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Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

Polar Lights Model Kits: Quick update

posted by JamieH 10:44 AM
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

[UPDATED] I know it has been a while between posts and that is due purely to getting super-busy. (It happens all too often… but that’s a good thing, no?) I just received something to share that is worth interrupting my busy workday, but it will need to be quick. But while I am writing, a few updates…

POL952 U.S.S. Defiant – Arrived at our warehouse this week. You should be seeing it available from your retailers in the next couple weeks.

MKA028 Eagle Weathering Panel Decals – I totally overlooked the announcement of this. It is essentially the same sheet we included in the Brian Johnson special edition we did of the 22″ Eagle kit. These should be available in mid-late June.

MPC881 Hawk – Should be available from your retailers by the end of June.

POL957 U.S.S. Grissom & Klingon Bird-of-Prey – Due to delays in getting the test shots refined, this kit is slipping back to August. The shots look pretty good, but refining fit for a snap kit is always tricky. Packaging for the kit is being worked on now and we’ll show that off soon. We are thrilled to announce that it will feature a box lid illustration from Star Trek production designer John Eaves!

POL950 Klingon K’t’inga – Good news/ bad news … Delays in refining the CAD has caused this to slip all the way back to October. That’s only part of the bad news. The other is that this delay also pushes the test shots past Wonderfest by a few weeks. So we won’t have a fully built and painted model on display. On the good news side, the revisions were definitely worth it, because the factory was able to supply a second mockup based on the final CAD data and it has been assembling like a dream! We will have a new primered prototype with the lights on to show off at the show along with all of the buildups of the rest of our new kits mentioned above. We really look forward to seeing everyone at the show!

Now on with the thing I mentioned. A behind the scenes look at the K’t’inga nacelle tooling being created…

 

Polar Lights Models: More K’t’inga goodness

posted by JamieH 2:18 PM
Friday, March 9, 2018

It has been a great week. Thank you for such an overwhelmingly positive reaction to our K’t’inga kit announcement. We knew Star Trek modelers everywhere would love it, because you’ve made it perfectly clear how badly you wanted it. But still, the reaction was better than we could have predicted. A set of test shots for another kit did not show up this week as expected, so we’ll share some more images and info on the K’t’inga kit.

First, let’s answer some questions.

How long is the model? – In our excitement last week, we neglected to mention the length of the model. It will be 24″ long and nearly 18″ wide. Some have suggested that seems small, but the length was based on existing information that was widely accepted. Could one debate that it should be longer? Sure, but in process of developing a kit of this stature, weight has to be given to tooling space and the cost that incurs. So, it comes down to A) we can make an argument that at 1:350 scale the ship would be 24″ long and B) we can afford to tool up a 24″ long K’t’inga. We can’t afford to do a bigger one. If you disagree with the scale, you can call it what you want. No hard feelings.

Yay! Now when can we expect a 1:350 D-7, Reliant, 1:1000 Enterprise-D or 1:32 Galileo? – Your guess is as good as ours. Our history speaks for itself. So, don’t expect them soon. But, let’s consider this… what would there be interest a Galileo without a full interior? Deleting the interior would make it an affordable option at some point. No promises one way or another, but feel free to offer feedback on that notion.

It looks like the white parts in the mockup represent the clear parts in the kit. Is that how you plan to address the windows on the bulb? – For the most part, the unpainted resin parts in the mockup represent parts that are to be included as clear parts in the kit. However, part of the purpose of doing a prototype is to see what you think will work actually works in practice. After seeing the cobra head windows knocked out, we are considering knocking windows out in the bulb. Those windows will be tiny. A clear backer will be included, but if you want those portholes to filled to present a flush face window, we will be suggesting liquid window maker to fill them.

Is the hull plating symmetrical? – On the kit yes, on the filming miniature not so much. It mostly was, but not 100%. We are going to KISS it. (Keep It Simple Stupid)

What will prevent neck sagging? – Good engineering. The mockup had no locators whatsoever. We will be sure we have accounted for the possibility of the neck to sag or break at the bulkhead. It is a lot like the pylon issue on the 1:350 TOS kit. We know well enough to figure it out.

Will ALL the detail be maintained? – Yes and no. The work in the mockup had not fully taken into account tool drafting. In some spots details might be compromised, or we will break parts up a bit differently to get as much detail as we can. In some instances we aren’t satisfied with the result and we’ll see if the factory can find a way to do better. I predict we will be able to maintain about 95% of the detail by the time it is done.

The photos below will show some “behind the scenes” shots of the mockup in various states of assembly. They should provide a decent sense of scale. It also gives a preview of how the light kit will look. A thin coat of primer wasn’t enough to hide the light, but we needed to install as much as we could to be sure we had enough light where we needed it and adjust as needed.

