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The group build to end all group builds - THE GREAT WAR

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  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 10:25 AM

OK guys, I'm calling this one done. Really a neat little kit, and what must have been a tiny aircraft in it's day (my 1/48 D.VII dwarfs it). Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics (and thanks to all the advice here, I'm pretty happy with 'em Yes ). Next, it's on to my Eduard DR.I.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Monday, February 6, 2012 10:32 AM

I checked my camera's settings yesterday for AP mode and found the setting at f2. No wonder they looked the way they did. Set it to f8, upped the resolution to 2560, reduced the flash power by -2/3, and man what a difference! Can't thank you fellas enough for the great info.

Final pics for the HD.1 should be up this week as it is nearing completion, and I guarantee they will look way better than the previous ones I've taken.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Sunday, February 5, 2012 11:04 AM

Ernest - thanks for responding to the camera questions.  Check, yes I always have f8 locked for these model pics.  I think I may have found my major problem with macro shooting.  I've been approaching the object too close  in order to fill in the view finder.  Consulting my guidebook, it states macro shots are in the 2 inch to 1.5 foot range.  So backing up a bit I think should increase the overall focus, yes? 

I have taken both your suggestions to photo editing and applied them to one of my original postings here.  Top is original and bottom is the photoshopped one.  In order started first with gamma correction, contrast, and unsharpen mask.  The photo still had too much yellow so I increased the blue just a hint.

regards,

Jack

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Sunday, February 5, 2012 9:53 AM

Lots of great photo tips here, and I plan on trying as many of 'em as I can. Planning on getting busy with the HD.1 today, and getting as much done on it before the game starts.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted by bufflehead on Saturday, February 4, 2012 8:39 PM

Jack, thanks for commending my digital photos.  Paul's tips are spot on and it seems you have all the necessary equipment to take great photos.  I'm using an older Nikon Coolpix 5000 which is a cross between a digital SLR and a point&shoot digital camera, its 5.1 megapixels. 

For taking model photos I put in aperture priority and set it to the smallest aperture (usually between f/7.2 -f/8) which allows the camera to determine the shutter speed.  Flash is turned off, set in macro mode, and I use the built in timer, on a tripod.  Lighting is simply three 75W, 5000K lights bulbs, two on pivoting table lamps, one in a economy clamp lamp that I use when I a third light source overhead.   Drafting vellum is used over the lamps to help diffuse the light.

Like Paul, I do find the need to edit most of my photos simply because I can't quite get the contrast/brightness settings on my camera right.  I'm too lazy to figure it out and I can use computer software for this simple task.  I use Irfanview, which is a free program that I find easy to use, since most of my editing is contrast/brightness adjustments, resizing and sharpening the pic.   Also, sometimes my camera mutes the colors so I have to use Irfanview to restore the color.  My camera quality is set to "BASIC" which produces photos in 2560 x 1920 resolution, which I then resize to 1024 x 768.  One feature I almost always use for final photos is "Sharpen" in Irfanview.  In Photoshop I think its called "Unsharp Mask".  This really cleans up all the edges in the photo and give it that extra "pop"

That's it, nothing special really.  I keep thinking I should buy a nice digital SLR for this work, but when I really think about it my older Nikon does the job!!

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Memphis TN
Posted by Heavens Eagle on Saturday, February 4, 2012 6:04 PM

Hey igeratic1 it is probably not just the resolution of your camera.  The older camera's were not as crisp on taking color photos as many of the newer ones.  The better and more expensive cams usually had better chips in them.  Now the technology has improved quite a bit and even the inexpensive cams can take fairly nice photos.  The main problem with macro and close up photos though is that it tends to push things to the edge.  Higher resolution photos can allow you to get more to work with and to crop down to what is needed a little easier.

The photo editing programs though are also a big part of what makes things work well.  I did a quick show and tell here to illustrate how much some of my photos are manipulated to get the desired results.

As a side note, am thinking about building up the 1/32 scale Seimens Schuckert D.III by Roden.  Will know more in two or three weeks.  Working on a kit for a different build right now.

 

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Saturday, February 4, 2012 11:10 AM

Paul - thanks for taking the time to share your digital photography knowledge - I too wish I could take better photos.  Ernest's latest photo postings of the completed Whippet were really crisp and wish I could get mine to that level. 

