Hello, everyone...

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Isarmann, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Isarmann

    Isarmann Member

    I'm glad to be here. It's high time to get this first post done, so I can start working my way through those first ten and be taking part more fully. As a committed lurker on many forums, I find this participation rule a really unique thing. It really makes a lot of sense; I'm surprised more forums don't do a similar thing... but I think it's really interesting how often it causes me to think of it... and then think of the responsibility we all have to contribute meaningful posts, if a forum is going to be worthwhile in the first place. It kind of makes an interestingly automatic object lesson out of every encounter with the restriction...

    Anyway, here we go. I first discovered paper models a few years ago when I was very broke, and having to take care of a few children-- they were my girlfriend's, and staying with us for two weeks. I didn't really go very far with it at that time, except to download as much of the various free offerings as I could find, and build one or two sort of silly or incidental things (the two I can remember are the "ceiling cat" model, and the entrance pillar to the haunted mansion one, which I think is still around today-- that fellow that did several for amusement park attractions? I can't recall his name). Anyway, about three years ago I got interested again, and built a WWI plane--- a fairly nice Fokker D VII. At the time I was playing Rise of Flight a bit, and was very fascinated to be able to hold in my hands a model of a plane I was flying in a virtual world. I drifted away that time because I honestly couldn't find the area of paper modeling that would keep me going, interest-wise... Aircraft (which was most of what I was seeing then) weren't quite it... cars didn't seem that compelling. I don't know--- I enjoyed doing it, but couldn't find my subject.

    Just a little while ago, I had to help my stepdaughter build a model of the Globe Theater (they were up to Shakespeare in school-- did you ever notice that it's only regarding that one man they insist on you learning about where they plays were put on? Nobody ever made us study where Arthur Miller debuted The Scarlet Letter...)-- and doing that build with her really reminded me how much I enjoy the activity of building paper models itself. So many little tricks I had discovered last time I had been doing them (like quick-creasing over the blade of my scissors) came back to me while I was doing this theater... As soon as I was done with that, I went off looking and discovered the architectural models that Clever Models do for the model railroading crowd. Kind of ironic, because I'm not into model railroading myself... but those buildings really did it for me-- some of it was the detail they offer, and some just that nostalgic look they have going. Having built some of those, I saw that I really needed other things, cars and people and accessories, to "fill out" those models and give them life--- say, to set in a diorama or make a scene; not just have them sitting alone as a building.

    So, that quest has really brought me fully into the paper modeling community... I see now how large it is; but on the other hand I see how many things are still missing. It's funny to me how many classic cars, for example, it doesn't seem have ever been modeled... I've purchased many models from different designers, seen how widely the quality varies, learned a lot from some of them, been vastly disappointed in some... I have started doing recolors, retextures, and sometime complete redesigns of models I have either found free or purchased, and very soon now I will be doing my own designs from the ground up. Classic cars and streetside accessories will be some of the first, so I can get these buildings really done, and set into a complete scene. I also have it in mind to do some buildings of my own, in Clever Models' fashion (and hopefully up to their level of quality!)-- such as an old drive-in hamburger stand in my parents hometown... it was opened in 1939 or so, and still exists today! But I intend to render it as my parents would remember it from the 50's or so.

    I know this is a bit longer than a lot of introduction posts, but I figure if I'm going to do it at all, I might as well, you know, put in the relevant facts. Or, as I've heard it said, "If you're going to play, then play."

    I look forward to getting to know you all a bit better, and some of you I have already enjoyed reading your words quite a bit...

    Thank you for having me here.
    Revell-Fan likes this.
  2. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    Hello and welcome to Zealot.
    Thank you for your comments on the rules. I appreciate hearing positive feedback like that. It shows me that we (the site staff, as a whole) are doing something right.;)
    There have been quite a few people who have said that our rules are a bit "draconian" and that we should be more laxed in such (needless to say, those people are no longer here. ;)).
    We strive to make this forum as "family friendly" as possible. So that you can have your daughter look at the site with you (without you wondering if she will see anything questionable) and enjoy all that this site has to offer (as well as bugging you to make what ever model she is interested in;)).
    We have also strived to make this a site where like minded people can come together to share information, tips & techniques, skills, and talent. As well as help promote this hobby and help those who are new and starting it for the first time (without worrying about feeling shame or ridicule for not being able to build a model at the same level as everyone else).

