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  1. Hello gentlemen, I'm popping over from the LSP forum where I received info of that fine forum after I tried to find out about the whatishwats regarding paintmasks. The idea of a dedicated forum on a topic that still seems relatively young in the modelling world at such an early stage is actually a pretty good one and I am hoping to gather some help and insight over time even though I still won't be able to contribute much myself at the moment being an absolute beginner. As indicated I am still absolutely new to the topic and tried to gather some first insights into the whole matter. So now I am standing before the decision most of you sttod before as well .... i.e. which cutter to buy. My main modelling topic are modern military aircraft and at least currently mainly US Navy jets with the one or other more exotic bird throughn inbetween in 1/32 and 1/48. The major aspect for my buying decision is hence how small can an affordable cutting machine do. Many markings would involve the intricate squadron insignia and I think the max I would hope for a cutting machine to be able to do are the little BuNo serial numbers of modern jets. These serial numbers are in 1/32 about 3mm high and 2mm wide and the thickness of each letter would be about 1mm. I guess that would be the max. performance that I would be eyeing for. I suppose little crew names on the canopy rail and stencils are still way off the scale in terms of detailed cuts but I sure would hope that the small serial numbers in 1/32 would be possible. Cany anyone here give me some hint whether models like the Silhouette cameo or the Silhouette portrait would be able to do such small cuts or if I would have to invest even more cash for higher end machines? I cannot afford buying too sophisticated machines so currently I am hopping back and forth between Cameo and Portrait models. I sure hope at least one of them would be able to cut that small. What else besides the cutter would I have to consider in terms of hardware and additional stuff. Do additional blades and also extra cutting mats make sense? Many thanks in advance for any good advice and happy to be on board.
    3 points
  2. O.k., I made the jump ... let's see how I fare. Wish me good luck. A big THANK YOU to everyone for your helping comments once again.
    3 points
  3. Many many thanks for the getback gentlemen, that is already very valuable information. The protrait is just for quite a few of the reasons you all stated also my current primary option. That it cuts about as fine as the cameo is an important bit of info for me. Now I just need to find out, if it really cuts fine enough. I'll just go ahead and make a jump for the portrait and see how it works. Many thanks for all the good comments.
    2 points
  4. Mike, I have a Cameo 4. Connections are USB and Bluetooth. I had a struggle getting a connection with Bluetooth, even sending an email to Support. After a reply from Support and going through everything again, I finally got it to connect and be recognized. At a later time it didn't seem to want to connect so I have given up on Bluetooth and I'm using USB with an extension cable. With USB it works great, no connection issues. IIRC, USB is necessary if the firmware has to be updated. Dave
    2 points
  5. Yes, good in Dorset too!! ๐Ÿ˜ Max
    2 points
  6. Hello bushande. The sizes that you are talking about are absolutely right on the limit with what is possible for I think any cutting machine, 3 to 4mm is the smallest that Iโ€™ve cut in 7 years of using my Silhouette machine. It can cope slightly better with more square letters and numbers like โ€œTโ€, โ€œEโ€, โ€œ1โ€, โ€œ4โ€, โ€œ7โ€ etc but any number involving a curve or โ€œcentresโ€ cause problems, with "B" and โ€œ8โ€ possibly being the most demanding and โ€œSโ€ being challenging. I always cut multiples of these small areas so that I can pick the best. This is a Spitfire that I did some years ago when I was fairly new to masking making, the letters are 3 to 4mm high. You can judge for yourself which work better than others, and experience has shown me how to improve some of the less than satisfactory parts here. Hope this helps a little. Max
    2 points
  7. All OK in sunny Oxford but Iโ€™ll check later if itโ€™s reached as far as Dorset! Max
    2 points
  8. Just joined today. I have a Silhouette Cameo 3 and my wife has a Cricut. I've had some partial successes making aircraft masks and look forward to learning how to do it right. I've down loaded the German WWII markings as I'm try to complete an Hasegawa 1/32 Bf 109F-4 and want to try using masks. Hope to have some pics in a week or so. Just about to wrap up the plane and prime it. Also experimenting with airbrush mottling. Glad to have found a forum like this for cutting masks.
