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Recessed panel lines


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As an ex-crew chief of the F-100C Super Sabre, I have noticed that the recessed panel lines(inspection panels) & skins that butt one another on certain models are too, too dark in the lines that modelers do. This might impress somes judges, but the model does not accurately show what its supposed to look like. This effect even shows up on all the undersides as well. Aside from the wheel wells or engine/fuselage or the engine/cowling areas, the skin is relatively clean & void of darkened lines. I've even noticed on some models a natural metal skin & black flush type fastener screws! Why? There are some exceptions to this rule. The bottom line is to gather as many photos as possible & transfer what the photo shows to the model. Judges might in the future might request a photo or photos to justly present an award.

All comments/opinions are welcome.

 

John Maene/Hawthorne, N.J.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You nailed it; it impresses judges. And I might add does look good!! Kinda like looking at a heavy retouch of a picture of me, looks good but don't resemble the original ..... at all!! LOL!!

 

Our Hueys had raised rivet on the tail boom and when the crew wiped the jet exhaust off of it, it did have the effect of 'preshading'. But only on the tailboom and vertical fin.

 

Oh well, it's a hobby and I DO try to make my models look like active flyable aircraft and NOT one that's been in the junk yard for years!! Aircraft ain't tanks!!

 

Bo Roberts

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If most panel lines on models were compared to the real thing there woukld be a 1 inch gap between panels. Or so it seems to me.

 

And to accentuate them with dark wash makes 'em even more gaudy!!

 

I remember one very well done Monogram F-105 finished in the aluminum lacquer scheme that looked like a Tennessee road map when compared to a provided photo of the same real a/c at about the same scale distance!! It did look good, but unreal!!

 

 

Bo Roberts

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Remember, what we do is art. The finish is an artistic representation of the real thing. An actual item, shrunk down, would look nothing like we would "think" it should look.

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Ah! The eternal problem of art not immitating life! Your points about what the surface of an aircraft (or, for that matter, any other modeling subject) look like in reality are well taken. But our contests - to dredge up what is now a well-worn cliche-are craftsmanship competitions, not history bees. And as with any competition where judging is involved, the competitior is at an advantage if he or she understands what the judges like to see and and incorporates it into his or her entry.

 

The panel line emphasis so popular and eye-catching now was unknown 25 years ago when I started to regularly attend our Regional and the National. But about 15-20 years ago, someone showed up at a contest with a 1/72 scale Spitfire with the panel lines detailed in pencil. I and everyone else was stunned and impressed by the result. Now, it is pretty much de rigeur if one expects to be competitive. When well done, it reflects a high order of effort and skill-i.e. craftmanship- by the builder and this is what judges want to see reflected in the result.

 

Is it, to some extent, a matter of taste and fashion? Without question, yes. But it can also be seen as a question of aesthetics. I believe that the eye craves to see detail in the miniature. After all, when one is viewing a 1/72 scale aircraft even up close ( two feet away), that is theoretically like standing as much as a 1/2 football field away to look at the same object. (Indeed, the 1/72 scale model was evolved to construct I.D. models during WWII for teaching aircraft identification. The concept was that a 1/72 model, held a convenient distance away from the observer, would simulate the appearance of the full-sized aircraft at a much greater distance.) If we carry the concept of a scale model having an overall appearance consistent with its scale "distance" from the observer, then all these entries are going to get deadly dull. Would we really see all the remakable detail in the uniforms of the 54 mm figures at the scale distance? 1/700 scale ships? Might as well eliminate the category because at that scale distance, every ship becomes a grey shadow.

 

Detail is pleasing to the eye and difficult to do effectively and neatly. These are the goals of our contests as exhibitions and competitions- to amaze the casual viewer and impress the judges with what is possible with skill and assiduity. Reality is monotonous and boring. Nick Filippone Senior National Judge

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I thank that most modelers accent the panel lines to bring out the detail on a model that might not be seen otherwise. Most aircraft viewed at a distance that represents the size of a model shows up very few panel lines.

