Jump to content

why are the manufacturers afraid of...


Recommended Posts

Academy sold 10,000 kits of the AH-1Z in a month. The Academy CH-53E in 48th did extremely well also. I released two sheets covering the 53E, both with multiple options and both sheets were by best sellers. The first sheet sold out in four months and I have less than 50 of the second sheet on hand.

 

I'd bet money that a 1/35 CH-53E would sell in numbers that would make it worth doing.........Kind of like the 1/72 Uboats did for Revell.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 96
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

1 hour ago, Dave Roof said:

Academy sold 10,000 kits of the AH-1Z in a month. The Academy CH-53E in 48th did extremely well also. I released two sheets covering the 53E, both with multiple options and both sheets were by best sellers. The first sheet sold out in four months and I have less than 50 of the second sheet on hand.

 

I'd bet money that a 1/35 CH-53E would sell in numbers that would make it worth doing.........Kind of like the 1/72 Uboats did for Revell.

I’ve never heard of any manufacturer releasing sales numbers.   Do you have a link or reference to this info?

 

Big difference between a 48th scale -53 kit doing “extremely well” and what would probably be a $300 35th scale version selling well.  Very much an apples to oranges comparison.   However, if you or anyone else can convince them to pull the trigger on this kit, I’d be stoked. Would love to see some online builds of this beast. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, 11bee said:

I’ve never heard of any manufacturer releasing sales numbers.   Do you have a link or reference to this info?

 

Big difference between a 48th scale -53 kit doing “extremely well” and what would probably be a $300 35th scale version selling well.  Very much an apples to oranges comparison.   However, if you or anyone else can convince them to pull the trigger on this kit, I’d be stoked. Would love to see some online builds of this beast. 

 

No, the number was provided by my contact with Academy (this is just what was moved in a 30 day period and not the overall sales, that number I do not know).

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Tank said:

A 53E rotor span is over 2’ in 1/35 scale, even if you fold up the main rotors, the fuselage length is close to 3’. The 53D rotor span is at 2’.

I understand it's big, even if the rotors hang over the edge of your diorama display, it would still add appeal, although to be safe, those rotors need to be clear of any moving traffic. Just out of curiosity, which is bigger, the CH-53E or the CH-47D? I know that there are a few Chinooks in 35th scale, and I always thought that was a larger helicopter, but never have seen one side by side. I guess a quick check on Google will answer that question.

 

Thanks for the info about the size, now I really want one😀!

 

Anthony

 

*EDIT*

CH-47D

General characteristics

  • Crew: three (pilot, copilot, flight engineer or loadmaster)
  • Capacity:
    • 33–55 troops or
    • 24 litters and 3 attendants or
  • Payload: 24,000 lb (10,886 kg)

          Length: 98 ft 10 in[126] (30.1 m)

  • Fuselage length: 52 ft (15.85 m)
  • Fuselage width: 12 ft 5 in[126] (3.78 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 60 ft  (18.3 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 11 in (5.7 m)
  • Disc area: 5,600 ft2 (520 m2)

 

CH-53E

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5: 2 pilots, 1 crew chief/right gunner, 1 left gunner, 1 tail gunner (combat crew)
  • Capacity: 30 troops with new crash attenuating seats[citation needed]
  • Payload: internal: 30,000 lb or 13,600 kg (external: 36,000 lb or 14,500 kg)
  • Length: 99 ft 1/2 in (30.2 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 79 ft (24 m)
  • Height: 27 ft 9 in (8.46 m)
  • Disc area: 4,900 ft² (460 m²)

 

 

As we can see, both are roughly the same length, but I am not sure is that includes how far the rotors reach, my guess is the length is the fuselage only, making them both monsters. Where the CH-53E becomes an issue, is the size of the main rotor, since it has only one, it is much larger than the Chinooks, but the Chinook has two, which makes me think that it would be comparable to the CH-53E in total area required to display each kit, where the CH-53E is also capable of being folded up, making it more compact than the Chinook.

 

So from these measurements, if they can make the Chinook in 35th (see trumpeters kits A and D), then it should be feasible to make the Stallion as well.

 

But I doubt that we will ever see one, so if they do make it, I will be happily surprised and be the first one to order a pair. Kitty Hawk seems to be moving into the scale with thanks to Floyd Werners input, let's hope they continue their line of SOAR Birds with the MH-47 as well.

