling to fit it in one day, so what happened in such a short time to make it loss making and the entrant to small?  Obviously we can look at the numbers of entrants but we are not privy to the accounts (at least I don’t know where to find them)

So the answer to this is changes as proposed to bring in new blood, and the proposed changes are a means to do that, or there will be no Nats, (edit) due to the age of the current participants.

Bloody hell I said i wouldn’t get involved .... and here I am.  I am a (crass) idiot!

Andrew
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 02:35:02 AM by Andrew Darby » Logged
danmellor
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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2019, 02:58:53 AM »

In an event which at best may get 50 entrants, it doesn't take a lot for "personal circumstances" to knock out 20% of fliers in one year. I doubt the fluctuating entry numbers is all about the rules...

Dan.
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« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2019, 03:00:17 AM »

Andrew,
I have enough troubles in the real world .... aeromodelling is my escape from this. Currently I am able to do about one tenth of the aeromodelling that I would like to do.
You constantly take issue with my posts ... you have had two digs since my last "defence". What can I do to make this stop?
I do not remember a time when I have initiated these "exchanges".

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Russ Lister
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« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2019, 03:14:22 AM »

In an event which at best may get 50 entrants, it doesn't take a lot for "personal circumstances" to knock out 20% of fliers in one year. I doubt the fluctuating entry numbers is all about the rules...

Dan.
I agree Dan .... there will always be a natural fluctuation in the numbers. However, you are an example of where a slight tweak of the rules would have enabled you to not have to miss entering, as you know.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2019, 07:46:04 AM »

I also got a nice prompt reply from Andy S. He doesn’t say anything to me about change being inevitable, but does say:

“First off, I have to say that the views in the column are mine alone and they don’t reflect those of the Scale Technical Committee … yet! Any changes would have to be proposed, argued, debated and agreed by the STC.”

I’m not too worried about his combined classes proposal as I’m sure that the opinions of those of us who already compete in those classes will count for a lot with the STC. Bringing in new blood’s all very well, but keeping the older, slightly knackered* blood is essential too isn’t it?


(*Only speaking for myself here. I know you guys are all still in your physical prime!)
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FreeFlightModeller
Russ Lister
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« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2019, 07:58:27 AM »

Pete,
Yes, I would hope that the opinions of those taking part in the open classes already, are taken into account!
I'm hoping that the new blood will also consist of knackered old blood like myself .... I've taken over a decade of procrastination already ... hopefully not to see any class disappear as I step up to the plate! (When I say step, it will probably be shuffle by then)
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DavidJP
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« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2019, 08:02:52 AM »

Yes ...... forgive me but as a spectator I may have missed something. Is is reasonably clear that the drop in entries is due to a reasonable degree to the present "rule"?  Or is it something else.
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« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2019, 08:13:36 AM »

David,
The current rules and events did give a record entry, so I do not think the rules themselves have a great bearing on numbers.
I think the open classes are great for getting spectators in the hall. I think it has to be a showcase in this respect ... especially as we do not have the fun fly hall like we did at Nottingham.
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« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2019, 08:48:31 AM »

Pete,

If that is true ie the whole thing is up for debate - So I represented my view that changing the rules and classes shouldn't happen as Bill correctly said I should.

I think the crux might be that Andy sees it as broken, so I have said in my feedback in the form of simply it "if aint broke then don't fix it..."

I dunno, off on hols, hopefully this will have all blown over by then...

On Russ's point perhaps the lack of the fun Fly hall has been detrimental to the Spectator numbers - It does make sense...

Russ I have sent you a PM

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billdennis747
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« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2019, 08:57:02 AM »

I think as a starting point we need to accept that fiddling about with rules will have no significant effect on participation. There is no cohort of modellers sitting at home, waiting for a 'new rule' to encourage them out of their chairs. All that will happen at best is that people may transfer from one class to another, and the overall numbers remain the same. Combining Open classes will instantly lose about five entries, and cause resentment.
I am not entirely clear about the reasons for all this. At first I thought it was to improve things by having (yet) another class. Now it seems to be a need to increase income. Perhaps it is time to use the £3000 Interscale fund held by the committee, the interest from which is taken to support RC team travel. It was kept as 'start up' money for future Interscales but that is not going to happen, so it should be used for indoor.
Numbers fluctuate for all sorts of reasons- I remember a total entry of 5 at the outdoor Nats in the 80s. The logical thing would have been to abandon it. Now we hope for about 25. No disciplines I believe are increasing, and scale is doing better than most. I also fly duration, and numbers are dwindling rapidly. It's age.

I've just seen Andrew's point about the second hall, and it makes sense
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« Reply #37 on: July 12, 2019, 09:05:32 AM »

Bill to be fair it was Russ's point, I simply agreed...

