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Scaling down from plans


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Almost all of my models have come from plans that I have obtains from books, ship kits, and plans outlets.  When scaling down, my method is usually to use the reduction feature on a copier until I get the desired size to fit my bottle.  When using this method, I miss a lot of detail that I would have liked to include.

 

 

How does everyone else scale up or down from a set of plans.  

 

Gwyl

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I have taken to tracing/redrawing plans acquired on the internet. Frequently these plans are distorted and pixelated. I start in a photo edit program and, after drawing a few horizontal and vertical guide lines, adjust the photo until it is close enough to square and straight then tinker with brightness and contrast to bring out the lines on the image, remove the guide lines, and save it.

 

Then I import it into a drawing program and trace/redraw it. I use a vectored drawing program that does not pixelate the lines but keeps them true even at 5000X magnification. I use layers in the drawing program with the original on a layer and the redrawn lines on another so I can turn the layers on or off as work progresses to verify that the new lines match the original. After I've redrawn the plan I then copy it onto another page (the drawing program allows for multiple pages) and reduce it to the size I need. When I reduce I make a note on the plan what the reduction in percent is. This allows me to trace/redraw deck detail (for example) from the original plan, copy to the small scale plan and reduce using that percentage.

 

I know this information may be more than many ship bottlers can use or are familiar with. I had pencil and paper drafting courses in college and later took courses in CAD drafting. I also worked with blueprints my entire working life. However, the basic idea can still be used by a beginner in digital drawing to prepare clean, fine-lined drawings to the size required with some practice and experimentation.

 

I use two programs from Serif, PhotoPlus Starter Edition and DrawPlus Starter Edition. Both are free, sample-ware versions (with some reduced capabilities) of the programs they sell. I have upgraded the DrawPlus (when they had it on sale) but not PhotoPlus.

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  I've had good luck scaling down with a scanner and computer, but there are times when i just have to wing it. Something that works for me is to figure out what six feet equals on the model i'm bulding, and make a human figure to scale out of cardstock who can be placed on the deck or up in the rigging to keep things in proportion.

 

TJ

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I always print the plan to the size I am building the model.      I use Adobe Photoshop that allows me to print any percentage I require.      If the hull is 4.5 inches long on the plan, and I want it to be 3 inches long, I divide 3 by 4.5 and multiply by 100.    This gives me 66.666.   Round it up to 67% and print.   It will then be 3 inches long!         If it is 3 inches long and I want it to be 6 inches long, same goes.   I  dividethe  required length (6) by actual length (3), and multiply by 100, and get 200%!

When you reduce a plan, it gets sharper anyway, so I have never had any problems.     Attached is the sail plan of the West Lothian, reduced from the original large drawing (done by myself).

Bob

post-34-0-20420000-1429780182_thumb.jpg

Edited by Shipbuilder
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I really liked photoshop when I had it.  I used the old Photoshop 7.0 for as long as I could.  Then my computer died and it wasn't compatible with my new computer.  Photoshop wants subscriptions now so it's no longer an option for me.  I have found as far as actual photo editing I found http://apps.pixlr.com/editor/works just like photoshop 7.  It doesn't have the re sizing capability though.  For that I had to use a free program called Gimp.  It's got a lot of features but it's hard to figure out.  Photo editing and copiers is how I resize.  Often I'll make two or three copies at different sizes and test them to find a good size.    

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Further to the above - Insert the plan in a Microsoft Word doucument.     Right click on the image, then click on "Format Picture"    You can then select any percentage you want with the "size" button at the top, and it will resize it in the MS Word page.     It is ideal for small plans.

Bob

Edited by Shipbuilder
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We were discussing whether or not Microsoft Publisher would be another option.  I'm not familiar with it but every piece of software I get into I usually go through and push all the buttons and try things out as I use it.  So experimenting with Publisher might make it another option to the ones mentioned above.   

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The "Paint" software seems to be in most computers, and if not, is available as a free download.      The resize menu of paint is attached, as long as the figures in the top two boxes are the same (if not, the image will be either compressed vertically or horozontally), and the lower two boxes are 0, you can't go wrong.