    2 points
  9. I aggre with Kevin I use atm portrait and works perfectly
    2 points
  10. Excellent choice in my opinion, Mike. I wish you luck with it, and hope that it fulfils both your expectations and your needs. Kev
    1 point
  11. I think I may have mentioned that I was considering a purchase. After reading this and other threads here and on LSP, and after vacillating between the Cameo 4 and the Portrait 3, I've gone for the latter. It looks like it will do what I need it to, it's smaller, and I wasn't sure the extra features and facilities on the Cameo were worth the price difference. Looking forward to trying a few masks. Thanks for all the helpful advice. ๐Ÿ‘
    1 point
  12. That happened because its summer ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒžwe will came back all in winter โ„๏ธโ„๏ธโ„๏ธ
    1 point
  13. I think youโ€™ll get more satisfaction using it that way Mike, I can envisage quite a lot of frustration trying the Bluetooth way on different levels. Mine sits alongside my PC and is โ€œpermanentlyโ€ connected but not used that often. Max
    1 point
  14. Thanks chaps. Basically it can't sit permanently next to the computer; it could sit temporarily near enough to plug a USB cable in, so I think the next solution is to store it and set it up only when actually cutting. Does that sound viable?
    1 point
  15. I honestly don't think that arrangement is ideal, Mike. Bluetooth has a very limited range (estimates seem to vary, but 10m is commonly given), and generally doesn't penetrate obstacles as well as radio waves or wi-fi, for example. It might work, but given Dave's account of his flaky Bluetooth experience, I reckon you'd be better off sticking with USB if you can. I certainly know what it's like to not have any room though, as a lack of it was the primary reason I chose the Portrait over the Cameo. Kev
    1 point
  16. Awesome! Good luck with it. I've just amended your post so it shows the image inline (your link was using bbCode, which the forum software no longer supports). Kev
    1 point
  17. Mike, I have 2 of the 5 or 6' extension cables along with the printer cable on mine. It loops back around things out of the way. The direct path from the computer to the cutter would be right across my chair. ๐Ÿคฃ
    1 point
  18. Mineโ€™s a Cameo 2 Mike, I bought it I think 8 years ago and it does everything that I need. I had a problem with it last year but found it was the power supply that was faulty, easily rectified. My advice would be to definitely go for the Cameo 4. My wife makes greetings cards and she also uses it for her crafting activities.
    1 point
  19. I only have a Portrait 2, and I don't believe it has Bluetooth. I'm using it via USB, which works well enough. I'm not sure if the Portrait 3 has Bluetooth as standard, but if it does, it's probably your best choice for the combination of convenient footprint and connectivity options. That said, if you'll be siting the device somewhere where there's room for the larger Cameo, then perhaps that device's extended performance and features will be more attractive, especially given that Bluetooth takes away the need for it to be within cable's reach of your computer. The big difference with the Cricut, as I understand it, is that it doesn't come with any software that you run on your computer. Rather, you have to use their cloud-based software and services to run the device. And they recently made some changes to that functionality that limits the way you can use it - I can't remember exactly what they were now, but I've posted about it elsewhere in the forums. In short, I'd stick with the Silhouette product over the Cricut range. Kev
    1 point
  20. Now, I know the Beaufighter is a classic but just imagine for one moment if BOAC decided to use this amazing aircraft on it's wartime passenger runs instead of the Mosquito? It might look something like this: All the lettering is done with masks cut on the Silhouette, apart from the BOAC stuff on the tail which was just too small in this scale (Tamiya 1/48 kit) which was printed as a decal...crap too it is...never mind, I't all a learning curve. Internally I made a new floor, with 3 passenger seats as well as the crew-man in the reas, with storage locker, new windows and yes, it even has a toilet? ๐Ÿ˜„ Hope you like i?
    1 point
  21. I'm still here, but I'm afraid I'm one of those who haven't checked in that often. Perhaps if I do I may be enthused to buy a mask-cutter instead of yet more "stash-fodder".
