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Star Trek Models: (not a U.S.S. Excelsior, but a) Galileo Shuttle update

posted by JamieH 10:28 AM
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The_Galileo_Seven_052

I was actually going to make this a lead in to a longer Star Trek models post that also included an update on the U.S.S. Excelsior since I’ve received the first set of test shots. My point in doing that was to deliver positive news along with what will be a disappointment to some of you. Instead I’m just going to rip off the band-aid lay out the situation with the Galileo Shuttle.  No forward progress is being made to engineer the kit. I doubt this will come as a huge shock to anyone. I hope my directness and openness on the subject is appreciated. It pains me more than anyone to make a statement like this.

I won’t drop that bomb without giving some kind of reason. Basically it comes down to timing and the budgetary limits of a company our size that offers such a wide range of products that we do. Sci-fi model kits take up a relatively slim slice of the pie when considering our automotive and military kits, die cast cars in several scales (including the recently re-acquired Johnny Lightning brand) along with other endeavors. Priorities have to shift when opportunities arise and for now we aren’t in a place where we can commit to the kit. Sometime we can invest in something grand, and sometimes other lines get to do something else instead.

You may ask why we’ve steered away from this one while producing others instead. That’s a fair question and this is where timing kind of comes into play. Initially, there was a bit of a delay in getting completed plans of the ship. Gary Kerr is our most trusted consultant on all things Star Trek, but when we first dug into the project, his plans were very preliminary and just captured the basic shape which we used for the basis of the shuttle in our 1:350 kit. By the time he turned them in, they consisted of over a hundred pages of crystal clear information. That took some time to do and while he was hard at work drawing up the plans we did other kits. Keep in mind it is easy to think about the old AMT kit and imagine that we could just do an improved version of that, but you know our reputation of doing a new kit right when we do one. At scale, the ship measures 11” long and over 7” wide. In that old kit one wall provided the interior and exterior. That won’t work for a kit that is intended to be accurate. it requires separate interior and exterior walls, floor, ceiling, roof, etc. So once parts get laid out on a tool, it essentially becomes the equivalent of two kits! I studied ways to cut back or compromise, but ultimately they would have seemed like a shortcut or cheat. The savings in doing so were negligible. One factor that actually worked in our favor was that when combined the 1:1000 Romulan BoP and U.S.S. Reliant were more manageable financially and they gave us more marketable kits at a lower price point. They also tied directly to other kits of the same scale. If we had done the Galileo those kits may never have come to market.

Why do the Eagle and not the Galileo? That qualifies as a textbook “tough decision”. Ultimately we decided that the Eagle gave us the basis for three variations along with many potential add-ons and accessories while the Galileo could pretty much only exist as itself and therefore limited us with what could be done with the tooling. On top of that, sales on the Space:1999 license proved that the market was hungry for a new kit and that seems to indeed be the case. That isn’t to say one license won over the other. We still have a lot we can and want to do with the Star Trek license!

So why say this now? I could have said something a few months ago, but I was knee deep in other matters. Plus, I still have hope and an idea to be able to do the kit sooner than later. I just wanted to clear the air with everyone that really wanted a straight answer on it. So the straight answer is we aren’t doing it right now, and they way things look we won’t be considering it for a while. I DO want the kit to happen and like I said, I have schemes and ideas, but it is time to move on for a bit with the intention to work back around to it. So what will we do? We’ll see. I’ll show you when I have something to show. Onward…

 



48 Responses to “Star Trek Models: (not a U.S.S. Excelsior, but a) Galileo Shuttle update”

  1. Greg Saum says:

    It’s a bummer but not a huge surprise. I’m a big fan of TOS, but I’m not overly anxious for this kit myself. It will be cool to add to my collection but it’s not a “must have”. With that said, I’m sure there are many more Trek fans out there who feel the same way I do. Trek fandom is changing and, as much as I hate to say it, us old birds are being replaced by the younger fans of the JJ Abrams version of Star Trek who aren’t at all fans of the “old stuff”. You’re certainly not going to convince them to buy these kits. The decision sucks, but you guys are running a business, and profit has to be a factor.

