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sign me up for it!**UPDATE**
Hello everyone. Hope you’re all well, and that 2023 has gotten off to a good start for you all.
I just wanted to check in and give you all a courtesy update to let you all know where things are up to with the run….
Apologies for the radio silence. This past couple of weeks have been incredibly full on! I’ve been working on this update, along with a few experiments, and have had a LOT to deal with over the past couple of weeks, as I’ll explain below.
ALL parts are now “IN PRODUCTION” as I’m sure you all would have expected by now. It was NOT as straight forward as you might think though.
Suffice to say, January has very nearly killed me!
Let me explain…
The pricing for the run was based on quotes I received towards the end of last year.
There was very little room for profit, on account of the parts being quite expensive to have made.
The quotes I received were workable though, and I managed to negotiate a price that was acceptable to most people on the interest list, without having to compromise on the accuracy of the materials.
when I came to request the quotes/invoices for the final numbers though, my chosen manufacturers tried to bump up the unit prices. For a brief moment, it was looking like the whole run would be done at a huge loss *.
This kicked off another round of negotiations, as well as seeking out alternative manufacturers (something that I thought was settled and wouldn't need to be done again!).
Long story short... I managed to get everything back within the original budget. But not without a few sleepless nights and a whole lot of stress!
It's obviously a huge relief to have everything ordered (without facing financial ruin and complete reputation destruction!). All of this additional wrangling did cause a slight delay to things getting off the ground though unfortunately. Everything is now "in production" though, and has been for the past week. I've been given an estimated delivery of mid-March. I hope that this is ok with everyone? It's a bit longer than I'd originally requested to be honest, but we literally placed the order smack bang in the middle of Chinese New Year unfortunately, and it does take a while to get back up to speed.
It's not unheard of for parts to come in before their “expected delivery date”. I’ll obviously keep you all posted as and when I hear anything.
I've asked for frequent updates and for any images to be forwarded to me to share on the thread.
* Just to reassure you all, no-one's money was ever at risk. The absolute worst-case scenario, would have been to cancel the run and to issue a full refund to everyone. Thankfully it didn't come to that!
I’ll be posting regular updates as news comes in, and as I work on various experiments relating to the weathering commissions.
As well as getting everything into production, I’ve been ordering supplies and equipment needed for the run. All additional screws/nuts/pins, etc have arrived, along with self adhesive foil and vinyl. There is PLENTY for me to be getting on with between now and the arrival of the parts.
I’ll be cutting clamp foil next week and vinyl stencils for clamps.
The Dry Rub Transfers for the transistors have arrived and they are fantastic! I couldn’t be happier with them:
View attachment 1666039
I’ve ordered letter stamps for the wind vanes in a variety of sizes and fonts too, and have been experimenting with those this week. This is a skill in itself and it’s safe to say that I’ll need a bit of practice before I feel proficient enough to stamp the rings. I’m beginning to get a feel for how hard to strike them, and how to get them spaced correctly.
I’ll post another update on this once I’ve had a little more practice!
I’ve cut some vinyl spacers to help with spacing the letters correctly. I’ve found that a solid guide is required too to ensure that each letter is at exactly the right height.
View attachment 1666040
I’m still working on my technique, but certainly getting a feel for it. The above example is a vast improvement on my first attempt! I believe that with a bit more practice, I’ll be ready to move on to something cylindrical.
I have some other experiments to perform over the next couple of weeks with regards to chemical darkening of steel/inconel. I'll be posting my progress on that soon....
Weathering Commission Details:
Over the course of next week, I’ll be contacting participants of the run individually to ask them to think about their preferences for the weathering commission.
I’ve made the following list and diagram to help explain the various details that will be added as part of the commission.
- 1 - Damage to edges
- 2 - Pitting to surfaces
- 3 - Chemical darkening/discolouration (more so to inner part)
- 4 - Soldering at rear of emitter to insert and top of neck
- 5 - Emitter insert painted black
- 6 - Mark to face of emitter
- 7 - General weathering and highlighting of edges
- 8 - Chemical darkening/discolouration (more so towards base)
- 9 - Accurate buckling of windvane
- 10 - General weathering and highlighting of edges
- 11 - Application of tape to the windvane, accurately weathered to match references
- 12 - Addition of some light dings/scratches
- 13 - Chemically darkened to match references
- 14 - Rust deposits in grooves
- 15 - General weathering and highlighting of edges
- 16 - Sealed to prevent further rust build up
- 17 - Accurately drilled for additional screws/pins
- 18 - Damage to plating with exposed, darkened metal
- 19 - Application of accurately cut foil to match references
- 20 - General weathering/wear/dirt
- 21 - All damage to fins accurately replicated
- 22 - Chemically darkened to match references
- 23 - Rust deposits in grooves
- 24 - General weathering and highlighting of edges
- 25 - Sealed to prevent further rust build up
- 26 - Diagonal scratch to one of the grooves
- 27 - Light weathering surface scratches
- 28 - Light build up if dirt (weathering powder)
View attachment 1666041
** I’m happy to omit/tone down any of these details. So if you’ve decided to have the full weathering commission, could you please take a look and have a think over the weekend. **
I’ll be in touch via DM over the course of next week.
