Is there any way to tell if he did? I don’t want to single him or his son out, but at the same time everyone else is playing by the rules.
I am assuming a scout came in with an Official BSA kit by Revell, Made in China. He had Revell cut out his car instead of somebody else. The Official BSA Pre-cut kits from Revell have way too much wood in them except for a few models. Even then, it is a block of wood that someone cut out. There are so many things go into building a winning car and everything has to be perfect. You stated a scout had a Pre-cut kit, assembled it before check in and destroyed everyone. So am I to understand this scout installed wheels (Made in China-Junk) and axles into a block of wood and won the race? Forgive me, but something simply does not add up here. Might I suggest a workshop and presentation from someone who would teach the young scouts and their adult helper the Physics of the Pinewood Derby.
That is my initial thought. If this scout used one of the Revell kits to build a car just before the race and won - then that is one lucky boy.Speedster wrote: I am assuming a scout came in with an Official BSA kit by Revell, Made in China. He had Revell cut out his car instead of somebody else. The Official BSA Pre-cut kits from Revell have way too much wood in them except for a few models. Even then, it is a block of wood that someone cut out. There are so many things go into building a winning car and everything has to be perfect. You stated a scout had a Pre-cut kit, assembled it before check in and destroyed everyone. So am I to understand this scout installed wheels (Made in China-Junk) and axles into a block of wood and won the race? Forgive me, but something simply does not add up here.
I will check his wheels also. I would think that if he bought "special speed axles off the net" (his words), he also would have bought wheels.
If all axles are "just nails" then he should have no problem replacing them.michaelmoo wrote:I told them the rules are clear that they have to use the axles in the kit. He rambled on about how they were just nails.
Based on what was said, if the call had been purely motivated by one's conscience or sense of fairness, then it seems unlikely the parent would have debated the issue after being told they were illegal. If the call was made because they were seeking to avoid problems at inspection, then perhaps it may be obvious that they are using parts that are not "from the box". I therefore wonder if the question was posed to "feel out" the degree to which the rule against aftermarket parts are to be enforced. Speed axles are difficult to detect, but others parts less so. I agree with Speedster that you might see more than "special speed axles" used on this new scout's car.michaelmoo wrote:Well this year I get a call from a new scout parent telling me they just finished the car and then he read our rules. [...] They bought “special speed axles off the internet” and wanted to know if they could use them since the car was finished.
It depends on how "special" the axles are. Some speed axles are nickel plated, which appear slightly different than the standard zinc-plated axle.michaelmoo wrote:Is there any way to tell if he did?
Some speed axles are machined; they are not nails and thus do not have a pointed tip. So if the axle tip is visible (say, installed in a slot) that would be an indicator.
Some machined axles have a slightly tapered head which, IMO, might be distinguishable.
Some speed axles are reportedly machined of stainless steel, and most types of stainless are non-magnetic. I've never owned a stainless axle to say whether any are non-magnetic, but if an axle did not attract a magnet it would be definitely counterfeit.
I might being a small magnet just to see. I will also be looking at the axle if the end is pointed or not. We dont have a rule that you have to use the slots and can change the wheelbase, so he might have drilled holes (most of our scouts drill holes, but in the stock slots).
I will let you guys know what happens. Thanks for all the advice on this. I just have a feeling that he didn't change them to the stock ones (and might be using non stock wheels). Hopefully I'm wrong.
Here's the rule you need to eliminate cheating. IMHO. Probably too late for this year, but put it in your rules for next year and watch your Derby change.
"Each den competes as a team. The den with the best overall result wins the Team Trophy."
Our Pack awards The Big Wrench, a 3' long wrench with a 2" opening, to the fastest Den. It travels from Den to Den each year. The individual awards are tiny. Winning 'The Wrench' requires the whole den cooperate and share their knowledge. The kids go nuts for this wrench.
An ultra competitive Dad, hell bent on winning, can't get much personal glory without sharing his secret across the whole Den. Cheating has to be secretive, and I find it hard to believe that an entire Den would cheat their way to their trophy.
Encourage the build teams to share new ideas. Makes for more fun.
For this year, have the Cubs check in their cars and just naturally ask about the build process. The truth will come out. If they cheated, let them run, but award no trophy. Or give them options to make the car legal. Smile.
Let us all know how this turns out.
How were you able to tell? (In case others find themselves in a similar situation.)michaelmoo wrote:We looked at the axle and they were not the ones in the box. Even had one of our expert dads helping at check in who confirmed it.
Do you think the Dad learned a lesson?
If anything, what will you change for next year?