    • Bill hughes says:

      They ignighted their sci-fi fuel supply on the Eagle and are burning up in orbit… I was really looking forward to this one and would have bought at least two. I had no interest in a huge Eagle model. Was Star Trek or Space 1999 more popular? That would have been a question worth asking!

  2. John says:

    We’ve waited fifty years – a couple more won’t hurt. Take your time, get it right, and fandom will rejoice!

  3. Andy Conway says:

    Jamie,
    Thank you so much for the update.
    While I am a big ST fan and was really looking forward to the Galileo, I totally understand the reasoning for not proceeding.
    I am not really a fan of 1999, all of the images and reviews of the Eagle show it to be a great kit and who knows, it just might show up on my shelf.
    Keep up the good work with ST and everything else.

    Andy

  4. Peter Hicks says:

    I appreciate your honesty Jamie. R2 does not have the resources to turn every idea into a finished kit for sale. Although I would certainly buy a new Galileo, I think there are other Star Trek kit ideas that would sell better, e.g., an accurate 1/1000 K’tinga.

  5. Fred says:

    Thanks Jamie, for that frank and informative update. While it certainly is disappointing, I can understand that business decisions need to take priority. I really appreciate your taking the time to give us that peek into the decision-making process. I’m sure when you do get back to the Galileo it will be worth the wait.

    Now, about that “the basis for three variations”…

  6. Eric says:

    Well, poo. I was looking forward to this one, and had a custom name and registry all picked out.

    I know you guys are just as disappointed as us fans. So thanks for the kits you have already given us, and the future ones you will give us. And thanks also for the update, so we’re not all wondering. It is appreciated.

    Looking forward to the Excelsior! Any chance it’ll be one of the first to use Cartograf decals? 🙂

  7. Michael Scarola says:

    Thanks Jamie for this update on the Galileo. I’m a huge Star Trek fan and will someday hope this kit gets produced but it’s not the end all for me. You have produced some amazing Trek kits and I for one am ecstatic that the 1/350 TOS Enterprise is available.

    The 22″ Eagle is another amazing kit. I’m glad the decision to make this one first was made.

  8. Well I can understand the business side of it. Nothing more frustrating than to spend your hard earned money on a crap kit. The original AMT Galileo kit was pretty bad in terms of accuracy, which is odd when you consider it was AMT that built the studio prop. So yeah, I’d rather it be a later release if it means it’ll be an accurate kit. Would have been nice though for this year since it’s Star Treks 50th anniversary. But nice of you guys to explain the decision.

  9. Liam Dillon says:

    Can’t say I’m not very disappointed, especially in this 50th anniversary year. I know you have a company to run at a profit but I think this would have been an incredibly popular kit, even more than the Eagle. Can only hope for the future then. 🙁

  10. Barnstormer says:

    If and when the Galileo does arrive, I’ll thoroughly enjoy it. Meanwhile the Eagle is a dream kit – really exceptional and a joy to work on, and the modifications being made for the Excelsior re-release look really nice – looking forward to that one, too.

  11. spock62 says:

    Thanks for being upfront and keeping us fans in the loop regarding putting the Galileo kit on hold. I was looking forward to it, but I’d rather wait a couple of years or so and get an accurate replica then a half-baked one. While I’m a big TOS Star Trek fan, I’m very happy that you decided to produce the 22″ Eagle, since I’m a fan of that show too. It is an excellent kit and well worth the money. Looking forward to what other kits you have lined up in the Star Trek AND other Sci-Fi franchises.

  12. Don says:

    Way to blow the 50th. I feel like we’ve been jerked around on this forever and now this. Meh. Well, since the only things I was s wanting were this and a 1/350th K’Tinga I guess Ill go back to building garage kits….not holding my breath on anything else.

