It has been a few weeks of quite a lot of stress around here, having to prepare so many things, I have learned that those things that may seem easy, often times are not.
Upon finishing the production of the parts I did realize that the F210 did not have the door lines engraved on the cabin, similar thing for the right door on the F110, so I had to remake those as well as remake the bodies since I was having some more issues producing them, I learned the lesson that it is not the same to make one or two for initial tests and preview, than make more at the same time.
Here are the three little guys finished:
On top of that, I decided to rework the online store a little bit, trying to make the thumbnail images bigger was a nightmare to do, something so simple as make an image bigger, isn’t it? But the thing is, there is a lot of coding behindit. It is just not making the image bigger in the photo software, and I could not spend days with it, thus decided to purchase a module that could help me deal with some visual and practical aspects of the shop in a quicker and easier way.
I did have to spend some time with the coding to make new changes such as the header background color and a few other things.
The online store is not yet 100% completed, I will be reworking the front page and side column tonight, so that everything is ready for the release of the pushback trucks, towbars and catering trucks tomorrow.
I usually upload the new products right away, but this time I will try to upload their product pages ahead (during the evening/night) so that you can take a look at the product page as well as activate the email notifications if you wish for each product. The initial units are going to be quite limited as I did not have time for more. I am aware that some other GSE models run out of stock recently so I will be making units of these upon the new items are uploaded.
The Schopf F110:
The schopf F59:
And the Schopf F210:
As I did with the catering truck, I also took the chance to record the building process of those pushback trucks, which were built at the same time. I will be editing the video very soon. That is all for now, I must continue with work so that everything can be ready for tomorrow.
Today I would like to write a quick update to inform you of the release date for the following items:
1/144 Mallaghan CT6000 catering truck.
1/144 Schopf F59 tow truck.
1/144 Schopf F110 tow truck.
1/144 Schopf F210 tow truck.
1/144 Towbar for A318/A319/A320/A321
1/144 Towbar for B767/B777/B787 A330/A340/A350 MD11/DC10
These items as well as some others such as the 1/144 Flight crew, 1/144 Belt loader (still can’t confirm this one) and 1/144 LD3 container (no doors) will be released and restocked on November the 26th.
I am going way down the end of the month, and this is basically for two reasons: I am making my own packaging; for some items is easier to find the perfect box like in the case of the catering truck, for which the current one I am using has the perfect space for all the bags and parts, for medium items like these tow trucks (except perhaps for the F59) either the other boxes I’ve got (smaller than the ones for the catering truck) or the small blisters are either too big or too small for them.
So I decided to make my own cardboard boxes made to size for these items and most surely for future ones of similar size. I already did a test and it worked very nicely. I am looking for resistance / less weight / and nice finish and also, they can be done quite quickly.
There will be different types of boxes depending on the products, as eventually I will stop using the “standard” blister simply because I cannot find it anymore, however, I will keep on using the small one as it is still in the manufacturer’s catalog.
Talking about blisters, I am studying the very possible possibility to make a second blister shell which will go inside the small blister in order to fit each 1/144 figure in a separate cavity, so inside the small blister there will be a sublister with cavities for each figure and therefore, assure a better presentation and transportation of these, they are currently shipped inside the blister but with protective foam.
The second reason for the release at the end of the month is due to some category changes I will make at the store. Items will now be categorized by type, as the GSE catalog grows, I prefer to put each item in a specific category. I will also set the containers independent from each decal handler, so it can be easy to find the right one (and keep stock units better controlled for me). I also want to do some changes on the decal handlers, provide more quantity and variety on each set, so that you can make your own GSE diorama with the desired airline logos, must be said that with this, some current handler decals will be discontinued (for instance, those that I printed the first day and were never sold).
Sadly, the 1/200 category will disappear, at least, momentarily, as I plan to stop production of those and focus on providing finished 1/200 items. Thinking that most 1/200 enthusiasts are 1/200 diecast collectors, providing a finished item suits better their needs, so even though there may not be many units of each, I expect to provide detailed 1/200 GSE models in the future.
This is my “to do” list for the next days until the 26th:
Prepare and baggage the parts of the F59, F110 and F210. These parts are already made, and it will be an initial stock of 11 units of each.
Prepare and baggage the parts for both towbar types.
Make a finished version of the F59, F110, F210 and the two types of towbars.
Prepare the packaging for the tow trucks.
Make the changes at the store and prepare the inclusion of the new items and that means gallery and description, also planning in making horizontal thumbnails for the products rather than square ones.
Naturally, all of this work has pushed me to slow down a bit the B787-9 cargo holds, but not for much longer since I am resuming the work as soon as I’ve progressed half the way down the list above. I had to wait a few days until one of the materials I used dried properly, we had some rainy and humid days here.
The FWD cargo hold is fully finished and ready for production, decals were designed as well.
The AFT cargo hold work will resume soon, and the new shell will be started in the next few days.
That is all for now, I know I am extending myself with the release dates for everything, but I want to make sure that everything is perfect, I did take my time to improve the towing hitch for the tow trucks, I also improved the hook on the towbars, so I always think that time invested to improve those things is time well spent.