    As for your work, if you have any photos, please post them (WE LOVE SEEING PHOTOS)!
    Not only that, but we have MANY talented members that are designers who are all willing to help and give advice.

    If you have any questions, comments, concerns, need help or advice, please feel free to ask. We will do what we can to help you (or at least point you in the right direction).

    Once again, welcome aboard. I hope that you enjoy yourself here!
  3. Isarmann

    Isarmann Member

    DSCN0737(s).jpg DSCN0739(s).jpg IMG_20140705_040023(s).jpg Thank you, Rhaven...
    I think the whole thing that's so very clever about the rules is that whenever you find yourself wishing you could somehow ace around them, if you're being honest with yourself, you have to acknowledge in that moment that you're wishing you could be "that guy"--- the one who wants to get something without contributing... the one who would be the end of this kind of endeavor if everyone acted the same way. There are many forums I don't take part actively in, although I probably should... but here I will, and not just because these rules force you to if you want to get the goodies; actually it's more because the rules force that realization on you. So, I'm on board with the methodology, even though it does sometimes force me to consider the less-than-better angels of my nature.

    But, as long as we're on the feedback subject, I'd like to mention that I really like the vibe around here much better than the other main English-language cardmodeling forums I've visited. Whatever combination of efforts it takes to build up a worthwhile community at a forum, it certainly seems to be working here. I developed that impression in just a relatively small amount of reading posts around here; it didn't take intense study to see it. Not a small part of that is how active you personally are. It must be a lot of effort, but it is impressive how often you're "there," on a thread, replying to the intros, what have you... and it sets the tone, I think. So, kudos... it's good work, and it's made a good forum.

    About the photos thing... I've gotten the impression that this is something of a pattern in this hobby--- every designer's page or store I've visited, certainly those I've bought from, with maybe one or two exceptions, have solicited their customers to send photos of any builds. In fact, they do so with such a strident tone it often seems that, to a first approximation, no one ever has. Of course, some folks do, at least on places like this, or all the build threads and whatnot would have no pictures... but I really wonder what that's about. It does seem that there's more reluctance to send them in than one would think--- I mean, an active reluctance, to still not do it in the face of the constant requests. I could understand why people don't if no one asked-- simple inertia accounts for that, and to send them with no one asking might feel to a lot of folks like they were fishing for praise. But I do find it a little confounding why it seems to be a feature of our hobby, that the desire for a glimpse of what people are doing is always under-served. Speaking for myself, I'm at a stage where I have a lot of stuff in the works, and many models partially built, but relatively few that I consider "finished work." In fact, I find that I have to do a couple of iterations of most of them before I "get there." Perhaps not the whole way through, on buildings and such--- with those it's more parts of the whole this applies to. But in general, say with a car or something, I consider the first one just a 'test build' to learn the model. I guess I should point out I only settled on that method having tried going for finished quality on the first try many times, and almost always finding some mistake or something that forced me to start over anyway--- so I try to get those mistakes out on a "first draft" that I never expected to be perfect in the first place. It ends up being faster than working at full meticulousness only to have all the early effort wasted by a late-game mistake.