  13. David E. says:

    So…
    You’ve re-acquired Johnny Lightning, hmmm? Good, good. I hope we see reissues of the Legends of Star Trek series, and I hope to see them this year, being it’s the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.
    Ya’ know… I’ve always wanted a set of the Johnny Lightning original 12 Constitution class cruisers from T.O.S. All 12 ships in 50th anniversary packaging with correct name and NCC-numbering. Hmmm? Think about it, just take some time and think about it. But not too long, the 50th anniversary only lasts until the end of the year.
    Also, I’d LOVE to see a reissue of the 1:25 scale diecast 1950’s Johnny Lightning Batmobile. Great kit! Would LOVE another!

  14. George Belknap says:

    Thank you for the straight answer, Jamie. Though I still hope to see the Galileo someday I’m really excited about the 22 inch Eagle on my workbench right now. I’m also looking forward to the rerelease of the Excelsior with the updated parts.
    So, no shuttle for now but lots of other cool kits to keep me busy.
    Thanks again for keeping us informed.

  15. Ray Winstead says:

    While a really accurate Shuttle would be nice and I certainly add one to my collection, I’m far more excited about the new Eagle and variations on it. It is one of the “holy grail” kits from my youth and if it had to be one or the other, I’d have voted for the Eagle.

    However, with the success of the 1/1000 Trek kits, I’d really love to have a K’Tinga as it appeared in the Motion Picture with possible options for the variant in Undiscovered Country. That would fill a void in the 1/1000 line of kits.

  16. Phil Peterson says:

    Well, I will join the group of disappointed fans who were looking forward to this. Though not in one of my preferred scales I still had planned to at least get one and hoped there would be some figures in scale for a diorama.

    But I do understand business needs, especially in smaller businesses so trust you are making the right decision at this time.

    While the new Eagle looks like a great kit and many appreciate the size of it I was also disappointed that the 72nd version (my preferred scale) would have been given the accuracy treatment so I could finally add one of these to the stash. Again, I get the business needs and probably more push from people for the bigger size but I know what I like.

    Will be looking forward to more in the 1/1000 scale size though other than the Bozeman, most of what I want is now done (except a 1701 D :-).

    Keep bringing out the kits and I will keep building at least some of them.

  17. Darren Ashmore says:

    I’m in an awkward spot – wanting both – and I can’t say I am unhappy with the result: especially the comment “three variations along with many potential add-ons and accessories”.

    Still, I have no doubt that, as soon as is practicable the shuttle will show up, so I’m taking it off my dream list, as I need the space for a 1/350 Romulan Warbird.

    So then, Jamie? let that seed settle in your mind for a few years…. 😀

  18. Ed Bailey says:

    It took guts for you to make this announcement, Jamie. If anything, the unfair criticism you get is only going to increase, because it comes from modelers who don’t understand business.

    It was smart to do the 1/48 Eagle Transporter. Even though I was a fan of the show back in the day, it’s my first Space: 1999 model ever, and I love it.

    At the same time–and I don’t know how many other Star Trek modelers feel this way–I’m beginning to sour a little on Star Trek because of the behavior those who own the franchise, vis-a-vis CBS All Access, Axanar, and The Delta Quadrant. It’s making me remember how the 1994 baseball strike made feel about MLB.

    And about the little model manufacturers who can’t afford the license: I’ve actually bought MORE Round 2 styrene kits to go with all these aftermarket bits and complete resin kits of subjects that aren’t economical for Round 2 to kit. They just make Star Trek modeling all the more interesting.

  19. Jeff says:

    Despite the disppointment so many will feel, I’m grateful R2 has kept the flame alive for ST in styrene. I know you’re doing the best you can, and I’m thankful.

  20. Andrew says:

    Hopefully you will get to do it in the future. This is disappointing as I was looking forward to it, but understand your decision. The Eagle was very nice to get as well, so I think the trade off worked well. If you do decide to do it, you have a guaranteed customer here!

