Build: Up-Scale 1:20, Republic P-47D-25, Halinski 3/06

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by rlwhitt, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member


    For my next project, I've opted to Up-scale a printed kit! I know that the vogue seems to be to build smaller, but I want to go the other way and see what happens. So here I'm going to make a stab at building the Halinski P-47D-25 Thunderbolt upsized 65% to approximately 1:20 scale.

    I've wanted to tackle this kit as I really like the Jug, but it weighs in at around 1200 parts and I just could not see doing it at 1:33 scale. The Zero was bad enough! I think the level of detail of this kit will work out well at the larger scale, plus I'm tentatively planning to add some extra detail where it makes sense (and is visible!), for example landing gear and wheel wells, etc. And I’ll probably add some extra cockpit detail too as long as I can see it (No more totally gratuitous detail for me!).

    As for why I picked 1:20 scale; if I'm going to do this, I wanted a big enough increase to make it worth doing. I toyed with the idea of a double to 1:16 or so, but quickly realized that quite a few parts (skins mostly) would span more than 1 letter size sheet. One of my criteria is to print at home to normal size paper, so the thought of joining a bunch of skin parts in the middle nixed that idea. Plus – where in the world would I PUT such a monster! As it turns out, a 65% increase will cause me to only have to split one part - the main wing skins - which have a pretty natural seam printed on them about midway out where I can make the joint.

    For a rescale from a printed kit, there is a lot of preparation - particularly for an upscale. First there is scanning. I have been looking at some old threads and in particular posts by Leif and Gil that have some good info for scanning and rescaling. So a big hat tip to those guys because I'm stealing a lot of their info here!

    The first thing I had to do was cut each page of the book roughly in half, weaving the cut among the parts, so that I end up with chunks that fit on the scanner bed.


    The important thing to know about scanning is to NOT allow the scanning software to assume you are scanning photos, or otherwise be allowed to make "exposure" decisions. If you allow this, scans from one page to the next will not come out the same - will not match color and darkness. My scanner (Epson) has a Document setting, and in addition I had to force it each time to turn OFF Auto Exposure, even though I had picked Document.

    One reality about scanning seems to be that the color and darkness you get from a scan and subsequent prints WILL NOT exactly match the kit. Perhaps with really high-end equipment this may be possible, but with the type of stuff we have at home, my attempts seem to indicate that you will frustrate yourself to insanity if you try. The important thing is to get consistency between the scans so things match and to try to just get reasonably close on color. For this kit I really only had one noticeably bad result and that was with Reds. This model has a red cowl and rudder, and these were coming out more dark, almost rust-colored. So for these parts only I rescanned that page and allowed the software to do auto-exposure and they came out a good bit brighter. So I will just substitute those parts only.

    About DPI (dots per inch). I was tempted to use higher DPI settings (like 720) to help bring out more of that fantasic Halinski printed detail. I could, in fact, see differences in greatly magnified sections at higher DPI. But printed, not so much. And the file size increase is HUGH! (doubling DPI quadrouples the number of pixels). Load/save/editing times dictate that you not go overboard on DPI!

    To summarize, my settings for my Epson scanner are:

    Type: Document
    No Auto-Exposure
    Arrange the input size to just fit each page fragment (using the crop box)
    300 dpi
    165% Size
    Save to TIFF files (do NOT use JPEG!)


    As long as you get a good scan using a document setting, you might have the resulting files’ color pretty like you need them, but one tip I got from reading the experienced guys' posts at this point was to ensure that your files have their “white point” adjusted – again to help make sure that there is color consistency from one file to the next. The process here would vary in details from one editing program to another. In Photoshop, you open up a file, select Image/Adjustments/Levels, click the Set White Point dropper, and click somewhere in the “white” area between parts. If the page background is a little off-color, everything will be adjusted until that point you clicked is white. In my experience scanning this model, there was rarely any difference made when I did this, as they were quite close to white already.

