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Greg's Hangar
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Instrument panels from nothing!

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This totally fictional instrument panel was created in about an hour with scraps from the workbench and a photocopy from a magazine ad.
 First, find a photo from a magazine. Mine was actually from an ad for instrument panels made for models. I photocopied one of the approximate shape that I desired.  Next, I enlarged it to size. Once this was done, I made two copies of the panel.  One of the panels is used strictly as a pattern. To facilitate this, I cut each intrument shape out of that one. I got myself one of those paper office binders of the type that have a sort of wood grain look. It's dark brown and usually has a metal clip that holds the front and rear cover together at the spine. Alternatively, you could use black sandpaper to get a black crinkle finish look. I used my cut out pattern to trace the instrument panel shape, with the cut outs, on to the binder. I then cut the shape out. Now using a clear sheet of acetate, butyrate or even a piece of a soda bottle and cut it to the outline shape of the instrument panel. Don't cut out the instrument openings. This will represent the glass instrument faces. Lay it on the backside of the cutout piece. Now lay the intact instrument panel on the backside of this. You will now have a three layer assembly that gives a surprisingly realistic look. Dress it up as much as you want with foil tape for ID plates and such, pins for switches and wire for the metal bezels around the instruments.

instrumentpnl.jpg

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