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I’ve been doing more with PS and dash inserts. I just can’t paint those tiny numbers! Recently, I’ve been working with a ‘73 Vega dash . I wanted a GT dash with no A/C. The 46 year old part was cleaned up and the sweep removed. Trick is to find a hi res pic. I finally found one but removed the A/C vents and PS’d in the shelf. Once printed and dry, I used laminate to cover the image.

He’s what it looks like!31A7F735-E3C9-4C48-A4DF-14ACF737A986.thumb.jpeg.4bf49a9b4dc19bda39d50d70073e4ab0.jpegD9D67367-0E1E-4A7E-87B5-CF1D56F73EC5.thumb.jpeg.07d161ed2701d2aea5b7964dd1050689.jpeg

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Looks good. I've used the same method to replicate the large, flat wood dash in my resin TR4A.

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image.png.09eb71fd9089d65d6706bd0124e9b44e.png

With a color printer and the Internet full of photos for the taking, it's pretty easy to print your own gauges.  

This one is the 1950 Ford pickup,  the image was an instrument cluster for sale on eBay.  I cropped it out in Irfanview and then resized it in Word until I got what I needed.  I've used this in a few builds so far.

 

image.png.0396d50246ae00921855e0d1c5cd5bcc.png

 

Dodge D50 pickup. Above is a photo from the original brochure.  It had the steering wheel in the way, so I cleaned it 

image.png.1099515c0fc93aa58b8bff8a69e7e3ac.png

and these can be printed on paper and white glued in place instead of creating decals.

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Just some additional info. Find a good hi res picture to work with. When printing, try to get to 300 dpi. Don’t do it all at once. Start at 150 and increase it afterwards. You’ll get less distortion. The fun part is that it will seem like you are printing a Bible... yet it’s the size of your fingernail!

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On 10/26/2019 at 11:33 AM, George Bojaciuk said:

On some things, 600 gets too grainy.

Huh?  How can higher printing resolution get *TOO* grainy?  Are we talking about the same thing?  Or something is not done correctly.

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I should have been more detailed. If you don’t start with a good, hi-res picture, it’s like over sharpening a a bad photo.

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1 hour ago, George Bojaciuk said:

I should have been more detailed. If you don’t start with a good, hi-res picture, it’s like over sharpening a a bad photo.

No argument there.  Use the biggest, best one you can find.

Edited by Richard Bartrop

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True! A lot of Internet pics are quite small. I like to look for images over a 1000. Also as a point of fact, it’s hard to find images that are flat. Most are taken at an angle. If you try to reorient them to the correct perspective, you wind up with a distortion. I found this with doing license plates for friends. Shot is taken at an angle and it’s hard to get it in a flat perspective.

Edited by George Bojaciuk

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Something to remember when print resolution is not always the same as screen resolution.  That pixel on the screen can be any shade you want, but to simulate different levels of intensity in print, the printer uses a group of dots to simulate the desired effect, so the resolution is actually lower than it you just printed straight black and white without any greyscale.

I hear you about the angles and lighting.  Sometimes you're better off just using the photo as a reference to make your own gauges from scratch.

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For what I do, my results suit me just fine. I can read ‘em, I’m good! It’s a huge improvement over what I started with!

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12 hours ago, George Bojaciuk said:

I should have been more detailed. If you don’t start with a good, hi-res picture, it’s like over sharpening a a bad photo.

OK, that makes sense.

I, for maximum sharpness and quality, redraw most of the bitmap artwork into vector graphics (in Corel Draw).  That way I can resize and otherwise manipulate the artwork without needing to worry about its print quality.

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5 minutes ago, peteski said:

OK, that makes sense.

I, for maximum sharpness and quality, redraw most of the bitmap artwork into vector graphics (in Corel Draw).  That way I can resize and otherwise manipulate the artwork without needing to worry about its print quality.

A good Idea, though the path and lettering tools in Photoshop will do the job if you don't have access to a full vector graphics program.

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Just now, Richard Bartrop said:

A good Idea, though the path and lettering tools in Photoshop will do the job if you don't have access to a full vector graphics program.

Not a Photoshop user, but don't you still end up with a bitmapped graphic file?  In the Corel Draw suite I also use PhotoPaint (which is their bitmap image editor) and it also has path and lettering tools, but the final output is still a bitmap.

I use older versions of Corel (10 and 12, where the latest is 19). I picked them up on eBay for a short money.  But here are also freeware versions of this type of program:  Gimp is a bitmap editor, and Inkscape which is vector graphics.  I just can't see myself using MS Paint or PowerPoint or MS Word for accurately manipulating graphics, where the tools I use give me much better control and accuracy.  It might sound snobbish, but once you start using those tools (geared to what we are trying to achieve here), you will never look back.

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3 minutes ago, peteski said:

Not a Photoshop user, but don't you still end up with a bitmapped graphic file?

Yes you do, but you can partly compensate by cranking the DPI way up, and you can export the paths to an Illustrator file.

And you'll get no argument from me.  Vector graphics are the ideal way to go with this.

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Well... “youse guys” can discuss vector graphics all you want. The average builder will not go there.  Quite frankly, it becomes white noise to me....no offense intended, but that’s how I feel.

I just wanted to tip modelers that PS or PS Elements can offer simple solutions to specific problems. I use Best Model Car Parts for instrumentation where I can. I have a bin full of their stuff and I love it! However, if I run into a jam and need something specific, I rely on the Net and PS. I have 2 designer friends that can direct me to anything more advanced, and I take care of them when they do. I do my best, on my own to get results that satisfy me. It also pleases me to see others have done this as well. Great job guys!!!

I did this for a living for a good number of years. I did it very well and I know what’s out there and what works.  I’m just trying to share that info without going into another intangible universe. If you are well versed in this, that’s awesome. But the average guy isn’t. My goal is to get him to at least try something that helps him reach his goal of completing a model with a new idea.

I’ve always been about sharing what I know and what’s worked for me.

Not being sensitive at all, just stating fact. 

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I did this a long time back on a Roth car.   Found a good photo of the speedo and printed it at high res.   As George says, it is legible and looks like the real deal instead of trying to fiddle with the molded detail.   

I use Corel 13, btw (work related and supplied).   Works for most any project, bitmap or vector.  If you are looking for a good program, as Peteski says, older Corel can be had for a song.  And if you get all the CDS, you will have plenty of fonts and clip art to help get a project started.  And can be shared around to several computers.  

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I learned that trick here and make gauge faces this way.

Results have been...varied. lolz

 

Really depends on the quality of the source image, and the quality of your printer.

 

 

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I find it easier and preferable to scale and print gauges rather than attempt to detail paint them.  

They don't have to be perfect. Remember most of them are viewed from a distance through a side window.... and by cranky old men with failing eyesight!    

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