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Old 27th Nov 2009, 7:48 pm   #1
Robert Darwent
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Default Reproduction Ekco Dials.

Following on from the recent discussion on the subject in this thread;

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...ad.php?t=46199

I should like to share with you the results of my attempts at producing reproduction versions of the Ekco A22 dial. As far as I'm aware there were three different dials used for the A22;

Type-1
This dial has 'Bucharest' at the twelve o'clock position in green on MW, and 'Droitwich' at the one o'clock position in red on LW.

Type-2
A completely updated green MW legend showing the 'new' BBC regional services, and 'BBC Light' instead of 'Droitwich' at the one o'clock position in red on LW.

Export
The dial used on the export version of the A22, sporting two SW ranges and MW instead of SW, MW and LW. (I am also working an a reproduction of this dial too which is currently about 75% complete.)


The following five images are of the earlier Type-1 dial;
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Last edited by Robert Darwent; 27th Nov 2009 at 7:56 pm.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 7:50 pm   #2
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

The next five images are of the later Type-2 dial;
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 7:52 pm   #3
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

I have completely recreated these dials from scratch using graphics software and they are the result of several months of work. They are not cleaned up or reworked scans of original dials. However a scan of the Type-2 dial from my own A22 was used as a starting point and reference to ensure the reproductions accurately and faithfully copy the originals in all respects, such as dimensions and size/placement of the legend detail.

Initially I tried printing just the dial scan itself but quickly rejected the idea due to the imperfections of the scanned dial being too noticeable in the reproduction. Reworking the scan to the point where it would have been acceptable would have probably taken longer and involved more work than starting afresh. Recreating the dials ensures they have sharp, clear detail and legends with bright even colours.

The dial artworks are printed on to photo quality paper using an A3 inkjet printer and then laminated several times in an A3 hot pouch laminator to build up the thickness to approximately that of an original dial. At present each dial needs to be trimmed by hand which is quite time consuming and the finished edges are not as accurate as I would like. I am currently trying various methods of trimming using MDF templates to achieve a more cleaner looking end product in a fraction of the time. Fortunately even when trimmed by hand all cut edges are totally concealed when the dial is fitted into an actual set.

The first image below shows a Type-1 dial after it has been hand cut and trimmed, the next four images are of the same dial fitted into my A22 in place of the original. Please note that the photographs of the dial fitted in the set were taken under a flourescent light source and appear a good deal lighter in colour than they actually are, the earlier images are more accurate in this respect. Likewise the illuminated pointer is hard to see for the same reason, it can just be made out between 'Dublin' and 'Plymouth' on the full face image.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 7:54 pm   #4
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

To show more clearly that the illuminated pointer is easily visible, in these final two images I have switched the flourescent lighting off and the room is only lit at the far end away from the radio.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 8:04 pm   #5
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Wow. Well done indeed Robert
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 8:29 pm   #6
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Nice work Robert
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 11:38 pm   #7
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Hi Robert,

A truly stunning effort; I wish I could use graphics like you but can only aspire to your quality of work. Many thanks for sharing them with us. Col.
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Old 27th Nov 2009, 11:43 pm   #8
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Truly exceptional

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Old 29th Nov 2009, 1:29 pm   #9
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Many thanks to those members who have taken the time to reply. Your kind comments are much appreciated.

Regards
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Old 30th Nov 2009, 2:44 am   #10
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Awesome!
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Old 30th Nov 2009, 10:18 am   #11
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

excellent work Robert!
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Old 30th Nov 2009, 4:39 pm   #12
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Robert,

Very good job and thanks for sharing it with us.

I'd be interested to hear what graphics software you use. I'm planning to build a half size R1155 and will need to make a a half moon dial from scratch so any info will be useful to me.

TIA,

Jim
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Old 30th Nov 2009, 6:54 pm   #13
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Hi,
thats excellent work! certainly one of the best repro dials I've ever seen.

regards,
Lloyd.
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Old 30th Nov 2009, 7:47 pm   #14
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Perfectionist, that's what you are, Robert.
And why not. Beautiful workmanship. It really enhances an already delightful receiver.
-Tony
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Old 2nd Dec 2009, 8:11 pm   #15
Robert Darwent
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Quote:
Originally Posted by batterymaker1 View Post
Awesome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs37 View Post
excellent work Robert!
Quote:
Originally Posted by G4XWDJim View Post
Very good job and thanks for sharing it with us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd 1985 View Post
thats excellent work! certainly one of the best repro dials I've ever seen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerodyne View Post
Perfectionist, that's what you are, Robert.
And why not. Beautiful workmanship.
Thank you all very much for your extremely kind comments. I really appreciate your praise and for taking the time to reply.

Many thanks again
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Old 2nd Dec 2009, 8:27 pm   #16
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Quote:
Originally Posted by G4XWDJim View Post
I'd be interested to hear what graphics software you use.
Hello Jim,

The A22 dials were created using Micrografx Picture Publisher 8 which dates back to around 2000 and is no longer available, Micrografx having been long swallowed up by another graphics software company.

I stick with it simply because after about 9 years of experience using it I know it 'back to front' as it were. It lacks some useful functions available on more up-to-date software such as 'layers' but as you can see from the dial artwork is still capable of good results.

I can recommend 'Zoner Draw' as a good alternative to the software I use. I believe Zoner Draw 5 is the latest version and is shareware, but Zoner Draw 3 is still available too and is freeware. (I've no connection with the creators/suppliers of Zoner Draw BTW just a satisfied user )

As for using the software to create dials, there are no short cuts here I'm afraid. Its simply a matter of a gaining experience from trial and error over a long period using your chosen graphics software.

Don't expect good results straight away, it simply won't happen that way. Its taken me several years of practice to become proficient enough to produce the dials shown in this thread.

Regards
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Old 2nd Dec 2009, 9:10 pm   #17
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Thanks Robert,

I must make a start, even if only to gain practice and experience.
I use a mac so theoretically I should be in a good position to start.
Best wishes, Jim
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Old 3rd Dec 2009, 1:17 pm   #18
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Quote:
Its taken me several years of practice to become proficient enough to produce the dials shown in this thread.
Too true, Robert. I've been using Photoshop in its various incarnations for a number of years and I've still to get fully to grips with everything the truly amazing program has to offer. Even a simple program, when used thoughtfully, can produce excellent results.
-Tony
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 5:01 pm   #19
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerodyne View Post
I've been using Photoshop in its various incarnations...
For those wishing to find suitable graphics software, Photoshop is very similar to the now unavailable Micrografx that I use, being probably 95% alike in terms of functions available and ease of use once familiarised. I haven't checked recently but earlier versions of Photoshop are probably freely available for download on the internet and more than adequate.

Regards
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 6:41 pm   #20
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Default Re: Reproduction Ekco A22 Dials

Hi Tony & Robert,

Many thanks for the graphics software information. I downloaded Zoner Draw 5 a few days ago and was making progress with it but decided to delete it due to it being 30 day trial only.

Today I installed my 10 year old Corel Draw 8 but am finding this difficult to use so will now try Zoner Draw 3 and Photoshop before deciding which program to go with.

I believe the key to your respective successes was to select just one graphics program and spend a great deal of time getting to know it.

Thanks for the advice it's very useful.

Regards, Col.
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