Radomes, satcoms, pitot tubes and winglets/sharklets

Hello everyone,

It has been days of a lot of work with certain elements, I wanted to say in advance that units of the B787-9 cargo holds are currently being done as well as B787 galleys.

I also have been dealing with some issues related to the site, problems related with email notifications (an error came up when changing and notifying of the order status) and also and most recently, issues when uploading images in the blog as I used to.
The first matter is half solved and it did not affect the order process, the second one I am still working on. All these issues came all of the sudden which leads me to think that my host provider may have been doing some changes.

Continuing with our model’s subject, I have been working on the ongoing projects but also been working on items that I will be releasing soon, by the time of the B787-9 cargo holds release.

First of all, the B747-400 winglet:

The winglet will fit both Revell/Zvezda (8i-8F) models and it does feature an airfoil even though it is not so much appreciable in the photo above, it is very subtle. Why a winglet for those -8 models? For conversion to -400 purposes as this will also be a part of the conversion once I complete the B747-8F cargo detail set.

The test that I wanted to do with the wingtip lights has been done and I am pleased with it. It is, obviously with a translucent finish which is what the resin is offering. After several hours under UV light, there does not seem to be any yellowing or side effects so I concluded the test as successful.

In my test, I painted from the inside two red dots to simulate the strobe lights and it seems quite convincing to me, but having the wing light covers translucent also allows for LED lights.

The same has been done for the Airbus narrowbody family sharklet.

I also have been working on four new radomes, the Gogo 2KU famous for its low profile, the more standard type Inmarsat GX, the Arinc 791 and the Viasat radome which can be easily seen on several Jetblue A320 as well as some United 737-800’s.

Note that in some cases I am saying names of antennas (which go inside the radome) but there are actually several types of radomes for different antenna manufacturers, so it may be possible for a radome to be used for two different antenna models.

As a complement to the antenna set that I previously shared, I am also completing the “Satcom set”:

Lastly, a pitot tube set:

These pitot tubes were designed from real pitot models, as a result, they were so small that at first I was reluctant to even try, but since I was doing some tests at the same time, I decided to give it a go.

To my surprise they came out pretty well, they are of different sizes and shapes, as a reference, the largest ones were based on the B747 pitot tubes. The rounded small one is for the A320’s and the bigger rounder one fits perfectly for the 787’s.

Needless to say, those are really, really tiny. In some cases as it happens with the antennas, a couple may fail in the set, so I manually add those missing. At first I thought this would be quite time consuming, but it is no issue at all and the first sets of antennas are already done.

So I am preparing to release these items at the same time:

  • B787-9 cargo holds.
  • B747-400 winglets.
  • Airbus narrowbody sharklets.
  • A350 sharklets (yet to make).
  • Antennae set.
  • Satcom set.
  • Various radomes.
  • Pitot tubes assortment.

Simultaneously I will also be restocking the 787 galleys and other items I see getting in low stock.

Later today I will also restock the medium/short haul flight crew with its new configuration (figures with their supports). A lot of work has been going on too with the new type of packaging of these items.

That is all for now, I am continuing on with the work. I cannot say a release date yet for all the items listed, but once I have the cargo holds nearly completed from production, I will give more details on a release date.

Take good care everybody,
Guillem

New Airbus narrowbody sharklets and preview antenna radomes

Hello everyone,

In today’s update I would like to share the recent work I’ve done with the sharklets for the Airbus narrowbody family. They are a new version from the previous ones I have at the shop, so as soon as I start the production I will be changing the product.

The light covers is something I am currently working on, I want them to be transparent, at first as I thought while working on the B747 winglets, I thought to have the clear green/red part but although that is similar as how they should look when lights are on, the color is not in the cover itself but in the lights, so I am about to start doing my own mixes with the resin to have a transparent-blackish-smoke-tint to avoid the hard to avoid yellowing as it happens in the curing process and hope to have a realistic “glass” result.
I may make a couple more panel lines on the sharklet, but at this scale they practically should be unnoticeable, leading edge line needs to be clearly visible for masking/painting purposes.

I have been working on some antenna radomes, they are the ADF, a high gain antenna (HGA-7001) an intermediate gain antenna (IGA-5001) and a TCAS2 antenna.
The TCAS2 antenna I most surely will be swapping it with the UHF Satcom from the first set since the TCAS is on all airliners, it makes more sense for it to be in the “antenna set” rather than in the “radome set”. This is a bit unfortunate for me as I already started to produce a few of these sets.

I would like to make more of those “standard” smaller radomes, but I am also about to work on two larger radomes as well which will probably be available separately as it happens now with the Honeywell MCS8200 since they are bigger than those featured in the next photo:

This was a first test, so in the final product, there will be more quantities of these radomes and I may try a different approach to produce them.
I’ve been doing some research, but if anyone knows of other radome manufacturers/models, please contact me as I would be interested in including as many types as possible.