But I guess to fix it is easier said than done, the Nottingham site was pretty unique don't you think?

Andrew
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Newbie_John
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« Reply #38 on: July 12, 2019, 09:39:03 AM »

I've been a bit nervous about contributing to this discussion (read my username!) for fear of evoking "We tried that 20 years ago and it didn't work response" , but here goes Grin

For me there's always a problem balancing performance with participation - you don't want to either disillusion newcomers or lose excellence.

I have a couple of separate ideas for discussion:

First thought - Why not "Grade" participants on their entry form into (say) M for Master Builder, C for Concours builder, N for Newcomer builder.   
 The qualifications would be:
M - has won the class in the past
C - has come 2nd or 3rd in the class in the past
N - everyone else.
This could be applied to every class of aircraft, and involves no extra flying or judging time, just separation at the results stage so that each entrant is only actually competing against the others in their grade. At the end of the contest, the top C grade will automatically become an M grade, and the top two N grade will move up to C grade

This probably needs refining, but looks to me like it could encourage competition throughout the field in each class. (More trophies to present, too!)
If the results of the last 5 Nats were used as basis, that could give for 2020
Open Rubber - 3 participants in M grade, 2 participants in C grade, the balance (averages at 6) in N grade.
Kit Scale - 3 participants in M grade, 7 participants in C grade, the balance ( avg 10+) in N grade.
(NB - a competitor could be in different grades for different classes (or not Wink)

Second thought, to encourage beginners ( me!) to participate.
Kit scale is an obvious entry to the scale world indoors, but is still open to the expertise of experienced modellers. Why not have a sub-class for "As per box" aircraft? Again, no additional flying or judging time, but allowing modellers with less experience to be judged against each other rather than the whole field.
"As per box" would mean just that - box wood, tissue, propeller, wheels, decals etc. No building from plans using competition wood, no converting to electric etc, no "weathering" or adding detail. If it ain't in the box, you can't use it!
(I know that will encourage folk to look out for optimal kits - great!)
The first two in "APB" have to go in the main class next year, regardless of their model - this is about getting modellers in and improving their standards.

Well, if you're still awake, what do you think?

regards,  John

 
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2019, 09:50:14 AM »

Andrew,
Please speak to me only on the open forum .... unless you have happy words. Edit: no insult intended for my part, things are easier in the open.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 10:24:42 AM by FreeFlightModeller » Logged
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2019, 10:43:41 AM »

Keep the ideas coming John .... I must admit that I had a similar thought with Kit Scale so that winners/experts were not excluded, thus extending the shelf life of a good competition kit scale model .... but I share your fears of upsetting someone or re-inventing the wheel!
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« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2019, 11:09:57 AM »

Look Guys - there are a number of issues, real or imagined going on here.

I guess I can write freely, as I am among friends, even though I am still on the STC, we all want a good outcome at the end of the day.

1. The number of entries has gone up and down over the years - down in the last two years since the record of 50+ in 2017, 40+ in 2018 and 32 this year.
2. It is harder to get judges and there are few volunteers to learn how to do this, Paul Rich and Paul Hoey being two notable exceptions, who offered to learn and also help judge in the last couple of years.
3. Financially Walsall is not cheap, c.£1400 for the day and another chunk to get 3 hours on the Saturday to set up and for people to get some trimming time in.
4. The RC indoor scale has been held at Shawbury purely because it is cheap, £360 for the whole day.
5. issues in order of priority a. Finances, b. Judges (and the time they have to spend), c. Entries.

Now the income has to cover the costs, after the RC indoor nats a discussion with the pilots suggested they would be happy to pay double the entry fee as long as it was held at a better venue (Shawbury being deemed to have too many steel beams, obstacles and poor lighting to see the models).
So provisionally a two day event is booked for Walsall next April.  However a doubling of the RC entry fee still leaves the income deficit at about £1000.  Unless there are about 30 entrants.  Maybe some of you will also have a go at the RC side and do the FF on Sunday - I don't know.  Utilising the Interscale budget is also being looked at as a backstop although I would like to see it preserved and for the UK to run another event (not everyone goes to Nijmegen).

What Andy Sephton has written (solely his opinion at this stage) is to try and combine/simplify and even move Peanut and Pistachio to the duration nats is to ease the considerable burden of judging.  Not because the class needs it, but to reduce the number of judges (Bill has gone straight to the crux of the problem in suggesting one judge per class).  I personally think two are still needed, as newbys can be teamed with experience and also two discussing can ameliorate any prejudices one judge may have over a certain kind of aircraft.  It happens - so don't ask!  Especially at the World Championships if anyone read the article in RCM+E last August.

