Archive for the ‘Round 2’ Category
You can turn a snap-fit kit into a competition quality model if you know a few tricks.
By Mark McGovern
Keeping a Model in Trim
After cleaning the flash off the halves of one of the Incredible Hulk’s hands, I snapped them together, as you can see in Figure 1 (this was a test shot, which is why the plastic is white). You can see quite a seam showing between the parts. My aim when I build a model is to create the appearance of the subject in miniature. Since no Hulk in his comic book, television, or movie incarnations has ever been shown with seams running around his body, I did everything I could to eliminate them.
With most glue kits, and certainly snap-fits, the parts can be made to fit better simply by removing the locators molded into them. I used sprue cutters for this job because the snap-fit locators were so large, Fig. 2. A curved #10 hobby knife blade was helpful for cutting in tight places.
If you hold your kit part up to a strong light so you can look along its edges, you’ll see that they’re not flat. The may be rounded or have lots of irregularities, where what’s needed are flat surfaces that will be fused together by the plastic cement you’ll use. Sanding the part edges flat is the first step in assuring a good fit; I used 150-grit sandpaper to do this.
The best fit comes with a little more work. I held the hand halves together in front of the light and checked for gaps. The light showed them clearly; by sanding the point where the parts were touching, I was able to close most of the gaps. At some points, I penciled arrows on the outsides of the parts to show me just where to sand. When I felt I had the best fit I could get, I glued the parts and clamped them. By the way, sanding the mating surfaces has the additional benefit of adding “tooth” to the edges, which gives the cement more surface area to grip; this ensures a stronger bond between the parts.
Stuck on Modeling
There’s really no single material that’s best for every plastic modeling job, so I keep a variety of paints, glues, etc. on my workbench to fill various needs. I used liquid cement for this assembly and tube glue for the larger ones, like the upper body. After the liquid cement had fused the hand halves, a thin line of melted plastic was left in the seam. A little scraping and sanding (with progressively finer grades of wet-or-dry sandpaper, ending with 400-grit) pretty well removed the melted plastic and the seam, Fig.3.
With the exception of the Hulk’s trousers, I followed these procedures for the entire model. Round 2 wanted the fists used only so those assemblies, along with the head, were cemented to the upper body and arms with tube glue. The gaps between these assemblies were filled with two-part epoxy putty because it sets slowly enough to be blended and sculpted. This made it possible to blend the hands into the wrists and head into the neck for a natural (?) appearance. A little more sanding with the 400-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper completed the job. Fig. 4 shows the results under paint.
To be continued….
You can turn a snap-fit kit into a competition quality model if you know a few tricks.
By Mark McGovern
I’ve been a competitive model builder for years and, I’m sorry to say, I tended to look down on snap-fit models. My assumption was that the parts would fit poorly because they were made to snap together. Then I was asked to assemble Round 2’s reissues of the MPC snap-fit models of the Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spider-man, doing the best assembly and paint jobs I could on them. I found out that, with a little adjustment of my building techniques, I could produce models that were every bit as nice as more complex glue kits. Here’s what I learned.
Every Journey Begins With a First Step
It’s a good idea to begin any modeling project by checking the instruction sheet to make sure that all the kit parts are there in the box. The suggested assembly sequence shown will familiarize you with how the parts are supposed to go together. With that knowledge you can decide whether to follow the instructions exactly or deviate from them if you’re going to alter the model to suit your own taste.
Then the parts can use a good bath in soap and water. This will remove the mold release agents, your finger oils, and any other substances that could interfere with paint or cement adhering to the plastic. The parts can be dried with rags or paper towels and then you’re ready to start building.
To be continued…
Lighting a Mini “U.S.S. Defiant”
by E. James Small
Round 2 have begun doing a few things differently lately, and the difference is clear to see.