Now that the parts are officially in production and the numbers are fixed, I can confirm that there are X8 available spots remaining. These will need to be sold as soon as possible, so I’ll be letting them go on a first come-first served basis. They are full hilts and can’t be split in to separate parts I’m afraid. If you’re interested in taking one, please get in touch via DM.
Thanks again to everyone who has made this run possible! Your participation, patience and trust is truly humbling, and I can’t tell you how much it means.
We’re now on the final stretch, and I can’t wait for the parts to start coming in and to share more progress with you over the next few weeks.
Wishing you all the best, and as always, MTFBWY!
Any chance you’re selling your original high-poly models or offering prints?
Thanks for the update DaveP. Is there any word on whether your manufacturers have agreed to chrome the inside of the booster and not blacken any of the parts, i.e., 100% machine finished parts?
Thanks for the update, much appreciated!
One question out of interest. It was first mentioned that…
… which surprised me because that would get expensive, but part production has since moved to China? Which is fine by the way, only way to make it happen with non-crazy pricing.
Parts will be made in the UK, all within a short drive from myself, and using techniques that are accurate/appropriate for each part.
Methinks that second letter could also be a ‘B’ from ROBURITE…**UPDATE**
Just a quick courtesy update to let you all know how things are progressing with the run.
Apologies for the radio silence. The past couple of weeks have been a little crazy. Getting the messages out to everyone about weathering commissions was a mammoth task in itself, but working my way through the replies and noting down everyone’s preferences, (as well as answering any questions) took a bit of time to get through.
I’m all up to date now with everything and just waiting on a few replies. If you think I might have missed you, please check your DMs and get in touch. I will chase up anyone that I haven’t heard from soon.
Annoyingly, there are a couple more preferences that need to be addressed. Ideally, these should have been mentioned in the previous messages, but I’ll cover these below, and get everyone’s preferences for them over the next few days.
This stage in any run can be very frustrating, as we are now at the mercy of the manufactures. All the parts are currently “in production” but it’s hard to say at this stage when all of the parts will have landed here with me. I have been told that some of them will be with me as early as next week. Some of the parts are showing as shipping at the end of March though. This is not ideal, and I’ve asked for some clarification on this. I can obviously only get these out to people as early as the latest part.
There was a slight delay to the start of production, which was due to us ordering in the run up to Chinese New Year. This obviously pushed things back slightly. There were some questions from the manufacturers regarding some of the parts that needed to be clarified before they could begin too. This is normal, and I’m happy to say that these were all dealt with in good time.
T1 samples of the injection moulded parts should be with me any time now, and as soon as these are okayed by me, they will go in to full production which, as I understand it, is a very fast turnaround once the mould has passed QC.
I’ll obviously do everything I can to get the parts out to everyone as soon as possible, but my hands are somewhat tied, and as several people on the run have said to me – “you can’t rush art”.
That said, I’m VERY conscious that everyone will be keen to see the final product – none more so than me! I wouldn’t want the parts to be rushed out though, especially if it were to have an impact on the quality of the finished parts.
I will, of course, keep everyone updated to the best of my ability, and as soon as any information lands, I’ll be straight on here to let you all know. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing some images of the parts! I’ll post these as soon as I receive them.
I’ve also been busy behind the scenes testing out some chemicals and finishes for the parts which I’d like to share.
First up, I ordered some mild steel plate to test out the three part, room temperature blackening kit for the grenade/booster/spacer. This worked an absolute treat! I’m really very impressed with the results and more than happy to use this going forward.
View attachment 1675619
The kit consists of part 1 (alkaline solution) for cleaning/degreasing the parts, Part 2 (blacking solution), and part 3 (dewatering oil).
The last part forms a protective barrier that prevents moisture from getting to the surface of the metal.
I applied this to an untreated sheet to test if it will work on the highlighted edges and prevent them from rusting. So far, this sheet has shown no signs of rusting.
I also set about rusting an untreated sheet. This was simply wet and dried several times using just water.
View attachment 1675620
Just out of interest, I applied the dewatering oil over the rusted sheet to see the final result and although it has darkened the final finish, it has done a great job of sealing the rust in whilst preventing it from progressing any further.
View attachment 1675621
I did consider finishing the parts with an additional Corten steel sealant (Everbrite), but I think this could potentially take away from the natural look of the parts, and so long as the dewatering oil continues to do it’s job, I think I’ll leave it at that. For the steel parts.
The un-weathered steel parts will be blackened uniformly, and then oiled.
The weathered parts will have their grooves/cervices masked prior to blackening. These areas will then be allowed to rust prior to sealing.
Edge highlights will also be knocked back to bare metal prior to sealing to match the original prop reference:
View attachment 1675628
I have also been experimenting with Inconel! I managed to find some scrap heating elements that are made, in part, from Inconel 600! These were wrapped in a thick layer of fiberglass insulation, but once I got down to the metal core, I was able to snip some pieces off for testing:
View attachment 1675615
View attachment 1675616
I wanted to try out a few things on these parts to see what would work best for weathering.
