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Coming off the Shelf – A Hot Classic

posted by ChuckZ 10:01 AM
Thursday, June 29, 2017

A few weeks back the kats here at AMT told you, “something hot is coming your way”. For those who picked up on the subtle hints/clues of that message, here it is. Another great kit for all the fire truck fans out there! The American LaFrance Custom Pumper. With well over 300 parts, including more than 100 chromed parts, the Custom Pumper is guaranteed to test your building skills—offering potentially great results you’ll surely be proud to display. Originally scaled from American LaFrance official factory blueprints, the assembled Pumper measures out at over a foot long! This latest release packs in all the familiar details you’ve come to know and love from years past: authentic siren, bell, horns and flasher lights, two suction hoses, a two-stage “twinflow” pump, hollow vinyl hoses, three ladders, a supercharged Detroit Diesel V-8 engine, authentically detailed decals, vintage packaging art, and more!

So get your glue and paint ready. The Custom Pumper is headed your way. Available for purchase at your local hobby dealers, or online, later this summer!

KAT CHAT: Beautiful Box Art!

posted by JohnG 12:40 PM
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Yes, yes, we know: “It’s what is INSIDE the model kit box that counts.” But how many of you can say (when you were a young modeler back in the day) you never bought a model kit based on the box illustrations? That fantastic commercial art of yesteryear drew us in and inspired us to build a kit “just like the box art.” Or, to take it any number of steps further and create our own unique interpretation by kit-bashing, restyling and outlandishly customizing those plastic parts!

Here’s one very memorable AMT box, and despite it being beat up, creased and yellowed, it still inspires fun and creativity in modeling. What are some of YOUR most memorable and favorite kit boxes?

Coming off the Shelf – “Worth” the Wait

posted by ChuckZ 11:36 AM
Friday, May 19, 2017

OK truck fans, get your glue, knives and other essential tools ready! After waiting for over 30 years, it’s finally on the way. The Kenworth Conventional W-925 is on the boat and will be available in about a month for your building pleasure. She’s fully loaded, with over 300 parts —including retooled sleeper and battery box parts. Also included are 3 large chrome trees with plated wheels, exhaust, lights, rear fenders, bumper, grille, air horns and so much more! To top it off, the kats at AMT have also thrown in an expanded decal sheet with new and improved graphics, so you can take your build to a higher level.

To all our truck folks out there… thank you, once again, for your support.

Lindberg Model Kits: Mini Lindy’s: An Illustrated History 1980s & 90s

posted by ChrisP 10:22 AM
Thursday, May 4, 2017

This is the 3rd and final part of an illustrated history of the Lindberg’s Mini Lindy line based on found images, catalogs and info from some modeling sites.

Part 1 – 1960s

Part 2 – 1970s

In 1980 4 more garage kits were made under the Truckin’ Big series.

All new tractor trailer kits were made in 1982.  A mix of 2 semi-trucks (GMC Astro & Ford CL-9000) and 4 trailer variations made up the 8 releases.  The first 4 in these series were reissued in slightly different packaging at some point before 1987.

In 1984 the addition of a tanker trailer lend itself to 4 more truck kits.

In 1990 the Miniature Mint Collection 2-packs were introduced.  The 1990 catalog showed 6 kits, No. 72301-06, showing 8 previous cars and 4 new ones. Ultimately only 4 of the 6 two-packs were released.  In 72303, the 1932 Ford was replaced with the newly-tooled 1990 Corvette ZR-1.  In 72304, the MG-TD was replaced with the newly-tooled Lamborghini Countach.  From what I can tell the 1990 Camaro Z28 and the Ferrari Testorossa were never tooled.

The final Mini Lindy release was the Super 8: Street Machines in 1991 feature 8 cars: 1964 Corvette, Jaguar XKE, 1970 Corvette, 1967 Mustang, Corvette ZR-1, Chevy Pickup, Lamborghini and 1968 Camaro.

Some of the dates and images were found on these fantastic sites….

87thscale.info

Diecast Destination

Swifty’s Garage

 

Commenters let us know……Should we bring these back? What kits do the modelers want to see?

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Lindberg Model Kits: Mini Lindy’s: An Illustrated History 1970s

posted by ChrisP 2:38 PM
Friday, April 28, 2017

This is part 2 of an illustrated history of the Lindberg’s Mini Lindy line based on found images, catalogs and info from some modeling sites.

