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A whole new world….


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Good Evening All

 

Wow what an amazing forum! I feel like I’m late to the party and only just now realising the versatility of making your own masks. I’m completely new to this whole area of modelling but want to get involved and participate.

 

I have no idea what machine or software to use. I see that there are a few posts similar but were from last year and new products maybe be available…..

 

I mostly build 1/48 aircraft but occasionally go to 1/72 stuff. I’d be interested to use masks for camo, lettering, placards or to replace as many decals as I can  etc (basically so I do t have to use decals). . 
 

I know these machines are not cheap and have accepted that it’s  going to cost me for good results. I’d rather pay the cash for good results than be disappointed in the long run. 
 

What machines would people recommend? Do I need additional cutters or do the in box ones do the job okay? What sheets do people use? I also have no clue on software or how to use it etc…

 

I appreciate that this is a long post and a whole load of questions. Thank you for reading through and would really appreciate anyones thoughts or ideas. Any links would be great- I’m in the UK if it makes a difference to purchases. 


Sorry if there is already an existing post addressing this topic elsewhere on the forum.

 

 

Many Thanks. 
 

Gassman

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Welcome aboard, Gassman!

 

:default_post1:

 

These are common enough questions, but sadly I can't count myself as an expert, so any advice I give will have to be considered in that light!

 

For the hobbyist, there appear to be two main brands of cutting machines: Silhouette and Cricut. Of the two, I'm really only familiar with the former, having purchased a Silhouette Portrait about 3 years ago (I think it may actually be a Portrait 2, but I'm not certain about that). I can certainly recommend that model as a good all-round machine, though I haven't used it extensively. It's main advantages for me were its relatively modest price, and its relatively small footprint.

 

In terms of software, I've found that the free edition of Silhouette Studio that comes bundled with the devices has covered everything I've needed to do so far. There are paid upgrades available for that software that unlock more features, but I haven't needed to take that step so far. It runs on both MacOS and Windows, and is upgraded fairly regularly.

 

I'll leave it to a member who uses a Cricut machine to describe their experiences with it!

 

Kev

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Good to see you here Gassman, and yes, you certainly have discovered a whole new world! I rarely, if ever, build OOB so getting the right markings was always a (sometimes) frustrating and expensive struggle. That fact alone made me invest, and I use the term wisely, in a Silhouette Cameo machine 8 years ago. In those days the inbuilt software was limiting to some extent for my needs so I bought the Designer upgrade, and have never looked back! I understand the newer machines have this included as standard. 

I have no practical experience of Cricut machines but anecdotal evidence points towards it not being as comprehensive nor flexible as the Silhouette especially on the software side, but don’t quote me on that.


Most of your questions are answered already on the forum; if you take a while and read through some of the tutorials you’ll find many tips there, but in summary the Silhouette machine comes with a cutter which does all you need unless you want to cut thicker, harder materials like plastic sheet, in which case you simply buy a slot-in alternative….I did and it works fine when I need it. Most of us use Oramask 810 sheet, but Cricut make some good sheets too, and Kabuki (masking) tape is right for some jobs where tight curves are required, like internal canopy masks. 
 

You mention you’re in the UK, where abouts? I’m in the Dorset/Somerset/Wiltshire area if that’s any use, you’d be welcome to see my machine and have a go! I learned by trial and error, and I’m still learning but having great fun as I do. 

Max 

Edited by Mozart
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Hello Gassman and :default_hi:.  Like you & Max, I'm in the UK, in St Neots, Cambs.  Yes, the machines are an expensive initial outlay.  However, against that set the cost of all the aftermarket decal sheets you won't have to buy.  It will pay for itself over time, and you can have the exact subject you want to do.

 

I have a Portrait 3 which does everything I need.  The only accessory I've added is a low-tack cutting mat as the masking material I use - Artool Ultra Mask - did not easily detach from the normal-tack mat supplied with the machine. [Edit] I bought it from Graphtec, and highly recommend them - excellent service. https://www.graphtecgb.shop/shop/

 

Edited by MikeC
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Morning 

 

Thank you everyone for the rapid and extensive replies. I’m in the early stages of looking into buying a machine and trying my best not to rush in too fast- I’ve just started a long build so won’t be requiring any masks for a bit. - That said I’d like to start getting involved. 
 

I’m in the Midlands near Worcester- thanks for the offer Max but I’m a bit too far away. I can think the hardest bit for me will to get round how to use the software to create the masks. 
 

I will have a look around the forum and see what can learn. Is either of these two machines suitable:

 

https://craftelier.com/en-gb/catalog/product/view/id/65491?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9oWIuKnK9gIVje3tCh36XgRIEAUYASABEgKLEvD_BwE

 

or

 

https://www.theworks.co.uk/p/die-cutting-machines/black-silhouette-cameo-4-digital-cutter/819177022193.html?CAWELAID=720011340002914050&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwK-R8anK9gIVyLHtCh2NOQuXEAQYASABEgIB9vD_BwE
 

Is there much of a difference as one like £150 more expensive but like I said previously I’d rather pay more and get the hardware to perform more/better? 
 

I’ll go and have another look round the forum and see what I can find.

 

Cheers

 

Tim

 

 

 

 

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Of the two, I'd go for the Portrait. As I understand it, the main advantage of the Cameo for our purposes is that it can handle larger media, but I can't imagine ever needing anything bigger for scale modelling than what the Portrait can manage. The Cameo is overkill in my opinion, unless you can get it for a bargain. Max has one, however, and is therefore better qualified to make a knowledgeable assessment than I am.

 

Over to you, Max!

 

Kev

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Hi Gassman

 

I have a Cameo 4 but in retrospect, I think a Portrait 3 would have been a better choice because it does everything I've needed to do at a more economical price. The Cameo 4 is larger (there are 3 different sizes too, big, bigger, biggest) and I've not used the full width yet. There's a second 'device' slot for another cutter or a pen, which I haven't used. If all you think you'll ever do with it is cut masks for models I think the Portrait is a good choice.

 

One of the reasons I didn't go with a Cricut is the fact that all your files are stored in the 'cloud'. I guess that makes me a dinosaur, I prefer to have control over my 'stuff'. 

 

Dave

 

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7 hours ago, Kevin Futter said:

Of the two, I'd go for the Portrait. As I understand it, the main advantage of the Cameo for our purposes is that it can handle larger media, but I can't imagine ever needing anything bigger for scale modelling than what the Portrait can manage. The Cameo is overkill in my opinion, unless you can get it for a bargain. Max has one, however, and is therefore better qualified to make a knowledgeable assessment than I am.

 

Over to you, Max!

 

Kev

Agreed.  I'm very pleased with my Portrait 3.

 

5 hours ago, denders said:

One of the reasons I didn't go with a Cricut is the fact that all your files are stored in the 'cloud'. I guess that makes me a dinosaur, I prefer to have control over my 'stuff'. 

Me too, and I'm not a dinosaur,  but an ex-IT person. 😀

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