Just finished the JST-25 version with the cab and advancing more with the stock units.
Towbarless pushback AST-1 F 600 / stock completed.
Tow tractor JST-25 without cab / stock completed.
Tow JST-25 with cab / stock completed.
Belt loader TUG 660 / half stock completed.
Houchin GPU C690 / half stock completed.
TLD 414 GPU / to start stock.
Baggage carts open / to start stock.
Baggage carts closed / to start stock.
LD3 containers / to start stock.
LD3 turntable trolleys / to start stock.
Sharklets A319/A320/A321 / to start stock.
WiFi radome antenna / to start stock.
All in 1/144 first, 1/200 will come afterwards, later 1/72.
Please note that, some items due their tinier size, can be done and stocked quicker, such as the baggage carts, containers, sharklets, WiFi radomes. So basically I am starting the stock with the “harder” items to produce, either by size or quantity of parts.
There are also a couple of new items that will be launched as well, a new smaller and square LD3 trolley set and a set of chocks and cones (small ground stuff).
Despite I wanted to release the new GSE items around this time of the year, it is still taking me some time to complete everything.
I am however, starting to package the first units, so I am doing all what I can to supply these as best as possible, specially, due their tiny size. It also does take me some time to make the first completed version of each that needs to be used for the product page.
I will be honest, I feel I am starting new with the business I started a few years ago, except that I am very very grateful that customers already know how I work. I compare it to cycling, when you get on the bycicle and you have to do the first pedal, it is harder to get velocity quickly, so this is pretty much what I am feeling, except I am taking the first pedal on a pronunciated slope.
It does not take that much time at all to make units of a certain item if stock of that particular item is 0, however, making units of all of them does take me some time, specially if you make silly mistakes like I did on the JST-25 cab version.
I recently completed the JST-25 truck (photos below), however, when I went to assembly the cab version, I was wondering… wait a minute, this little thing needs driving mirrors, right? Duh… of course it did, so I had to make these, do another test, prepare for assembly… and these silly things can be said almost about any model I made, all of them required of fine tuning and that translates to time, and unfortunately, translates to cost…
This leads me to another subject; I can’t at the moment, continue providing the livery decals. As I said at the beginning and in past entries, this is like starting fresh… so you either focus (and invest) in one thing, or another… so reached this point, I won’t be able to sell livery decals, at least for some time.
I do not take this as a bad thing, in fact, I would have paused it sooner or later due the change I want to do with the silk screen printed details.
I do still have my artworks and in my honest opinion, the best thing to do here is just make a pause, prepare the A320 and A350 artworks to be printed in silk screen, and continue with the B777-300ER decal set.
My objectives are start as I did several years ago; making the GSE items and other airliner detail parts along the way (I don’t forget the 1/12 B737 cabin and the 747-8F/-400F projects) then once I can invest on the livery decals, that is what I am going to do. Even I won’t be printing them at least any time soon, I will certainly be working on the artworks, converting the detail sets to be silk screen printed, which will be combined with the livery itself.
Here are some photos of the JST-25 model, please bear in mind this thing is 2cm, 0,8inch long (1/144 scale).
Figures will be included in the set, you will be able to chose from long/short sleeves, helmet/no helmet.
Despite all the pressure to get things done, I still keep the love and passion for these airliner models, I love creating these things and that others can use them with their beautiful aircrafts, this is a dream that started in my teenage.
This is the energy that keeps me moving to do my very best, I have a lot of enthusiasm to make new things for airliners as these are a big passion of mine.
Work continues, items are being made/packed (PE, decals, resin parts, acetate sheets, braided wires etc…) and I am also going to be completing more vehicles that need to be build for product pages.
Unusual time for me to give an update as I usually write on the weekends, but I wanted to give an overview on how are things and the latest model I tested/build/completed.
Prior this, I wanted to comment a few points:
Very soon I will change the livery decals from the 8 micron film to the “standard” 13 micron decal film. The reasons are; 1) availability; to me it is a bit harder to find this type of paper within my reach, meaning, to have it readily available anytime I need. The second reason is that it may result harder for some modelers to use it on bigger decals. I have been testing the standard 13 micron decal and to be honest, it still gives very good results on terms of thickness, still thin, but it seems to keep straighter once starting to be removed from the paper base in comparison to the 8 micron film, where it may just be a bit easier to get folded if not being careful.So what about the smaller decals? I have done a precise test since I was building the belt loader and wanted to give it a shot to see how the “standard” 13 micron film behaves on smaller decals of about 3 x 1,5mm, the results were satisfactory, I was very happy with how it worked, still without visible edges, so I thought that all in all and for the purpose of the GSE and airliners, the 13 micron decal film seems to be a better option overall.
Talking about decals, I am redoing the LD3 container decals with the airlines from the previous LD3 due stock reasons, since the decals I have now (from the original batch) will not last forever.
I am also creating a separate sheet of decals with numerous airline logos in case you wanted to customize the GSE models, so you will find Delta, Emirates, ANA etc logos in different sizes on the same sheet (one carrier/sheet).