  21. David Burke says:

    How about a repop of the original kit instead?

  22. Mach7 says:

    Wow, I am disappointed, but thanks for the update.

    I really appreciate your posts and updates. Lets hope that you can figure a
    way to get this done in the future.

    And let me thank you guys again for the 1/350 TOS Enterprise and the new Eagle kit. When/if you do get the greenlight on the Galileo I know you will give it the same attention to detail you gave the other 2 kits.

  23. Joe Reboy says:

    I’m far more a dyed-in-the-wool Space 1999 person when it comes down to it. I love Trek, but to be honest Trek has had the red-carpet treatment from the modeling community for so long and the last new styrene kit form Space 1999 was almost 40 years ago. Round2 has made an exceptional Eagle model kit and I’m actually almost intimidated by it. I bought the “Modeling The Eagle” one-off magazine and am psyching myself up for this dream-come-true.

    A shuttlecraft will come out someday… but a new Eagle in styrene on the brick and mortar shelves has been too long a desire and R2 owes no apologies for that. In fact, in my cas eit may inspire me to tackle a few of the Trek R2 models.

  24. John Payne says:

    Well, I’m going to be 59 this year. I hope you guys get around to this before I die. Remember, your customer base for TOS Trek kits ain’t exactly going to be around forever.

  25. spock62 says:

    Now that the Galileo is off the table for the time being, are there any new-tool kits planned for 2016? Being that it’s the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, wouldn’t R2 want to take advantage of it?

    Over at a forum I frequent, a lot of people are upset with R2 promising yet another highly desired Star Trek kit only to cancel it a year or so later. Also, they feel R2 under utilizes the Star Trek license since few new-tool Trek kits have been produced since 2008 (7 kits in 8 years). Of course, just how many kits are enough is open to interpretation!

    Guess my point is this, while I understand where R2 is coming from, a lot of folks feel like R2 has let them down regarding new Star Trek kits. You say that: “We still have a lot we can and want to do with the Star Trek license!” I guess the question a lot of people are asking is: “If that’s how you and R2 feel, why aren’t there more new-tool Star Trek kits?”. People are hoping for more, especially this being the 50th Anniversary year.

    • JamieH says:

      Answering this one directly “If that’s how you and R2 feel, why aren’t there more new-tool Star Trek kits?” The simple answer is this is an unusually tight year for us. It is unfortunate that it also happens to also be the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. I wish the anniversary had come four years ago, then our timing would ave been perfect. 🙂
      I would LOVE to do more. I’d LOVE to do a 1:350 K’t’inga, a 1:1000 Enterprise D and many more. There is only so much I can do and only so much our company can do. Could someone else do more? Who is really to know?

      Btw, I haven’t kept up with the discussions that I’m sure are out there, but the comments being posted here have been for the most part very gracious and understanding. I understand the sentiment out on other forums has been pretty similar. I personally really appreciate that kind of response to what I know is a huge disappointment for so many.

      • spock62 says:

        Thanks for responding Jamie, I’m sure you’ve got more important things to do then dealing with endless questions! I look forward to what you guys come up with, Star Trek and Sci-Fi wise, in the future.

  26. Michael Scarola says:

    Even a re-issue of the old kit with some improvements and some accurate decals might be nice. The Enterprise B and Excelsior are good examples of how well this approach can work.

  27. Rob says:

    Well so much for listening to the people. Is it too late to change my vote I made over three years ago for the next kit you’re putting out?

  28. John O Nelson says:

    Jamie,

    I too am dissapointed, but “Business is Business” and you have to be diverse with your lines to remain profitable (and providing more kits in the future). I just loved the TOS 1/350th E (I was a 1701 Club member), and I have just about finished my 22″ inch Eagle. What a kit! This is the quality I am looking for. If quality wins over quantity. I will take quality any day!

    Keep up the good work!