 

Edited by Stalker6recon
More info added
Link to post
Share on other sites

The feasibility is not the issue as kits like the 1/72 Uboat, B-1B, B-36 and the ones you mentioned show that it is possible. The question is marketable, can they make money off the product. Trumpeter has the H-47, Hind and a few others to show them data on what can sell and the numbers are not in our favor, otherwise we see more kits. Academy and KH are doing the same thing, for the most part they are making gun birds and not cargo birds. The reason for the H-47 is you can get SF to sell. If the numbers are favorable we will get a kit, if not we will not. Just cause a number of people want it doesn’t mean it will sell in the numbers needed either. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tank said:

  The reason for the H-47 is you can get SF to sell.  

Special ops does seem to sell but in the case of the 47, you'd need the expensive Trumpy kit followed by the very expensive (and very complex) resin conversion that someone offered up a few years back (assuming it's even available any more).  In my case, the driving factor for deciding what large scale helo to purchase isn't cost, it's storage space.  Something with a 2.5 rotor diameter is pretty tough to safely store on a shelf.   I spent close to 500 hours on my Trumpy Hip, just to snag the rotor while walking by the book case.   End of project....

 

These days, the large scale helo kit's I'd be in for would be a Cobra series (Army, I'm just not into Marine Cobras) and a Huey series (D/H and I suppose I'd be up for an N or a Y).   With the exception of the Yankee, the rest have a single main rotor blade which makes storage much easier (and safer for the model).   

 

Again, I'll stand up my soapbox and ask the world why we haven't seen a new-tool G-model Cobra????

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not up on the 47 but my guess is fuselage didn’t change much from A to F. To get the maximum sales you start with the least likely to sell to move inventory, this case the A and D. I am sure if those sale where good enough a SF  version would have been made. Not perfect but probably 90% and/or good enough for most folks. While the 53 has just as many versions A,D, E and K these have is less common so less room for profit. Academy did two kits based on the E and not the others. I could see the 46 being made larger as versions are similar enough but I would think going 1/72 would be the better option for say Academy. I would buy more smaller then larger helo kits. Would go well with the F-8 and F-18’s they have released. Plus we need a good 46E in 1/72. No one makes a late model E. 

 

The Y, has bladefolds so it can be small rotorwise. 

 

The G and early series before W, breaks the gun practice and I don’t know why as I think it would a license to print money but the internal number must say something else.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair points all, I just hope that the 47 is made by Kitty Hawk, that is our next big chance I think. Pretty confident that their sales would justify their manufacturing them, even if on a limited basis. The Trumper kits have sold well enough for their era and lack of details, which a new Kitty Hawk would certainty address. One only needs to look at the other offering coming from them to know we would be in for a treat.

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Rotorman said:

 Fellows, fellows...lets have an CH 53 in 1/35 scale first.  oh its good to dream.  Ill take a 46 in 1/35 as well. 

You have my vote. If we really want to get these kits made, we should send our requests either to Floyd, or to Kitty Hawk directly (especially the MH-47 SOAR) and Academy directly as well. Maybe trumpeter too, since they already have the 47 in 35th. If we get all fellow rotorheads to bombard these manufacturers at once, maybe something would happen. We need everyone, even those who don't really want the kits, to support the effort.

 

Not sure if this is a pipe dream, but I would like to think that the kit makers pay attention to these forums, this is where their kits become legend or trash heaps. Maybe we could start a thread like a petition for modelers to sign. Has that been done before?

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2019 at 7:51 AM, Stalker6recon said:

 One only needs to look at the other offering coming from them to know we would be in for a treat.

 

Anthony

 

Careful what you wish for, I’m working on their MH 6M and it is riddled with errors or omissions.

 

i know I’m late to the party, I’d buy a 1/35 ‘53 anything right now. Vietnam Jolly Green Giant, camo IDF, or lo-vis SF bird. And there is no real reason modellers can’t expect one. If Trumpeter can do 1/16 Axis tanks with full interior (large and expensive, eg Jagdtiger), and oddball Russian armour, T 74 case in point, an esoteric vehicle if ever there was one, then why not more 1/35 helo?

 

The prosecution rests.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Newtonk said:

 

Careful what you wish for, I’m working on their MH 6M and it is riddled with errors or omissions.

 

i know I’m late to the party, I’d buy a 1/35 ‘53 anything right now. Vietnam Jolly Green Giant, camo IDF, or lo-vis SF bird. And there is no real reason modellers can’t expect one. If Trumpeter can do 1/16 Axis tanks with full interior (large and expensive, eg Jagdtiger), and oddball Russian armour, T 74 case in point, an esoteric vehicle if ever there was one, then why not more 1/35 helo?

