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paul fisher

So what about a hybrid Vac/resin kit?

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Supermarine Swift please! I am doing the Falcon1/48 Swift now. Only my second vac. I would welcome a vac/resin in 1/32 scale.

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I don't know. I suppose the only thing is to settle on a proper subject and try it out.

 

Indeed - here's hoping it's one of the aforementioned Royal Navy planes.

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Paul,

with your well-earned reputation as a kit manufacturer, if you say you don't like white metal, all your followers will not like white metal, so those of us who have little choice but to use it to keep prices down lose out at the very outset of a project. That was my main beef.

And I just thought John was getting no credit for doing the same as you are proposing, so I thought I should mention it.

 

No sweat either way. Like I said, if you can do your own resin, you're laughing. I can't as I got a sensitivity to it when I made prototype cars for the Europeans and can't go near the stuff in its liquid form and can't find anyone to do it here at any reasonable level of price, quality or reliability. Not only do I want to produce a relatively cheap model for the customer, but for me too, to produce. Keeping the supply chain simple and making all my own masters is the only way for me to do that. When my aging w/m caster retires I will be completely fffff..fed up!

 

Cheers,

Martin

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I don't see modelling as a quasi-religious experience, I have a Fisher Sea Fury and Hunter conversion, but am not a follower and have a mind of my own - if a 1/32 vac kit of a Chipmonk was made to a certain standard I'd buy it irrespective of if it came with resin or w/m parts and wouldn't bemoan if they came in the latter medium rather than the former. Multimedia products have been around since man first mounted a flint in a piece of wood and bound it to make an axe, so I don't see why a portrait of John Aero needs hoisting for us all to worship.

 

Hope normal service can be resumed.

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I would suggest that when selecting manufacturing processes for a product such as a kit, you have to be completely pragmatic. There are a range of processes available to the 'garage' producer, and they all have their pluses and minuses. If possible, use as many processes as you need to get the best result for each component. So thin skins in large areas probably are best done as vacforms. Smaller components with lots of detail, from bulkheads and engines to wheels and tyres are probably better done as resin castings. Load bearing parts such as undercarriage legs would be brilliant in investment cast brass, but white metal is pretty good. Thin, folded structures, representing flat sheetwork, are best done as etchings. Decals could be screen printed. Notice, top priority is given to choosing a process that technically gives the best end result. Everything else should be secondary.

 

This logic alone points to a multi media kit as we are discussing. Now, how you go about getting this all together can be tricky! If you have the time, space, financial backing, and inclination, you could tackle all of these processes yourself. There are plenty of prducts on the market that have been designed this way. No names, no pack drill.... Or, you could hand off some of the processes to sub-contractor specialists. Or you could limit the processes used in the product to the ones you have access to, either by omitting components that are not appropriate, or including them in a less than optimal form.

 

All these routes have their advantages and disadvantages. The moment a sub contractor is involved, you are handing them a big chunk of your profits, and you have very little actual control over their output, even though it is your reputation on the line. If you decide to do it all yourself, you have a multitude of skills to master, and a whole mess of equipment to fund and house. And if you are on your own, you cannot be using it all at once, so most of the time, most of it will be standing idle. Costing you.....

 

This set of choices is not unique to garage kits of course. The big kit manufacturers have precisely the same issues. CAD themselves, or use free lancers? Tool themselves, or mould themselves, or look to the East and sub it out? Print their own boxes and decals? Sell directly or through a distribution chain?

 

Ultimately, it is down to the kit designer/manufacturer, to solve this equation for himself. You will never please all of your potential customers, some of whom won't touch vacforms whatever, some won't pay your price, some won't buy from overseas, and so on. And on, and on, and on!!!

 

So, you must please yourself. Is the kit the best balance that I could achieve, given my particular situation? And the rest is down to the Darwinian battleground of the open market!!