Lastly, you’ll see an image with yellow arrows pointing to some parts on the filming miniature. As most people realize, many of these details were pulled from plastic model kits available during production of the film. Our consultant team identified nearly all of the “greeblies” that were used. This is the most noticeable piece one has evaded our attempts to identify the kit (or thing) it originally comes from. If you know, please let us know. We used the limited reference we have to draw up the part. If we can make it more accurate, we would like to.

Star Trek Model Kits: All-New 1:350 K’t’inga Model Kit

posted by JamieH 1:28 PM
Thursday, March 1, 2018

To say the least, we’ve teased this announcement for too long already. So without further ado… THIS!

Yes, Round 2 has been developing a 1:350 scale Klingon K’t’inga as featured in STAR TREK: The Motion Picture! This is one of the kits we have been asked about since Round 2 got into the model kit business 10 years ago. Rumor and/or speculation has been that development of this kit started back at Playing Mantis before Polar Lights was obtained by RC2, but I’ve found little to no record of that in the development notes I’ve encountered in my role as the chief sci-fi kit product developer here at Round 2. We have been working with Charles Adams for well over a year now on this project. He has supplied the CAD model for the basis of the ship. Steve Neisen is also consulting on the add-on model kit bits that were used on the original filming miniature. Jim Small is also involved in the development and will be building our publicity model. I have been discussing with Charles the possibility of writing some guest blog entries about the ship to share some of his years-long research into the model.

The photos show the mockup (prototype) of the kit and it needs a little bit of explaining. The factory has been working over Charles’ CAD work and adding details that he would have supplied as model kit parts on his own studio scale model. We sent kit parts to the factory to scan. In some instances they used scans and in some cases, they tried to rebuild them from measurements. In some cases you can’t tell the difference. In some cases you can. Our partner factory in China recently took their annual holiday for Chinese New Year and did their best to get the mockup to us before leaving for their break. They were up against the ship date with some details needing adjustment and with minimal engineering to fit the parts properly together. No locator pins, etc. This was a freshly printed rapid prototype and they had no time to test fit or make adjustments, so I’ve been doing my best to cobble it together.  have no fear of gaps and obvious glue bombs. All will be revised well before production.

Let’s see what else… answers before there are questions…

  • The target retail price will be around $100.
  • Yes, we will be putting out a light kit. We’ll show some candid pics of that in a post later on.
  • Yes, we plan to do a ST:VI Kronos One version later down the road as long as sales on this first release supports that notion.
  • The kit is currently scheduled for September release. Yes, that soon. If we can stick to the schedule, that would mean we’ll have a test shot built to display at Wonderfest in June.
  • Distributors can look for this product to appear on our next price sheet which will go out within the next week. (By 3/9)

For now, enjoy a look at the mockup. We’ll put higher res pics on our Facebook page. Feel free to ask questions here and I’ll come back and answer a slew of them all at once in a future post.

Qapla’!

 

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.

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!

Star Trek Model Kits: 1:2500 scale Enterprise Box Set

posted by JamieH 2:44 PM
Friday, March 3, 2017

Here’s a quick update on another exciting Star Trek kit that should be arriving on hobby store shelves before summer. The U.S.S. Enterprise Box Set should arrive on store shelves in April.

This set features snap-together kits of all seven ships from Enterprise to The Original Series and on through Star Trek: Nemesis. The NX-01 is all-new for this release for the first time in 1/2500 scale. Display bases are included for every ship in the set. One last minute change from our previous announcements about the set is that instead of pressure sensitive decals, such as those that come in Gundam figures, we will now include standard water-slide decals for every ship. The decals come on five large sheets that are packed edge to edge with technical markings as well as aztec paneling. Each ship comes molded in its appropriate base color leaving only a few spots of paint to be needed for completists.

In an upcoming blog I’ll feature our new 22″ Eagle with cargo pod and touch on the packaging for that to lead up to a full reveal of the new kit’s packaging.

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Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Enterprise D & Aztec Decals sneak peek

posted by ChrisP 5:25 PM
Thursday, September 22, 2016

amt955-and-mka019

Here is a preview of 2 upcoming Star Trek releases, the AMT955 1:1400 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D kit and the Aztec decal set for that kit.  They will be sold separately.

The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D model kit will be coming out first.  This all-plastic model kit is 18 inches long when fully assembled, and features a removable saucer section and dome base with metal support rod.  This special edition is molded in clear plastic, which allows the modeler the option of lighting the kit.  (Light kit not included.)  Also included are standard marking, pennant, registry, and lifeboat decals; and complete instructions.

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The 1:1400 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D Aztec decals will be released shortly after the base kit.  The set will include 4 – 9.25 x 13.25 inch decal sheets and placement instructions.  If you pick up the Enterprise D kit make sure you don’t miss out and keep you eyes out for the Aztec decals!

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Round 2 Model kits: Building a Reputation

posted by JamieH 3:43 PM
Friday, September 9, 2016

First a quick apology… Technical difficulties prevented me from posting this yesterday, which would have made it a bit more pertinent.

