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About Model_Monkey

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    LSP Junkie
  • Birthday 10/13/1963

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    3D printing.

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  1. Thanks so much, everyone! Your encouragement is truly valued! Good news, just in the nick of time, we were able to obtain a small volume of IPA this morning. Not exactly the quality we needed, so we've distilled it improving its purity and it's working well. Yep, we're back open and accepting orders!
  2. I regret to announce that Model Monkey is closed until further notice due to supply disruption related to COVID 19. [Edit: we're back open! See post below.] We are not accepting any new orders. Nameplates and models not suitable for gray resin printing are still available from Shapeways. Although we have plenty of gray resin on hand, we have nearly exhausted our on-hand supply of the isopropyl alcohol (IPA) needed to clean models as they come out of the printer. Our printing process consumes 8.6 liters of 91% or higher IPA every 3-4 weeks. As of this writing, suppliers nation-wide are reporting no on-hand IPA supplies or that their IPA stocks have been understandably diverted for manufacture of hand sanitizer and other disinfectants. We will make every effort to print and ship every outstanding order. If we cannot fill the order within the next few days, a full refund will be issued to the buyer. If the availability of IPA is restored, we will open once again. Please accept my sincere apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience. And, as always, a huge thank you to all who have made Model Monkey a success otherwise. Stay safe!
  3. Actually, despite your and my best research efforts (your AI Mk.IV radar manual find is a huge help), unfortunately, no, there's not yet enough information. We're getting closer, but we're not quite there yet. The awesome radar manual you found provides an amazing amount of very detailed information, especially with respect to electronic characteristics and electrical components. Most importantly for our purposes, the radar manual states in a table exactly how big the enclosure of each major component is. That information is utterly critical in designing a 3D model. Without overall dimensions, I don't know how big to design any of the components (is "Receiver R3066" the size of a deck of cards, a shoebox or the size of a mini-fridge?). The manual you found provides those answers. Perfect. There is still one critical piece of missing information. Where does the equipment go and how is it fixed to the airplane? Sketches in the radar manual only show general placement in the aircraft but don't show precisely how the equipment was mounted. Presently, I am not able to determine the exact position of the equipment on the 3D-printed model or tell the modeler how to install the equipment in their plastic Revell Beau model. Available photos of aircraft under restoration don't show the equipment mounted. That's the quest at present. There are two basic designs I'd like to offer: a radar-equipped station and a non-radar equipped station. Obviously, the equipment for each is very different. So, in order to create a 3D model of each piece of equipment for non-radar aircraft, too, what is needed is a list of the non-radar equipment for the non-radar equipped Mk.X / Mk.21, with overall dimensions for each individual piece of equipment on the list. I don't have that yet. The radar manual gives us good photos of the radar equipment, but doesn't give us any information about the other non-radar equipment of the observer's station, especially for those aircraft that didn't have radar. For non-radar aircraft, more information is needed about applicable non-radar instruments. I have good information about what the "navigation panel" looked like and bezel sizes, but not other equipment off the panel. The Franks book (a superb reference) has some great information but it's not sufficiently detailed to make 3D models of any other instruments or equipment that were present in a typical non-radar Beaufighter. The Franks book does provide a list of major equipment but does not show much about what it looked like. We need photos of any non-radar equipment with at least 2 views, front and side (3 ideally including top) for detailing.* And we need to see how each piece of equipment is mounted so that if there is a mounting like a table or tray or rack, it can be designed in 3D, too. Then there is the 20mm cannon ammo bins and their feed chutes. I know the bins were big and about how big they were, but not with certainty. I know the forward pair were probably slightly different in shape and size than the aft pair because the position of the guns they fed were different. We need better, authoritative, dimensioned 2D drawings of the ammo bins and their feed chutes with better supporting photos.** I know absolutely nothing about the feed chutes. Comparatively, the cockpit is extremely well-documented and research was much, much easier (and faster). Both of the available model cockpits and their associated radios are very accurate because authoritative references were plentiful (if a bit costly). Every so often, a golden nugget of needed information does come to light and I update the design accordingly. We just need more information to complete the design. In the mean time, I'll continue to work on other projects that I hope will delight you. * Photos are needed to help identify details and features. During the design, the 3D model is superimposed over photos and details. Features are then sized and positioned to match the photos. That's how I am presently designing the radar components. It is a slow process, but results in great models. ** I do have some drawings and photos of the bins but those photos and drawings just don't show enough of the bin, especially the feed chute attachment points, to make a 3D model of them. None of my references show how big they were. I do know that some early aircraft such as the early NF Mk.I didn't have bins at all. Their cannons were drum-fed. Spare drums were stored in racks, the observer was expected to reload the cannons in flight by swapping out drums. But I've got nothing on the rack nor the drum.
