Lineup of planes at the Rice Mill Road flying site in Richmond, B.C. for the 2012 Combat Graffiti. All photos by Marty Higgs.

Combat Graffiti 2012

Sept. 1, 2012, Rice Mill Model Airplane Park, Richmond, B.C.

See video of the event by Joe Yau

By Barrie Hobkirk

Despite a "Just to let you know whose boss" overnight rain shower, the participants arrived to a wonderful sunny Sunday morning.

All pitched in to get the field outlined and safety line staked-off, while Ken Burdick donned his chef's hat and prepared his "world famous" chili.

We had six entries in Combat Graffiti producing a whopping 12 airplanes.

Greg Davis -- a Wow (Torpedo 35) and a T-Square (Fox Red Head 35)
Ken Burdick -- a Blitz (Fox 35-stroker crank), Big Iron (Johnson 35 CS), Wow (McCoy RedHead 35) and a Missourian (Enya 29)
Kelley Crozier -- 2 Count Clippers (both Torpedo CS 35Õs)
Barrie Hobkirk -- a T-Square (Fox Red Head 35), Scrapper (Torp 35 CS) and a Super Firebrand (Fox Red Head 35)
Mel Lyne -- a VooDoo (Fox stunt 35)
Denis Cousineau -- a Whatzit (unfortunately Denis was not able to show)

Combat Graffiti event

No planes were injured in the making of this event.

Yes, it is significant to note, that due to the format of the rules and the all-important center judge, there were no crashes and no midair collisions with these beautifully constructed airplanes.

The event started with a crowd wooing performance by Buddy Holly (aka Clipper Kelley) getting all to sing along while he sang up a storm and strummed the guitar.

Each Combat Graffiti contestant had to select one of his airplanes to fly in the event and that airplane's static score would be used to determine the winners, verified by some additional flying score.

There was some spectacular flying with Greg and Barrie putting on a dazzling show and Kelley doing some grass cutting in his passes to cut Mel's low-flying streamer. While Ken put in some solid matches taking advantage of anyone's hesitations.

Adrian Duncan was our Combat Graffiti airplane judge using his vast knowledge to quickly weed through the static points scoring.

When the final tally was in, it was Kelley Crozier and his Count Clipper by Buddy Holly nose over Greg Davis and his Wow. While Ken kept everyone honest with a well-earned third place with his Wow.

We all sat down to a mouthwatering meal of Ken's chili. I think a few beers and we would have all been happy to end the day right there, it was so pleasurable. But the day must go on, so back to flying.

Vintage Diesel Combat event

We had seven fliers in diesel combat. They were made up of the five that flew in Combat Graffiti plus Joe Yau and Iain Dowling.

Due to having too much fun in Graffiti and some well-fed flyers, we limited the D-Bat to two rounds for points to determine a fly-off.

The first match of Mel and Greg ended in a disastrous time for Greg. After a slip that brought him down, his next up ended by picking up the handle up-side-down. This was followed by more broken props, wrenches that didn't fit, slipping props, and of all things, a shaft run on a diesel. This performance earned him "Hard Luck" trophy for the day.

The next match had Barrie and Kelley take off simultaneously. One looked down to find the circle while the other got glitzed by the sun that ended in a minor collision but both returned to complete the match.

Another match had Ken and Mel intersect overhead in a resounding "Smack"! This loss of planes was somewhat compensated by both earning "Best Crash" awards.

Final results of Vintage Diesel Combat had Mel first (7), Greg second (6), and Kelley (5) third and Ken fourth (4). (Northwest Standings points in parentheses.)

What a great day of flying.

I would like to join all in thanking Ken Burdick for being the "Idea Man" and coming up with the Combat Graffiti event and his persistence in promoting it. Needless to say, his Chili entertained us all. Ken was also responsible for obtaining the Combat Graffiti Silver Cup trophy award that adorned the timekeepers table all day. A 1930's original piece.

I would like to thank Mel for his assistance with scoring and timing procedures and well as keeping things rolling. Mel also provided some additional perpetual trophies that brought smiles to all.

I 'd also like to thank all those who assisted with timings and scoring.

And special thanks to Adrian Duncan for static scoring and other assistances.

Also, thanks to the Vancouver Gas Model Club and Bruce Duncan for use of Club equipment and field. But really, it's everyone who chipped in unselfishly that  made it all happen successfully.

-- Barrie Hobkirk, CD

The Combat Graffiti idea

By Ken Burdick

Yes folks, it's true. On Labor Day, Sept., 2012 we held as promised, a unique combat contest.

Huh? Where did this come from?  