 

Texas :smiley20:

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Human sight is more complex than simple optics.

 

Look at a 1/72 scale plane from 2 feet away and thanks to stereoscopic vision your brain knows its is only 2 feet away (not 144) - so it expects to see detail.

 

Look at a real aircraft with butt-joined panels from 50 feet away, and since your vision is good at recognizing lines it will see the panel lines even though there is no measurable gap or difference in color - your vision picks out the tiny discontinuity in the way light reflects at the edge.

 

Highlighting panel lines and painting in shadows and other such trickery is sort of like heavy stage-makeup on actors in a play: it lets us see what we expect to see under unusual lighting conditions and viewing distance. Human viewers will think such a model looks more real, even though a camera will think otherwise.

 

BTW, one of the coolest things I've seen at a model contest was a dio of an aircrew getting a plane ready for an airshow: some of the little guys had buckets of paint outlining the panel lines, another was leaving the air out of the tires so they "bulged", another guy was sanding the paint of the leading edges of the wing. Had me laughing out loud.

 

Don

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John: your point about accuracy is well founded. If it's a concern for you, then build your models that way. However, be aware that there is NO accuracy criteria in contests. In the end, if it LOOKS right, it IS right; whether or not that's truly accurate.

 

Personally, I enjoy the artistic side of the way most models are depicted. As pointed out above, it's more eye-catching and visually interesting. A dull model will not attract much interest, regardless of how well researched and acurate it is.

 

To each their own.....build to make yourself happy! Merry Christmas y'all!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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To each their own.....build to make yourself happy! Merry Christmas y'all!

 

GIL :smiley16:

 

Except when it's entered in a Model Show Contest, then it has to please others. If you're the only one to view it, then your right on!!

 

And a photo of the real aircraft IS what a model should look like from the same scale viewing distance!!!

 

My 2 cents, if that.

 

Bo Roberts

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BTW, one of the coolest things I've seen at a model contest was a dio of an aircrew getting a plane ready for an airshow: some of the little guys had buckets of paint outlining the panel lines, another was leaving the air out of the tires so they "bulged", another guy was sanding the paint of the leading edges of the wing. Had me laughing out loud.

 

Don

 

Hi, Don,

 

Here's the diorama of which you speak. I shot the photo at the 2004 Phoenix National.

 

Ed

 

DSC00071.jpg

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Jabow said:

 

Except when it's entered in a Model Show Contest, then it has to please others. If you're the only one to view it, then your right on!!

 

No, it only has to please the judges. If you're not there for the trophy, it doesn't matter. The thing is that what judges deem as good art one year, may change in a year or two. If art is the main thing judges look for, then they should be called art critics, not judges.

 

As someone said, model to suit yourself. If you're after awards, do what's popular at the time. If you're entering to show your stuff, support the show or any number of other reasons, model to please yourself.

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Hi, Don,

 

Here's the diorama of which you speak. I shot the photo at the 2004 Phoenix National.

 

Thanks Ed - this is still one of my all-time favorite models (and it makes the point that when it comes to highlighting and weathering, less really is more).

 

I have a similar picture sitting on the disk of a dead PC - this reminds me to buy the cable I need to try to recover that stuff.

 

Don

Edited by Schmitz
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Jabow said:

No, it only has to please the judges. If you're not there for the trophy, it doesn't matter.

 

That is the main reason I have been turned off from contest for many years. And why I seldom if ever compete anymore. The contest I have attended in the past have all gone the way of pretty and clean. I understand they have to figure based on set rules, not putting anyone down for that, but not at all like the real world. Just don't see that as art, unless my art professor was wrong, which I thought so on more than one occasion :smiley18:

I prefer the people's choice award over any of the others. If I build it and non-judicial types like it then I have accomplished something. I build for myself now or when someone ask me, and am very happy with that. Just my 2 cents.

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