Pete J.

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About Pete J.

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    MCM Ohana
  • Birthday 11/05/1949

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  • Location San Marcos, Ca
  • Full Name Pete Johnson

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Pete J.'s Activity

  1. Pete J. added a post in a topic PHOTOGRAPHY HELP PLEASE   

    Peter, Mine is an even older 5700 and as I have said many times on other posts, the magic is in the photographer not the camera.  If you have one that allows aperture or shutter priority and manual white balance adjustment then you can shoot great photos.  Balancing the focal lengths, depth of field and shadows is a matter of artistry and understanding of the shooting environment. 
    Bill mentioned in his opening statement that he was not a pro but had invested in some good equipment.  With some technique he can easily produce some great photos.  As I mentioned, I dislike using the macro feature on my camera because is reduces the depth of field.  Shooting models you get a bit better photo by backing up and zooming in.  It improves the depth of field and reduces lens distortion.  If the lens is too close to the subject you get a fish eye effect.  This also happens when you have a large aperture opening.  Here is an example:
    You may not notice it when you first look at the photo, but the jaws of the hemostat holding the pin are straight, but because of the proximity of the lens, they appear to be slightly bowed out.  For this reason, my preferred shooting distance is about 2 to 3 feet and use the zoom to get in close.  On particularly small items such as this is just isn't possible, but most of the time it is. 
    I am not trying to be critical, just passing on some information I have gained over the years. 
  2. Pete J. added a post in a topic I don't do hot rods. Well, maybe I do.   

    I don't think it will quite fit the category, but I have tried bending worse rules.  Perhaps I could say I misunderstood because I never thought of a rod as a car??  Any way, it is for my club up in Anaheim.  It's a group build.
  3. Pete J. added a post in a topic PHOTOGRAPHY HELP PLEASE   

    Bill, I wouldn't set the DSLR aside.  It has some very useful features that point and shoots don't.  The main ones are white balance and shutter speed.  Your DSLR should give you the option to have several setups stored.  This is handy.  You can have one for what you normally do and one for models.  Once you get a model setup that you like, it works much better.  I have a very old Minolta digital camera and it works very well but also very slowly.
      My set up is done as follows.  I set up my photo shoot area and set the white balance. I set up my shooting area and use a sheet of bright white printer paper. Get the whitest that you can.  Most papers will have a grade of white on them.  Do not use photo paper with a glossy finish.  You want a flat finish. Once this is set I store it in one of the optional settings.  
    When I shoot,  I used the camera in aperture priority(you set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed) and cranked it down to the smallest aperture(longest shutter opening).  This gives you maximum depth of field.  I then set the camera up about 3 feet from the subject on a tripod and uses a remote shutter so I didn't cause the camera to shutter when I fired it.  This gives you the sharpest photo and least distorted. 
    From there it is a matter of composition and angles to get the best photo.  Remember, a low angle gives you the most realistic, but the high angle gets the most detail. 
    Low angle

    High angle
  4. Pete J. added a post in a topic PHOTOGRAPHY HELP PLEASE   

    Photographing models is all about lighting and depth of field.  As a serious amature photographer I assume that you are familiar with both terms so I won't go into detailed explanations.  When photographing models diffused light from multilple angles works best.  I went cheap on my diffusers.  I made two frames from foam core board and inserted sheets of velum(available at art stores).  I use 4 different clip on lights on a frame made of PVC pipe to hold them at different angles.  This still gives a solid shadow but it is very soft. 
    Second is depth of field. The biggest mistake I see is that people want to shoot with a macro setting and get very close to the model.  This reduces the depth of field and distorts the model.   I prefer to shoot with a mild telephoto lens from a distance of about 3 feet.  That way the model is in clear focus and you don't get the "fisheye" distortion.  Here are a couple of examples.

    As and after thought I decided to add a shot of my set up.  If you have space, it is quite convenient, however it is also made to be taken down.  Press fit on the PVC only.  You could also make a table top version of this quite easily.

  5. Pete J. added a post in a topic I don't do hot rods. Well, maybe I do. Finished   

    Espo, I appreciate all those who followed this build.  A lot of little challenges that were gratifying to get through
    Thanks for your comments.  It was a fun build and some of it is good, some is not so good, but it was all fun.  I had some paint issued.  I am not sure what happened but apparently DuPont clear lacquer doesn't like Tamiya Mica Blue.  The paint in the panel lines went a little wonky in some places, changing the metal flake and bubbling up.  I had the same thing happen on another model I am working on.  Since this was a club build, I didn't worry about it all that much.  Thanks again for looking.
  6. Pete J. added a post in a topic I don't do hot rods. Well, maybe I do. Finished   

    This was really just a side project and as the title may suggest, street rods are not my cup of tea.  I decided that I would have some fun with it.  It is really an old and not very well engineered kit.  I decided to go curbside when the hood had such a poor fit that it would have taken a ton of work to get it right.  Solution to the problem?  Glue the sucker shut, sand it and rescribe a panel line.  The rest of it was just an exercise in imagination.  I hadn't chopped a top in years and wanted to see if I could still pull it off.  I have been playing around with making rims and wanted to play with some Delron I go my hands on.  By the way, that stuff is amazing to machine.  I have friends who are big fans of Red Bull and I have some extra decals so it seemed a natural fit.  Thanks for looking.
  7. Pete J. added a post in a topic I don't do hot rods. Well, maybe I do.   

