1/144 Belt loader finished – Airbus new sharklets

Hello all,

Unusual time for me to give an update as I usually write on the weekends, but I wanted to give an overview on how are things and the latest model I tested/build/completed.

Prior this, I wanted to comment a few points:

  • Very soon I will change the livery decals from the 8 micron film to the “standard” 13 micron decal film. The reasons are; 1) availability; to me it is a bit harder to find this type of paper within my reach, meaning, to have it readily available anytime I need. The second reason is that it may result harder for some modelers to use it on bigger decals. I have been testing the standard 13 micron decal and to be honest, it still gives very good results on terms of thickness, still thin, but it seems to keep straighter once starting to be removed from the paper base in comparison to the 8 micron film, where it may just be a bit easier to get folded if not being careful.So what about the smaller decals? I have done a precise test since I was building the belt loader and wanted to give it a shot to see how the “standard” 13 micron film behaves on smaller decals of about 3 x 1,5mm, the results were satisfactory, I was very happy with how it worked, still without visible edges, so I thought that all in all and for the purpose of the GSE and airliners, the 13 micron decal film seems to be a better option overall.

Talking about decals, I am redoing the LD3 container decals with the airlines from the previous LD3 due stock reasons, since the decals I have now (from the original batch) will not last forever.

I am also creating  a separate sheet of decals with numerous airline logos in case you wanted to customize the GSE models, so you will find Delta, Emirates, ANA etc logos in different sizes on the same sheet (one carrier/sheet).

Plans to resume the 777-300ER (and so forth) decal sets will continue once I get things done with the GSE.

  • New Airbus sharklets, what about it?
    Some time ago, a good friend of mine contacted me with a 3D model that he created based on the geometry of the Airbus A320. He was very kind enough to send me the file for me to check it out and distribute the finished product to the modelers if in the end I was able to make it in 1/144. I decided to give it a go and modeled my version (working side by side with the original), so that the thickness could be viable in the small scale (it was originally in 1/1 size) and made the dimensions were it connects to the wing as per Zvezda’s A320 model size, so this sharklet is, the best representation (and the closest) I can make of the small Airbus family sharklet.
    Similar process will be carried for the A350 “new” wingtip. Now, I am a bit unaware of model kit news, but I think Zvezda will or did release the A350-1000 which should have the new sharklets, so my intention is to produce the new wingtips for those having the A350-900 kit.I am considering providing airline decals together with these A320 sharklets, which is something similar I did and will continue to do for the A350 sharklets.

 

  • GSE models, the TUG 660 belt loader is completed.
    It is very important for me to test every single model that I set available, the last thing I want is for the customer to find problems while building the models, and to be honest I did have quite a lot of fun building that small little thing!
    Do not forget, you may see here it all big and in detail, but the model it is actually about 4cm long, I tried to give this view on the last photo.

One of the things I find useful on this model is the idea I had on making the anti skid areas as well as the belt are actually a decal. This way there is no need to mask, no need to hold your hand tight to paint those stright marks, so the decals will do its job, save you some time / paint and give better results.
Headlights and tailights are actually photo real, and the PE includes two types of handrails, deployed and undeployed (both versions in the example photos).

Also, not visible in the photos (yet) there will be included a driver figure, baggage seen in the photos will also be included. As usual, the conveyor can be raised or lowered at desired position.

Here are the two finished models I have at the moment, yes still a lot of work to do and yes, not sure I will arrive on time by the end of November, but I am not going to rush to check things, I already started the stock process of some of the models.

 

I really do not want to disappoint anyone for the time it is taking me to do all of this. I want to present things as best as possible, not for the photos but for the customer to enjoy building such tiny kits, these are not 3-piece models, I actually call them kits because the belt loader has no less than 24 resin parts, 8 photo etched parts and decals.

I am continuing making units, but for sure this weekend I wanted to test/complete another item, so I may give a try to the JST-25 tow truck, which I already assembled before, but need to have it painted/decaled.

Thank you all for your patience, I should really give an update to the frontpage of the store… but haven’t had even time to do that yet. I may close the store for a couple-three days prior setting things back in stock, so if you find that, please bear in mind it is due the addition of the new items.