    One thing I did after setting the white point was to save the files as Photoshop PSD files. This made the files about half the size and thus allows faster load/save times. You just want to make sure that at no time in the process you allow the files to be saved in any lossy compression format (JPEG, etc)

    The MAJOR task now is segregating parts. A lot of printed kits are printed on paper a good bit larger than our “letter” size (or even European A4 size), plus the 65% increase obviously means that the resultant files are much larger than you can print with a typical home printer! So, now you’ve got to split things up to fit on whatever you are printing to. The easy way would be to just get into your editor and select letter size groups of parts and then cut and paste those into new files. Or even just print sections of each file letting the parts get cropped at the margins. I decided that while I was going to all this trouble anyway, I’d segregate them into assembly order – a big job! But I always get tired of hunting for parts so I thought I’d do the work on the front end. I’m not really convinced it’s worth all the trouble. I’m not yet finished with it yet, but I’ve got enough pages made to get a long way into the construction.

    You need to at least segregate parts into categories by laminating thickness – all the “1mm” parts together, “0.5mm” parts together, regular card stock parts on the rest, etc. This kit has 6 thickness categories to worry about (more on that later).


    On the printer side, you also want to make sure the printer driver is not making “exposure” decisions for you, so you’ll want to select something for output that is NOT Photo. I’m printing on a Canon i860, and it has custom settings to print as type: Graphic. I also make the Brightness setting = Light to more closely match the original book’s darkness.


    Upsizing the parts themselves is not the end of the battle. You also need to make sure your stock and laminating thicknesses are multiplied as well. Some basic facts on current Halinski books:

    Card pages are 0.21 mm thick (same as 65 lb Wausau Bright White)
    Paper pages are 0.10 mm thick (about the same as 22 lb inkjet paper)

    I have a pad of Strathmore Bristol, which measures 0.32 mm thick, a 52% increase over the Halinski card stock. Close enough I think for upsizing the card stock parts. This stock is pretty stiff, and does not fold nearly as cleanly and easily as our regular weight card, so I think for many small parts that will be rolled and folded, I’ll still print a 65lb stock version. The thicker Bristol will be used for skins and parts that are basically flat, and any other things where dimensions might make a difference in fit.

    As for paper parts, anything that’s just a pattern I’ll print to regular paper, but for those parts that get rolled around wire, etc, I will probably try to upscale it to something like 28 lb paper.

    As for laminations, 0.5 mm and 1 mm come out to 0.825 and 1.65 mm respectively. I’ve got a stock of ~.80 mm cardboard from the back of X-ray films (hat tip to Ted!), so I think I’ve got that one nailed pretty close.

    That leaves the parts to be laminated to “Bristol” or double that (marked + and ++). I will probably just use the Bristol I’m making the skin parts from for these, but some experimentation may be in order to see for sure.

    I’ve got the feeling that this one is going to take a while! And I might need to buy a bigger cutting mat :)
  2. Willja67

    Willja67 Member

    I guess we now know the common thread, Radial Engines. Looking forward to this one as well Rick. But man the P-47 is big in 1/33 you're going to have a monster on your hands. Sure the wife will let you keep it?
  3. hpept

    hpept Member

    It looks like a big undertaking. Wish you luck!
  4. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Rick........ not to be a wet blanket, but John's P-47 will come scaled in 1/24, like his Tempest.

    But I would like to see how this comes out.

    Ummmmmmm.......... how may cylinders will you have to build for this one?:grin:


    What's the deal!!?? This plane ain't colored red and white!:cry:
  5. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    This looks like it is going to be a fun and interesting build!
    You have chosen a good challenge.8)
    I'm on the edge of my seat for this one! Build away, Rick!

  6. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    This is gonna be GREAT! Make sure you have a scale cube in there somewhere so we can really see how big the parts are :)
  7. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Yes, yes, I know I'm insane! It's just something I wanted to try to see if I could make all the elements (scanning, stock selection, etc) come together and make something worthwhile. And with my big fumbly fingers, I think the detail here is too much for me @ 1:33.

    It will be a challenge to find a home for it once done, but I've got a couple more biggies in the pile (GPM JU-52, PBY Catalina) so I'm going to have to come up with something sooner or later. Looks like there might be shelf building in my future!

    @John, as for cylinders, there's "only" 18. :) But I'm hoping at this scale it won't be very difficult.

