...using our sets in the Hobby Boss F-14 (48th). This is good stuff....
These are the original Spine and Wing Box sets that were designed for the Hasegawa kits. The Spine set has since been updated and redesigned to fit the Tamiya kits, and to this has been added the new Avionic Bays set. A new Wing Box set will be coming to fit the Tamiya kits as well.
We are in the process of making a switch to 3D printed parts. In some cases, this can be construed as unnecessary with respect to cast resin equivalents, but in others, the switch carries major benefits. In developing the F-4 sets, a one-piece main wheel well was very difficult to remove from its casting block. As a 3D print, this became virtually effortless. So, the switch is on, representing a minor time delay in release. The first kit, covering the F-4E from SWS, should be out by the end of August. This will be followed on a monthly basis by the F-4J/S and F-4C/D, and the F-4B (TAM)....not necessarily in that order.
The new F-4E set should contain 8 HybridCAST parts (with metal oleos and retraction pistons), ten cast resin parts, 26 3D printed parts, and a clear printed item, for a grand total of 45 components. but that depends on the success (both physical and economical) of the prints. See the illustration below of the Parts Index. The price of the set is looking like around $59.99US, and we would like to know your view on that price point for what you get, so, please, let us know. We know that the lower the better, but would you consider the price fair?
Also in progress is design work on F-16 landing gear sets and wheel wells, covering the Hasegawa and Tamiya kits, and will include Light Weight and Heavy Weight gear versions, as well as the different intakes.
Finally, the P-51 set is being brought up to our current standards. It's been better detailed, and the advantage of 3D printing (as opposed to casting) is being integrated in a major way that will be greatly appreciated by modellers. The advantage will be very noticeable in the torque links and their application, and the main gear covers and in the way they are attached to the landing gear struts. Also, a full wheel well will now be included.
The new sets will focus on the SWS line of 48th scale Phantom IIs, beginning with the F-4E. This will include the HybridCAST legs and other items with retraction pistons, and the rest is done and ready to go. The question, though, is whether or not to switch to printed items instead of castings, which we are planning to do. Right now, this will require a bit of testing, but should not represent a massive delay.
Sets are also being developed for the Tamiya F-4B, and, if demand is there, for the Academy kits, too. The photo above shows the nose gear strut, and what you see are two parts. Surprisingly (perhaps), the torque link is not a separate part, but is cast with the main strut. This idea ended up working surprisingly well.
Details to follow....
A customer of ours, and now a friend with obvious modelling skills to spare from the Czech Republic, sent us these two build pics of his application of our sets to the Hobby Boss kit. He says the sets are 'perfect', but the installation into the HB kit is not entirely easy. Knowing the tolerances involved, especially with the outside edges of the photoetched framework corresponding to Tamiya's panel lines, I can see where any deviation between Tamiya and Hobby Boss F-14s would need to be handled carefully and thoroughly. Incredible work by this dude! Most importantly, though, he writes that he is enjoying the project immensely.
The Spine and Avionic Bay sets are now Available from our e-shop, and production has just begun.
....along with the F-14 avionic bay set will be a new Spine Set, tailored to the Tamiya kit. This set is a complete redesign of the set originally released for the Hasegawa kit that we did a couple of years back. It is more detailed and simplified. It is more detailed because of more information that we were able to get, and simplified based on the previous set's design. And it has been resized to fit the Tamiya kit specifically. We'll post some pics here soon...
If there is good interest in this revamped set, we'll do the same to the Wing Box set.
The F-14A/B/D Avionic Bay set (KAZ4809TAM) is just about here. It will be available from the store around the second week of January, 2021. It is designed (very carefully) to fit the Tamiya kits and includes various combinations of bay configurations. The new Spine Set (KAZ4808TAM) is coming around the same time. The photo above does NOT show all the parts, and some are shown assembled. The modules themselves are moulded separately to allow easier painting and to allow for the depth of the bays. This is probably the nicest thing we've developed to date.
One of the benefits of the Kazan Landing Gear (KLG) line is its level of detail, and to make that level attainable by the end user, the engineering that goes into these sets. The components of the sets that require gluing are resin, and so we are essentially limited to cyanoacrylate (CA) glues. The fine detail and size of the parts further limits us to using the thin variety, which cures instantly. That's why it has been marketed as 'instant glue'. Using anything thicker increases the possibility of creating a bit of a 'mess', killing the detail benefit. Some of the finest details involve the torque links, and that's where the engineering comes in. They are designed to fit onto their attachment points and hold in place (and correct position) to allow you to get close enough to apply a drop of the CA. Using the thin stuff allows capillary action to suck the glue into every nook and cranny without obscuring the fine detail, and pretty much eliminating the likelihood of you gluing your fingers to the landing gear set.
