Apologies for the delay on updating the site. Last week has been a little bit busy with some things that I had to do, currently I am about to fully complete the LEAP-1A engines.
Although you can see them in a similar condition as the last update, this engine model was made from the two halves that have already been cut which are the parts that will be included in the set.
They are finished, but there are just a few things that have to be done prior the release, I will start making the first units during the next week. I currently started the photo etched parts which can be seen from the photos; the fanblades and spoiler supports, there are still other PE parts to make.
Decals are also another thing that have to be done, I couldn’t make them till now that I have the two engine parts assembled and thus can make the pylon decals.
I feel that I am way behind completing things but I am now fully focused on these projects. In the meanwhile I am also preparing new livery decals; Philippines “Lovebus” A350, A320Neo China Southern, A320Neo Frontier N301FR and N308FR, A320Neo TAP. I will be making a couple more for the A320Neo.
I am also preparing new A350 sharklets which will be released simultaneously when I release the LEAP engines, A350 new sharklets will include decals for all airlines, decals for these are now finished.
This week will be holiday but I will keep on progressing with the engines, although the main item is done, there are just few things that need to be completed.
I have finally completed the two pylons for the 1/144 LEAP-1A engines.
I have used a number of photos and created a 2D diagram to make sure that the pylons have the shape of the real aircraft’s pylons. They fit to the wings nicely thanks to the putty that took the shape of the wing and particularly of the leading edge.
I have also accentuated a little bit more the hump by adding a 0,3mm plastic rod and putty around it.
The next steps that need to be done are:
Create the exhaust.
Adjust the lower lip/diffuser.
Mark the inner ring line.
Decals (so far I made the marking decals, but I want to pay special attention to the pylon decals).
Creation of the Photoetched parts.
I also need to sand a little bit more the pylon to remove some scratches and tiny holes of the putty.
Once the three steps above have been done, I will proceed to the first resin casting.
My goal was to release it this week together with the new A350 sharklets/decals, but I may not be able just yet since I also have to design the instructions for the engine, although I think it won’t take me much time.
LEAP-1A are definitely going through the final stage, the most critical points have been completed and I expect to have the first units during the next couple weeks.
The 747-8F/-400F deck and B737 cockpit have been on pause because of the work with the LEAP and the A350 sharklets.
Once the LEAP-1A and the A350 sharklets are released, I will resume the cargo deck set and the 1/12 cockpit.
In the meantime I have been working on some new A320Neo liveries, the two recent ones are the Frontier N301FR (Wilbur the Whitetail) and N308FR (Flo the Flamingo). Will defenitely be working on more Frontier liveries and try to make some other LEAP-1A aircraft liveries since there is a little bit of limit with the PW Neo liveries.
I am also excited to mention that thanks to my friend Michael I’ve got more measurements for the FMC15i cargo loader and I am currently designing what will be the project that I will start once I finish these engines.
I have been studying the different elements of the cargo loader and after the experience I gathered from the previous one, I expect to make this one more detailed and realistic. Initially there will be a higher number of parts, specially more photo etched parts than the previous version.
Sometime whithin the next two weeks I will update again the blog on news about these projects and with the LEAP-1A release together with new livery decals. I need to have the first unit made to make the pylon decals, so my goal is complete the steps mentioned above and have the mold made during this week.
I’ve been able to start working on the pylons. My initial idea was to use the 50% of the PW pylons, but decided to start fresh. This is a very rough shape, pylons are glued to the wings and now I will put a little bit of putty for two reasons; 1- make sure that the fitting to the wing is 100% perfect, 2- finish to give volume to the pylon, when looking from the top, the pylon is thicker towards the inner side. After putty is applied, I will then remove the pylon and continue sanding/giving a more three-dimensional shape.
I am also going to do a light modification on the lump, I will try to make the edge just a little bit more sharp.
B747-8F/-400F deck set:
Although it may seem there hasn’t been a big update on this project, it has definitely been a very important step. I have been able to prepare the unions on both fuselage halves for both; the ceiling and the deck.
In order to make the ceiling easy to place I did the following steps:
Filled up with putty the left top side of the fuselage in order for the ceiling to be placed in one position and one position only.
By using putty and from the inside of the fuselage, I put putty between the ceiling edge and the fuselage wall, upon putty dried, ceiling was removed and a mark was left for the ceiling to sit on precisely.
Having completed these steps and knowing that both the deck and ceiling fit inside, I am starting to consider the two remaining areas; the rear final deck section and the cargo holds.
Cargo holds will definitely be easier to make since they have flat surfaces which appear to have the same profile shape of an LD3 container (or vice versa). The step to do on this matter will be to open the cargo doors and set a floor inside leveled to the door, then from there make the two remaining walls.
Because of the deck touches right on top of the cargo doors, the main deck will also be the cargo holds ceiling on the other side.
I am also considering to leave the cargo holds “built in” the fuselage.
About the rear section deck; this will be a set of deck/ceiling/rear wall that will fit inside the tail cone in one position. The main reason why I think to do this is because although the -8F does not have a pax door there, it does exist on the -400F and some BDSF models (pax converted to cargo).
I am also starting to work on a minor cargo stuff which I hope to upload next week.
A350 New sharklets:
There are still some things that need to be done but I am currently decal testing these sharklets in order to start to design decals for all airlines, my intention is to serve these sharklets with decals to chose from similar to the GSE decals choice at the store.
White of decals:
Although results proved me that printing two separate layers on top of each other is not fully viable due offsets, I double checked using two separate decals and in my opinion, two layers of white decal does look opaque white on a black surface.
