No photos as my phone/camera died ...
We had the breeder/judge consultation at @Zanna's coop yesterday to look over all three of her breeds (Delawares, New Hampshires, Black Copper Marans). Here are the two things that struck me this time:
1) So much of the rest of the bird's shape can be predicted by the head. Wide & solid head structure can lead to a wide & solid bird. Robert says these American Class birds descend from the Asiatic Class birds, and those have the round & wide heads. On the adult birds, it is most obvious above the eye.
2) Feather B&W color issues on these Delawares are not a big deal at the moment. Red/brassy/brown/salmon is. I asked Robert straight out, "How would you feel about seeing a Delaware with striped hackles in the show ring?" His answer: "I'd feel GREAT about it. It's a point." Ditto tails. But we know having the wrong color (salmon, red, brown, brassy) is a DQ. The salmon is most easy to see around the edges of the black, especially on certain parts of the bird ... in my experience that develops into increasing amounts of buff/brassy/brown/red as the bird matures. The more of the proper "silver" color influencing the bird, the more the bird glitters in the sunshine.
At my coop, the females with the striped hackles are certain to develop into red birds ... so I'm pretty prejudiced against it. YMMV
That said ... we got pretty nitty gritty picky about color on Zanna's New Hampshires and also took a good look at color on the Black Copper Marans. Zanna is lucky I didn't sneak off with a few of her juicier NH pullets. They are such lovely calm & chatty birds.
I'm sure @Zanna picked up even better details of what Robert shared with us ... she's started off with a lot more knowledge than I.
Just realized a 3rd & 4th thing struck me ...
3) Birds that take longer to look "finished" are probably going to be more solid when they get there. They can look pretty awkward while the others look elegant and balanced, but be patient.
4) Wings with shoulders carried up at the same height as the back, and wide ... that's what we want. It can look pretty odd in younger birds, but it sure finishes nice. This is one thing you can observe while the birds are pecking the ground.