 

The prosecution rests.

:clap2:(Although I'm not interested in a '53) Good post! Not too keen on the prospect on KH kits from what I have built from them so far.

And: it puzzles me too why the most obscure types of armour or ancient prop planes are being released and model helicopters suddenly appear to be a business risk?

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, GeejeeZ said:

Not too keen on the prospect on KH kits

Just out of curiosity, which kits did you build from them? I already have a few in my stash, the details seems to be really good, but I haven't built one yet. Really, haven't build anything yet, just waiting on the last few bits of paint, supplies and fittings for my airbrush, before I can start a build in earnest.

 

In my stash, I have their 48th UH-1Y, AH-1Z, F-35B and planned on getting their latest 35th scale kits, one of each. Are they really that bad? Others like them, but it's always hit and miss it seems.

 

Thanks, the more feedback I have, the better off I will be when the builds begin.

 

Anthony

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Stalker6recon said:

Just out of curiosity, which kits did you build from them? I already have a few in my stash, the details seems to be really good, but I haven't built one yet. Really, haven't build anything yet, just waiting on the last few bits of paint, supplies and fittings for my airbrush, before I can start a build in earnest.

 

In my stash, I have their 48th UH-1Y, AH-1Z, F-35B and planned on getting their latest 35th scale kits, one of each. Are they really that bad? Others like them, but it's always hit and miss it seems.

 

Thanks, the more feedback I have, the better off I will be when the builds begin.

 

Anthony

Hi Anthony, I built the AH6, the Seasprite and the Dauphin, so none of the kits you have.

I must say: overall dimensions look fine to me (mind you: the Italeri Huey looks good to me too, so…:whistle:), but I found the parts build up and fit troublesome. In case of the AH6 (I made a civil 500 of it) I prefer the Dragon kit. As I stated in another post: these KH- kits imho could have done with less parts and a better fit.

I think you hit the nail on the head: it's a hit or miss thing with KH kits: I like to build fast and don't care about hidden engine or cockpit details or seperate fuselage panels.  Ofcourse lots of modellers are more into that and will have a ball with the KH kits I suppose.

:cheers:

Gertjan

 

Edited by GeejeeZ
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, GeejeeZ said:

I like to build fast 

I don't know what kind of builder I am. My last build was during the Cold War😁. Back then, there was no internet, no forums or blogs, no place to even get reviews. The choices were local only, and even then, it was based on what the shop decided to put in their inventory, so the choices were just a tiny keyhole view of what was out there at that time. Most kits had the names Revellogram on them, a few DML or Fujimi kits and if lucky, the owner would stock some Hasegawa or Tamiya, considered the "up scale" kits, their prices matched. The only supplies available, were little square bottles of testors paints, but they did make FS colors, which was perfect. Then the greatest, most horrible supply of all, that testors stringy, smelly, get everywhere you don't want it, turn plastic into molton lava tube glue! That stuff ruined more kits than I was able to finish. The idea of repairing a canopy was not even considered back then. Maybe it was possible, but when you had no money to buy the model magazines, you were stuck with what knowledge you had in your head, I had very little.

 

Today, it's a whole new game, a new world really. I see the super detailer, and I like what I see, but I also know that my accuracy to the rivet is not that important to me. I will build the kit as it is, with some PE/resin upgrades, but I won't be scratch  building to correct fault in design. I guess that means I will be somewhere in the middle. As long as it makes me happy, then I am happy!

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

 

PS. I was looking at both the Dolphin and the Sea Sprite, what are your thoughts on those?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I recall the KH is the only other option for both kits. The Trumpeter Dolphin had a truly fatal flaw as in if didn’t trim some parts early on you could never close up the fuselage. Unlike how some use the term fatal flaw. Someone posted the fix on here years ago. The Revell Seasprite was ok. Cobra Company had a resin set to help out the interior and the rotor head was soft on details. It was similar to other old Revell helos (AH-1S/F) but a better kit then the Huey.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your story sounds very familiar Anthony! I started modelling in the '80's and modelling life was easier then: less choice! If the local modelling shop didn't have it: no worries and buy something else. Besides the Revell, Monogram and later Italeri- kits I bought a lot of Heller 1/48 (-ish) helicopter kits and now regret not having bought even more of them… Those kits were and still are perfect to me: sparse but sufficient detail, not too many parts, not too expensive, and after having built some of them, I started detailing them; more parts in the rotor head, adding a panel line here and there, configuring the landing gear etc.

