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CedB

Boultbee Spitfire Tr.9 - AZ Model 1/72

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8 hours ago, giemme said:

I'm totally with you on this; we chose the Brother at work for the scan function, which in the end turned out to be not that useful. Most of the sw job is done with a 3d Cad, we use the on-line service just to convert files for the cutter. I do not have sympathy for cloud stuff either...

 

Ciao

Thanks Giorgio :) Without spoiling his 'buying experience' I hope this helps @Cookenbacher too. Cookie you could think about a Portrait and spend the extra money on a scanner / all-in-one? HTH :)

 

Thanks Jon, John, Stew and Bill - you're support is, as always, MUCH appreciated.

 

I thought I'd cracked it this morning. In bed last night (yes, I am that sad) I found a thread about Inkscape and DPI. Basically it says that Inkscape is a vector package and it's not 'relevant' to worry about DPI as the vectors describe that BUT one post suggests setting a custom page size to override the default 92dpi used in Inkscape. This reminded me of my old colleague who introduced himself as a "Consoletant, wiv an 'O'" and then reassured the client that yes, you have a problem, no, you're not the only one and yes, we can help you. Armed with that evidence I tried it out, setting the custom page size to 5100x6600 pixels for 600dpi on a 8.5 x 11.0 inch page. Tried it, press print. Long pause. Then:

 

27756394119_7c39480b7f.jpg

Oh, great by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

Aha! I still have the page size set to A4! Change to US Letter and try again.

Blank page. No, wait, two 'smudges' on the paper, there.

Adjust the size of the images by eye (Inkscape thinks they're 7mm wide but they're tiny on the page) and print again:

 

39533041021_ef64d53f56_z.jpg

600dpi custom document by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

Hmmm. Is it the printer then? Open the original photo from the file on my Mac and crop. Print. Blocky:

 

38636850175_1e3bb3130d_z.jpg

Photo print by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

Will to live? What's that then...

 

Bill's comment on Flickr images made me think. Perhaps I should look at the model rather than the (zoomed) Flickr images? Maybe I should try the cropped photo print on the Inkjet?

OK, I will. Later (if the Portrait doesn't arrive otherwise all bets are off while I play!)

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Printed photographs are made of dots

Something called dithering is involved

Photos on the web are similarly made

Only unmessed with, on your hard drive type stuff, is ready to process without dithered imagery

 

I think you have an excess of dithering

Meant in the nicest POSSIBLE way Ced

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Thanks Bill :)

You're right, of course. In fact the (digital) photo is the same isn't it? Apple make a lot about the size of the pixels in their camera sensors, not just the number. Apparently it makes a difference.

 

Time to reboot my techie brain... I know I left it somewhere.

Let's review.

What I'm trying to do is create an image like this:

 

25652787528_a83e595c93_z.jpg

 

on a printed transfer medium at a size that'll fit here:

 

27689100879_ab87c088cd_z.jpg

 

To be accurate(ish) the 'Bremont' needs to be about 6mm wide.

6mm.

That's 0.2362 inches.

At 600dpi that's about 140 dots. Take a close up photo of that and you could probably count them:

 

24655997117_5ed0ded0ed_z.jpg

 

Did you? Really? :mental:

So in a flash of common sense I've realised that the printers I have are not up to the job. 600dpi will give me dots, or slashes (it seems) with vector graphics.

I either need to buy a higher resolution printer (a ha ha ha!), find someone to print them for me or just print out my best effort (the one in that last Inkscape shot) on white decal paper and bite the bullet.

And recycle the huge pile of paper used for test prints.

And stop taking close ups. Definitely that.

 

Dead horse flogged enough.

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Definitely stop taking close-up photos, ( they always pick up things you don't see with the Mk1 eyeball ) and take your RFI pictures from 100m with a telephoto lens. 

I would have given up by now, I admire your perseverance, or is it just bloody mindedness?

 

Cheers

 

John

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Thanks Bill - I'll give jpegs a try, although I think they're compressed and will have the same resolution problem eh?

Thanks John - good idea!!

 

Cutter has arrived so I'll be playing with that until I cut something worth showing here.

Another software package to get used to.

Oh joy.

 

Just hang guys :D

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Well, I admire your perseverance Ced, and I'm definitely learning a lot from this thread so I'm thankful for it too!

 

The reason I was interested in the scanner function on the Brother is that you could scan in an entire decal sheet and have the cutter remove all the excess film around the ink without having to touch a computer. Of course the main purpose of the machine is to cut masks so you don't have to use decals in the first place, so the scanner really counts as 'just gravy' as they say around here. Of course, it would also allow you to print out any design you want from whatever source you want (Inkscape, MS Paint, web images) and then scan that print to produce a mask - sort of platform neutral that way.

