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Posts posted by peteski

  1. I use a Nikon Cool Pix 8700 camera I bought back in 2005.  This shot was done using 2 halogen shop lights. Since the camera's lens only stops down to f8, I took several frames ad gradually changing focused areas and combined them into a large-depth-of-field composite using Helicon Focus software.  Original photo is 5Mp is size - this is a low-res copy for the Web.


  2. Find out what specific chemicals are in the paint or thinner which you used when you got sick, then look up the MSDS sheets for them to see what effect they can have on people.

    Is this the same paint/thinner you have used in the past without problems?

    Another possibility is that since you were already sick (probably had a cold or flu since you couldn't smell), maybe it wasn't the paint which made you sick but the combination of you being sick and inhaling fumes just made you sicker?

  3. Peter, I have to agree but for a different reason.  In the old days(like 40 years ago) the SLR was the best camera on the market.  This is because you actually got to see through the lens.  Other cameras(called viewfinders) had a separate peep hole that had it's own lenses.  The SLR let you see what was actually going to be exposed on the film. 

    That was then.  Now we have "D"SLR's because of the old days.  The SLR portion still does the same thing, but in my opinion is a redundant mechanism that is left over from the old days, kind of like your appendix.  Why? Well with a modern digital display you are actually looking at what the CMOS sensor  is seeing which is what you will get for a picture.  Why would putting a mirror in front of the CMOS sensor and looking at that be in any way better than just looking at the video display and the actual picture you will record?  It wouldn't. 

    Well, to me there is a difference.  First of all, the optical viewfinder of a DSLR comes in handy in bright sunny conditions.  It beats an external  LCD screen any day.  Yes, I know, there are digital cameras which have a digital viewfinder (my CoolPix 8700 actually has one so I can switch between the outside flat screen or the digital viewfinder).  But the problem is that the resolution and display speed of the digital viewfinder limits what I see.  If for example I'm trying to take a photo of something rather small like a bird or a plane flying high across clear sky I can't really see it in the digital viewfinder.  I can also see the pixels of the viewfinder display which is a bit annoying. Same goes for a fast moving subject - the digital viewfinder screen has a bit of a lag.

    With true DSLR, your eye is viewing the outside world directly through the lens and you can easily see the objects I described above.  But for just average or studio photography I agree that there really isn't a need to have an optical viewfinder. Actually, when I use my CoolPix 8700 to take staged model photos at the model contest, I hook up its video output to a 19" flat panel LCD monitor sitting on the table and my viewfinder becomes 19" in size. I can see the subject clearly and so can people standing around (or even several feet away).

  4. Except for the lower part of the '57 Chevy, those photos look good to me.  I don't see any color temperature problems (but I don't have the models in front of me to compare the colors).  But you can pretty much forget trying to get the colors in the photos to look like the actual color, especially with metallic colors. Some colors will look quite bit different in the photo than what you see in front of you.  There are a lot of variables at play which makes color matching very difficult.

    I re-calibrate my camera's white balance all the time (I don't depend on presets).  With my camera it is really easy - just put a piece of white paper in front of the camera lens (and have it illuminated by the light I'll be using int the photo). The color balance is in the top menu - just select it, then hit "measure" and the white balance is adjusted to the ambient light.  Can't be any simpler or quicker.  I also often adjust the exposure time over or under what the camera wants to do to get the best shot.  Maybe this is an instance where my less advanced camera is actually more useful than a fancy DSLR?

  5. Bill,

    Here is another example from me.  I use a vintage Nikon CoolPix 8700  camera I bought in 2005.  Back then it was a pretty decent non-DSLR cameras, but by today's standards it is not all that good. Still, it has excellent macro capability and it can shoot in aperture-priority mode and have custom white-balance (both of which I use all the time).  My setup is similar to Ray's (curved piece of paper) but for illumination I just use a single circular fluorescent  lamp (a magnifier desk lamp). So if you use a tripod and can shoot at longer shutter speeds  (with stepped-down lens) strong light is not vital. But having even and diffused light is important (unless you are after some special effects like sharp shadows).  Here is a 1:43 scale 289 Cobra engine.



    See this album for more photos. On photos with gray background I used 2 150W halogen shop lights for illumination (you can see more distinct shadows).


    I also take photos at my club's annual model show. I use the same setup as for the photos above (a curved paper background and those halogen shop lights).  Here is a sample of those photos.  I'm by no means a professional photographer, but those photos look good enough to be published in the Scale Auto Contest Annuals.

  6. I'd tend to say it's not so much having "luck" as it is having the desire and putting forth the effort to learn the skills.

    If you're not intimidated by the computer or learning new things, you CAN learn CAD. Google SketchUp is a simplified FREE 3D modeling program that's FREE for you to download and learn for FREE. 

    I've dabbled with CAD (2D and some 3D) back in the '80s when I worked as a computer tech on Computervision's CAD/CAM systems. Back then I worked with CADDS 4X. 

    I have dabbled with SketchUp and while it is intuitive, it seems to lack what I need to design the objects I wont. I even picked up a copy of TurboCAD. But finding the time to to sit down and mess around with these programs is my problem. I would also like some instructor-lead training so I can ask questions.  Ans just like learning other things (like playing music) it takes a lot of practice (read: time) to get proficient with 3D software.  I have so many hobbies and projects going at the same time that I just don't have the time to get experienced with 3D design.  Maybe someday...

