|The 1970's Centuri Photon Probe and the 1991 Estes Solar Probe|
(Click to enlarge).
Which left the decals...
They were nowhere to be found - no scans anywhere. The authors of the YORF threads had whipped together their own based on the cover art and kit instructions (which were not in agreement, by the way). I was going to have to do the same, so I pulled out my ruler and started measuring the dimensions of the markings on the model's screen images relative to the body tubes and fins. Once I had these numbers, I fired up the Pixelmator software on my Mac and got to work. It turned out that I did not need to draw everything, for I had some of the markings in scans of other decals. In the end, I only had to create the bottom roll pattern, the numbers, a few lines, and the "NASA" and "United States" markings. The upper roll pattern came from the Centuri roll pattern decal sheet and the hatches were obtained from a scan of the Estes Solar Probe decals. Thus, after about an hour and a half of effort, I had a fairly reasonable reproduction of the Stellar Photon Probe decals.
A few hints for those of you who wish or need to make your own decals:
- Always scan your kit decals - you never know when you may need to reproduce them for a repair or use them on another model.
- The convention is 300 dpi resolution - use this when scanning decals and in creating the canvas in your art program. Also helps to place a ruler in the scan to confirm the dimensions.
- I also set the canvas size to that of a standard 8.5 x 11" sheet of decal paper, so I can tell how much space will be occupied. Any free space is filled with other kit decals or markings, maximizing the use of the paper.
- If using an ink jet printer, be sure to spray a clear coat on the decal sheet after printing to avoid smearing when they are applied. My HP Envy inkjet sucks at decal printing, so I use Bel decal paper for laser printers and print them out on the office color laser. No need for the clear coat and the quality is acceptable.
|Paul's decals posted to YORF (click to enlarge)||My decal page (Click to enlarge).|