Posts Tagged ‘c-57D’
We announced our plans last year at Wonderfest to do a 1:144 scale model of the C-57D flying saucer and the project is nearing completion. Here is a behind the scenes look at some of its development.
Everyone is aware of our larger 1:72 scale kit. It is legendary for its difficulty in finding a place to display it, measuring in at 28” in diameter. We knew that the smaller kit would be rather simple and that the interior detail that the larger model presented would not be featured in this one. We did want to maintain the opening landing ramps and offer both the central landing pillar was well as a lower dome cap to replace it to display in a flying position. Other than that, we put no faith in anything found in the large kit. We knew of the upper dome profile so we didn’t trust that and figured the rest of the kit’s proportions would be just as unreliable.
In the early stages, we strongly considered using a system of three pie wedges for each of the upper and lower saucers in order to keep tooling costs in check. We could then use three copies of each part drawn from a smaller tool. Every modeler we mentioned this to hated the idea and after taking another look at things, we determined to go the extra mile and do it right with solid upper and lower saucer parts.
As with most sci-fi subject matter, the first thing we needed to decide on what size would the “real” ship be and what size would we want to make our model kit? We had a ballpark size in mind based on the tooling budget we had allotted. We just needed to figure out what logical scale might fall within our range. The first thought was to go to half of the scale of the larger kit and shoot for 1:144. With a 28” diameter being cut down to 14”, the kit was going to be too big. My second inclination was to use 1:200 scale based on the saucer diameter I had found in a set of plans that stated a 162’ 9” diameter. That would have provided us with an approximate diameter of around 10”. I also looked into 1:144 scale at that scale and found that to be over a foot in diameter. This was a bit bigger than we had planned, but we decided it would make the most sense, but further research would be needed to nail down that size.
We enlisted Jim Small to do the research and to draw up a set of plans for the kit. As we explored figuring out what size the kit would ultimately be, we found that the proportions of the measurements we had found did not match those of the filming miniature. We felt pretty beholden to the height measurement of 38’ 6” that was based on the movie set which had pictured real men standing under the ship. If anyone wanted to do a diorama using 1:144 scale figures, the height would need to work with that in mind. We then took that consideration and used photos of the large filming miniature to determine the diameter would end up around 144’ which presented a handy 1-foot diameter for our kit.
Jim used screen grabs and photos of the filming miniatures to draw up the plans based on our final measurements. As he worked through the kit, he engineered a simple spring mechanism that would hold the ramp doors open or closed without having to glue them in one position or the other. Besides the detail the ramps present, the other interior detail we added to the kit is the inner motor “cage” that we see rotating in the lower dome when the ship is in flight.
As usual, the factory created a digital version of the ship for us to critique. Thanks to the quality of Jim’s blueprints, we only found a few minor matters to correct. Eventually they supplied a physical mockup that, again, had few things to complain about. The tooling was cut and test shots were sent. We tidied up a few things here and there. Jim did the buildup for us and the product is on track to be released this Spring. Here are a few images from along the way.
A month has gone by since Wonderfest and this is the first sliver of time that I’ve been able to quickly jot down some vital info to recap. (as usual, things are super busy in my wing of Round 2 Models) I know everyone has been waiting to hear the details of some of our announcements. Right now, I’m going to give a quick rundown. I’ll be able to go into more detail later on as the kits progress. So without further delay away we go…
Dirty Donny’s Two Much – As announced in our last enewsletter, we will be producing a kit based on this Kar Kulture artist’s character design. He’s a crazy-kewl creature that will include several decal options to decorate him with.
Forbidden Planet Robby the Robot Movie Poster Edition- This kit will recreate the classic poster. It will consist of several parts from the existing kit, but with new legs, Altaira (as depicted in the poster) and base with cardboard standup.
Forbidden Planet C-57D 1:144 scale- We are happy to offer the classic flying saucer in a size that will fit on your bookshelf. The model is based on all new research and will not be based on our 1:72 scale kit. It will feature parts for a landed or flying pose including opening and closing landing ramps.
Marvel Comics Wolverine- The fan favorite character gets the treatment he deserves in a plastic model kit. He will be offered in his yellow costume as depicted in the early days of the character. He comes with two head options, masked and unmasked.
Star Trek TMP Cadet Series 3 ship set featuring new tools of the U.S.S. Enterprise Refit, U.S.S. Reliant & Klingon K’tinga as 1:2500 scale snap kits. The Refit and Reliant will come with the surface decals just like previous Cadet kits. The hope is to release at least one kit or themed set like this one each year to expand on the Cadet Series.
Elvis- Yes, he seems to have returned to the building. We are exploring an HO scale Graceland and possibly figural kits. We will see what the future holds for the king.
Wizard of Oz- The first kit we will look at doing is the Wicked Witch of the West in 1:8 scale. Depending on the reaction to this kit, we will take a look at doing the rest of the cast of characters from the iconic film.
DC Comics- Our approach to the Wolverine kit should give some indication into how we plan on creating new figural kits of some of the most widely recognized characters in the world. They will be well posed and detailed, but with a hint of nostalgia mixed in. Our initial ideas are for Superman and Batman kits inspired by some classic comic scenes and artists.
Iron Giant- Though this isn’t technically a new license for us, it was the first we had announced the possibility that we could do a kit form the animated film.
What comes next?
Our biggest announcement is that we are reaching out to the modeling community to decide one of our 2013 kit releases. The audience in attendance at our presentation took an active role to determine who the candidates will be. Everyone is eligible to cast their vote. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6HFNN6Zto answer a few questions for us and vote for one of the following kits
1:1000 scale U.S.S. Reliant
1:1000 scale Klingon K’tinga
1:32 scale TOS Galileo shuttle
1:2500 scale U.S.S. Akira
I2” tall Iron Giant
We are putting the finishing touches on our youtube video of our presentation. We have a lot more in the mix this year so please be patient as we get it all tidied up. We hope to have it ready in the next couple weeks. I’ll let you know as soon as it is finished.