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Posts posted by peteski

  1. Yeah, something doesn't add up.

    Is it possible that the model was fairly close to the heating elements?  Even if it the thermostat is adjusted for 110 degrees, the heating elements will get much hotter as they warming up the entire oven.  Id the body was close to those elements it would have melted. Dehydrators use much lower power elements which are further away from the drying cavity, so there are no hot-spots. I use a dehydrator which is running around 110 degrees F and I have no problems with polystyrene deforming.

  2. This is a historical question concerning the model industry.  I am not a big fan of 1/24 scale model cars.  1/25 scale is my preference.

    Jim, is there really that much visible difference between a 1:25 and 1:24 scale model to make you dislike a 1:24 scale models?  Percent-wise it is only about 4% difference in size.  I don't worry about it myself, but it would have been nice if all the automotive model kits were made in the same scale (either 1:24 or 1:25).

  3. Pączki? So you guys like Polish Dounuts?  I have hard time finding those in my neck of the woods.  The small Polish store I frequent sometimes has them but, they are usually stale.

    You probably would probably also like makowiec and chruściki. :-)

  4. Well, I'm not a beginner, but I'm far from being an expert.  About 30 years ago, I did use an SLR camera (Nikon FG) with detachable lenses and with extension rings for extreme closeup-photos.  But that camera has been in mothballs for decades. Most of small point-and-shoot cameras I've dealt with had a macro mode. But even in macro model the cameras can still focus ok up to infinity.  The camera I use currently for model photography is a 13-year-old Nikon CoolPix 8700. When bought it in 2004 it was a pretty good prosumer camera. It is not a DSLR and it has a permanent lens.

    Problem with many point-and-shoot small cameras is that they usually don't have good manual aperture control, or they only have couple of aperture settings.  Even my 8700 only stops down to f8.  But most of those cameras have a small image senor which partially compensates for the rather large aperture. Same goes for the cameras built into smart phones or tablets, which also makes them goot for taking model photos.

    It is true that extreme wide angle or telephoto lenses produce distortion, a judicial use of the effect makes a closeup of a model car look more like a 1:1 car.  A good explanation of wide-angle and telephoto lenses is here , although it does not give you specific examples of model car photography.  The affect I'm after is fairly subtle.  I'm after slightly exaggerated perspective which makes the model look like it is larger than it really is.  I don't always do that either, but I like to when I'm trying to make a model look like a 1:1 object it represents.

    I also do not focus-stack every model photo I take.  Here are some photos I took few years ago (using the 8700) Not all are taken using wide angle. None were focus-stacked.

    Here is a good example of exaggerated perspective which makes the 1:24 scale model look more like a large truck.  These were taken many years ago using  my 35mm film SLR with a 28mm lens (which is a mild wide-angle).

    obj355geo203pg16p9.jpg     obj275geo258pg16p9.jpg


  5. Dental acrylic is a 2-part compound. One is the acrylic powder and the 2nd part is a liquid (catalist?).  But you can get the same stuff in any beauty supply store as the stuff they use for doing acrylic nails.  It even comes in different colors.

    I have tried it to mold come 1:160 scale wheels/tires using open mold made form silicone rubber. I used that mold in the past with urethane resins.  I filled the mold cavities with the acrylic powder and then using eyedropper I soaked it with the liquid.  The worked - I got my molded tires but the liquid made the silicone mold swollen.  It did eventually return to its original shape, but it took a while.

    Latest issue of the Finescale Modeler Magazine showed a modeler who accidentally drilled through a urethane resin part using the acrylic stuff to fill the hole.  So. it does seem useful for modeling tasks. But a word of warning - the liquid part will soften polystyrene (which might or might not be desirable).

  6. LA Totally Awesome is the brand name. They make several products for cleaning and maintenance of floors. I wasn't aware of the concentrated cleaner removing paint. It's great around the house. I wonder if it was lacquer, enamel or acrylic paint that it removed?

    I've seen it mention few times here (here is one mention: http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/83153-paint-strippers-what-to-use/?do=findComment&comment=492674 ).

    I bought a bottle but I haven't tried it yet (had nothing to strip).  I suspect that since it is lye-based it will work similar to the purple stuff or the original formula EasyOff oven cleaner.

