Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Final Post of 2013 and Next Kit Announcement

Another year has come and gone.  I have to say that 2013 was a bit better than 2012.  There are some lingering medical issues from the surgeries, but nothing that one can't work through. Work is still up and down.  One term, 40 hours a week...the next...6 hours a week.  Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act no one is going to get more than 28 hours or so a week...or so I am told.  Way to go, Mr. President....frickin' chuckle head.

Enough of that personal garbonza.  You are not here for that, you are here to read about mechs. Where did 2013 take us? 

1.  We finally got the Daishi produced.  What a fiasco that was...but we are all happy with it.  Speaking of which, I am sitting on about 5 Daishi torsos....wonder what to do with those?

2.  The Victor commission saw kitting.  That one sold out as did the Daishi.

3.  The Vulture Mk II was kitted thanks to the loan from Dave and the hard work of JPG. That sold out.  

4.  The Flea was just produced.  I have about 4 of those left. If the molds can pull more, I may try for another 10.  We'll see.

5.  I did several commission pieces this year.  Most were good builds...most...
 
What's on the bench?  From last year, I still have a Mauler and Owens at about 80% completion.  There is a Nova at about 50%.  I have the plans done for a Crab, an Avatar, an Atlas redesign, a Catapult redesign and am about 60% done with the MekTek Dervish.

With 2014 hours away, I find myself pondering the future.  What kit will be next?  We could spend time guessing and laying hints, but I might as well announce it. The next kit will be the Mad Cat MK II.  It is almost done and I plan on doing a pre-order in a couple weeks.  About 1/3 of the way in, I decided to kit this so I built most of it with that in mind.  Most joints are basic ball and socket sets that will allow for posing.  This pre-order will probably be a bit different.  I may sell "slots"....offer 10 pre-order slots at 20%  below regular price.  Then another 5 slots at 10% below retail.  After those are paid for, all other orders will be at regular price.  A nice reward for those that jump in and help get these produced.

Stay tuned.  Pics will come soon. Happy New Year all...and thanks for making 2013 a success.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just some pics....

So...(as I start so many of my posts)...I thought I would play around with posing these mechs. The first I played with was the Thor. Next, I decided to play with this years Victor kit. I beefed up the shoulder area around the head. Then, I put an even bigger gun muzzle on the arm. WTH, right? Next, I started playing with the legs, making the hips ball and socket set ups. Here are the results....


And now I am playing with the Flea's legs too.  Here is a new pose for the Flea.  Since it is a Dragoon's mech, I am going with the rust look of Alpha Regiment. Oh, the Christmas pricing on the Flea has ended.  Thanks to those who supported the sale.
 


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Annihilator Cancelled

Good Evening all.  Those of you who pre-paid are seeing refunds from PayPal for the Anni pre-order.  I think it was a bad idea on my part to try and push out one more kit at Christmas. There was no way we were going to come close to pre-selling the 15 needed to get production rolling.  Many regulars were either not interested or could not put the money into this during the holidays.  So, for the time being, the Annihilator will go back in the display case. To those who did pre-pay, thank YOU!  And save those pennies...you know there will be more to come.

I am currently working on a commission piece...the Armorcast Mad Cat. It has been a long time since I built an Armorcast kit and I hate it.  This thing is a pin-hole and bubble nightmare.  The kit looks beautiful, but the moment you do the lightest sanding BLAM! Pin-hole hell. I have used over half a tube of putty on this thing. For the most part, the filling and sanding is done and I can get down to work on the fun part...painting! Here is the paint job he wants....

The Crab has really piqued my interest.  I may start playing with it and if Sam decides not to commission it, then it will go in the box of half finish builds...right along side the Nova, the MekTek Dervish, the Mauler, and the Owens.

CHRISTMAS SALE!

I have a limited number of Flea kits available.  They are on sale for only $60 and that includes shipping within the United States!  Get them while they last!

Finally, I have been working on a BIG project for a while now and it is coming close to fruition.  It is one of the few builds I have actually designed to be a kit. It is th////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Its December? Crap....

Alright everyone.  Time for some brutal honesty....I don't think we are going to make the 4 mech mark this year...but not for lack of trying.  We got the Victor, Vulture and Flea out the door but it seems the Annihilator is not going to make it.  Even with the firm commitments we won't come close to making the pre-order requirements and with it being Christmas and Scott's deciding to get one more mech cast it seems like the fates are aligning against FCY.  I will keep the pre-order open through the 13th as I originally said I would, but without a Christmas miracle the Annihilator will end up back in the display case.

A regular customer and follower named Sam has started his own blog called Myomer Dreams.  He did a really neat article discussing the old Tyco Battletech toys.  Check it out here.