Plans to resume the 777-300ER (and so forth) decal sets will continue once I get things done with the GSE.
New Airbus sharklets, what about it?
Some time ago, a good friend of mine contacted me with a 3D model that he created based on the geometry of the Airbus A320. He was very kind enough to send me the file for me to check it out and distribute the finished product to the modelers if in the end I was able to make it in 1/144. I decided to give it a go and modeled my version (working side by side with the original), so that the thickness could be viable in the small scale (it was originally in 1/1 size) and made the dimensions were it connects to the wing as per Zvezda’s A320 model size, so this sharklet is, the best representation (and the closest) I can make of the small Airbus family sharklet.
Similar process will be carried for the A350 “new” wingtip. Now, I am a bit unaware of model kit news, but I think Zvezda will or did release the A350-1000 which should have the new sharklets, so my intention is to produce the new wingtips for those having the A350-900 kit.I am considering providing airline decals together with these A320 sharklets, which is something similar I did and will continue to do for the A350 sharklets.
GSE models, the TUG 660 belt loader is completed.
It is very important for me to test every single model that I set available, the last thing I want is for the customer to find problems while building the models, and to be honest I did have quite a lot of fun building that small little thing!
Do not forget, you may see here it all big and in detail, but the model it is actually about 4cm long, I tried to give this view on the last photo.
One of the things I find useful on this model is the idea I had on making the anti skid areas as well as the belt are actually a decal. This way there is no need to mask, no need to hold your hand tight to paint those stright marks, so the decals will do its job, save you some time / paint and give better results.
Headlights and tailights are actually photo real, and the PE includes two types of handrails, deployed and undeployed (both versions in the example photos).
Also, not visible in the photos (yet) there will be included a driver figure, baggage seen in the photos will also be included. As usual, the conveyor can be raised or lowered at desired position.
Here are the two finished models I have at the moment, yes still a lot of work to do and yes, not sure I will arrive on time by the end of November, but I am not going to rush to check things, I already started the stock process of some of the models.
I really do not want to disappoint anyone for the time it is taking me to do all of this. I want to present things as best as possible, not for the photos but for the customer to enjoy building such tiny kits, these are not 3-piece models, I actually call them kits because the belt loader has no less than 24 resin parts, 8 photo etched parts and decals.
I am continuing making units, but for sure this weekend I wanted to test/complete another item, so I may give a try to the JST-25 tow truck, which I already assembled before, but need to have it painted/decaled.
Thank you all for your patience, I should really give an update to the frontpage of the store… but haven’t had even time to do that yet. I may close the store for a couple-three days prior setting things back in stock, so if you find that, please bear in mind it is due the addition of the new items.
Continuing on with the GSE models, I have been able to finish checking / testing all the models so far, which are:
1/144 Towbarless pushback AST-1 F 600.
1/144 Ground Power Unit Houchin C690.
1/144 Ground Power Unit TLD 414.
1/144 Baggage carts (close/open) and luggage.
1/144 LD3 turntable trolleys.
1/144 LD3 containers (three styles).
1/144 Tow truck JST-25.
1/144 Belt Loader TUG660.
This means that I will begin the stock process very soon. In the meantime, I am also going to start the tests on the 1/200 scale models, they will be smaller, so I am sure that some adjustments will be required prior they are ready.
The GSE models in the three scales; 1/144, 1/200 and 1/72 will share the same instructions (with some possible modifications) same decals and same photo etched parts (in some cases, since 1/72 may allow me to make parts actually in resin). This means that the process for 1/200 and 1/72 should be just a bit faster since things are used from the original design when creating for 1/144 scale, still, every single model will be required to be checked in those scales and the list as you can see includes several models.
Another reason for taking a long time is because everything such as the decals have been made consciously keeping in mind that later it should be represented in 1/72. When I designed the models in 1/144 I added as much detail as I can, so although you can’t read the word “Diesel” in the fuel port of the 1/144 or 1/200 GPU, decals have been designed so when they are printed in 1/72, everything reads as per the real 1/1 model.
Since tests for the 1/144 scale are completed, I will start building an example model of each, for product page description/gallery.
I built an 1/144 TLD414 GPU this weekend to check how it looks like when painted.
Photos were taken from a distance which resembles how you would actually see the scale model (it is actually much smaller than what you see on screen), since it is just about 25mm, 1 inch long. Also notice that the wire is short, this was placed for testing purposes/example, but the kit will actually include two and longer.
I also managed to make the figures with helmets:
Can you guess from which airport/country these workers are? These white gloves are a clear hint 🙂
Progress continues so I am not sure I will be able to update the blog next weekend, I prefer to wait till having all the models completed and have something more to share.
Mid-end November is still the date for these to be released, at least in 1/144 scale, I will do my best to have as much as I can in 1/200 and will then start with the 1/72.
This week has been quite the “software” week. I’ve had some issues that prevented me to do the progress I wanted on the GSE items.