Let’s look at the newest re-release of the Star Trek Deep Space Nine kit. The entire model is now molded in clear plastic, allowing for the adventurous modeler to light up the whole thing more easily rather than having to bother with the tedious job of drilling hundreds of holes and installing fiddly fiber optics. The same thing was also recently done with the Star Trek Enterprise D kit.
For an example of how casting the kit in clear is advantageous, let’s show you how to shed some light into something that most people might consider impossible, the newly tooled and diminutive 3 inch “Defiant” model that comes with the DS9 kit. Remember you can light up the entire station using the methods shown here too.
Using five 3mm LED’s, the tiny ship can be fully lit with relative ease, and it’s easy to make a stand to both support the model “in flight” and serve as a power supply.
The photos here pretty much show it all. Note that, using files, you can even sculpt and sand down LED’s to fit your needs, such as in cramped areas. Just as long as you don’t sand through to the metal bits inside the solid epoxy case, you can modify LEDs to the shape and size you need and install them in areas where they would not normally fit. Plus, because LED’s stay cool, you don’t need to worry about them damaging the model.
First, the kit is test assembled and examined to see where you can install the LED’s. The Defiant’s engine and bussard scoops are glued in place, being careful to test to make sure the top of the body can be installed correctly afterwards.
Next choose the LED’s to use for the model. I decided to use “warm white” 3mm LED’s for the bussard scoops and front sensor area, and regular (cool) white for the engines in the rear. Use whatever you think is best. Upon reflection I suppose I should have used a cool white or blue LED for the front sensor area since it is supposed to be blue, but it still worked out.
Hint: Stick with white, blue and green LED’s for most of your projects because they work rather happily on 3 volts, generated by two regular 1.5 volt dry cells connected in series. They can be tinted with transparent paints if you want different colours. The new pink and purple LED’s also work using 3 volts. But red, orange and yellow LED’s work at around 2 volts (one cell won’t light them up but two will burn them out!), necessitating the use of resistors which is more complex for the average modeler who may not be familiar with electronics. Please see my other article on lighting the K-7 space station here on the Round 2 Workbench for more details in using and soldering LED’s.
The most time consuming part is next… Practice installing each LED in place within the model, file down both the LED and the inside of the model as necessary until the LEDs fit in place and the hull fits together properly.
When you are satisfied with fit, choose some very thin insulated wire (such as telephone wire) and solder the LED’s together paying particular attention to polarity. You will need to plan it carefully and trim the LED’s leads accordingly.
Hint: Don’t solder the parts inside the model. Test fit, get the correct positions then solder the parts together, holding them with alligator clips and clamps outside the model to avoid damaging the plastic. Just keep test fitting often, and also keep testing the circuit as you go to make sure your polarity is correct and your LED’s aren’t damaged.
Next, you can use narrow brass or copper tube (available from K&S metals at your hobby shop) as a receptacle for the stand mount which you will make from Plastruct’s plastic coated steel wire (made in two sizes), also available at your hobby shop. Choose sizes that will allow the stripped wire to slide easily but firmly into the hollow tube. This wire will act as support for the model as well as carry electrical current to the LED’s. The plastic insulation on the wire will allow you to glue it together and prevent short circuits. The tiny tubes will allow you to remove the model from the stand any time you wish. Solder the LED’s to these tubes with one for the positive leads, the other for the negative. You will need to drill holes and cut channels into the interior of the model to accept the tubes. See Fig. 1.
When you are satisfied with your internal assembly, make sure you fully test it by plugging in some wires from your battery pack before gluing the hull together, sealing it up forever. See Fig. 2.
Now is a good time to make your stand. First, make your support by stripping and preparing the plastic coated wire, bend it into the shape shown and make sure the stripped ends fit into the model snugly but easily without strain on any parts as in Fig. 3
The stand shown in these pictures was scratch built from sheet plastic, but you can make one out of just about any kind of box you want. A switch is installed as well as a battery pack to hold two dry cells and two tubes, the same as the ones installed in the model, are used to plug the support wires into. See Fig.4.
