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

747-8F/-400F FWD cargo hold structure

Hello,

Although I haven’t been able to advance as much as I wanted to, I finally finished the main structure of the B747-8F FWD cargo hold.

This is cargo bay is by no means finished yet, it is only the main structure; the sidewalls. The white floor you can see in the images is a “dummy” floor, it was needed to have it in order to make the sidewalls, the floor level was gotten from placing the plastic at the cargo door level.

I wanted to do the same steps on the other fuselage, but I run out of time, for the next weekend I plan to have the same steps done on the other model. There is still some work to do currently with this main structure, and that is to make both fwd and aft walls thicker.

On regards the floor, it will be made with the computer and it will represent the rollers, the locking systems and the platform with the rotating balls as similar as possible to the real aircraft. There is one detail that I like to include and this will be the different beams and sections which have the round shape of the fuselage under the floor level which can be visible in the real aircraft.

One last note for today’s entry, the side walls are now just a flat surface (although angled), but I expect to give them some volume to imitate the lining texture, the upper side will also have their correspondent details, decal markings etc.

 

Hopefully I can post more updates next week!

Best wishes,
Guillem

B747-8F/-400F here we go again!

Dear all,

As I am finishing establishing the new equipment (so far everything seems good, fingers crossed) I am able to produce quicker than before, however, there are a few things that need to be changed since the new equipment has a bit more power, thus some adjustments with the settings need to be done.

Here we have summer and working at the top floor is always… an adventure. I did manage to keep the room cooler so work continues as always.

With this entry I wanted to explain the comeback of the 747 cargo project that was started a long time ago.

I have been cutting Revell’s and Zvezda’s fuselage as I will start working on the cargo holds soon. As you can see, this time I decided to go with another strategy, very similar to a model ship’s hull:

By cutting the fuselage this way, I have full access to the cargo bay, this way it will be much easier for me to work with it and add as much detail as I can, this will also be very useful in the building process since access for painting will be possible.
The main deck will sit on top of two guides I will place on each side of the fuselage (or on top of the side walls), so once the cargo holds are painted, the main deck can be painted/decaled outside and placed on top.

The finished product will include both halves, top and bottom fuselage, however, I will also put available the underside of the fuselage, for those who want to have only the cargo holds on a passenger or a “closed” freighter.

I will not compare the two kits since each has its own pros and cons, but what I will say is that for me, one will be a bit “easier” to work with while the other will require some putty under the belly, but that is not a big deal, as I said, both have pros and cons, some lacks a bit of detail on the tail section while the other has more lines engraved, plastics are different, one sands better than the other.
In the end this will be a resin kit, the center union will already be sanded down, so the only union that will require putty/sand will be the horizontal one. At first, I won’t be including the tail and tail cones,  since the bulkhead will be attached to the end of the fuselage and will rest inside the tail cone.

I wanted to cut the fuselage as further as possible towards the tail, because I would also like to make the BCF or BDSF freighters and those have the original passenger doors and I did not want to miss fuselage section for the 5L door.

Both are fantastic kits, and the cargo set will be done for both equally and at the same time. The reason for making the Zvezda version as well is to convert the -8i model into the -8F model, for several reasons, availability of the model kit, modeler’s preference (for plastic etc) and prices at which these kits can be found.

The two fuselage shapes are practically identical:

Putting the fuselages on top of each other, they match very well, there are however some differences on the cargo doors, I have to double check this, but it is possible that the positioning of the cargo doors is slightly different from each kit. Speaking of doors, I still have to open the bulk cargo door, area which now will be “easier” to work with.

Above image shows a test I did to find the floor level, obviously there is still a lot of work to do, but I am very optimistic with this project and will focus all my energies into it.

The next step will be to scan the model and get the shape of the main deck, once the main deck profile is drawn, I will work with it in 3D and by the time the cargo holds are ready, I will be able to progress with work upwards and onto the other half of the fuselage.

Hope to progress a bit more soon!

Best wishes,
Guillem

Cargoloader FMC15i Universal started

Hi guys,

Very bad weekend for me as several of my pets passed away.

Did not have much time but I started the new cargo loader which will be based on the “Universal” model of the Commander FMC15i.

What is going on with the other cargo loader being out of stock and why this new one? For the same reason that things evolve because they can be improved, I want to evolve the GSE catalogue, the previous cargo loader gave me a lot of experience and also a lot of troubles, the model wasn’t made having in mind how the molds had to be done later on, the cross bars gave me nightmares since I wanted them to be movable… and the nightmares continued after casting where I spent hours to “clean” every single kit.

