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Feb 28, 2014, 01:37 PM
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[B]BBCC 4 -- 4th Balsa Builders Conversion Contest Thread [/B]

BBCC 4 -- 4th Balsa Builders Conversion Contest Thread

The Goal: Build yourself a flying model, constructed predominantly of balsa and derived from an existing model, kit or plans, changing your model's "mode of control" from that used by the prototype (i.e. FF, CL, RC) to a different mode. Examples include: FF to RC, CL to RC, RC to FF, etc.

Changes that need to be discussed:
1. Whether or not to expand this contest to include original designs.

Discussion: When altering an existing plan to the degree it has to be altered to support a new mission objective, (i.e. enlarging for RC, vastly changing the design for increased strength to handle an alternate power source, etc.), you have already altered the design to the degree that it's more your design than the original designer's.

2. Whether or not to expand this contest to allow an alteration of an existing design to a lessor degree.

Discussion: For example, designed as RC but increasing it from 2 channel to 3, 4, 5, or more channels. Or changing it from gas power to electric conversion, but still RC.

Current Rules (Unless the majority chooses an alteration):
1-- take an existing design (the "prototype" which can be your own design) and change the mode of control.
2-- build it out of balsa, explaining any deviations from the prototype in your thread
3-- it's eligible for rollover until first flight
4-- provide proof of flight and you get voted upon

Significant Dates:

Contest Announcement:.....28 Feb 2014
Formal Contest Start:..........01 March 2014 (Build Threads should be started)
Entries Close:......................31 March 2014 (No entries accepted after this date)
Primary Build period:...........01 March 2014 to 31 July 2014
Contest Ends:......................31 July 2014
------ Aircraft must have proof of flight posted by this date to be considered for judging in BBCC 4
Polling Begins:.....................01 Aug 2014
Polling Ends:........................31 July 2014

All deadlines are at at the end of the specified day, at midnight UTC.

Judging Criteria:

Best Build – this title will be voted on by RCG members in the month following the Contest End. The Contest Director will create a separate thread containing a poll and links to each thread to facilitate the voting.


1. A brand new plane for each contestant, the work of your own hands.
2. Satisfaction in your efforts.
3. Recognition by your peers.

(New prizes may be donated and will be added accordingly).

How to participate:

1. Decide your subject. (More than one subject can be entered, within reason).
2. Announce your subject and intention to participate in this thread.
3. The contest director will add your information to the list of participants, below.
4. Create (or rename) a Build Thread for your subject. Name the thread in conformance with the following standard: BBCC 3 – YourSubjectName – YourUserName. In post #1, mention your involvement in the “Third Balsa Builders Conversion Contest” and provide a link to this thread.
5. Post a link to your Build Thread in this forum.
6. Build your subject, using your build thread to document your progress with comments and photos, asking for help when needed.
7. Document your subject’s first flight with a video or still photograph, posting the proof on your build thread and announcing the flight in this thread.
8. Enjoy the plaudits of your colleagues and the thrill of flying your creation.

Note about rollovers:

If you have a project from BBCC3 which you would like to have rolled over into BBCC4, please put a note as such in this contest thread so you can be added, along with any new entries.

Brief explanation: Up to now, these BBCC contests were headed up and sponsored by David Terrell. (Thank you David). However, due to life events, he had to step down at the end of BBCC3. I felt that he had a great thing started that got a lot of people excited and building, just for the fun of it. I didn't want to see this phenomenon lose momentum; I believe in it and feel it's important. To me, it brings back the building passion of this great hobby, so that the ARFs don't have so much of a primary role. So I am now taking over for David, although he is always welcome back, should he have the desire to, in the future.
Last edited by builderdude; Feb 28, 2014 at 07:57 PM.
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Feb 28, 2014, 01:43 PM
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many aircraft have the BBCCs produced?

A: As of the beginning of BBCC 3, 13 new aircraft have flown, as a result of the contest. The first "Kitbash" contest, had 17 build threads, 5 of which were flown. BBCC 2 had 20 entries, with 8 flying before the end of the contest.

Q: What general restrictions apply to my model?

A: Your model must conform with all appropriate safety regulations for the country in which it operates.

Q: Can I build a Giant Scale model? or Ultra Micro?

A: Yes. There are no size limitations outside those imposed by your government, modeling association, and the calendar restrictions of the contest deadlines.

Q: Can my model be a glider? or Rubber-powered?

A: Yes. There are no power source restrictions except those implied above, relating to safety issues.

Q: Do I have to use Balsa?

A: Mostly. In all cases, the overall construction of the aircraft should conform with the contest's "Balsa Builders" intent to promote the construction of "traditional" wooden structures made of balsa, that fly. The use of non-Balsa structural materials such as hardwoods, plywood, fiberglass, kevlar, or carbon filament for localized high strength in critical areas is allowable. The use of foam is restricted to non-load bearing structures such as prop spinners, wing-fuselage intersection fairings, ducts for ducted-fan powered models, and possibly, hatches, where the use of foam would simplify or enhance the model.

Q: What if I need additional time to complete my model, due to unforeseen personal or professional events?

A: The contest will end on the specified date. However, models that are not completed and have not flown are eligible for entry in the next contest.

Q: It is getting near the deadline. What time zone governs the cutoff?

A: Issues arising from critical dates and deadlines will be decided based upon the UTC time standard, subject to the decision of the contest director, with the advice of the other builders. The intent of this contest is to be inclusive as possible, while remaining considerate of the effort expended by other participants.

Q: I wish I could participate but I do not have the time, at present. When will I have another chance?

