Outerzone - your thoughts and input - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Oct 09, 2012, 05:14 PM
Registered User
Outerzone is a truly great site and Steve does a great job of attracting plans and (obviously to much time on his hands) winkling out those odd obscure sites with a decent plan or two. I feel that all uploads should go through an adjudicator to avoid uploads that could cause trouble, this is the method used on hippocket. I prefer plans stiched together as I convert them back to PNG and print using either Isiplot or Tile print as you can select which areas to print and the orintation, this can halve the number of A4 sheets.
One of the common questions asked in the forums is "does anybody have the ?????? plan"
They are then directed to the outerzone site especially as it now has many direct submissions so plans that appear nowhere else can be found on the site. It is not however the repository of every plan posted. Many of the plans posted in the vintage thread are not on the outerzone site and many posted on the hippocket site are also not on the site. So it pays to search the indexes of both these sites as well.
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Oct 09, 2012, 07:53 PM
Registered User
[QUOTE=WMD;22954527]Actually, this has got me musing again... about the format of plans. I've just spent maybe an hour fiddling with the Wildcat plan to get it all onto a single large sheet, but of course it was originally printed over 7 small pages. Only 2 of those pages really needed to be stitched together, the fuselage itself. The rest were actually already perfectly sized for printing out onto A4 paper. You could argue that putting the whole plan onto 1 sheet makes it harder for builders. More work. It would seem to me ironic to print it out as a tiled pdf, sellotape it together, then start cutting it up again with scissors."

My thoughts on this. Firstly very often plans that have been scanned in several A4 sections often suffer from scanner creep plus and are often at any angle except 0 degrees. Anyone who has fiddled around for hours getting all the scans dead level and sometime the same size so that the plan lines marry up knows what I mean and that`s those of us with a smattering of computer know how. Many of those downloading honestly admit they have no idea of how to do this so imagine the frustration of downloading the plan and not only do you have no alignment marks but the pages do not marry up either. Using a full size plan and either the tile function of Adobe or a dedicated tile program ensures the pages match up and have alignment marks.

Wickes ( UK DIY/ Builders merchant )do a nice heavyweight lining paper that is 1 metre wide. Rather than cello-taping a plan together I use wall paper paste sparingly and paste the A4 / A3 sheets on to this. Gives a nice one piece plan that is not flimsy.

Do not know if lining paper is available elsewhere in the world it certainly is not here in France. Apparently they used to do it but to the dismay of the French painters and decoraters they no longer sell it.
Oct 10, 2012, 02:43 PM
Womble of Model Depiction
WMD's Avatar
I like the idea of pasting onto lining paper, that's neat. Much better than my sticky tape method. Excellent.

I agree it would be nice to offer the service of dxf downloads, but dxf and dwg files and proper CAD plans... that's not something I've ever used (although I have played a lot with Sketchup). I don't have a way of editing or converting them, so any files you see on Outerzone that are in that style are there simply because they arrived inwards looking as they do. Converted from dxf into pdf, I mean. I agree it would be nice to let people download the original CAD files. And I'm sure they are small files too, which would be handy. But I don't have them. What I would suggest is that from now on, if you find that you do have a CAD version of a plan that is already listed, then you could send it in here and I'll post it as a supplement. We'd need to settle on a standard format, is it dxf or dwg?

Having just said all that, I remember now that I have TurboCAD 14 boxed up and sat here gathering dust because that's another mission I haven't got around to. Sorry hogal.

Printing on long sheets... how does that work? I just have a crummy Epson A4 printer here. Could I feed in (say) a 4 foot long x 8in wide strip into it and print a whole wing that way? That would be great.
Last edited by WMD; Oct 10, 2012 at 02:52 PM.
Oct 10, 2012, 03:35 PM
Registered User
as I understand it dxf is fairly standard across all CAD programs

I doubt if you can use standard printers which will only allow A4 and smaller standard sizes of paper as listed in your printer options

re printing on continuous computer paper - I use an old Canon bubblejet bj300/310 printer which can take the long paper. To print I transfer the CAD plan into an old windows 98 computer which has the driver for the canon. I also have modelcad on that computer and when I print I just select the continuous paper option within the program - no need to specify length etc

I could make it easier if I invested in a modern expensive lineprinter using a more up to date printer driver but then my modelcad probably wont work and I would have to learn cad all over again on t'cad 14 which I have actually loaded up and use occasionally for some odd jobs relating to pdf or bmp type dwgs for converting to an old dxf format to reload back onto modelcad for moding/scaling etc. torturous but lets me keep my pennies for models.


Oct 10, 2012, 07:01 PM
Edubarca's Avatar
Personally, I prefer plans as originally drawn. CAD is cold and hard to use for most of us.
Oct 11, 2012, 04:01 AM
Registered User
each to his own, Ed

it just seems a shame that if the original is cleaned up in CAD before converting to pdf, the CAD version isnt available for those who can use it as it is another resource.

