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Opinions wanted - GWH and Tamiya Kit vs. Aftermarket Seats


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I know the last 3 posts have been mine, but I want to add one more.   I was going to order some of the amazing Sparkit seats, but I was absolutely STUNNED by the cost.  I'm usually not put off by prices.  There have been times where I may have been surprised, or maybe even a bit irritated by the cost of certain things, of late, the prices of the most recent Quinta cockpit sets for example, but up until now, price hasn't stopped me from ordering something I want.  However, I was going to order 4 items from Sparkit, a single F-8 seat, and 3 different F-4 pairs of seats, all 1/48.  But...the price, including shipping, was going to be over $100.00.  That was it.  I stopped in my tracks...I don't care how fantastic those seats may be, but for that kind of money, they'll be keeping any seats I would have purchased.  Just thought I'd pass on my experience.  This is a hobby, a great, fun hobby, but when the prices reach the level of stupidity, I think it's time to reevaluate how much detail is worth what cost...

Edited by Curt B
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13 minutes ago, Nathant said:

Yeah and they’re 3D printed for god sake. Not like the masters were carved by hand. Wonder what their cost per unit is?

I have no idea.  I'll be the first to admit that Sparkit is at the cutting edge in terms of ultimate detail, and apparently, accuracy, but, as many other folks have said, certain cockpits are more exposed than others, that is, you can see a lot more inside the cockpit on some aircraft types than others.  The F-4, unfortunately, is not one of those whose detail you can see really well after everything is buttoned up, even with the canopies open.  So to spend that kind of money on ejection seats for those plane cockpits...nope, not me.  And I'm usually willing to put in the detail even if I can't see it when the model is all done.  But the prices here are off the charts.  Now, the prices I've mentioned are those at the Sparkit website.  Perhaps these seat are, or will be, available by resellers, and maybe the prices will be less.  I hope so, as I'd like to use these seats.  But not at the prices I mentioned, and not for F-4 aircraft.

Edited by Curt B
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Generally, print production prices are now dropping below those of cast resin, with both mould silicone materials and casting resins becoming more and more expensive while at the same time high resolution 3D printers and high detail 3D print resins becoming cheaper.

That said, designing a 3D object in CAD that has myriads of detail, beyond what you used to see even on very high quality hand-mastered items AND desgining it so everything can be printed reliably takes a lot of time and effort.

I have a few of Sparkit's seats and they are superbly designed, which includes the support/base structure, which is quite elaborate and not bog-standard (now, if only they'd used slightly finer printing slice steps though...).  That said, the price is a few notches above their competitors, though only for the seats, their other items are very much in the ballpark.  Pretty sure they are mainly charging for the extensive research and design time, rather than manufacturing. Time will tell if that's sustainable or not.

J

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On 8/15/2023 at 9:40 PM, Curt B said:

I started this thread over a year ago, and I haven't built my F-15 models yet, so I was taking a look at whether any new aftermarket seats have come on the market since I asked my original question.  It looks like MCC will be introducing a pair of ACES II seats for the F-15E sometime in 2023.  To me, that's great news.  I have a pair of Quickboost seats for my F-15E, and honestly, I'm not terribly thrilled with them.  However, I did get some MCC seats for one of my other planes (can't recall which one, now), but the detail is spectacular!  I'd be willing to delay my F-15E build (if I was planning to start it soon) just for MCC seats.  Just thought I'd mention this in case anyone else had the same question I did.

Who is MCC? I want to check them out.

Thanks Curt!

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2 hours ago, Mr Matt Foley said:

Who is MCC? I want to check them out.

Thanks Curt!

Hi Matt, MCC is Mini Craft Collection.  If you take a look at the August 10 posting of the Modelling News ( https://www.themodellingnews.com/2023/08/aftermarket-update-review-six-new-148th.html ), they do a really nice job at looking at some of MCC's latest seats and other 3D printed parts.  I have one set of seats for one of my 1/48 F-4G models, and they are impressive!

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4 minutes ago, Curt B said:

Hi Matt, MCC is Mini Craft Collection.  If you take a look at the August 10 posting of the Modelling News ( https://www.themodellingnews.com/2023/08/aftermarket-update-review-six-new-148th.html ), they do a really nice job at looking at some of MCC's latest seats and other 3D printed parts.  I have one set of seats for one of my 1/48 F-4G models, and they are impressive!

 

Oh yes, I remember it now. Thanks for the link.

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