 

About the Seasprite and the Dauphin: I guess Tank summed it up nicely in his reply. I built the KH Seasprite some time ago. It was a lot of work; I could stil remember the Matchbox 1/48 Seasprite which I finished in a fraction of the time the KH kit needs. I remember the KH Seasprite nose is constructed of four parts, which makes construction sadistic hell and unnecessary complicated imho. The interior lacks an operator station, which would clearly be missing if you model it with the sliding door in opened position.

The Dauphin needs some surgery in the beginning of the build or else you won't be able to fit the cockpit in the fuselage halves: you need to cut off some of the rear cabin floor or else it won't fit between the rear landing gear wells. The kit builds up from the interior to the outside, which again imho unnecessary complicates things. Generally imho the KH- Dauphin suffers from too much panel detail. In real life, the Dauphin is a sleek, beautifully streamlined machine, and the separate door parts and fuselage panels on the KH kit make the model look more like a WWII- tank. It took me ages to sand out the overdone panel lines and get the fuselage flush again. 

After that, the KH- model looks more than ok and ofcourse definitely beats the Trumpeter 1/48 Dauphin.

:cheers:

Gertjan

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GeejeeZ said:

It took me ages to sand out the overdone panel lines

Just out of curiosity, why didn't you just fill the panel lines? As I am new to modeling again, I don't have a command of the techniques or reasons for using one over another. I am still struggling to find the Philippines equivalent to many of the materials used in other countries. After about a year, I finally found the local version of future floor polish. Needless to say, I bought 4 bottles, don't know when/if I will ever see it again.

 

I have read about many techniques that are absolutely new and even alien to me. I don't expect perfection right out of the gate, but I do still have high hopes. I had intended to start my return to modeling with a pair of AH-6 Stealth helicopters w/ CMK conversion sets. One AH, one MH. I figured doing two all black kits would be a easy way to start. When the kits arrived, I was shocked at how tiny they are. When the resin conversions arrived, even more shock set in. I didn't even know what I was looking at.

 

Anyway, I started by removing the fuselage halves to begin cutting away the doors. In my haste, I cut out the rear doors, but only one door needed removing, I had inadvertently removed a big chuck of the fuselage itself! IDIOT!

 

But there was light at the end of that tunnel. When I nought the set, I was under the impression that the Academy kit with the ugly yellow glass was the only kit that worked. I soon figured out that any Academy kit would work. So I ordered two new kits with clear canopies, and now I have plenty of spare parts! 😁

 

The kits are cheap, the CMK conversions, not so much. Add shipping to the Philippines and import taxes, they really get expensive. Since I have so much money invested, I decided to save them for a later day, after I develope some skills first. So my return kit is a Tamiya F-15A 48th scale. Simple, basic building to hone my skills with panel lines and other detailing methods, plus regain my airbrushing skills. I am ALMOST ready to start building the kit. I did get a small amount done, but ran into an issue where I lacked the right color paints for the cockpit. Now I am just waiting for a few bits to get my compressor hooked up. I had planned to use my no name, tankless compressor from Amazon. After others warned me of the fluctuating air pressure, I decided to take my larger 5 gallon compressor used for running nail guns, into my paint compressor. It can put out nice consistency, a huge help for spraying paint.

 

Almost ready! After that kit, I am unsure of what is next. Probably a 48 Blackhawk build, as learning and prep for the bigger 35th scale kits I have, with LOTS of resin.

 

So that is my story and I am sticking to it. Now I just need a 53 in 35 (see its meant to be!), I would love any version, but maybe the new K would be a nice way to start in that scale. Whose with me? 😊

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly, no less than three companies have announced a kit of a Pantsir truck borne missile system. A very specific kit of limited appeal. It is complex, large, and has limited options for future versions. The analogy being a kit of a CH 53 would have wider appeal, ie more decal options, and with careful tooling, could support other versions. I acknowledge a kit of this size would be expensive, but still comparative to some of the 1/35 truck and trailer kits, interior tanks kits, and 1/16 vehicles, so definitely viable for a manufacturer to release. 

 

And, the M911 tractor and trailer kits goes for around 250$US, with a similar amount of plastic and engineering, proving there is a market for large kits in the 200$+ range. 

Edited by Newtonk
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Newtonk said:

definitely viable for a manufacturer to release. 

I concur 100%!

