How to submit an article to LSP

General

Please, do not submit Word documents with the images embedded in them! It is far too much work to extract the images and format them appropriately for our html documents. Submit the images separately in a zip file.

Many folks build models, and many folks are computer whizzes, but finding both skill sets in one is not the norm. After all, it's one thing to bend a piece of plastic or resin to your will, it's fully another to get a computer to "go fetch"...sigh.

So, for all the modelers out there wanting to share their work on LSP but no way of knowing how, we have come up with a primer and a step by step method to get your build featured on LSP!!

Here's all you'll need:

Yes, that's it. No expensive software, no hoops or whistles to blow or jump through, and no Master's Degree in computer science.

Pictures

Clearly the main focus is on getting pictures of your build "digitized", and onto your computer's hard drive. Once you have digital versions of your pictures you are more than half way there.

Taking pictures is an art in itself, and our staff here can't make you take good ones, but there are a few tips that are standards:

  1. Use good lighting
  2. Focus focus focus
  3. Composition: Make sure that old beer can isn't in the background!

Once you have some good pictures then all you need to do is get them on the computer...

For standard cameras

A scanner can be used to digitize the pictures and save them as graphic files. Maybe you have one, maybe your buddy has one, maybe there's one at the office? Scanning is simple, but remember that once you get them scanned, you still have to get them onto YOUR computer. Graphic files are usually pretty large and can take up a lot more room than a standard floppy disc can handle. So, email, CD, or some other means of transfer may be needed. Get creative here and if you end up using email, it helps to "zip" the files so they are smaller and easier to manage and transfer.

If you have a digital camera

It probably came with a USB cable, or some way to transfer the pictures from the camera to the computer. If it did not, they are easy to get and inexpensive. Be sure to have the make and model of your camera when you go cable shopping. Once you have the cable and the instructions a few practice runs will bring all things into focus.

Picture File Formats (optional)

Graphic file formats such as .GIF .BMP .JPG have different and distinct properties. For web display .JPG has the best combination of compression and quality. Any scanner software has the ability to save pictures as .JPGs, and most digital cameras save their picture files as .JPG as well. But ultimately we can reformat them for you if you cannot navigate reformatting. Whatever format you can save them in, we can handle!

Picture File Size (optional)

High resolution pictures can be very large files, long to load and transfer. If you have picture editing software and you are comfortable re-sizing pictures it'll save some time in transfer, and it can save us time in reformatting as well. The only size that matters is the "width" for formatting for LSP. The maximum image width we accept is 800 pixels.

Text

Beyond the (hopefully) pretty pictures some text describing your hard work, tips and techniques goes a long way to making your build a true value to other modelers. Do not underestimate the power of simple and clear instructions or descriptions. Modelers are always looking for a new challenge, and if you have a good tip, please share it!

When you are writing your text, keep your photos in mind. If there is a close up shot of the cockpit, be sure and add in some text telling how you got the desired effects shown in the photo. This way you can give a picture more than 1000 words. Also, if you are really inspired, place the names of the pictures within the text where you'd like them to be displayed. If you go this route be sure and use the same (and exact) names of the pictures so we can get it as close as we can to your preference.

Please put your email address in the text file so we can link your copyright in the article with an email link to you. This is handy for any further questions modelers might have. This is not mandatory, but it sure is helpful.

PS: Never let it be said that we here at LSP look down on a quick spell or grammar checking pass on a document :c)

Submitting

Please, do not submit Word documents with the images embedded in them! It is far too much work to extract the images and format them appropriately for our html documents. Submit the images separately in a zip file.

Ultimately all you need to do is get us the files. Most of the stuff below will help ( a lot in some cases) but if you can write the text in the email, and attach the pictures in ANY way, we'll take it from there!

File management (optional)

Once you have your pictures and text put them all together in a single folder. This way you can send them in a bundle and we'll be sure not to lose any files. Take your time with file management, lost files can be frustrating. If you do find yourself saying "where the $*#&@!^)$* is that *()&^()@*&#^ picture I just saved!!!" Use the start menu, go to "find" or "search" enter the file name and make Windows go find it for you.

Compression (optional)

Again those pictures can get big and big files don't transfer well (some email services have size limits on what you can send or receive). WinZip is a free and easy to use compression program that allows you to get the files as small as possible and into a single bundle. All our staff here use this program for file transfers through email and it's safe and very simple to operate.

There are instructions with the free evaluation version of WinZip but here are the basics:

  1. Download and install the free evaluation version of WinZip
  2. Make sure you have a "shortcut" to WinZip on your desktop
  3. When you have your article files in a single folder simply "drag" that folder over the WinZip icon on your desktop and follow the prompts to compress your folder into a ".ZIP" file.
  4. Take care in noting WHERE this file is saved so you can attach it to an email, or transfer it to a server for us to "grab"

Emailing your Article

Once you have your files all zipped up, simply attach them to an email message to us (email links below). MS Outlook express, Eudora, Netscape and all the popular email client software packages have attachment features. There's an icon SOMEWHERE on that thing that allows attaching. Look under Help and Search for "attaching files."

Uploading your Article to an FTP site (optional)

If you have your own webspace you can use it as an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site. This may take some investigating with your Internet Service Provider for details, but almost all "pay" accounts for Internet access come with some amount of free webspace. Upload your zipped files to your website and email us the URL and file name, then we can pull it down from there.

In Closing

Don't let that computer scare you if you want to share your work! Large scale aircraft are not easy work, and we could all use as much help as possible. What you may think is a simple easy trick might be just the tip someone needs to get through a tricky part of a long build.

All that you need is a way to get your pictures onto the hard drive and some file management practice!

Good luck!

Send files to the Editor

Please allow at least 4 weeks from submitting your article until we feature it on the site. All articles remain the copyright of the modeler who submitted them.