Quick update: projects, stock, decals

Dear all,

I wanted to give a quick update on the different things that I am working on.

Livery decals: I am progressing with the base artwork for the A320/A321/A320N/A321N details.
I honestly thought it was going to be a bit “easier” having already the artwork, but every single line of the original artwork must be changed to adapt them to the silk screen printing method.
I am taking the chance to include a few more details and also modifying the decals for the belly/wing root area. The decals will be an improvement over the previous ones, plus this time the belly panel lines and rivets will fit on both Revell and Zvezda kits (each will have their own within the same detail set).

I have been able to finally have both kits and I took this chance to make these specific decals to adapt on the Revell’s (Neos) bellies since my original work was based on the Zvezda model.

There are significant differences between the Revell and the Zvezda kit on the wingroot area, not surprising since this difference is also present in the A320 and the A320Neo whereas the Neo version has a taller wall at the wing joint (easily noticeable when comparing the distance of the emergency door lights to the wing).
I am not going to enter in details about each kit pros and cons because I truly find both kits beautiful. Some details lacking on the Zvezda belly will be covered as well with the decals (access panel doors, etc) and some other decals will adapt on the Revell’s model such as the horizontal stabilizer plates.

Work with this continues.

Passenger figures (1/144):  Having done a first test with these figures, I still have to adjust a few minor things, but so far it looks as desired, the set will consist of 26 passenger figures with a mix of women/men/teens and kids. I am going to do another test (hopefully the final one) at the end of the week, so my aim is to be able to show some progress on next Sunday.

Update on the stairs truck: I mention about the micro tubes on my last entry for the next project (the cargo loader) and I wanted to start using that “slide in” system on that project onwards. However, I wanted to give an improvement to the stairs truck that will also improve on my preparation time for the packaging of these units (it was overly time consuming to prepare these two parts in the original release).

The stock of the stairs truck is done, but there is still some more tests to do with these tubes. For this method, two new resin parts have been made (one fitting in the tube and the other fitting on the rod). After the initial test, I will also make two new parts that will make for an easier fitting of the tube and rod to the chassis.

One thing that was concerning me was the paint, the tube is 1,7 mm and the rod 1,5 mm so the rod slides in prefectly, however, paint cannot be used, therefore I decided to use a different rod with already a silver color, so the only part to paint of the two will be the tube which won’t cause any issue for the rod to slide in (painted from the outside).

This update, I would very much like to give it for free to all those customers who purchased the stairs truck. I however cannot ship it for free, therefore shipping charges will be on customer’s end, but there is also the possibility to include these new parts on a next order if desired, I will give more details about this once I have finished the tests.

Note the rod will not be brass, instead a silver colored alloy will be used to avoid the use of paint.

Stock units: Stairs truck were going to be released this Friday 28th, however, due the tests with this slide in system and new parts for a better and stronger fitting, I may push this restocking on the second week of October. Stock units are made already.

There will be more units of the 1/144 AST-1, LD3 trolleys coming this Friday. I will also intend to restock the Neo engines and increase quantities of other items.

1/200 GSE items will start production at the second week of October being available at mid October.

Current projects: I am progressing on the 787 forward galley / cockpit, once done, will start with the middle galley. Work continues to fix and adjust the 1/144 passenger figures as well as the work with the 1/144 cargo loader.
The 747 cargo deck detail set and  the 1/12 737 cockpit projects are on hold. I will resume first the 1/12 737 cockpit project at mid October coinciding with the release of the 1/200 GSE models. I will resume the work with the main instrument panel before going for the side walls.


Some not so good news: 
There may be some bit of delay with the production of the parts due a failure in one of the printers I use. I have been doing some tests during the weekend in order to find out where the problem comes from and so far, no luck, there is still one last thing I want to check before changing the mother board, which is really my last option.

That is all for now, I have several fronts opened with lots of work to do on each area, but I am going step by step with all of them. The 747 cargo project and the 1/12 737 cockpit are currently my two biggest projects and therefore the dedication and time required to planify are so much bigger compared to the other projects. They are by no means abandoned, but until I can have the weekends free, I won’t be able to progress as much as I want, upon the releasing of the next 1/200 GSE, there will be more time for them.

Take care everybody,
Guillem

 

Livery decals project moving forward

Dear all,

I would like to start this entry by thanking you sincerely for the help that I received due my last entry about the livery decals.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write and give me info that will be very helpful to me.

I would like to say that I finally found somebody who could print these decals for me and although I cannot write much about it yet, I have to say that their service and attention is beyond excellent and that I will be able to print them as I intended.

The detail decals will be silk screen printed and the first ones that I will have will be for the A320/A321/A320N/A321N and A350-900/A350-1000.

I will try to use the space as best as possible and thus make those details to be used for more than one model type, similar to what some manufacturers do with their injection kits.