Sam also was talking about commissioning a Crab.  He pointed out that I have cast up light mechs and heavy/assault mechs but there is a gap in the medium mech range.  At first, I was not sure about it but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of making a Crab.  That design has a lot of potential for a scratch builder like me.  Any thoughts on casting that one?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Update

The Annihilator pre-orders are coming in at a trickle. So far just 3 paid and 1 waiting to get a paycheck.  I will run this pre-order through December 13.  If there are not enough paid orders, refunds will go out and I will ponder the next kit.

On another note...am I being left in the past?  It seems those of us who make these kits are moving to 3D printing.  All of the Reverse Disabled products are 3D printed....Scott's Urbie and Vulcan are 3D prints...and I am still toiling away with a knife and plastic.  I can see the beauty of getting a difficult or detailed piece printed, but I like making my mechs by hand...and I have no clue how to use the 3d programs and I am not inclined to learn.  Makes me wonder if I am going to end up out of business because I can't keep up with the times.

Sigh.....

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fleas and Annihilators (the Dragoons would be proud)

The Flea kits came in this week and today I shipped all paid pre-orders...domestic and international.  This weekend I will get some build notes published, but this kit is the most straight forward yet. I will also get some pics up.


Next Kit:  Since the Madcat Mk II will not be available anytime soon, I am planning on kitting the Annihilator.  I am also working with David White to get a LARGE print of his Annihilator drawing signed.  All who pre-order will be put in a drawing for the signed print. Look for more info in the coming week once I get a casting estimate from JPG.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Always Something....

So, the Fleas are supposed to be finished up this week.   Still not the 4 week turn around I was gunning for, but if it is the quality of the Vulture I can wait.   There are about 4 Vultures left and after they are gone, they are gone.  The large molds are not pulling decent casts and I am not paying for more molds.  Once these are gone, the Vulture line will be closed. 

I have been asked why I "close lines." Each run is 30-40 kits depending on how long the molds hold. Usually, those who want them will buy them in the first run.  If I make another run (like I did with the Puma/Adder) I will end up with stock that takes a year or more to move.  That is money that could gone into producing a different kit. So, once the first round of molds breaks down, the line closes.

Progress on other builds:  NONE.  My son brought home a Parvovirus from school a couple weeks ago.  My wife and I have both contracted it.  What does that mean?  Well, in adults it manifests as joint pain...severe joint pain...and some fatigue that can last for weeks or even months.  I can't hold a hobby knife, sanding stick, paint brush, etc. without my hands aching.  I had Friday, Monday and Tuesday set a side to work kits/commissions but have gotten absolutely nothing done.  Sorry about that.

BTW, any thoughts on the Avatar Omnimech?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Awesomeness!

Geert has purchased almost every mech I have produced.  He has been working on his Vulture MK II.  Here is what he has to say...

One thing that I feel is a shame is the static look by building it out of the box, so I tried to reposition the legs according to the opening cinematic of the MW4 game. At the certain point the Vulture enters the courttard and surveys the onslaught, the pilot squads the mech and starts hammering away on the enemie mechs. I tried to get that stance by cutting of the upper leg connectors and reposition the connectors.
 
 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Quick Update

I know, I know...three weeks without an update is an eternity for me.  So, here are some things that are going on here in the shop (the spare room upstairs):

1.  The Madcat Mk. II has stalled.  I think I have builders block or something.  I did create some kicking toes for this thing.  It was originally going to be a one-off but there has been a lot of interest in this as a kit so I am having to go back and re-engineer some parts to make it casting friendly.  I hate re-doing work...hate it I say.

2.  The Vulture MK. II has been well received.  Here is a link to one lads build over at MWO: 

3.  I cannot post at MWO anymore.  I don't have a system that will adequately push the game and unless you are an active player, you can't post in the forums.  Fine...f*ck you, too.

4.  JPG is working furiously on the Flea.  He said the first 20 kits should be shipping out in the next couple weeks. 

5.  I am still debating on the next kit.  The Nova Cat is a favorite, but that would take a lot of re-engineering to make it castable.  Maybe the Thor?  The Annihilator? The Masakari?  Maybe get the Madcat MK II finished?

6.  I am staring a new commission.  The customer that commissioned the Daishi scored a Mad Cat on eBay and wants it built.  This should be fun.

More later....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Update: Flea et al

The Flea pre-order has had no real movement for a while, so that is closed.  Unless you have made arrangements with me, all Flea sales will be at the normal retail price.

The Daishi commission is done.  If you are interested in commissioning a mech, now is your chance.  I only like to do one at a time these days...with family and work that is about all I can make time for.

