Hello, everyone. Sorry for the disappointment of a seemingly stagnant period over the last several months. Rest assured, we have been very busy with new items and overcoming issues in order to offer increasingly better items. Bigger and better things are in store. Of the things that are closest to release dates (through the summer), we have been working on a landing gear/wheel well set for the Tamiya F-16s in 1:48th scale. These include both Lightweight and Heavyweight incarnations and greatly improve on the kit parts, which, as good as they are, are limited by aspects that the 3D printer gets around.
What you see in the above two shots is the set test shot in the kit fuselage and the assembly consists of two prints only, though the set itself will have significantly more and will include wheels. This is the Heavyweight gear version and as is the norm with our landing gear sets, stainless steel tubing is included, cut to length, and represents the exposed oleo pistons while also providing the necessary structural integrity of the gears, ensuring they hold the weight of the model permanently. The stainless steel oleo pistons look incredibly real, and need no masking for painting, as paint simply and easily scrapes off with the use of an x-acto knife blade.
These sets will also be modified to fit the Kinetic kits, which are widely considered to be comparable to the Tamiya releases. The design of the Kinetic kits follow closely the concept of the Tamiya items, and it has been suggested that they should be interchangeable. The moderately experienced among you will probably be able to install these sets intended for the Tamiya kit into Kinetic's, but there are slight differences between them, because the Kinetic kits are not copies of the Tamiya F-16s. We do pay a lot of attention to the fit of our sets into the target kits, and these modifications, despite being minor, will be made in the 'For the Kinetic Family of Kits' releases. Not to mention that Kinetic is releasing two-seat versions which Tamiya, unfortunately, has so far avoided.
We are also well on the way to releasing new 3D printed sets for the Tamiya F-14s. The main item in progress now is a new Wing Box set.
The photos above show the box itself and the separate main landing gear well. The inclusion of the well with the set is mandatory. The roof of the wheel well is flat on the Tamiya kit, and won't allow the wing box to sit above it, restricting the depth of the wing box, completely screwing up spatial geometry of the thing. So, our new wells have a small wedge along the inner edge hidden under the various plumbing and cabling details, allowing that semi-circular structure visible in the wing box to be accommodated. Honestly, the fit is perfect, and that's no simple sales pitch. We spent a lot of time and effort on this to ensure that it does not become a stumbling block for the modeller, causing a loss of inertia in the project. Hate it when that happens!!....
The wing box structure itself will be a single 3D print, as will the wheel wells be. The question is, since the main wells need to be included, do we include the nose well? That has yet to be decided, and if you have any thoughts on the matter, by all means, let us know1 There will be a separate wheel well set to satisfy those that want new wells but have no desire to expose the wing box. A landing gear set along the same lines as the F-16 concept covered earlier will also be produced and is being worked on now. Our earlier cast resin sets of the spine details and avionic bays will be converted to 3D sets too, and we plan on fully avoiding using photoetching on these. We are playing with some ideas on how to do that so that it is accepted, and we have some promising test results.
That's it for now. Enjoy your modelling projects and let us know if you have any issues with any of our products or if you have any suggestions whatsoever. We'd love to hear from you.