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thorfinn

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thorfinn last won the day on November 11 2019

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About thorfinn

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    Obsessed Member
  • Birthday 05/18/1956

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    Towson, MD

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  1. I use simple old MS-Paint for about 95% of what I do. It's pretty basic, but over the years I've learned to wring some pretty surprising things out of it. If I need to adjust color saturation or slightly more advanced stuff like that, I switch over to another freeware program called paint.net. Again, it's pretty basic, but it tends to be more simple and intuitive than 'real' drawing or art programs. Plus...I'm cheap. Free is good.
  2. For what it's worth...those 'uncooperative' printers (or their inks) that I've had trouble with in the past usually tend to have the ink bead up or be splotchy, pretty-much from the get-go. If it lays down a smooth even image to start...then gets wonky later on...the problem is more likely down to drying or fixative problem. [Though I did have one particularly annoying experience where everything was great through printing, sealing, immersing the decals in water and applying them to the model...only to have them start blotching, under the sealant coat, about two weeks after all was done. Fortunately it wasn't a gift or a commission build, so it was just my own frustration I had to deal with.] I'm assuming you've played with your printer settings a bit, but if you haven't, give it a try. I used to try to use 'photo' settings for decals...assuming the detail would be better...but now have often found that 'normal' instead of 'best' print quality -- and sometimes a 'plain paper' setting -- can often yield better results for decal printing. Cheers
  3. About the same, or maybe a scratch better. White inkjet papers always seem alarmingly translucent when you first slide them off the backing paper...but once in place -- and as they set -- they usually 'opaque up' fairly well on low-chroma colors. Against red or yellow, it can be a bit more of a challenge.
  4. I was a decade-long user of the 'Experts Choice' brand -- had great luck with it over the years -- but when supplies ran low recently, and all the on-line sources seemed to be momentarily out of stock, I needed to finish a project so I looked about on Amazon. I found a very well-reviewed brand (which I'd frankly never heard of) called 'Kodiak Supplies'...and I took the plunge. I was gobsmacked. As delighted as I'd always been with the Bare MetalFoil product, the 'Kodiak' results were noticeably sharper and clearer. It's every bit as thin as the other...maybe thinner...but doesn't seem to show the 'Experts Choice' version's propensity to roll and curl when trimmed to small pieces or thin strips. Really good stuff, IMHO. (The only annoying bit -- which may or may not apply to your situation -- is that at the time it was only available in A4 rather than letter size...so I have to keep adjusting my settings and printer feed when I run my decal projects.) All that having been said...a fairly vast experience with doing home-printed decals over the years leads me to advise that the problem may be your printer rather than the paper you're using. All inkjet printers...even different models from a single manufacturer...are not created equal. I have found that there are certain printer ink formulas that simply do not work well for decal printing, regardless of papers, fixatives and drying times involved. The bad news is that I've never found any way to determine ahead of time which will work and which won't; it's purely a matter of trial and error. [I've used HP printers almost exclusively over the years...each calling for a different ink type...and about 4/5 have been perfect. The rest simply wouldn't yield, despite comprehensive and reasonably scientific experiments with settings and various combinations of materials.] [My current 'warhorse' is a Deskjet model F4280...still cranking along without issue after nearly ten years, and providing sterling results even using cheaper 'off-brand' ink cartridges] Cheers...and good luck!
  5. I am embarassed to admit that I did the Panda version of that same UH-1N kit less than a year ago...even posted it here...and completely forgot that it had the alternate engine/cowling configuration. That should, indeed, make the job easier. Seems to me the -J originally had the same tail rotor as the AH-1S -- slightly larger in diameter than the -N's production rotor. Over the next day or so I'll take a quick toddle through my files, and let you know if I come up with anything else that might serve. Since you've fixed on a particular model, do you have a particular a/c or scheme in mind?
  6. If I recall accurately the UH-1J was based on the single-engine -H. Since the -N was a twin-engine variant, I'm supposing the upper works might require more than just "slight modification," for one. Agreed that the nose looks right, but I'm not enough of an authority to advise on cabin dimensions and so forth. Cheers