Imagine what you’d have to go through to light this little fella up if it were molded in opaque material!
When you are satisfied everything can be mounted in place and the hull can be glued together, test everything (Fig. 5) then go ahead and finish the model as usual but with the following exceptions:
1: Mask off the areas you want to light up, OR be prepared to scrape paint off those areas when the model is finished. Liquid masking film is handy for this operation. Note the stand you made can be used to hold the model when spraying it as well as keep paint from getting into the inside of the tube!
2: Spray the entire model’s outer surface with white primer and when dry, follow up with dark gray primer. The white will help the light bounce around more inside the model to light up other things like windows, the gray primer will help keep the light from leaking through the hull colour, as most other paints are not entirely light-tight. Continually test the lighting while priming to make sure the model’s hull is sealed. Silver also makes for a great light blocking alternative as well, just make sure you can paint over the silver with your hull colour. Some silver paints don’t take well to being re coated with another colour.
When that is done, finish and decorate the model as desired. Install the batteries, plug in the stand, throw the switch and… (Fig 6)… ENGAGE!
Get yours now from the Autoworldstore.com
In any sport there is period of time you can look at and pinpoint the moment when the sport hit the big time. For drag racing, it was the late 1960s into the mid 1970s. That was when the sport experienced the perfect combination of extraordinary technological breakthroughs, record-breaking speeds, ground-breaking designs and a collection of legendary characters who were always ready to push the limits. It was that intoxicating mixture which took drag racing from a regional sport to one that captured the imagination of the nation.
In the late 1960s, model kit building was an extremely popular hobby. Millions of model kits were manufactured each year to keep up with the demand. Model Products Corporation (MPC), a fledgling model kit company based in Michigan, took notice of America’s attention to drag racing and began to produce 1:25 scale model kits of these cars. Everything from funny cars and rail dragsters to pro stockers and gassers lined store shelves. Names like “Grumpy Jenkins,” “Mr. Norm” and “Dyno Don” adorned the packaging. AMT, Monogram and Revell also produced drag racing models kits, but by the 1980s, model building began to wane and the tooling for most of these models was put into storage.
Today, vintage drag racing subject matter has become extremely popular in model kit and die cast circles. Many famous cars have been produced over the years, but it wasn’t until May of 2012 when Round 2, LLC announced the launch of their “Legends of the Quarter Mile” program that things really heated up. The Legends line was conceived to put a spotlight on the famous names and cars that put drag racing on the national map. Because of the diverse brands and categories under the Round 2 umbrella, “Legends” 1:18 scale die-cast replicas and 1:64 scale slot cars and drag sets are manufactured under the Auto World brand. Vintage model kits are also being reintroduced in 1:25 scale under the MPC and AMT brands.
The release of Harry Schmidt’s Blue Max Mustang Funny Car as a 1:18 scale replica signaled the beginning of a wildly successful program that has captured accolades from racing fans and hobbyists alike. Several original teams and drivers have contacted Round 2, asking to have their cars immortalized in this exciting series!
It was well before the first release, when work began to reintroduce several of the most popular drag racing model kits ever made under the “Legends” line. Some had been unavailable for decades and had been commanding big money on the collector market. The original tooling had to be scrutinized and in many cases, parts recreated. The artwork used to produce the decals in the original kits was long gone. Archival photos and other reference material was used to freshly replicate all the logos, badging and other markings in creating new, more detailed and accurate decal sheets. It was a challenge to find several of the original drivers. Some had moved on to other businesses and others had unfortunately passed away.
Late in 2012, Round 2’s MPC brand reissued Arnie Beswick’s “The Super Judge” GTO and Connie Kalitta’s Bounty Hunter Funny Car model kits in the Legends of the Quarter Mile program. These deluxe 1:25 kits are available for the first time in decades and have additional extras added, like the additional window parts in the Beswick GTO molded in clear orange, replicating the real car’s tinted backlight. You’ll notice the attention to detail with the kits’ extremely popular pad-printed tire lettering and a connection to the past with the vintage box artwork.