 

Anyway, Chipmunk, MB5, Gnat, Scimitar and so on will all get a thumbs-up from me. And if I don't have to sell a kidney to get them, all the better, provided whatever IS in the box (or zip-lok bag; there's another choice for you!) is decent, useable quality. I'd rather you left things out, if you don't have the where-withall to do a decent job, and let me sort that out for myself. Make my buy components that are not appropriately produced, so I have to bin them and replace them anyway, and I probably won't be back for your second release...

 

Tim

Edited by wunwinglow

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Tim, difficult to disagree with any of your points, but any small producer, cottage , garage, caravan or even hip-hop will have to use a percentage of sub-contractors for something and that adds to the price, rather than eats the profits. My intention has always been to keep prices low. That doesn't mean the model would be a poor one. A vac-form made into female moulds can be a very nice model White metal is for me, at present, easily mastered and obtained for a good price, whereas resin isn't, so the detail parts in my kits will be white metal. Let's face it, even resin needs cleaning up, not to mention carving it off those huge blocks it always seems to come attached to, so scraping a slight part line off a white metal component really doesn't seem to be any problem. A lot of white metal components I've seen in model aircraft kits have been shoddy in the extreme. So much so that I wouldn't accept them as a customer. If the parts that I get done for my slot car and model railway clients got that kind of rubbish from my caster they would chuck them straight back at him! Maybe you a/c guys have been badly served in that respect and don't know what good white metal parts can look like, on the whole?

Lost wax brass is strong and can be very detailed because there shouldn't be a part line at all, but it's expensive and not easy to get done as the railway guys seem to keep the brass founders very busy. It is also needy of proper metalworking skills to separate from the runners it comes on and clean up.

If I could get resin stuff done easily in this country, I would consider it for certain parts, though I still maintain that it is no better than w/m for the majority of parts. Of course it is much easier for somebody without the necessary metalworking skills to master. OK, there are a few casters who use silicon moulds in their centrifuges, but they are much fewer in number than they used to be, so brass masters are what is required and that is what I have done for 43 years, hence no problem for me.

 

Paul has a business to run which is well equipped and well founded, so he must look to make these decisions with a much higher certainty and priority than I. That is perfectly understood. I wished only to point out that John Adams seemed to be oddly missing, even a mention, in this topic which he was doing years ago. However it seems that Paul was so mindful of John that he had no need to mention it, so apologies, Paul, if my mention seemed a criticism. John has been an encouragement and help to me too, more recently.

There are people in this business who people do follow even if kagemusha doesn't and they can wield a sometimes out of balance influence which can be a stumbling block for un-knowns like me wishing to plough a slightly different furrow. I still have that as a concern, possibly unjustifiably, we can only see in time.

 

Ultimately, as Paul, said, all we can do is "just do it" and see what happens. I can do that and if it fails, nothing lost. If Paul does it and it fails, his business is going to suffer.

 

I won't be using p/e or decals, as there are always aftermarket suppliers who will and I can't do the a/w for them any more as the suppliers want files and my old machine won't handle the software, even if I could. BUT, the models will be as good as the vac-form process can possibly be and the w/m bits will surprise you, or I just won't do it. I don't HAVE to do the models. That's my guarantee of quality.

 

Martin

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Martin, I'd happily offer to do your photo etching and decal artwork, but then I'd be a subcontractor, and you know how many arms and legs subcontractors can cost!!!

 

I didn't intend my last post to be any kind of blue print, just a description of SOME of the decisions that have to be made between idea and product. How each producers wends his way through this mess of decision points is entirely up to them! Like I said, ultimately the market will brutally confirm or otherwise the validity of those decisions!

 

I really am looking forward to seeing the Chipmunk when it arrives. Can I pre-book a couple? Ta!

 

Tim

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Tim, if you can do the a/w accurately and for a half decent price, you could be the man I need. It's just a case of whether I actually want to raise the kit price by the cost of you and the producers of the etch and decals. It goes away from my basic intention with the kits in the first place.

Plus I rather like to do my own a/w. It's only the insistence on pooterised a/w that has now stopped me.

