Design Contest Tips

2008 Odd Ball Winner -

When entering a design contest, you've got to ask yourself:

What is it about my design that is going to catch the attention of the judges?

A 3FNC (3 fin, 1 nose cone) rocket probably won't win a design contest. You have to give the judges something different.

There was an important line from the old Estes Design of the Month contest:
"Designs should be new, original and different - but they also need to be workable!"

After you've drawn up your design, what are you going to do to bring it to the next level? And maybe, one more level after that!

Recently, Semroc announced they had one NARAM Sky Hook kit left. These were giveaways for the NARAM participants and were signed by the designer, Bill Simon. Carl asked for Sky Hook stories, the best story would win this remaining, limited edition kit.

Instead of a story, a poem was written about my Sky Hook entry in the 1972 Estes Craftsmanship Contest. Granted, the poetry was badly written, but it was a different presentation. A follow up build thread on this blog recreated the model as it was built back in 1972.

Elevate 11 Entry
This was my entry for the 2009 Elevate 11 contest sponsored by EMRR. The contest was for the eleventh anniversary of EMRR and a tribute to the Apollo 11 flight. I had to come up with some way to elaborate on the number 11.

I figured some entrants would fly 11 rockets, another might fly 11 payloads. This contest called for the extreme.
Check out the entry HERE

This entry wasn't planned in one afternoon. I let things sit and the 33 different Elevate 11 ideas grew over a few days time.
Sure it was silly, but a great creative exercise.
Wanting to go that extra step, an exploded drawing and fin templates were drawn up. One of the assembly drawings is HERE

You have to go beyond the obvious, and take it to the next level.
While the Elevate 11 entry had to gone to extremes, you've also got to step back and be realistic if you've taken a design too far.

1972 Photo Contest Winner

In 1972 I won the Centuri Photo Design Contest.
One of the rules stated that in your picture, you had to include a Centuri engine.
At the time, all I had was Estes engines. My mother drove me
1 1/2 hours to a small hobby shop to get that Centuri engine.
If I had put an Estes engine in the picture, I would have been disqualified.

If the rules are not closely followed, your entry might end up in the trash!