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From Plastic to Profile Part One
Vought Corsair Mk.II

by Bob Aikens


 available online from Squadron




From Plastic to Profile...

To begin, a lot of the discussion here will probably appear as elementary to experienced photographers and/or PhotoShop users-but being neither, I hope that most viewers will realize that most of this stuff was gleaned through trial and error and experimentation-familiar territory to most modelers!

The images featured in this series were taken with an Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom-despite it's lowly 3 MP's, it has a nice 8X optical zoom and a myriad of other tools that are of great use in model photography.On it's highest resolution setting it gives 1984X1488 size images.Once the images are taken from the camera into it's own software programme 'Camedia MasterPro', They are then "dragged and dropped" into Adobe PhotoShop 7 at their full resoultion, in order to have the maximum amount of 'information/pixils' to work with; the more 'dense' the information, the more able you are to use the 'zoom-in' function as an aid in manipulating minute bits of the image.

In a given photo suite it always seemed appropriate to include a profile of the model aircraft, so I began to experiment, trying to find the optimum camera settings for this. I discovered that for the type of models depicted in this article (1/48 WW II size), a focal lenght of between 100-120 mm produced a profile shot with the least amount of 'curvature'.This curvature is most apparent at the vertical panel lines and/or larger markings on the model.Further 'straightening' of the image can be done with the 'Distortion' feature in the Camedia programme, and/or with the 'sphereize-pinch' tools in PhotoShop. In any case, the offending curved panel lines can be removed using either the 'brush' tool or the 'clone stamp' tool. With the help of reference drawings or the model instruction sheet, you can 'rescribe' every panel line if need be, using the 'line tool'. This is basically the way I proceeded in the 'rebuilding' of these images.

Also, depending upon the sheen of the model, curved area highlights will be more or less seen. If you choose, these can be augmented using the 'brush' tool in it's varying airbrushing /feathering capacities.Lots of fun- and if you foul up, just step backward and try again- much more forgiving than real paint!

So on to the models/images themselves. I'll include a brief description of what was done to each image.

Part One - Academy (HobbyCraft) F4U -1D

The model was painted using Humbrol enamels and finished with the TechMod FAA Corsair II sheet. All the panel lines were redone. The upper fuselage was highlighted and some lower areas shadowed; also the canopy area was re-worked.


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Bob Aikens
Page Created 04 May, 2005
Last Updated 03 May, 2005

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