  7. Thanks. To be honest, when the idea popped into my head, the Trumpeter kit was an inexpensive add-on to an online order I was already putting together. I went for the A1, since I knew I'd be dispensing with or removing many of the combat accessories anyway. I'd read a few reviews of the kit on the net...and decided that even if it didn't work out for some reason, it'd be great as a 'proof of concept' hack to try things out with. As it happened, it worked out quite well. (In fact, liked the kit enough that I plan to pick up a few more at some point for some more 'conventional' projects.) Cheers.
  8. (Of course, he actually had a few at one time or another....) Sorting through some old files, not a new build but one I don't believe I ever posted here. Roden's good-but-basic 1/32 Dreidecker release, built essentially to confirm that my long-stored Gunsight Graphics Fokker 'streak' decals were still viable. (They were, with bells on!) This particular scheme was always my favorite among those the Baron flew...and the one which, if memory serves, actually survived the war to be displayed in one of the Berlin museums...only to be destroyed by Allied bombing during WW2. Only real 'fix' to the kit was learned about from online reviews...clipping the gear struts slightly so it didn't sit quite so nose-high. Added cockpit detail was part-scratchbuilt, part various etch bits and pieces from Eduard and Part from Poland. Paints were Tamiya acrylics, rigging from EZ-Line. Decals other than the streaking were mostly the kit's, plus a few spares to change a/c number and such. Upper wing crosses had the whites overpainted in a thin glaze to simulate the same, painted-out and weathered, on the real a/c. Since it was the Rittmeister's mount, I presumed weathering would have been minimal...though I should probably have added a few streaks around the engine and muddied up the tires a bit. Oh well.... Hope you enjoy!
  9. 'Exemplary' is a singularly appropriate term; truly a thing of beauty from tip to tip and top to bottom!
  10. Thanks, Jeff. It's down to good drawings and 'old reliable' Tamiya tape.
  11. This is a 'golden oldie' from the files, but I don't believe I ever posted it on this forum. I have always had a great affection for the US Navy's WW1-era 'four stacker' destroyers, so when Mirage of Poland brought out their 1/400 line of kits, I snapped up nearly a dozen of them. This is my favorite of those built so far: the famous USS Ward, launched in 1918, but far-better remembered for having fired the 'first shot' by US forces against the Japanese by sinking an IJN midget submarine outside of Pearl Harbor on the morning of 7 December 1941. The Mirage kit depicts her essentially as she was on that day. I decided to back-date the kit, to show the Ward in her 'as built' configuration in the eye-catching dazzle scheme she wore for her sea trials in 1918. This involved re-configuring and simplifying her bridge, changes to the midships and the aft 4" gun location, as well as a number of minor equipment alterations and additions. I also utilized Gold Medal Models' fine photo-etch set, and used bits of plastic sheet and rod for the structural work required. (An idea of the changes and add-ons may be gleaned from the final two photos below.) Paints are 'by eye' mixes of Tamiya acrylics. As always, there are a few glitches...things I didn't learn about or figure out until after-the-fact...but this ungainly little DD remains a sentimental favorite in my collection. I hope you enjoy it as well.
  12. Love your work so far on this old favorite. (Nearly as old as me, so that's saying something! ) One major thing to be wary of, with this kit: if you peruse photos of the kit builds online, you'll see that most show the upper wing pretty seriously bowed downward at the wingtips. This isn't mere photo distortion: in many (most?) kits dating back to the original release, that heavy slab of wing is quite warped; it also seems that, way back when, the Revell designers either got the cabane struts too long, or the wing struts too short, resulting in that ever-present 'bow.' (As seen in photos, the real thing had little or no dihedral on the upper wing.) On my last build (after gingerly 'straightening' the wing with hot water and a hair dryer) I took a little off from the cabane strut bottoms, until the wing could set straight. It makes a world of difference. Good luck with your build, and I look forward to seeing your progress! Cheers.
  13. Purely in the spirit of polite inquiry...is there a place one may find statutory evidence of this? It seems to have the whif of the 'improbable' about it.
  14. I fell hard for the gorgeous Zotz 'Nordic Tiger' decals the first time I saw them. I used what I had on hand -- Academy's old 1/48 Fighting Falcon release -- and grafted on the more-accurate F-16AM fin (with parachute housing) from the equally-elderly Esci/Ertl 'Dogfighter' kit. I used an Eduard color 'Zoom' p-e set in the cockpit, and scratchbuilt the actual braking chute and the characteristic ECM pylon on the stbd. intake. The Norwegian Air Force's F-16AM sn 80-3671 (a.k.a. '#671') was equivalent to the USAF's F-16A/Block 15 as built, and was updated ca. 2000 to Block 20MLU standard. The 338 'Tigers' Skvadron dramatic Nordic Tiger scheme was a special one created for a 2004 Air Show at Payerne AB in Switzerland; it seems to have been retained through at least 2010.
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