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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. Model_Monkey

    Another LHS closing...sign of the times

    Agreed, the hobby as a whole globally seems to be doing well. But the hobby is definitely changing. We see so many wonderful products continue to come to us from manufacturers in Asia and Eastern Europe. But I wonder if the closure of so many manufacturers in Western Europe and the US over the last decade and more tends to indicate that the issues are very complex and dynamic. Had shopping for kits and supplies merely shifted from stores to online, kit manufacturers in the West who went out of business should still be in business. But they aren't. This indicates that the market has changed considerably, and continues to change. The problems are much more complicated than just a shift of shopping from brick and mortar stores to online retailers or an issue with sales taxes. In the US, it looks like there are just a few manufacturers left, including Lindberg (Round 2) and Moebius, now. Round 2 occasionally re-releases old Lindberg and MPC kits. How many are left in the US designing anything new? Who would have thought 10 years ago that Lindberg might actually become the last man standing in the US? Some food for thought: Many of us were deeply saddened when Hobbico went bankrupt due to declining sales and massive debt, followed by its liquidation. Revell/Monogram in the US was closed with employees released, and assets moved to Germany this past year under Quantum Capital Partners, an international investment group. Major production by Revell Gmbh ("Revell Germany") is thought to actually occur in Poland, not Germany. Experts here could confirm or correct that. Serious financial problems for major hobby producers continue in other Western nations, too. You may recall that Airfix had been owned for 20 years by Humbrol (which also owned Heller for a time). Humbrol, originally the Humber Oil Company (Humber Oil's name became "Humbrol"), which then became a paint company years ago. Humbrol purchased both Airfix and Heller by 1986 and had been producing Heller and Airfix kits at the Heller factory in Trun, France. Humbrol collapsed financially in 2006 due to declining sales. In 2006, Airfix and Humbrol paints were bought by Hornby, known for making model trains including popular "Thomas the Tank Engine". Heller was sold to a French jewelry manufacturer but is now owned by Maped, a French stationary company well known in the UK for mathematical instruments. Airfix continued to design and package kits in the UK but Hornby outsourced Airfix manufacturing to India. The Airfix factory at Kingston upon Hull, UK, was demolished in 2008. Hornby suffered a financial collapse due to declining sales just a year or so ago. London Stock Exchange rules required a mandatory takeover which was done by Phoenix Asset Management. Hornby CEO Steve Cooke was forced to resign a year ago last September as part of the takeover. The BBC attributed Hornby's declining sales and stock value collapse this way: "The major reason behind the decline Hornby declared was two fold, with the decline in the number of (now aged, and hence older) collecting customers, and a lack of interest in modelling as a hobby in light of the digitization and advancement of the internet games industry." How big is the video game industry? 2015 world-wide revenue was reported as $91.5 billion. That's larger revenue than that earned by the world-wide motion picture industry that same year. Think about that. And the video game industry is changing, too. It's shifting from the West to Asia. Nearly half of all video game revenue is produced in Asia with China as the number one producer of video game revenue. Video game revenue growth is huge. For example, Indonesia was projected to see a whopping one-year revenue increase of 52% in 2016 alone. Thailand's video game revenue was up 42% in the same single year. That's right, 42% increase in just one year. See: https://newzoo.com/insights/articles/newzoos-top-100-countries-by-2015-game-revenues/ Asian plastic model kit manufacturers such as Trumpeter (Zhongshan, China), Tamiya, Hasegawa and Fujimi (all headquartered in Shinzuoka, Japan), Academy (South Korea and The Philippines), etc., seem to be doing much better than Western companies. Interestingly, Hornby's major model railroading competitors included Bachmann Industries, originally founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but is now owned and headquartered in China. Its products are produced at a Chinese government-owned factory in Dongguan. Hopefully, Airfix is doing better under Phoenix Asset Management ownership and that Revell Germany is doing better under Quantum Capital Partners. It is very encouraging to see new releases announced. I love Revell's new 1/32 scale P-51D-5 (thanks, Radu!) and have a Revell Spitfire Mk.IXc on the way, shipped to me in the US from a vendor in the UK. Will order more.
  2. Model_Monkey

