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Coming off the Shelf – What a Gas(ser)!

posted by ChuckZ 3:36 PM
Thursday, January 18, 2018

 

AMT is proud to announce the re-release of the “Polyglas” Gasser, with a twist! It is now the “Polyglas” Gasser II! And though the face of the box art may look like the original release, a side-by-side comparison will instantly confirm that there are differences.

With the option to build it street or custom, the Gasser II is packed with plenty of options: like custom grille & divider, diamond-tuft seats, long side lakes pipes, custom chrome wheels and pad printed Polyglas GT tires. Included is a set of colorful decals, similar to the originals, with slight modifications to improve upon the quality and uniqueness of this release. As an ADDED BONUS, we’ve thrown in a set of four FREE Goodyear Polyglas wide tread red line tires, to be used in any way, shape or form you choose to do so—just not with this kit.

So get your glue and paint ready. The “Polyglas” Gasser II is scheduled to hit hobby stores and the internet, in February!

With a great license like STAR TREK, there is no end to the subjects we can introduce as new kits, but sometimes the question does arrive of “What should we do next?”. That question is usually tied to the investment needed for tooling the kit. It isn’t easy to do large, grand scale kits very often, but there are plenty of ships to consider at smaller scales like our popular 1:1000 scale kits. Except for maybe the Klingon K’t’inga, we have represented most of the recognizable ships in one scale or another. However, it seems like nearly every time we’ve asked modelers what ideas they had in mind, we often found one ship asked for over and over… The U.S.S. Grissom. The Oberth-class ship is a bit of a departure from the usual Starfleet fare. Though a fan-favorite, the Grissom was infamously taken out by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey in STAR TREK: The Search For Spock before other Oberths went on to appear in three more films and several episodes of ST:TNG. The ship is a relatively small design with an accepted length of 120 meters. That gave us bit of pause to do as a 1:1000 scale kit. A kit of this size wouldn’t be substantial enough to stand on its own. Though a 1:350 scale kit of the ship seems very appealing, we felt the need to check the reaction to a smaller investment first and come back to a large scale later if that seems feasible. So, what could we do? We could have reboxed our Enterprise Refit and included it in that like we did with the Botany bay in our TOS Enterprise kit, but I wanted to hold out on that and see if teaming the Refit with a dry dock kit might be viable later on. With the Refit still available and our recent U.S.S. Excelsior release, it became apparent that the last of the ships from STIII: The Search For Spock was the Klingon Bird-of-Prey. A smaller ship with a debatable length of about 90 meters, we could afford to team the two ships together in a 2-piece set and allow modelers to build a collection of every ship from that film. The KBoP is a beloved design and is in my personal list of top 5 space ship designs.

The Grissom is based on CAD work by Angelo Bastianelli and the KBoP will be based on our larger AMT kit. The Bird-of-Prey will come with two sets of wing baffles to build in either cruising or attack modes. Both kits will feature snap assembly to fit right in line with our other 1:1000 snap kits.

A few things to note on the mockups. On the Oberth, the factory made a couple mistakes. they grew an earlier copy of the deck. So the mockup shown here has the incorrect detail on the back the rear edge of the deck also shows more detail than we will end up with in production. They put a base rod hole in the bottom large enough to accept the rods for our 5″ dome bases, but these kits will come with our small bases, so that will be less obtrusive. On the KBoP, they forgot the base hole altogether. More significantly, they were supposed to grow two sizes of the ship. the one shown in thepics measures about 3 1/2″ long and would be comparable to the kit included in the AMT Adversary Set. At this length the ship would have been 90 meters long “in real life”. However, this deviates from the debated, but generally agreed to length of 110m. The second mockup was to be about 4 1/2″ long to bring it in scale with that measurement. The detail looks great at the smaller size, but we will most likely kick it up to the larger size. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Here, for the first time, is a look at the upcoming kits. The set is scheduled to be released by May 1st. So look for it at Wondefest 2018.