 

However, I ain't above offering aftermarket kits for my own models<G>. I would like to do the IPs in p/e and those wing-top fuel fillers/gauges would benefit from the treatment. Rivets, you see, I quite like a few myself. Then there's prop decals, footprints and stencilling, cockpit labels.....

 

Then, for those who must have an engine?..........

I guess there must be a bit of p/e there.

 

2 kits,you say? Certainly sir. but please don't ask when. I can bang out masters quickly, but doing the tooling amongst customer work will prove difficult, so no promises anywhere near calendars. But that makes 6 already and four of them need to be built!

 

Cheers,

Martin

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Came across this build on Britmodeller; http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234932307-dynavector-westland-wyvern-148-updated-632013/?hl=wyvern would be great to have similar in 1/32 especially in markings like WP337...

 

Wyvern1_zps3b180a74.jpg

 

or the one with Dennis the Menace riding a torpedo

Edited by Kagemusha

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If I were going to have to pick.........I would say ......

 

 

RA-5

 

Resin main wheel bays (Not much to see in the main wheel wells simply because they are more often shut than open)

 

Resin pit/ Seats

 

Resin Exhaust...could use aires phantom cans here (depending on bird)

 

resin wheels

 

Metal landing gear

 

perhaps a some bass wood or resin internal formers/ bracing (the biggest pain in the ass of vacs is getting the internal formers the right size so you have strength and something to glue to)

 

Decals.......insert favorite here...................(loads of fantastic markings)

 

 

A final note......at a hobby show a 1/32 Ra-5 would be large and in charge!

 

 

Phot from Airliners.net...credit to whoever took it!

 

1332640.jpg

Edited by Rob Colvin

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Going back to the question about vacform being something that people will go for (I know of some who will not touch the medium), the obvious difference between vac and IJ/resin is the parts coming on, and more importantly having to be cut from, a sheet of plastic.

 

I am game for the cutting out process, but have to admit that it isn't 'easy' it is an art that takes a few tries to get right. Now I'm sure I've seen adverts for large scale airliner kits (I mean 1/72) where this approach is used and the vac form parts are pre cut from the sheet they come as ready to use parts (except probably opening up canopy, cockpit openings etc.).

 

Actually, just found what I was talking about.. Aircraft in Miniature Models, they do a lot of 1/72 airliners. Here's a look at a Boeing 747.

 

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/80595-aircraft-in-miniature-172nd-scale-boeing-747-300-klm/

 

Look at the pre-cut fuselage and wings - just like an IJ kit (OK, so more prep and clean up). I think that getting this on offer to people would remove the psychological barrier of cutting shapes out of a large sheet..

 

It would certainly make me more likely to purchase a product..

 

Matt

Edited by mattlow

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If you can't scribe and snap a few parts out of a plastic sheet, you're never going to take on a vac-form kit, pre-cut or not!

 

Martin

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All I was saying is that is the part I don't enjoy.

 

Scribe and snap is, as you infer, easy peasy... Getting fuselage halves accurately sanded to mate in a decent manner isn't - in my experience (obviously depends on how good the parts are as well as my sanding ability).

 

That said, the AIM model doesn't actually address that issue as the parts are only rough cut from the sheet and require one hell of a lot of sanding to get them to assembly stage. So they've only done the easy bit...

 

Matt

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Hi Paul - as someone who prefers vac/mixed media to full resin kits (I grew up on Rareplanes kits and knew Frank Brown when he was producing the Hunter and Lightning kits) - I think it would be a wonderful way to extend the range and reduce production costs...

 

Now - a Scimitar, Sea Hawk, Gannet, Sea Vixen, Attacker, Swift and Javelin done in vac on female patterns with accessories/details in resin - to the standards we've come to expect from Fisher - would be most excellent!

 

And the Vigilante would be fun :)

 

That said - I still have your Panther, Cougar, Twogar, Sea Fury and Hunter T Mk 7 kits in the to do pile in the loft - so no hurry ('cept the Scimitar of course - I *need* that *right* now...)

 

Oh, and did I mention the Scimitar?

 

;)

 

Iain

Edited by 32SIG

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