Nostalgia… We are fully aware that this factor may be the most significant thing that provides the success we have with our AMT, MPC, Polar Lights and Lindberg models. Many of us remember building kits as kids. Some saved their builds and have done their best to hold onto them to this very day, but I’m betting the greatest majority suffered similar fates trying to withstand a black cat or twenty. Even still the surviving “fan” in each of us has drawn us back over time and Round 2’s faithful (and usually improved) reissues of vintage plastic kits supply the kits we remember so well the in WAY that we remember them.

80s-comic-book-spinner-racks

I’ve made no secret of my love for comic books and just as most modelers do, I have my own list of “Grail” comics, but I was lucky enough recently to obtain the one item at the top of my list. It is something I thought I would have to wait a long time to find and had limited hopes of having the cash on hand to purchase when found. But the stars aligned for me this time so I could experience the jubilation of landing the “thing” of my dreams. Some middle-aged men need a hot rod. Others are equally as happy to obtain a 1/350 scale TOS Enterprise or 22” Eagle Transporter. For me, it was a comic book spinner rack just like we remember from our childhood. Some of my earliest memories are of going to our local supermarket (the building still stands and was only ever as big as a 7-11 we have today), going to the cereal aisle to pick out the one box that seemed to offer the best balance of fruity/chocolaty/sugary goodness with the best prize soon to be dug out of the bottom. This was immediately followed by a jaunt to stand in front of the spinner rack while my mother shopped. It was for all intents and purposes my baby-sitter for the rest of the trip to the market. Mom had no fear I would wander anywhere else. And in those days, it wasn’t child endangerment if any other adult was around to ensure I wasn’t kidnapped. Oh, what a difference 40-odd years makes… But now, I have one of my own to fill with reading copies and books I clearly recall buying directly “off the rack.”

I mention this tale as a means to touch on the fact that I know what it is like to finally find a fan-grail and how I appreciate the opportunity to create products that fill that level of demand for our consumers. Though I can’t “regret” it, because it is out of my control, I just wish we were in a position to do more and more quickly. That said, I want to assure you we have the ball rolling on a few big things… Grail-level things. Things sci-fi modelers have been asking for for a long time and I’ve been saying “maybe someday” kinds of things.

As I’ve been filling my spinner rack I’ve taken notice of some of the model kit ads that showcased our brands. Heck, half the fun of looking at old comics is looking at those goofy old ads. Here are a few I’ve found…

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kat-from-amt-ad

mpc-camaro-ad

mpc-black-hole-ad

star-trek-tmp-ad

Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to officially commemorate the 50th anniversary of STAR TREK. We can all appreciate the future it imagined for us and even the gadgets we already enjoy 250 years ahead of time. With hand held communicators & computers and now replicators, transporters should be right around the corner. The characters are truly iconic and will always be… but because of my relationship with the model kits we’ve developed, I think I like the U.S.S. Enterprise the best. She was a character, and most of the episodes I liked the best featured her as a main component. So, here is to STAR TREK, Captain Kirk & crew, and the U.S.S. Enterprise. Live long and prosper…

POL938 box lid

Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Excelsior buildup

posted by JamieH 11:01 AM
Friday, July 22, 2016

I promised a while back to show some photos of the buildup from our upcoming release of the U.S.S. Excelsior kit from Star Trek. I was kindly reminded of that, so here I am to honor my word.

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As you know the fan-favorite ship was featured in two films Star Trek III: the Search For Spock…

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and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country…

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Between the films the original shooting miniature made and appearance in the debut episode (among others) of Star Trek: The Next Generation…

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Along the way certain details changed and our kit includes parts to build either the NX-2000 or NCC-2000 version.

Another smaller miniature was later built for an episode of Star Trek: Voyager which featured a few additional variations in paint scheme.

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Later still, a CGI version of the Excelsior-class ship was used for some memorable episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

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The CG model was faithful in shape to the earlier appearances, but the color of the “strongbacks” was shifted. As an additional bonus to add to our aztec decal set, we have included alternative registries and names of the key Excelsior-class ships as well as the deeper blue strongbacks as featured in DS9.

Without further ado, here are a slew of pics of our buildup.

AMT843-Excelsior-buildup3 AMT843-Excelsior-buildup1 AMT843-Excelsior-buildup2AMT843-Excelsior-buildup5AMT843-Excelsior-buildup7AMT843-Excelsior-buildup6AMT843-Excelsior-buildup9AMT843-Excelsior-buildup8AMT843-Excelsior-buildup10

And here is a look at the decal art for the sheet included in the kits as well as what to expect in the Aztec decal set.

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Excelsior-aztecs-03  Excelsior-aztecs-02 Excelsior-aztecs-01

Ask your retailer for AMT843 U.S.S. Excelsior and MKA017 U.S.S. Excelsior Aztec Decal Set. Both should be out by the end of August.

A quick word about our friendly competition’s entry into Star Trek modeling… I hope they fair better than George Kirk did in his voyage into the new frontier…

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