Heating did very little to change their appearance as you’d expect.
I tried the blacking solution, as I figured I’d might as well, just in case. That had no effect either.
Next up, I tried Feric Chloride… It was my hope that this would actually darken the metal. It didn’t have the desired effect, but something interesting DID happen!
View attachment 1675617
As you can see, the Ferric chloride has etched the surface resulting in a matte finish! This is exactly the finish that I was hoping to achieve with the bead blasting!
It was my plan to drop off the emitter parts at a local finishing shop to have them bead blasted as soon as they arrive, but I’ve decided, based on these results, to give them a chemical bath instead.
I’ll cut vinyl masks in preparation for this, in order to retain the machine finish on the front face and and rear slope of the flange.
View attachment 1675630View attachment 1675629
In order to darken the Inconel parts, I’ve just tested out a product used for blackening cast iron stoves (stove polish). It works really well! Once dry, this does not smudge or rub off, so it will work great for adding the carbon build up seen on the original prop.
View attachment 1675618
I tried out a uniform (ish) application, as well as an intentionally mottled application which was dabbed on using cotton pads. This can be built up in multiple applications until completely black.
I was hoping to share some more experiments with the letter stamps, but I’m waiting on the delivery of some steel bushings. These are the correct internal/external diameter, matching the brass wind vane ring. I can’t wait to try the stamps out on these!! I’ll share that experiment once the bushings have arrived, and I’ve had a chance to play. I have a section of solid bar that the rings will be slid on to before it’s secured in the vice. I’ll then be applying vinyl guides to each ring to help position each stamp.
I’ll share my progress on that soon!
As for the stamps… I now need to ask that you all consider you’re chosen lettering for the wind-vane.
I apologise for not including this in the previous message. I will need to collect your preferences for this, along with the transistor stamps.
In preparation for this, I’d like you to consider the following:
It has been established for some time that there is what appears to be an “O” on the wind-vane of the original prop:
View attachment 1675622
Now, it occurred to me that this might not necisarily be an “O”.
In both the “COTTON POWDER” and the “ROBBBURITE & AMONNAL” stamps, I’ve observed that the O’s are generally rounded, whilst the U in the Roburrite stamp has straight sides:
View attachment 1675624
This had me pretty much convinced that the stamping on the original windvane is the ROBBURITE version.
It’s been pointed out to me though, that there could potentially be another letter present (credit – ChrisRode):
View attachment 1675623
So, it would appear that there is no *Solid* proof either way, so all I can do is present you with the information and the various ideas that are being discussed, and leave it up to you which stamp you’d like to go with.
There is also a certain amount of choice with the transistor decals. My personal preference is MA15 and MA34. This is based on my own investigations, where I brought in some clear examples of the stamps (Provided by v312 – Thank you!) and overlaid them in photoshop over the prop reference. I’ve cleaned up and enhanced this publicly available image to the best of my ability. It is still not particularly clear however. And the decals have worn to a certain extent also:
View attachment 1675626
I am aware the MA09 is a favourite too, so I have had some MA09 decals made too for those who would like these instead.
View attachment 1675625
Over the course of next week, I’ll be chasing up any preferences that still need to be noted down ahead of the parts arriving.
I don’t need to start from scratch which is a relief. I’ll tag a short message on to the existing conversations that have already been set up and add these additional options to my existing spreadsheet.
I have a list of other tasks to complete over the course of next week too:
I’ll be testing the lettering stamps on the bushings I have ordered. I[‘m looking forward to sharing the results of the, and will post a further update at some stage next week.
I’ll also be dedicating some time to getting the foil and stencils cut on the plotter. I’d like these to all be cut and ready to go before the parts arrive.
I now have the packaging in for the whole run, and plan on building the boxes up for the un-weathered orders. This will save time later on when it comes to sending these orders out.
Towards the end of next week, I’ll post another detailed update to let you all know how things are going, and to share any further news I’ve received from the manufacturers.
**There are a handful of spots left on the run for those who are interested! **
There are currently 3X spots from the original interest list that are awaiting payment. These are still reserved until I find myself with none left to offer.
There are 2X more that are also reserved, pending payment info.
This leaves 2X spots that are not yet spoken for. I can let these go on a first come-first served basis.
Once these last two are taken, I will need to start thinking about offering the ones with outstanding payments unfortunately.
I’d just like to say a HUGE thank you for all your patience! I’ve been so incredibly busy this past couple of weeks that I’ve not been able to be as present as I’d like and would like to keep you all updated more often now that I have a little less correspondence to deal with.
I’m so very excited to finally get the parts in and to share the final results with you all!
If you have any questions or concerns with regards to the run, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
For now, wishing you all the best, and MTFBWY!
Since I’m not familiar, it is ROBURITE, not ROBBURITE, correct?Methinks that second letter could also be a ‘B’ from ROBBURITE…