A return to model building and flying. Part 63
That B#xx!!! Brodak Bearcat
After months of deliberation and procrastination, finally
getting some of my computer problems out of the way enabling me
claw back some time, and just plain getting annoyed at getting up every
morning to stare at the pile of bits that are the Bearcat kit.
to once again tried to fit the bellcrank assembly into the wing. This
process involved several days of struggling on and off, giving up, then
trying again, repeatedly; each time getting more frustrated that no
matter what I used, from an original J Roberts to a home made,
and even custom made bellcrank, all had problems with access and
fouling push rods.
the point of throwing the wing out the window and giving the whole
thing up as bad job, I decided to go back to basics and think it
all through again. I am not building a class one carrier model, it doesn't have
to look 'neat and pretty'.,and It's one of the crappiest designed and
kits I have ever had the misfortune to try and build. It is possible to build a
profile fuselage with between 6 and 7 parts, or 10 -15 if you want
really clever and go to town with lightening things,
I did a quick count of the number of
different pieces of wood that make up the fuselage of the Bearcat kit,
and ended up with 30. Bearing in mind that this is a profile fuselage
and you start to wonder what was going on in the mind of the designer;
certain hallucinogenic drugs maybe, or into some sort weird masochistic
cult that insists you crawl to work every day on your hands and knees
and, and then take it out on everyone else? So why should I try to
make things even worse for myself by trying to do a neat job or playing
his game? I finally
decided to stick the bellcrank outside the wing... Oh what a relief!
Suddenly a lot of things become do-able and much less of a struggle.
The complicated structure of the fuselage can be seen here,
seems to be a minimum depth of wing section that can hold a three like
bellcrank, any less and it becomes just too fiddly to work with. The
Bearcat sufferers with a really stupid and ill thought out plywood
plate that runs between the wing mounted undercarriage blocks, and is
also supposed to hold the bellcrank. The fact the the wing has dihedral
and the plate is flat and lies horizontal, makes it drastically reduce
any vertical space
available. This was either of no consequence to the original designer,
they just didn't care. Well to me it does! There are any number
of ways to have an easy fitting load bearing member between the U/C
blocks and not foul up the space left for the bellcrank; why this
method was chosen is totally beyond me.... Except maybe one of my
hopefully I can now gain a lot of lost ground with this model, the rest
of the build should be fairly strait forward ..HA! ... Fingers crossed!
just, have, to produce a new model to replace the Hellcat, I'm getting fed up
with putting up with all it's vices, and it's looking a bit sad these
days, it's had a hard life. And I am determined to not start on any new
building projects, until I finish the ones l have lying around the
place. At least some progress is being made.
one one day I will design a functional easy to build carrier model,
because what I have experienced so far with models is far from good. If
you want an idea of what a good design is, albeit small, get a copy of
Jan Odeyn's, Wildcat.
If really let rip with foul language this
page would turn red!
After several months of the problems and
getting my operating system/desktop in to some sort of working order. I decided to
get down to some work preparing some of the magazines I had been sent
for uploading. That's when the problems started.....
to individually crop every page (I can't
find an automated way of doing it) because the whole scanner bed is
showing around the images, and having to rotating pages to get them
strait because they were scanned at an angle, is very time consuming
and does the images no good at all, especially if they are .jpg files,
leaving smeared text in patches and lines in images. I learned along
time ago that the more time spent getting the original scan right, the
less time is spent faffing about trying to edit them into shape post scan; this a
rarely successful, causes big losses in quality, and also consumes
vast amounts of time, of which I am have less and less to spend on this
lucky, in respect of having hardware and software, that's beefy
enough to open every page of a magazine scanned at several MB
per page, and still be able to edit them without the whole thing
grinding to a halt; or I would have given up years ago.
I am writing this, I have spent a solid
week doing nothing but trying to work out what the hell is wrong with
some of the scans. The sad fact is, although people mean well by
sending them, and do not misunderstand me, for that I am very grateful;
mistakes in not understanding how important scan resolutions are
with relation to file size (if I was to be able to print some
of them I could paper the walls of my flat with a couple of pages!)
, or understanding that jpg files are not good
for archiving the magazine or book scans, can cause me considerable problems. JPG was developed
as a way of highly
compressing colour photographic images, but looses a lot of detail
in the process.
Magazine pages are not colour
photographs! The print process, especially with older magazines
probably only used a handful of colours a lot of the time, the front
page is usually the only one having more than two. Scan an old page in
full colour (quite a few thousand) and all you are doing is recording
the yellowing of paper as an extra shades of colour. Scan a black a
white page as colour and things get worse.
Grey scale (or gray scale if the program
developer was American) is usually 250 shades of grey from black to
white. this obviously is much better for black and white images, and
can help keep the size of file sensible. GIF format usually
contains 250 colours,
can usually be reduced from a few
thousand to 2 digit numbers successfully, It uses lossless compression
which keeps the file sizes high, so other means have to be used to
reduce the size. this format carries colour in formation in a way that
allows it to be manipulated. sSo I can reduce the colours, aiming for
200 for colour and
32 for black and white ( have got away with 7 on occasion ). Loosing
colours can play a part in making the black and white page look more
like a black and white page and not a murky grey or yellow one.Unfortunately
as far as the scans I
upload are concerned, they have to be reduced to bordering on quite bad
in an attempt to keep the file sizes down.
The original archive scans
sitting on my hard drive are of much higher quality, at the original scan resolution and colour count. A months magazine
will weigh in at anything from 50 to 100+ MB. This variation in size
can be due to lots of different factors, far too many to describe here.
Reducing colours in jpg files can be difficult to
accomplish, the format was never designed for
that in in the first place.
You can compress a jpg file a lot, and
probably get it smaller than the ones I produce, but it will not look
very good trying to display small printed text on pages. In a colour
photograph it doesn't matter if the colours bleed of blur at the
boundaries, as you eye doesn't look for such fine detail in a
photograph. But your eye does on a printed page, and you will soon
notice smudged or blurry text.
I bulk process a whole month at a time (sometimes several if I know the
original scans are good),
it's the only way to do it, or I would be sitting in front of a screen
24 hours a day. But, if there is a mistake somewhere alone the line, then
all files are lost, and I have to start again. By the time I realise
what is happening, things like the total file size was either unusually
or refusing to
reduce, or odd files mysteriously become corrupted, I am loosing
files and have to start from scratch several
times to try and get something usable. Trying to convert jpg's in to
png files can also loose quailty. If I don't convert I have to
alter every line of code in the web
page that relates to png. to jpg, then back again the next month,
coupled with desperately trying to
control all the losses of quality with each and every process, it can all
becomes a huge nightmare.
Starting to learn how to
work in a
different way because of my own Openbox desktop is taking time, but at least
it's very logical. Most of the time it's getting used to finding
that I can get from A to B remarkably quickly, without having to search
through endless menu windows.
With all this going on, it's just shear luck that some of scans are still usable if a little larger in size than is good for uploading or downloading. I really have been at the point of giving up altogether more than once. So be thankful that I am still carrying on, I really do have better things to be spending my time on.
one last thing.
If you use Dropbox, don't do what I just did before I
wrote this. I was
getting very lazy about copying all the configuration files from
PC to PC and drive to drive (6 times in all), it saves having to
every time and going through the login screens. I slipped up with the
last one, by making an empty Dropbox folder, instead of copying the
folder and it's contents to it's latest new home. The thinking was that the remote
server would sync with my empty folder. Suddenly seeing lots of
messages about deleting all my files, then watching them wink out of
existence in the file manager on the original PC nearly gave me a heart
attack! Yes it did sync! but not in the way I expected......