Silk screening is another story, so costs of producing those decals need to be taken carefully into consideration, specially due the colors which are not going to be standard as my aim is for the details to suit better the scale (scale factor).

The detail sheets will be very similar to the decals I used to have, however, the whole artwork will require of a modification in order to suit better this type of printing and that means that it will take me a little bit of time to complete this.

At the moment I have all the information needed from the company to adjust all the decals so work has already begun.

I also aim for some specific customization and leave some options open for choice for the modeler, that means that I may be doing several photorealistic cockpit window decals and or passenger windows (so that if you have a small collection, window details are different for each aircraft, window shades will be distributed differently in those options).

The theory would be to make a selection from a button of the decal set in particular within the online store, this way the modeler will be able to customize the decal set with those minor selections.

The final product will be a combination of different decals, on one side there will be the whole aircraft details in silk screen with also some silver details and on the other side the livery itself which will be laser print. Laser print is a very good option as I saw with the previous decals, however this time I will be doing some testing to have those laser decals clear coated.

This gives me much more freedom to test-print as much as I need in order to match a certain livery color and do all sorts of different designs which would be imposible (I think) with sillk screening such as multicolored gradients (again, I am not 100% sure this can be done in silk screen), so I will try that the whole set is nicely balanced to also be cost effective, as it would be impossible for me to have the liveries silk screened too, particularly due the amount of detail (space area) already in the set, it would be nearly bigger than an A4 sheet for the bigger airliners.
I also take into consideration the clear windows and the possibility of leaving the silver window frames separately, trying to give as many options as possible to the modeler.

Again, the area is somehow a bit more limited than it was before, so maybe some specific decals such as the weathered emergency exit markings on the wings of the A320 set may be removed or added separately on the laser sheet.

The important is that this project is moving forward and I hope to write more news about it once things are more advanced, so far the artwork is now being adjusted for silk screening.

On another note, there will be restocking of some of the GSE models at the end of the week as production has begun a week ago and continuing on thus more units will be produced of the rest of the items.
At the same time I would like to say that the country list where I can ship has been updated.

Thank you all very much for your support and for your time.
Best wishes,
Guillem

I need help – Livery decals

*Update 11/09/2020 13:23

Dear all,

I never thought that I would face a situation where finding a subcontractor would represent such an issue for the business.

I am talking about decal printing companies. As you probably know, I retired the livery decals from the online store some time ago because my goal was to have them printed in a different method; either silk screen, digital or any other techniques there may be besides laser print.

I thought to myself that I was better off saving the material at the moment to keep printing the decals that are included in the GSE models and in the meanwhile, adjust the livery artworks and save to invest trying to contact a decal company to have these livery decals (details sheet) printed.

To some, the decision of saving material for another line of products may be ridiculous, but I have to say that these materials are not cheap, even less if I have to purchase them outside the EU, besides there are several other materials that needed to be taken into consideration for the other products and the change in production (for the most part, from resin casting to 3D printing).

After being able to afford having those detail decals printed by a company, I wrote to one I always had in mind, but seeing how time was passing by and I wasn’t getting any news, I decided to find others.

So far I have contacted 5 companies from which only one (2) had the kindness to respond, and as it seems, they are pretty busy for the rest of the year being next year still unknown, I really appreciated their sincerity, because I understand what it is to be limited with work and deadlines.
*Update: Another company replied, I am currently dealing with the given information of the specific printing requirements.

I guess that this was my mistake, to think that I could contact them anytime and have the prints in a specific time (let’s say a month or month and a half tops) but not having a response really changes things for my business.

So I am currently finding myself with decals for which I invested a big amount of time, and no one being able to print these for me.
Naturally when you see that your hard work is somewhat hanging by a thread, it affects your desire to continue.

At the moment I do not know what I am going to do with these decals, either print them again myself as they were (which were fine, only “inconvenient” was the white decal separated from the color and the lack of metallic color), continue trying to find someone that could print them, or give up them.

The reason why I was writing this entry was to see if somebody knew somebody, if somebody could known a specific person or company that could print these for me.

I think that after all, it is a business opportunity for the other company as well, because having those detail decals printed would allow me to move on with liveries and create more time after time and even accept specific livery requests, in other words, if there are sales there would also be for the printing company.

Spirits are pretty much down these days, not only due the decals, but I feel things are getting up hill for me in other aspects, although I keep on producing the GSE units (restock of specific ones next week) and working on the new stuff, the only thing that keeps me motivated is the goal to create.

I hope to have news from some of these companies as I wrote another email just in case, or receive news from somebody you may know, I will need to take a decision on the livery decals otherwise.
Please contact me if you are interested in printing these for me or if you know somebody who can:
or 

Thank you all,
Best wishes,
Guillem

Back from holidays, project updates

Hello everyone,

First entry of September after the summer holidays, hopefully everybody is doing alright, now that we are leaving behind these hot days of summer, it is time to continue working hard.