    Ok, it is finally done.  Additional work, turned a set of headlight bezels and a plug for the license plate hole.  Redid all the chrome parts.  I had to because I cut 1/8" out of the center of the bumpers to suck them in.  Added some BMF accents and polished the paint out.  Not crazy about the a couple of the panel lines, but it is a curbside for a club project due in November.   Done, finished kaput!

  8. Pete J. added a topic in Under Glass   

    I don't do hot rods. Well, maybe I do. Finished
    Ok, it is finally done.  Turned rims from aluminum with milled Delron centers.  Turned headlight bezels. Stripped all the chrome parts and redid them.  I had to do that to take 1/8th inch out of the middle to tighten them up.  I chopped the top by a good 1/4".  Windscreen is thermoplastic.  Suspension was lowered and stance changed. rear wheel arches radiused and tubbed.   This is curbside model so the engine is just painted and put in place to hold the exhaust. This is a club project so when I have pics of the other builds(November meeting) I will post them.

    • 10 replies
  9. Pete J. added a post in a topic I need a model builder for old nascar models   

    Good point.  I was just going to say that your request leaves a lot out.  If you just want the body painted and decaled that is one thing.  If you are looking for full detail, that is an entirely different animal.  Be prepared to pay $30 to $50 an hour minimum for someone with skill to build for you and that is minimum.  Also be prepared to spell out exactly what you want.  "I do'no! Just make it nice" will not suffice. 
    Suggested things to think about:
    1. Curb side- Exterior only, windows blacked out, no chassis detail.  Least expensive.  Probably fine for a shelf model.
    2. Box Stock - What comes in the box, painted and assembled per the instructions.  Better than curb side, but won't stand up to the scrutiny of a knowledgeable fan.
    3. Some custom detail - Box Stock with extras like a photoetched set or modified kit parts to improve accuracy.  Improvement with an appreciable increase in cost because of exponential increase in time to do.
    4. Full blown museum quality - everything wired and plumbed.  Photo etched or scratch build details. Parts modified to eliminate discrepancies.  This level of build can get very expensive and easily cost you into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars from a top tier builder. 
    You can have anything you want between 1 and 4 if you are willing to pay for it, but just like car restoration, the cost for that last 10% of accuracy can easily exceed the cost for the first 90%.  Remember that you are asking someone to do this as work, not to just have fun with the hobby.  Building for someone else in not the same and having fun for yourself.
  10. Pete J. added a post in a topic auto cutter   

    These are my preferred weapons of mass distruction.  The first is made by Hasegawa Tri-Tool and  are finger saws.  The cut so fine you can actually glue a panel back in place and you won't know it was ever cut out.  They also bend around slight corners for delect cuts.  The next tool is a Tamiya razor saw and is for those really big cuts. I use it for chopping and sectioning bodies.  With the long pull stroke cut you can get really straight cuts the length or width of the body.  Both are tools that I would not be happy to not have in my tool box.  They are both available from Hobby Link Japan or any domestic model on line service that carries Hasegawa and Tamiya.  Good luck!

  11. Pete J. added a post in a topic Any Vespa Fans Here?   

    I have a 93 MR 2 Turbo that I bought from a friend who had similar problems.  He fitted it with a set of Maserati air horns. They will get the attention of inattentive drivers.  It is also great fun to watch the carwash guys when they are done with the car.  When they hit the horn to alert me they are done, it always brings a smile to their face!
  12. Pete J. added a post in a topic Constant paint can bulges, what to do?   

    Wow, I just viewed your video and am still stunned.  I tried everything and couldn't get a dent in the bottom of a Tamiya can.  I even tried slamming it down on the bench top thinking that the sudden deceleration may have cause it.  No luck! 
    You got some serious moves there man!
  13. Pete J. added a post in a topic Can you guess what I am scratch building?   

    Darn't and I though it was the Jabba the Huts desert cruiser from Star Wars!   
  14. Pete J. added a post in a topic Adventures in Soldering :Maserati Tipo 61'Birdcage'New Pics 9/25/16   

    Holy BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH, your at it again!  Oh my a birdcage.  You are one to take on the challenge.  You know what I would like to see at some point is a tutorial from you on panel beating.  Perhaps a YouTube video.  I am more of a visual learner than a taker of instructions.  Well, I will definitely be following this one.  Also time for me to get back to some metal work.  You do inspire me Randy!