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Posted (edited)

It depends on your source image Ced. I spent time last summer scanning literally every set of decals I have as an A4 image at 600dpi. Obviously it's mix and match on the image to ensure maximum usage from it so I end up with Luftwaffe, RAF et al nestled cheek by jowl on the same page. The advantage of this is that I can cut the ones I out of the source file and drop them straight into my working file without having to fiddle with scaling it as it already is.

 

I suspect your problems are coming from the fact you're using low resolution image that is smaller than you need and if you scale up, that's when the blockiness emerges. The other issue will be that you're using a Jpg file which is compressed and results in compromises to do so. I use a program called GIMP (No sniggering at the back) that allows me to save things in individual layers as an .xcs file, think it's unique to the program. Means my A4 Whif decal image is 9mb, but so much better resolution than if it were a jpg or gif which are designed to be sent via t'interweb.

 

As for my printer, it's a £35 HP Envy from Amazon that doubles as a scanner so one doesn't need to break the bank to get good quality printers nowadays. Hope that helps!B)

 

Edit: If my insomnia addled ramblings make no sense, let me know and I'll try and provide piccies that may explain things more clearly!

Edited by charlie_c67

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Thanks Cookie - ah, being able to use different software sounds like an advantage, although I found Silhouette Studio to be quite good anyway - a lot like Inkscape in its operation and features :)

Thanks Charlie - all clear thanks. I think you're right; I'm trying to do too much with a very small image. I'm still waiting to hear from the custom decal guy but, if that doesn't work, I'll redo the ones I have with 'best efforts' and not take close up shots! :)

 

How's the cutter? Good thanks. Here's what I've done since it arrived.

 

I imported an image of G-ILDA from the Boultbee website:

 

39544868121_5fb7be77d3_z.jpg

Import the image by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

Then I used the 'trace' function to trace the 'KJ' and then the 'I'. It's quite easy to slide the 'Threshold' setting until it 'sees' the image you want. You can then move the image object out of the way to see what you've got:

 

39552293591_63ca9b9213_z.jpg

First Trace by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

I turned on the grid, lightened the colour of the grid lines and set them to 1mm with 2 divisions (the idents are 1mm wide):

 

39522943492_17f1090d96_z.jpg

Set grid options by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

The standard trace also draws a box around the traced area, but you can draw a rectangle around the letter and use the 'Modify / Divide' option to separate them:

 

38656413065_9ebea2b43f_z.jpg

Use divide to isolate letters by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

You'll have noticed that the trace has produced bendy letters due, I guess, to the curve of the fuselage in the image. Silhouette Studio lets you modify each 'path' in the image:

 

38656710745_a67728b1cc.jpg

Edit the points to clean up by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

You can delete the points you don't need, move the points around and also change the 'bend' on the line between the points. Great stuff if a little time consuming. After a few minutes I have some 'clean' letters so I drew a rectangle around them (to cut out the mask) and made sure the spacing was correct by comparing it to a correctly sized image:

 

39523812912_936f12b91b_z.jpg

Check Size by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

Cut:

 

38844435334_1045c8d469_z.jpg

 

I've done something wrong with the custom page size and the corner of the paper got bent but otherwise very neat. I stuck it on the paint mule and, using Jamie's 'close up and fine spray' method applied some Sky:

 

39523962222_a026a3ebc2_n.jpg 38844766564_f3090a4006_n.jpg

Paint mule by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

I am a very happy bunny (the dotty finish was on the mule before I started - please ignore!):

 

25683778558_7d409ce9ed_z.jpg

 

38845054024_bbda898c75_z.jpg

Happy by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

The 'I' could be a bit better so I think I might stretch the bottom a bit. Masks now ready for the Spitfire:

 

25683635068_30bf653137_z.jpg

Both Sides by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

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Posted (edited)

:yahoo: Now that you discovered the joys of masking, you'll never get back, Ced. :thumbsup:

 

One more advice, if I may: get some Oramask 810 (transparent vynil film for masks), it works wonder on lumps and bumps

 

Ciao

Edited by giemme
Corrected the vynil film name

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Ooh nice. Saves messing about with lots of strips of tape too!

 

have you done a mask for "Bremont" yet ? :wicked:

 

Regards,

Adrian

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That was a quick learning curve Ced - great stuff!!

 

Keith

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Smart****, Nice work Ced, mastering yet another skill.

