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Replica Aircraft Topics related to the construction of WWI replica aircraft

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Old 15 January 2010, 05:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Instrument dials

Is there a computer program that allows you to scan an instrument dial from a modern black face instrument, and reverse the colors so the dial is white and the numbers are black, and then change the text, like from "Altitude" to "Hohe"? Then print it out on something you could stick to the old dial? I'm looking for a quick way to make a replica cockpit look a little more period, not too worried about fonts and stuff, just want a better general impression, and DIY if possible.

Or other ideas?




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Old 15 January 2010, 05:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Andrew,
How fast do you need it? Do you have a digital image of the current instrument face?

The image part you ask for is easy. Not sure what material to actually print it out on, but I'm sure that is fairly simple too.

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Old 15 January 2010, 06:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Windsock ran a series of instrument pictures a couple of years ago. Just scan them with let's say 300dpi, load them into a pixel program like Paint or Photoshop and reduce them to the required size.

You can also import them into a vector program like Inkscape (free!) or Corel Draw to reduce them or trace and redraw them as vector objects to enlarge them.

With Photoshop it is no problem to reverse colours, but scanning the dials while in their case should be a big problem!
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Old 15 January 2010, 07:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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An over-the-top option would be a place like frontpanelexpress.com - they do color engraving in different styles on a small free CAD program you can download. I used them before for a car instrument panel restoration making symbology on a thin black anodiced aluminum piece they cut to size.
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Old 15 January 2010, 06:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snj5 View Post
An over-the-top option would be a place like frontpanelexpress.com - they do color engraving in different styles on a small free CAD program you can download. I used them before for a car instrument panel restoration making symbology on a thin black anodiced aluminum piece they cut to size.
Here is an example of a replica tachometer dial I did this afternoon on the frontpanelexpress software to adapt to a VDO tachometer for a Rotec engine to a 4" dial original case showing propeller rpm. It is white engraved on black anodized aluminum, and will cost $51.57 plus shipping. This was done in a hurry, so it needs a little tweaking, but you get the idea.

best

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Old 16 January 2010, 07:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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BaldE

Here is how I do them:

ONE: scan in at the highest possible resolkution, like: 3000 sqr'd or higher. With the right camera equipment you can photo it if you keep it all squared up nicely.

TWO: use Abobe Illustrator (a vector drawing package). You import the image onto the bottom layer, of a multi layer drawing stack (kindof like tracing), you protect this layer so as to keep it from moving whileyou are drawingon it with the mouse.

THREE: redraft over the top, keeping each section of information (circles, letters, roses) n different layers tomake it easy to go back and tweek them into perfection.

FOUR, color is your friend now that its all broken down into layers, as you can mix and match including line widths, fonts and centering of things.


Here are a couple of examples: took about a complete night to draw it in and one more night after to tweek it. about 5 hrs total






Works on PROP Decals Too!


Did this one for Bloomquist and JJ Naris' Sop-Tripes, took a little longer as there was repair work.


Send me your high rez image and I filp one out for you least I can do as you are a wealth of knowledge to us. [email protected]

PS: you can import these into frontpanel and order from them the blanks.

Last edited by van der Laan; 16 January 2010 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 16 January 2010, 10:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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HI Baldeagle,

Any decent quality graphics program should allow you to reverse black and white on a scanned image or photograph of an instrument face. Search for "negative" or "negative image" in the programs help menu.

Replacing text should also be fairly simple.
  1. Find a font that is a reasonable match to the original.
  2. Erase the English text
  3. Add the German text.
You will get the best results if you start with at least 300 dots (pixels) per inch. For a 2½ inch diameter face, the image should be at least 750 × 750 pixels.

Steve
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Old 16 January 2010, 07:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info, will give it a try-




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