    Anyway, with all that said, I do happen to have a pic or two that I recently took and resized and everything just to send to some of my non-modeling friends who I'd been telling about it. I know this isn't really the place within the forum to be making such posts--- but I'm not "really" posting them, either. Just because you asked, and I happen to have them at hand. The buildings are both from Clever Models, and both are in O scale--- so it should be something like 1:43-1:45. Some special notes on them: the garage is actually shingled with separate layers, ditto the tarpaper on the roof of the little shed. The door of that shed is actually fully three-dimensional; it has scale depth, hinges, a backside... because I intended to have it stand open like that. Come to think of it, there's also a wooden doorjamb (matchstick). So, of course, the interior of the shed is fully modeled. All the boxes and crates, from various sources, I'd just been stacking up there as I went along in making them, and it felt like they kind of added something at picture-time. The other building is a hamburger stand. It's not complete, in the sense that it doesn't have signage and whatnot... but I did fully model the interior, and switched the two side windows around to help the visibility there--- in the original the side window in view is boarded over, and the one on the opposite side of the building is glass. The Esso oil barrel by the front door is a notional trashcan, and the Coca-cola machine will not stay there, I just included it for the original audience. The coke machine was actually given out at something much larger--- 1:20 was the scale, I just went and checked... I brought it down to my scale and also made the little window in the door you open to get the bottle "real"--- put an acetate window in and shadowboxed the image of the bottles in the rack.

    That's all I have to show for the moment, but I will try to make a habit of photographing things when they do get done and post them up. Thanks again for your efforts, and I will see you around the forum. View attachment 132307 View attachment 132308
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
    Revell-Fan likes this.
  4. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    I love models/dioramas like this. They look great anywhere. on the corner of a fireplace, bookcase, or as part of a larger endeavor, really excellent.

    You will find this forum is quite monitored. Rhaven and myself have our eyes on it, not to harass, but to keep the forum the way the members have decided they want it. I took over this forum around 3 years ago, maybe more, to help out, and ended up running it. Rhaven, THANK GOD, took up my offer to become a Moderator. We share the Administrative role now, as the forum is growing so much, and our friendship, like mindedness, our ability to work together, makes this the best solution, and has prevented me from going insane. Rhaven's incredible modeling skills are instantly apparent. I help some with their designs. My forte is CAD.

    We do want participation, we encourage dialog. Some people can only offer dialogue and that is fine. We take out members as they come, with some common sense policies, we now have some of the most established persons in this hobby on this forum. This forum is growing in leaps and bounds. The forum is member driven. No cliques, no prima donnas. No "in crowd".

    Welcome to Zealot. :)
  5. Isarmann

    Isarmann Member

    Yes... the teamwork between you guys on this whole thing; the sense of collaboration, it's something I noticed right away in the threads that you both take part in... Like I said earlier, the end result of it all is something that really works, at least for me. I mean, this is a kind of sci-fi heavy forum, and I'm not really into that--- but I think the special qualities of what you have built up here more than make up for the difference in focus. We're all still cardmodelers, after all, so I think the subject is secondary to this sense of... quality community.

    I have more background in CAD than in modeling, myself--- I became a CNC programmer a couple of years ago, and as part of that I learned Solidworks for my 3D modeling "home base." It strikes me as funny now, since Solidworks is, in a sense, more "serious" of a CAD package, aimed at making "real" things (I say that in contrast to 3D software aimed at making models that will always be virtual; like the ones folks use to do game models)--- it seems like overkill to use it for card models. But hey, it's the one I have, it's what I know how to use, so I'll probably just stay with it. It just seems ironic and vaguely silly to me when I consider the purpose I'm now thinking of turning it to. Anyway, it has occurred to me that perhaps the sheetmetal tools (which it has a lot of, but I never had much calling to mess with) might really adapt well to this hobby. After all, they're designed to assist with exactly the right thing--- figuring out and showing what a full thing will look like when unfolded and laid flat, and generating the templates to go straight to production. The only "fudging" that will be going on compared to what the program expects is that "metal" will be cardstock, and rivets or weldments will be glue. But neither of those things, I think, should affect the main part of what it's able to do. If it goes well, it might be a more integrated approach than the one I've heard of where the model is done in one program, unfolded in another, and textured in a third.

    What's your CAD poison of choice?

    Thanks for your comments on my models. It seems like, for me, these diorama-type exercises are the thing I was looking for in the hobby to keep me interested. I don't know why, but they really do it for me, in a way that just doing planes, or cars, or what-have-you by themselves really did not.

