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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.
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.
It has been no hidden fact that we have been considering other scales to use for our line of Space:1999 model kits. Kits in a new smaller scale will allow us to shoot for the same accuracy we always pursue, but let’s us bring kits to market at a lower price point. It allows our tooling consideration to go further. Instead of one big kit every couple of years, we can bring out a series of kits in the same scale just like we do with our line of 1:1000 Star Trek kits. So if 1/48 is too big to keep up the pace, what scale would be acceptable for these ships. This question was recently posed to a Space:1999 facebook group to get the answer straight form the consumer. The overwhelming favorite was 1/72 scale. At this scale an Eagle comes out to about 14 ½” long. Landing at 2 ½” longer than the old MPC kit, that should give us a enough room to work and get plenty of detail.
But, why do another Eagle right away when the last Space:1999 ship we created was an Eagle. So, we decided to take a step in this scale with a Hawk instead! By no fault of its own, our new 1/72 Hawk kit will land at about the same size as the old MPC/Airfix kit. But don’t worry. We are ignoring that old inaccurate kit and starting from scratch. Our new model will be as close as we can manage in injected styrene to match the original filming miniature.
So here for the first time, we are showing the progress on the kit thus far. We are shooting on a May release. So look for it at Wonderfest 2018.
(some higher res versions of these files will be posted to the Round 2 Models Facebook page.)
I’ve been hip deep in other matters this week, but I wanted to be sure I upheld my promise to show something cool this week. You could skip to the bottom of the post if you want another clue about “what’s in the box,” but you’ll miss a closer look at our new 1:72scale Space:1999 Hawk kit box art and test shots!
Here is a full view of the Hawk box illustration followed by a closer look at the ship and the illustration placed in the context of our box face layout. The rest of the packaging is still underway.
As with all first test shots, this one DOES have some problems that will get worked out before release. The most noticeable problems are sink marks due to the injection machine not being fully primed for injection. Additionally, there are fit problems with some of the locator pins. Some parts appear to be bent, but straightened out during assembly. Here is a look at the full sprue followed by various looks at the assembled test shot. Don’t mind the mess. These builds are usually hastily assembled glue bombs. Photos of our publicity buildup will be available soon.
When we signed the Space:1999 license a few years back, we felt we’d take a “let’s roll this out slow and see how things go” approach. First, we found great success with our old MPC 12” Eagle kit. It went so well that we did a deluxe version that included resin parts to create the lab pod version of the ship complete with spine booster parts. Continued sales on those gave us enough confidence to tool up our all-new 22” Eagle Transporter kit. One of our intentions at the time we did that was to eventually bring a relatively affordable 22” Eagle model to market that collectors without modeling skills would appreciate. So here we are…
(BE SURE TO NOTE THE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST!)
News: All-new 22" Space: 1999 Eagle Transporter from MPC
Started by Brett Barrow, 5 Jun 2015
Just announced a few days ago at Wonderfest, Round 2 is doing an all-new (nothing in common with the old MPC kit) 22" Eagle Transporter kit. They had a 3D printed prototype at the show, it's not not a plastic test shot.
It's is based on the 44" filming miniature used in the show, so think of it as a 1/2 scale model of a studio prop!
Word is it will have functioning spring-loaded landing gear and there will be an accessory set of turned metal engine bells that will better capture the details than plastic can.
Price will be in the $85-$100 range, they're saying November of this year for it, but knowing how new tooling usually goes these days, I think that's probably a long shot. I hope they can get it out by then, though!
Photos by Todd Morton of the Space 1999 Props & Ships Facebook group:
When Brian Johnson, who had worked with Gerry Anderson before on Thunderbirds, was called into the ITC Studios to take charge of the ship design on Space: 1999, the world of SF was undergoing something of a sea-change. The sleek, ‘futurist’ designs of the optimistic ’50s had rather given way to a form of grubby reality, in the wake of the US landing what can only be described as a foil-covered egg box on the moon (several times) by the time Space: 1999 crept out of the shadow (no pun untended) of its forbear, UFO, to become a series in its own right.
When Brian and his team were presented with the task creating technology which would meet not only the imaginative expectations of the sort of increasingly mature audience which had taken so readily to UFO, but also reflected the beautiful brutality of the ‘real’ science of space, Gerry’s faith in them was immediately vindicated.
This was not only because he had worked with Brian very successfully on Anderson’s signature series – the immortal Thunderbirds – as everything from a tea boy to a cleaner, but because he had been hired as an SFX assistant on 2001: A Space Odyssey, on which film, along with caring for and repairing models, he helped devise the famous floating pen sequence, which defied the analysis of generations of film buffs despite being one of the simplest movie tricks imaginable (in case you still do not know, the above linked interview gives it all away). Whilst not serving as overall model designer of the film, Brian still saw how the reality of the space age could be blended with a certain aesthetic charm, and it seems to have colored all his future work, be it on Space: 1999, Alien, or The Empire Strikes Back. Specifically, when he was drawn into Space: 1999 and was given the task of giving a sense of purpose to the moonbase, the memories of working on Kubrick’s film became his yardstick.