Production of the B787-9 cargo holds has already started and the first units are made, work continues but in the meantime I am also working on the production of some GSE items as they sell, I do not want to reach to zero to have them back available again, so new units for the catering truck were added and next week more for the stairs truck will be produced, my goal is to have them in stock as often as possible.

I am noticing that figure sets have been selling out so I am also taking my time to readjust them to produce them with the supports as I mentioned in my previous post. As I am finishing the new packaging for these figures, the first ones to be restocked are the medium/short haul flight crew, other sets will follow.

On regards the other projects:
The B747 cargo set is currently paused as I have been trying to improve the hump section, work will resume soon.
I am also working on the parts for the new baggage carts and a new type.
A new set of GSE models is going to be in production soon, but I am waiting to have more to share before I give more details about them.
I have everything ready to start the production of the Schopf F396, but I am still unsure if I will be able to release it by the time I release the cargo holds. I will try my best.
The 1/72 Schopf F59 is still in the works, recently a new body was remade and a new cast will be done soon together with the cabin walls.
The B747 winglet is also in the same stage as the Airbus sharklets so I am hoping to start production soon, although the B747 winglets will still require some extra work.
The 1/12 B737 cabin has been on pause for too long again, so I am going to test the sidewalls as I have planned and be joining structures step by step. Once the larger structures are done I will go for detailing of each individual panel.

My objective is to release the B787-9 cargo holds in about a month tops, work has to be done with the instructions and guide that needs to be written.
By the time of the cargo holds release I also want to have ready the “Antenna pack A” the “Antenna pack B” (radomes), the other larger radomes, the Airbus narrowbody sharklets, hopefully the A350 sharklets as well and a set of pitot tubes.

There is a lot to do, I have too many projects started but I am doing them bit by bit as best as I possibly can.

That is all for now, I hope to share some more progress next weekend.
Best wishes,
Guillem

New stock uploaded – Packaging information

Hello everyone,

The GSE items, accessories and (some) of the figures have been restocked. I am also planning to make more units of those that are in low stock at the moment.

As I mentioned, a new set of baggage carts and an update will be done to the current ones.

I finally managed to add the new packaging so hopefully it is going to work well.

Here is a couple images for your reference:

As I mentioned before, the reasons are mainly two, one is to protected more the items and second to save on shipping costs as opposed of using only one box and having unused space, so this way more options are given, you can choose whichever box you want your items to be shipped in (as long as they fit). Envelope will still be used for small items.

Also, the website core is quite complex regarding the shipping and how the calculations are done, I was unable to find more precise solutions, but I am sure that the current setup will work properly.

Now I will continue with the production of the B787-9 cargo holds and therefore prepare these items for release as well as the stock of the B787-8/9 galleys.

I keep working on the ongoing projects as well, I hope to share some more progress soon.

Take good care everybody.
Best wishes,
Guillem

Next restocking date and info

Hello everyone,

I can finally say that the GSE items will be restocked this coming Friday April 22nd.

All GSE as well as accessories will be back in stock, except the open baggage cart for which I am making a newer version of it, so the baggage carts will be updated and a new type will be added in the near future.

I had a lot, and I mean a lot of trouble to get the photo etched parts right until I was able to find the cause and also got the chance to improve them. As it happens when you are forced to change the method you used to do things, a time for fine tuning is always required, yet after all these years.

Obviously I am not happy having the GSE items such a long time out of stock, because I don’t want to have an empty shop and people feeling disappointed about it, but it takes me a big deal of time and patience to have things completed, specially when you have elderly under your care who do not care much about you needing time for work.

These have been very stressful days for me, but I still love doing what I do and I will continue with the production of these items. Some time ago I mentioned having restock monthly, but I think it will be even better to produce more units of a certain item if the stock drops to X quantity.

I am also learning as a “businessman” to run this as best as possible, for this reason I am also going to be working on some changes in the shipping methods. I want to stop using the medium or big envelopes simply because I don’t feel safe about them, I feel the need to add a lot more bubble wrap which ends up sometimes costing me extra money to ship for the extra weight, that is one reason, but the main one is that I feel safer shipping goods in a box.

I will be adding two new box types, so these will be called “small”, “medium”, “big” (the currently small one) and the “large” (the currently named big).

This will ensure that the new type of packaging will arrive as safe as possible, because as you know, I am progressively dropping the plastic blisters for some specific items and making new cardboard boxes such as these:

The Commander FMC15 will be shipped with this new product box since it seemed to me the blister was too small for all the parts to be properly placed.

These new product boxes will include a 6mm thick foam sheet in order to protect the contents.