    1 point
  22. Hi Kev, I'm here, and thanks.
    1 point
  23. Welcome aboard, sir! It's ironic that even though I run the site, I'm no expert at mask cutting myself! That's partly why I created the site, I guess. That said, I personally use a Silhouette Portrait, and find it fine for my needs. I don't think the Cameo is capable of cutting any finer or smaller, but rather, it can handle larger material sizes, and a wider variety of them I believe. I don't have any additional blades or cutting mats, and just use the supplied free version of the Silhouette Studio software. I went with the Portrait partly because it was cheaper, partly because it has a much smaller footprint, and partly because reviews suggested it was perfectly fine for my needs when compared with the Cameo. So, the Portrait would be my suggestion! Kev
    1 point
  24. Hello there. Having introduced myself on LSP, here is the follow up. Mathieu, 38, from Belgium. I have been ploaying silouhette for 4 years now, and kinda like it. Masks, templates & plastic cards are being tortured Here is a few of my past victims, all 1/32. Hasegawa P-40K long tail. Hasegawa Ki-61, 68th Sentai. Big beautiful Doll #1 (Revell) Big Ass Bird (Hasegawa) The latest completion to date: Big Beautifull Doll #2. (Tamiya) I was mad enough to go paint for the victory board. The current work : Hasegawa's Dora And Hasegawa's Anton, of wich a Build log is visible on LSP. Hope you will like them, and I enjoy in advance to contribute to this community. Cheers. Mathieu
    1 point
  25. Hello everyone! Writing from Czech Republic. I'm a plane modeller for a long time who is now starting to get interested on doing masks for my own use. Will be getting a Portrait machine soon and I found this great forum. Hoping I can learn from you, and contribute to the general knowledge as much as I can. Cheers,
    1 point
  26. View File Stars & Bars - 1/32 P-51D At Kev's request, I'm re-posting this content from Large Scale Planes. It shows in some detail how I used the attached cutter file to paint a simple insignia on my 1:32 P-51D. I started by making a cutter file in the software that comes with the Silhouette Cameo machine. I did this by scanning the decal sheet and tracing over it, although for something as common as the US fighter plane insignia you could find a vector art file or pre-existing cutter file many places on line. I made my own because I wanted to tweak them a touch for my planned painting process. I made the outside shape (only, not the stars and bars themselves) for the inner mask (top left, the mask that covers the blue when I spray the white) very slightly smaller than the shape in the mask below it (middle left, the mask that defines the overall blue shape) so that it will be easy to lay down inside the outer mask without the edges overlapping and making it hard to stick the vinyl down. By slightly smaller I mean 0.3 mm per side. I will tape over the junctions between inner and outer masks before spraying the white paint so that none can get through the small gap between them. I then cut a piece of Oramask 813 about 9x5 inches in size and stuck it down on the tacky support mat that allows it to feed into the cutter. The cutter can take 12x12 (or even bigger with a roll attachment) but that's overkill for my uses. This is about as big a piece as I ever use. It's quick - less than 60 seconds to cut this pattern. It makes very crisp clean cuts. This is a very simple pattern because all the shapes are large. For sheets with very small details (like the federal serial number on the vertical stabilizer of this plane) I run the cutter at its minimum speed to reduce the tendency of the blade to pick tiny pieces of masking film up off of the backing. To get ready to spray the blue area I simply remove the inside part of the mask while it's still on the backing paper... Then lay a small piece of frisket paper (a standard airbrush artist's supply you can get anywhere that sells airbrushes) over the top to hold it in place as I lift it off the backing. This is important to do even for a very simple shape like this because the vinyl is flexible and the frisket is not (at least it does not stretch in length/width). If you just peel the vinyl off and try to stick it down to the model, it's easy to stretch it subtly and distort the shape. This is doubly true if you stick it down and then decide (as I did twice) that you want to move it a bit. The frisket allows you to do this without damaging the mask itself. Here it is stuck in its final spot with frisket still on it. Remove the frisket and mask around the vinyl to control overspray. I've gotten into the habit of doing this with scrap paper from the printer and very narrow pieces of tape. It takes a little extra time, but minimizes the amount of tape you are putting on already-finished painted surfaces. Risk management and all that. Same thing on the wings. And just like the squadron colors, I'll need to paint a little corner of the insignia on the disassembled gun bay covers as well). And we're ready to paint. Right before starting to paint I try to always remember to double check the edges of the vinyl and burnish them down with a fingernail if they are lifting anywhere. It's important to check that between coats of paint too. I will be painting with my GSI Creos 0.2mm double-action airbrush. This is my go-to airbrush and the one I use 95% of the time. I have a 0.5 mm version of the same brush that I use when I need to cover large areas quickly (for example I used it to paint the gloss black undercoat on this model). My old 0.5 mm Iwata is reserved for those rare occasions that I want to shoot something water-based. The GSI airbrushes