The idea occurred to me one year ago while flying with Greg Davis, Barrie Hobkirk, and Kelley Crozier. Greg had just flown his antique WOW that looked pretty shabby but was from 1960!

What if, we had a bunch of these old things and they were built like stunt ships -- you know, from the really skilled builders?  

Greg caught the idea right away as did the rest of the "Three Amigos."

Photo: A newer WOW by Greg Davis.

We posed the question, "If you had a beauty, how could you fly it in a match?"

Things like this begin to snowball and it did -- we raised questions by the kilogram about how to do it and who would actually do this. We summarized  that the "builders" (PA flyers) might have some interest, but likely would want to see how it went before ordering a set of plans from Barry Baxter's Plan Service.

RULES Oh no.  

We threw many ideas against the wall with Kenny-b taking the initial lead. I invited Barry Baxter and others to give input, which they did. By January, we had a rough sketch of a plan. There were other hurdles to jump as it was and still is my firm belief that there are a more diverse group of control line flyers in British Columbia than elsewhere. Towards the spring of 2012, I asked Barrie Hobkirk to take over the design of the rules set. Barrie has been an international scale winner as well as a speed flyer and I felt had the stuff to fill in what I thought was missing in the design -- arrie and the Three Amigo came through with the goods.

Shut up with the rules 'n' stuff -- WHAT HAPPENED?!!!!!

Well, if you insist. There was just a handful, six fliers who decided to give it a go. They however, produced in excess of 10 airplanes! All vintage and all very good looking..

The concours scoring was printed on a score sheet and we were honored to have author and modeler Adrian Duncan (modeler expert) to judge the various models. Adrian was ruthless in his detail of what was real to the model and what was not. Remember, they all looked good.

Enter the fun factor.

Life is too short and I will not design an event without a fun factor. In this case, the whole thing is fun, but I added a costume feature to add as small number of points. The costume must represent the era. While most overlooked this part, or in my case, left it at home -- rrrrr. The winner was decided by exactly this, the fun factor.

There were two models that scored high and also that flew the limited form of combat. They were a beautiful silkspan and dope WOW, by Greg Davis and a Count Clipper covered in silk and color dope by Kelley Cozier. Adrian scored them a dead tie. 205 points each. The C.D. Barrie Hobkirk and Adrian conferred but could not break the tie. They had forgotten about Buddy Holly.

Buddy Holly

Kelley Crozier went the extra mile and brought out a wig, amp, electric guitar and song sheet for a modified Peggy Sue rendition. We all sang along with "Buddy."

This folks, it was this that made the difference. Greg had without a doubt, the most perfect stunt finish of all of us. The rules allow for some variable that let others have a shot at the prize.

All things considered, it went like this.

Best looking airplane:  Barrie Hobkirk's Scrapper. He chose not to fly it so no points were awarded.

Best original model: Greg Davis with a perfect finish and flawless detail.

Coolest airplane: Kelley's Count Clipper covered in Silk over tissue.

  It finished like this:

1. Kelley Crozier, Count Clipper (He won the 1935 silver champagne bucket)
2. Dreg Davis, WOW. Best workmanship and finish.
3. Ken Burdick, WOW. I didn't deserve third but they insisted.

  here are tons of pictures, there are better builders than the winners, but we are the first ones to do this. It is my hope that others will enjoy the odd experimental era that was combat ship from 1963 and before.

-- Kenny-b

Special thanks  

As with any new thing, you cannot do it alone. I would like to thank and acknowledge the following individuals for their contributions for the birth of Combat Graffiti:

Joe Yau for his expertise in putting together fragmented ideas into a video.
Barrie Hobkirk for his determination and organizational abilities.
Kelley Cozier for his special abilities in uniting people and getting all moving towards a common goal.
Greg Davis or his zest for life and infectious personality that makes people want to enjoy and appreciate the small things that make us all smile.
Adrian Duncan for saving us from ourselves.
Bruce Duncan for offering some equipment that saved me from driving 150 miles.

We will do this again.

Combat Graffiti photo gallery

Adrian Duncan launches Ken Burdick's FAI Nemesis.

Combat action.

Ken Burdick handling a plane in the pits.

Mel Lyne starts a vintage engine.

Kelly Crozier (left) and Greg Davis.

Two T-Squares.

Kelly Crozier.

Greg Davis and Ken Burdick with WOW models.

Barrie Hobkirk and Scrapper.

K&B Greenhead Torpedo powers this one.

Johnson power.

Fox power.

Enya power.

Fox Rocket power.

Another Fox Rocket on the left, Barrie Hobkirk's Scrapper on the right.

Another Torp-powered plane on the left, classic VooDoo on the right.

Ken Burdick's McCoy-powered Wow.

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This page was upated Sept. 10, 2012