I would like to comment on the current projects, future ones and minor changes within the online shop.

I would like to start with the 1/200 GSE models:

The units of the 1/200 AST-1 pushback have been out of stock for a long time now, so new units are going to be produced alongside the 1/200 Belt loader which is finally finished.

During these days I have been adjusting several aspects of the figures, since these were the first 1/200 figures that I made, some adjustments on the steering wheel were needed:

This model is quite small, I do not think that I can make smaller figures, but the 1/200 scale would be my limit.

Here is a comparison photo with the 1/144 Belt loader:

Due the considerable small size of parts, as usual some will be included as spares in the set, other details such as the towing hooks and the emergency light mast will be made out of wire, which will also be included. The set is very similar to the 1/144 one, meaning that it will include decals, photo etch, 5 pieces of luggage and the same choice for the driver figures.

So what will be next in the 1/200? I will be producing the two GPU’s (Houchin C690 and TLD414) of which the Houchin C690 is the most advanced one since I was able to do more tests with it and results were as desired.

Baggage carts will be produced alongside the 1/200 baggage worker figures, this would represent a challenge due the size, but I am confident that it will be possible.

All these new 1/200 releases are planned to be ready before Christmas being the belt loader the first of them with the AST-1 pushback already in the catalog.

Continuing on the 1/144 GSE scale:

I have been progressing with the Commander FMC15i cargo loader universal, so far the work has been done within the computer and again like the 1/200 models, this cargo loader is scheduled to be released at around the end of the year beginning of next.

Here are a couple of very early renders:

The main difficulty of this model is prepare it so that it can be assembled, it is easy to just join things within the program but then parts will need to be assembled and thus a plan has to be followed to organize how each part will be joined with the other part.

Second, I am considering the possibility to use slide-in micro tubes for the first time in these GSE models, these would be used to simulate the hydraulic columns, what I am not sure about this model in particular is if I will make it movable, meaning that the bridge and platform can move up and down or leave certain heights pre set.

Working on the computer can make things easier to design the way these things would move, but the main issue is if the model will allow this due its possible delicate parts (PE and other detail with wiring that I would like to add), I do not discard this, so I will see how that would work in the next days but it is very possible I will finally make the plafrom and bridge movable.

I am designing this model (like the others) having in mind the 1/72 scale for which I still haven’t been able to progress as much as I wished, the work order on these models is 1/144 first, 1/200 second and 1/72 third.

Designing the models as detailed as possible will (hopefully) ensure that the 1/72 scale will benefit of all the work, because there are physical limits within scales, for example, you cannot make a 10mm nut in real life in 1/200. that would be a 0,05mm nut, it is within tolerances, but nearly invisible, whereas in 1/72 it would be 0,14mm which it could be a bit more visible.

The cargo loader is (at the moment) the only 1/144 GSE model I plan to release before the end of the year beginning of next, it will depend on how much time it takes me to advance and try to equal the 1/200 catalog to the 1/144. There are several other projects that will be made such as catering truck, vans, water cleaners, hydrant, fuel truck and a towbar pushback amongst others.

On regards the 1/144 figures:

I have been trying to improve the drivers of both, the tow tractor JST-25 as well as the belt loader TUG 660.

The main improvement was to have the figure already seated on the seat, which would have a more “push down” effect overall, when you sit on a seat, this pushes down, it is not like siting on a solid rock, so this is somewhat the effect that I wanted.

The copilot is not looking at the back anymore, the trust with the driver has increased so no baggage or cargo would be lost 🙂 overall the positions are more natural. I still need to paint the belt loader drivers for example purposes.

Another matter that I would like to set clear is the figures with helmets; they were done having in mind the Japanese friends, I know they use helmet, so I wanted to have this option as well.

I will still include the seats in the sets, this will be useful in the JST-25 set since you can just leave the driver and the seat empty for the copilot or the belt loader without the driver if the loading operations are ongoing.

These new figures are the ones that will be included in those two GSE sets from now on, because these GSE models were released with the previous figures, I would like to leave these new drivers available separately at the store if you wish to change them.

On regards their size, they represent to be 1,8m tall, or 5 foot 10 inches.

Passengers: There is a set of approximately 15-20 passenger figures on the works, the main season they represent could be autumn – summer and these are specially designed to fit the stairs truck as per the height of the steps. There will be passengers walking upstairs, a little queue and a few passengers walking towards the queue.

This set will be released before Christmas, this is my intention, as you see I have set several new items to be released before Christmas, other figure sets that will follow past Christmas release will be ground workers in different scenarios, pushing back (perfect companion for the push back trucks) parking, and aircraft preparation (cocks and cones).