 

 

Now, I’ve been mulling “something” over… We are working on another brand-new kit. It will be big, and probably unexpected. I wish I could talk about it. It is really driving me nuts. It has been in the works for a long time already, and we are nearly finished with the CAD work. We will probably get a mockup within the month of January. I was hoping to hold out on this announcement until Wonderfest, but if we manage to stick to our development timeline, the kit should be out in August. In which case, we will probably announce it before that. I’ve been considering announcing it now as a Christmas gift to all of the sci-fi modelers out there. BUT, we all know how these things go. Any number of circumstances could crash down on the project. So I won’t say any more except…

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! I hope one (or more) of your gifts is a model kit, but even more than that I hope you receive the peace and joy behind the season.

Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Defiant kit update

posted by JamieH 1:41 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Things rarely go according to plan. I was hoping to show the mockup for our NEXT new Star Trek kit this week, but delays at the factory are preventing that this time. Good news though that we already have test shots for our all-new U.S.S. Defiant snap kit! So here’s a quick look. I’m also showing a look at the decal sheet. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit the additional registries some have been asking about. (Updated) We are also including a cap (not shown in pics) to seal the base hole for those that choose to use a different mounting method.

We are pretty far along with this kit with packaging underway. Jim Small may be showing off some pics of our buildup soon on social media. We’ll be sure to share those pics on our Facebook page.

Everything shown here is subject to licensor review.

Space: 1999 Model Kits: All New Hawk Mk IX

posted by JamieH 1:46 PM
Thursday, December 7, 2017

It has been no hidden fact that we have been considering other scales to use for our line of Space:1999 model kits. Kits in a new smaller scale will allow us to shoot for the same accuracy we always pursue, but let’s us bring kits to market at a lower price point. It allows our tooling consideration to go further. Instead of one big kit every couple of years, we can bring out a series of kits in the same scale just like we do with our line of 1:1000 Star Trek kits. So if 1/48 is too big to keep up the pace, what scale would be acceptable for these ships. This question was recently posed to a Space:1999 facebook group to get the answer straight form the consumer. The overwhelming favorite was 1/72 scale. At this scale an Eagle comes out to about 14 ½” long. Landing at 2 ½” longer than the old MPC kit, that should give us a enough room to work and get plenty of detail.

But, why do another Eagle right away when the last Space:1999 ship we created was an Eagle. So, we decided to take a step in this scale with a Hawk instead! By no fault of its own, our new 1/72 Hawk kit will land at about the same size as the old MPC/Airfix kit. But don’t worry. We are ignoring that old inaccurate kit and starting from scratch. Our new model will be as close as we can manage in injected styrene to match the original filming miniature.

So here for the first time, we are showing the progress on the kit thus far. We are shooting on a May release. So look for it at Wonderfest 2018.

(some higher res versions of these files will be posted to the Round 2 Models Facebook page.)

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Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Defiant update

posted by JamieH 12:16 PM
Friday, December 1, 2017

When we offered a re-issue of the AMT U.S.S. Defiant from STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine a few years ago it turned out to be a nice solid seller for us. It offered a substantially-sized kit at the odd scale of 1:420. However, the sweet success was short lived. After just a few production orders for us, the tooling was catastrophically broken. It was going to cost us the price of a new kit to fix it. So we decided to do just that!

It took us a while to get to it, but when it came to deciding on our next 1:1000 release, the Defiant seemed to be the perfect choice. As a kit, the subject is simple from the tooling standpoint. We aren’t just making a smaller version of the old AMT kit though. We are making sure that this one is nicely accurate even if it is smaller. 1:1000 puts the overall length at about 6 5/8” long based on an established length of 170 meters. (Yeah, I know the ship was infamous for changing size to meet the need of the shot.) We had Angelo Bastianelli draw up the CAD model which was based on the filming miniature.

The mockup looks great. It features some pretty fine engraved panel lines which the factory states they can match in production. We’ll see how it looks when we see test shots. They captured some nice greebly detail in just the right spots. The kit will include clear parts as needed unlike the older kit where things like Bussard collectors were merged into opaque bulkhead parts. The forward-facing weapons on the nacelle cowls, front “mouth” (did they refer to is as a deflector? It obviously isn’t a “dish”) and round exhaust vents on the back are also clear.

