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FAI Documentation ??

Old 12-22-2006, 07:28 AM
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smcouch77
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Default FAI Documentation ??

I'm building an SE5a, 1/6 scale. When I started the project, I didn't intend to compete. However, now I'm being urged to compete in FAI. I have three black and white photos of #11 of the 25th Aero Squadron, that I want to use for the subject plane. I have several hundred pictures of other SE5as that I've been using for details. I've tried to use details thar are common to all the planes, but there are a lot of differences from plane to plane. I have no way of knowing which ones are accurate for # 11. So how can I document # 11's details. I'm thinking I should forget about competition, and just build the plane to please myself. Any coments from FAI competitors would be much appreciated.
Steve
Old 12-22-2006, 04:07 PM
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gary9648
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

Being an FAI judge, I will tell you, you need to build your plane to a set of three views that are approved for proof of outline, and only use the photos of the #11 aircraft to document the markings, weathering, gun placement, etc. etc. Photos always take presidence in judging. Have accurate color chips, and paint plane to match chip colors. do not weather the plane unless the photos show weathering. You are creating a direct duplicate in minature of that particular aircraft. If you build it using various photos of other aircraft and it does not match your plane #11 you will be doc'ed accordingly. Make duplicates of the three views, color markings, and actual photos of the aircraft so that each judge will have a copy. This really helps.
You can do it!!!
Gary Webb
Old 12-22-2006, 06:33 PM
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

Hi Gary. Thanks for the info. Here are the pics of # 11. As you can see, there are very few details visible. What about the cockpit, the radiator, the reserve tank, etc. And as for the colors, which expert should I use. None of them can even agree on PC10, let alone the shade of blue on the roundels. For a long time the planes of this squadron where done with light blue for the radiator, wheels, fin, and subfin. Now the experts say those blue parts were really white. So I guess if someone wants to compete, he needs to pick a plane that he can actually photograph himself. If I entered a contest with these three pics and some color chips, you know what kind of a score I'd get. Why bother?
Steve
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:03 PM
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

The photos look great! All you need is an artists rendition in color to show the color scheme. Use color chips that represent WWI paint used for this aircraft and match paint to chips. Also notice this plane has no weathering. It looks to be very new at time of photo. You can also look for other SE5a's that are better documented. Museums etc. The three views should show the detail of outline. WWI aircraft interriors are hard to document. You should be able to find books that show typical interriors for your model of aircraft. You do not have to document the interrior. You will be judged by the craftsmanship judge on how real it apears, (realism.) If it has protypical gages of the times, rudder peddals, stick etc, correct type of seat it will be judged accordingly. Yuo do not need to show both sides of the aircraft, and you can not be down graded for that either. A good side view and top view is all that is needed. A bottom view would be helpful but not mandatory. Also you should have your documentation all lined up before you start building. This is the largest mistake new to contests builders make. Build to your three views and photos for outline.
Hope this helps.
Gary
Old 12-22-2006, 09:13 PM
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smcouch77
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

Hi Gary. From this post it seems we are on the same page . I said I was using detail photos of other SE5a aircraft, and I thought you were saying to only use the pics of #11. I have close to 1000 pictures of SE5as. I have researched this plane for two years. I enlarged three views and drew my plans over them. And thanks again for your input. I can use all the help I can get. Here are a couple of SE5a full scale shots with my model.
Steve
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

A little trick I learned with heli scale competition and judging.

You can use pictures of the wrong aircraft, so long as the judges can't figure out that you did that. Black and white is a big help for some of the small details. Use pictures that are close up of the detail, model to that detail, include in your docs. Remember, if even one judge can figure out you did that, you just lost a bunch of points.

You keep saying it isn't worth it. You are on the cusp of a very dangerous point. Been there with heli's. Remember this is a hobby, and supposed to be fun. I got so caught up in the competition side of things, I totally lost direction, became a worse anal pore than usual, stopped having fun, started crashing a lot. It was not worth it, and since I have gone back to just having fun, it is just that, fun.

Maybe you, like I, just are not the right kind of person to do the competition routine. Don't let other people try to motivate you in a direction you really dont' want to go.

Best of luck with your decision either way you go.
Jack
Old 12-23-2006, 10:08 AM
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

In one of the last years AMA mags, one of the scale articles talked about doctumentation. The examples were from one of the top British modelers( I think Peter McDermott), and when it came to the details he would direct the judge,with written instruction, on what to look at in the picture and ignore the rest. How a USA judge would percieve this, I don't know?

I would give competing a shot with the intention of having fun first. The guys you are competing with will have years if not 20 years of experience in this. You have to learn what they know. The only way is to be there.

Remember that you model is being judged on its documentation presented not the quality of the model. Your achievemnts in building should make you happy, not someone opinion of it.

Tom
Old 12-23-2006, 11:13 AM
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

Steve, just make sure in your doc's you do not present photos that contridict each other. Also you can have notations stating this photo for outline only, or this photo for markings, or pointing to specific details in the photo. Do not provide photos of other aircraft with other markings or outline. KISS principle works here. Just have multiple copies for each judge so they do not have to share doc's. Your interrior work looks fantastic compared to your documentation.
I to found that I am a better judge than competitor also. I got so wraped up that it wasn't fun. I love building and flying scale aircraft. Mostly WWII aircraft. I do a couple of contests just to keep my flying skills sharp as they can be...LOL Now it's all about fun. I judge because for those that live for competition, need competent judges for them to compete. With out judges there would be no competitions in any part of our hobby. So believe that all the people that I have worked with all feel the same way I do. Each competitor has paid the price in time and money building there model and travel expenses, deserve the same impartial and consistant judgeing that can be humanly done. Good luck with your SE5a. Maybe I'll see you on the competition circuit.
Gary
Old 12-23-2006, 01:40 PM
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

Thank's, Guys! I really appreciate all your help and support. I don't usually worry about this sort of stuff. I think that I'm just overly tired from moving. These last four weeks have been murder. I'm sure that it will all work out fine. I just have to remind myself that this is my hobby, not my job I think I'll just take a nap and get back to building
Steve
Old 12-24-2006, 08:38 AM
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Default RE: FAI Documentation ??

I to found that I am a better judge than competitor also. I got so wraped up that it wasn't fun. I love building and flying scale aircraft. Mostly WWII aircraft. I do a couple of contests just to keep my flying skills sharp as they can be...LOL Now it's all about fun. I judge because for those that live for competition, need competent judges for them to compete. With out judges there would be no competitions in any part of our hobby.
You said that much better than I ever will, I whole heartdly agree.
Jack

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