Part 1 – 1960s

In 1970 the existing kits from the 60s were rereleased with new packaging and item numbers; 8 under the name 1971 Hot Shot and 8 under the name Mod Rod which included psychedelic flower decals.  Other Mod Rod versions of previous cars were made available though a mail-in promotion; they came in plain boxes but included Mod Rod decals and instructions. These included the Porsche Carrera, the “1971” Corvette, the Ford Mustang, the Jaguar XKE and probably more.

In 1971 8 of the original trucks were rereleased under the name Big Wheels. That same year seven new cars were released under the name 1972 Super Sport.  The ’68 corvette was included to round off the 8.  New cars included the Cadillac Eldorado, Lincoln Continental Mark III, Chevrolet Vega, Buick Riviera,  Gremlin, Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix (in catalog as Grand Ville).  The Super Stock series are some of the more difficult to find Mini Lindy kits.  One interesting thing to note is that the Pickup Camper was a Ford now it is a Chevy.  The box art is the same as the 1960s but has been altered slightly.  I believed the pickup was altered for a dealer promotion, because the Camper can be found in pink & orange striped Chevy promo boxes.  The chrome grilles look different but the bodies are similar enough that the tool may have just been altered.  It still has the number 22 on the underside of the body.

In 1972 some of the trucks were released in 2-packs.

In 1975 10 trucks, vans and bus were released under the Hi Rollers series.  The back of the packaging showed all the releases except for the 2 buses.

In 1976 8 cars were rereleased in the Speedy Wheels series.

In 1977 the Van Go series added a new twist to 8 previous cars with bold graphics and glitter in the injection plastic.

In 1979 the Car and Garage Kit series include a plastic garage with windows and an opening garage door. The Cadillac Eldorado and Lincoln Continental Mark III returned for the first and last time.

Look for my next post for part 3 – the 80s & 90s.

Some of the dates and images were found on these fantastic sites….

87thscale.info

Diecast Destination

Swifty’s Garage

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Lindberg Model Kits: Mini Lindy’s: An Illustrated History 1960s

posted by ChrisP 5:12 PM
Friday, April 21, 2017

This is an illustrated history of the Lindberg’s Mini Lindy line based on found images, catalogs and info from some modeling sites.

Part 1 – 1960s

The first 24 Mini Lindy cars were produced between 1967 and 1968 with the first 16 appearing in the 1968 catalog.  The vehicles were HO scale plastic kits that included clear parts, chrome parts, metal axles, rubber tires and a decal sheet. They came in black boxes with the model illustration appearing in a white oval.  On the reverse side appeared a rear view of the vehicle.  Three variations on the packaging appeared: a basic box, box with a flap for hanging and a cellophane version that was just the basic box with the back illo cut out. On the back of the flapped version was a list of kits numbered 1 to 32, though at that time only 24 had produced.  The list also changed a bit on kits 17-24.

In 1969 7 “red box” kits were released; kits were numbered 25 to 31.  An oddity… #32 Ryder Moving Truck appeared in a black box.  Not sure of the release date but given that the kits were released in groups of 8 generally I would think this would have been released with #25-31, but I don’t know.  The list on the flaps changed again to reflect the final 32 kits.  Seems as though #25 Pontiac Firebird, #28 Jaguar D, #29 Bobtail T, #31 Station Wagon Vista-Cruiser, #32 Stake Truck, and #32 Oil Truck were unproduced.  The 1969-70 catalog still only showed the first 16 kits.

Look for my next post for part 2…….

Some of the dates and images were found on these fantastic sites….

87thscale.info

Diecast Destination

Swifty’s Garage

Coming off the Shelf – Honoring 75 Years…

posted by ChuckZ 2:47 PM
Monday, April 17, 2017

With Freightliner celebrating 75 years, the kats at AMT decided to offer a “commemorative edition” kit in honor of such a special occasion. With the option to build either the SD or DD, this 2-in-1 kit has more to offer than simply a familiar build. For starters, the box features new artwork by AMT’s legendary artist, Don Greer. Next up, is a brand new colorful decal sheet featuring multiple striping options which can both be used for either your SD or DD build—plus, custom Freightliner 75th Anniversary logos, plates, numbers and more. Finally, when your build is complete, show it off on the bonus super-sized display base. The first ever, included in our current line of big rig kits! And as an added bonus, the extra parts you have left over can be stored away—then used for future “custom builds” that you may have in mind!

So put the hammer down, and keep an eye on the horizon for this “commemorative edition” kit. Coming soon to a local hobby store near you.