Wish you all have a nice weekend!
Guillem

 

1/144 GPU TLD414 finished and truck figures

Hi all,

Continuing on with the GSE models, I have been able to finish checking / testing all the models so far, which are:

  • 1/144 Towbarless pushback AST-1 F 600.
  • 1/144 Ground Power Unit Houchin C690.
  • 1/144 Ground Power Unit TLD 414.
  • 1/144 Baggage carts (close/open) and luggage.
  • 1/144 LD3 turntable trolleys.
  • 1/144 LD3 containers (three styles).
  • 1/144 Tow truck JST-25.
  • 1/144 Belt Loader TUG660.

This means that I will begin the stock process very soon. In the meantime, I am also going to start the tests on the 1/200 scale models, they will be smaller, so I am sure that some adjustments will be required prior they are ready.

The GSE models in the three scales; 1/144, 1/200 and 1/72 will share the same instructions (with some possible modifications) same decals and same photo etched parts (in some cases, since 1/72 may allow me to make parts actually in resin). This means that the process for 1/200 and 1/72 should be just a bit faster since things are used from the original design when creating for 1/144 scale, still, every single model will be required to be checked in those scales and the list as you can see includes several models.

Another reason for taking a long time is because everything such as the decals have been made consciously keeping in mind that later it should be represented in 1/72. When I designed the models in 1/144 I added as much detail as I can, so although you can’t read the word “Diesel” in the fuel port of the 1/144 or 1/200 GPU, decals have been designed so when they are printed in 1/72, everything reads as per the real 1/1 model.

Since tests for the 1/144 scale are completed, I will start building an example model of each, for product page description/gallery.

I built an 1/144 TLD414 GPU this weekend to check how it looks like when painted.

Photos were taken from a distance which resembles how you would actually see the scale model (it is actually much smaller than what you see on screen), since it is just about 25mm, 1 inch long. Also notice that the wire is short, this was placed for testing purposes/example, but the kit will actually include two and longer.

I also managed to make the figures with helmets:

Can you guess from which airport/country these workers are? These white gloves are a clear hint 🙂

Progress continues so I am not sure I will be able to update the blog next weekend, I prefer to wait till having all the models completed and have something more to share.

Mid-end November is still the date for these to be released, at least in 1/144 scale, I will do my best to have as much as I can in 1/200 and will then start with the 1/72.

Wish you all a very nice week,
Guillem

LD3 containers

Hello,

This week has been quite the “software” week. I’ve had some issues that prevented me to do the progress I wanted on the GSE items.
I had issues with my printers, and also running out of space in my hard disk, the cherry at the top of the cake has been a cut on my thumb but without major issue.

In any case, all the issues avobe are being addressed, some seem to be fixed, some seem to require just a bit more work, but all in all nothing that can’t be solved with a little bit of patience as most of you know, sometimes software issues are really annoying, updates, drivers etc.

I have been able to do a first initial test of the LD3 containers. I have done 3 different versions this time, these are; a solid unit, a solid unit with a side door and fork lifting holes and a side tarpaulin door version, all of them based on real LD3 units.

I did have a chance to test the clear resin and I am afraid I may give up that idea. Being unable to cure the resin to avoid the yellowing for that thin thickness is making the cabins way too fragile, so instead I will add a frame on the grey resin versions so that the acetate sheet can be placed from the outside in the case of the front/rear windshields and from the inside in the case of the windows, which is how windshields are placed on the real vehicles. It will be similar as those windows placed on the old catering truck cabin.

Lastly, I am doing the final tests on the belt loader model Tug 660 and finishing the figures, I seem to still have a little issue on the helmets, so I will rework the area.

November is right at the corner and I set that month for the release of the GSE items. Instructions are nearly completed, decals are completed as well except for the belt loader and the LD3 containers, photo etch for the items that require it have been designed and some yet to fit-test.

I know that time will be required to create the stock units since there are basically zero units made yet, however before that I want to fully focus onto the 1/200 GSE models and see if I can have them also available for the global release of both scales in November (around mid-end). If I see that I won’t be able to arrive with all the 1/200 models, I will then release all of what I have in 1/144 scale and release as much as I have for the 1/200 scale models at that time.

Wish you all a nice week and hopefully I can share a bit more on next weekend, before I finish this entry, I would like to wish you all a happy Halloween and a good day for All Saint’s Day. Winter is coming where I am located at, temperatures are more comfortable than those hot humid days, and feels better to stay in the warmth of home, hopefully that can give me more comfort to work and focus with everything as much as possible.

Guillem

 

 

LD3 trolleys, Houchin C690 GPU and figures.

Hello everybody,

As usual on Sundays, I am giving a little update on how are things going with the GSE models.