 

Academy, are you reading this? You would be the obvious choice, since you already have what is considered the best CH/MH-53E in any scale, with a bit of tweeking, you could easily create a 35th scale. Sure there will be required work on details and cleaning up any mistakes that were made on the 48th scale kits, but you are still ahead of the game. In fact, this would be a great opportunity to create the first CH-53K! Maybe even make a single kit that builds up as either the C or M versions, builders choice. That would widen the net. Then a new K kit to go along side.

 

I would recommend Kitty Hawk, with the help of Floyd, as my second "go to" for helicopters. They are still in the learning phase, but they are not scared to try and provide as much detail as viable in a plastic kit. Hopefully with time, they will get better and better with their fit issues.

 

Finally, Revell is the only other maker of 48th scale kits, but apparently they are seriously lacking in details. If they upped their game, they could make a quality kit for us, along the lines of their still top of the heap F-15E's.

 

Lets keep the conversation going, someone from these companies has to be reading threads, testing the waters for what people want.

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2019 at 6:26 PM, Tank said:

rotor head was soft on details

Speaking about the rotor heads being soft on detail, have you seen the rotor head upgrades for the CH-53 by res-kit? They make the 6 blade version, and the 7 blade E type. They look gorgeous!

 

7 blade version, made in 48 and 72nd scale.

s-l300.jpg

 

Plus, they make the rear rotor as well, in both scales. In fact, they have quite a lot of upgrades, wheels, wheel well, intakes and more.

28459_rd.jpg

 

28459_rd.jpg

 

Tail-rotor-for-%D0%A1H-53E-Super-Stallio

 

6d3f02c5615b1fca494ec29b38e2f227.image.8

 

Then you have even more upgrades by Black Dog, full engines and electronics bays, great for the folded up build with maintenance bays open all around the big bird. She really is a gorgeous specimen of the ingenious ways that man has overcome gravity.

 

After we score a win with this type, we need to start pressing the companies for a 35th scale MH-47 used by SOAR. They could make it optional which type we build, SOAR or standard Army bird. Imagine having one of those as part of your next armor diorama!

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Newtonk said:

Interestingly, no less than three companies have announced a kit of a Pantsir truck borne missile system. A very specific kit of limited appeal. It is complex, large, and has limited options for future versions. The analogy being a kit of a CH 53 would have wider appeal, ie more decal options, and with careful tooling, could support other versions. I acknowledge a kit of this size would be expensive, but still comparative to some of the 1/35 truck and trailer kits, interior tanks kits, and 1/16 vehicles, so definitely viable for a manufacturer to release. 

 

And, the M911 tractor and trailer kits goes for around 250$US, with a similar amount of plastic and engineering, proving there is a market for large kits in the 200$+ range. 

The lesson to be learned from this is that apparently manufacturers are turning profits on obscure 1/35 armor subjects.  That is why they keep releasing these kits.   On the flip side, you could take this and come to the conclusion that they don't think they can make money on helos like the -53.  If they thought there was money to be made, we would have seen a large scale -53 by now (maybe from multiple companies).  It seems pretty apparent that these folks have concluded that there is very limited demand for this subject. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

A couple of up-coming rumoured releases in 1/72 scale include:

 

1. A re-issue of the old Aurora Cheyenne kit by Atlantis/aurora.

2. A 1/72 Sikorsky S-51 by AMP.

3. A 1/72 HH-43 Huskie in resin by Croco Models.

 

LD.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Heck, I've been waiting 50 years for a better 1/48 H-19 kit than the Revell unit that my brother built for me circa 1960.

They still sell it today...a direct re-release with no improvements for $23+...a far cry from it's original .98 cent price...not bad for a kit whose tooling was probably paid off during the Eisenhower administration!

 

My point is, despite the sales potential (everyone flew them..and you could do a separate nose for the turbine UK Whirlwinds), makers don't like to get too deep into helicopters aside from tried and true subjects...Hueys and Apaches.

After all, a Bell 47/H-13 kit didn't appear until the mid-90s.

Edited by JohnEB
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...
On 7/4/2014 at 5:38 PM, Dave Williams said:

It would be very large and expensive, and likely not enough people would buy it to make it profitable. Most likely it would be built more by airplane guys than armor modelers. The same people who buy Shermans, Panthers, and M1 Abrams aren't necessarily going to buy a 1/35 helo kit. You don't see a lot of 1/35 Blackhawks or Hinds in dioramas with 1/35 military vehicles.

A 1/35 AH-64 would be much more profitable IMHO.

Okay...Very large and expensive...Well explain a 1:32 Lancaster or 1:32 B-17 then

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...