I have to admit I like most of ST:DS9 less than other incarnations of Star Trek. I was one of the viewers the show lost by the time the stakes were raised around the Dominion War. But I have to admit the more I look at this mockup the more I appreciate this ship. If the details translate into the test shots, this will be a great looking little kit!

Coming off the Shelf – A Commemorative Classic!

posted by ChuckZ 9:40 AM
Friday, November 17, 2017

AMT is excited to announce the release of another great item in its Barris Kustom Commemorative Edition line, the Fireball 500 SSXR—loaded with extra goodies!

KEY FEATURES INCLUDE:

• Window parts in clear and yellow-tint options

• Pad-printed Firestone tires

• Complete BONUS trailer

• Expanded decal sheet with 3 historic door logo options

• BONUS commemorative photo insert

• Retro Deluxe “RARE ISSUE” commemorative packaging

So keep your eyes peeled for this retro rarity, featuring yet another sweet classic from the “King of  Kustoms”, George Barris. Available in hobby stores, and online, before the Holidays!

MPC Models: Space:1999 Eagle Display Model

posted by JamieH 8:30 AM
Thursday, November 16, 2017

When we signed the Space:1999 license a few years back, we felt we’d take a “let’s roll this out slow and see how things go” approach. First, we found great success with our old MPC 12” Eagle kit. It went so well that we did a deluxe version that included resin parts to create the lab pod version of the ship complete with spine booster parts. Continued sales on those gave us enough confidence to tool up our all-new 22” Eagle Transporter kit. One of our intentions at the time we did that was to eventually bring a relatively affordable 22” Eagle model to market that collectors without modeling skills would appreciate. So here we are…

(BE SURE TO NOTE THE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST!)

We had sent the first factory deco sample to Alpha 2017, a Space:1999 fan event, to get feedback on it to check ourselves. We knew the deco needed a color adjustment, but we wanted to know how plain injected ABS plastic would go over.

Here is a side by side with another Eagle from the Todd Morton collection.

We took heed of the feedback many offered that the product looked too toy-like and opted to apply a base coat of paint to it and we added a weathering treatment to boxes inside the cages at that point. We all agree we ended up with a much better result. Here are a couple close up pics of the ABS plastic.

Although the model is –mostly- pre-assembled and it is completely decorated. The deco look is a relatively clean looking Eagle reminiscent of mid-season one appearance of the filming miniature. All of the logos and technical markings are present as is a modest amount of surface paneling and the weathering on the boxes inside the cages. Engine bells come unattached. This was done so that collectors could opt to upgrade to the aluminum engine bells included in our Deluxe Accessory Set.

The nose cone cap is also left off to show the pilots and rear cockpit wall. Just like the kit, the landing gear are spring loaded for an authentic feel.

Suggested retail price of the model is $300, but that varies greatly between retailers. Some may feel this is too much, but we can assure you we have done everything we can to keep the cost as low as possible to satisfy as many collectors as we can. The product is meant to appeal to non-modelers. We know what our usual modeler can do quality-wise, and achieving that level of finish is worth every penny a contract builder would charge, but I doubt you will find a contractor to build a kit with an all-in price that competes with our price point. To get a decent grasp on the demand of the market, we have decided to limit this release to 500 pieces. We will use the reaction to the product to judge whether to offer another version later down the road.

Here is a look at the final pre-production sample. As of this writing, the product is expected be available in December and we are about 75% sold through on the full run of 500. (UPDATE: 11/16/2017 – WE ARE SOLD OUT! BE SURE TO PRE-ORDER WITH YOUR RETAILER. PRODUCT WILL BE AVAILABLE CLOSE TO CHRISTMAS.)

This just in… photos of the production.

Assembly and hand cleaning seams.

Hand applying all of the decals. Nothing is pad-printed.

(UPDATE #2) Check out this promo video!

 

Space: 1999 model kits: A word from Brian Johnson

posted by JamieH 8:45 AM
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Space:1999 effects supervisor and model designer Brian Johnson has always been very complimentary of our work on Space:1999 kits. In fact, we make a point to put a statement of endorsement from him on our kits whenever possible. Unfortunately, in the case of the Nuclear Waste Area 2 set, I waited until the last minute before sending a request for a statement from him.