Maybe I need a new camera as the current one is only 3.1m and the largest resolution is 2048.  Although I don't think larger pictures will help as I usually resize them 50%-60% (after cropping) when posting to the net.  I do use the macro setting built in the camera, as well as the timer, tripod, no flash but I will manually adjust the light exposure to +1/3.  ISO speed is set to 50, from what I understand higher settings will increase "noise" in the pixels.  Anything else I should look at?

I do have Corel paint but I only use it to resize and crop.  I try and steer away from using all the manipulating features to "fix" photos as it tends to make the image look different/better than the real thing.  But if this is what people are doing to get that extra edge, maybe I should reconsider?

regards,

Jack

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Memphis TN
Posted by Heavens Eagle on Saturday, February 4, 2012 10:36 AM

Yes it does take some practice.  I finally added a card reader to my computer (instead of a USB dongle) to make it easier.

What I do if there is a particular shot I want, is shoot a number of shots.  Then load them into my machine.  I have a folder on the desktop called "Photo temp transfer" that I move all the photos into.  Then I use my favorite viewer program to preview them.  The program I use is Firehand Ember.  Unfortunately I think the guy that was developing it passed away suddenly in 06.  It lets me look at all the photos in large thumbs, lets me do some quick minor tweaking if they are too dark, etc.  I delete all the junk photos that are fuzzy or not usable then move the remainder to where I want them.  Either for use in posts, or to storage.  Have quite an organized file system to keep things findable.

I believe Firehand or some versions of it can still be found at some sites on the net.  Very useful tool.

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Saturday, February 4, 2012 1:28 AM

Paul, thanks for getting back to me on that! Great pic too! Yes I can do both aperture and shutter priority with my camera, and have tried that in the past, with mixed results - some good, some not so good. Also, looks like the amount of light I'm using may be another issue. I set up a photo booth that's lit by 2 CFL bulbs of 150w each (incandescent equivalent) with color temps of 6500k (very close to natural daylight). May have to boost the wattage a bit.  I do have the ability to control the intensity of the flash, but there's a lot of different levels, so like you said, it looks as though I've got a bit of practicing to do.

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Memphis TN
Posted by Heavens Eagle on Saturday, February 4, 2012 12:21 AM

When I first started taking photos of my Hannover build, I was using a small Nikon that took 10 Mega pixel photos.  The problem is that it has no real way to focus it or adjust settings to get a better depth of field.  When you focus a camera there is a plane where things are in focus and items closer and further away will be fuzzy.  The best depth of field comes with a pin hole camera believe it or not.

When you do extremely close up photos the depth of field is usually quite thin.  The only way to get it where more is in focus is to use a camera with an adjustable aperture that can be closed way down.  This gives a bit of a pin hole effect and allows more to be in focus.  It also requires a LOT of light!

I ended up going back to my fancy old Olympus 5 mega pixel SLR camera.  I can set the focus where I want it and see that it is in focus.  I also usually adjust the aperture as small as possible, use manual focus, and the built in flash with a piece of mylar in front to diffuse the light a little.  This gives a lot of depth to the photo especially in Macro mode.  The little point a click cameras with everything automatic just don't work as well for that kind of stuff.  The 5 mega pixel Olympus weighs in at about 3.5 pounds with the battery pack and all, but it works so much easier and better than the Nikon.  I can also add some additional macro lenses and get it to go even closer.

As to the resolution, 5 m is plenty for what I am doing in the posts on here.  A 5 mega pixel photo can do a very sharp crisp 8 x 10 photo at the photo lab.  Much more than what is needed in internet posts.  Best way is experiment with your camera.  Get a photo viewing program and experiment.  After all it isn't like you have to go and develop film and get prints to see what worked like in the old days.

One other thing, is a decent photo editing program.  Adobe has Photoshop, and there are a number of other programs out there.  Sometimes a photo is "almost" there and it just needs a little tweak in some way to make it much better.

Here is an example:  A painted miniature with small parts from my Hannover build on a black background. The dime gives you some idea of the actual size of everything.  Original size of the photo was 2560 x 1920 pixels.  After cropping and resizing for posting, it is 800 x 692 pixels.  Both photos look pretty much the same on the computer though the large one is 2.7 meg and the small one is 75k.  The sizing was done on my photo editor of choice Corel Picture Publisher.

