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Round 2 Models: Random Thoughts

posted by JamieH 9:50 AM
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It’s been too long and I’ve got nothing real specific to go on about so let’s see what’s rattling around inside my head.

I’ve been trying to get to those posts about my China trip I promised… wow… two months ago. I’ve run into a snag in getting my video transferred so I can pull images from it and post a little bit of video I took. I haven’t forgotten.

Recently, I’ve been finishing up some of the most complicated decals and instructions we’ll probably ever do for the Enterprise D re-release. I’m not about to count them all but with all of the aztecs and lifeboats, there are well over 200 decals. Diagramming them and making sure I had every one accounted for was mind bending. Now it is onto getting quote requests for 2011 product and sales information for the end of 2010 out there.

The 1:25 Batmobile mockup is nearly finished. There is plenty of refining I would have liked to have done, but time has run out. We’re sticking to a Christmas release date for the snap version. If all goes well, we’ll be showing the first detailed look at the car in our Round 2 Models newsletter that comes out at the end of the month. If you haven’t already, sign-up for the Round 2 Models newsletter on our contact page, so you don’t miss out on this first look.

The new movie Enterprise has hit a delay, but we are trying desperately to get it finished by the end of the year as well. The delay comes from our desire to see the kit engineered from the original CG file from the production company. It turns out, after mountains and valleys, that you can’t get where we wanted to be from where we started (it’s complicated). So, we’re nearing completion on a digital model generated from the CG file that will let us “grow” a rapid prototype of the ship to send to our factory in China. They’ll need to scan it into their computer and add the attachment pins, etc. to create tooling. It had been originally hoped that they would be able to use a digital file from us to cut the tooling from. We still have the benefit of the kit looking as close to 100% accurate as injected plastic will allow us to be.

Hmmm… Did I ever tell you what’s up with the whole Enteprise B/ Excelsior tooling? If I did I probably wasn’t definitive because some people keep asking about it. Basically, the factory tells us the tool they have is solid as in no inserts for parts specific to one ship or the other, just the Enterprise B. Without photographic evidence (which they never seem to have the time to supply) I have to believe the tool was permanently altered to create the B from the Exclesior. So that is how we are proceeding. At some point in the future, we will have to retool parts to bring back the U.S.S. Excelsior kit. We should have the B out by the end of the year though.

UPDATE: (6/18/2010)

I’ve been reviewing my test shot of the Enterprise B. I had noticed it was missing the small frame of clear parts so I asked the factory for photos of the tooling (again). The buggers met me 2/3 of the way and supplied a photo of a full sprue shot of the majority of the kits which tells me nothing about how the tool may have been altered. It is interesting to note that according to our tooling list, the Excelsior only calls for two tools while the B requires three. The third tool is the base. This means the Excelsior base should have been included with all of the other parts on the big sprue. This would make sense that all opaque parts for the kit are all on one tool shot. But where would it have fit in the layout…? I’ll be taking another look again soon. Even though the photo of the full sprue isn’t as conclusive as a photo of the tool, it still offers some clues. I just need to find a minute more to compare…

I transferred my China video to DVD last night. I’ve tried it on three computers and it looks like there may be a formatting issue. Hopefully i can resolve it next week.

UPDATE: (6/22/2010)

And so the last piece of the puzzle has been placed. I received the photo of the parts tool this morning that clarifies things. Though the tool shows that it is no longer a solid piece of steel, the sections are also not removable inserts. So as feared, the original tool was indeed changed forever. I received a message the other day from Steve Iverson of culttvman.com…

“I finally got a hold of Bruce Byerly, who worked at AMT/Ertl the last few years they were around. He did a lot of design work there, including the Enterprise C and Galor kits. Asked him about the Excelsior and Enterprise B. This is what he said.

‘As far as the B, from what I can remember we did make permanent changes to the mold. Might have been Brylium inserts but I doubt it. They kinda decided the Excelsior had run its course.’ ”

So there we have it. No happy ending this time…

But, there can always be a sequel if the first release is a success…



33 Responses to “Round 2 Models: Random Thoughts”

  1. spock62 says:

    Andyj, you mentioned that the snap version of the Batmobile is coming out first. Will it be pre-painted w/strips? When can we expect the glue kit out?

    Also, you said “There is plenty of refining I would have liked to have done…”. What, exactly hasn’t been done, is it something that is minor or major? Something that a modeler can easily correct? I understand having to stick to a schedule, but wouldn’t it be in Round 2’s interests to make sure the Batmobile is as accurate as possible?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled you guys are putting these kits out, but I not sure why you would put out a kit that you know has accuracy errors. Why not delay the release date a few weeks to make sure the kit is 100% like your doing with the new movie Enterprise?

  2. Opus_Penguin says:

    Any news on the 1/350 TOS E for next year?

  3. JamieH says:

    Hi spock62 (This is JamieH, btw. I wrote the post and AndyJ was inadvertently posted as the author earlier)

    We do plan on having prepainted stripes at the very least on the snap version. The glue version should be out in the Spring of 2011.