Airliner stuff:

I have been feeling a little bit frustrated with the 747 cargo project, all due the limitations of the printing technology / materials to produce certain type of parts (thin/flat and long). I will not abandon this project, but I have to think a different approach to create the cargo bay floors.

It would not be an issue if it was just for my own build, because I could assembly everything and glue it on the model, but the main issue is that things have to be made considering two points; the production process and the assembly process.

In any case, I will be working with it and will figure things out. This project will most surely not be ready for Christmas, but it is definitely a 2021 project.

From the frustration of the 747 cargo project I wanted to continue to work inside the airplanes and decided to give a shot to the galleys and cockpits.

Galleys are going to be an important aspect because later GSE models such as the catering will benefit from having an interior open if you are looking for realism.

The figures boarding the airplane will also benefit from having the doors open, so this is something that grown a lot of interest in me, specially because I would like to see dioramas with airplanes in a “loading” or “unloading” stage. The same can be said about cargo holds, which is another work that I would like to do parallel to the galleys, since there will be cargo stuff on the works with the cargo loader.

Here is a first attempt for the 787 forward galley section:

As you can see, the module is divided into two, the front panel and the rear panel, or the left panel and the right panel (looking from the boarding side).

Since I will be making galleys for these airliners (A350 is next), I decided to give a try to the cockpit as well due the proximity with the galley, I think it would be ideal to have this as a whole.

The galley projects are at a quite early stage, they will also include the doors and other small detail such as the coffee machines. Note that the seat on the wall closest to the cockpit has the inter phone while the other two seats doesn’t.

The next step to do will be to set the floor and make the frame of the doors, that would be the frame where the door rests in closed position, this frame is overall a bit smaller than the fuselage door frame to allocate the door. Cockpit will also be recreated, however I also look for the cockpit to be a reference point in the assembly process of the whole set into the fuselage.

I will also be making the middle galley and rear galley of this 787-8 (will check the -9 version as well). Galleys are also a project to be scheduled before Christmas.

Sharklets: I still have the A350 sharklets to work with, main issue I have with them is… well, not with them but with the plastic wing which has no airfoil, thus I am thinking that this may be a little bit more than a simple sharklet attachment.

The 1/12 B737 cockpit:

I have been doing lots of tests these days with the main instrument panel of the B737 and unfortunately, it won’t be as easy as to hit “print”. If I want to have the most crisp details, some things will need to be placed “in hand”, I cannot simply print the whole thing, but I need to go section by section and screw by screw in order to make things as crisp and as detailed as possible.

I know that looking at the photo above will seem a step back (or similar situation as before) considering this was already done prior the 3D, but it was important for it to have been done again since everything else will need to fit on top and on the sides.

As you can see, the areas are divided by lines, these areas will be filled in (by the modeler) with the different panels, each panel will have its own parts, such as buttons, knobs, switches, gauges etc so we can say that the lines are basically just for positioning reference. I still need to add a bit of texture on the “footrests”.

Here is an example of several buttons and knobs:

 

The project will continue on, however this won’t be ready yet this year, when I first started it I knew it was going to be a long project, but I prefer to not to rush things and take the time needed to make it as detailed as possible.

Changes within the store:

There are going to be a couple minor changes at the store, one of them being the handler decals. They are currently now all of them under the same product page and can be chosen from a drop down menu, however, I will create a new category and put each handler decal separately so that it can be easier for the customer to have an overall view of all the decal options, this will also be good for me to have a better stock control and will be better when new decal handlers are added since they will already be visible from the main category page.

Another little change has more to do with the products and shipping, I have purchased a new type of blister which is smaller, it does not affect the weight that much, just a very few grams, but it is easier for me to package. The smaller items such as the figures, sharklets, LD3 containers will be shipped inside a new mini blister, this will hopefully bring even more protection and a better presentation to the overall product.

Livery decals:

There is not much to say about the livery decals except that I am still awaiting for the printing company response. My guess is that they are currently very busy after the summer holidays and will probably need to catch up with emails and works for other clients they have.

It is my intention to continue with this, try to contact them again and hopefully arrive to a conclusion.

Livery decals will be back, my idea would be that they could do so before Christmas, but it will all depend on other main factors such as the printing and the modifications required for the artworks.

It has been a quite big entry, probably the longest, but my “holidays” have been this, testing things, working on other items and continue shipping orders.

Now work continues and I will be producing units again, so I expect to restock these models in the next few weeks.

Unfortunately I haven’t had a lot of time to build my “one per year” airliner, but I will be working with it during the weekends.

Wish you are all safe, the situation with the Covid is very unstable still, but I am sure that with time things will get better.

Best wishes,

Guillem

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