The last time Andy proposed such radical changes, on the whole, those who already enterd the open classes said leave them as the are and those who had not entered open wanted simpler rules to make it easier for them.  My own view is (echoed by Mike Stuart, Graham Banham, Richard Crossley who are all past open and Kit Scale winners) is the rules work so leave them alone.  What we need is just a tweak for ease of judging and something else doing to encourage entry.

From my the last 4 years experience of doing the organising I am firmly of the belief that considerably more promotion will generate spectators and a few more entries.  Possible sponsorship will provide the financial back up to cover the costs.  Word of mouth ie. when I pick up the phone to personally speak to Richard Granger, Bill Dennis or Paul Briggs etc. to ask if they will judge / run the air race - is one aspect.  But we can all do that to encourage our other local club mates to get involved either building and entering or just spectating - instead of leaving it to Mike and Doug to do it all.

Example: we had a couple of new people at the indoor RC nats this year.  Douglas Cowan came down from Scotland two years ago to see what it was all about, I kept in touch via email and he entered this year.
Another new guy Brian Seymour entered this year, won the F/O class and went away on cloud 9.  We exchanged numerous emails and I suggested his flying was good enough to do the outdoor RC events - he has done two now and is trying to qualify for the Nationals in a month's time and reckons he will have 2 or more club mates entering the indoor RC nats next year. 
Promotion promotion promotion gents.
Paul Tallet, the BMFA PRO, did an excellent job this year for both indoor nats and if that can be built on we can get more spectators and more traders as well as maybe attach a swap meet to the event which will bring in more paying people.

Of course these are just my thoughts and the STC will discuss everything sent to them, FF and Indoor are well represented with Andy, Mike, Doug and myself.
But we are a very niche interest, so many hands make light work etc.
So even if you all only speak to one other likely interested person, then it will benefit all of us in our niche hobby. 
And it doesn't have to be indoor - more entries at the outdoor FF events would also benefit us all.  Last couple of years there were as many really good FF scale modellers spectating in the crowd as were competing.  What does it take to get them to enter?  Answers in an email to the STC please!

John M


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Russ Lister
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« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2019, 11:14:49 AM »

Thanks for the clarification, John.
I think this thread is being used to bounce a few ideas about ... whilst these ideas may not be entirely "on point", some good might come out of the discussion.
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billdennis747
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« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2019, 11:36:24 AM »

Thanks John, that clarifies the problems and challenges we face and makes it easier to think about what is needed.
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« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2019, 11:53:11 AM »

I will aim at entering either peanut or pistachio next year .... this will leave me available to time the open and kit scale flights again if needed. I enjoyed seeing every flight in kit scale and open this year, but I will understand if someone else wants to do it!
Other duties considered, but I would like to be in the hall!
Hopefully the Gods of Football will allow Jayne to help too!
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« Reply #45 on: July 13, 2019, 05:57:53 AM »

Re: Increasing entrant numbers.
I am only an occasional competition entrant.
A potential entrant should not have to worry about keeping their "card stamped". This is our hobby, our bit of fun.
If we can increase the flow of occasional entrants then there will be some benefit. I "crash n burn" more often than not and shuffle off with "the hump" .... but I enjoy it.
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DavidJP
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« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2019, 08:20:09 AM »

It is in a way all very odd. But looking around most disciplines now are finding entrants are reducing - I am told but I notice that area events do not seem so well attended as they were.  It is useful to read Johns account of things because now we know the enemy.

I have been playing with toy planes for very many years and did not enter competitions because I did not (I considered) have time but in truth I don’t think that was right. Now I am retired I do - or could make the time but I still do not enter competitions.  Why?  I honestly do not know.  The Scale Rules are no deterrent.  There is absolutely nothing there that causes me any concern let alone an attitude of “Can’t abide by that...”

So maybe there are a lot of folk like me?  What would entice me to enter? Again - I don’t know!

I admire those who organise these events - the time they give!  So feel slightly guilty!  But only I can do something about it.  I can if minded build a reasonable model and get it to fly.  So what I need is motivation.  There is no deterrent, every one is helpful and friendly and the atmosphere is good.  I really do need to have a serious chat with myself.

Anybody any other advice or ideas?
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« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2019, 09:01:09 AM »

"What would entice me to enter?"

Free tea and biscuits? Roll Eyes

(Flippancy included  Smiley )
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« Reply #48 on: July 13, 2019, 09:08:51 AM »

The sponsorship by VMC worked well at the Peterborough Flying Aces .... the field was full of Elves!

Something like a "kit of choice" award for the best placed 1st time entrant might work to some degree?
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« Reply #49 on: July 13, 2019, 11:16:08 AM »

Maybe beginners could be given a 10% bonus on their static and flight scores until they learn do's and don'ts and the conventions associated with scale competition.

Steve
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