I didn’t want to make his effort go to waste though… (wow, pun much?) So I’ll post his kind words here and show a few behind the scenes images of Brian and his crew at work on the scene from the show that inspired this set.

How refreshing to see additions to the kits containing my Eagle craft from Space 1999. For those keen modellers who like to enhance their dioramas MPC have now introduced from “Breakaway” the Nuclear Waste Disposal site with all the little accessories including Moonbuggies, bases, figures, Control cones etc.  A lot of time and effort by Round 2 and MPC has been put into offering a really great kit and I hope the sales will show the potential for this and other kits to follow……   BJ

    

MPC Model Kits: Space:1999 Nuclear Waste Area 2 preview

posted by JamieH 8:30 AM
Thursday, November 2, 2017

Remember this…?

http://www.collectormodel.com/round2-models/3236-mpc-models-and-now-for-something-completely-different/#sthash.72oBoEt4.dpbs

Ah those were the days… Boy, I wish I could come up with time to write more blog posts like that one… Wow, it was written just over a year ago at the time we were only considering what to do next. No sooner than we brought out our 22” Space:1999 Eagle Transporter kit, modelers took the opportunity to remind us how much they would LOVE additional environmental pieces to go along with it. Believe me, we knew it was coming and that we had some ideas to pursue when the time was right. Between the standard Passenger Pod version and our new Cargo Pod version, we ciphered through the list of ideas and landed on an environment set that could be used with either kit.

Here is a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” look at the back side of the lamp stands along with a photoshop-enhanced look at it.

To say the least the opening scenes of the premiere episode “Breakaway” inspired the release of our new Nuclear Waste Area 2 Diorama Set. Considering the constructions in that area we found plenty of items to include. Probably because it is vehicle, the moon buggy was the obvious choice to include. Of course, it would need driver and passenger. And if we did those figures, it would be great to include more. But what do Alphan explorers do on the surface of the moon. Why, they have to inspect the radiation monitors atop each storage silo of course. A few of the boxes laying around the area would be simple enough, but we decided to make them hexagonal as such storage containers would evolve into later in the series. But all that stuff really didn’t amount to much at 1/48 scale. We needed something really substantial to fill the box and give the kit some amount of heft. Jim Small has always championed a 1/24 scale moon buggy. If we were doing the small one, it would be simple enough to make a larger one too. Since the rest of the kit was in scale with the Eagle, we decided to reason its inclusion to be a BONUS to the rest of the kit. But we still needed more… It dawned on me that the lamp stands literally defined the waste area. We could include some of those, but they wouldn’t be much fun… WITHOUT LIGHTS! So we decided to include the LEDs needed to light every one of the lamp stands from top to bottom. Add all THAT up and it started to look like the great value it was.

The buggy was going to be the biggest element to create. We had two choices. Send diagrams with measurements to the factory and let them try to cypher them out and then need to give tons of feedback to iron out all the details… OR we could have our pal, Daniel Prud’homme create the CAD work for them. Guess which route we took… One ace up our sleeve was the fact that Jim had real Amphicat 6-wheeler in his garage that he had always hoped to restore. We drew up a ton of diagrams and applied measurements taken from Jim’s ‘cat and sent them on to Daniel. He did an excellent job of getting the buggies spot on. Even Jim was satisfied. (a feat in itself!)

As we can expect, even the best Chinese vendors get a few things wrong in their first draft…

Soon to be corrected though.

The kit will come injected in two colors. The 1/24 buggy will come in yellow for the fun of it. The rest of the kit will come in un-pigmented plastic. I’m not sure if any kit has ever been release this way. The plastic isn’t white, or gray or even clear. (test shot photos show “Eagle” white plastic) It is a dense translucent plastic that must be seen to be understood. This was chosen to allow the light to pass through the sides of the lamp stands that emanate a dull red light. LEDs are supplied for each point of light in the stand. We backed off the brilliance of the top three exposed bulbs to protect the viewers’ eyes. They are still plenty bright, but they won’t leave you seeing spots after looking at them. Here are some photos of our buildup under construction and even a peek at the mockups we had built for the Cargo Eagle packaging we showed at Wonderfest 2017.