I use for lacquer only. This is the blue I'm using And after it this white. This model is the first time I've used MRP paints, and I have to say I like them a lot. The convenience of not having to dilute them is very attractive, and they are very easy to get a good result with. I still have a place in my heart for Mr Color, though, and will probably continue to use both brands. I started with a light "tack coat" - painting slowly and building up a very thin layer, just enough to initiate a strong bond with the layer underneath (it was thinner than this picture suggests). Painting with masks like this you want to avoid ever getting a "wet" surface - if you do it will form a meniscus against the edge of the mask and that will dry to an obnoxious ridge at the edge of the painted shape. I'm spraying here at 10 psi (2/3 bar), which is what I almost always use. I did all four insignia with the tack coat, and by the time that was done the first one was dry to the touch and ready for coat two (this is the #1 thing I love about Mr Color lacquers - superfast drying). The second coat got the blue all the way to opacity. I could probably get away with a couple hours' curing time and move on to the second mask and the white layer, but I'm feeling extra paranoid so I'm going to leave this until tomorrow before doing the white. Why take chances when it's *this close* to done? After I do the white I'll pull the inner mask and hit the whole insignia with a light pass of clear matte to kill and shine and unify the surface appearance. Phase 2 today. Started by removing the vinyl from around the part of the mask that I want to use. As before, lay a piece of frisket paper over it to pick it up with. Carefully lay that down inside the mask that defined the blue area... And peel the frisket off, making sure to buff down the edges of the new mask. Cover the junction between outer and inner masks with tape The first of five coats of MRP white I was able to do this continuously - paint a coat on all four insignia and the first one was ready for the next coat. Took maybe 20 minutes all told to get to this. Gave it a couple hours curing time and removed the second-stage masks Nice and sharp, but the blue is too shiny. I will give it a quick shot of MRP clear matte before removing the outer mask. The final result, after matte varnish. Submitter Alex Submitted 02/23/2021 Category U.S. - WW2  
    1 point
  27. Hi there you lot. Kevin invited me here some time ago and it has taken until now to get of my lazy backside and do something about it. Glad to be here with some obviously very talented people. I've only had my Silouhette Portrait 3 since December last year, so still learning but hopefully I'll be spraying more than decalling soon. Take care and stay safe everyone. Cheers. Steve ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง
    1 point
  28. Finally got a new toy! I'd been using my previous workplace's Cameo 3, so I'm excited to learn what more capabilities the 4 has! First job: markings for a 1/48 Percival Provost! Denzil
    1 point
  29. And for an update on my original post, heres the Percival Provost. Roundels, finflash and codes were masked and painted.
    1 point
  30. I'm building the Silver Wings 1/32 scale Tiger Moth, specifically this aircraft: since it was flown by my father in 1943 during his pilot training is S Rhodesia. It presents a few problems for masking, most notably the chequerboard band on the rear fuselage (just visible behind the strut) and the large, rather unorthodox "35" on the fuselage. To do the chequered band I wrapped some thin masking tape around the fuselage having decided that a scale 4mm was about right for each square, and there are three columns. So the forward and rear masking tapes were 12mm apart. The taper on the fuselage is the tricky bit because clearly the "circumference" is going to vary. Once I'd got the positions right, I took the masking tape off and laid it on my cutting mat 12mm apart along its length. I took a picture of it: then imported the picture into the Silhouette software. This gave me the wrap around shape fairly accurately. Then I set my grid background to aid drawing to 4mm and carefully drew things out: then cut: It needed a bit of tidying up but it's ok! Next the "35"! This proved just as challenging. I used the photograph, enlarged as much as possible, again imported into Silhouette then drew some guidelines: which when the picture was taken away was something like this, though I've added the curves (drawing arcs is another ball game). Here I've selected the top half of the "3" to group all the bits, then copied, flipped and pasted below to form the whole number (and also the lower part of the "5": I always work with the drawing as large as possible to ensure accuracy with lines joining up. If you don't you'll have uncut gaps which will cause problems when you come to use the masks. The end result: Any questions or comments welcome! Max
    1 point
  31. Price, mainly. I seem to remember that the extra features of the Cameo weren't compelling enough to justify the extra cost to me, especially as a complete beginner. The smaller footprint of the Portrait was also a consideration, given how little room I have. Kev
    1 point
  32. What were your considerations, Kev? I picked the cameo purely because I was familiar with the precious model and figured this one would be similar, if slightly better than the 3 I was using. Will do! I'm at early stages in terms of what the thing can do. Sofar I can draw and cut stickers and masks. Id like to learn what other materials are feasible and what fancy things the drawing software can do. ALL suggestions are welcomed! Cheers, Denzil
