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Model Kits: I’ve been spying on people for almost a year now.

posted by JamieH 2:12 PM
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

jamie0004Well, maybe more like 9 months but who’s counting. Like I said earlier, I’ve been poking around the popular sci-fi modeling message boards, taking it all in. Reading what folks have to say about our Star Trek model kits and all of our other offerings (and everyone else’s for that matter) and trying to get a feel for our fans and consumers.

I’ve found that there are lots of talented modelers out there and they all strive for perfection. (okay, maybe occasionally just yearn for a level of fun once in a while) Not everybody is an expert but there are plenty out there with great source material and huge amounts of time invested in determining ship scales by closely comparing one onscreen ship to another. All of this is in an effort to painstakingly build their models with the utmost care towards craftsmanship and accuracy to the original source material. Many take it to the next level by creating their own visions of new or off camera ships. They’ve got it all figured out and they love the hobby.

But there is a flipside to the coin. In this Internet age, many hunger for news of the next big thing. Many offer their opinion of what their next dream kit would be while others join the chorus or scream foul. Emotions range from overwhelming joy to disparaging rage, with attitudes of sincere curiosity to “tell me now or I’m taking my ball and going home” dastardly-ness.

Hmmm… Is this a pool I want to jump into? If I do, what can I say? If someone asks about a potential project, I can’t really comment on stuff that’s further down the pipeline. If whatever it may be doesn’t happen, my (and the company’s) name is Mud with a capital M. If someone asks a question and I can give an honest answer that starts a conversation. With all that we have going on here with limited staff, I can’t be expected to come back and track a conversation to give replies, retorts or excuses even when I want to.

Here’s what I can say. We hear you. We see what you want and everything else needs to be addressed. We want to give you everything on your list but we can’t do it all right now. Patience, grasshoppers. Tooling and new licenses are heavy investments. We have to roll out slowly.

In the meantime, whenever you have a question, feel free to ask me on this blog via the comment area. I won’t guaranty answers to every one but I’ll answer what I think is appropriate. My answer may even take up an entire blog post.

So, without searching for all of the common questions, here are some select answers…

  1. The neck was corrected before our re-release. Any kit with a Round 2 logo on it should be straight.
  2. Yes, we are planning a 1/350 TOS Enterprise.
  3. I agree, that would be a good follow up but tooling on larger kits is expensive so don’t expect new large kits every year.
  4. We do not plan on selling refit Aztec decal sets at this time.
  5. Yes, we plan on re-releasing all of the AMT vintage kits eventually.
  6. I agree, a 1/1000 scale Reliant, K’tinga, New Movie Enterprise, Romulan Bird of Prey (anyone got a definitive measurement on that one, its gonna be tiny) and Enterprise D (qualifies as another large kit. See above.) among many others could all make great kits some day. (Keep discussing, btw. It may or may not influence what comes first.)
  7. We don’t have the license for that because a) someone else already does and that means that even though we may have a tool for it, we don’t have permission to make it or b) many other reasons I’ll get into in another entry.
  8. I don’t mind the design. Sure there are things I would change (like the skinny rear end of the 2nd hull and maybe redistribute the mass of the nacelles a bit) but for the most part the distinctive elements are there and it is definitely more recognizable as the Enterprise than the NX-01.
  9. No comment…

Be sure to come see us at Wonderfest.



11 Responses to “Model Kits: I’ve been spying on people for almost a year now.”

  1. jonathondadams says:

    Personally I think your additions to the line are INCREDIBLE! I also think that the 1/1000 scale models are great fun and value! I hope to see more and more offerings in this line (as they are inexpensive, fun to build and GREAT for kitbashing). Keep up the great line!

  2. psytce says:

    Jamie,
    you may have answered this already but I was wondering. Do you own the licence for all of Star Trek (TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, & ENT) execept the new movie?

    Thanks,
    Tommy

  3. JamieH says:

    Tommy-
    Yes. Anything that has already been on TV or the big screen is available to us… except maybe the cartoon. I know we discussed it but I’m not sure it was appropriate to include in our agreement. I know Revellogram had done some kits based on Voyager in the past. We can’t recreate kits from those tools but we can make new stuff.

  4. ModelMan says:

    >Romulan Bird of Prey (anyone got a definitive measurement on that one, its gonna be tiny)

    -Richard (REL) Long of Sovereign Replicas and his 350 BoP. It’s about as big across and length-wise as the D-7 hull. This means there could be two in a single package for the price? (PS. A cohesive 1/1000 version of the AMT Adversary Kit could be more interesting than an actual Adversary re-release. It would certainly be more accurate given the work you’ve already done on the 1701 and D7. Just that one missing piece remaining!)

    -A 1/350 TOS 1701 is essential! And quite frankly a higher priority than any other kit you folks can envision, methinks. (Of course, a 350 Reliant follows hot on its heels!)

    Q: You guys asked us about the next AMT Trek release. Vulcan Shuttle polled dead last for the entire run. K-7 and the BoP mostly tied the way for the entire run. (And neither of which has been seen in ~35 years!) What’s the deal? Unless delaying these kits heralds minor/major upgrades to fix inaccuracies, that was… disingenuous. imho.

    Nevertheless, I, and certainly all of us in the comm., are grateful that the line is being resuscitated. I laud and thank you very much for your efforts!

  5. psytce says:

    Thanks Jamie … I hope you do Voyager …

    Tommy

  6. JamieH says:

    ModelMan-
    What little documentation I’ve found suggests that the BoP is supposed to be about 90 meters wide. I’m skeptical of that but I can’t find anything to suggest otherwise. Anyone with more insight, please share.

    We’ve got plans for the AMT BOP and K-7. We needed to plug a kit into our schedule and we decided that the Vulcan Shuttle fit our plan better than squeezing either of the other two kits in prematurely.

    The poll was placed to gauge interest and promised no guaranties. Please realize many factors are considered when planning our releases. Popularity is a strong factor but it is not the only consideration in determining our schedule.

  7. ModelMan says:

    Thank you for the clarification, Jamie. I am VERY glad you folks are doing this!

  8. phicks says:

    “Yes, we plan on re-releasing all of the AMT vintage kits eventually. ”

    Jamie – Should we expect that RC2 will reissue them “as is” without trying to improve inaccuracies? Or will kits like the Romulan BOP take longer because you want to retool the kit to reflect the available photos of the front torpedo launcher that are not correct on the old version?

    Either way…love what you’re doing, and that you will converse with us, to the extent confidentiality allows.

    I was at Wonderfest last year for the Akira announcement. Should we consider the Akira to be “definite, but later”, or is it a question mark if we will ever see one? Or are you allowed to say at this time?

    Thanks, Peter

  9. JamieH says:

    phicks-
    AMT kits… it will be a case by case basis as far as revamping them. At this point, we don’t have plans to totally retool any of them. That’s not to say we never will. Its just not in the plans for the next year or so. I think an accurate Galileo would do gangbusters.

    As for the BoP, we have ideas for it. I can’t say what they are but we try our best to satisfy.

    I’d consider the Akira as a “later”. I only omit “definite” because plans change based on other opportunities that arise. I just want to save us from not delivering on a promise again. We have an idea when it will be, I just can’t say right now.

  10. crowe-t says:

    If/when you re-release the AMT Star Trek:TMP Enterprise(22″ kit) will the fixes be made?

  11. alancarter says:

    Being new to this site/blog I’m just now discovering things. Having said this I was wondering if thier is any interest in a kit(s)that would for instance give a builder the ability to modify say the 1/1000 TOs Enterprise into one of the many different versions seen in Franz Joseph’s Star Trek Technical Manual?

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