There have been more tests going on and adjusting simple things such as the size of the hands for the figures and still have to adjust the helmet dimensions for them.

Some models that were already finished gave me a few small issues that had to be corrected. Besides testing these models I also started designing the PE parts for them, I already did a few etchings which was something that I needed to do due a change in the process and results have been satisfactory.

Instructions are also being completed, so far these have been finished for the tow tractor JST-25, the TLD 414 GPU, the baggage carts, LD3 trolleys and I am currently in the middle of the AST-1 instructions (to differentiate it from other AST-1 models, it will be named as per original model name, AST-1 F 600).
On a side note; the JST-25 tow tractor will be available in two versions separately, the one with cab and the other without, reason for this is that the building process is a little different and thus the instructions will be different as well.

This week I am going to do a test on clear resin. This is very important for me because it will change a little bit how the windows can be assembled, my goal is for example in the JST-25 truck, to use the method of masking everything that has to be clear (windows) and painting the cab, then removing the masking tape.

Clear resin will be important if I make more “civilian” vehicles in the future such as utility vans, airport buses or even the “follow me” cars.
I think this clear resin can also be something positive for the 1/200 scale where adding acetate sheets would be very tedious, having a clear part and having to mask from the outside would be the best option in my opinion.

Tests have to be done, UV and clear resin may not be friends, so I will try to apply a blocking UV coat to avoid yellowing, this is something that will be tested later to see if the yellowing is effectively avoided.
I know that test is a word I use a lot these days, but it is the truth… before having anything released to public, I must make sure that things are going to work out well.
The tests I am doing with these models are also going to be very useful for projects I already have started such as the 1/12 scale B737 cabin.

Some photos of the models; note that the tow truck can also pull the LD3 trolleys:


Just placing these models I had an idea on how this scenario may be represented, with the cargo loader side by side loading containers and a worker pushing the container towards the platform of the cargo loader. I am also planning to make the “squared” type trolleys.


The driver of the belt loader has his head lean to the right to make sure the truck is well positioned and may still be seated there as the workers are finishing loading the latest luggage.
It may not be seen in the photo, but the driver actually has his feet on top of the pedals, it was challenging to adjust everything to fit that way.


These are the parts that compose the Houchin C690 ground power unit.

 

I would like to say that if the tests of the current three models I am fixing now come out correct, I will begin with the 1/200 scale versions. I will be releasing these models in November, that is my goal, and although most of the 1/144 models will be ready, I want to wait till having the 1/200 models ready for a global release.

I am being more cautious now with shipping sizes and weights, so for this reason I am testing the packaging with the smaller blisters for the items such as the AST-1 which used to be packed in the bigger blister in the past.
By having the parts cut out from the base, there is a saving in weight and space, thus the smaller blister I currently use is the perfect one for these models.

That is all for now, I hope that next photos can be of all these models together with their PE in place and also a picture of the 1/200 AST-1 pusback.

Wish you all a nice week!
Guillem

 

Belt loader, covered baggage cart, tow tractor figures and cab.

Hello everybody,

There has been more progress on the 1/144 scale GSE models and I wanted to give a better detailed update.

These are the models I am working on: Towbarless pushback AST-1, Tow tractor JST-25 (with or without cab), baggage carts “open”, baggage carts “covered”, LD3 turntable trolleys, TLD 414 GPU, Houchin C690 GPU and belt loader Tug 660.

All of these items except the Houching C690 GPU are basically completed. Resin parts are done, so I am currently on the process of decal and photo etched parts design. At the same time I am also making the instructions for these models.

Here is the progress so far:
– Pushback AST-1: Parts completed, need to check the driver figure, need to remake the photo etched sheet using most of the previous PE parts and need to remake the acetate windows. Decals will need to be double checked and wish to make new versions, if you have any design in mind, please do let me know, on the top of my head I remember the Hello Kitty pushback, but others would be good too. For more info on the decals, I mention more about it at the end of this update.

– Tow tractor JST-25: Parts completed, need to create the acetate sheet for the cab windows, need to make the decals and design the PE which will consist of the front grid, other elements may be designed afterwards for the 1/72 scale. Instructions are currently at the 80% completed.
I am aware that some countries/airliners do make use of safety helmets, I recall ANA workers, so I will try to include these versions as well as summer/winter models to choose from (short pants, t-shirt/long sleeves, long pants).

– Baggage carts: Both the open and closed type are finished, set will include 3 carts and 30 pieces of luggage. Instructions are completed. Separate luggage will also be available.

