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Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

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Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

Old 04-30-2011, 04:38 PM
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abufletcher
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Default Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I think there is some intelligent discussion to be had on this topic. But let's put it here rather in RC Ken's Top Gun thread. First of all, in terms of just flyin' around at the club field, ARFs are here to stay. And really, who cares what anyone wants to fly on a weekend? You all know me as a "purist" on most scale modeling topics. But, honestly, I'm thrilled when any of my club mates show up with any kind of SCALE model. So why don't we focus our debate the idea of entering ARFs in scale competition.
Old 04-30-2011, 04:41 PM
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800mZero
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

if people want to use arfsw as a blank canvas to dumo their scale hearts intoi see no issue with it. Some of the arf bashes I have seen are udderly amazing!
Old 04-30-2011, 04:51 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I recall that there was another thread on just bashing ARF's on RCU, but I cannot find it any more. Does anyone still have that link? And abufletcher, I think I might be in agreement with you.

Bob
Old 04-30-2011, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

Even Flying Scale models now regularly includes articles on ARF-bashing (though to be honest, I'd like to see few of these). But I did feel strongly that RC Scale competitions should be about scale building skills with flying a secondary consideration. Documentation might include, for example, photos of the build. Scoring could be something like a "reverse Pro-Am" with 25 points awards for completing a set of flights and then 75 points for static. Current static categories like outline, finish, and craftsmanship, might be supplemented with points for scale interior construction. For me "decorating the outside" is only part of building...and again for me...the least interesting part.

Old 04-30-2011, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

Another Debate would be what do you consider an ARF? Case in point, CompARF and SisT models, Some consider them ARF's others consider them more of a completed kit because of the time required to finish them......
Old 04-30-2011, 07:32 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I don't care much for plastic modeling. So for me "decorating the outside" of even a highly detailed composite kit isn't what scale modeling is about. But I can appreciate that others enjoy that. I prefer to build models from the inside out.
Old 04-30-2011, 11:32 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition


ORIGINAL: abufletcher

I don't care much for plastic modeling. So for me ''decorating the outside'' of even a highly detailed composite kit isn't what scale modeling is about. But I can appreciate that others enjoy that. I prefer to build models from the inside out.
That was what the thread I referred to was all about in my previous post - how some guys were putting extreme detail into some arfs to make them unrecognizable from the 'plastic' airplane. I agree that ARF's should be judge with ARF's, scratch and kit builts judged with their peers.

Has anyone seen that thread that I'm referring to? I was quite surprised at some of the work done (not to hijack this thread)

Bob
Old 04-30-2011, 11:43 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

The other thread was in the warbirds forum:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_46..._1/key_/tm.htm

In Oz the scale association I belong to runs contests with 2 classes, flying only for ARF models or models
people buy ready to fly from other people, and, the builder of the model class for those, like me, that
prefer to build.

The theory was that those who fly ARF's will become interested in building & 'step up' to the builder of the
model class.

What has happened, in reality, is a lot of the guys who used to struggle building models just buy & fly ARF's
now. The 'purists', as Abu put it, have bought ARF models so they can enter both classes & get twice as
much flying at the same contest.

Good or bad? Well, more people are entering the contests because the bar has been lowered but we have not
been over run with new competitors from outside the scale movement. The increase in competitors has come
from the wannabees who could never get their act together & build a scale model. The real slackers still cannot
get organised enough to even compete with an ARF. I guess they should be called the 'neverbees'! - John.
Old 05-01-2011, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I can understand the distinction between ARF and fully built. How do you account for the difference between builders when one is CAD proficient and can design his plane with computer software and order up custom laser cutting from his cut files, and the next competitor has to draw his plans the old fashioned way, make patterns and cut and sand his own parts? More than anything else, this is what has kept me from pursuing scale. I'm a proficient builder, terrible flyer but, I don't have any knowledge of CAD and it would seem unsportsmanlike for me to hire someone to do that part of the work for me then claim it as my own.
Old 05-01-2011, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

This topic always opens a big can of worms!!

I think there should be different classes for the ARF's, kit built, plans built and designer built.

There is alot to be said for each catagory, there needs to be clear distiction between what is an ARF and a kit. I don't care how much bashing you do when you start with an ARF it is an ARF IMO. Even some of the composite kits should be disqualified as a kit IMO. I would think a builder should build at least 60% of the structure. Some of the composite kits are ready to assemble and finish sub assemblies.

I looked at some of the jets at Toledo and though they look really nice I am just not impressed knowing that I am looking at mostly a composite structure with a pretty finish. I put alot more stock into a plane that was built from the ground up.

With that being said I don't think there is anyway an ARF should be able to take the top prize at any major scale event. Best ARF prize or best finish and that is about it. If your going to compete at a top level build what you fly.

I am hoping to compete one of these days when I think I am building at that level until then I will just watch and learn.
Anthony
Old 05-01-2011, 11:05 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I am going to refrain for commenting on this subject for the following reasons.

