Category: "Greenleaf 2011 Spring Fling - Baxter Pointe Villa"

Mini magazines

by brae  

I've created a mini book before but today, I worked on replicating a group of Coastal Living magazines in 1:12 scale.  This process will work for books as well, so I've taken some screenshots while I worked in case anyone else has a hankering to duplicate something in their own collection.  :]

I have access to a good scanner, which is the first hurdle.  I held the group of magazines together and scanned all of the spines at once.  For thicker books, you can do one at a time, but for flimsy materials it is best to have a more solid stack to keep them straight.

After scanning the spines, I then scanned each front and back.  It's best to scan your magazine or book as square as possible to begin with, but minor adjustments can be made to the image in PhotoShop, which is what I use to edit.

Here are two front and back cover images that I actually managed to scan squarely in the first place.  I've cropped close to the images to start.

The first thing to do is correct the real life size of the images.  I work with the images in full size to preserve the sharpness and then resize to the miniature equivalent at the very end.

The real life size of the magazine is 8 3/8" W x 10 1/2" H, with a thickness of 3/16" on average.  The miniature conversion can be done using this calculator and ends up being 0.69792" W x 0.875" H (approximately 11/16" W x 7/8" H).  Decimals are needed for resizing.  PhotoShop limits you to three decimal points, so you might have to fudge a bit.

The thickness of 0.01562" (approximately 1/64") seems silly to consider, but just printing a cover and folding it over doesn't seem as realistic..even a piece of drawing paper or bristol to simulate pages makes a big difference to me.  It really just depends on how you intend to display them and how much work you want to put into them.  :]

If your scanned images aren't equivalent to real life size, just make sure your aspect ratio is the same as the original.  For instance, half the size of the original would be 4 3/16" W x 5 1/4" H x 3/32" thick.

Click Image, Image Size.  Turn off constrain proportions, and enter a width of 8.375" and a height of 10.5" (8 3/8" W x 10 1/2" H).  Adjust these numbers as needed if you aren't working in full life size.  If you've cropped well, you might not need to adjust much.  For this example, I need to adjust both.  Then, repeat for the back.

For an image that isn't scanned squarely, you can (1) re-scan or (2) rotate the image.  For this, I've left a bit on the sides of the image instead of cropping close.  Click Image, Rotate Canvas, Arbitrary.  To rotate slightly to the left, type in 0.25° counterclockwise, you can put in smaller amounts as well such as 0.13".  Conversely, rotate slightly to the right, type in 0.25° clockwise.  Check to see if this has adjusted the image enough or repeat as necessary.

Select the magazine image...

...and crop.

The original size will need to be adjusted the same as above, and the rest of the process is the same as if you had started with a square image.

Since the spines were scanned in a group, I need to separate them.  Again, these are likely to illegible and perhaps unnecessary in the long run for magazines, but for books this process produces the best results.  First, I made a copy of the original image of all the spines since I don't want to ruin that original file as I crop to select individual spines.  I selected the spine I wanted and rotated it to make it as straight as possible.

I then cropped close around the image.  During this process, you will need to zoom in to see where the edges are and make sure you're cropping in the right places.

To adjust the real life size, click Image, Image Size.  Turn off constrain proportions, and enter a width of 0.1875" and a height of 10.5" (3/16" W x 10 1/2" H).  Again, if you've cropped well, you might not need to adjust much.  For this example, I need only to lengthen since my width is good.

Now I have a back, a spine and a front cover for the magazine I want to reproduce.

Using the back image as the working file, click Image, Canvas Size.  The canvas width needs to be the sum of the front plus the back plus the spine.  Click the left-hand anchor box in the middle row so that the canvas extends to the right of the image and enter at least 17.1875"...I just entered 17.25" since the edge can be cropped later.

Select (CTRL+A) and copy the spine image and paste it into the back file.

Make sure the move tool is active.  Move the spine image to the immediate right of the back image by either using the mouse or the arrow keys.  Zoom in close to see where the edges meet.  As you can see, they should match up pretty seamlessly.