    1/24 scale and 1/32 scale SCR-522-A radio now available

    Here are some renderings of the Beaufighter cockpit design at about 75% complete. Much work yet to do and much of what you see here will change, but you can get an idea of the design's potential. Changes will include the sidewall panels which will be replaced with simple beams supporting the instruments and throttle quadrants. Radios will be further detailed. The floor and bulkheads will be thinned, too. Other features will be added including a yoke, rudder pedals, heater duct, etc. The instrument bezels are sized to match Airscale 1/32 RAF instrument decals. If there is sufficient demand, I can design upgrades for the observer/gunner's station and an instrument panel for the Beaufighter Mk.21. No gunner canopy, however, or aft gun. That will be up to the modeler or another vendor.
  3. Model_Monkey

    1:32 scale 16" gun turret

    Very nice work! Enjoying your build!
  4. Model_Monkey

    Revell 1/350 Tirpitz

    Looks great! Enjoying your build.
  5. Very happy to announce a 3D-printed model of the World War Two-era "Set, Complete Radio 522-A" ("SCR-522-A") used by the US Army Air Corps, Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force. This model is available in 1/32 and 1/24 scales. Other scales are possible. Often referred to as a "Signal Corps Radio", the SCR-522-A was installed aboard many aircraft types. For example, the SCR-522-A was a conspicuous feature of the P-51D and P-51K Mustang fighters, installed behind the pilot's armored seat back and visible through the bubble canopy. In RAF and RAAF service, this radio set was known as the TR.5043. Later this month, we will be releasing a highly detailed, 3D-printed cockpit for the classic Revell 1/32 scale Bristol Beaufighter. Click here for the Model Monkey products in 1/24 scale and 1/18 scale Click here for Model Monkey products in 1/32 scale. Click here for the Model Monkey catalog.
  6. Model_Monkey

    1/18 P51C Mustang "Lopes Hope the 3rd"

    Certainly a bat wing and eye of newt were required for the cauldron to produce this kind of magic. Obviously, Peter was educated at Hogwarts and was involved in getting the Weasley's car to fly. But which house.....? A clue: I understand Peter speaks parseltongue.
  7. Model_Monkey

    Trumpeter F4F-3 build with rivets and enamels(?)

    Hey there, fellow Tar-Heel! I ship internationally, too, and know your pain. Best wishes! Love your products and your Wildcat is superb.
  8. Model_Monkey

    3D Printing

    Blender is very good. Also recommend Fusion360 by Autodesk. It's a powerful program and there are very good Youtube tutorials for it. There is a free license for those making less than $100k USD annually with it, which for modelers, is most of us. When you install it, it will ask you some questions about how you intend to use it. Your hobby-focused answers will trigger the free license, renewable annually. Rhino is arguably among the very best. Very expensive, too. For printing, I'm using a Form2 and loving it. Pricy, but excellent.
  9. Model_Monkey

    Anyone here capable of doing CAD work for 3D printing?

    PM sent. Best wishes.
  10. Model_Monkey

    Anyone here capable of doing CAD work for 3D printing?

    Why Jennings, After publicly slamming my store and new 3D-printed product announcement on this site, have you crossed over to the 3D-printing darkside? Welcome aboard! I hope you find the technology and the products pleasing and a help to you.
  11. Model_Monkey

    Monogram 1/48 P-40 Rebuild

    Really good work. Thanks for taking us to school.
  12. 1/32 scale hollow P-51 Mustang exhausts are now available in 3D-printed gray resin. They are created using a different technology with no waxy supporting structure, and no UV exposure requirement. Just cut them free from their sprues, paint and install. Photos of the actual, unpainted exhausts can be seen in the links to the project page below: With shrouds (click here) No shrouds (click here) They are also available in 1/24 scale and 1/18 scale. Beaufighter cockpit parts are in design.
  13. Model_Monkey

    Model Monkey P-51D 3D Printed Exhausts with Shrouds

    Thanks, Gerhard! As soon as the design is complete, or nearly so, I will post some previews.
  14. Model_Monkey

    Model Monkey P-51D 3D Printed Exhausts with Shrouds

    Thanks fellas! Click here for the revised set of hollow P-51 exhausts with separate shrouds. Nameplates for your planes are also available in real metal (brass, bronze, gold-plated, silver) or inexpensive, paintable acrylic (click here). Don't see a nameplate you want? Requests for custom names are accepted. Sneak peak: click here to see the next Model Monkey design for aircraft. The set will be released on 7/23 (tomorrow). This will be followed by a set of flaps and flap wells for B-24 Liberators. Then back to large scale planes with cockpit upgrades for the classic Revell 1/32 scale Bristol Beaufighter. Thanks again! Steve