I got a Raven and Commando from Simon over in England.   The detail is extraordinary!  If 3d printing were not so damn expensive, I might look into having detail pieces printed then cast.  My only complaint is scale.  He used the PGI MWO scales...and using their scale the Commando is...tiny.  Detailed and well cast, but just small. 

Any-who...since I am between commissions, I hope to make some serious progress on the Madcat Mk II.  The torso is roughed out, the leg master has been made and molded/cast.  I should have it to a point where I am comfortable posting some pics.

Until then...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Update

I did something and have aggravated a nerve that runs from the neck through the shoulder and down my arm.  It hurts like hell and has limited my functionality. When I try to lift my arm or turn my head, I get a shooting pain from neck to shoulder to elbow to finger. Kinda sucks...

The Flea pre-order is still open.  I am hoping to get a few more before closing it out.  The master has gone to the caster.

All the Vulture kits are out the door.  The international orders went out today.  There is a page link to the right that takes you to a quick build of the Vulture and addresses a few issues I discovered when I built mine. As always, there are subtle shifts that occur between molding and casting. It may have taken 4 months, but I think it is worth the wait. I hope you do too.

If anyone out there has pics of their builds of my kits, I would appreciate seeing them and posting them on the blog.  As always, thanks for all your support.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Flea Pre-Order: Redux

Trying it again.  The Flea Pre-order is up and running for 1 week and one week only. If you're ready, come and get it. Pre-order pricing: 

Cost: $55 plus shipping

Domestic Shipping:  $10

International Shipping:  $20

I will no longer combine shipping, hold kits, etc.  It is getting confusing for little old me and I know I am eventually going to oversell because a hold kit wasn't marked as such.  So, when your kit comes in from the caster it is going straight out to you. In the short run, this is going to cost me a wee bit but it will simplify things in the future.

Contact Link





Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Quick Update

Hi All!  Just got this e-mail from JPG regarding the Vulture MK II:

I'm getting ready to pack up your stuff! 

Huzzah!  Huzzah!  Huzzah!

For the Deimos customers...there were a few issues with the main guns and MMD was not happy with they way they turned out.  They have been remolded and recast and are on their way to the States.

Finally, I think I am going to re-open the Flea pre-order.  I may have found a way to fund this with only 10 pre-orders.


Monday, September 9, 2013

The Women We Love

In all my years of producing Battletech kits, I have only had 2 female customers and one was buying for her husband. For some reason, the ladies in our lives often have a hard time understanding our love for big, stompy "robots" (they have no idea what a mech is) and blowing stuff up.

Well, here is the answer....

Monday, September 2, 2013

Just an Update

Hi Everyone....finally caught the virus that my son then my wife had.  I sat down to work on models yesterday and pretty much stared at the kits for a few hours and drooled on myself.  Bleh!

Site note:  I am going to try to create more pages (links to right) to make it easier to find things on the site.

Like Scott, I need to take more pics to document my builds.  The Calliope is coming along nicely although I think it may be too big to effectively cast/sell.  I am also working on the Madcat MK. II which is progressing nicely. That rounded nose is a pain, but it's worth the work.  As always, I like to make little mods along the way.

I am also modding a Victor to make it look more burly and aggressive. I have modded the top of the torso so that rather than being flat it is arched to the same contour as the shoulders so the head looks a bit recessed (i.e. the MWO Victor).  I am also reworking the legs to give it a more dynamic pose...and I think I will make the Gauss rifle bigger.

I am still dealing with fall out from the last caster.  When they send the kits, they come in a bag with all the pieces for one kit.  I just assumed they were all correct.  However, many who bought the Cougar ended up with either two left legs or two right legs.  That line is closed, and as customers find these issues, I am having to "rebuild" legs for them.  What a pain in my ass....but that's what I get for not checking.

What else....oh, I took on a commission build.  A customer wants a factory fresh Smoke Jaguar Daishi.  The Smoke Jag paint job should be a challenge.  I did get work done on that yesterday...sanding down pour stubs, cleaning, first layer of putty. That reminds me....time for a "what the hell" type of poll.

Oh, and the next kit will be the Flea.  No doubt there.  As soon as the Vulture is done, I will get a pre-order started.

Now, I need to go blow my nose....

