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Old May 16, 2007, 08:58 PM
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AMA 8614
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Northern Nevada
Joined Mar 2007
1,610 Posts
Homemade Graphics

Some of you have asked me about the graphics I made for the Blu Baby. One of the things I lke best about building foamies is the simplisity of everything. The graphics are good examples. Disclaimer: I'm sure there are many other ways to make these graphics more professional and accurate. That is not my goal, my goal is to make a foamie appear scale like... not scale. So here goes:

Step 1. Have a plane in mind and the paint scheme you like for that particular plane. In the case of my Blu Babies I saw a Cessna L-19 Birdog (a plane I am familiar with and had a few hours in back in the day).

Step 2. Since I am using Elmers White foamboard the logical scheme was the white with red trim. I masked off the appropriate red areas and blasted them with red Krylon H20 paint. Small red areas ala the tips of the rudder and elevator are done with red plastic tape that is a fairly close match the the Krylon. For black I use electrical tape. Measure or eyeball the area and tape away.

Step 3. Find the graphics you want to use. Here is a good source:

Download the largest file you can find and handle. This is important because you can shrink down a larger graphic to fit the size you need but it is often impossible to enlarge a thumbnail enough to make a larger graphic with clear edges.

If you have a scanner, you can scan pictures, etc to get the graphic you want. Another option is to draw your graphic and scan it into Windows Paint Program or some other program. Windows has several options that come in the system that you can use with a little practice. Once you have things the way you want it save it as a bmp, gif, jpeg or what ever you want to work with.

Step 4. Letters and numbers. I use my Microsoft Word program but any text program will work. Choose the largest font available usually 72 or 96. All my military numbers and letters are Arial Rounded MT Bold. Arial Narrow will work as well. Type of the numbers. On the BB Birdog 14680 is my AMA membership number. I simply put a text box on my word page without line borders and typed them out. The "US Army" text on the wings is 10 inches long by 3 inces high. None on my programs will print text that large so I printed the out in 72 font bold as possible, scanned them into a jpeg picture, imported the picture into my word program and stretched the out to the size I needed.

Step 5. Print them out. Since the BB Birdog is white I simply printed the large stars and bars out on white paper, cut them out and glue sticked them on. For my purposes you can't tell them from a decal. The large numbers and the "U.S. Army" on the wing and the other numbers are printed on Avery full page shipping label material (Avery 18655) . To do this simply import all the graphics pictures into a text program to get as many images on a page as practical. Print out a test page using the lowest quality (draft black and white mode) and check your sizes to make sure they fit what you are doing. Put your label sheet in your printer and select best quality for your color and fire away. Cut em out and paste away. You will be amazed. Hope this helps and if you have any questions, I'm glad to help. Bob

P.S. Thanks to all of you who have helped and encouraged me. You all are great.
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Last edited by Foamenator; May 17, 2007 at 10:45 AM.
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