Wanna Design? Like most
artists, you'll probably never make more than 35¢ per
hour so you might not want to even read on.
OK then, being forwarned..
start with these
For years we've been trying to find the
time to nurture budding paper model designers. We've put
together some designs and comments to help you get a grasp
on the FG format concept. Although it's pretty well nailed
down, the 'format' will always be work in progress, so
the last releases are always your best references.
Post It Comments
(Above) Some samples showing the
FG Instruction Sheet Format. It's VERY important
to make this appealing! They're made up in Photoshop
and it's very easy basically.. The tough part
is treating it like a poster and making it fun
and readable.. You need quite a lot of material
to play with.. Sketches, text, three view. The
exploded view is traced over a digital photo of
the made up model.. I create a page, 'sleep on
it', and usually re-arrange a few things the next
day.. It's always a fine moment when one is finished.
When I can see my way clear for a couple days
I plan to create a little tutorial on creating
Please send us a sample of what you've already
done. You might think that this 'FG Format' thing is a little
overly strict but someday these FG models will be published someday
and the format will be critical to keep all the designs compatible
with each other. I wouldn't want to.see our resources spent on
re-designing things that weren't carefully done in the first place.
If you'd like to contribute design work to Fiddlers
Green, the closer you keep to these guidelines, the more you'll
get paid for your design and hopefully fat royalties from some
future book/electronic book/TV offer/magazine offer/retailing
deals. There are so many exciting channels to mass market card
Again, don't overlook the design tutorials
we've uploaded to the site.. A few of our FG designers have spent
a lot of time and effort to help budding designers along. Rob
Carleen's 28 page tutorial on how to re-color cardmodels with
Photoshop Elements- highly recommended !!
The dreaded FG formats' purpose is to make all models alike in
appearance to give our Modeln' Pals familiarity as they build
FG models AND, make future publishing possible. To 'equalize'
models later would be a horrendous job as you can well appreciate.
Someday FG models will be marketed to a very large audience.
•All pages are 7.56 width x10.5 long and 200dpi
•Parts are placed just a tad short of the side margins and
1/2 from the height margins.
• Most cardstock grain goes vertical so parts should be
placed on the page to take advantage of bending along the grain.
Regular versions are simply two large pages reduced and rotated
90º to fit on one page. Printed on light cardstock, grain matters
•We start with the LARGE version and the total number of
pages matters not. large models can have more than one instruction
•A big priority is that FG models need to be easy to build.
Most models can be finished in ONE evening and it's important
models get finished. (why? is another conversation) Parts like
cockpit bits etc are optional. Even at the expense of not quite
capturing the exact shape, fewer parts is best.
•It's important the model elements are pretty much 'packed'
into the page..but space should be left for instructional sketches,
interesting text, and easy to spot callouts. NEVER leave space
unused. The modeler needs to feel there's so much to show and
tell and that he's getting his moneys' worth. Few will actually
BUILD the model BUT most will spend some serous time reading it.
In this hectic world, this is almost as good as building.
• NO bulkheads or ribs..except in dire situations (lets
When you get into designing in paper, you'll see that you can
form things without using bulkheads. Our Modeln' Pals should (IMHO)
be 'nudged' into a little more advanced paper sculpture and learn
some hand forming. Simple assembly is for plastic models.
Areas like wing roots (gliders) and long fuselages (bombers) can
be strengthened by layering or heavier cardstock.
•The black and white needs to be of the LARGE version. Remember
to have this approved before moving on with the design. Don't
start coloring until its been signed off. Color schemes should
be as accurate as possible. 'Fantasy' markings are quite acceptable.
(see Queen's Glider: http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/AC/aircraft/Slingsby-Tutor/slingsby.php)
•Linework.. Outlines to be 3-4 points, and carefully drawn.
Opacity is to be 100% Here's why.
Stand back a few feet and look at the printed page and you'll
see a clear, no nonsense piece of art with (sufficiently) strong
black outlines. Somewhere around 95% of our modelers WILL NEVER
build this model. They'll spend a few minutes to enjoy it. They'll
thrill to the 'feel' and the content and maybe even 'build' it
in their own mind through the exploded view. But that's as far
as it will go.
We cater to our customers.
That's why we design with black outlines.
•All design work to be done by computer
and sent (ideally) in pdf format. Send along 3 views and other
goodies you've assembled to make the webpage sexier.
I'd love nothing more than having some Modeln'
Pals redesigning these old models and that darn P-38 is at the
top of the list. The thing is, they'd definitely need to be in
the carved-in-stone FG format. I've always thought that the designer
would have to be right here in the studio to really learn it.
Now, I figure we can outsource the project IF we had, say, one
person for every 5-7 networked designers.
A redesign would involve building the model and figuring out HOW
to make it better.
The plan is to get in some good marketing folk to get the revenue
to afford the re-design project. I figure between $100-$150 per
design. Which we can't afford now, so basically, the projects'
on hold. The 'old' web pages have to be totally re-done as well.
Basically, about 10 years of work needs to be reconfigured and
updated. Unless you're that magical person who can do it all right,
with so many other things on my plate, I can't spend much time
on it now.
What about a program to develop cardmodels?
I happen to be a commercial cardmodel designer
since the late 70s and there are more than two different tools
for jobs like these available. I cannot talk about packages like
"Pepakura", "Metasequia", "Cinema4D"
etc.etc. because I have little to none experiences with those.
There are also rumors about an unrolling plug-in for 3Dstudio
max . . . but not confirmed. One software package I'm working
with successfully is Rhinoceros 3D - it does all the 2D/3D CAD
purposes for you plus it develops ("unrolls") ale surfaces
of single concavity. www.rhino3d.com. There is a full-functional
demo available (limited
to 25 savings) and - trust me - Rhino3D is a "best buy".
The other tool is Dr. Emil Zarkov's "Surfmaster", a
very powerful CMS Intellicad 4 plug-in.(Surfmaster works also
well together with AutoCad 's versions 14 - 2002). The advantage
of Surfmaster is that this tool is specially programmed for cardmodel-design
purposes. Being a "plug-in" or "add-on" Surfmaster
cannot work on it's own.
To make sense of Surmaster, it is absolutely necessary to have
expert skills in ItelliCAD or AutoCAD.
You'll have to find out what fit's best to your personal work-structure.
Whatever your choice will be: you will
need in addition a vector-based graphic package (Corel, Illustrator,Freehand,
Canvas etc.etc.) to color your design perfectly. A touch of Photoshop
may even enhance the work.
Hope this helps a bit
I have found that the program Irfanview is great
for manipulating and resizing jpg files along with a whole host
of other formats. Frank Johnson