B747-8F/-400F New progress

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to share a quick update about the work being done with the B747-8F / -400F.

I have been working around the nose area and have started the work with the main deck. So far all is going well, I think the most critical points on the design have been overcome, I am currently working on the nose cone interior as I am pausing for a bit the work of the main deck.

I need to refer to this project in a different way, since “detail set” probably does not represent the contents of the set, as a reminder, this is being made to be used with the Revell 747-8i or 8F models. The set will include both fuselage halves (except the tail cone and tail section), nose, main deck, cargo holds and cockpit. From the Revell kit, the wings, engines, landing gear and tail cone will be used.

This project is advancing steadily and I have the hopes that it can be finished this year, (Christmas seems like a good deadline for me). I always thought it would take me much longer to complete, at least to reach the stage in which the project is currently.

There is however, time to be dedicated to other things too; the 1/12 B737 cockpit project which has also been progressing very well.

There is extra work done that I haven’t fully shared yet; new baggage carts that will feature the moving towbar up and down and a linning covered version. Some other smaller GSE are also being done (The Pulsar 7D cargo transporter that you have seen in a previous entry).
The biggest of the Schopf family, the F396 is a finished and tested model now, but production of it needs to start.

So there will be two release dates; one for the release of the B787-9 cargo holds, restock of the B787-8/9 galleys, pitot tubes, antennas, radomes, sharklets, and a second release that will include the new baggage carts, the F396 and most surely other smaller GSE items such as the Pulsar 7D. The 1/72 Schopf F59 will also most surely be released then.

I will be giving a final release date for the first bunch of new items next weekend.

Best wishes,
Guillem

B747-8F/-400F progress

Hello all,

I am currently advancing with the B747-8F/-400F detail set. I am working alongside the other projects but despite that, the progress done so far has been very big, at least for what I am used to, in a sad way I can focus a lot more in work now, and hopefully the following renders will show:

There were two major areas that I needed to actually test before proceeding any further, one was the wing root connection with the Revell wing and the tail cone section.
Fortunately, both fitted properly
, as you can see from the above render, the fitting of the Revell wing is basically the same, only that the upper side is flattened down, as such, a small portion of the Revell wing needs to be removed, which is something that will be later properly specified in the instructions.

The inner structure:

As you can see, there are several “windows” and each has an engraved line going across the fuselage passing through the sides of the cargo holds.
These openings are for the interior lights. The reason for the engraved line is to fit in the 0,5mm optic fiber that I plan to include in the set.

I have been thinking about using LED lights, but can you imagine how many wires would be in there for so many lights?

Instead, with a couple of LED lights placed in the center of the aircraft, using them as light source, several 0,5mm fiber lines can go through the different openings till reaching each light point. There are going to be a couple of small indented areas (for both AFT and FWD holds) to show the limit of the area where the fiber needs to be attached at, because that same area is the open section for the cargo holds.

Although I need to test this properly, it is one of the very few ways I could come up to have these sidewall lights in the model. Of course, this will mean that once the optic fiber is installed, it will need to be “buried” with a bit of putty, therefore, the extra detail to add on the inner side of the fuselage will be done with photo etch.
Photo etch will be used for the light panel frames as well as for the lining unions (seen in the image above with thinner lines for placement reference). Amongst other elements, photo etched will also be used for the ladder that connects with the cockpit.

At this point, I hope you can understand my reasons for wanting to make my own fuselage and stay away from Revell’s, the modifications needed were quite complex to carry on, at least I could not make them as fitting-precise as I can now.

The main gear bay; I tried to keep the assembly of those simple, one thing I do not like at all is the way Revell makes their design, having to later apply putty all around the belly to cover the union, instead I just made a simple bay, with detailing inside and the same fitting points as the Revell kit, so the original landing gear can be used.

Another area I struggled quite a lot has been the bottom side of the cockpit:

At the same time I am designing each part, I also need to assure everything will fit perfectly later. In this case, all the detail under the nose will be added as one piece, fitting at the bottom of the windshield.

A similar step will be done next with the front area under the main deck. I am also making the different areas taking into account the measurements, so that the opening of the nose door equals the same of the real one in 1/144, same for the positioning of the side cargo door, etc.

I hope this project is of your liking so far. At this moment I am also preparing several new items for their release. it is taking me some time but I am doing the best I can to release it all soon.

Hope everything is going well for you, 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

Info – 1/12 B737 cabin update Part 1 – GSE 1/200 and 1/72 a reality

Hi everyone,

It has been again some time since my last update, things have been very busy here as it is not easy sometimes to take care of our elderly. I’ve been somewhat burnt and gloomy, however work distracts me thankfully and I’ve been working hard on the upcoming restock which I predict for the second or third week of March, so no updates usually mean no time to post due work.

I am trying to increase the numbers per item, from the usual ten units to at least twenty. A week will be dedicated to finish the base parts, and two will be required for those parts resin-casted and for the photo etched.

Along the way I am also doing some modifications in the making process in order to cope with the production rate maintaining the same quality, so for example, the twobar pushbacks have now their bodies resin casted, which is similar as the AST-1 F method for its body, same body/quality just different production process.

Work on the belt loader TUG 660 “v2” has progressed forward and I expect to make a test and a finished version soon.

I plan to have the TLD ABS 1740 stairs truck handrails resin printed as opposed to resin casted, this makes the process a bit quicker but also allows me to add some more extra handrails in the set. Also, I will probably be changing the 1,5mm metal rod by a plastic one (which I may provide silvered) as the time to cut/sand each metal bar was extending a lot, the brass tubes will still be included.