Having found this resizing method, why search for anything else, as it is simple and efficient?

Bob

post-34-0-45584200-1429860725_thumb.jpg

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Please disregard what I said above about Paint.    I was getting mixed up with the physical size of the image and the number of pixels etc.   Paint reduces the size of the image in KB, not the physical size when printed.     I had it on my brain of late, because I was using it to reduce the image file sizes in my book.The best way to resize a plan is to use the Format section of MS Word.    I can explain this in more detail if required.     I assume most of you do use Microsoft Word, and that is very efficient for plan scaling.

Bob

Edited by Shipbuilder
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Greetings All,

 

I use a system similar to Dave F's. First thing I do is carefully cut the plan images out of the book, assuming I own the book mind you. I then scan them at very high resolution and save the files, usually split things up a bit if the images weren't on separate pages in the book. I happen to use an older version of Paint Shop Pro, ver. 7, to take each image and get it as square to horizontal and vertical as I can. Basically, I draw a straight line and then move it over a straight line on the image, if it lines up then fine, if not I use the rotate via input method to rotate the image, then draw a new line and check it, and repeat until I get a horizontal line as close as humanly possible. On older printed plans, and even occasionally in book plans, there is some distortion of lines, i.e. not perfectly straight on the image itself. With a bit of practice you can figure out how to get things overall as square as possible even with some distortion.

 

  I use Draftsight, a free CAD program that is very, very similar to AutoCAD in how it operates and what it can do. It's one of those programs that a group of programmers work on and develop, then offer free to the public. You do have to register, and the first time you open/use the program after a year, they request you re-register.

 

The firs thing I do after starting the program is to draw a full scale drawing on a single layer that has the basic futtock/water/station lines to the proper dimensions of the plan set. I make up 3 such drawings, plan view/profile view/cross section compilation. These are dawn full scale, using the ortho featuer that allows ONLY perfectly vertical and horizontal lines. I usually make each waterline a different color, as well as the futtock lines on the drawings.

 

Draftsight allows one to import a scanned image file, you can specify the scale converrsion at imput, or do what I do, which is import it as is, and then click on the image to highlight it, then "grab" one corner with my mouse/trackball and drag it outwards. BTW each scan imput is started on a separate layer, so as Dave mentioned above I can turn that layer on and off whenever I wish. Now, I keep grabbing and dragging my scan image on the drawing, until as many of the original futtock/water/station lines match as closely as possible to my drawn scaled templates. Sometimes you have to fudge things a bit, especially if there is any sort of distortion in the original image that was scanned, you simply have to check various places on the image/template, you can zoom in as close as you want to any section of a drawing, and work at it until as many lines as possible match between template and image.

 

I now move to another layer and simply trace as closely as I can each original drawing, right on top of the template and image. For curved lines I use the spline curve in the program to draw the curves, by placing as many points on the image line as possible. Each long curved line, such as waterlines on the plan view, is then checked for smoothness by turning off the template and image scan layers, and just looking at the overall curve. The individual points originall plotted to make up the spline curve can be grabbed and manipulated in order to get the curve smoother, or to match the scan lines better if that is needed.

 

I usually then check the correctness of each of the new drawing layers, by comparing them orthographically, basically make sure the same line passes through the same points of reference on the template in all the views. It's tedious, but even the best plans available often have errors that you won't catch until you try to build the model and something just doesn't work. I paid over $400 for the Ancre plans of BonHomme Richard, and found places when compared via CAD where different views did not mach at all.

 

Basically I then have the basic plans of the hull shape, I then use separate layers for each of the group of items I add to the plans, i.e. masts/yards/deck structures/standing rigging/etc. each to it's own layer. If the original plan set had actual individual drawings of spars with dimensions, I draw them separately on a layer, then copy and paste them into proper place on the overall drawing when needed.

 

When it comes to printing them for a model, I simply guestimate the approximate ratio and print an image. I then check it for "fit" through the neck and "fullness" inside the container, and adjust the scaling of the print until I get what I need. One of the things I like to do is print everything at the model scale, but also print some of the detail stuff at a larger scale as reference drawings for what the individual item should look like. I take dimensions from the scale drawings, using a dividers, but look at the larger scale prints while I work, to get a more detailed idea of what it should look like when finished.

