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Setbacks in the site upgrade

Posted by paragon19 on June 1, 2010 at 5:27 PM Comments comments (10)

So the changes I mentioned are coming to the website will have to be postponed for a little bit; my main computer has become severely infected, and is out of commission for a bit.  Once its back up and running, I can continue work, but it may take a few days.

Change is coming to Paragon Card Models

Posted by paragon19 on May 28, 2010 at 2:03 PM Comments comments (7)

Well, I have some good news and some bad news.  I'll give you all the good news first, because it will help make sense everything else: Paragon Cardmodels is receiving a lot of traffic for a hobby site, meaning its quite popular.  Unfortunately, the free version of Freewebs comes with certain limitations, especially including bandwidth.  Some of you may have already noticed that I removed the Forums and Gallery pages from the website, in an effort to stay within the limits Freewebs has.


The bad news is that for me to meet the growing demand for my models, and still upload new work in the future, I need to upgrade the website, which costs money.  Some of you may have also noticed a new tab on the side called "Web Store", this has been added to help me in an effort to keep the website up.  Yes, it does mean I'm selling model plans now, but thus far, this is not new.  The models currently available in the Store are already for sale on other sites, and not available free here.


If you're anything like me, you're probably wondering, "Does this mean you're going to start charging for all your free models?".  No, all the models I currently offer for free will still be free even after all the changes are finished.  Some models that depict copyrighted work (like my Star Trek models) must remain free to avoid copyright issues, but my other models will remain free because I wouldn't feel right charging for something that used to be free.


There is, however, a catch.  Links to the free models will (eventually) be removed from my website where they can be accessed by everyone.  To download these models, new visitors will simply have to join the website.  Upon doing this, a welcome e-mail will be sent to those members automatically, including links to all of my currently free models.


Some of you may be skeptical; "Why does he want our e-mails? Is he going to sell them to other companies?".  No, I won't.  None of the e-mails people use to sign up will be given or sold to anyone else, you won't receive spam when you sign up, only my newsletter and e-mail blasts, which will be used to announce new models or other changes to the website (much like this change is being included in an e-mail blast).


Those of you who have already signed up as members need do nothing.  Once the links are removed from the site, I will send an e-mail blast containing the links to my models.  I suggest you save the directory in a safe place when you get it, so you can always go download them at your liesure.  New free model releases will also be distributed to anyone on the e-mail list as soon as they come out, so keep on the lookout for those.  This does mean that if you want to get new models, you'll have to make sure to submit valid e-mail addresses.  I can't send anything if you make a typo or use a fake address.


This also brings up another point; those of you who belong to forums for our hobby's community, I have to ask that you no longer share my files with other people, instead, direct them to my website.  I will be announcing these changes on the forums I belong to, so the moderators there will also take appropriate action against those redistributing my work, but I know you're all great people, and that this won't be an issue.


I also feel it necessary to mention that I'm looking to make a bit of profit from these new changes.  Currently, I make very little money from my hobby, which has been fine in the past, but has sometimes made it hard to justify working on my designs, especially since the development of each model costs money and a lot of time.  The better my models sell, the more time I'll be able to devote to the hobby.


"So what does this mean about future designs from you?", you may be wondering.  While it does mean less of my new designs will be free, it does not mean I will stop making free models.  Part of the reason I haven't charged for many of my models is because I feel they aren't worth you paying money, especially my early aircraft models.  I currently plan to do some serious overhaul of some existing models (like my A-10 Warthog, for example), to make them easier to build, more accurate, better quality, etc.  These overhauls will likely be for sale, but the originals will still be free.  It also means I may release a lot of re-paints of my better models in the store, but again, rest assured the originals will be free.


The final, small issue is that I may be moving to my own domain.  I call this a small issue because I should be able to redirect traffic from this current site to my new domain with ease, meaning most of my links (and your links) should remain active.  Obviously if I make the move, I'll start replacing old links with new links wherever possible, but this is all possibility, and depends heavily on the future.


Thanks to everyone who has joined my site so far, followed, and helped promote my website.  Here's to a bright future for Paragon Card Models.

So I Heard You're Selling Models Now...

Posted by paragon19 on September 16, 2008 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (7)
Thats right, much to the dismay of some of you I'm sure, I am now going to be selling my models.  But don't worry!  I still support the free card model community, and will still be releasing new, free models on this website.  And I will be finishing the Century series, for free, as planned.  So how will I sell models and offer them for free at the same time?  My current project is the F-104, the next in the Century Series.  I've nearly finished work and am almost ready to upload them.  I currently have fifteen, thats right 15 different versions and variants of the Lockheed F-104.  Some will be available on my website for free, and some will be available for a low price at http://ecardmodels.com/shop/ , a new website being developed by one of the Admins from Zealot.