A: There will be another contest soon. Our intent is to run this contest twice-annually, setting the dates to appeal to the "winter building seasons" in both North and South Hemispheres. There is, however, no geographic restriction preventing any entry in any contest.

Q: Is it fair that the Contest Director is also a Participant?

A: Contest Directors are not prohibited from participating in the contest they are directing. However, when acting as both Contest Director and participant, he or she is not eligible to receive any tangible prize, other than the enjoyment gained.

Q: Can I enter a build thread for a plane that I've already completed and flown?

A: No. If the plane has flown successfully, it is not "eligible" for the contest. One of the benefits clear from the first contest is the joy experienced in the shared effort of building these planes together, encouraging others while being encouraged. You can, however, post a link to the build and a photo of the plane. We would love to see what you've accomplished, learn from your efforts, and complement the good work you've done.

Q: Can I convert a plane the "other direction," from radio-control to another mode of control such as FF, CL or autonomous flight?

A: While the rules of BBCC 2 are not written to allow such a project, the idea has merit. As the first contest was described as a "kitbash" but allowed a scratch build in the spirit of inclusion, this contest will allow any project that converts a design or plan to a different "mode of control" than that it was originally intended, and BBCC 3 rules will be changed to explicitly allow such changes.

Q: Does an entry have to be from a kit or plans, or can it be scratch built from my mind?

A: The contest's intent is to encourage the conversion of a non-radio control plan or kit to radio control; or, as seen in a recent answer, from one "mode of control" to another. If you have already built and flown the plane you designed as a FF or CL and want to build a "revised edition" as a RC, then it would meet the spirit of the contest.

Q: What if I'm not comfortable with the mechanics of building and maintaining a Thread?

A: There is a place on RCGroups where you can build a prototype of your thread. It is a separate Test Forum located HERE. You can go to the Test Forum. create a thread, and play with your posts until it looks the way you want; without risking "losing face." Once you have it looking good, you have the option of asking the administrators to move your draft thread to another forum, or you can edit the post, copy the "code" from the grey editing box, create a new thread in the forum of your choice, and paste that into the editing box of the actual Build Thread.

Q: What's the significance of the Formal Contest Start date? I can't help noticing that one participant in particular is looking like they'll be flying before the formal start...

A: There are several reasons. When the first contest ran, we had people dribbling in to participate over 5-6 weeks; and, while we didn't want to leave anyone out, it wasn't fair to the other builders to let it go on forever. It gives the contest director a month to advertise the contest on the various forums here, Facebook pages of the Modeling Associations and the Magazines. Not everyone logs on each day and the month lets one have a chance to see the notice in time to participate. We also allow a participant carry over from the last contest, as long as the aircraft has not flown, which allows the potential for big, sophisticated projects that may need two successive contests to get the plane done. The gap also gives one time to choose a subject, before committing to the contest.

Q: How far can I modify my build's structure and stay within the rules? I'd like to go the built up route for the taifeathers to try and save a bit of weight.

A: The goal is the conversion of the prototype into "your model". Any reasonable change to the structure needed to achieve an efficiently flying model aircraft is acceptable. For example, most FF models will need movable, hinged control surfaces for RC flight. A change such as the modification of the tail surfaces from "solid" to "built up" is perfectly reasonable; as long as one can see the "genealogy" between the prototype and your airplane. One has to be able to see the echo of the prototype in your model, to comply with the spirit of the contest. When you do deviate, it's worth a short discussion in your build thread, with a photo or two. In this way, your deliberations are recorded in the spirit of helping some other modeler in the future, facing similar decisions; another goal of the contest.

Q: Is a RC conversion of a Guillows kit eligible for the contest? They often have a small section on the build instructions "hey, do you want to build this RC" but there is little (if any) real solid information. The kits were designed to be rubber-powered free-flight models.

A: Yes. The conversion of a Guillow's (or any other manufacturer's kit) is acceptable. It is the conversion from one mode of control to another that satisfies the intention of the contest. How you go about converting the airframe (adding rudder, elevator and {maybe} ailerons) is up to you. Others will learn from you and the other participants will be happy to make suggestions.

Q: What are the "contest" criteria? What is a model judged upon? Quality of build (often tough to see in a thread)? Problem-solving? Looks sharp?

A: The rating of a build will be based on the subjective judgement of those persons voting, at contest end.

Q: Can one use foam in the fabrication of a hatch?

A: Yes. The use of foam is restricted to non-load bearing structures such as prop spinners, wing-fuselage intersection fairings, ducts for ducted-fan powered models, and possibly, hatches, where the use of foam would simplify or enhance the model.

Q: Where should BBCC participants spend their off-topic discussion hours?

A: While isolated, short off-topic exchanges are acceptable in this thread, discussions should quickly return to the business of the contest. Sustained off-topic discussions should be taken to the BBCC Off-topic Thread, which shall remain open indefinitely, from contest to contest. Discussion there will be limited only by RCGroups guidelines.

Q: Can I compete the same build thread in two, simultaneous, contests?

A: No. After experimenting with one case, I decided not to allow future situations in which the same airframe and thread are entered in two contests. With the exception of the one thread, granted permission to test the possibility, an aircraft and its thread become ineligible if concurrently entered in another contest as a participant.

Q: I finished building my aircraft before the date for entries to close arrived. May I start an second build in the same contest?

A: Yes, a participant can have up to three open build threads under the BBBC contests. This decision provides for a participant to conceivably wrap up a first build that did not quite make the deadline of a previous contest; work on a second build for the current contest; and, simultaneously, shepherd a third, long-term project that would span two or three contests.
Last edited by builderdude; Feb 28, 2014 at 07:51 PM.

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