Basically all units for the AST-1 F600, stairs truck and the Commander FMC15i are nearly done. Production of other items is also on the way.

So as I mentioned earlier, I plan to have a general restocking each month, so if I restock on March 18th, I will be producing again for the third week of April and so on.

As production is taking me some time, progress on the current projects is a bit slow (but steady) so this weekend I was able to dedicate it to the 1/12 B737 cabin project:

Sidewalls will come next together with the forward electronics panel (FMC). Note that the work done so far still requires detail such as screw heads (and all the panels for each section).

Regarding the 1/200 scale GSE, it is a reality as I was able to test it finally. The 1/200 scale will consist in finished GSE items though, so these will be more limited (and perhaps customizable), but for test purposes here is the first F110 next to the 1/144 version and near the USB drive for size comparison:

To my surprise, the model was able to retain all the details, including the figure, the rear engine grid, fire extinguisher and even the holes of the chocks and panel lines.

The 1/72 is also moving forward:

Apologies for the overexposed photo, details are on the engine cover despite they can’t be seen here.

Although the F59 in 1/72 is progressing well, it sure has much more work to do than the 1/200 models.

The cabin shown here needs a lot of modifications and improvements, it is merely a “mockup” to see the overall fitting. The cabin will most surely be resin casted as so is the body and engine cover. A lot of work still required on this one which I will now move on to weekends.

There is so much going on with all the projects that at times I do feel quite overwhelmed as I do not want to disappoint anybody, however I have set myself schedules and times to do things so that I can actually finish something before going to the next.

That is all for now, I will most surely be publishing more news next weekend as I progress with stuff.

Take good care everybody.
Best wishes,
Guillem

747-8F/-400F FWD lowerdeck cargo floor and Belt loader 1/200 update

Hello everyone,

I have been progressing a little bit more on current projects while also trying to adjust a few other things about the current GSE models, more than adjusting, simply re arranging things so that it could be a bit easier to produce/pack them.

On regards the 747 cargo project, both fuselages are now at the same step, the sidewalls are smooth so I expect to do something with them to imitate the lining.
The deck that you can see for the FWD cargo holds is actually my second attempt, as I did one the other weekend, now I have it where I wanted it since the first version was conflicting with the door level.

The door frame will require some modifications at the lowest part, on the real aircraft the wall that contacts with the door (the latches) is vertical, but due the cut that was done and due the fuselage being cylindrical, the face where the latches go is diagonal. There is some work to do on the door area, I will be reworking it next weekend. This is another of the reasons why I want to cast the whole thing, there are modifications that required to be done in a project as big as this, it does not work by simply opening the door, and as you can see, the side walls had to be build directly on top of the fuselage.

The FWD floor will be different for Revell and Zvezda kits on regards length, this is due the kit limitations as I could not push longer with the Zvezda due the plastic part for the nose gear, so that section is a few mm longer on the Revell, won’t be an issue since sight can’t reach both floor ends.

 

The 1/200 GSE models are coming along very good. I have started assembling the belt loader for testing and example purposes and so far so good, I still have to make the PE and add the wheeldrive. This time the belt loader will come with one single figure version, winter without helmet, the reason for this is to ease on stock production, although I may give it a try and do the other variants as the 1/144 scale.

The Houchin GPU C690 is also being tested, soon to be assembled/painted, again for example purposes.

Both 1/200 items are going to be in the store soon since the first productions were coming out very well from the start.

Nedless to say the belt loader pictured here is stil a work in progress, PE is yet not in place, some parts are not yet added and some decals are still missing on the conveyor.

Next month will be very important to me, because there are some things that I want to do that I never have the chance to do, so I will take a couple weeks “off” and try to reorganize/make things.

It won’t be fully holiday for me, I will still be dispatching orders, I will still be making units (slower) but I want to take this time to enjoy modeling, which I nearly forgot and assembly at least one airplane. There is hopefully going to be something tangible on the 1/12 B737 cabin project, it will be time for me to check what are the steps needed for the current projects and prepare the next 1/200 GSE because once things are a bit more equal in the catalogue between the 1/144 and 1/200, I will start the next 1/144 GSE, the FMC15i cargo loader “universal”.

Best wishes,
Guillem

B747-8F/-400F FWD cargo bay progress

Hello everyone,

Today I want to share a very little progress that I am doing with the Forward cargo hold on the 747-8F (at the moment, the -400F will be coming later).

I have been studying carefully the reference photos that I could find as well as a very extensive manual. So far I am trying to reproduce everything that I see from the 1/1 model, for example, the ball rollers of the loading platform are the same number than that of the real aircraft.

The structure panels have this kind of insulation texture, although I am at the moment thinking about making them a bit thinner. There is still some work to do which I expect to do between today and tomorrow, because my goal is to test fit it this weekend on the model.

These photos are a work in progress so I am at the moment working mainly on the platform. To my surprise, to floor is not flat, manual indicates two walkways which are also the place for some sort of wheels, so basically you can see through the airplanes interior and see the structure. Rail tracks and such are placed on top of these structure sections.

So this is how at first, I would like these parts to fit, the fuselage will have the inbuild sidewalls and then the rail system which also includes the entry platform and structure will be placed inside during the building process. If you recall that white plastic floor I showed on the previous entry, this printed part will take its place.

That is all for now, I hope that if things go well I can do some more progress this weekend, I also need to advance with the other fuselage.

Best wishes,
Guillem