  7. Those photoetched lamps with clear resin dome seem to be getting quite popular (they have been used for a while by resin model manufacturers like NEO).  They are nice but to me they look a bit dull and 2-dimensional.  Real headlamps are very reflective (after all they have a mirror-like reflector inside).  I much prefer lenses like mk11 shows. they look 100% more realistic.

  8. I bought that Auburn kit several years ago and considered building it. But just recently, after again looking over its flaws (mentioned above and also misshapen grille and few more things), I decided that it wasn't worth the trouble. Instead, I went on eBay and found myself a slightly damaged Franklin Mint diecast rendition of that car for a really good price. What a huge difference in appearance. The Franklin Mint model looks so much better!

  9. I bought that Auburn kit several years ago and considered building it. But just recently, after again looking over its flaws (mentioned above and also misshapen grille and few more things), I decided that it wasn't worth the trouble. Instead, I went on eBay and found myself a slightly damaged Franklin Mint diecast rendition of that car for a really good price. What a huge difference in appearance. The Franklin Mint model looks so much better!

  10. I actually I find the opposite to be true: To get the most realistic photo of a model I use macro mode on my camera with the widest setting on the zoom lens (which would be considered a mild wide-angle).   That exaggerates the perspective and also gives the longest depth of field (I also use the smallest possible aperture setting).  The exaggerated perspective makes the model seem longer and larger than it is (which makes it look more like a real car).

    Telephoto lenses (or zoom lens which is in the zoomed in position) flattens the perspective making the model look stubby.  That is exactly opposite than what I'm trying to accomplish.

    But when taking photos of models with consumer-grade cameras (even at the smallest aperture setting) results in a fairly shallow depth of field which makes some parts of the car, and also the background or foreground  out of focus.  That also is a dead giveaway that it is a photo of a model.  If I want the maximum depth of field (so all the parts of the photo are in focus) I take a series of photos of the subject with every photo focused on different part of the subject and/or background. Then I use Helicon Focus software to merge that series of photos into a single image where everything is in focus.  Yes, using a tripod is a must.

  11. There is a pretty complete history of the company available on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-Like but it only seems to concentrate on the model RR part of the company.  They also produced and sold N scale model railroad items.  As Dave Van mentioned, they did sell al decent range of non-model-RR related plastic kits in the '70s and '80s.  Not sure if all, but at least mostly from other companies molds.

    I also found the Lifoam connection interesting. All those Styrofoam coolers were made by their sister company.

  12. Wouldn't ML be 1050?


    ML would be 1050 whereas 150 would be CL.

    You are correct guys - I had a late-night brain fart.  :D


    I just noticed that the thread title was changed to "MI" That is 1001 in Arabic numerals, and still wrong. :wacko:


    To be honest using Roman numerals is silly.  They should just stick to the Arabic numerals (that is the ones we use in English speaking nations).  Or if they really want to be different then use some of the pretty numerals like they use in Thailand or Malaysia.



  13. Plain clear-film decal paper is for decals made by either hand-painting the images over the film, or printing using dry or wax inks/toners (laser printers, Alps MicroDry, or Xerox solid ink printers).

    For ink jet printers (which use liquid inks) you have  to use decal paper specifically designed to work with liquid inks. That type of paper has the clear film, but on top of that film it also has a special ink-absorbing coating.  That layer absorbs and retains the ink where it was printed.  If you try to use the plain clear-film with an ink jet printers the ink will just bead up on the paper surface.

    As far as sealing the image after printing goes, that is required for ink-jet-printed decals. That ink is water-soluble and if not sealed it will run when immersed in water.

    Laser-printed decals also benefit from sealing after printing because the toner deposited on the clear film will often flake off when flexed.

    Alps MicroDry printers use wax ink which is waterproof and won't flake off, so no sealing is needed.  By sealing Alps-printed decals all you are doing is adding more thickness to the clear film.  But the Alps-printed decals should be coated with clear after being applied to the model (because the wax ink can be scratched off easily).  The clear coat (after the decal is applied to a model) will also hide the clear decal film.

    I've been printing decals on Alps printed for over 10 years and I have never found a need to apply clear sealer to the printed sheet - only after the decal is applied to a model.


    Also a word of warning: Never use the ink-jet paper in Alps printers. That ink-absorbing layer is not compatible with the Alps printer - it can cause broken ribbons or even worse, damage to the print head. Alps used to include a pink-colored sheet with the new printers warning users not to use ink-jet print media. That warning sheet is usually lost when buying a 2nd hand printer.

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