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From Plastic to Profile Part Four
Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a

by Bob Aikens


 available online from Squadron



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 1984 x1488 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 Three - Dragon Me 262B-1a/U1

Since I hadn't really got an accurate color scheme on the original model to begin with almost all the mottling was redone with references from Bunrin-Do's Famous Airplanes of the World Vol. 2 Me262-there are six photos of the Burg-based 10/NJG 11 B-1a/U1's, some before and after capture. They are 'small white 305 and 306', Red 10, Red 12, and what may be 'small red 8'.



I "redid' my original application of Graugrun and chose a Grauviolett from the color palette-these I applied using the somewhat grainly shot of 111980. Since building this model I have noticed several builds, including one by our editor that have the wing uppers in a solid green hue. I have no references to the upper wing areas, so I may have a faulty rendering of the wing uppers in the flying shot.

Flying shot of 'Red 12' (title image)

Almost every square centimetre of this image was redone-the nose paneling was corrected and re-done; the wing and fuselage mottling; a pilot and radar man were added and appropriately 'painted', and highlighting done on the rounded portions of the fuselage , wings and nacelles. It was quite fascinating to watch the image become more than the sum of its parts. Strange stuff, this digital imaging!

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2005 by Bob Aikens
Page Created 09 May, 2005
Last Updated 09 May, 2005

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