  4. Thanks, D! The Beaufighter observer's station has been delayed due to lack of sufficient authoritative references to complete it. More information regarding instrumentation, radar equipment and the four ammunition bins and their feed chutes is needed. Available references indicate that the station's equipment varied considerably from Mark to Mark, even aircraft to aircraft. This has complicated and frustrated research efforts because available references disagree as to what a typical station equipment fit might be. Radar set components were a closely-held secret therefore obtaining references that state equipment (box) and component dimensions has been very difficult and slow. The designs for the floor up to the aft spar and the observer's seat are complete. I do regret any disappointment the delay is causing. Any help with equipment component configuration and dimensions and ammo bin/ammo chute dimensions is appreciated. In the mean time, work has begun on a 1/24 scale Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai cockpit for the classic Bandai kit.
  5. Model Monkey is happy to announce a set of four 1/24 scale 5-inch HVAR rockets has been added to the catalog. This accurately scaled and detailed set of models represents fully fused 5-inch High Velocity Aircraft Rockets (HVAR) carried by US Army Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps aircraft during World War Two and the Korean War. These rockets were also fit to aircraft flown by allied forces including the RAF, RCAF, RAAF, RNZAF and RSAAF, etc. HVAR rockets were typically fit to many USAAF, USN and USMC single-engine fighter aircraft such as the F6F Hellcat, F4U Corsair, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, the TBF/TBM Avenger, and later the F-80C Shooting Star, F-84E Thunderjet, F9F Panther, and F-86 Sabre. It was also used by some multi-engined aircraft such the PV-1 Ventura and PV-2 Harpoon.
  6. Happy to announce a set of 1/24 scale bombs, US 500 lb general purpose AN-M64, has been added to the catalog. The models are scaled from US Army Air Corps drawing 82-0-74 dated August, 1942. The models are suitable for F6F Hellcat, P-51 Mustang, P-47 Thunderbolt, etc.
  7. Happy to announce 1/32 scale and 1/24 scale Drop Tanks, 108-gallon pressed paper-type, for P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts, have been added to the catalog. The 108-gallon pressed-paper drop tank was produced by the Atlas Lace Paper Company in England for use by USAAF aircraft as a stop-gap measure pending the delivery of pressed aluminum tanks from the United States. The real drop tank was 100 inches (254 centimeters) long. The model represents the early version with a single nose filler cap.
  8. Thanks for your thoughts, Graham. I appreciate your advice and your experience. I am an admirer of your work and products. With over 2000 products designed and available for sale, over 1400 printable in-house, I'm very comfortable with the decision to grow a 3D-printing business rather than a resin casting business, or a combination of the two. I do recognize and concede that resin casting can and does produce great models and could be a help with production rates for those designs that are suitable for a mold. I am amazed at the fine quality and detail of the products you produce. As demand for products continues to increase and funds permit, I'll add more printers to meet demand (currently using Formlabs Form 2 with a Form 3 on order). I am encouraged by rapidly maturing 3D printing and resin technology, expensive though it is, as well as the push by various industries to improve 3D-printing technology. I am confident that as the tech continues to mature, even better, cheaper and faster 3D printers will become available, efficiently producing great models with more precision in the very near future. Perhaps the future Form 4 and Form 5 will be blazingly fast and dirt cheap. Love your "E" Type Bomb Trolley. It is a wonderful design and hope it is a good seller for you. Any hints on what you will be offering next?