Bill, Waco Brother #1
Top Gun Scale Outline Judge
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:33 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition


ORIGINAL: Boomerang1
The other thread was in the warbirds forum: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_46..._1/key_/tm.htm
Thanks Boomerang.. that's not the thread that I was thinking of, but it was still interesting.

Thanks for that link.

Interesting discussion here...

Bob
Old 05-01-2011, 11:38 AM
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dvs1
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I'm going to give my opionion as that is what this thread is essentially about. Whether my opinion is acknowleded or not is another story. I have done both build planes from short kits using plans and extremely bash ARF's into what I want them to look like.

With that said, in my experience it actually took me longer to get an ARF ready to fiberglass than it took me to frame up and get a kit built plane ready to fiberglass. After that it takes the same amount of time for me to do all surface detail, IE, panel lines, rivets, hatches ect. Reason for me being with the plans I have used, the planes where much closer to scale then ARF's so its pretty much quick build up with some small tweaks here and there to get the scale outline. Whereas with the ARF's I have bashed, they are so far off scale that it takes so much to change them and even redo structural components to get them to a decent scale outline that I might as well have just built up the plane from a decent kit.

I will add to that the fact that I started with bashing ARF's and because of not being happy with the time it took and that it took so much to get to scale that I started building from kits.

I am in no way defending ARF's in competition or defending kit built or scratch built planes. I am simply stating that I dont think some realize how much time it actually takes to make an ARF scale. They simply look the other way because they hear the word ARF! I think that when you see a perfectly scale outlined and looking plane you should at least give the credit that is deserved for the time and effort that went into making it.

Those that don't like the ever changing RC world I suggest that they just put that much more effort into their planes to make sure they are untouchable and uncomparable to anything else that comes along! Because it is that competition that is what keeps giving us better and more stunning planes every year!
Old 05-01-2011, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I agree that bashing a commercially built ARF can take as mush effort into correcting issues as building from kit or plans. The real issue I see is a guy showing up to a contest with a plane that he paid someone else to frame up for him then he finishes it and passes it off as a plane he built. IMO this plane should be in the ARF catagory. When it is all said and done you cannot distinguish between an allowable ARF and one that is not allowed.

I also see a day when you can purchase a pretty nice ARF right out of the box that with little effort could be scale ready. If there comes a day when this type of plane wins a top level contest over a self built scale model it will be a sad day. Winning a scale competetion should not come down to who has the most $$$ but the most skill as a builder, finisher and pilot. The guy who can do all 3 with the best average score deserves to win the top prize.

Anthony
Old 05-01-2011, 01:03 PM
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dvs1
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I agree with you Waconut! I think that if you enter an airplane in a contest other than team category you should be the complete builder. It should be about showing off your skills, not how much money is in your bank account.
Old 05-01-2011, 01:12 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

ORIGINAL: N1EDM


ORIGINAL: Boomerang1
The other thread was in the warbirds forum: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_46..._1/key_/tm.htm
Thanks Boomerang.. that's not the thread that I was thinking of, but it was still interesting.

Thanks for that link.

Interesting discussion here...

Bob
Maybe this one then? http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_10..._1/key_/tm.htm

Like Abu, I love seeing scale stuff at the field and I'm not terribly picky. If it looks good in the air I like it. I am more impressed with a plane as the level of builder input rises as well.

As with dvs1's experience, I too have had arfs that wind up being far more difficult than if I had just started from a kit...if that kit were available in a size that I wanted. Usually if I get an ARF it's because there isn't a kit for it and an ARF is the best way for me to get the canopy! After that, some of them get torn completely apart and redone; others only get the wings reworked as the fuse is fiberglass. Though the ESM FW-190 is getting a rework of the tail section and verticle stab due to an outline problem which bugs me too much to let go.

To the point of the OP's base question; "So why don't we focus our debate the idea of entering ARFs in scale competition."

I would love to see a class in scale competition that recognized the amount of modification and skill as a "builder" that it takes to really get an ARF into a competion worthy state. Just a coat of paint and some decals isn't going to get it here. Resculpting and trueing up lines, addition of scale features (including full cockpits), Scratch built control surfaces for those ARFs that come with slab stuff when the subject had fabric covered, etc . That's the kind of thing that I think is worthy of it's own class and certianly has a valid place in the world of "fine scale modeling".
Old 05-01-2011, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

ORIGINAL: WacoNut
The real issue I see is a guy showing up to a contest with a plane that he paid someone else to frame up for him then he finishes it and passes it off as a plane he built. IMO this plane should be in the ARF catagory. When it is all said and done you cannot distinguish between an allowable ARF and one that is not allowed.
Exactly my feelings. That's an ARF. But I'll go a step further and say that any kit with a composite (with pre-molded detail) fusalage and foam core wings is also an "ARF." I don't care how many hours of work it takes to "detail the exterior." That's what I was taking about with "plastic modeling." It wasn't a dig at "gussied up Chinese ARFs" rather the comment was squarely focused on some very high end "kits," for example many of the jet kits that have won at Top Gun. It's not that I don't respect those "external" skills; it's just that's not what draws me to the hobby. I enjoy building from the inside out (in that order) and that's why I'm strongly attracted to WWI modeling.

