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FROM THE June 2009 ISSUE

Creating scale, printed decals

RELATED TOPICS: DECALS | SCALE
Q: I've always admired models that are detailed with photoreduced boxes and posters and such. Is there any way I can do that without a good camera?

To further complicate matters, I don't have any graphics programs on my computer. Is there any hope for me?

- Steve Hendrikson
via E-mail



Ken: Don't despair, Steve. You can do everything you want to do with what you already have: a basic computer and Internet access.

I'll go out on a limb here and assume you have Microsoft Word. If so, here are the steps to follow to create scale, printed details:

Surf the Internet for images that can be used for the details. Google any and every site you can think of for suitable boxes, magazine covers, newspapers, etc. We won't begin to list any here, because there are literally millions of sites with material that's just waiting to be (legally) copied.

After you've selected an image, right-click your computer's mouse and hit "Save Image As." That will open your computer, and you can save the image in the folder of your choice.

Here's where MS Word comes in:

Open up a blank page, making sure the Pictures toolbar is showing, and click on the Insert Picture box. Go to the saved image of your choice, highlight it, and hit Enter. That will import the image onto the blank Word document.

Now comes the cool part: Click on the image, and you can reduce, enlarge, and/or move it anywhere you'd like on the page. When it looks right, click Print and you're on your way.

We can't take any credit for this technique, but we're sure grateful to the first modeler who discovered how it's done. Hope this helps, Steve.


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