Lineup of planes at the Rice Mill Road flying site in Richmond, B.C. for the 2013 Combat Graffiti. Ken Burdick photo.

Second annual Graffiti Combat Weekend

Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2013, Rice Mill Model Airplane Park, Richmond, B.C.

See video of the event by Joe Yau

The Second Annual Graffiti Combat Weekend was bigger and better with some great flying and unbelievably fun times.

The Graffiti gods blessed us with two fine sunny Combat days, squeaked in between showers on Friday and Monday. We had a “Good 'ol Fashion” meet with about 150 posts lining the entire circle and pits area with 4-inch wide “Crime Scene” tape strung around. Lots of “Do not Cross” and “Pits” signage.

Saturday's Graffiti Combat (.35's) got off to a casual start with Adrian Duncan lining us and the planes up to do some serious scrutineering of our appearance and the planes entered. There were three planes tied for “The Best of the Best” with Greg's Super Combat Streak, Nigel's Shark and Barrie's Scrapper.

Here was the line-up:

  • Greg Davis -- Super Combat Streak
  • Nigel Tarvin -- Shark
  • Ken Burdick -- WOW
  • Barrie Hobkirk -- Scrapper
  • Denis Cousineau -- Slingshot
  • Henry Hajdik -- Fire Hawke
  • Kelley Crozier - Count Clipper
  • Spares included a Missourian, T-Square, Quicker ...

We had some excellent matches. Despite good clean flying, a couple planes did not come away unscathed but are easily repairable and will be back next time. For some reason, this year it was harder getting the engines started and for that reason we will be adding optional electric starters for next year.

We ran a double elimination format with the extra time this year and that gave everyone a good chance to have some real fun flying.

Denis won some extra points for best costume, by pulling off the 'ol Lucky Strike pack in the T-shirt sleeve trick, with blue jean cuffs and a baseball cap. Easily beating Henry whom some suggested was wearing the same shirt and pants he wore in 1963.

Final results were as follows with the winner receiving the perpetual “Graffiti Cup” and an “almost new” 1959 Fox Rocket Red Head motor.

1. Ken Burdick
2. Nigel Tarvin
3. Kelley Crozier

Now to Sunday's Vintage Diesel Combat.

Henry and Nigel did not have diesels but Mel and Joe joined in, so we had:

  • Greg Davis
  • Ken Burdick
  • Barrie Hobkirk
  • Denis Cousineau
  • Kelly Crozier
  • Joe Yau
  • Mel Lyne

We ran Sunday in a “Free-for-all” fashion which meant a very relaxed and picnic style day. Humidity was a problem so this “Whomever you want to fly” format was most welcome.

With some good action and fun, we had about 20 matches. We kept track of who won the most matches and near the end we had three flyers with at least two wins. They were Greg, Mel and Kelly so we ran “Finals. First up was Greg and Mel for a full 4 minutes of nonstop action but it was Mel coming out on top. Mel then flew Kelly and again Mel came away ahead to win top honors. And finally Greg flew Kelly to decide second and third. The annual “bell-cranking” that all were expecting thankfully didn't happen and Greg came away with one cut.

Final D-Bat results were as follows (Northwest standings points in parentheses):

Mel Lyne (7);
2. Greg Davis (6)
3. Kelly Crozier (5)

The one thing that makes this weekend happen and makes it most enjoyable is that everyone chips in. We had Cordon Bleu cheffing by Ken Burdick with oven fresh cornbread and all the “Special Recipe”chili you could eat, some tasty side dishes by Nigel Tarvin, condiments by Joe Yau, streamers by Greg Davis, field layout and lining by yours truly, post pounding labor by Denis Cousineau and his son John, technical, tuning and mega enthusiasm by Mel Lyne, and well needed shade by Kelly, “canopy” Crozier.

Speaking of Mel's enthusiasm, there were D-Bat match in which Mel started both competitors engines!

We also had some most welcome help in the form of timing and scoring by Chris Cox and his son Steven. They stayed relentlessly in the hot sun two full days keeping us all honest with their flawless work.

And a special thanks to Adrian Duncan for being our entertaining static Graffiti Judge for the second year. His knowledge and authority in this area is unquestionable.

Nigel even brought out his dad, John Tarvin, whom you will all know as the “Hobbyist” at Woodward's back in the day and the guy we all probably bought our first “big” engine from.

See you next year.

A view from Broadway

Combat Graffiti

Yes folks, it's true.

Combat Graffiti made it to its second year! The idea of CG was easy, the difficult part was to find a place where the modelers were skilled enough and willing to build the old models, fly them, and not crash into each other. If you have ever been involved in creating an event, you can appreciate all of the rules and changes to them that the bunch of us went through.

Shrink ... I wanna kill ... kill! KILL!

So sang Arlo Guthrie back in the 60's for "Alice's Restaurant." That was precisely the problem when you spend hours building a vintage model that is used for combat. What we did was to disqualify anyone who actually made a kill. The points are primarily obtained by a static score as in scale and then followed by a combat match that is limited to two cuts. The first cut is 35 points, the second cut is worth 10 points. Airtime is counted with a one minute starting period. Clearly, the deck is stacked to the building and finish of these oldies. We used a circle marshal to stop the match and fly level if the flyers got too aggressive.

Oh, yawn ... then what?

The net results of our plan was not to eliminate all but the master builders, but somehow have the average guy have a chance to win ... it worked! I entered a WOW that was not in the same league as the stunt worthy finishes by Greg Davis, Nigel Tarvin, and Barrie Hobkirk, but it was in the ballpark. White Ultra-kote and blue silk with a dependable old K&B greenhead .35 on suction. I used a 10 x 6 prop with 10% Power Master fuel and somehow won every match. The points inched their way up and even though I didn't have that knockout looking model, I won by maybe 5-10 points overall.

We may not be big, but we're small

I sure hope Stewart Mclean doesn't see this...

The true fun of the event is the picnic atmosphere of it all. The look and feel of the event has been captured in the imagination of Barrie, Greg and the others who are enjoying it. The fun factor is high and this year we charged entry fee in the form of pot-luck food. Lunch was great.

A special note

The contest director for the event is Barrie Hobkirk. Barrie is a walking dictionary of model airplanes. Everything he has seen he remembers including the field layout from the 1960s.

When I arrived at the field, I was stunned by the massive amount of stakes carefully hammered into the grass with yellow barrier tape wrapped around each. Periodically there was a spectator warning sign that was printed and laminated and stapled to various stakes that formed the boundaries as well as the pits. The shape of all this was a keyhole with the open end forming the entrance to the pit area. A 6-foot-tall stake carried a laminated sign designating the pit area.

For the guys who never had a chance to go to a “Navy” Nationals in the 60s, this was the expectations back in those days. Barrie treated us all to a walk down memory lane and was at the field working alone at night to pull this treat off.


-- Kenny-b

Combat Graffiti photo gallery

Pit area. Joe Yau photo.

Nigel Tarvin's Werewolf. Joe Yau photo.

An interesting trophy! Joe Yau photo.

Well, it is combat after all. Joe Yau photo.

What would Graffiti Combat be without a VooDoo? Joe Yau photo.

Nigel Tarvin's Shark. Ken Burdick photo.

Adrian Duncan does the appearance judging. Ken Burdick photo.

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This page was upated Sept. 12, 2013