  29. Jo says:

    Can’t say i’m surprised or bothered that the Galileo’s been put on the back burner. I’m a Star Trek fan but I think there’s far more interesting things to do from other shows for a start. Just because it’s Trek doesn’t automatically make it that desirable and I can personally take it or leave it.

    But Jamie let’s see the big K’Tinga in 1/350th plus more 1999 kits.

  30. Tomh, Esq. says:

    Hey Jamie,

    I’m sorry to hear that Round 2 is in such a tight financial spot. But that does explain the lack of new releases (either Cadet Series or 1/1000) Trek kits. I do plan on buying at least two of the new Excelsiors, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the re-release of the Klingon Bird of Prey with landing gear. (I missed out the first time around.)

    Honestly I’m neutral on the Galileo (I’d buy it if it came out out, but it’s not on my must-have list). But it sounds like you already have the research done.

    As an alternative, would you consider releasing a kit in 1/72 scale? Perhaps as a two-pack with a movie shuttle from Star Trek V?

    The tooling costs would doubtless be a lot cheaper, and the kit would be in scale with the Deep Space Nine-Runabout kit. It also seems like it would be a good way to gauge market interest in a larger kit.

    Just my 2 1/2 cents. Keep up the great work!

  31. Warp8 says:

    Jamie:

    I don’t mean to add to any more demands of trying to make everyone happy, but I am really happy that you are contemplating a 1/1000 scale Enterprise -D. One of the things I would absolutely go ape over, and many others I think, would be a complete line of 1/1000 scale starships including the -C, -D and -E Enterprises. With the addition of supplemental decal sheets with alternate names and registry numbers the sky would be the limit!

  32. Dave S. says:

    Disappointing news. The Galileo Seven is my favorite episode of Star Trek. Watched it when it first aired. Was looking forward to this kit. Would have bought at least two of them. Now, I don’t have any kits to look forward to.
    Guess I’ll just work on my stash kits.

  33. David says:

    Seeing as how the Galileo has been put on hold does R2 got something else in mind for Star Trek’s 50th??

  34. Robert G. says:

    Bummer about the Galileo…though I do love my Eagle. Any chance of ever seeing a companion Hawk (in the same scale) to go with it?

  35. BatToys says:

    I was looking forward to the Galileo and think it should have been higher priority than the 1999 kit. But I much rather have a third reissue of the 1966 Batmobile with all new and expanded metal accessory parts and revised lower suspension for the 50th anniversary.

  36. Bob Tipton says:

    Yeah…I wanted the Eagle more!!

  37. Dave says:

    I’m kind of neutral on both kits. I was never a fan of 1999 so I don’t see myself ever getting the new kit. The Galileo…again, not a big fan of it but I am a Star Trek fan, so I probably would have purchased one.

    I wonder, though (and I understand that you can’t answer), how much was spent developing the Galileo to just mothball the project? It’s too bad that Star Trek’s 50th probably will come and go without a new kit.

    oh well…thinking ahead, are you guys considering jumping into the new series? Might want to start thinking about it now so any new ships seen on the show would be available within a relatively short period of time after the new show debuts.

    just my 2 cents

  38. jeffrey Mayer says:

    If you going to come out with a new kit, do a 1/350 Klingon BOP..w/ moveable wings and landing gear. It’s on a lot of modeler’s wish lists..

    • JamieH says:

      Depending on how you want to scale it, our AMT Klingon BoP is 1:350 scale and comes with landing gear and properly angled wings. They can’t be moved, but a handy modeler can use magnets to make the baffles removable to take advantage of all of the angles. Our re-issue of the kit will be out soon if it hasn’t hit stores already.

  39. Rob says:

    What is the actual size of the BoP kit?

  40. David Weimer says:

    Please don’t give up on star trek I love I like to see more of the ships they are cool looking even I like to see 1/32 scale of the classic shuttle craft and a big classic Klingon D7 ship near 650 scale like the classic USS ENTERPRISE NCC-1701 from AMT kits I like to see more soon.

  41. Jerry Karn says:

    Any update/change on the status of the Galileo?

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