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Hotdog

1/144 Ultimate Shuttle Tile Decals

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As most of you know by now, I've been working on an accurate set of tile decals for the Airfix shuttle kit. Work is starting to progress rapidly, so I decided I would share a small preview image of some of the work I've done so far.

kb8uoy.jpg

There will be two versions, Early and Late, depending on which orbiter and mission you plan to portray with your build. Most of the surfaces of the orbiter will be covered with these decals, which contain an insane amount of detail for each tile, thermal blanket, panel line, vent door, etc. They are being created using NASA CAD drawings and hundreds of reference photos, documents and manuals. The result should be a set of decals that fit the Airfix shuttle body as accurately as possible. All markings will be included as well, even those for the Solid Rocket Boosters.

I'm hoping to have these ready by Christmas. To keep up with the progress of the decals, like my page on Facebook:

HD Modelworks

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Holy crap!!! Have you found a company to silk screen them? Looks like I need to build another Airfix Shuttle.....

Oh and sorry it's taken a little bit, the goods will be in the mail on Friday.

Mike

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Perhaps a dumb question, but here goes...Will the decals be artwork details on a white background (basically "wallpaper" decals) or will they be just line art and patterns on clear film to be applied over a painted orbiter? Either would be great, but IMHO, the latter would possibly provide greater flexibility in weathering the later ships.

Chuck

Edited by cbear

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Thanks guys! I have a few shops on my list to check out when it comes time to silkscreen, but if anyone has a preferred vendor, let me know. The first editions are going be digitally laser printed. This way, I can get customer feedback and iron out any flaws and make suggested improvements before dropping the dime to get them professionally done. The decal set for the later versions will probably have some weathering built in to the artwork, which may require that they stay in the digital format anyway. With that in mind, it will probably be the "early birds" decal set that hits the market first, with the later version following shortly thereafter.

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Well, for being one of your first customers on this product (STS-1), I can tell you that people will be pleased. Not much ironing out you need to do.

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Perhaps a dumb question, but here goes...Will the decals be artwork details on a white background (basically "wallpaper" decals) or will they be just line art and patterns on clear film to be applied over a painted orbiter? Either would be great, but IMHO, the latter would possibly provide greater flexibility in weathering the later ships.

Chuck

This is a GREAT question I have been thinking about as I have been going along. The first sets will be digital and not silkscreened, and they will be on clear sheets. BUT...it would be ideal to keep the line art unfilled-in so you guys can paint and weather it as you would like underneath first. Next week I plan to do a test with a piece of styrene sheet, sprayed with Flat Black, and then I will apply my laser-printed tile decal patterns over it to see how they look. If this goes well, then I would likely be inclined to produce the tile and thermal blanket decals just as clear patterns and leave the underneath painting up to the modeler. If it turns out that the lines do not show up well enough on the painted styrene, then I will do my best to fill in and weather the decal art, at least on the later versions (while keeping the early shuttle set clean for those who would prefer that). One of the upsides to digital laser vs. silkscreen is the ability to print shading more realistically with digital, so this may be an advantage to going with decals produced in that format.

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Heya Hotdog...new guy to the ARC forums here and honestly your work is partly what got me to register...amazing stuff!

Got one question though, and maybe it's been answered somewhere but I haven't found it...I'm in the middle of two Revell 1/144 shuttle builds, and I know the Airfix kit is a tad bit different in size. Any idea if your decals are going to work for the Revell kits? If I can make em work I'll be standing here with my wallet open just waiting!

Thanks, and keep up the awesome work!

Pappy

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Pappy,

I honestly have no clue how my decals will work with the Revell kit, as I do not have one in my stash to compare them to. The one thing I do know, the overall shape is different, and the landing gear doors are in different locations, so there's one challenge you would have to somehow try to compensate for.

I'm going to leave it up to guys like yourself to try them out with the Revell orbiter and see. Making these decals is a very time-consuming process, so I will not be making them for every kit and manufacturer. Airfix is the only kit you are gonna get me to do decals for at this scale :) I will be including some extra "generic" tiles and blankets to help fill in any bare areas, so these might be helpful in your conversion attempts.

Edited by Hotdog

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Looking forward to this. I have an Airfix kit and a Minicraft kit but I also have *several* Revell kits that would benefit from decals like these.

Making these decals is a very time-consuming process, so I will not be making them for every kit and manufacturer.

I'm sure there's a market for these in 1/72 as well.... :bandhead2:

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The 1/72 version, when I get around to them, will be for the Monogram. Remember, I am working on a tile detail set for the Monogram orbiter. So, if and when I decide to do decals for that scale, I will just make them using the artwork for the tile detail set. This is way on down the road, so don't get too excited, but know that's the intended direction :)

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My LONG TERM vision for the shuttle tile decals:

1/144 - Airfix

1/200 - Hasagawa

1/72 - Monogram

That's probably about as far as I'll go with them.

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fixed... :)

My LONG TERM vision for the shuttle tile decals:

1/144 - Airfix

1/200 - Hasagawa

1/72 - Monogram

1/100 - Tamiya

That's probably about as far as I'll go with them.

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I thinks it's time to open a small business :rolleyes:/>

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Geez and crackers Hotdog ... you ... do ... nice ... work!

Are you also on the Yahoo Space Group? Now, I haven't even visited the Group in over a year, ( so you may be a member already ... ) but I'm certain you'd get some more orders from those members.

I'm loving the accuracy you're providing to us modellers!

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I signed up for the Yahoo group a month or so ago, but I don't visit as often as I do ARC. Once the decals are complete and ready for primetime, I will blast notices out on all of the forums and groups. Right now I have my hands full with just you guys knowing my plans :)

I've got some other projects I'm doing with my Silhouette cutter, including the 1/72 shuttle umbilical panel detail set, and a 1/144 Airfix ET detail set. So yes, it will be like a business when all of that stuff gets out there! I just need to clone myself a few times so I can get all of the work done!

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Noob question; Is the Airfix kit the best 1/144 kit of the Shuttle?

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In my opinion, it is, at least for the orbiter portion of the kit. It is discussed in this thread.

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All of them have their good and bad points to them. Airfix has the best overall shape with good molded detailing except on the top of the wings. Revell's shape good but lack detail in the payload bay doors. Plus there is a little extra work lining pieces up to glue them together. Both have the window clear plastic inserts that are oversized and lack detail. Both models are my choice for projects. Don't bother messing around with Minicraft/Entex versions. They are way off.

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Thanks to both. For me shape comes first, details are extra after that.

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Minicraft is good for stealing the payload bay and cockpit to use on your Airfix shuttle :D

That being said, I would love to see one of the 3D modeling-savvy guys put a 1/144 shuttle cockpit on Shapeways...

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