What I Need To Know About The Static Portion Of A Scale Contest.

Compiled from AMA and Scale Masters Constantly Changing Rules

By: Ed Clayman          

Welcome to Static... The Static portion of any associations contest is typically one-half of your overall or total score. Good documentation gives you the edge over other competitors who ignore their opportunity to proactively gain from how their documentation is composed. Yes, this should be an obvious fact, however in reading text descriptions contained in every organizations competition guideline often a reader concludes that somehow...they missed something.

ScaleAero wants to point out sources of frustrations shared by contestants and static judges alike. Everyone has that favorite photo of a whatever we have dreamed of building and flying for what seems like forever. However, when you are beginning to compete its not necessarily the time to build that whatever. Pick a subject and color scheme that is easily (documented) aka replicated. Remember it is your choice of what to build and compete with. This requires a relatively small amount of Proof of Scale, but still it is the Contestants responsibility to provide good documentation. What then is documentation...much less good documentation?

To review a description and illustration of documentation click here. For an example of internet documentation resources here is a resource contained within ScaleAero click here.

If the available documentation for a particular aircraft  is not easily found (read as in support of every aspect required) then you might want to seriously consider another aircraft or at a minimum a different paint scheme. Don't blame the judges for down grading your model when documentation is incomplete (read as not matching what you built and compete with).

Plan ahead and pick a subject to "replicate" that clearly shows outline, color, and markings. The ideal situation is finding complete documentation for the exact aircraft you want to build, and build it to match your documentation. (In that order)...

If you already have an airplane built and decide to enter it in competition all you can do then is try and alter your model to match whatever documentation you happen to find. typically this results in judges doing their best with the information you provide them. Remember...they are simply comparing your model to your documentation...nothing more.

Static Judging Process:

The process starts with the model set up on a table pointing head on at an outline judge. Judge views competitor supplied documentation starting at the tip of the rudder then looks at model. Does it match? If yes, proceed to the next element in a clockwise rotation. If not, compare photos to find the item (photos take precedence over 3VU drawings). If a photo match, go to next item. If judge cannot find photo clearly showing mismatch judge must downgrade for that item and move on to the next.

  1. Straight (head on) view
  2. Side View
  3. Top View
  4. Bottom View

Static judging takes place prior to flight judging. It is recommended the documentation package be contained in at least one 3-ring binder such that pages in each section can be removed given to the judges to allow simultaneous judging. In an ideal circumstance there would be multiple binders (why is explained later on) If contestant would like feedback comments from judges, extra copies of outline drawings should be provided for judge to mark up with highlighter or write on.

The model will be judged from 15 ft with exception of Craftsmanship in Scale Masters competition, which is judged at no less than 4 ft. Static judges shall not examine models before static judging begins. Preferably, they stay away from all entries prior to static judging. Static scores are 0 to 10 for each category on an official score sheet. See score sheet for the association conducting the contest. The % value of a total perfect score changes per category from time to time.

The maximum static score for each category is: (subject to change, consult current guideline). (example below)

Accuracy of Outline - 40 points
Color-Finish-Markings - 30 points
Craftsmanship - 30 points

Transmitter use to operate mechanical features and functions during static judging is not permitted.

Cockpit and cabin interiors or the interior of landing gear wheel wells even if partially visible from the judging distance are not considered in scoring. All other visible features will be judged.  Pilot resembling a human being is required in cockpit area when in flight competition.

The following is a suggested way to expedite static judging.

Simultaneous Judging is a process where all three static judges judge a single aircraft at the same time. The Outline and Color&Markings judges sit together at a table. The contestant prepares the documentation package by removing the sections from his 3-ring binder and places each section by the appropriate judge. The contestant places the aircraft on the judging table that is 15 feet away and points the nose of the aircraft directly toward the Outline judge.

The Outline judge sets the pace and calls each position aircraft is reviewed in starting with front, head on view. As this is in process the Craftsmanship judge walks around model no closer than 4 ft without talking to contestant. If a question must be clarified, he refers to photo documentation the Color& Markings judge has. If there are more than 20 contestants, the Dual Simultaneous Judging method is suggested where two additional tables are set up (See Fig. 1).

While one plane is being judged, the other is being set up and documentation placed on second table behind the judges. When judges finished one plane,
they spin around, pick up documentation and begin judging next model. This system is capable of 8 aircraft per hour which provides an equivalent of 22.5 minutes per plane (7.5 minutes x 3 judges
). Example is relative to Scale Masters processes...subject to change.

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