You might want to zoom back out before the next step.  Select (CTRL+A) and copy the front cover image and paste it into the back file.  Move the front cover image to the immediate right of the spine image.  Zoom in close again to see where the edges meet.

Zoom back out.  Crop any excess from the rightmost edge.

Click Layer, Merge Visible to flatten the image.  Save your original size file since you can always work from this file to make different scales but you can't enlarge a reduced image.

Time to resize.  Click Image, Image Size, make sure constrain proportions is on this time and enter 0.875" for the height.  Your width should be close to 1.411" unless you've cropped too much or overlapped the images instead of having them side by side.  If you are off, there's no need to start over.  Just turn off constrain proportions and enter 1.411" width as well.

Since you need a crisp image to print well, click Filter, Sharpen, Sharpen.

Click File, Save As to save this miniature reproduction.

To print, I use Word since I can print multiple images on one sheet of paper and reduce waste.  :]  I also like to print duplicates to give me a backup in case of disaster.  You can double check your sizing before printing as well.

Your printer should have a setting for high resolution...be sure to use that.  A good printer will give you a slight shine to your images, too.  In mini scale, every little bit helps to create realism.

Time for assembly.  Cut carefully around the image using a straight edge and an X-Acto blade.

If you don't want pages, just fold in half and glue closed.  If you want simulated pages, cut the appropriate thickness of paper or bristol (in my case 1/64").

I used the printed image as a guide for cutting the insert from white bristol board.  Tiny projects like this are one more reason to hang onto those scraps!  :D

I bent the cover around the insert to make sure the fit was good before using a glue stick to adhere the cover to the insert.

Since magazines are full of rich, glossy photos and don't have white edges, I used a pencil to dirty the edges.

If you want printed pages that open, well, you are a better miniaturist than I am and I wish you luck!  Haha.  :D  My tutorial stops here.

Mini bicycles

by brae  

Now, I love my 1:14 scale remote control Audi TT, though in person it's not as realistic as I would like.  On the other hand, I just found some bicycles that are marvelously realistic!  They are 1:12 scale diecast models by Maisto.  First, the Audi Quattro Citybike...

...and the Audi Quattro Trekkingbike.

No, I haven't kicked the Audi TT out, but I'll have to figure out some storage solutions for the bicycles when the car is parked in the garage.  I have a couple of ideas to keep it from feeling so cramped...though that is how most garages are.

The more stuff I get crammed into the garage, the more realistic it feels.  Yes, I know it's insanely tidy, but it's a new house.  :D

The shelves were made from balsa wood following instructions in the book Making Miniature Gardens by Freida Gray.  The tools and accessories were all purchased, though I did paint a few of the tools to make them look more realistic.  The pegboard has tiny hooks that can be moved around.  :]  The shop light works, too, though I don't have it wired at the moment.

Greenleaf 2011 Spring Fling Contest

by brae  

The new Greenleaf Spring Fling kit was announced on Monday.  I didn't have any real notion of entering the contest again this year, but the chatter on the Greenleaf Forum was catching.  :D  And, the kit is wonderful.  There have been several ideas rolling around in my head that this kit allows me to try.  Having a deadline also helps get a project completed, too!  Just ask the Newport.  :\  At least I've been sewing a lot lately to keep my creative energy flowing.

Here is the base kit, which everyone needs to purchase in order to enter the contest.

But, there are two side additions for both left and right rooms, a set of stairs with a deck, roof finials, a cupola and dormers.  Love the stairs, especially.  This was the first piece the Greenleaf Team showed us in a sneak peek, and my idea started there.

I still had winnings from last year's contest, so I decided to get the pieces I wanted and let the kit develop naturally.  I have some solid ideas, but who knows what will end up being turned into reality.

I'll be keeping the progress under wraps the same as last year and we have until July 4th to turn in our photos, so it will be a long time before I post more about the project.  I'm super excited, though, and looking forward to seeing what everyone puts together!  Good luck to all who throw their hats into the ring!

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