 

CAD can be a bit intimidating at first, but take my work for it, it is of such immense help when building small scale models like we all do. I often compare it to using a typewriter as opposed to using a word processing program. I was trained as an architectural draftsman, worked for years with pen & ink on mylar and pencil on vellum before ever even seeing a CAD program on a computer. I started out with a very early version of AutoSketch, made by the same company that does AutoCAD, sketch is much cheaper and has more limitations than AutoCAD though, so I moved up some years later. AutoCAD is way too expensive for me now, I had purchased the program I was using from a defunct engineering firm, but Draftsight is so similar in operation that I had almost no learning curve to go through to use it, and it is totally free to anyone, they even have a linux version if you are of that persuasion.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Ladysmith, WI

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I don't understand the last three posts! :(

Pull what off?

Would like to know what?

Experiment with what?

 

Bob

 

Bob,

 

Pull what off - Make it work (Microsoft Publisher)

Would like to know - If Microsoft Publisher would work similar to MS Word

Experiment - Experiment with Microsoft Publisher to see if it would work similar to MS Word 

 

:) 

 

Gwyl

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Most folk have MS Word though!  

I had not even heard of MS Publisher!

If you do have MS Word, what is wrong with using it to rescale?

As for the comprehensive explanation by John (above), I just don't have the patience for that sort of thing, especially when I can do it on MS Word in about 2 minutes!

With small plans for miniatures or SIBs, I just think learning about CAD, and all sorts of complicated (and expensive) programs is just overkill!

Bob

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Most folk have MS Word though!  

I had not even heard of MS Publisher!

If you do have MS Word, what is wrong with using it to rescale?

As for the comprehensive explanation by John (above), I just don't have the patience for that sort of thing, especially when I can do it on MS Word in about 2 minutes!

With small plans for miniatures or SIBs, I just think learning about CAD, and all sorts of complicated (and expensive) programs is just overkill!

Bob

I think CAD would help me, but, there would be steep, steep learning curve.  As for overkill?  I wouldn't say that.  Each of us has our own level of pleasure and confidence in what we are doing.  What we work with on a regular basis, becomes much easier over time.  I suspect CAD would give a level of accuracy that I could use to my advantage. (If I would take the time to learn it)  :)

 

Gwyl

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CAD wouldn't make any difference to me.   So many of the plans I use are old and indistinct.     Having a fuzzy plan does not mean I will make a fuzzy model!        If the topsail yard looks blurred on the plan, it doesn't matter to me, as long as I can see its length.    From what I have seen and heard of CAD, it is quite magnificent, but takes a  long time to learn, and I have never had much patience for that sort of thing!       Building the model is (or was) my main concern and pleasure, but I haven't built any for several months now, after getting Tennis Elbow last summer.    That is completely cured now, but  I haven't summoned up much enthusiasm to start again, although I probably will eventually!    Surprising how something like that can make you lose the habit!

Bob

 

post-34-0-55948800-1429907159_thumb.jpg

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The sea is just a piece of clear acrylic.    I rubbed the underneath down with fine carborundum paper and sprayed it with Java Blue automobile spray paint.    The ice is modelling clay with pieces of sytrene sheet cut into random shapes and pushed into the surface.    It was then painted with white wood glue and covered thickly with "scenic snow!"      After it dried, I blew the excess away and fitted the ship.     The ship is the steam whaling barque Esquimaux

Bob

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

Scaling down plans. I was taught Engineering Drawing many years ago, and although scanning, photographing, CAD, etc all have their place (I'm a CAD novice and actually use the drawing facilities in Powerpoint, although I'm trying again with Totalcad 2D-3D). I found myself reverting to the drawing board a few years ago when the figure I wanted was close to the binding in a book and could only be put flat if I broke the spine. I thought I'd treat myself to a set of proportional dividers and was astounded at the cost, hence made a pair. I wrote it up as an article for Bottleship, The European Association of Ships in Bottles. I've used them a number of times now. Article enclosed - it may help with drawings/plans/etc.

 

Alan

Copy of Measuring Widget.pdf

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