Winning a scale competetion should not come down to who has the most $$$ but the most skill as a builder, finisher and pilot. The guy who can do all 3 with the best average score deserves to win the top prize.
I definitely agree with the first part, though I guess we're have to argue about the definitions of "building" and "finishing." For a WWI modeler like myself the two are often inseparable. I mean, if you've got fabric covered (and only semi-opaque) flight surfaces, ANY non-scale structure is going to show. And while you can fake quite a lot on a WWI model, sometimes the best results come from a scale method.

Stickbuilder, it's not just a can of worms if you're an oligochaetologist!

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Old 05-01-2011, 04:38 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

ORIGINAL: frets24
As with dvs1's experience, I too have had arfs that wind up being far more difficult than if I had just started from a kit...if that kit were available in a size that I wanted. Usually if I get an ARF it's because there isn't a kit for it and an ARF is the best way for me to get the canopy! After that, some of them get torn completely apart and redone; others only get the wings reworked as the fuse is fiberglass. Though the ESM FW-190 is getting a rework of the tail section and verticle stab due to an outline problem which bugs me too much to let go.
And really what's the difference between making all those modifications to an "ARF" as opposed to a purely "fun-scale" type of traditional kit? Here I'm talking about recutting ALL the ribs on a BUSA or FLAIR kit, resizing and reshaping all the flight surfaces, adding scale structure to both the flight surfaces and fuselage...to say nothing of the undercarriage. Frankly, when you start thinking about all of that work, you're really talking about something like scratch-building. It becomes like the Guillow's affectionados ("nuts" ) who will go to almost any length to build and finish one of these old stick and tissue models.

BTW, more and more I'm drifting towards just "skipping" the "design" stage (and definitely the CAD stage). With WWI models, the way I figure it, the aircraft was already "designed" once and that's enough. All I need is a good set of drawings.
Old 05-01-2011, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition


ORIGINAL: WacoNut

I also see a day when you can purchase a pretty nice ARF right out of the box that with little effort could be scale ready. If there comes a day when this type of plane wins a top level contest over a self built scale model it will be a sad day. Winning a scale competetion should not come down to who has the most $$$ but the most skill as a builder, finisher and pilot. The guy who can do all 3 with the best average score deserves to win the top prize.

Anthony
Very well said![8D]
Old 05-01-2011, 10:10 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I believe "price point" will always protect competitions from the dreaded "ARF in a box." No ARF could EVER and I mean EVER compete at Top Gun level straight out of the box. The best ARF from a box still can't hold a candle to to lowest level Top Gun model. There's just no profit in it. That said, anyone who flies any model they have not constructed themselves (except for pilots in team scale) is still from my point of view still flying an ARF...and I don't care if that's the model that won Top Gun last year.

No, I think we are safe from "Top Gun level" ARFs. But stripped down ARFs redesigned, re-built, and re-finished to Top Gun standards are a possibility.
Old 05-01-2011, 11:30 PM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition


ORIGINAL: abufletcher

BTW, more and more I'm drifting towards just ''skipping'' the ''design'' stage (and definitely the CAD stage). With WWI models, the way I figure it, the aircraft was already ''designed'' once and that's enough. All I need is a good set of drawings.
That would definitley yeild True scale raised to the level of perfection as far as the structure goes. But then we all know you take scale to the next level anyway Excellent details, as usual, in the pics above. It's always a pleasure to see your work.
Old 05-02-2011, 04:24 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

Why not? ARFs are built by hand and were made by human beings and assembled by the modeler. If the owner "Bashes" the heck out of the ARF like I did, I see no reason why that person shouldn't try. It's not up to me anyways to decide what a person should or shouldn't do with their planes. The debate is pointless.















Pete
Old 05-02-2011, 05:15 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

ORIGINAL: Oberst
The debate is pointless.
Pete, it's only pointless if you don't compete. I wouldn't care at all what people bring to the field (or a fun-fly) and if there were more inexpensive WWI ARFs available, I'd have several. There's absolutely nothing wrong with flying ARFs. And doing an "extreme bash" is also an art form in its own right.

But for scale competitions, I believe in a strong interpretation of the Builder of the Model rule.
Old 05-02-2011, 05:30 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I don't compete yet, but I hope to, if my skills ever get good enough []

An issue that I haven't seen mentioned in this debate is the amount of cheque book "ancillaries". Bonus marks should be awarded to a modeller that has constructed his own retracts, and built from their own plans.

I believe (and I may be wrong) in F4C scale you have to declare anything you haven't made yourself, that includes wheels, retracts, cowls and canopies.......not just the airframe.

Cheers
Danny
Old 05-02-2011, 06:04 AM
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Default RE: Scale ARFs in Competition Debate: 2011 edition

I believe (and I may be wrong) in F4C scale you have to declare anything you haven't made yourself, that includes wheels, retracts, cowls and canopies.......not just the airframe.
That appears to be the case according to the FAI rules I found here (see the Builder of the Model form in the back):

http://www.modelflyingnz.org/rcscale

The problem is how do you formulated a set of rules that applied to WWI (and pre-WWI) as much as jets?

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