I first put one white decal, removed the excess of water and once it was settled, I placed the second white layer on top and the result is as seen on image above, decal was placed on a black plastic surface. Placing the two white layers when required (visible white) is actually easy to adjust the second decal to fit the first one and it does not take much time/effort.
I take these matters very seriously because before selling these things I was a customer (still am) and I want these decals to be as they are expected to be, I would have not continued with them if I knew the white wasn’t possible but overall I am very satisfied with the result and I am currently working on new liveries, during the week I will put the current ones of the store back in stock again.
As the 747-8F/-400F deck project is advancing, I wish to start soon the new cargo loader, before that I plan to release the LEAP-1A engines and the A350 new sharklets.
This is just a quick update to inform that countries have been added to the store where it was not possible to ship items before:
Afghanistan, American samoa, Andorra, Bhután, French polynesia, Guam, Guernsey, Iraq, Ivory coast, Jersey, Maldives, Marshall islands, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Niue island, Norfolk island, Palestinan territories, Saint pierre and miquelon, San marino, Sierra leone, Somalia, Tokelau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Virgin islands (usa), Wallis and fortuna and Yemen. Users will now be able to register a shipping address with these countries.
At the same time I want to take this chance to comment that I was able to advance further with the B747-8F/-400F cargo set and that I plan to upload more information about this and the LEAP engines this weekend.
I’ve been continously working and testing the decals and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t viable to print two layers in two separate prints. Some tests came out very well, but the success rate was low and thus I decided to include the white decals in a separate sheet and provide two or more white decals when white is placed on dark surface. With a recent test on a black surface I was able to see that with two white decal layers, white was bright and opaque. More info on this coming up soon as I will restock the catalogue during the middle of next week.
In the meanwhile projects that I almost completed are; A320N Frontier N301FR (LEAP), China Southern A320N (PW), Philippines A350 “Love”. Currently also working on all A350 sharklet livery decals for the new sharklets.
These and other new liveries will be available on next month as “April” releases.
Also I updated the shipping info page and removed the “7 day preparation time” in some cases for the decals. They won’t require that time period and will have a maximum of 3 days preparation prior shipping, same rules applied from the other items at the store as usual since they are all shipped from my location.
The rear section of the cargo deck is finally done, adjusted into place and also a new middle rib was made (since I wasn’t happy with the result of the previous one), this rib holds into place the edges of the middle and rear deck.
Everything is done so that everything can be mounted and fitted together. The rear deck has two beams where the final rib gets into place, this way the deck, once fitted together, won’t have other position than that.
I am planning some changes in the schedule, so I will dedicate more time with these projects. It all looks plain and dull and empty so far, but that is the required base for the detail. I expect to make a initial cast of the entire deck to make it as finished in order to see what the detail and color would be.
Notice on the “mouth” photo, the left sidewall (looking from the front) has the edge smoothened whereas the right side still has the plastic edge which will be covered with putty and sanded soon.
Next step; continue with the ceiling.
I want to take this chance with this post and say that I am currently working on the livery decals. They are not available as I am waiting for material and I am taking this time to do some improvements. I am working into making the white more opaque for certain decals, thus there should be no need to put 3 or 4 layers of them, another area I am experimenting with is mixing color decals with white decals, this is a very big challenge for me right now and still can’t do many tests due lack of material (still on its way). I will decide what to do once I experimented a little bit more with this because if I think I can present something better, then it is worth the time.
In a scale of 0 to 10 my current stress level is at 12, not feeling too happy neither, could it be the spring coming.
I must admit that I am struggling to keep items in stock, cast those tiny parts and then prepare/clean them takes time, it is not just take them out of the mold and put them in bags.
However, I go step by step because it is the only way to not to drive oneself crazy. During the next week I expect to upload the 1/144 AST-1, A320 galleys/cargo holds, belt loaders, a couple GPU, A319, A320, A321 sharklets, WiFi antenna radome and hope to start casting more baggage carts and catering trucks. PW Neo engines are on hold once I finish the LEAP ones for a multiple mold casting since the current mold said “I give up”.
As you may have noticed I am not good at keeping decals in stock neither. I am currently awaiting more material and also working on new liveries, A320Neo (PW) China Southern and would like to start a few Frontier A320Neo (LEAP) as I feel there is a progress on these engines currently and would like to work on LEAP liveries as well.
I wish that I could get material and have some margin to not to end up with 0 papers to print on, most of the decal sets takes almost two A4 size papers and I guess I am still learning about keeping enough material.
In any case and leaving aside how I am feeling lately, I would like to upload a few photos of the progress done so far on the LEAP engines, A350 new sharklets (this was started a long ago) and the tiny process on the cargo deck.
Do not think too much about the upper flap on the engine cowling, I will probably take that away when placing the pylons and re work it again on top of both areas.
I will also fix a few things around the final section of the cowling, fix the shape a little bit. So next step will be to cast the second master part and add the left and right pylons.
As for the A350 new sharklets, I am currently polishing them and fine tuning a few things, my goal is to have decals available for them so customer can chose which airline goes with these resin sharklets (or none).
The tiny progress I was able to do with the 747-8F/-400F deck project is this:
The final portion of the deck is being fitted, fits well on the right side, but a lot of work to do on the left side. I would like to dedicate a whole weekend to work on this because I want to keep things moving.
I wish I could feel more motivated, I guess there are too many things I am doing and I don’t have spirit for all of them to work on simultaneously, this and other things are putting me down for a while, will try to keep things in order to work better and be more optimistic.