    Anyway, I'm feeling good about beginning to take part; thank you again for your warm welcome, guys.
  6. Rhaven Blaack

    Rhaven Blaack ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

    When I first signed on here (as a regular member, back in 2009), there were quite a few problems that were tearing the forum apart. After Zathros took over, things quickly changed for the better, and the forum too on a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LIFE!
    It quickly became an active and interactive forum. The clique were gone the fighting stopped. People started (genuinely) caring about this site and what it is originally intended for. Yes, the rule are strictly (but not blindly) enforced. Each situation is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Granted, people make mistake (we are all human). We do what we can to talk to the people that make those mistake and attempt to come to come to a mutual resolution and go from there. There are quite a few people that think that we are rather draconian here (but then again these are the same people that like to cause problems in the first place).

    As for photos, Yes we do encourage people to post photos. Yes, this hobby is photo driven. Posting photos (especially build threads that are photo heavy) is a GREAT way to show off the work that you do, as well as your skills and techniques. You can also highlight problem areas that you may need help with. It also allows others to learn new techniques and to see what all can be done with paper (regardless the genre).
    Not only that, (since all of the models in the RESOURCE Section are free), posting photos of your finished build (or better yet a build thread of that model) is a GREAT way of showing appreciation to the designer of that model and "thanking" him/her for the work that he/she put into it.

    I do have to agree that this forum is a bit SCI-FI heavy (but that is kind of how it just worked out. It was never intended to be that way). With that being said, ALL GENRES are welcomed here. It does not matter what you are into (architecture, militaria, vehicles, figurines, the list goes on. So long as it is "family friendly" of course), if you have a model for such and you wish to share your photos of it with us, PLEASE DO SO! Like I said before, WE LOVE TO SEE PHOTOS!!!
    The main purpose of this forum is to keep this hobby alive, to keep the imagination in people alive and to encourage them to think about and explore new things. This is something that we (the site staff) do what we can to strive for.

    I have to say that I really like the two buildings that you included in your post. They look ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!
    In the right setting (with the right backdrop), they would look "REAL". I am GREATLY looking forward to seeing more of your work!!!

    As for your designs and such, we also have a section for Renders and Illustrations where you can post just your renders.

    I am glad that you are enjoying this forum. I am looking forward to more of your work!
  7. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator

    Hello, Isarmann! :)

    This is truly an exceptional introduction and I heartly welcome you to this forum. :)

    I too am more into SciFi topics (mostly "Battlestar Galactica" and "Buck Rogers") but I do enjoy other topics as well. Your builds look very good and I'm looking forward to seeing more from you.

    BTW, according to your nick I guess you are from Germany, right?

    Have fun and enjoy! :)
  8. Isarmann

    Isarmann Member

    Thank you, Revell--- I appreciate your kind words. Those two pictures I posted actually looked a bit better as I took them, I think--- I had boosted the gamma because they looked dark on my screen. But the moment I posted them, I can see how washed-out they look! My monitor settings got me, I think. I came back in here to see if I could take them out and put back the originals that I didn't mess up... the forum notifier said you had liked my post, but it didn't mention you'd written anything.

    As to where I am from, you are both right and wrong... I was born and raised here in the US, but I've always felt a great affinity for Germany. I always had known I was at least 50% German by blood, and I started visiting there in high school... let me think.... the first time I went was in 1990. I have since been back a total of 13 or 14 times... many years ago, my German "brother" said of me, "Ich denk dein hertz schlaegt fuer Deutschland," but I only found out the "whole truth" within the past few years (thanks, genealogy.com!)--- it turns out, once we discovered the background of all the unknown parts of the family, that I'm about 98% German! I had no idea it was so much. So, it wasn't just a choice, I guess... it was in the blood all along.

