I have had my share of failing miserably and spoiling, thank you, and I need not do it anymore to feel humble. I prefer to succeed now, and will take every little advantage I can to do it.
One of the recent dodges has been to use the computer and image-altering programs to mock-up future projects, This lets me see whether what I thought was a good idea will prove to be so in the end. The planning still needs a lot of thought to see if the mechanical part is possible, but the end appearance tells me whether to go ahead.
There are several images taken of 1:18 scale die-cast cars. They are fine models in their original colours, but inappropriate for what I am trying to do – and now that I know that paint can be stripped and replaced, it is a matter of planning new liveries.
a. The Ford Model T delivery car was bought from a stand at the VHRS show a few years ago. They floggged it for $ 40 due to the promotional nature of the paint job and graphics. I knew there was potential.
The PMG ( Postmaster General’s Department ) van is in a museum here in Oz. Bless them, someone recorded it and put the image on the net. If I disregard the LHD nature of it, I can repaint it and put on decals for a pretty good local model. The computer mockup is crude, but lets me get a feel for it.
B. The 1932 Ford three-window coupe is probably a Motor Max product. It was a kindly gift from a friend but the makers only got so far in their quest for accuracy. I found a real ’32 that is similar…and have decided that if I repaint the fenders and the radiator shell, I can get close enough for jazz. If the wheels came off more easily, I would make the spokes cream, but as I don’t want to risk breaking them, they will have to stay silver.
The image altering program on my iMac is the simple Photoshop Elements 14. The skills to select sections and then either dump or overwrite their texture and colour were simple to learn. The lettering is internal to the program, as is the shading. Each mockup took less than 20 minutes.
The real benefit of this idea is not in what in what you do, but in what you do not do. I have conducted the same sort of exercise for other models and for real cars and ended up after a half-hour concluding that the final product looked bad. I could junk the file without having an expensive real-life disaster on my hands. Living and learning we all do, but it is better when it is for free.