    The Batmobile is my favorite vehicle in all the galaxy. The Millennium Falcon might be my close second. The Batmobile is incredibly accurate in most respects. It is much more accurate in most respects than the 1:18 scale Hot Wheels. I’ve tried my best to learn form their mistakes. With all that said, working with factory craftsmen who had probably never seen the car until this project came along has been challenging to say the least. I’ve had to steer their attention from minor picking points towards the more substantial areas that impact the overall look of the car. Most modelers will be able to rework or revise to their heart’s content to make the car 100% accurate to their eye. I’d say we will be in the 90-95% range when done. I’d say the Hot Wheels car is probably 70-75% by comparison.

    Missing a Christmas release impacts both our company as well as retailers. I can’t have that hanging over us like it did last year with the 1:32 car and Refit.

  4. JamieH says:

    O.P.- Nothing to report yet. We are exploring ideas to take a bite out of the upfront tooling costs. Plans for this kit have been discussed while ideas for other kits have been tossed around as well. Conversations go in circles some times…

  5. Elm City says:

    Any news on the ominous TBA releases that my supplier (Stevens International) listed on their website recently??

    If they have it listed, is it a “sure thing”.

    One that holds much interest is the Kenworth K123 COE, among others, I assume that these are for late 2010, and early 2011, as I have yet to see any other info on this and the other TBA releases that I saw, suffice it to say that I am giddy as a school girl for some of them.

    What can you tell us?

    Thanks
    Scott

  6. JamieH says:

    They list a lot of stuff as TBA and I’m not sure what they mean by that. We generally give release dates to distributors. I can’t blame them if they don’t believe us knowing how things go. That said, I don’t know much about the car and truck product but I’ll try to find out.

  7. crowe-t says:

    I do hope the New Movie Enterprise is ready for Christmas, but not at the expense of accuracy. This is the only item on my Christmas list so far!

  8. JohnG says:

    Scott / Elm City,

    The Kenworth K-123 is scheduled for November. The tooling will require some minor backdating at best – this assumes that the parts we’ve researched and have found to be “missing” are simply blocked off in the tooling, but are still there. Keep your fingers crossed!

  9. traindriver98 says:

    Any update on the Romulan Bird of Prey from TOS.

  10. JamieH says:

    No update on the RBoP. The tooling was shipped to China a few weeks ago. Once it arrives, the factory will crack it open and run some test shots and we’ll see where we are at. Hopefully there won’t be any surprises and we’ll be on our way for a November delivery.

  11. spock62 says:

    Thanks JamieH, the ’66 Batmobile is one of my all time favorites too and it sounds like the development of this kit is in good hands, 90-95% should be fine.

    One more question, based on the show, the Batmobile has some sort of atomic powered turbine engine, was there any consideration given to depicting this type of engine besides providing the real-life Ford V8? Would you consider adding this in another release at a later point?

  12. Elm City says:

    Thanks for the update on the Kenworth…..will definitely be a nice addition.

    Surprised that it would be so soon after the White Road Boss….but hey I will take it.

    I would assume then that if the K123 is scheduled for Nov, that the Freuhauf Tanker must be scheduled for about the same time.

    Now all we need is the Kenworth K100 Aerodyne (ala BJ and the Bear), and the car hauler trailer.

    Thanks
    Scott

  13. Bats says:

    Alot of the guys at the 1966 Batmobile board have been chewing over things with Jamie in respect to the Batmobile kit. I have to say, he has things well in hand. Allay your fears citizens, the few tiny details that are left on the Bat as incorrect will be no issue for any modeler of moderate degree. Jamie is also being kind, very kind, to Mattell on the accuracy rating! Thier kit will have the correct chassis and a nearly correct engine. The interior details are looking really good at this time.

    I have been modeling since age five (forty years now) and researching this particular car since I was ten. Jamie’s Batmobile will be the most accurate model kit of the car EVER. I’ve said it before…i’ll say it again…MOVE OVER GENERAL LEE, THE BATMOBILES COMIN THROUGH! This is going to be the #1 selling model of all time. You heard it here first!

  14. jamesironwolf says:

    Jamie
    Go back to your January blog entry about the excelsior/B and compare the pictures of the kits you guys found against the pictures you have of the Enterprise B now. I Believe the new test shot is missing the enterprise B deflector seen under the 2nd engine tail fin toward the inside of the spure.
    I can see what you mean about the tool being altered for the B in your shot of the clear parts mold. It looks like the E. B’s extra impulse engine clear parts were added in the corner to the existing excelsior clear parts mold.
    I believe if you check a clear parts test shot of the deflector dish the the deflector trench part on the solid parts spure that you will find the clear deflector is the Excelsior’s. (Excelsior’s dish is to large for B’s trench)
    maybe i am wrong , but i did my old B and Excelsior years ago and i keep thinking i had and extra dish for some reason. I do know the B’s dish was much smaller than the Excelsior’s and the dish on the clear parts mold looks the same as on the picture of the excelsior kit from January.