    The name I chose because (as you surely have guessed) of my association with the Isar river. Back in the early days of my visits to Germany, the town we went to was Moosburg a.d. Isar, near Landshut, in kreis Freising. I also have a great fondness for Munich, so the association continues... I was a "first-day" player of World War II Online, longstanding member of the 116th Panzer Division, "Windhund"--- and when I chose my name for that game, I wanted it to be something distinctly German, and that meant something to me, but not take a famous person's name or anything like that. And so, Isarmann. The joke was on me, though... I didn't realize anyone would ever have to pronounce it! Well, we started using TeamSpeak almost immediately for our "radios", so I got to listen to people butcher my name for the next ten years! Our division had guys from all over the world, but a lot were native English-speakers: US, UK, Australia... none of them could get it right. I never would've chosen it if I had realized, you know. Only the German guys and some of the Scandanavians knew how Isar sounds; that opening vowel sound. Ah, well...

    I hadn't been back in a while, but last year I finally went 'home' again--- a close friend of mine owns a hotel in the Bayerische Wald; I went and stayed with him for a month. I can tell you, that is the perfect situation, for visiting and staying with friends. Everything is available, taken care of, and yet you're never imposing on your friends! Totally different than the old 'staying on the couch' routine.

    So, it's great to meet you here... thanks again for coming by my intro. I look forward to getting my next projects done and ready to show off... Now to see if I can fix up those pictures.

    Talk to you again soon, I'm sure.
  9. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator

    Wow! I'm impressed!

    I live in a small town situated directly at the German-Dutch border (on the German side). It's a cozy little place with a nature reserve nearby (home to the Northest flamingo colony in the world), and we have two shoemakers (the Wessels brothers) who make the largest shoes in the world (they even are in the Guiness Book of Records).

    As for the picture issues, I can recommend TheGimp (www.gimp.org) and the Windows Live Picture Gallery for editing. I use them a lot. Both are free.

    Gimp is easy to use and you can lighten up the pictures by duplicating the layer and switching the duplicate to "screen". You may add a mask to that duplicated layer (inversed grey copy of the image) to lighten up only the dark areas.

    The Windows tool is VERY handy when it comes to cropping, aligning pictures and lightening up dark spots. It saves a copy of the original image in a special directory on your HDD which enables you to undo all changes and restore the original, even if the program was closed. (Of course, you'll have to clear that folder from time to time to release disc space.)

    If you have to resize many pictures you may use PhotoFiltre. It has a batch processor which is very easy to handle.

    OK, you may use Photoshop, too (but it is very expensive ;) ).
  10. Isarmann

    Isarmann Member

    I'd really love to see your town... I can just imagine it. I appreciate the suggestions for image editing-- gimp in particular is one of those resources that can never be mentioned enough. I think there are always some people who don't yet know of it, and therefore think there's no free option for them with that kind of sophistication. For myself, I use Irfanview for quick-and-dirty changes, and Photoshop for anything more meaningful. What made the photos I originally posted turn out wrong wasn't the software-- it was me! I change my monitor settings back and forth to preserve my eyes a bit-- they can really get to burning after long computer sessions, and then I can't model! But, sometimes I forget I have them turned down, and the colors and luminosity I see are not true-- I brightened those images because they looked dark on my screen, but it was just a failure of perception over here. As soon as they were up, I could see how washed-out I had made them. Anyway, the ones that are up there now are the unmolested originals... and I threw in a stepladder!
  11. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    I use Rhino 3D. Solidworks is too limiting. I prefer the freedom of Non Uniform R B Splines (NURBS) modeling. I find most products by Autocad to be unintuitive. I programmed CNC machinery for Sikorsky Aircraft for almost 10 years. I did the same with Perkin Elmer Corporation. I also designed tooling, and all the fixtures for the 4 axis machines I programmed, as we were working with composites.

    Rhino exports to approx. 65 formats. CAM is easy with Rhino3D, as is making 2D prints, the click of one button.

    We have a "Renders and Illustrations' section, where you can feel free to post any work of yours, without the expectation of it being a model. Link for "Renders and Illustrations" = http://zealot.com/forums/renders-and-illustrations.662/

Share This Page