Lets hope that they work out right.

 

Simon.

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Ooooh, that mask is VERY nice! So glad something finally came right without too much effort.

 

Ian

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Posted (edited)
On 6.1.2018 at 11:28 AM, CedB said:

So in a flash of common sense I've realised that the printers I have are not up to the job. 600dpi will give me dots, or slashes (it seems) with vector graphics.

I either need to buy a higher resolution printer (a ha ha ha!), find someone to print them for me or just print out my best effort (the one in that last Inkscape shot) on white decal paper and bite the bullet.

Hello Ced . The cut out masked and painted codes look fine to me. Your desperate attempts to print them on a decal sheet made me stop reading here as I  slowly got a bit depressed on my idea to get some proper new ones for several of my diecasts. Do you have any professional copyshops there in Bath or a university near by, where there could be some. This was my plan for letting them print then. I wanted to make some good photos of them and resize 'em to the correct scale and put each in a word document and fill a Din A4/5 page for a print. But I never tried this before with smaller photos. Good luck for a nice outcome. Cheers

Edited by bbudde

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Thanks Giorgio - Orimask 810 eh? I'll try to source some... I do have some Mactak sheets to use up as well :)

Thanks Adrian - mask the Bremont? :rofl2:

Thanks Keith, Simon and Ian - it was surprisingly easy to do those, but still more to learn I guess :)

Thanks Benedikt - sorry to depress you! I must admit this bit is mojo draining! I'm waiting for a local decal chap to email me back but, if I don't hear, I might try the print shops.

 

Final DIY go on the white transfers:

 

39558246931_622703b2b8_z.jpg

 

Not that much better, apart from the background colour. The 'Boultbee' is Helvetica Neu or something, 4 point. In any event I'll need to paint over the blobs.

 

They don't look a lot different from 'normal' distance:

 

25688170958_7022844537_z.jpg

 

Ho hum.

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Aint technology wonderful Ced, when mine get there just toss 'em in the bin

 

Mm however (I can't help it even though I don't I like being a git) does the upright on the J shrink because of a defect in the mask or was it not pressed right down?

 

Looking at the picture again I don't think you had the upright pressed in hard enough, hence the taper

The Boultbee one you did first will be  good enough if you paint over the dots, fine brush needed of course but quite nice enough

 

Masks

 

Hmm there's a career in this I feel :) did you like the six months of retirement you had?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CedB said:

sorry to depress you! I must admit this bit is mojo draining!

Ah, no. I don't bother on it that much by now, but what was that  Mr. Tyson did say somewhere about having a plan.....:whistle:

Edit:  Have you ever tried to import the best version into a word formated version ( the jpeg/photo) like a usual clip art and print it? This one saved as a jpeg or is it grainy then? I do believe it depends on the original jpeg/ picture. Maybe Boultbee take some nice close up shots for you. Not a thing,  if you take digital photos. Cheers.

Getting the hang of Inkscape

 

Edited by bbudde

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Fantastic result Ced, looks like Silhouette will owe you a commission, as I think you've made my mind up!

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On 04/01/2018 at 3:27 PM, Procopius said:

but having married a redhead, I think it's simply that they can scarcely be bettered.

I can concur. :lol:

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Well that’s more like it! I turn my back for a short while and five pages get added, a new tool gets bought, red heads get the thumbs up and more great work on the Spit. Your struggle with the decals is admirable but the cut versions are super aren’t they. B) I’ll have a blast a printing that logo out tomorrow at work as seeing those grainy lines are doing my noggin in. Regardless Ced, this is some wonderful work. A very pleasurable hour spent catching up. With the dog in my lap, by an open fire. I think I’ll make some tea. -_-

 

Johnny

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I've been following your woes re printing.  Are you sure that your printer is not set to produce "draft" prints somewhere in the settings -  either in the Printer Preferences of in the drawing software ?

I have come across software before where the main program ignores the selected settings and goes with what is set in the printer preferences. 

What you are printing out does not look like final quality prints - it reminds me more of draft settings  i.e. a quick print for a quick look-see, nothing more.

 

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20 hours ago, perdu said:

Aint technology wonderful Ced, when mine get there just toss 'em in the bin

 

Mm however (I can't help it even though I don't I like being a git) does the upright on the J shrink because of a defect in the mask or was it not pressed right down?

 

Looking at the picture again I don't think you had the upright pressed in hard enough, hence the taper

The Boultbee one you did first will be  good enough if you paint over the dots, fine brush needed of course but quite nice enough

 

Masks

 

Hmm there's a career in this I feel :) did you like the six months of retirement you had?