  9. Hi Graham, Although resin casting copies of a wheel well master seems at first very attractive, the geometry of this model is not suitable for casting in a mold. Although it may seem that casting resin copies of a 3D-printed master would cost less than just 3D-printing the models, it's actually not true. That's because to do both 3D-printed masters and casting copies requires two production processes, two sets or equipment, and two labor efforts. Each process is costly. As you know, resin casting as a production process is extremely labor and time intensive and the pressure vessels needed to do it properly are expensive. Been there, done that. Presently, I can handle one production process, but not two. In choosing which type of process is best to build a business, I choose 3D-printing over resin casting for a host of reasons, hands down. IMHO, it is better to use time not spent 3D printing, cleaning, packaging and shipping models in researching and designing new models. And better to use available funds in buying more printers to increase production capacity. Mark, your 1/32 P-51 Mustang is absolutely stunning. Compared to the 1/32 scale wells you fantastically detailed, the 1/24 scale 3D-printed wheel wells are huge with lots of room within to work for those who would like to further detail them. A modeler of your skill and attention to detail would likely work magic with the larger wells, even with the ribs in place. Here's a photo to help show just how big the 1/24 scale model wheel well is. For those concerned about modifying the Airfix kit's wing dihedral, there are several ways to do that. Of the many techniques one could try, here's one worth considering: cut a shallow groove along the center of the lower wing part's upper (interior) side from front to back. This will create a seam to help ease bending the wing to the proper dihedral. Gently bend the wing to match the 3D-printed wheel well. Worked for me, took just a few minutes. Hope this helps.
  10. Hi Mark, Thanks for the interest! I regret to say, no because, short answer, the cost would skyrocket. The long answer: offering the wells with separate ribbing significantly complicates the design with regard to printing it. A more complicated design takes longer to print and requires more resin to produce it. Those two factors drive up the cost. As designed, the entire well can be produced in one 7-hour printing cycle. Separating the ribs from the well increases the printing space required to produce it. Since 3D-printer workspace is small, a second print cycle would be needed to produce a single well. Two cycles makes for a 14-hour production run per well, crippling production given current order volume.* Since time = money, that cost in time would have to be captured by a much higher model price. Aggravating cost even further, the separate ribs would have to be supported by a second printing "raft" and supporting sprues. Rafts require a lot of expensive resin. The additional resin needed to produce the second raft and sprues would significantly add to the price of the model. Hope this explains the rationale behind the model's configuration and that modelers will find the wheel well model satisfactory as designed. Thanks again! * Customers are presently ordering more models per day than can be printed in a day (thank you, dear customers, for your patronage!). Another $4000 3D printer is on order to help speed up production. We hope to receive it and have it fully operational this month.
  11. I hope to pick up an Airfix Spit to do exactly that in 2020. There will be a cockpit for the classic Bandai 1/24 scale Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai. Research is complete. Still have several projects in the queue to complete before I get to those. Thanks, all, for your kind comments and encouragement!
  12. Thank you, D! I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with the online catalog. Let's try to figure out what may be happening. The webpage is optimized for desktop PC viewing rather than cellphone app viewing. It still works for cellphone apps but the catalog opens differently. If you are trying to access it from your cellphone or from an app on your computer, when you access the site, a medium blue page will first appear with the Model Monkey logo in the center (a dark blue rectangle with M M in it). It sounds like that's what you're seeing. To get past the medium blue screen, click on the dark blue logo. The catalog should then open in your viewer. I hope that solves the problem for you. If that's not the problem, you might consider clearing the cache on your web browser and trying again. Hope this helps!
  13. Awesome! New Model Monkey business slogan: "Getting modelers really thinking since 2014."
  14. Bf-109 "Mosquito Chaser" http://hsfeatures.com/features04/bf109g632ir_2.htm
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