The sets and models had to be rooted in the sort of reality which anyone could access by turning on a television. Every child now knew what a space suit looked like, how space vehicles were made, and even how people moved about on the moon… The sleek, silver ships of the imagination would no longer suffice… Well, not entirely.
Because when Brian turned his hand to the ubiquitous Eagle as the workhorse of the series, although he created a utilitarian-girdered, almost jerry-built affair of the a spaceship, he still gave it that sleek, gorgeous nose, which has become so beloved of fans.Round 2
So, we all know the series and the Eagle as an icon of SF fandom, to be sure, but how this kit came into being is a story which is worth the telling in and of itself.
Gerry Anderson’s series have always, except perhaps in Japan, been rather poorly served by toy and model companies in some ways. Certainly, as a lad Dinky was there with their (often oddly-colored) toys, and several outfits made small and often heavily-compromised kits to sate the general market. However, none of the commercial companies could risk the investment of reproducing larger scale kits, especially in the 1970s and ’80s. However, there WAS a demand, and it was filled by a number of specialist toy makers, crafters, and garage kit companies who took their standards from the studio scale models, and, seemingly with the tacit blessing of Anderson Sr., began filling that need.
All the series had their hour in the sun… Wave’s huge Skydiver model, the Takara TB-2, and a whole range of other kits… So many that I cannot devote room to them here.
Save perhaps for the passion which surrounded the Space 1999: Eagle, and the fans who simply would not let the matter of owing a decent model rest.
Over the years, and taking the 22″/23″ and 44″ studio models as their ‘grails,’ people such as Jim Small, Chris Trice and Daniel Prud’homme (among many, many more) undertook what can be called Herculean labors of love to create the Eagle, from scratch in all the glory of its filming days. Alongside the garage kit companies which did make larger scale kits and accessories (such as WARP Models) these chaps kept the Eagle aloft until, after many years of badgering, Jim Small managed (possibly by sheer force of will) to get Jamie Hood of Round 2 Models to seriously consider a studio scale kit, to complement their already well received 12″ eagle kits.
Working closely with Jim, Chris, David, and other members of the model community, this project, across a span of years, has finally come to its first flowering, and with the promise of more things to come.
This is not so surprising, though. After all, Round 2 has a longstanding reputation for delving into the obscure, fannish, and clannish end of the model spectrum and, within the bounds of profitability, bringing builders golden kits which would once have been dismissed as pipe dreams…
The 1/350 NCC 1701, for example…The Frenzy….
When the model was announced, and that so many of the ‘old guard’ had been working on it, it came as bolt out of the blue to be honest, but I was not entirely put off balance by the prospect, thanks to a friendly little chappy by the name of Todd Morton, who runs the Space: 1999 model group on Facebook. With so many folks contributing to this kit, it might seem unfair to isolate one man, but he was my way into this kit, helped me procure my first example (and also ensured that this one model will have ballooned to five by the time the kit sees release in Japan in April 2016).
If you’ve a mind, join the page, have a look around, and see what the community is up to with the new kit… as well as keep an eye out for what Round 2 is doing next. Lab Pod? Boosters? Interiors? Freighters? Who can tell? This is a kit decades in the dreaming, and now it is here.
I have no more words.
Should have sent a poet.In Conclusion
In conclusion… This is a kit for which we have all waited, even if we did not know we did.
It is, in the vein of many R2 kits, a little rough and ready in places, as well as needing some tuning to be right on the money, which is something the price tag might not justify. However, do bear in mind that this is the first run of a model that, much like the other large R2 kits, might well not have been were it not for fan aid, fan love, and even fan pressure.
There is nothing really sloppy about this kit though. It goes together well, and just needs some TLC to bring it all off properly (as per the guide noted above). I have often heard the complaint that ‘in this day and age, such problems are avoidable…. Just look at Tamiya…[etc. da capo]’. This is hardly fair…. I’ve worked for Tamiya and if Round 2 had the facilities, staff, logistical support engineering, design facilities and time to work with (for example, the recent 1/32 Mosquito was in planning for five years before production) we might be able to throw rocks at Jamie. I do not wish to sound like an apologist, but MPC/R2 have done wonders with what they have.
Still, this is certainly a kit for fans. Those who ‘get’ Space:1999 will know why this kit is so important.
This has to be my kit of the year… Even in March I can say this. Nothing can match up to the nostalgic glory – unless it happens to be a Round 2, 22″ Lab Eagle with booster, of course.
Dr. Robodaz to Main Mission. Let’s take her up!
See more here..........http://www.hobbylink.tv/148-space1999-eagle-transporter-by-mpcround-2-part-two-review
From the left- Todd Morton (Facebook admin), Jamie Hood (Round 2 Boss), Gordon Moriguchi, Jim Small (The Prime Mover) and Donald Hayunga.
The Bringer of Wonder