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vulture Update

As you know, the Vulture that was acquired was a prototype for a line of toys ReSaurus Toys wanted to do for MW4. The owner really wanted to preserve the paint job on this prototype, so when he sent it to me I only patched a couple really large and noticeable voids and built some missing pieces (arms and mounts).  The dark paint job hid a world of evils.  The Vultures have been delayed because the original is having to be rebuilt. Here are some pics to let you see why the rebuild, hence the delay, is necessary. I know we originally planned a 30 day turn around that has stretched to around 90, but trust me when I say it will be worth it. As a side note, we noticed these issues AFTER the first molds had been made and the first casts were pulled.  It was then the caster went back and primed the kit and we discovered "...what a piece of junk!" this prototype was. I am surprised JPG did not pack this kit up with a note saying, "F*ck you!" and send it back to me.

 You can see in this pic the air bubble voids that were revealed when the original dark paint job was primed. This is one of the toes on the mech.

 Here is the corrected toe.

 This is one of the chin mounted guns. You can see the mold line from when this was originally cast.  That had to go unless you wanted a double mold line.
Here is the corrected piece. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Scott's Catapult

I just got Scott's Catapult and I am impressed. This is a well engineered kit.  Two chimpanzees and a trainee could build it! Sorry, old Trek reference.   Anyway, the kit is available through Scott at his Messy Desk Blog. I am not sure what he is charging, but if you can lay your hands on one (or two, or three) of these you should. I wish I could get my missile holes as nice as his.

Now, to try and get my hands on some of Simon's stuff.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Kit Announcement: Deimos

UPDATE: The first round of castings has been spoken for and invoices sent out.  I will post here when we have more available.

Good day everyone!  Let me ask, what would you pay for a 1/60 scale Deimos?  You may have seen in other posts that our friend overseas, the Mad 'Mech Doctor (aka Dr. Banzai) has created a 1/60 scale Deimos. I received a copy last week and I am in awe.  This kit blows away my kits and even the older Armorcast stuff.  Granted, if I had a degree in engineering and the workshop MMD has, I could do stuff like this to...but I don't and he does. 

Anyway, I have convinced him to offer up a few to the Battlemech Club community.  This will be a very limited release.  At this point, I have convinced him to cast up 10.

Pricing:  $125.00 covers the kit and shipping from overseas.

So, who is in?  For details, feel free to contact me directly.








Friday, August 2, 2013

Large Scale Battletech Rules

Good Morning.  I know many of you buy these mechs for Large Scale Tabletop Battletech games.  One of your brothers, Sam, has been working on some rules for Large Scale Tabletop Battletech.  He sent me a .pdf to share with everyone.

Here is a link to it: Large Scale B-Tech Rules

If you would like to contact Sam, give me a shout and I will share his e-mail address with you.

Also, pursuant to supporting large scale table-top gamers, I am working on support pieces.  First up is going to be a Calliope Turret.  This one is closer to 1/40 scale, but to me it makes sense that a self-contained turret would have to be fairly large to store enough missiles to make it an effective battlefield piece.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Vulture Delay: Update

Just heard from the caster...another 2-3 weeks.  Frickity, frackity.....#@$%*!!!!!

Here is why the Vulture has been delayed.  The dark paint job on the originals hid a world of sins. The caster is working on fixing them so we have quality kits.

Before:



After:



50K views....awesome

Over 50,000 unique page views.  Awesome!  As a "thanks" here are some pics to enjoy!





Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reworking the Thor

Some time ago I built the upper body of a Thor to go on the legs I got from Scott.  The legs he made were bang on to the MW4 design, but I never liked the way they attached to the hip.

So, I decided to play with them and see if I could make them more TRO-ish. After some work with plastic and Aves, here is what I came up with.  The rocket launchers are not attached yet...



I also put on a new shoulder rocket launcher.  This came in a box of greeblies from one of my customers.  Yeah, its a lot of holes, but I don't care if its too many...I think it looks groovy.




Sunday, July 14, 2013

Damn Fur Babies

So, Clan Fur Babies strikes again.  Somehow, my 17 pound behemoth Victor managed to get into the hobby room, knock over an office chair and smash the Fafnir. Last week was a rebuilding week.  Anyway, a lot of the damage is repaired.  Here are a few quick pics of the painting progress.




Saturday, July 13, 2013

More Frustrations

Some time ago, Scott and I traded mechs...a Daishi for a Kodiak.  The casting he sent was a rough one, but hey...its a Kodiak.  I have been trying to fill all the airbubbles and decided a quick shot with primer would help find them.  That's when I discovered that the resin Scott had is probably a bad batch.  Every piece I primed is bleeding...oozing resin oils.  This is because the resin is bad or it was not mixed right.  Now, as he made the parts at different times I find it hard to believe that he poorly mixed every single batch.  More likely, the resin is funky...which happens.  It saddens me greatly as the Kodi is one of my favorite mechs...and now I am going to have go consign mine to the scrap pile.