Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Production design

A second set of 3 prototypes has been ordered --this time, these are to be made of polyurethane resin (PUR) from silicone moulds. Mechanical features of PUR are close enough to those of hard plastic (HiPS) to allow us a testing second step: those 3 prototypes will be delivered to a well-known professional painter, who will check the model from a customer point of view, besides of painting the prototypes and take some high quality pictures on the finished models.

Alongside, the process for obtaining the galvanized iron mould --from which the hard plastic sprues will be produced-- has already started too. We're now discussing prices, terms and conditions.

Both processes (resin prototyping and injection moulding) are working on the following digital, multi-scale design:

This is what the finished model will look like. The design itself is composed by 9 parts (plus an alternate 10th part) to be easily assembled following this schema:

The provided alternate part is no other than the "modificado" tank turret, that was enlargened to fit a 20mm Breda gun. This is how will the model look with such alternate part on top:

Schedule: Hardly ready for release before September --as I feared. Let's take some patience! As a matter of fact, there's still a lot of work left on the website, so...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A first prototype

Following some months of hard working, I've finally managed to start a brand new miniatures company, willingly devoted to producing multi-scale hard plastic models and miniatures. It has been christianized as Minairons miniatures ( and it's aimed at producing figures and vehicles straightly related to the military history of Catalonia --and the whole Iberian Peninsula.

After some thinking about what range to start with, I've finally chosen a selection of Spanish Civil War vehicles --either armoured or softskins. Therefore, Minairons miniatures' first product is going to be that one whose 3D-printing protoype can be seen next:

That is, a fast assembly Panzer I Ausf. A with two optional turrets: the standard one and the 20mm Breda gun "modificado" turret.

This is quite of a crude first prototype, naturally. PLA 3D-prototyping couldn't provide a better resolution for this particular design, due to some tiny details --nevertheless, it excels at being a fast, cheap method for verifying your model basic characteristics, as well as for checking parts fitting and eventual flaws. Of course, final model will show a perfect detail and surfaces sharpness.

Each sprue will have up to 10 parts for one single model --including both alternative turrets. Packaging of this particular model will include 2 to 3 sprues and a decalsheet suitable not only for Spanish Nationalist tanks, but early German and Kuomintang Chinese too.

Not to be too optimistic about term provisions, releasing should be expected for mid-late summer.

What scale: I would simply lie if denied to have PSC as a model of excellence. It would be my aim to follow closely their path --as long as I can follow it. Therefore, I'm planning to release my models at 1:72nd scale first, but will produce them later at 1:100th or 1:56th too, depending on market response.

This our first model (Panzer I Ausf. A) has nearly guaranteed its releasing in 1:100th too.