I had issues with my printers, and also running out of space in my hard disk, the cherry at the top of the cake has been a cut on my thumb but without major issue.
In any case, all the issues avobe are being addressed, some seem to be fixed, some seem to require just a bit more work, but all in all nothing that can’t be solved with a little bit of patience as most of you know, sometimes software issues are really annoying, updates, drivers etc.
I have been able to do a first initial test of the LD3 containers. I have done 3 different versions this time, these are; a solid unit, a solid unit with a side door and fork lifting holes and a side tarpaulin door version, all of them based on real LD3 units.
I did have a chance to test the clear resin and I am afraid I may give up that idea. Being unable to cure the resin to avoid the yellowing for that thin thickness is making the cabins way too fragile, so instead I will add a frame on the grey resin versions so that the acetate sheet can be placed from the outside in the case of the front/rear windshields and from the inside in the case of the windows, which is how windshields are placed on the real vehicles. It will be similar as those windows placed on the old catering truck cabin.
Lastly, I am doing the final tests on the belt loader model Tug 660 and finishing the figures, I seem to still have a little issue on the helmets, so I will rework the area.
November is right at the corner and I set that month for the release of the GSE items. Instructions are nearly completed, decals are completed as well except for the belt loader and the LD3 containers, photo etch for the items that require it have been designed and some yet to fit-test.
I know that time will be required to create the stock units since there are basically zero units made yet, however before that I want to fully focus onto the 1/200 GSE models and see if I can have them also available for the global release of both scales in November (around mid-end). If I see that I won’t be able to arrive with all the 1/200 models, I will then release all of what I have in 1/144 scale and release as much as I have for the 1/200 scale models at that time.
Wish you all a nice week and hopefully I can share a bit more on next weekend, before I finish this entry, I would like to wish you all a happy Halloween and a good day for All Saint’s Day. Winter is coming where I am located at, temperatures are more comfortable than those hot humid days, and feels better to stay in the warmth of home, hopefully that can give me more comfort to work and focus with everything as much as possible.
As usual on Sundays, I am giving a little update on how are things going with the GSE models.
There have been more tests going on and adjusting simple things such as the size of the hands for the figures and still have to adjust the helmet dimensions for them.
Some models that were already finished gave me a few small issues that had to be corrected. Besides testing these models I also started designing the PE parts for them, I already did a few etchings which was something that I needed to do due a change in the process and results have been satisfactory.
Instructions are also being completed, so far these have been finished for the tow tractor JST-25, the TLD 414 GPU, the baggage carts, LD3 trolleys and I am currently in the middle of the AST-1 instructions (to differentiate it from other AST-1 models, it will be named as per original model name, AST-1 F 600).
On a side note; the JST-25 tow tractor will be available in two versions separately, the one with cab and the other without, reason for this is that the building process is a little different and thus the instructions will be different as well.
This week I am going to do a test on clear resin. This is very important for me because it will change a little bit how the windows can be assembled, my goal is for example in the JST-25 truck, to use the method of masking everything that has to be clear (windows) and painting the cab, then removing the masking tape.
Clear resin will be important if I make more “civilian” vehicles in the future such as utility vans, airport buses or even the “follow me” cars.
I think this clear resin can also be something positive for the 1/200 scale where adding acetate sheets would be very tedious, having a clear part and having to mask from the outside would be the best option in my opinion.
Tests have to be done, UV and clear resin may not be friends, so I will try to apply a blocking UV coat to avoid yellowing, this is something that will be tested later to see if the yellowing is effectively avoided.
I know that test is a word I use a lot these days, but it is the truth… before having anything released to public, I must make sure that things are going to work out well.
The tests I am doing with these models are also going to be very useful for projects I already have started such as the 1/12 scale B737 cabin.
Some photos of the models; note that the tow truck can also pull the LD3 trolleys:
Just placing these models I had an idea on how this scenario may be represented, with the cargo loader side by side loading containers and a worker pushing the container towards the platform of the cargo loader. I am also planning to make the “squared” type trolleys.
The driver of the belt loader has his head lean to the right to make sure the truck is well positioned and may still be seated there as the workers are finishing loading the latest luggage.
It may not be seen in the photo, but the driver actually has his feet on top of the pedals, it was challenging to adjust everything to fit that way.
These are the parts that compose the Houchin C690 ground power unit.
I would like to say that if the tests of the current three models I am fixing now come out correct, I will begin with the 1/200 scale versions. I will be releasing these models in November, that is my goal, and although most of the 1/144 models will be ready, I want to wait till having the 1/200 models ready for a global release.
I am being more cautious now with shipping sizes and weights, so for this reason I am testing the packaging with the smaller blisters for the items such as the AST-1 which used to be packed in the bigger blister in the past.
By having the parts cut out from the base, there is a saving in weight and space, thus the smaller blister I currently use is the perfect one for these models.
That is all for now, I hope that next photos can be of all these models together with their PE in place and also a picture of the 1/200 AST-1 pusback.