Oct 11, 2012, 05:15 AM
Womble of Model Depiction
WMD's Avatar
Yes, I think ideally users could choose the style of files they want and leave the ones they don't. I mean there should be multiple versions of each file, so everyone is happy. That way if you don't like something, then you don't download it, you just choose a version that you do like. But me personally, I am not against the use of cad files, at all.
Oct 11, 2012, 08:47 AM
Registered User
You would try to invent a better moustrap Steve, you should have kept to the sparrer in the dung heap syndrome.

Took a vote to get Hogal to show his creations in a format that eveyone could see clearly. i.e. Black and white (Nearly there as they are black, blue and white

DWG or DXF files are great providing you have access to and can drive a CAD program(me) but how many have/can or even want to? PDFs allow most people the choice to wander down to kinkies, staplers or wherever to print as a single sheet, or even, heaven forbid, print as rectangles at home.

Don't get bogged down Steve, if it ain't broke etc..........

Regards Ian.
Oct 11, 2012, 09:23 AM
Closed Account
I'm with Ian, Steve, and I do have the capabilities to utilize CAD files. PDF files, however, work well for a number of reasons and your site has been very successful to date using a PDF format. I'd hope you don't get to a point in trying to "improve" an already great working model plans site to the point where it becomes a pink elephant to control. Sometimes less is more...

Soft landings,

Oct 11, 2012, 09:28 AM
Womble of Model Depiction
WMD's Avatar
Um. Yes but. Again, I am not suggesting that we make everyone download dxf files, at gunpoint. I am not suggesting we move away from pdf as the default format. What I am suggesting that where dxf files exist, they could be made available to those who want them, as supplements to the pdf file. Not clear to me why anyone would argue with that?

I can't see why that would be a problem.
Oct 11, 2012, 09:33 AM
Registered User
Funny that most CAD progs have a save as PDF, can't the CAD brigade use a PDF to ........ Button

Regards (ex Draughty) Ian.
Oct 11, 2012, 09:33 AM
Womble of Model Depiction
WMD's Avatar
But I can see that users want things to stay simple and carry on working smoothly. Ok, I get that, I will not rush into making things more complex.
Oct 11, 2012, 11:05 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Originally Posted by WMD
Not clear to me why anyone would argue with that?

I can't see why that would be a problem.
Neither can I Steve
Oct 12, 2012, 12:32 AM
Experienced Balsa Mangler
Hello, Steve, from Mobile, Alabama, USA!

Love your site, and have been spending far too much time poking around and downloading. You are doing for model airplanes what "Ye Olde Rocket Plans" and "JimZ" have been doing for a number of years with model rockets, and from this old fart...(cough)...uh, builder, it's much appreciated!

When I walk into the LHS these days, it saddens me to see the nearly-total absence of airplane KITS on the shelves. Twenty-odd years ago, when I worked a local shop, virtually every RC plane was still a kit. What little ARF stuff there was looked, felt, and fell out of their boxes, like cheap junk. It left a sour taste in my mouth for the whole idea of it. I have the same feeling for the crop of ARF and RTF rockets that are out there today, too.

A large problem is the lack of building skills among young people getting into the hobby today, and I think this carries over into a lack of appreciation for hand-made things. They take for granted that someone has to build their toys, but it never crosses their mind how it's done, or that they might one day need to do it. That's the consequence of a throw-away society. Toss it when it breaks (even just a little) and get a new one.

I'm an old fart and proud of it! I like to build, even if I'm not that good at it. I know how to cut myself with an X-Acto, and how to glue my fingers together quite well with CA. Believe it or not, I'm even getting more satisfaction using slow-cure Titebond, waiting for the glue to dry, instead of the "instant gratification" of CAs.

Like others have posted, I check the site several times a day. I keep looking for a couple of plans to models I bought back in the seventies (VECO/Dumas Piper Cub, anyone?); but I'm always finding something of interest. The plan for the "Snow White" was outstanding, such a pretty plane. Maybe one day I can attempt it for myself!

One thing I've noticed about a few of these downloads, however. I run Linux Mint, and have had some problems with plans coming up completely blank, or even causing my computer to get horribly sluggish, as either "Document Viewer" or even "The GIMP" try to resolve the images. It's a seemingly random issue, and most of the images appear without a problem at all. Only a few are misbehaving. Perhaps if you had the files tested on a Linux machine before posting, to make sure everyone can see them?

Keep the plans coming, Steve. I love what you've done with the place!

Craig McGraw
Oct 12, 2012, 07:45 AM
Registered User
Craig, Hi from another mint user. I'm on Mint 13 and so far have no trouble downloading plans and opening in Eye of mate or Gimp. Let me know the ones that have caused you trouble and I'll see if I have the same experience.
Hear, hear to your sentiments about ARTF and so on. If anything's going to reduce our hobby's status to mere toy playing this is it!

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