|Nov 17, 2010, 10:18 AM|
The Enterprise, The Voyager and The Wardrobe
RCGroups.com was (and still is) my primary source of info on all things RC. One of the first threads I found was dz1sfb’s **SEMFF WWII combat planes 19 designs with plans and video**. An awesome thread for a WW2 fan looking to get into building their own foamy planes! I was in the middle of downloading every plan he had with the intension of building every one (which I still will…one day!) when I ran across another thread stated by a friend of his SGTalon. Talon is well known for his space ship designs from his “Summer of Space Series”. Ships from Star Trek, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica are just some of the outstanding designs he has created!
Well if there is one thing I like as much as WW2 aviation its SiFi, especially Star Trek!
They are so cool! Although I knew they were a bit advanced for a beginner like me, I still had to give it a shot. I also wanted very much to contribute to the forum. However I had no experience in RC. No electrical, no CAD skills. My background is in color production printing systems, workflow, operations and graphic design. So with that, I did the one thing I could think of doing. I started to design decals and full coverings (which I called skins) for Talons Enterprise D. At the time, Kap’n Karl was painting these craft and was doing a great job at it. Coming from an art background I could really appreciate the work and talent involved. However paint was never my “home media” so to speak.
So I started designing in Adobe Illustrator. At first I used a downloaded “engineering drawing” of the Enterprise D as my guide. When Talons plans became available, I started to deign specifically for them.
The main problem with designing skins was how do you get them on the plane? I needed the largest sheet possible. My HP inkjet would only go up to legal size paper and there was the concern of the ink running when you tried to attach it to the ship. I ended up printing my skins on the lightest paper I had available that I could get through a toner based machine (plastic ink won't run!) which was 16 lbs bond but I was stuck with the legal size sheet. They looked great but ended up putting way to much weight behind the CG (overlapping paper because of the tiling I had to do didn't help) causing it to be un-flyable. I fixed my tail heavy version by making it a tractor motor. It flew nicely then but I still crashed. Pilot error.
In a land far far away, (Michigan) SGTalon purchased an Epson WorkForce 1100 Wide-format (13X19) Printer and attached tissue paper to a carrier sheet. The After printing the skins on the tissue paper/carrier sheet, he removed the tissue paper from the carrier sheet. He then mounted the tissue skins on the Enterprise using a watered down white glue method called Decoupage. The Espon 1100 uses water resistant ink which is a huge plus! This kept the weight down to the point that he could keep the CG correct buy just increasing the battery size. They look awesome and the fly awesome! You can pick one up from him by looking him up on ebay. SGTalon is his eBay name too!
What’s next? Well, now that Talon has the printing/mounting mystery solved, it looks like the USS Voyager may be on the horizon. Hey who knows? Maybe I’ll do some of dz1sfb’s WW2 planes too! Hope Santa bring me one of those Epson printers for Christmas! Oh yeah, and maybe a wardrobe too. Ok, not really. Had to say it so my blog title would make sense.
May 4th 2011
It’s been 6 months since I last updated this. About time don’t you think?
A lot has changed for these skins. SGTalons kits has been a total hit! However printing skins was not the gig he was looking for! So production has been handed over to me. This is probably for the best. I created the skins and having the source files means I can manipulate them the best. So I purchased an Epson 1100 with a CIS modification to print the skins. I then stocked up on a larger sheet of tissue (13X30). After I rearranged the skins so they are now fit on six sheets of tissue instead of ten, I created a skin application guide to help people hints and tips on applying them. I shipped the first set to SGTalon for some QC. The second set is going on my Enterprise! On top of that , Voyager is almost ready to roll!
Since I’m now a skin printing machine, I have been doing some other kits as well! WW1 skins (SE5, SPAD, Fokker D7, Nieuport and an Albatros) are all about 95% complete. In the WW2 area, Pappy Boyington’s “Lucybelle” corsair is well on the way! These are for kits designed by dz1sfb and haiduk. Unfortunately now I have to split my time between skins, building and flying.
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