The latest Legends model kits include a special edition of AMT’s Ohio George Montgomery 1933 Willys Gasser and Carl Casper’s famed Young American front engine rail dragster, complete with bonus items and packaging that will delight any modeler or kit collector. For the Young American, Round 2 worked with Carl Casper himself to acquire a fantastic photo of the 1:1 car doing a wild pre-run burnout, to use on the packaging. It was a photo taken only seconds after the original one was used on the original release of the kit back in the 1970s. MPC’s team turned another photo Carl provided into a bonus card to include in the kit, featuring the specs of the car and a list of famous wins.
For the latest Legends of the Quarter Mile news, updates and offers, check out www.autoworldhobby.com/Legends. Get Legends of the Quarter Mile products at hobby stores, racing and die-cast related stores and www.autoworldstore.com.
What could be better in the winter months than enjoying time at your modeling workbench, jammin’ on your latest and greatest build? Finding a Katch the Kat version of AMT’s upcoming “Sock It To Me” 1962 Chevrolet Corvette kit, that’s what! The Kats are at it again, getting ready to reissue a perennial favorite kit, in the most desirable format ever seen in its history: SOCK IT TO ME! Back in the day, the original AMT Kats cleverly created issues of select kits named after popular catch phrases of the time. The “Sock It To Me” ’62 ‘Vette oozed additional coolness, with it’s psychedelic “airbrushed and pinstriped” box artwork and fluorescent orange lettering.
The FOUR different mod car illustrations on the box made you want to build one, or more, “real bad!” As a special bonus, inside the kit was a bonus Sock It To Me bonus sticker, printed with day-glo ink. The model could be built as a sporty stock replica, but also included a myriad of performance parts to create several different inspiring custom and racing variants: a blown quarter miler, a DOUBLE-blown salt flats rocket, or a totally mod custom with mind-blowing pinstripe and flame decals! Dig? Dig!! When the Kats decided to reissue the kit in the SITM packaging, they went all out, making sure it was just as sweet as the original… even better! They’ve included pad-printed “pie crust” M&H Racemaster slicks along with “wide whitewall” Firestone Deluxe Champion tires. They even restored the vintage slotted Astro mags back to their original appearance by adding back the textured center sections, for the ultimate in retro realism. The super-colorful decal sheet has been completely recreated from scratch, and we think you’ll agree, they are beautifully brighter than the originals! The Kats like the feature-packed ’62 Vette kit so much, they’ve decided to include it in the exclusive “Katch the Kat” program. Just like the Meyers Manx and Grandpa Munsters’ Drag-U-La, one in every twelve Sock It To Me ’62 Vette kits is molded in a special metallic color. Every metallic kit includes a confirmation card inside the box to let you know you’ve found something special! This time, and in keeping with the groovy box art, the metallic color is far-out orange! But every kit, whether it’s molded in white or metallic orange, includes a reproduction bonus “Sock It To Me” sticker, just like the original. It’s fabulous fun – only from the Kats at AMT!
Round 2 is offering several popular 1:25 scale models in 2 colors. The series began with the Silver Screen edition 1957 Plymouth Belvedere – “Christine” available in Red or White. The newest release is the AMT Buick Opel molded in your choice of White or Yellow. Includes 9×12 frameable print, large format Original Art Series packaging featuring vintage painting from AMT archives, all new and expanded decal sheets, and 3 hood options allow for the car to be built drag, custom, or stock. Be sure to watch for the final car in this series a ’67 Shelby in Black or White.
This iconic set of three 1:2500 Scale Star Trek models is a great way to pass the
snowy winter days. It includes three mini snap kits, featuring the U.S.S.
