How do you plan your projects?

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How do you plan your projects?

Postby Aaronw on Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:30 pm

I had a bit of luck this summer getting my hands on a 1952 Ford US Forest Service pumper that I could crawl over for measurements and photos. This will help me greatly with the 1950 pumper I've started and stalled twice (the first one suffered damage in my move a few years ago).

I tried some free 2d computer drafting programs but none really do it for me, so I dug through boxes and found my drafting supplies and am doing it the old fashioned way with pencil and paper, squares and rulers.

This got me wondering how others plan their projects.
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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby GLMFAA1 on Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:45 pm

My plans start out with pictures, Make note of wheel size as that can be a standard of measurement, ie 20 inch rim. gives you a 10 inch measurement. Take both detail and profile shots, make notes when you are at the original. Don't forget to get under the chassis shots and measurements that could bear where exterior parts might be. I have a magnetic strip that is 25 inches long that I can stick on the original which gives me a base dimension for the project on any size photo. Like Charlie I use mm to equal an inch. Start with a base line to work from when drawing your project ie running board. I'm still old school with a drafting machine and drafting table. My scales are in mm. If you can keep a clear mind so that you will be able to think of what parts can be used and what needs to be created and what your projects depth is. Have a plan for details, ie engine, chassis, interior details etc. Even scaling up or down a model or toy requires a little preplanning. but even just having a set of tires could be a start of a project like I had with Magirus Faun crash truck using the IH Payhauler tires as a base and the Prieser HO kit to scale up to 1/25th.

Hope this helps.

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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby chariots of fire on Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:28 am

Nothing wrong with a couple of triangles, a scale in millimeters, piece of paper and pencil. I have an old cad program called Micrographx that I use. I can import photos, images and bits of info that I can make a drawing of. It's not as sophisticated as AutoCAD but it does the trick.
If I'm doing a particular truck that I can photograph that's where I start. Usually it is to get the basics for cab, fender and body shape. Then I zero in on closeup shots that will give me information on detail. I have a small spiral notebook that I carry along with a tape measure. Measurements are fundamental when doing any model that will be even partially scratch built. Things need to be kept in relative perspective and to scale. I measure wheel bases, tire track both front and rear, overall width, length, door sizes, cabinet door sizes, wheel well openings, spring lengths and curvature, frame sections, anything that I need to create the model. The height of the frame and body above the ground is absolutely essential also.
I have found over time that you can never take enough photos. And it is often necessary to take photos of the same thing from different angles. You may think an object looks a certain way but look at it from another direction and you get an entirely new idea of what it actually is. I use the notebook to draw sketches, jot down the measurements and put in comments about how things look in real life.
I start with drawing a truck profile at my preferred scale of 1:25. Like Greg I work in millimeters since 1 mm is approximately 1 inch in 1/25 scale. Sometimes I will draw directly on plastic sheet stock or brass stock. Other times I will make a template that I can print out and trim to tape on an object to be made. Templates are great especially if you have to make more than one of the same thing, or opposites of the same thing like wheel well openings, fenders or other such fixtures.
But before I touch pencil to paper, curser to screen or knife to plastic I study what I am going to build. It isn't quite as much fun as the actual build but it is a time to imagine what it will look like in model form. It also helps me to formulate a plan for how a particular part will be made and how it will go together with others. You'l be surprised as how much helpful information comes as a result of the time spent studying the piece you want to model. Things you might otherwise overlook come into view and you will find yourself saying "wow" I never saw that before!
All of this is not rocket science, as they say, but it sure is important if you want to get serious about good model building.
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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby EdselDan on Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:46 pm

Similar here
Pictures if I can find/get them
Then Drawing pad, 'T'-square & Triangles
I also copy plans up or down to the scale I want IF I can.
I did that with the Aerialscope plans.
I have them in 1/32, 1/48-1/50 O/Corgi scale, and even 1/87 HO scale

I have one started in HO scale, and actually have 2 Corgi Diecast. BOTH are Cherryhill NJ!!!

I need to Finish that 1/32 'Scope project, but Final detail pics are Slim!!!

I am Still looking for m Good Pic's of 64-67 Tempest/LeMans Wagons to build using GTO & Malibu wagon kits.
I have a 65 started and well along, but...........
I was told to try to use an AMT 64 Annual and Not the Polar Lights 64!!
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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby mdlbldrmatt135 on Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:34 pm

If I have time, CAD at work, if not, I do the manual drafting at home too!!
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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby chariots of fire on Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:31 pm

EdselDan wrote:Similar here
Pictures if I can find/get them
Then Drawing pad, 'T'-square & Triangles
I also copy plans up or down to the scale I want IF I can.
I did that with the Aerialscope plans.
I have them in 1/32, 1/48-1/50 O/Corgi scale, and even 1/87 HO scale

I have one started in HO scale, and actually have 2 Corgi Diecast. BOTH are Cherryhill NJ!!!

I need to Finish that 1/32 'Scope project, but Final detail pics are Slim!!!

I am Still looking for m Good Pic's of 64-67 Tempest/LeMans Wagons to build using GTO & Malibu wagon kits.
I have a 65 started and well along, but...........
I was told to try to use an AMT 64 Annual and Not the Polar Lights 64!!

See if you can pick up a copy of Jack Calderone's book on New York apparatus. There should be tons of photos on aerialscopes.
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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby EdselDan on Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:34 pm

Believe it or not, there are actually still some
MACK CF 'Scopes here in use on DelMarVa!!!!
Just not as close as I would Like!!!!!

I will look, but.................
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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby Aaronw on Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:49 pm

Well good to know I'm not alone, it is kind of nice to actually put pencil to paper. I was mostly looking for a computer solution because it is handier, little to get out / put away, ease of editing etc.

I've done a lot of stuff on the fly which works but also partially explains the piles of forgotten projects.

As far as photos, you have to love digital cameras. I probably took 100 photos of the truck I found this summer. I do keep a tape measure and note book handy.
My crew has gotten used to me. A couple years back we were covering a station and we kept driving past a volunteer fire station that had an old USFS engine parked out front. After driving by it 4 or 5 times my driver just pulled over on the side of the road and said, go ahead, you know you want to go look at it.
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Re: How do you plan your projects?

Postby chariots of fire on Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:22 pm

Aaron: If you are looking for a cad program look to Micrographx. They have some updated versions from the one I use and it is not as expensive as AutoCAD. Great for general drawings and all sorts of artwork for decals, etc. On mine I can set the rulers to inches or millimeters so that when I do a drawing and want it in millimeters for a 1/25 scale rig it prints out at the correct size.
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