So its partly up to you.  Which versions should be free, which versions should I sell?  Here's the list:

USAF Bare Metal
USAF Camo
NASA (white bottom)
NASA (blue bottom)
Luftwaffe
German Navy
Orange USAF Test Drone
NF-104
Red Baron (civillian)
Starfighters Demo Team
Greek Mount Olympus Commemorative
German CCV
CL-704 VTOL Concept
CL-1200 Foreign Export Concept
X-27 Concept


Give me a couple replies, and I'll decide using them as advice.  Don't worry though, the prices will be low (probably less than a dollar per version), and you'll be able to buy them all at once for a discounted price.  I hope you all think its worth the small price.

In the meantime, here's a taste of the F-104 model, including the Mount Olympus version, and the X-27 variant.

Long Delays for the Century Series

Posted by paragon19 on August 28, 2008 at 2:37 PM Comments comments (5)
Hi everyone, its been awhile!  I just wanted to let those of you waiting anxiously for my next model that I have not forgotten my website, or burnt-out.  You will, however, notice that for a period of time during July and August, I was making additions to the website nearly daily, and that since early August, there have been none.  I wish I could tell you all the delay was because I was designing an incredibly detailed and complex model to offer you all, or that I simply designed a lot with the intention of releasing them all at once.  Alas, this is not the case.  The past few weeks have been busy for me.  First I took off four days for a sailing trip - the only vacation I would have the entire summer.  Then I wrapped up my jobs in my hometown, and knuckled down to begin packing to move.  I am now no longer living in Greenville NC, but instead in Greensboro, where I am now attending classes at UNCG in pursuit of my major.  As you can imagine, this left me little time to work on new models.

Now in Greensboro, I've found that some aspects of my personal life may interfere with my design of new models as well; I've made new friends, have classes to attend, and have a roommate who would rather not be kept up by my designing.  In addition, my computer's video card recently died (completely).  My machine is about three years old now, and while Photoshop is not the most graphic intensive of programs, I imagine the lack of a dedicated GPU will significantly slow down the program, and make designing new models even more tedious and time-consuming.

Not to worry!  Changes are coming!  I've settled down into a stable schedule at UNCG, and can now set aside time specifically for designing new models.  In addition, I ordered a new video card, which, despite being slightly better than my previous video card, was only about one-fourth the cost (old technology is cheap now).  I am making a trip back to Greenville this weekend, and will pick up the new card then, so by Tuesday I should be able to work on models again.

For those interested, I am still intent on finishing my current project, the Century Series of American fighters and X-Planes.  When finished, there will be a total of 12 models in the series:

F-100 Super Saber: Also called the "Hun".  Already done and available for download.
F-101 Voodoo: Saw use with the USAF and CAF.  Also available for download.
F-102 Delta Dagger: The "Duece", once again available.
XF-103 Thunderwarrior: Never reached prototype stage.  Available for download.
F-104 Starfighter: Saw wide export to other countries.  Will be next in the series.
F-105 Thunderchief: An older simpler version of the "Thud" is available, considering upgrading it for the series.
F-106 Delta Dart: Built on the F-102 platform.  Not yet available.
YF-107 Ultra Saber: One prototype built, but didn't make production:  Not yet available.
XF-108 Rapier: Not yet available.
XF-109: Not yet available.
F-110 Spectre: Designation briefly given to the F-4 Phantom at the beginning of its service in the USAF, before fighter designations were standardized.  Yes, this means there will be a model of the F-4 Phantom.  Not yet available.
F-111 Aardvark: Swing-wing attack aircraft.  Not yet available.

I'm not sure what I'll work on after finishing the Century series.  I have enough left of them that I don't think I'll worry about that for now, but feel free to post suggestions.

XF-103 Thunderwarrior

Posted by paragon19 on August 4, 2008 at 5:21 PM Comments comments (8)
When I began designing the century series, I decided I would include both the fighters that reached production, and those that didn't make it, to fill in all the gaps.  This means there will be a total of 12 aircraft in the Century fighter series.

Anyway, with the F-102 out of the way, next is Republic's XF-103 Thunderwarrior.  It never made production, but it was designed to be a Mach-3 capable fighter with all internal weapons, propelled by both a conventional jet as well as a ramjet that would take over at higher speeds.  Though it would have been a marvel of an aircraft if it had been built, it probably would not have been particularly useful to the Air Force.