    Just trying to help.

  15. jamesironwolf says:

    oh and thanks for sharing the in process steps and pictures with us.
    you guys are great.

  16. jonathondadams says:

    JamieH, I can’t tell you how excited I am to see the new Enterprise B! I have a 1/1000-1/1400 collection growing with your Polar Lights kits and some the D/E from the AMT line and have been missing the B & C! You guys are GREAT and I really appreciate your attention to the public and consistantly fantastic product line, YOU GUYS ROCK!

  17. Nomad says:

    Delighted to see the Enterprise B on your release schedule – I missed that one first time round. Many thanks for the steady stream of kits – makes me feel like a kid again!
    I note that your test builder mentioned that there was no stand in the Enterprise E Cadet series kit – will this be the case with all the cadet series kits, and will they be available separately or do we need to make our own?
    Keep up the good work!

  18. JamieH says:

    Bats- Thanks for your vote of confidence. I hope to see the final round of revisions on Friday.

    jamesironwolf- My test shots were missing the entire sprue of small clear parts. Either it was blocked off or they just forgot to include them in the shipment. Our sample E. B kit does have the Excelsior deflector included on it.

    Nomad- The Cadet kits do not included bases as we had hope could happen. Sorry.

  19. Bats says:

    The Batmobile kit will end a VERY long wait for me. From what i’ve seen, I’ll never have to scratchbuild another chassis, scavenge an engine or Rader wheels again. With the few remaining tiny details that may be “off” i’m prepared to buy a case right off the BAT. (pun definitely intended) Just answer me one more question…did the rear canopy get fixed?

  20. traindriver98 says:

    Thanks for the info on TOS BOP. The only kit from TOS you have not done is the Klingon D-7. Is there any talk of redoing this kit?

  21. JamieH says:

    train- Don’t forget such charmers as the Galileo 7, bridge set, exploration set and Enterprise Cutaway… but yes, we plan on bringing the Battle Cruiser back in the relatively near future.

  22. traindriver98 says:

    I did not forget about the “Galileo 7, bridge set, exploration set and Enterprise Cutaway… “. The Galileo 7 is so wrong the whole thing would have to be redone. The Bridge set was better, but still would need to be redone. You need to buy two kits to build the whole “Bridge”. The Exploration Set would be nice. Like the Romulan BOP, not many were made. As For the “Cut-a-Way”, do you plan on completly retooling the model, I have two of them. The only way to build them easily build them is to leave the extra outside parts off, even then it’s not an easy build to get right. As with all of the reissue kits, Star Trek and others. It would be interesting to see what you have in store for all of these kits. Please keep up all of the good work.

  23. Opus_Penguin says:

    Any chance of a more accurate 1:1 Exploration Set and Galileo 7? I mean … since you mentioned it 🙂

  24. Opus_Penguin says:

    As for my comment on the Galileo 7 I did not mean a 1:1 scale … that would be ridiculous. I meant a more accurate on and a 1:1 scale Exploration Set.

  25. JamieH says:

    OP- I meant what you understand… wait… oh well. Yeah, I’m a big fan of the ideas of a new Galileo and full size exploration set. The conceptual problem is that the sets and props were so inconsistent it would take a lot to figure out how to make them look “right”. But that’s a good problem to have and I hope to figure it all out some day…

  26. Mach7 says:

    Jamie,

    I know of some guys who could who could help. Herocomm.com has everything needed to recreate the Communicator. Very impressive site. As for the Phaser and tricorder, wander over to Trek Prop Zone. You will get more help than you want! John Long has very nice and accurate comm and phaser 1 kits. But I would settle for a re-pop of the original exploration set!

    A full scale Galileo! Bring it on!

  27. crowe-t says:

    I saw the pictures you posted of the new decals for the 1:350 and 1:1000 Refit/A Enterprise that will be available. the green Refit strongbacks are not correct. The ones shown are just the 1701-A strongbacks in green. The 1701 Refit strongbacks had a different pattern then the 1701-A.

  28. JamieH says:

    Crowe-t- Send me photographic documentation to support your statement and I’ll look into changing them.

  29. crowe-t says:

    Jamie,

    I just sent you pictures of the Refit’s strongbacks to: info@round2models.com

  30. Mach7 says:

    Any Updates Jamie?

  31. jamesironwolf says:

    i was looking at some pictures of the studio model
    was wondering if you guys are making any up dates to the kit?
    models seem to be a bit different where the neck and saucer connect.
    and i was wondering if there are plans to sell your new stands separately?
    would be nice to have a new stand for this or the 1/2500 ships that have no stand.

  32. Bridger says:

    Finaly needed modifications but something must be wrong here!

    1.) The secondary hull of the Excelsior consists of one part

    2.) The secondary hull of the Enterprise-B consists of two parts

    So where is the mold of secondary hull of the Excelsior

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