This is particularly beneficial with the Spitfire gears, because they are small. The links have small, angled holes thatt correspond to pegs in the main strut. The intent is that they are held between your thumb and index finger, and unless you apply way too much pressure, the assembly maintains its correct orientation. Then, an application of a drop of the CA takes over, and you are left with a clean assembly that complements, and is complemented by, the look of the metal oleo piston.
The idea is the same with the F6F Hellcat gears. Here, the biggest issue with the torque links is that they need to be cleaned up a little as they are removed from their casting block. There is a slight bit of flash around the ends of the links that allows these ends to come out of the mould without breaking. Cleanup is easy with a new knife blade.
The placement procedure is similar to that of the Spitfire set, though in either case, there is no reason not to use Microscale's Liquitape to hold the torque links in place.
A reminder of the metal oleo pistons. These don't need to be masked. Primer, paint and clear coats can be easily scraped away with your x-acto knife, and scuffing the piston would require serious intent on your part to do so. The legs are actually not that fragile.
The F-14 gears are extremely detailed and go together very well. Being F-14 legs, they have quite a few more parts, but the same level of engineering has been applied across the board. The parts count includes the retraction struts of the main gear in both locked and unlocked options, and both options include the metal retraction piston. It also includes printed parts for the sway braces of the front gear, as these just could not be cast to any satisfactory degree. We made the decision to provide this (if you look at the instruction link on the set's product page, it is Part 29) as a single unit to ensure left/right symmetry, but that made casting in resin a bloody nightmare.
Most of the detail parts of this set are large enough that they literally snap into place and require no gluing at all, a very useful feature. All parts were designed with assembly in mind.
If you are interested in purchasing any of our sets, check out the availability at Sprue Brothers or Hannant.s for the North American and European markets respectively, and we are currently also shipping from within the EU. As always, any and all questions will be answered, so feel free to drop us a line.
The four new sets that have just been released cover the Spitfire Mk.VIII, Mk.IX and Mk.XVI, and there are two sets, one with a forward facing torque link, the other with the more rare aft facing links. Both include four and five spoked hubs. The Hellcat set includes full wheel wells, length corrected struts and three types of tires (channel, '+' and brick pattern tread). These three sets are designed for the Eduard line of kits, and are in 1:48th scale, as indicated by the product codes. The fourth set covers the Tamiya F-14A, B and D models, and are completely retooled. They still include all three main hub patterns (early, mid-production and late), but have vastly improved detail, are easier to use, and include clear printed parts for the landing/taxi light. The detail has been enhanced to a new level. The nose strut is a full length affair now, too. These sets can be purchased via our e-shop.
....a roller coaster of a ride. The Covid-19 epidemic has been hard on us,mostly because of what it has done to the mail system, world-wide. We have had to postpone our development of the European studio, due to complications brought on by local restrictions, and the move back to Canada that it precipitated. However, things are gearing back to development and production of new sets. The one thing that has not suffered is development of new items, and this has been brisk.
A couple of major new developments have been the decision to begin offering sets with wheel wells to go with them. Some of these will be of obvious advantage, such as with the landing gear set for Eduard's 48th scale Hellcat, and with the set for the Academy F-4s.
The production of both is nearing, but some raw materials are still in extended transit, delaying things in an unpredictable way.
Here is a sample of the nearly completed art for the Hellcat:
The set includes full main landing gear units and everything associated with them, including HybridCAST oleos and three tire options, allowing a choice of various combinations.
The F-4 sets are being finalized (mostly with wheel well fit confirmation) and this set includes the HybridCAST oleos and retractions struts for the main and nose gears, and as a bonus, includes full speedbrakes as well. Retraction struts with lock collars are included as well. 3D printed clear lights are a major plus.
Wheels, of course, are included, and the wheel well walls are a single piece affair replacing Academy's five piece units. Needless to say, the detail limitations of the kit units are beautifully overcome in these sets. Three initial sets are being developed, covering the Academy F-4B/N, F-4J/S and F-4C/D. These are also being drawn to be used with the SWS kits (including their upcoming F-4E), and the old but very much liked Hasegawa kits. Scaling up to 1:32nd scale is slated through the fall.
the F-14 kit is redesigned. It is still designed for the Tamiya kit, but a new casting system has specifically been developed for this set, and is being used in all the others. Much of the assemblies are a 'snapfit' (they are in all of these sets, actually) and this greatly facilitates gluing. The parts stay in place of their own accord, and this greatly eases assembly. This set won't be offering the wheel sells, but does include clear parts for the lights, and includes a nose strut that is there in its full length, and does not use the upper portion of the Tamiya kit.
So, despite the pandemic and the complications that go with it, development at Kazan has not taken it lying down. These sets, among others, will be available shortly.
Very serious modellers who believe that artistic license can be incorporated into an accurate rendition of an aircraft....