As I mentioned before, not only one has to learn to make/design/produce what you actually sell, but these changes in the shipping methods will also require some time and tests before I can set them in the shop.

The online platform I am using does not have the shipping methods very well programmed in the coding, in terms of product dimensions / package dimensions, it does not understand how much products fit in a specified box size, so several adjustments in the settings need to be done.

I will do my best to have this new type of shipping (small-medium boxes) set up for Friday, if not, all will be as it is for now.

The small envelope will still be used for certain items.

Lastly, one of the changes I will be doing for the next batch of new 1/144 figures will be this:

The upcoming restock of the figures will come as presented in the image above, they will be attached to their supports and will require their removal. This is similar to what plastic kits are, but for this particular production method, smaller supports are required.
They are actually very easy to remove, so it won’t be a big problem, if one can paint such small figures, one can also remove the supports.

These are things that I feel I need to do because of how time consuming it is for me to actually cut one by one and package them. I ended up cutting and packaging 400 figures for the passengers only, so you can understand a bit better why sometimes it took me so much time to restock things.

That is all for now, I will be writing another entry prior to the restock to inform about the shipping changes (from envelope to cardboard box).

Take good care everyone.
Best wishes,
Guillem

1/144 B747-8F/-400F Part 1

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to dedicate this entry to the B747-8F/-400F main deck detail set project.

Prior to getting into details, I would like to take this chance to say that I won’t be able to restock things on the 15th because of the Holy Week which is a national holiday here. As my father will also be on holiday, I will help him with some things we have to do at home plus the post office will remain closed on the following Monday.
The delay won’t be so long as I postpone the restock till next Friday 22nd.

This is the first and most probably the last screenshot of this project as you know I always prefer share things done rather than computerized but for the sake of a general idea, this is what the project is going to be (part of it):

Needless to say this is in its very bare bones, no wingroot, no panel lines yet, simply the basic structure of the fuselage which may also require some fine tuning.

I have decided to make my own portion of the fuselage for several reasons that I would like to mention here.
I know that probably some of you are against this route (because it may increase the costs), but to be honest, in order to make things right, I felt that most of the fuselage had to be re made in order for me to allocate all the areas and details I would like to represent.

The main reasons why I opted for this are:

  • Wing mounting had a conflict with the interior of the original Revell’s kit. The wing root placement is so deep that it goes behind the fuselage, this would interfere with the main deck as it crosses its level.
    The solution is, with the new wingbox/wingroot I plan it to be ready to fit Revell’s wings, but not as deep resulting in the need to remove a few millimeters from the original wing base which can be done with a simple cut.
  • Overall structure of the cargo holds. Now being able to assemble the cargo holds directly on the fuselage, allows me to make connecting points so that everything can fit perfectly, the fuselage will be ready to allocate the cargo holds for the reason that they will be designed to fit in it. This is very different and much easier than having to make a part adapted to the original fuselage with the limitations of the plastic thickness/landing gear/wing root design.
  • Thickness. The plastic thickness does not represent the thickness that can be seen around the edge of the door openings, both for the cargo holds and the side cargo door considering the work on the door edges, also, if you pay close attention, the thickness varies at the nose door opening, whereas the bottom side is thicker than the left/right side.
  • Main deck. Making the main deck having as a reference the fuselage I am making will make things so much easier for me and later for you to assemble altogether. Fuselage will still be joined from both sides, so it is going to be important to make the fitting of the main deck to be completely perpendicular on both sides, so when you put together the whole thing, it fits perfectly.
  • Lighting. The B747 has lights at the sidewalls besides the ceiling, this presents a challenge if lights have to be installed in such places. My solution to this is to make some sort of gutter that goes from the light panel down past the main deck, so wires can be placed and later covered. I am also thinking about the panel lights to be some sort of frosted for a better diffusion of the LED lights.
  • Cockpit. As I mentioned before, the plastic thickness gives away the realism I wish for this project, so by making my own fuselage I can make the cockpit opening thinner for better detailing. The windshield will be presented as a precut acetate, (which may include the multicolor effect known as optical birefringence). What I am still considering is including the cockpit windows frame as photo etched or include a masking template to paint the frame, I am leaning more towards the first option although I may include both, but an assembly scenario I think of is painting the PE frame, gluing it on the acetate and then gluing the set onto position, this won’t require to mask anything (simply cover the interior) in the fuselage painting stage since the windshield can be placed later.

Being able to work directly on the fuselage interior will allow me to make a complete new cockpit as well as upper deck. For this reason and due lights being able to be installed, the correct window openings will be made, as you may have noticed, Revell’s kit has used the passenger window shape/size of the -8i for the upper deck, but actually the -8F uses the old type of windows like the -400 variant.