– LD3 container turntable trolleys: Parts completed, need to double check. LD3 containers will be made new, decal sets to be re printed. Suggestions for specific airlines, please contact me.

– GPU TLD 414: Parts completed, decals at 95% designed, instructions are completed. This one will include a small wire for connecting to the aircraft, photo etched design of the access doors has been created. The PE set will include 10 access doors, 5 different dimensions so that you can use the one that fits best on the aircraft.

– GPU Houchin C690: Parts completed but modification is required. Still have the old decal sets, but may reprint them. Photo etched needs to be respositioned on the design and instructions are yet to be started.

– Belt loader Tug 660: Parts completed, need to create the driver figure. Decal design and instructions not started yet. This model will include a small PE sheet with the handrails, will most probably include a deployed and retracted rail parts.

Once these models are completed, I will start to test the 1/200 scale versions. This may require some time since they will be smaller and everything needs to be tested as well.
Unlike in the past, these 1/200 models will include decals, as long as my printer is able to print such small detail.

Photos of the new things done for the 1/144 models:


This model includes two fully closed curtains in case you want the cart to be completely closed, it also includes two small courtain pieces to have an open side.

There is the copilot looking back and making sure no luggage gets lost, kudos for him! Helmet versions will be made.

The belt loader will have many rising positions due all the small cross bars located under the belt. Driver figure is on the works. I think it would be ideal to add another figure standing and actioning the belt.


I finally made the cab for the JST-25, since the cab will require of the acetate sheet, I may separate the two models, one without and the other with cab.

 

That is all for now, still a lot of work to do… I keep in mind the catering model, the FMC15i loader, the hydrant dispenser, and other accessories I want to make (never forgetting the 1/12 B737 cockpit). I am also going to be doing tests on the 1/144 airliner parts such as the A350 and A320 sharklets, the WiFi radome and will begin working on the 1/200 detailed landing gears for the Hasegawa kits, starting with the B767.

I am also considering providing decals of most airlines in different sizes so that you can add these to any GSE model you wish. For example, in the previous belt loader, Swissport and Ground force were included, but I may create several decals of several airlines/services at different sizes, from 3 to 8mm approximately so  that you can have more freedom to create your desired scenario, these would be available separately since it would be a mess for me to add the options on every single GSE. This is something I am still thinking about and will probably end up doing.

Thank you all for the patience and for the time spent reading these long entries.

Wish you all a beautiful Sunday,
Guillem

 

Baggage carts, luggage and belt loader 660

Hello all,

Things are advancing more with the GSE models. I am at the moment working on the figures for the JST tractor and making the baggage carts. As before, there will be two types, a covered and open version. These sets will still include 3 carts and will include luggage. Due the possibility to make more units, luggage carts will include more luggage than before, still luggage sets will be available separately in case you need extra luggage.

The carts can be build very easily but naturally, you are going to need a pair of sharp tweezers. I wanted to try to make the side rails actually round/solid. In the past these were made with PE and I think that even now being solid, the factor scale is still possible.
I would like to take this chance to say that all the parts will be packaged as seen in the first photo, that means that all the parts will be “assembly-ready”, no base separation is required as it was before. I am aware there are a lot of very tiny parts, so I will put an extra effort on protecting the smallest parts in separate bags making them visible from the bigger parts.

The baggage carts and the pushback tractors are designed so that the towing bars actually fit into position of the tow tractors/other carts. All these baggage carts have turntable front axles.

The belt loader can be seen here with just the wheels and the front of the cabin attached, the whole body will be one piece, making it easier to build than the past version. Also, the model is a different one, this is based on the TUG 660 belt loader.

Tests are continuing on, I am also working on the belt loader / tractor figures. The next models I would like to present are the belt loader, the covered baggage cart and the Houchin GPU.

In the meantime, I am also about to start with the etching process, lots of things are going on such as starting to make the new instructions and GSE decals as well, instructions will now be clearer and with better illustrations.

I wanted to thank many of you guys for writing me ideas that I really love and wish to fulfill, this is specially particular in the 1/200 scale, where I see there are many modelers too, so my wish is to equally things that I made so far in the 1/144 scale. GSE models are not going to be the only items I am interested in producing, I will also make other stuff for 1/200 and 1/144 airliners, I am not forgetting the 747 cargo project (and the 1/12 B737 cockpit is not over, just in pause).

Wish you all a nice week!
Guillem

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