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Everything posted by SkyKing

  1. I'd like to put in a good word for Federation Models of Palm Bay, FL, and its owner, Tracy Brownfield. (http://www.federationmodels.com/). I recently ordered a conversion kit for NX-2000 (starship Excelsior in its original ST III: TSFS form), a limited production resin item intended for the AMT/Ertl kit. The item arrived in about a week, well packaged, but upon examination, was missing a key item. I immediately emailed Federation, and in less than a week, received the missing part. I've not done a lot of business with Federation, but I believe it to be a one-person operation, and this
  2. "An inexpensive, vector based tool specifically for making decals is available from DecalGear " I looked at this and it appears to be just what the guy is looking for. Check it out. I looked at it also, and it appears to meet his needs. Too bad there's not a Mac version available, or I'd get it myself! I'd stay away from any decal paper other than that sold by Tango Papa (http://www.tangopapadecals.com/prod01.htm), however, unless you only have an inkjet printer.
  3. Importing a scanned raster image is possible, but automatic vectorizing is problematic. Photoshop allows you to create paths based on colors and shades and then export those paths into Illustrator, where the paths then can be used to create a vector object. But what I generally do is import the scan into Illustrator as a template on its own layer, and then re-draw on top of it in a separate layer (or layers). Illustrator is very good with gradients, and gradients created in Illustrator look much better than one imported from Photoshop, but the quality of the output will depend on your printer
  4. The task is not as simple as it may seem, and I speak as a former editor for Squadron/Signal Publications who was intimately involved in these sorts of things. There are a lot of technical details to printing, especially color printing, whether printing a book or printing decals, and mastery of the details is important to achieving the desired result, even if only printing a simple decal at home using your computer. As to software, please see my message of 10 January.
  5. Question about pixilation: Even if a vector-based program tells the printer "Red No.499124", or whatever, isn't there gonna be some intrinsic pixilation in the image, based on how a printer "mixes" and applies a field of that particular color from the Cyan, magenta, Yellow & Black inks? You may see some halftoning (i.e, a dot pattern resulting from the way the printer mixes the basic colors to achieve the desired result), but this is not the same as pixelation. There are no pixels in a vector-based program because the objects created in such a program are described for the printer m
  6. You don't want Photoshop or any pixel-based program; you need a vector-based program such as Illustrator or Corel Draw.
  7. Hate it. Turns a scale model into an "art object' and cartoonish caricature of the real thing. As to panel lines, I have found that the best effect is obtained from a wash of a transparent acrylic paint such as Tamiya Smoke or similar, just enough to give a slightly darker shade of the underlying color as if it's in shadow, applied with a thin brush and letting capillary action do its thing. Adding a drop or two of Windex or dish washing detergent to the wash helps it flow into the panel lines better. Of course if there are no engraved panel lines you do have a problem. My friend Rusty
  8. A company called Highliners makes some outstanding kits of the GM F-units, both A and B. You can build just about any variant of these locos, as plenty of extra parts are included. They can be hard to find, however, as the same tooling is used for Athearn's "Genesis" F-units. They are body shell kits only, so you'll need to find chassis elsewhere. Walthers stocks Highliners kits.
  9. After a loooong search I was finally able to obtain a Mission Models chisel recently. Now I'm looking for the micro chisel and scribing attachments for same. However, the Mission Models web site appears to be in need of updating; there are many broken links, and many of the products, including those I'm looking for, are listed as out of stock. They don't seem to be available locally, either. So has this company gone belly up?
  10. Fire up the Songbird, Penny! Looks good.
  11. Richard Datin, the man who is responsible for building the original 11-foot miniature Enterprise for TV's "Star Trek," has died at the age of 82. More here: http://culttvman.com/main/?p=16136
  12. Does anyone do decals for the Texas Department of Public Safety's highway patrol cars in 1/24 or 1/25? I'm out of my comfort zone here.
  13. Can any member in New England help with this request: The New Hampshire Aviation Museum which is located at the Manchester-Boston Regional airport will be commemorating the Centennial of Naval Aviation from February 19th to March 31st and we are looking for a 1/72 model of a Douglas A3-D Skywarrior to display. I know that they are out of production, would you have any sources that we could contact that might have one for sale? Also go to www.NHAHS.org to check out our Museum. Thank you, Richard L. Fortin Docent, NHAHS 55 Amory St., Apt. 550 Manchester, NH., 03102 603-622-7117
  14. Well, I'd still suggest Illustrator, but if cost is a consideration, here is where you can get a free, open-source vector drawing program that runs on Linux, Windows 2000/2003/XP, and Mac OS X: http://inkscape.org/
  15. None that I know of. Any computer art program can be used to produce artwork for decals, so decal-specific software is really not necessary. What you need is a vector program with a large selection of color libraries, including the Pantone colors used by just about every printer, if you intend to produce decals commercially. Adobe Illustrator is my recommendation.
