MSM: How to write a build log

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Boris Kamp Boris Kamp 4 months ago.

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  • #13738
    Profile photo of Boris Kamp
    Boris Kamp
    Keymaster
    @boris-kamp

    Hi guys, this is one of my tutorial posts on how to publish on MSM. I got some questions from users so I thought it might be handy to write out how to publish specific articles. How to publish and keep a build log is the first one, here we go.
    I take build log section as an example but this is applicable to the whole forum on MSM

    What is the purpose of a build log?

    The purpose of a build log is to share your build with fellow modellers around the whole world, this way you can and will:

    • Receive feedback on you techniques and patterns.
    • Have a web page that shows your build progress for you to track back to later or share.
    • Boost your ego by finding out others like your builds (-:

    in other words, just do it, it’s fun and you will learn a lot!

    What do I need before I start

    Pictures! thats it (-:
    yes, thats true, it would be nice if you write a little bit around your pictures as well, describe what you did, what questions you have, and what to do next. Nobody likes just pictures, a little bit of text around them makes a difference between a build log readers check back to and those they don’t.

    Where do I upload my pictures

    Pictures can be added to the MSM network by going with you mouse over you account name in the top right corner and clicking photos. Here you can upload them, a few things before you upload them for use in the forums:

    • Give each image a descriptive name, not just DCS083 or something, be descriptive
    • Check you image dimensions and size, images of 5000×5000 pixels and 4mb are pretty heavy! downsize them to around 2000 pixels wide and no larger than 1mb by preference
    • edit pictures if necessary, this is not mandatory but will look way better when done right.

    You can also use images from external libraries such as dropbox, photobucket and more, you just need the url from the image. Images from external sources tend to get lost over time, when you move them to another place or remove them, the link gets broken and the images will no longer be displayed. So you either have to be 100% positive not to move them, or just upload them to the MSM network specifically designed for this.

    Okay, where do I add the build log?

    In the forums section of this page there is a section called build logs. This is where you post them, be sure to add them under the right section:

    • Land Vehicles
    • Air Vehicles
    • Water Vehicles
    • Dioramas
    • Figures

    How do I add them

    Enter either of those when logged in with your account, and you will see Create New Topic in “section name” underneath the topics, over there you can enter the:

    • Title
    • Main content
    • Topic Tags

    Title

    Be sure to use a title as descriptive as possible so the reader knows what the topic is about. I prefer you to use this template for the title: scale + kitname + (manufacturer + itemnumber)
    this would end up in something like this: 1/35 GAZ-233014 STS Tiger (Meng Model VS-003) this way the reader knows exactly whats up. Now when you’re finished add (Finished) to the title and the reader knows this topic is about a finished build log: 1/35 GAZ-233014 STS Tiger (Meng Model VS-003) (Finished)
    That’s just my view of things, If you’d like to do it different for a good reason you can, but doing it this way ensures consistency in the forums

    Main Content

    The main content is the body of your build log’s first entry. When you start a new topic, that content will automatically become the topic’s first content, you can later add to this by entering the topic and adding a new reply. The reply works exactly the same except for there is no title needed.

    In the main content you can type your content just like in Word or other text editors. On top of the editor you will see a toolbar with buttons in it, those buttons allow you to markup your content just like I did with the markup word. You can, in the right order:

    1. make a word bold
    2. Italicize a word
    3. add a link to a word
    4. add a blockquote
    5. striketrough a word
    6. add an image by clicking the img button and entering a url to the image, after pressing OK you should enter the description of the image for the search engines
    7. add an unordered list (ul). note that every ul must have list items (li) inside them. see here for a good explanation.
    8. add an ordered list, same as unordered list but with numbers, see link above.
    9. add code, this is unnecessary for most.
    10. A close tags buttons, read below

    Each tag must be properly opened and closed like so:
    <strong>bold</strong>
    <em>Italicize</em>
    <li>add a blockquote</li>

    When not closing tags properly you will get weird styling when displaying your topic.
    Note that the HTML tags are only meant to makeup your topic, they are not mandatory.

    Topic Tags

    Topic tags are an awesome feature that allow the system behind the forums to group topics together based on their topic tags.
    Take for example my GAZ build just below the topic title you’ll see the tags I assigned this topic with: Armoured Car, Gaz, etc.
    Now you can click one of those and get a page that displays all other topics with that topic assigned.

    This will really be useful when the forum grows, in the meantime it is important to choose your topic tags wisely and not overdo this. It is also important to choose the tags that already exist and not write them slightly different like F-117A (correct) or F 117 A (wrong).

    Keeping your build log (topic) up to date

    Now that you have written your opening part and created the topic in one, you have enticed readers to follow and check back frequently. In order to not let them down it’s best practice to update your build log every time you complete a noticeable step in your build.
    This can be done the same way as above with a slight variation:

    • Enter you build log page
    • scroll to the bottom and there you’ll notice the form
    • Basically, you only have to enter the main content this time, thats it!

    Logged in readers can reply this way as well.

    Conclusion

    Because everybody likes lists, I’ll write one down here that you can follow when writing your build logs:

    • Enter the forums
    • Enter the right section in the build logs section
    • Below the topics you’ll find a creation form to create a new topic
    • Enter a clear title, see title guidelines above
    • Enter the main content, your first part of the build log. See main content guidelines above
    • Enter topic tags, see topic tags guidelines above
    • Press submit, and voila, it’s created
    • Keep up with your build log, post a new part every time you complete a noticeable part in your build
    • Add (Finished) to the title when your build is done

    That’s it guys, I hope it’s clear to all of you how the forum works by now, this tutorial is applicable to the whole forum, not just the build logs section

    If you have any questions or additions, let me know and I’ll happily answer them / edit my tutorial.

    #13741
    Profile photo of Anthony Fuentes
    Anthony Fuentes
    @sprueman

    Boris: this is great! I think even an older guy with not a lot of experience with this sort of stuff can work it. Thanks for your response to my question.

    #13742
    Profile photo of Boris Kamp
    Boris Kamp
    Keymaster
    @boris-kamp

    Glad this helps you out @sprueman! I tried to write it as clear as possible, if you have any more questions or whatever, please let me know and I’ll help you out.

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