Thanks Bill. These arrived in the post this morning:

 

38865793194_c0906a6770_z.jpg

Bill’s transfers by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

Thanks Bill, I really appreciate it. I'll definitely be using these:

 

38865817584_9fdf0eeca1_z.jpg

Serials by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

and the quality of the squadron codes is good:

 

39544904902_c0d15c3ef6_z.jpg

Sqdn codes by Ced Bufton, on Flickr

 

Although if you look too closely in a close up photo you can still see the dots. Of course you can. There's a limit to the technology that I'm now realising...

 

Thanks again mate!

Thanks also for the comments on the masks - the cut of the 'J' is straight so it must have been me when I stuck the mule. I'll have to be much more careful on 'the real thing'.

 

19 hours ago, bbudde said:

Ah, no. I don't bother on it that much by now, but what was that  Mr. Tyson did say somewhere about having a plan.....:whistle:

Edit:  Have you ever tried to import the best version into a word formated version ( the jpeg/photo) like a usual clip art and print it? This one saved as a jpeg or is it grainy then? I do believe it depends on the original jpeg/ picture. Maybe Boultbee take some nice close up shots for you. Not a thing,  if you take digital photos. Cheers.

Getting the hang of Inkscape

 

Thanks Benedikt. Those images are 'from scratch' vector graphics in Inkscape and they look great on the screen, as they would at 72dpi (or 90 odd, whatever it is).

I'm now resigned to the fact that printing anything this size isn't going to work on my 600dpi printers - as I said above, a 6mm transfer is 0.2362 inches wide so, at 600dpi that's about 140 dots and you're almost bound to see them in a close up shot. Lesson learned!

 

19 hours ago, Cookenbacher said:

Fantastic result Ced, looks like Silhouette will owe you a commission, as I think you've made my mind up!

Thanks Cookie - I don't think you'll regret it (hopefully!). I'm still thinking about your feature for cutting decal sheets and I wonder if the PixScan™ feature might work? I probably need this for my Wacky Wabbit Harvard build and the mats are only about £12 so I'll investigate more... The people in the video in that link certainly look happy, although I'm not sure their tagline of 'Dream it up. Cut it out' gives exactly the impression they wanted? :D

 

16 hours ago, The Spadgent said:

I can concur. :lol:

15 hours ago, The Spadgent said:

Well that’s more like it! I turn my back for a short while and five pages get added, a new tool gets bought, red heads get the thumbs up and more great work on the Spit. Your struggle with the decals is admirable but the cut versions are super aren’t they. B) I’ll have a blast a printing that logo out tomorrow at work as seeing those grainy lines are doing my noggin in. Regardless Ced, this is some wonderful work. A very pleasurable hour spent catching up. With the dog in my lap, by an open fire. I think I’ll make some tea. -_-

 

Johnny

Thanks Johnny - printing at work is very kind of you - PM me if you want me to email the Inkscape file but if you're able to print just the logo (from the Bremont website) in Sky I shall be eternally grateful! Oh, and some 4pt Helvetical Neue BOULTBEE s would be magic. Cheeky I know :)

 

15 hours ago, hendie said:

I've been following your woes re printing.  Are you sure that your printer is not set to produce "draft" prints somewhere in the settings -  either in the Printer Preferences of in the drawing software ?

I have come across software before where the main program ignores the selected settings and goes with what is set in the printer preferences. 

What you are printing out does not look like final quality prints - it reminds me more of draft settings  i.e. a quick print for a quick look-see, nothing more.

 

Thanks Hendie. Worth a check but I've confirmed that draft is 'Off'. They're just too small I think to be printed at 600dpi.

 

I've thought about popping out for a 4800x1400 printer but I'm not sure I have the bench space, or enough brownie points with Mrs B!

That said, PC World have a CANON PIXMA MG3650 All-in-One Wireless on sale for £29.99. Of course a set of 'XL' cartridges is £40 - give then the guns and sell 'em the bullets eh? And don't get me started on HPs 'we'll send you the ink when you need it' idea. Or is it just me being suspicious?

 

But then, I could just buy another printer when the ink runs out. Madness.

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40 minutes ago, CedB said:

But then, I could just buy another printer when the ink runs out. Madness.

 

I've done that twice, although we've been buying ink for the latest rubbish HP one we have, but two cartridges for that thing are £30 in Tesco (cheapest place I've found them) and they hardly last any time, so £40 for cartridges for that Canon wireless one doesn't look too bad. If it's still a similar price when the latest HP ink runs out there'll be another printer going to the tip!

 

Keith

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