For next weekend I plan to share with you some photos of the finished tow trucks, and will be preparing a kit review/ building process video as usual.
That is all for now, take good care everyone! Best wishes, Guillem
In my previous entry, at the end, I was writing that if everything went well with the B787-9 cargo hold I would be giving an update this weekend.
So I can share with you the work with this cargo hold. It is by no means the same one I tested last week.
After the first casting, I just wasn’t happy with the result I saw some misalignment and things that I really felt were not up to the standards and that I could do better, it was a moment to take an important decision.
The decision; start all over again. I’ve been working hard this week on a new shell, this time I focused on making this in a way I initially thought about, with a shell placed inside the fuselage without needing of cutting nothing but the cargo doors.
From the image above, you can see the new cargo hold shell (left) and the previous one (right). Not only I made it fit better, but was also able to make it longer which is something that I could not do with the method I used for that cargo hold.
Still, there are limitations, it will only have capacity for 16 LD3 containers since up front I could not extend the hold due the forward galley/cockpit, and at the back (towards the center of the aircraft) I preferred to leave a wide portion so that the fitting on the inside could be more precise.
Upon building this new shell I had to think; what about the middle galley? If you recall, the center galley that I made was an overall round disk, the reason for that was to aid on the positioning of the galley itself, so that the space would be equal on both left and right doors.
I did not want, by all means, to sacrifice the middle galley, so a strategy was done which consists in cutting half the disk, leaving 1 mm of floor thickness, and fitting the galley right on top of the dedicated space of the cargo hold.
The lower portion of the middle galley is no longer needed, because it is the cargo hold structure, the one in charge to keep the galley leveled and at equal distances from the doors.
Of course, the open areas you can see on the photo (in front, and behind the middle galley) will be covered by the ceiling. Now, a third portion of the ceiling will also be included, in case you are not using a middle galley, thus closing the area completely. For my project (which I will be sharing here upon start), I will be using micro leds, which I think will bring the work done inside to life.
The precision to do this had to be chirurgical, everything fits tight, and although I did not do this on the LD3 containers above, maybe sanding down the container straps would help give some 0,3mm room. This can give you an idea on how much had to be taken into consideration to fit together right.
Note that I made the dividers in such a way so that it can be easier to place the containers and decals for each pallet hub, sta etc.
The cargo door was something very interesting for me personally, because due the thickness of the plastic, the containers (made to the equivalent size in 1/144) were a bit too tight to get in, so I had to sand down 1,5mm above the door hole to offset this issue.
The last version of the door shown here, fits very nicely to the hole, I did not have to oversize the original Zvezda door. Regarding the cutting of the door, I have recorded the method I did it with and also took photos that will be a part of the instructions.
Note the latches at the bottom center of the photo, there are plenty included in the set, only 5 (if memory serves me right) need to be used, then other four different types for the lateral walls are also included.
At the bottom right corner you can see another issue that had to be solved; the rollers are actually hanging outside the floor area, between the door gap and the floor level, so by readjusting the positioning of the platform, this was possible, then the latches will be glued below, right on top of the plastic thickness, which is on top of the cut done for the door.
There are still other parts that I wasn’t able to share yet, which are the hinges and door latch. I will be sharing these once I can show a fully 100% completed cargo hold (painted and decaled).
The fitting is very precise with the original molds, this was what I was afraid of and the main reason why I chose the other way on my failed attempt, if the cargo hold was not properly glued at one side of the fuselage, it wouldn’t fit the other one or it would not be leveled.
So with this new method, gluing it by using the references of the mold centerline and joining points, it is very easy to leave the cargo hold perfectly fixed at one side, which translates with a perfect union upon putting the other side.
Despite the failed attempt which took me months of work, a lot was saved such as the platform and the rails (which already took me weeks). The sidewalls were made new, to accommodate the new shell and length.
It took me a week to make this new shell, and as I am finishing this entry, I will be starting with the AFT cargo hold today.
This new method gives me a lot of fresh air for the B747-8F/-400F project for which a similar method will be used, only that in this particular case, the whole main deck will be represented.
This change of plans made me delay the B787-9 cargo holds till the end of the month, not only I need to take into consideration the extra week (if all goes well) for the aft cargo hold, but also time to make the initial units, instructions and decals.
From here I apologize for this delay, it may be that some of you were looking to make a project with them on Christmas, like me, but I think there will be time to have this done and available weeks before Christmas.
I will be writing another entry soon to confirm the release date of the catering truck which will be simultaneously released with the tow tractors: Schopf F59, F110 and F210 as well as the two types of towbars. Initially, those items would have been released at the end of the month, but they are actually much more advanced (in production phase) than the cargo holdsso I decided to switch dates between them.
That is all for now, I think that the step back with the B787-9 cargo holds was a good move to do, for the life of me I could never release something I am not fully pleased with, so hopefully these new cargo holds will have a much better finish and be of your liking.
Till the next entry, take good care of yourselves. Best wishes, Guillem