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I personally haven't participated in anything in over a year but I plan to do 1 or 2 this summer. Anyway I build to win. If you ain't winnin' you ain't havin' fun.
Huh? Yeah. All my builds are for the open road tracks. Beauty is essential for me, but I definitly build for function. No high boys allowed. After drilling out the rivets, its Dremal and files for "cleaning up" the casting and making room inside for the wheels so I can drop the casting down. All the mold marks and flashing have got to go. Then it is a study of real car photos so I can work my car in that direction, fixing body lines, grills, panels, windows and interior. So I find myself doing the form first and then the making the running gear fit in.
I'm new to the whole build process. I have sent quiet a few out that haven't functioned well. I build for the theme and fun. I sort have gotten way from that. It's something I like doing with my kids. KCLH Racing is name after the kids. I've sent in several cars to IDR. They haven't performed well, like the Harry Potter Cup, but I enjoyed seeing my family run down the track. The cars looked pretty good as well. It's fun, and if it places bonus.
For my first 45 years of rebuilding miniature autos it was all about form over function. Taking my cars to the races was not an issue because there literally was no one else to race. If I built a car its repaint depended on what I was trying to achieve (e.g. the '40 Ford Tudor rebuilt as a rumrunner was painted flat black with black steelie wheels while the '59 Cadillac hearse was shiny maroon with gold Hot Ones wheels and gold landau bars). All were created to roll straight and easy simply because I grew up watching the introduction of Hot Wheels, and Mattel shifted the emphasis from style to performance.
Now that I have a legitimate excuse to create (and contests to enter) what I create depends on the contest and the latitude of the rules given. I like trying out new things, and if the parameters of a particular contest allow me to try something I think will give me some competitive edge I'll go ahead and do it. I like going into an event with the belief I can win, but if I'm not going into it with the same goal as I had originally (to have fun) there are other, more lucrative ways to give myself angst and depression.