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Subject: "RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks" Previous topic | Next topic
JohnD13Thu Aug-04-11 05:10 PM
Member since Jul 30th 2011
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#43136, "RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks"
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Now that the pictures are up, let me explain a little bit about what everybody is seeing!

I sent four samples of a deck that was mis-cut for the Trumpeter Z-39 World War 2 German Destroyer in 1/350. The piece shown goes around the bridge area, and it's probably about an inch wide and 1 1/4 inches in length or so.

I am currently working with four very thin materials - natural genuine teak (the darkest wood), maple (the lightest wood), black gum wood with ink tinting on it (look for the color variations in the planks) and photographic paper (which is the "palest" sample shown). On all of the materials I print the expansion lines between the planks (you can see that mine are a little closer than what is molded into the kit deck) but even these are overscale for a 1/350 kit. If you consider a six-inch plank, this would be .017 inches in width. A four inch plank would be .011 inches in width.

For my printing, my plank lines are 1/32 of an inch apart, or .03125 inches between lines on center. If the lines are closer together than that, while "scale" they appear too dominant. In other words, your eye only sees the lines and not the wood area inbetween. At 1/350, the individual planks would basically be invisible without a magnifying glass. So instead we just come up with an pattern that is about as close together as we can get the lines without having the overpower the spacing in between them.

Now let's talk about the lines themselves... Other manufacturers use the laser itself to burn the planking pattern into the wood. This allows for a one-step manufacturing process, whereby you just put in a blank sheet of wood and out comes a cut and burned sheet. The accuracy is perfect in terms of alignment of the cuts and etched lines because the same machine does both. However, there are three problems with this method. First, the plank lines are burned "brown" versus a light gray as weatherd tar or gum would be. Second, they tend to be wider than we like. And third, since the laser cuts and etches at different speeds depending on the scale of its movements, the long "expansion lines" between the planks tend to be lighter and the short "butt cutt" lines end-to-end between the planks come out MUCH darker, and wider, since the laser is moving slower.

The scaledecks.com team did NOT like the effect of the large, blobby, dark brown lines burned into our decks. So we abandoned laser-etching early on and instead went into inking of the stock prior to cutting it with the laser.

That allows us to print the plank lines in any color that we like, and also allows us to apply color to the individual planks. Thus we can start with a blank sheet of photographic paper and print wood plank colors on it, or tint a plain sheet of wood with minimal grain, or not tint wood with heavier grain at all. And thus we have the four different choices for materials. AND, we can also vary the color between the expansion lines and butt cuts.

On the teak, for example, both lines are darker than on the maple. On the maple, the butt cutts are two shades of gray lighter than the end cuts, but since they run opposite to the grain the end cuts are more visible to the eye. Printing them lighter actually makes them look "even" - as you can see from the sample. We do not have dark butt cutts simulated here! (Note also that our lines are also thinner and lighter). On the paper and tinted wood we don't pring butt cuts at all - we allow the natural variation of the plank coloring to fool the eye into seeing those lines, much as would be the case when looking at an actual deck. Printing also allows us to print deck features (such as searchlight or floatplane rails on warships) into the deck. We can also print national markings, recognition markings, or camouflage patterns into the wood. It's a good technique!

While the resuts of coloration are superb, a consequence is that we do NOT have precision alignment between the printed pattern and the cut pattern. As a result, we have trouble trying to line up cuts with specific deck printing - particularly because the printer is not really made to print on wood, and it's not engineered to be necessarily accurate to thousandths of an inch when printing on large materials. (Does it really matter to you if your 11x14 photograph is really printed at 14.019 by 10.973 inches?)

As such, we have not (yet) tackled the problem of printing "edge planking" around the deck fittings and such - but at 1/350 scale those would be basically invisible anyway. So, for now at least, all pieces are printed with just straight longitudinal planking.

I hope that answers most of your questions.

Just to give you a comparison, attached is a photo of one of our competitors' decks made for the Bismarck. It is thicker than the decks we manufacture, and it comes with a self-adhesive backing that makes it nearly impossible to align it properly and avoid warps when placing it. (Our decks allow you to use a wet glue to slide them around end to end until they ley properly, and then let the glue dry naturally over time.) I actually purchased this with the thought of using it on a Bismarck that I wanted to build, but I hated the look - and the fit - so much that I decided to start my own company to do better! Anyway, here is a sample of a deck that I considered to be "unacceptable" that inspired me to go a different direction and use totally different technologies...

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks [View all] , Morten Jensen, Tue Jul-12-11 03:28 AM
  RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, wolfgangelessar, Jul 12th 2011, #1
RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, Morten Jensen, Jul 12th 2011, #2
RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, JohnD13, Jul 30th 2011, #3
RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, bpread, Jul 30th 2011, #4
      RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, britolympianic, Jul 31st 2011, #5
           RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, bpread, Jul 31st 2011, #6
                RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, britolympianic, Jul 31st 2011, #7
                     RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, bpread, Jul 31st 2011, #8
                          RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, William B. Barney, Jul 31st 2011, #9
                          RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, JohnD13, Jul 31st 2011, #10
                               RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, Art Braunschweiger, Jul 31st 2011, #11
                                    RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, usgecko, Aug 01st 2011, #12
                                    ARTICLE DETAILING MINICRAFT KIT CHANGES, Art Braunschweiger, Aug 21st 2011, #17
                                         Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, JohnD13, Apr 23rd 2012, #18
                                              RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, Paul Adams, Apr 23rd 2012, #19
                                                   RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, bazza, Apr 23rd 2012, #20
                                                        RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, 66Sprint200, Apr 23rd 2012, #21
                                                             RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, Frazer, Apr 23rd 2012, #22
                                                                  RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, makmov, Apr 23rd 2012, #23
                                                                       RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, Matt OBrien, Apr 23rd 2012, #24
                                                                            RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, bazza, Apr 23rd 2012, #25
                                                                                 RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, Steve75, Apr 23rd 2012, #26
                                                                                      RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, Dave Abate, Apr 23rd 2012, #27
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, JohnD13, Apr 23rd 2012, #28
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, Steve75, Apr 23rd 2012, #29
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, Morten Jensen, Apr 24th 2012, #30
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, NathanJ, Apr 25th 2012, #31
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, bazza, Apr 25th 2012, #32
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, NathanJ, Apr 25th 2012, #33
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, makmov, Apr 25th 2012, #34
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, JohnD13, Apr 25th 2012, #35
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, makmov, Apr 25th 2012, #36
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, NathanJ, Apr 26th 2012, #37
                                                                                           RE: Scaledecks.com Titanic Decks NOW AVAILABLE, john757, Dec 08th 2012, #41
RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, Lewismd, Aug 01st 2011, #13
RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, usgecko, Aug 03rd 2011, #14
      RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, JohnD13, Aug 04th 2011 #15
           RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, Dave Abate, Aug 08th 2011, #16
           RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, Tad Fitch, Apr 26th 2012, #38
                RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, JohnD13, May 07th 2012, #39
RE: Scaledecks - 1/350 Titanic wooden decks, JohnD13, May 09th 2012, #40

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Titanic artwork at top of page is owned and copyright of Stuart Williamson and is used with permission.