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Friday, February 3, 2012 10:21 PM

Question for you fellas. I went and took another look at Marc's site with the pics from this GB. Not only am I blown away by the quality of the work, but the pics themselves are amazing! When you guys take your pics, do you use the highest resolution setting available on your cameras? I've been using the next highest (2048 I think) and I'm still not totally pleased with their quality. Should I go even higher?

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Friday, February 3, 2012 9:56 PM

OK, time to get this GB back to page 1, and I'm gonna do it with another update on the Hanriot, It's shaping up nicely. Got most of the weathering done with the help of some Tamiya weathering powders and panel line accent washes. The woodgrain on the struts (as well as on the prop and the tail skid, right now uncured raw umber oil paint) will get a shot of Tamiya clear orange once it's dry. The gun needs a bit more highlighting, and lots of fiddly bits still need to be added here and there. The pics you see are "after the fall" - yep, it slipped out of my clumsy fingers and hit the floor, but fortunately the damage was restricted to the windscreen, the gun, and three struts (which were a bit of a pain to get re-aligned, but she's good to go now).

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Memphis TN
Posted by Heavens Eagle on Thursday, February 2, 2012 1:03 AM

Went to the Misterkit site, and apparently he has a broken link to the paints page.   HOWEVER!  If you go up to the address line and manually change the page1.html  to page2.html it will allow you to see the paint listings.  

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:15 PM

Oh yeah!!! That's what I'm talkin' about Ernie! Some really cool paint schemes there!

...and don't fret. Lot's of "Wingnuts" here to answer any questions - and we KNOW you've got the talent. That tank is proof enough for me! The rigging is usually the most challenging part of these builds, and what sets them apart from their single-wing counterparts.

For the 'silbergrau', I usually mix mine - light grays and silver / metallics until it looks right. Misterkit does also make that color ( GC17 ). Here's a link to their site....

http://misterkitusa.com/

 

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted by bufflehead on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 9:15 PM

Thanks Paul, it was a fun build!  Glad you liked it!

Now getting to that Glencoe Pfalz......here's a pic of the possible color schemes and markings (on the box bottom no less!)

Front of the box:

Most of the color schemes have a white(ish) colored base coat.  I'm leaning toward that as there are so many marking choices!  The instructions show this as Silbergrau....silver-gray??  Does someone (MM, Tamiya, Misterkit, Lifecolour, etc.) have this specific color?  Can it be easily mixed?  I usually use acrylics, but I'm not adverse to using enamels if necessary.  My second choice is the blue & red scheme at the bottom! 

Bear with me on this build guys as it will be my first AC buiilt in 35 years and I have no idea what I'm getting into!! Surprise

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Piscataway, NJ!
Posted by wing_nut on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 8:02 PM

Thanks guys but all I did was come up with the idea.  Your builds and BSxxxx  er... um... I mean well thought out comments.... yeah, that's it well thought out commentsWhistling back and forth kept it going and made it great.

Marc  

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Memphis TN
Posted by Heavens Eagle on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 7:58 PM

Been meaning to compliment you on the tank Earnest!  You did a mighty nice job and it looks great!

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 7:46 PM

Ernest, I have to agree with what everyone has said in regards to this GB - it's been a learning experience and an absolute joy to be a part of - thank you Marc!

...and the best part is it's gonna keep going! Yes (I'm really looking forward to seeing that Pfalz - my favorite WWI bird)

Been plugging away at the Hanriot and should be posting some updates soon. The kit markings did not go on well, so I'm going to attempt painting the italian roundels myself. Managed to get my hands on some of those Tamiya weathering pastels and their panel line accent washes - they work awesome!

By the way, did anyone happen to notice the build at the top of the page? 'bout time we saw a WWI subject up there. This theme is really catching on. Wink

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted by bufflehead on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 12:58 AM

Rob -  Thank you very much sir!  When I saw your Mark IV Male I knew the bar had been raised!  I used your build to motivate me and based some of the Whippet's look on how you did yours.  I've got to admit these Great War tanks are very interesting builds!  I have a Emhar Mark IV Female that I'm itching to do....but much, much later!!

smeagol - group builds can be tough to complete a build for.  Heaven knows I've failed several myself, but in the end everyone seems to have good time!!

wing_nut - Marc, I'll echo smeagol to say THANKS for the excellent group build!  I've enjoyed it immensely and learned quite a bit!  If you can wait I'll start working on that Pfalz D.III soon.