Enterprise along with the newly tooled Romulan Bird-of-Prey and Klingon D7
Battle Cruiser. Molded in silver and green the Romulan Bird-of-Prey and Klingon
D7 Battle Cruiser have never before available at this scale. These simple snap
assembly kits are great for beginners and include detailed decal sheets
featuring all three ships’ markings.
With the huge deal the big Enterprise has been, I don’t want to gloss over a few cool kits that might not measure up… (badumpump kish!) As mentioned back at Wonderfest, we are bringing out a new Star Trek: The Motion Picture Cadet Series set which includes a newly tooled U.S.S. Enterprise Refit, U.S.S. Reliant and Klingon K’t’inga Battle Cruiser all in 1:2500 scale. I want to take a minute to give these little kits their due.
We had Angelo Bastianelli do the computer work on these to get us started. I worked with him to noodle out all of the details to get everything just right. Those files were sent to the factory where they were adjusted for production and parted out. We received test shots a few months back and we have had a few rounds of adjustments to get all of the parts to snap perfectly. As you can see by Jim Small’s work on our buildups, the ships came out great. As usual, the kits come with all the decals you will need to get al of the paneling details on the Enterprise and Reliant. Look for the kits to hit store shelves right at the turn of the New Year and keep an eye out for a TOS Cadet set in 2013 (more details on that later).
Hi guys. It’s been too long (again). I wanted to take a few minutes to give you a 2011 iHobby recap. This was the national hobby industry show where companies of all kinds displayed their wares with everything form trains to remote controlled vehicles to models. We always have a big display of all of our hobby lines of 1:18 scale American Muscle die cast cars, Auto World slot cars and of course our Round 2 Models line.
I’m sure more details are available elsewhere, but I’ll give a real quick recap of our automotive products before delving more deeply into our sci-fi/genre stuff. Our display case was filled with a ton of great buildups and box proofs and mockups. On display were…
’76 AMC Gremlin X is being brought back as the first in our line of Original Art Series where we are scanning original box art for our packaging.
The Meyers Manx buildup arrived bruised and beaten (thanks to a customs inspection) but John and a friend or two helped put it back together again. The kit is also part of the Katch the Kat program and also includes a cardboard backdrop.
1:16 Street Charger is being brought back for a limited run under our 1 Run of Fun program. After one production run of the kit, the tooling will be backdated to turn it back into the Petty Charger kit that modelers have been asking about for a while.
Chevy 100th Anniversary collector’s tins bring back the ’51 Chevy Fleetline and ’57 Chevy that will be struck from the Mueller-era Pro Shop version of the tool. The kit features an opening trunk. The kit includes detailing foil, engine wire and photo-etch parts.
The Dirty Donny Vantasy Chevy Van offers several decal mural options.
The Diamond Rio Tractor was on display continuing our line of popular big rig kits.
Looking ahead to 2012, the Hot Curl and his pals will be back riding the waves. The AMT version of the Ghostbusters Ecto-1 will be coming back as will the Monkeemobile, Arnie Beswick’s Super Judge GTO, Superwagon and Vantom Ford Van. The AMTronic makes a comeback as well. It will come in reproduction packaging and include the original cardboard backdrop and clear green and crystal clear window options.
Outside of kits, one exciting product was Auto World’s new line of men’s apparel including classy button up shirts and vintage looking racing jackets. I’ll need to see what I can do to get one emblazoned with a Polar Lights logo. I think everyone that saw them wanted one. They will be available exclusively through autoworldstore.com.
Across the booth, our lineup of Polar Lights model kits was on display.
U.S.S. Enterprise 1701-C will be available in December. A printout of the battle damage decal sheet was on display as well.
2 piece Adversary Set will be offered with glow in the dark engine parts and window decals for the Ferengi Marauder. Like the cadet series model kits, these little ships will not include bases. This set will be out early in 2012.
The Klingon Battlecruiser with all of its revised parts was on display. The version of the kit in cardboard packaging will be out by Christmas.