Lindberg Model kits: Big 1/16 Scale Serpent Sho-Go Rod!

posted by ChrisP 9:00 AM
Friday, April 14, 2017

After 47 years and some tooling work the Serpent Sho-Go Rod is ready to roll again! The kit has had quite a few variations over its long history. The first appearance was in Pyro’s 1965 catalog as the TeeNT Sho-Go Street Rod and the Gee-T Custom Show Car.  The Serpent variation first appeared in 1966 as the Cobra Tee Way-Out Rod.

In 1970 skis where added to the Gee-T and it was re-christened as the Sno-Skeeter, the Cobra Tee became the Serpent, and new parts were tooled for the 4th version – the Laramie Stage Ghost.  In 1979 Lindberg released the TeeNT as the Bull Horn Street Rod. Supposedly, it was renamed as such because, when loonies at Lindberg obtained the tooling, they thought that the horns from the Laramie were meant to go with the TeeNT.

The Serpent is a big, fantastic rod at 1/16 scale. It sits at over 8 inches long and 5 1/2 inches tall. The kit features snakeskin textured side panels & upholstery, detailed engine, rubber whitewall tires and slicks, an extra cobra throne seat, antique cowl lamps, custom bucket seats with cobra headrests, seat belts, custom exhaust pipes and twin steering controls.  Parts will come injected in blue, black and clear.  Alterations to the kit include improving the way the bucket sits on the frame and adjusting the stance of the 3rd seat to better match the box art.

For those wanting a more custom look the Serpent comes with a slew of bonus parts including front & Rear fenders, chrome wheel covers, chrome gas tank, alternate cowl lamps, and chrome air cleaners.  An all new feature for the Serpent is a large, snake-themed decal sheet. Slithering your way this May!

 

 

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As described in previous posts, I enlisted Jim Small to assist with the new Space:1999 Eagle with Cargo Pod box illustration by having him build some environmental props shown in the nuclear waste storage fields in Space:1999. So with all that work done, it was time to start photographing everything in context which could then be used as reference for the illustration.

Our method of working through this is kind of like a director working with his director of photography in a film, but we work long distance and transfer images and direction via chat messaging. Jim has everything set up in his workspace and sends over a photo. I usually plug that into my box layout that already holds all of the other design elements. Then I send direction back to him. Is the angle alright? Is the lighting correct? Etc. is worked through. In this instance, Jim sent me one quick photo just to generally set stuff up and see how the angle works, and this was the initial shot.

The angle was fine, but I had him play around a little bit with the location of the storage silo, but ultimately landed on the decision to position it below the rear of the Eagle. Once that was settled, we moved on to the other elements. I had him adjust the lighting and position the nuke cone platforms to the space I had built into my design.

My initial vision was to have a row of lamp stands in the foreground, but I thought we would be missing out on seeing the signature light flares coming off of them in that position. So I had him re-position them to the far side of the scene to judge later.

With all of the elements now available to me, I dropped them roughly into photoshop and tweaked positioning where needed and added a photo of the moon surface. This gave me the opportunity to play around with color and to judge where to position the lamps.

I ultimately decided to go with my first instinct (because they always tell you to when you can’t decide) and leave the lamps in the foreground. I wanted to use red to pop the box off the shelf, but I am not a “red guy”, and I wasn’t sure to what degree I wanted to push the “red alert” theme I mentioned in my previous post.

I continued to play around with color and asked for Jim’s input again. As a purist, he thought it might be better to make the moon surface gray and leave the ship white. The only way to separate them in a painting then would be to make one element “warm” and the other “cool”. I went through the exercise of proving one or the other of us wrong.

This is the image I used to base my painting on.

The painting itself was painted at 100% print size because the total box area is pretty big to begin with. I learned a lot when doing the first Eagle painting. If you recall, I actually did two paintings the first time around, the large main image and then I painted the smaller background Eagle separately and actually did that one first to get back into practice. I and many other people liked that smaller painting better than the larger main one. I liked it because I thought the end result was a better interpretation of the ship. (I think others liked it more because it was a longer-distance shot with less distortion in the ship) I think the fact that it was smaller made the paint on the board look more satisfying so I didn’t want the ship to get really big again on the new painting. Besides, working larger (which most illustrators do to allow details to sharpen when printed) would have required a large unruly board to paint on. So it was essentially one half a piece of illustration board measuring in the neighborhood of 20” x 30”.