  16. Another formula for scale effect is to add white by an amount equal to the square root of the scale denominator; i.e., for 1/24, approximately 5%, for 1/32 approximately 6%, for 1/48 approximately 7%, for 1/72 approximately 9%, etc. This gives a more subtle fading of the paint which I find far more realistic. And a 1/48 scale model does not have 1/48 the surface area of its full-size prototype; it has 1/(48 x 48) = 1/2304 the surface area. It's an inverse square relationship, not a linear one, because area is a square (power of 2) function of the linear dimensions. A 1/72 scale model has 1
  17. Welcome, Max. There are two major IPMS chapters in the DFW area, IPMS North Central Texas and IPMS Fort Worth. IPMS NCT meets on the second Sunday of the month at the Irving Garden and Arts Center in Irving. I live in Carrollton just off I-35E, and you're welcome to ride with me to the next IPMS NCT meeting on Sunday, Jan. 9. Shoot me a PM or email me at skyking918(at)verizon.net if interested.
  18. I just hope the interior is more accurate than the exterior, which should simulate lapped panel joins and round rivets instead of trenches and divots to hold "washes" and "filters." No B-17 ever looked like what that kit's surface "detail" purports to portray. It's truly sad when accuracy has to be sacrificed for the latest modeling fads, especially in a product which could break new ground. When it was founded (and I was there shortly thereafter), IPMS was about building accurate models, not "pretty" ones built to a formula.
  19. You're welcome. Let us know how it works out.
  20. I've not used this product, but the Tamiya web site (http://www.tamiya.com/english/products/87096surface/index.htm) recommends Tamiya lacquer thinner, so it must be a lacquer-based product. Here's what someone else on another forum had to say about it: "I had big problems trying to spray it when thinning with normal automotive lacquer thinner - the stuff would dry in the air and form a powdery texture. Luckily you could rub it off easily with some alcohol since it never adhered that well to the surface. I then discovered Tamiya lacquer thinner - expensive stuff but it seems to dry sl
  21. About 25 years ago (!), to coincide with the 75th anniversary of naval aviation, I had a brief article in the old Update listing available 1/72 US Navy aircraft kits which might be built to celebrate same. Now that the 100th anniversary of navair is approaching, I'd like to update that list. However, I no longer have a copy of my original article. Is there some kind soul out there with an extensive archive of IPMS publications that could track down that article and send me a copy? You will earn my eternal gratitude.
  22. According to a Floquil Marine Colors chart I have, this was a part of their line of "Classic Colors of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Vessels." And although it's not clear from the chart, it may have been a "rigging stain" into which rigging thread was to be dipped in order to simulate oiled rope. Or perhaps it was intended to be applied to wood or metal surfaces on sailing ships that would have had an oil film applied in real life. The chart does not have a chip for this color. In fact, the space where the chip would normally be on the chart bears the words "CHIP NOT SHOWN."
  23. I've not yet had a chance to try Mr. Color, but I'm told there is a "Mr. Color Leveling Thinner" which has a retarder in it to slow the drying time so the paint levels out without runs or orange peel (hence the name). You might give it a try. Posters on other forums have reported the same problem that you have experienced and also reported that the Leveling Thinner seemed to solve it.
  24. Here is what I learned. One contact says: "The Countdown Gemini Titan is really not much. In fact if it had not come in a box that said what it was I would not have known." Another says: "I have it here and frankly forget it. Although the Saturn V isn't too bad, the Gemini-Titan is really badly made toy! as far as Countdown was concerned, it was only issued built. It was in comparable packaging to the built Saturn by itself. Saturn in red box, Gemini in blue."
  25. Google is your friend. A search for "Coundown, Inc. models" turned this up at http://321awards.com/about.htm In 1966, Countdown, Inc. was founded by Mr. Dick Repper. Countdown, Inc. built model rockets of Saturn V. These rockets were sold at the souvenir shop at NASA in Cape Canaveral, Florida. In an effort to grow his company, Mr. Reeper decided to branch out into the plaque and trophy industry. In 1974, the Award Shoppe was purchased by, Billy and Myra Sermons. At the time the Award Shoppe was a small local award store. The Award Shoppe grew over the next twelve years before being
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