  7. CA glues do not "dry" - they harden by a chemical reaction (they polymerize). Moisture will cause them to slowly harden - if you have a new unopened tube or bottle and the moisture doe s not penetrate inside then the glue will remain usable for many years.  But once you open the bottle the moisture from the ambient air will get in and will slowly cause the glue to thicken up (it is not thickening because a solvent is evaporating).  Some good info is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate .

    CA adhesives have a short shelf life. Date-stamped containers help to ensure that the adhesive is still viable. One manufacturer supplies the following information and advice:

    When kept unopened in a cool, dry location such as a refrigerator at a temperature of about 55 °F (13 °C), the shelf life of cyanoacrylate will be extended from about one year from manufacture to at least 15 months. If the adhesive is to be used within six months, it is not necessary to refrigerate it. Cyanoacrylates are moisture-sensitive, and moving from a cool to a hot location will create condensation; after removing from the refrigerator, it is best to let the adhesive reach room temperature before opening. After opening, it should be used within 30 days. Open containers should not be refrigerated.[30]

    Another manufacturer says that the maximum shelf life of 12 months is obtained for some of their cyanoacrylates if the original containers are stored at 35 to 40 °F (2 to 4 °C).[31] User forums and some manufacturers say that an almost unlimited shelf life is attainable by storing unopened at −4 °F (−20 °C), the typical temperature of a domestic freezer, and allowing the contents to reach room temperature before use.[32] Rechilling an opened container may cause moisture from the air to condense in the container; however, reports from hobbyists suggest that storing CA in a freezer can preserve opened cyanoacrylate indefinitely.

    As cyanoacrylates age, they polymerize, become thicker, and cure more slowly. They can be thinned with a cyanoacrylate of the same chemical composition with lower viscosity.[33] Storing cyanoacrylates below 0 °F (−18 °C) will nearly stop the polymerization process and prevent aging.


    One thing that is puzzling is that I have never seen CA glue going "bad" where it is still as liquid as expected but even the accelerator will not cause it to harden. In my experience (as mentioned above) I have only seen CA going bad by thickening or totally solidifying in its container.

  8. What file extension do you need it in? I have two versions of PSP and could export it for you.

    I use Corel Draw 10 (and 12), so the native format is .CDR, but it can also import many other formats (but not .PSP).  My Corel Draw is rather old, so maybe the never versions can directly import .PSP files.  The problem with import/export is that you often lose layer settings and everything gets imported as a large group of objects.

    I should also say that I'm not really thinking of picking up the artwork, but I'm glad to see that the artwork was done in vector-graphic format and that it has been passed onto someone who will continue the business instead of just being stagnant on some old computer..

  9. The pineapple I posted above was printed on a Solus desktop 3d printer that also printed this figure. It is a DLP machine that uses a dlp projector to cure uv resin into a finished product.


    This is the same technology I use to create my prints. Yes, the technology to print in such fine setting that the detail is superb and lines disappear is here. Expensive? Not really. And, there are many more machines that will give you a decent result at prices down to 1k. If you are going to do any amount of printing, purchasing may be a good move. Check out their website and look at the gallery of 3d prints this machine produced. I can give you many more examples of dlp and sla machines costing thousands less than Shapeway machines and, in some cases, a better print.


    Yes, different printing methods yield different results.  There are also tradeoffs such as the maximum size of the printed object and printing speed.  What is the cost of the resin that you use?  For example, how much did it cost to print that figure?

  10. The military figures looked good. So why do they look good, while Shapeway products readily admit their products are grainy to the touch? How similar was the units that printed each?

    Because they appear to be rendered on a printer which can print in a resolution magnitudes higher than anything Shapeways owns.  But this comes with a cost. The printer and the material cost for high-res printers are also magnitudes higher than Shapeways units. Not all 3D printers are the same.  :)

  11.  To anyone who want to know they were all done with paint shop pro.They would be printable with an alps printer.

    Interesting. I always thought of Paint Shop Pro as a raster (bitmap) editor, but looking a bit deeper it seems that version 7 and later can handle vector graphics too.  I use Corel Draw 10 and I don't see any easy way to import Paint Shop Pro files into Corel.

  12. I would not recommend buying Alps printer for a casual user. Not only these printers are long discontinued with very limited support, they are finicky and often a pain do deal with.  This opinion is from a personal experience (I'm a seasoned Alps owner).  :D

    To me it would make more sense to get a vector-based drawing program, learn to use it, and then have your artwork printed by one of the custom decal producers who use Alps printers.  That way you leave the hard stuff to them.  If you have print-ready or almost-print-ready artwork, that will save you the cost of artwork design and you'll only pay for printing.

    There are free vector-graphic programs (such as Inkscape) or you can pick up older versions of Corel Draw on eBay for less than $50. Either is more than adequate for designing decal artwork.

    It also makes sense to combine artwork for several project into single decal artwork to save even more money.

  13. This was my first thought too , the artwork needs to be in a SVG format to be useful . If they're a bitmap or anything else they'll need to be redrawn using Corel or AI .

    To be pedantic, any vector-graphic format. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is just one specific type of formats for storing vector graphics.  Corel uses its own format (.CDR file extension) and Adobe uses .AI file extension.  But of course there are ways to convert between various formats.

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