I used acrylic paint again and ended up limiting the number of paint colors with maybe 10 different tubes in the mix. I used cooler reds for the shadow areas of the moon surface and warmed them up under the light of the lamp stands. I started by masking off the ship to preserve it’s pure whites. I then started roughing in the lunar surface before tightening up a few details like the craters, etc. I then moved on to the lamp stands and nuke cone platforms. I tend to paint secondary objects first in order to “keep my juice up” to paint the really exciting stuff like the ship at the end. I only transfer lines for what I intend to paint next. So that means details don’t get drawn in until the overall forms are painted.

One of the things I got hung up on with the first big painting was mixing the colors for the facets of the shoulder pods, and ended up painting over them several times. So I started there on this one, and only ended up painting over them a couple times before being satisfied. That helped set the value key for the rest of the ship. I laid in pure blacks just to get me rolling in detail areas. I tinted the whites a little bit where I wanted subtle color tones. In my digital color study, I purposely put a touch of purple in the outlying areas and shifted to a slightly greenish tone in the central area of the cargo pod. This was in hopes of attracting the eye to that area with it clashing against its complimentary background. For no other reason than not knowing where else to go, I started in on painting the details of the ship at the rear and moved my way forward, leaving the spine for last.

I was pinched for time by the time I got the painting finished, but it didn’t require the stress of staying up through the night and bringing in a slightly unfinished piece in the end. I had to touch up a few details and add logos and weathering patches digitally to the first painting. This time around I was able to paint everything in, and realize the fortuitous angle negated the need to paint Moonbase Alpha crests.

Scanning and digitally “stitching” a large painting like this is a tedious process even with a ledger-sized scanner. It took a total of 12 scans to capture the entire piece. One set of scans was taken from one direction then, turned and rescanned. This step helped eliminate the texture of the board and paint that is inherent in the scans. I tweaked the values to nicely match the original painting. We’ll see how it looks when printed.

A cause for concern arose when I showed the painting to Tom Lowe. His first question was “what, is it landed?” Um… Not in my head, and the colors should be tipping off everyone that knows the show that the Eagle is taking away one of the nuke canisters, right? Well, I couldn’t get the comment out of my head, and I had always wondered if I shouldn’t “cheat” and show the lamp light flares even though we never see such flares from behind a light source in reality. I thought adding them was worth giving closer consideration, and this IS an illustration. It should show the ideal, not necessarily reality. the light flares were created in photoshop and I think they really do help to show what is happening as well as stressing that the warm red under the ship is coming from a light source.

So, with all that ado out of the way, here is a sneak preview of the entire package layout with the painting and Jim’s buildup photos in place.

I didn’t want to spoil this post by putting this at the top. We had announced at every opportunity that the winch boom included in the Cargo Eagle kit would be magnetic, meaning that we would include the magnets in the kit needed to make one of the nuke waste canisters cling to the boom without requiring glue. Well, it would have been nice… We have been advised that in order to prevent the possibility of child endangerment, we should not include the magnets in the kit under any circumstances. The kit is engineered with locators for the magnets in case anyone wants to procure their own. In lieu of the magnets, we added a peg to the boom that can be easily removed for the sake of accuracy.  Was this an over reaction? Probably, but we couldn’t risk the liability.

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Lindberg Model kits: Jolly Roger Series: Hex Marks the Spot!

posted by ChrisP 4:31 PM
Thursday, April 6, 2017

“Set adrift and drudges weak
 Pursuit of yer gold and sapphire lot
 What ye find is not what ye seek
 When a HEX marks the spot.”

Emerging from the depths of the Round 2 tooling bank comes a new addition to Lindberg’s Jolly Roger Series. Hex Marks the Spot begins a haunting lineup of 1:12 scale figural kits. This memorable kit from 1972 stands 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide.  It portrays a cursed pirate captain steering his “skeleton” crew in search of a deadly treasure.  The all plastic assembly glue-together kit nearly snaps-together.   The model is highly detailed and well sculpted, featuring realistic wood-grain and weathering  on the deck and crates.  The cannon features corrosion after spending years on the dicey sea.  Additional details like cannon balls, a skull and bones are included to flesh out the scene.  The model jumps to life when a second skeleton lunges from a crate with dagger in hand to pinpoint the location of the lost booty on the treasure map.  A BONUS pirate medallion and coin are also included.

Decals include a massive skull and cross bones, treasure map, blue or yellow lantern glass, stripe detail for captain’s vest, decorative band for skull cap, royal crest for stolen crate, chest designs, multiple crests for the cannon and decorations for the ship’s wheel.  The decal sheet even includes the poem above.  Be sure to tell your usual retailer to reserve your copy!

 

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