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Round 2 Models: Whadaya Want From Me?

posted by JamieH 4:25 PM
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A few weeks back one of this blog’s voracious readers asked what I was up to. Even a photo of my desk would be enough to sate him. I obliged and readers had fun pointing out objects of interest around my desk.

A couple weeks after that, I posted some of the steps we go through when we clean up box artwork and it seemed like a few people were genuinely interested in the process. I’m in a place right now where what I am working on is new and exciting stuff, but I can’t talk about it until we here at Round 2 Models make a formal announcement about these projects. Stuff that I was working on months ago is almost ready to go out on the shelf for sale. It is all stuff that while at one point, I was excited about, but now I’m on to the next thing.

My question to you, dear readers, is what kind of behind the scenes insight would you like to see on this blog? There are things that I do (nearly) every day that I take for granted that you guys might want to know more about. So, I’m throwing this out there. If there is something you are curious about or would like more behind the scenes dirt on, give me your questions/suggestions and I’ll work through them as time allows. Want to know more about my battles with Batmobile model development? I got plenty to share. Want to see some old control drawings from the AMT and Polar Lights archives? We’ve got some things in a file cabinet that I could pull out. The only things that are off limits are the 1:350 Enterprise and future product announcements. Those will come when the time is right.

18 Responses to “Round 2 Models: Whadaya Want From Me?”

  1. ModelMan says:

    That’s cool of you, Jamie! Personally, I’d love to get locked into the archive for a weekend with a video camera and just review all the old time stuff that must be there!

    For suggestions, I have two.

    How much of your days do you get to spend ‘doodling’ ideas? When you have something you think is hot, who do you go to next? Pass it around the office for feedback or up to a higher power right off?

    I don’t expect the office is very ‘corporate’ and must be a high degreee of creatives around. How do you guys goof off on breaks? You have pool table, dart boards, that kind of thing? You guys ‘build’ models on a friday after work? Very casual, moderately so?

    I’d also like to hear more details about how you approach doing a pitch to the higher ups. From generating a pool of concepts, whittling those down to a top few, working up some promo materials and then what it’s like in the pitch itself. Presumably all along the way you are working with one or two other people on the preliminaries? What kind of timeline is it from ‘concept’
    to production? DO you browse the archives and see what hits you? How many people have to sign off on one idea? How many ideas get left behind and do those throw-aways still have a shot down the road?

    Way back when, you spoke of trying to win over accounting on the 1/350 TOS E. What kind of materials, numbers and so on did it take to sell them? Maybe that specific example is better for the 1701 Club…

    But that’s the general gist of what I’m interested in.

    Thanks for the chance to hear some behind the scenes!

  2. Bats says:

    I would LOVE to know anything you can tell us about the Batmobile battle. 🙂

  3. Yeah! Spice it up a bit! It’d be cool to see stuff from the archives and even photos of production prototypes. Obviously you’re not going to hit everyone’s personal nail on the head but I’ll bet if you devoted a half-hour a week to the blog you’d get some coooooool things out there! And why, oh, why is Hobby Link Japan listing the Romulan Warbird @ $63???

  4. zysurge says:

    I’d love to see some more photos of actual molds. I loved seeing the ones of the Excelsior / Enterprise B that you posted a while back.

    And it’s be cool to hear about the process that is gone through to propose a new kit, and how you go about determining if it’ll be a money maker or not.

  5. Jamie,

    I’m with the guys who’d like to hear more about the concept end of the model kit production process. For myself, I’ve always wondered how a particular subject gets chosen for immortalization (sort of) in plastic. Stories like the inspiration that lead Bill Silverstein to pitch a Frankenstein figure kit to the bigwigs at Aurora back in 1961 fascinate me.

    Any of that sort of thing you can dish?

  6. BTW, I just looked at the latest poll, “When spray painting, do you…”. I thought there were too few choices (limited by the software, perhaps?). When spray painting a model, I use whatever method is best for a particular job. For example, I’m currently using a spray can to apply primer to an old Polar Lights 1999 Mummy. But I will apply the color coats with an airbrush.

    I don’t ALWAYS use rattle cans or airbrushes, so a “Use both” option in the poll would have applied best to me and, I imagine, most modelers.

  7. BatToys says:

    Batmobile stories please!

  8. bender44 says:

    I’d love to see old stuff from AMT / Polar light archives!
    I also enjoy seeing new updated parts compared to the original parts. Also, it would be intersting to find out how the Enterprise model changed over time. To me the changes made the model look less accurate over time! The Batmobile stories are always facinating. Artwork and kit development stories are also qite fascinating for me.

  9. JamieH says:

    Thanks everyone for these ideas. Keep them coming.

    Modelman- Lot’s of great ideas there. I meant to put my original 1:350 Enterprise pitch into my very first update, but I got distracted by the fact that I actually had digital mockup photos to show. I’m planning on putting the original pitch in my next update. (That plus several other great goodies to show to hold us over while tooling being cut. Update 6 might end up being the most insightful one yet.)

    Bat-guys- No problem. I’ve got hundreds (possibly over a thousand) remarks to the factory about that kit that I could share. It will probably make for a series of blogs.

    Nicholas- No idea on that Warbird price.

    zysurge- More mold pics. I’m sure we’ve got some we can show.

    Mark- Our polls are limited space-wise. In most cases, we know that modelers will choose “all of the above”. (You are a resourceful lot.) We leave that option out to try and gauge from the options which is the most popular.

    I’m trying to develop a plan in my mind that describes our process and how we determine which kits get made and when and post about that next time.

  10. >I’m trying to develop a plan in my mind that describes our process and how we determine which kits get made and when and post about that next time.


    I await that with bated breath; the primer fumes are helping, of course…

  11. Zakuformer says:

    I’d love to read more about the “Batmobile battles”, as well as see more stuff from the AMT and Polar Light’s archives.

  12. justinleighty says:

    I’m with zysurge, and maybe expanding on that: How about photos of the actual manufacturing process, as in plastic going into the mold? I know that would be photos/info from China for you guys, but it would be interesting to see for those of us who have been making these things for decades.

  13. Mach7 says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Can you talk about the MPC Star Trek rockets? If the rumors are true will you be releasing any of the other old MPC rockets? Titan III maybe?

    Love the 1701 updates!


  14. JamieH says:

    Mach7- I’m aware of the line, but I don’t work on it directly. I give my two cents here and there. Re-issues of the old MPC rockets may be on the way if our current offerings perform well enough. Titan III- I can’t say right now.

  15. jaws62666 says:

    Jamie, do you still have the MPC Star wars licence, if so could we see any re-releases in the future. R2D2 and C3PO would be great

  16. JamieH says:

    jaws- We have plenty of tools but no license to grant us permission to use them unfortunately.

  17. Todd57 says:

    I want to know WHY? Is the Demand that High for Star Trek. Why can’t there be some new or Re Releases of Kits that are for the Automotive Modeler? Up date the AMT American La France kit to have the Cab of the Current ALF Fire Apparatus? I know that AMT & MPC had some great models back in the 1960’s & 1970’s. It seems that the current line of Releases is of the same old tired Kits. Have not seen many Good Old Truck or Show kits released. Try the old NASCAR & Racing Kits in both Cars & trucks. I see a demand in the Collector Market. Many are looking for the Kit with all the Parts that were in Original kit released 40+ years ago.

    • JamieH says:

      Hi Todd- Don’t let the content of this blog hide the fact that 2/3 of our line up are automotive kits. Trust me, a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to bring back some great automotive kits. Many of the older car kits have missing or damaged tools involved.

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