What will be different on this cargo loader? It will be more accurate, I’ve taken a better look at the thickness of the elements, the detail will be a little bit sharper, there will be extra care on details which means there will be extra parts as well.
The previous cargo loader made was the “wide” type, this one is the “universal”, meaning that the bridge will have double sill to reach the main deck of cargo aircrafts such as the B747.

If I can make it more accurate is thanks to Michael who provided me of lots of references making this project to be as detailed as I want it to be, so a big thank you goes to Michael for the big help.

Leaving aside the movable parts since it is not possible to make them movable within scale limits, the sills will be easily interchangeable, meaning that you can set different heights and also a single sill will be featured so that the universal can be transformed into “wide” which can be used on lower deck assignments.

For the first time I will also be working on figures (or figurines), figures give life to these models, and although there may be something on the market already, I want to make these specifically to match these GSE posings.

I want to take the chance with this post to say that there will be a change in the GSE models of the catalogue, being honest, some smaller GSE does not sell at all, which makes me wonder wether they do not fulfill customer likings or either they are too expensive for what they are, so I am exploring some possibilities to make some of the GSE more “photo etcheable”.

3D printing is a big competitor I guess, and maybe someday I will move to that technique, still, I wouldn’t feel the same without my hands actually working on the item, call me old fashioned but I do appreciate the work that it is done with the hands.

Here is a photo that ilustrates how I start the projects:

I sketch and write how the parts are going to be made, but the difficulty resides in that those parts need to be made in a way so that they can be casted later in resin (prepared for mold making) and built by another person other than me.
So I have to think how the parts will join one with the other, and without forgetting that scale is one of the most important factors when making these tiny models, making something 0,5mm thicker would be pushing the part 72mm on the real deal.

Here is a part of the frontal and part of one side panel:

This cargo loader will later be “ported” to the 1/200 scale, which will be even harder to make than this, but still I want to explore a little bit further the 1/200 scale and make some items, I am however considering whether these 1/200 GSE should be sold as a kit, or as a finished/painted product.

 

I have to say that I won’t be giving too much updates on this project, the reason is that it upsets me that I can’t share anything finished, I am working on the 747 cargo project, the B737 1/12 cabin, and now this, so I know it may be upseting just seeing a tiny step every weekend.

I want to focus working on these items, and prefer to share when I have something to share. The B747 cargo deck set has the FWD cargo holds nearly finished and I will start with the AFT cargo holds soon, this project will be progressing along with the GSE models (cargo loader and other stuff) because my goal is have those new GSE finished at the same time I complete the B747 deck set, the final goal is a totally complete cargo loading scenario.

During the week I will write an update on regards July’s livery decal releases, there will be a couple specials A350’s, but still, need to manage a little bit better the supplies.

Until then,
Guillem

 

B737 cockpit progress – end side of the sidewalls

Hello all,

I wanted to give a small update on the 1/12 B737 cockpit project. This time I have made the main structure of the end side of the sidewalls, which basically is about half of the sidewall. If I am not mistaken that compartment is the stowage for the captain and first officer luggage.

Everything done so far is just basic shape. I still have to add other details and parts, but since this has to be casted later, I have to plan ahead which parts must be glued together and which should be casted separately.

Looking at the photo with the panel at the front, you can see that the two sidewalls create a kind of curvature towards the panel. That will be the next step to do, I will create that round edge going on top of the sidewalls to meet where the glareshield/autopilot will go. Part of this edge is the window rail so it will be very interesting to see what is the space I leave behind as I am considering making the nose shell, that definitely would be a BIG challenge.

I have to say that I am using lots of references from several different sources, however, there is a source which is the main line in this project. My friend Philippe is helping me a lot during this project as with his help I am able to see things coming directly from the real thing.
There are lots of great simmers who made incredibly simulation cockpits and sometimes I do use their measurements for some specific things (mainly angles), but, I always confirm this from images of the real cabin.

I want to move forward this week with the 747 cargo project so I am already planning how to start the rear cargo holds.

Finally, the decal provider has shipped me back the 8 micron decal papers and I hope to print the upcoming new liveries for next month, kudos to him for solving the issue I explained in my previous post.

Wish you all a nice week!

Guillem

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