Here are some pictures of the prototype model I finished today:




The Deuce

Posted by paragon19 on August 3, 2008 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)
Well, I've finished the first version of the F-102 Delta Dagger.  I'm pretty pleased with it, it also includes details I don't typically add to my models, including landing gear.  No ordnance or fuel tanks yet, but I think I will add them.

Anyway, keep a look out for release, it will be soon.







F-100 Uploaded: Thoughts on Accessories

Posted by paragon19 on July 28, 2008 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The F-100 is finally up!  It took a little longer than I would usually expect for a model like that, but that?s mostly because I took off a little time, and also included the accessory pack ? something I don?t do often.  The only other model I?ve given landing gear was the Su-57, and the only other model I?ve given any underslung cargo was the B-58, because the bomb bay is pretty much a necessity.

 

So you may be wondering, ?Paragon, why don?t you include those things more often?  Most other designers do.?  Well, the answer is that I?m lazy I guess, and when I build models I don?t typically include them, I like clean models with the gear up, so that?s what I tend to design.

 

In all fairness, landing gear aren?t particularly difficult to design for a model, I could probably do it in about an hour.  Bombs, fuel tanks and missiles are another matter.  With my designing technique, the most difficult part of the aircraft to design is the fuselage.  Why?  Lining up all the parts, separating the fuselage into sections, etc, takes awhile.  When it comes to bombs, missiles and fuel tanks, they?re pretty much all fuselage.  Missiles aren?t as bad as bombs or fuel tanks, they?re usually just straight cylinders, which is pretty easy to design.  The tips of the missiles aren?t as easy though.

 

Add to that how difficult it is to find good images of the landing gear and payloads is.  Even more difficult than either of those is the hardpoint pylons the payloads are attached to.  Many line drawings do not have these separate, which means they are obscured.

 

Part of me justifies the exclusion of those accessories by telling myself you would all rather get the models faster.  Part of me thinks I?ll someday come back and design accessories for them.  The truth is that I probably won?t.

 

I?ll try to design more accessories from now on, but I?m not making any promises.  If I get a lot of positive reaction, I guess I?ll do it more often, but if you all are fine with the models the way they are now, I guess I?ll just do them minimalist.

 

Anyway, I?ll probably build a few more F-100s, I really like the Thunderbirds scheme I did, and I?m probably going to build the Wild Weasel with full accessories.  After that, its on to President Bush?s fighter, the F-102 Delta Dart.

F3H Demon Prototype

Posted by paragon19 on July 21, 2008 at 10:04 PM Comments comments (0)
Here it is, the prototype of the next model, the McDonnel F3H Demon!  Design went quickly, and the finished shape is exactly what I was going for, so I feel good about this.  The lines in the texture aren't as high res as I'd like, but I think with a good paint job it won't be too noticeable.  I'm hoping to have the finished version up tomorrow or Wednesday.





Next Model Almost Done!

Posted by paragon19 on July 19, 2008 at 11:12 PM Comments comments (0)
I told myself I wouldn't post a third blog entry today unless I had a really good reason to, and as it just so happens, I do!  I've got some images of my newest model in its built prototype form!  The design process was a breeze for this one, the only area that was troublesome was the cockpit, and I've fixed that (as you can see in the images).  This one comes to us from the Cold War.  Can anyone guess what she is?





Paragon Cardmodels Scale Down Nicely

Posted by paragon19 on July 19, 2008 at 1:19 PM Comments comments (0)
    Last night, after building a second copy of my new IAI Lavi model (this time with the one-seat cockpit), I went a little crazy and started building a bunch of my models in very small scales.  I'e scaled down nearly all of my fighter models now and printed them out, to build a mini-collection.
    I'd like to appologize to everyone for not having the scales on my models standardized, I understand why its so important now.  I may take the time to try and assign them scales, and perhaps even start offering a version of each model in on of the standard scales (1/144, 1/100, or 1/72).  Anyway, I've built some of my models in small scales before, and was pleased at how easily they scaled down, so I figured more of my models would as well.  I hope you all like the result.  Each model took me an hour or so to build, meaning you can make quite a collection very quickly.
    I use #110 cardstock for my standard models, but for the small models, I've been using #65 cardstock, which works very well.





Also, you may notice I built a mini F-86.  While doing this, I realized some cuts and tabs on the rear fuselage were not necessary, and in fact, made the model look worse.  All versions of the F-86 have been corrected and re-uploaded to fix this problem.  Enjoy!

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