  • Member since
    October 2009
Posted by PANZERWAFFE on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 5:03 PM

ERNEST - FANTASTICStarStarStarStarStar  Everything everyone has said about your Whippet is absolutely true, a truly beautiful buildYes

Rob

  • Member since
    April 2008
  • From: Philadelphia PA
Posted by smeagol the vile on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10:49 AM

Thanks for even starting this GB

Just for the record this GB interested me enough to be like... the ONLY one I entered and actually completed

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted by bufflehead on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 12:05 AM

Jack, Marc, waikong and Mike, thanks so much for your kind words and for being patient while I slogged through the build.  I didn't expect it to turn out so well, but I put to use many of the techniques I learned from these very forums and in the end they worked out! 

Marc, thanks for extending the GB!  If you hadn't I might have just set this on the shelf unfinished and who knows when I would have gotten around to it!   The completed builds on your site inspired to at the end to complete something worthy for you and the other participants! 

I bow to all of you who helped inspire and motivate me with your own excellent bulds! Bow Down

  • Member since
    February 2006
  • From: Smithers, BC, Canada
Posted by ruddratt on Monday, January 30, 2012 9:31 AM

One of the best armor pieces I've ever seen, period. You've earned that cold one, Ernie. Outstanding build!! Yes Yes

Mike

 "We have our own ammunition. It's filled with paint. When we fire it, it makes pretty pictures....scares the hell outta people."

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: NYC, USA
Posted by waikong on Monday, January 30, 2012 8:28 AM

One of the best WW1 tank models that I've seen - fantastic work.

My website: http://waihobbies.wkhc.net

   

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Piscataway, NJ!
Posted by wing_nut on Monday, January 30, 2012 8:20 AM

Freakin' outstanding Definitely one to be proud of.

Marc  

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: ON, Canada
Posted by jgeratic on Sunday, January 29, 2012 10:14 PM

Ernest - man o' man, what a gorgeous job!  I have to say both you and Rob have taken these Emhar kits and turned a sow's ear into a silk purse.  Toast

regards,

Jack

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted by bufflehead on Sunday, January 29, 2012 9:52 PM

Yay!  I'm finally done!  Thanks for all your kind words gentlemen!  All the little details took a while and those darn angle irons in the front nearly killed me! Dead  For some reason they just don't want to stay glued on, but they stayed on long enough to take photos!  Hope you like!

I like this one because its almost a duplicate of the kit box cover!

 Whew!  This one taxed me but I'm happy with the results.  I had a problem with the flat finish...I used my favorite, PollyScale (Testors) Flat which is acrylic and has always given me a perfect flat finish.  This time however, the finish came out somewhat "hazy", like the tank was covered by a light transluscent coating and this dulled the colort.  I had to compensate with several applications of filters to bring back some of the color.  Used mostly Sin Industries Green for Light Green and Brown for Dark Green and then the oil dot method using mostly primary colors.  Then I had to redo most of the dark pinwash to bring back some contrast.

Anyway its time for a break.  I'll start working on the Pfalz D.III next weekend! For now I just want to relax and have a Beer

 

  • Member since
    October 2009
Posted by PANZERWAFFE on Saturday, January 28, 2012 6:06 PM

MIKE - Yes

ERNEST - Details are really starting to pop with the wash / pin wash.  Looking great

MARC - Love the line up on your page.  Thanks for the extra time put in. 

Rob

  • Member since
    March 2006
Posted by TD4438 on Saturday, January 28, 2012 4:09 PM

wing_nut

Hi ya gang..........

 

Check out the page on my website...

http://wingnutmodels.com/WWI_GB.html

That's a nice little tribute.

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Piscataway, NJ!
Posted by wing_nut on Saturday, January 28, 2012 10:29 AM

Mike the Hanriot is ready looking sweet.

 

Ernest... YOWZER... I love that Whippet and want to marry it.  Check the bottom of the page on my site.  I'm ready for ya!Wink  And the treadhead first plane is anxiously awaited.Stick out tongue

Marc  

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