Fuselage. The advantage of making this portion of the fuselage myself is that I would later be able to make the -400F version.

So basically, with this whole set you will be able to use from the kit; engines, wings, landing gear, horizontal and vertical stabilizers (with the fuselage cone section).
As I am going to make a wing root specifically for the Revell kit, that does not mean that with a little bit of extra work, you can still use Zvezda’s B747-8i for this purpose.

The next step I will take is to print the rear end of the hump section to check if the hump postwork that I need to do will be possible. Also, test the end cone that will fit with the original Revell section, for that area, the bulkhead part will aid in the assembly of both parts.

The hump was not easy to make, the transition in the original aircraft is not “smooth” but you can see from some angles (specially top) that it looks like a dome, the shape is very well defined. Hasegawa 1/200 models nailed this, Revell’s kit is very close so hopefully I can do a test first prior getting any further and see if I can represent it as close to the original as possible.

I am going to take the chance to look at the wing root fairing, because I am not sure Revell’s is 100% similar to the original, so I will take this chance and correct this if needed. Another challenge will be the landing gear bays which will be ready to fit Revell’s landing gears.

That is all for now, I am continuing with the work and with the projects, I am also working everyday on the restock process, for which PE is the remaining thing to make.

Best wishes,
Guillem

Projects update and more information

Hello everyone,

In recent days I went through a cold which prevented me from working for a couple days as much as I wished, but I have managed to work on other areas and move some projects forward.

Before getting into details for the specific projects, I would like to say that I am aiming to restock GSE and figures on April 15th at the latest.

As most of the GSE parts are completed, I am focusing on making PE parts for them as well as finishing packaging, this includes the making of the instructions for the new TUG660 model. As the open baggage cart model is out of stock, I may be doing a remodel on these and create a third set type which will have some sort of cloth covers.

I am also making more units than what I used to produce before for certain items.
I will be updating the product page galleries as there have been some minor changes in some GSE models, those changes are related more to material than shape changes in the parts, for example, bodies resin casted instead of resin printed (keeping the same quality and detail) some changes in the stairs truck by switching from the 1,5 metallic rods to 1,5 plastic rods as well as resin printed handrails rather than resin casted handrails.

Onto the individual projects:

The first step on the B747-8F/400F project will be presented in the next update. I had to make some decisions which I will discuss in the next update. Things are getting much clearer in my mind about this, and there was only one way to go with it in the end. The set will be mainly made for Revell’s version of their 747-8i and 8F although with some modifications it will most probably also be usable for Zvezda’s 747-8i.

Without changing the 747 subject, I would like to present a very early progress photo of the winglet.

The winglet fits the Zvezda kit, but I still have to check if it fits the Revell one as well. There is a lot of work to do on them, adjust the leading edge and its profile line, sand the overall wingtip down to remove some marks and adjust the lower section of the airfoil.
I am also considering what to do with the wingtip light, thus far it is engraved, but I may make it separate from the wingtip and have it done in green/red translucent for better finish and save you on painting them.

If I go this route, the wingtip light will be hollow to allocate a very small led should you like to add lighting to the model.

GSE:

The 1/72 Schopf F59 is progressing very well, however, I had to remake the cabin for better production and at the same time, more enjoyment for building. The interior is 95% completed, while the body also had to be remade.

Both the cabin and body are going to be resin casted.

The new belt loader TUG660 was completed, instructions will be designed shortly.

The new model is more detailed and better represented after new references I was able to find. It also includes a driver figure and will include the 5 baggage pieces.

For reference, the model with some other GSE around. This is the furthest I can go in terms of rising and lowering parts with rods and tubes as I am using a 0,5mm rod and a 0,6mm tube. In order to keep things in scale this was necessary.

This is one of the main differences from the previous version, there is a structure that pivots with the rod/tube for lowering/raising the conveyor. Also, the body (resin casted) comes in one piece now.

The antennae pack is coming along very well:

These antennas are quite small, I am still thinking if I shall provide the mixed set or make sets of the same type of antenna. Since there are several types on an aircraft, I think a mix is ideal, later sets will follow for radomes and a set of pitot tubes.

The antennae list on this set is:

1- ELT S65-1231 (x12)
2- UHF S65-1227 (x12)
3- ELT S65-8282-406 (x12)
4- UHF S65-8282-330 (x12)
5- UHF Satcom s65-8282-336 (x6)
6- Glideslope S41422-6 (x12)
7- UHF S65-1016-10 (x18)
8- ADS-B/L BAND (x24)
9- GPS S67-1575-133 (x21)
10- Marker beacon S35-1000-1 (x9)

That is all for now, I am continuing on packaging items, making their PE and progressing on the new projects, for the next update I will dedicate an entry solely to the B747-8F / 400F project.

Best wishes,
Guillem