    1 point
  33. Good luck Denzil, have fun and give us some feedback.
    1 point
  34. Wow, Midnight Black Edition! Congrats, Denzil. I considered one of these when I was deciding to purchase, but opted for the Portrait instead. Please give us a summary of your thoughts about it when you can. Kev
    1 point
  35. Thanks Kev! I borrowed heavily from (OK, I basically traced) a commercial product and wouldn't feel right depriving the creator of his due by posting the files. That said, now that I've gotten some practice and am starting to build up some skill with Inkscape, I'm likely to end up creating my own from scratch before I'm done, and those I will happily make available.
    1 point
  36. Thanks all! Now that I've had a chance to play with it, the transfer tape I already had has been working really well with the 810. Letting me do exactly what I had hoped I'd be able to.
    1 point
  37. First attempt at using my new Portrait 2. National markings and numbers were painted using the masks, the heart nose art is a decal and the wolf's head is a mix of masks, decal and brush paint. I used the Zotz sheet, scanned in the parts I needed, edited them and cut on the machine...
    1 point
  38. A small addition to the earlier "tutorial", this time cutting plastic instead of vinyl. For my Lightning I needed to make two ventral fins from 30 thou plastic card. Accurate scale drawings were part of Echelon's instructions, so I scanned these: ....saved the scan to my photo album then dragged the image onto the Silhouette screen: the drawing again being scaled to a workable size. Then the fin was traced, the only slightly tricky bit (not really!) was the curve. When you click on the drawing tool icon, one of the options given is to draw a curve. Select this, click your mouse at the starting point then makes series of clicks following the curve till the end point. "Sign off" with a double click, then group with all the other elements. When you've finished the design and saved it, click the "SEND" button, top right and a drop down menu gives you a choice of materials - on my machine plastic card isn't one of them! So you have to tailor the cutting speed, the number of passes and the force. The maximum force is 33, I chose this, 10 passes and speed 5. The standard blade will cut 10 thou card but for anything thicker you need a heavy duty blade, I set it by eye so that a reasonable amount of blade was showing! Not very scientific I admit. When you load the cut mat and plastic sheet, the latter tends to move about because of the force and reduced "stickiness" of smooth plastic, so I just hold it lightly in place whilst cutting. The blade won't cut all the way through the plastic, but scores deeply enough that with a little bending the fin pops out. Then a sand, clean up and hey presto......! ๐Ÿ˜ Wonderful machines these Silhouette cutters!
    1 point
  39. FAQ section would be a great Idea I think Kev
    1 point
  40. Silver Wings 1/32 scale Stieglitz, home-produced masks to replicate the trainer flown by Peter Spoden: Max
    1 point
  41. One of the areas I'd like to explore here is the ability of the various software packages used in mask production to convert to other formats used by other packages. For example, are there converter utilities for the Sihouette Studio format, or even DXF? Can someone who uses a Cricut machine download one of Brian's files, and convert it to a Cricut-compatible format for use with their machine? What formats do the various software packages support natively? I think answering these and similar questions here in the forums could provide great value to the community. Eventually I'd like to establish an FAQ section, where modellers can get their common questions answered quickly and easily. Kev
    1 point
  42. I'm not familiar with the Silhouette cutters, but I'd be quite surprised, if the software couldn't read EPS-files. EPS is pretty much a standard file format in the graphics industry (however, PDF is more popular nowadays ... ). All the vector graphics programs like Illustrator or CorelDraw or what have you support EPS, so I think it should be a good choice here as well. Cheers Rainer
    1 point
  43. For now I'd have to say yes, but we're really only in the beginning phases of this journey, and that answer may change over time. Ideally it would be great to use a more portable format that any software can use, but I'm not sure such a thing exists. I'm hoping that once we get more experienced and expert users on board, they can school us in all the best practises, and we can adapt in light of that expert knowledge. Kev
    1 point
  44. Good to be here Kev! This is going to work out a treat I think with the popularity of mask cutters lately. Question: I just uploaded some files to the "downloads" section, but I only had the finalized .studio3 files that my Silhouette cutter uses. This is (I'm fairly sure) common among Silhouette brand cutters, but not so sure how common among any any other mask cutters. Is the .studio3 format ok do upload in?
    1 point

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