You get plenty of product in this set. Eight lamp stands are included with sets of four installing into two-part vacuformed bases. The bases have moon surface texture and are engineered with enough height to allow the battery box for each set to be hidden underneath. We are including two of the smaller moon buggies and a total of 10 1/48 scale figures come in the set. 2 pairs of seated guys for the buggies, then six others that share two styles of bodies and arms. The arms can be mixed and matched among the bodies and posed at the discretion of the modeler. Two nuke waste cones are also included. The whole set was designed for anyone that has the space to buy additional sets to make as big of a representation of the area as they want. As with all our kits, we’ll see how this set is received. If it does well, we’ll dive deeper into other accessories to add to the lineup.

I changed up the packaging approach on this one I wanted to homage the look of vintage packaging like the old Moonbase Alpha kit. I also had to find a way to show exactly what was included in the kit while also establishing its size next to an Eagle. Part of the charm of the MBA package was its use of white along with very colorful photos of the structure. I also wanted to vary the features shown on the lid and make a point about the 1/24 BONUS Buggy. I ended up with a box that really flips my usual approach. The back of the box, shows one larger image with the rest of the box taken up by feature shots, kit info and photos of the real miniatures. I’m very satisfied with where it all ended up. It is very eye-catching and colorful with just the right amount of the throwback look I intended.

Here is a look at some of the process photography from the packaging. Just like the best special effects shots, we used compositing tricks to achieve the ideal look.

Look for the kits to hit retailers at the beginning of December.

Thanks to Jim Small for lending us some of his photos for this post. For more form him visit:

https://www.smallartworks.ca/

 

AMT Model Kits: Star Trek kit reissues

posted by JamieH 2:55 PM
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hi… It’s been awhile… Whatchyabeenupto?…

Really? That sounds cool! I can’t wait to see that…

Me, you ask? I am writing a series of postings to fill you in on just that. I’m sure you’ve heard about or seen some of it, but by the time this series is done (probably around Christmas time… which is never as far away as it seems) I’ll be filling you in on the new exciting kits we’ve started, but have not yet officially announced. So keep your eye on this space.

First, I’ll touch on the AMT Star Trek kit reissues we have coming out late this year and early next year. The first two were some of the latter releases by Round 2’s predecessor.

The Cardassian Galor-class has been out for just a little while now, and we haven’t really said much about it. The primary change to the kit is the installation of a metal rod to support the ship atop its existing Cardassian logo base. However, this wasn’t the only change we made on this kit. As it turned out the clear tooling for the kit turned up missing. As we retooled the clear part we decided to make a change to small pyramidal parts. We added pegs to them and punched holes in the hull to accept them. This provides a slightly easier path towards lighting the kit.

In addition to the kit itself, we also offer a full set of paneling/weathering decals as we do for some of our other kits. The decals are compatible with the original issue for anyone holding onto old copies.

Next, we have the Klingon Vor’cha Battle Cruiser. Like the Galor, the clear parts tool was lost and retooled though they are made to seamlessly replace the originals. And again, we added a metal support rod to be used with the original Klingon base. Both kits build great representations of these spacecraft. Proportions are accurate and each provides a great level of detail. Look for the Vor’cha in December.

The new year brings a re-issue of the AMT Enterprise Refit. It has been popular with modelers that like a medium-scale model that want something more substantial than our 1:1000 snap kit, but may not have the room for our big 1:350 scale kit. At 22” it is a great size. The kit will still feature the surface paneling detail. We priced out fixing that some time ago and found that we would essentially need to start tooling from scratch and opted to tool up the 1:1000 kit instead. We are adjusting the base to use the metal support tube with our larger dome base. The decal sheet will be upgraded from previous releases, but won’t include full Aztec decals since applying large decals over the paneled surface might prove to be problematic for some modelers. We have included strongback decals in soft blue that mimic the onscreen look of the ship.

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