    Thanks for watching guys, and not making too much fun of my insanity... :grin:

    PS: Just so you know, I'm not nearly as crazy as this guy: :-o
  8. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Alright Rick................ at this scale 18 cylinders x 2 push rods x sparkplugs x ignition wires x oil lines................yeah I can't wait:twisted:

    Also at this scale you must have to think about extra support...........I'd hate to see a perfect build start to droop the first time the humidity hits 100%:cry:
  9. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Whoa there! We'll have to see about that engine detail. :) I'd only add something to the extent it can be seen in the cowl opening, as this one is not made to come off.

    Certainly. In addition to upsizing the framework part thickness itself, I will be adding reinforcements where they fit (wings particularly). From that standpoint this particular model is an excellent subject for upscale as the fuelage is solid interlocking framework from well in front of the clockpit opening all the way back to the tip of the tail! In this case at least, that Halinski over-engineering is going to go to good use. Shouldn't be any strength issues here! And the wings are just about solid framework as well (excepting the wheel wells).
  10. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    BIG Planes


    This sounds like a very ambitious project, which I find really interesting!
    I usually up-scale almost every thing I build, to be able to incorporate more detail (which is why I never completely finish anything).
    I have built an airship in the original 1:200 scale, though ('Graf Zeppelin'), which made it about 1,20 meters. I have three or four more un-built so far in the same scale
    I know that Leif Ohlsson in Gothenburg (my fellow countryman) has been building planes in a 'standard museum scale' of 1:16, which is quite big. He has refined the technique of resizing parts and I believe he prints them in separate parts on an A4 printer. Lately, though, he has been down-scaling some planes to 1:72 (from 1:32 or 1:33) and made them available on

    I will follow this with great interest.
    Best of luck,
    Bengt :D
  11. wyverns4

    wyverns4 Member



    I'll be watching this one! I, to, have been considering up-scaling some projects, to either 1/24th or even 1/16th. I would love to upscale my Halinski P-51D "Big Beautiful Doll", but the silver printing makes that one a no-go at this time.

    Since I build plastic aircraft as well, I've been considering doing a 1/16th Corsair, based on the old Guillow's balsa kit plans, but using paper-model techniques. I've been researching the engine as my first step in this process.

    Thanks for all your work!

    P.S. I got my F2G Corsair printed, but have not worked up the guts to take knife to paper just yet!

  12. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Hi Bengt!

    Yes, I've browsed a number of Leif's threads here and on Kartonbau and have marvelled at his upsize work. I think I saw where he even lit and motorized one! I don't think I'd ever care to do that, but some added details here and there will be interesting.


  13. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Man a BIG silver P-51D would be the bomb! I wonder if you could laminate some of that metallized paper to some regular stock for the skins? I'd think it might have a lot of problems forming without buckles and creases, but it's an interesting thought.


  14. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    OK, Chris here's a teaser. This is a shot (with cube) of a few of the formers in the cockpit area. This is an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet. Dang this thing's gonna be big!

  15. OldSalt

    OldSalt Member

    And another forest bites the dust! I will be watching this with great interest.
  16. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Hah! Yep, I think I've consumed an entire tree with this one! :)
  17. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Good Luck Brother! That guy that was building the Bismarck in 1/100 could've saved himself alot of work by just using a canoe for the bottom hull! You could probably save a little time by using Heineken cans for the cylinders! It still looks like fun though!
  18. Ben Gal

    Ben Gal Member

    I agree, this thing is taking ages. Will it take 65% longer :)
  19. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Probably more :) It does take extra time to cut all this extra thick and big stuff, but at least the smaller parts should take less time to fiddle with, so that should be a wash.

    I've been slowing down in general lately, 'cuz I was trying to model in all my free time but I can't maintain that pace (not that I was fast mind you - that's Carl and Ted's talent). So I'm trying to take it with a more long term attitude to avoid any sort of burnout - and fallout from the other folks in the house!

  20. Hello Rick,
    I understand now why you where so interested in the styro-foam I used on my X-4, indeed it is great stuff to re-enforce parts of this monster you are building, it's very stiff and wheights nothing,easy to cut, if you never used it,I would certainly give it a try,if you can get it.
    Nice start, I will follow this thread with interest..
    Cheers Billy

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