The Yellow Submarine kit will be out in early 2012 in a tin package. Reproduction box and prebuilt versions will follow later in the year.
A lunchbox tin collector’s edition of the 1:1000 scale Enterprise will be out in early 2012. The box graphics will be reminiscent of vintage Star trek lunchbox decoration.
A big hunk of gray resin had its unveiling. Most things look good. Some things need work. For more info sign up for our 1701 Club to get updates. We have around 350 spaces left to reserve your kit.
Romulan Warbird previously of the 3 piece Adversary Set gets its own release. New window decals and dome base will be added to the kit.
Deep Space 9 will be a late 2012 kit. It will be injected in clear plastic for lighting and also include window decals for those that don’t want to bother. We are looking into another extra add on for inclusion in the kit. More on that whenever our plan for it is finalized.
MPC Hulk and Spider-man kits will make their way back to modelers workbenches. Most people that saw them confessed to having never seen them before. They must have had very short releases back in the day. Though some parts seem wonky, they are nice sculpts overall. They will come injected in color with spots of prepainting. They are snap together kits so they will be great for kids.
Bigfoot is another snap together kit. He, along with the Strange Change Vampire and Strange Change Mummy model kits, will be part of our 1 Run of Fun program and these three kits were made here in the US. They arrived in our warehouse last week so look for them on store shelves soon.
Psycho House will be another in our line up of pre-built models.
Strange Change Time Machine will be out in 2012.
Also on display was our Captain Action lineup. Or first release of was represented, as was a preview of our second release, Thor and Loki.
Our iHobby display of Polar Lights model kits might not have offered many surprises but check us out at Wonderfest where we hope to have several new projects to announce.
Prepping for then working the booth at iHobby is always a lot of work. I’m still dragging a few days later. But, it is always good to get a chance to talk to modelers and get a sense of their excitement for the product. That is reward in itself.
Sorry for the delay in posting once again. We are just beyond the peak of a hill of changes going on around here at Round 2. In the last two months, we have moved the entire creative team into one central area, added two new creatives and a creative director, a creative department intern and two staffers for our new marketing department along with a couple more interns to help them out.
So how will this affect us and me and the sci-fi model kit development specifically? I have been able to hand off marketing responsibilities so I don’t have to sink time into advertising and the marketing people can assist in copywriting for packaging. They have also taken over all publicity and handle some of the execution of the 1701 CLUB stuff too. I will continue to write blogs, check in on message boards and supply content for our newsletters and 1701 CLUB updates. In addition to the marketing help, one of the creatives and the intern has been assigned to work on the model kit lines. Between John and myself we’ve got plenty of stuff to keep them busy. This brings our total number of people working full-time on model kits to four (not including the intern). The end result will be better quality, on time product and more product releases. Thanks to the influx of talent, I’m nearly caught up with my workload. I haven’t been able to say that in well over a year. The new workspace seems to be working out great too. I had to sacrifice an office of my own to move into a cubicle but I never needed that much privacy to begin with. We still have some settling in to do and work to do while we do it.
Let’s run down some product updates so this post has a little bit of news.
Barnabas Collins- Tooling adjustments have delayed the release but the changes made ended up being a lot nicer than I had envisioned. Both Barnabas and the werewolf should arrive in August or September but not necessarily at the same time.
Leif Ericson- I need to finish up the packaging and as soon as it is done, it’ll be on its way. All of the tooling adjustments have been made and it looks great.
Batmobile (Glue Kit)- I’m refining the decals a bit today. Otherwise it is done and should arrive on time.
We’ll be adding more kits to our website soon like the Enterprise C and some returning kits like the Strange Changes and Bigfoot (finally).
I should have my first update out to 1701 CLUB members by the end of the month as well. If you haven’t signed up for the Premiere Edition 1:350 TOS Enterprise kit yet, don’t delay. Slots are going fast.