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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:38 am 
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Scale Decks
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Well, we went and became proud sponsors here at ModelWarships.com, so now I guess I can begin to tease everybody with what we have undergoing final test fits right now! :thumbs_up_1:

First, to fill you in on the process, before we ever begin to cut our first sheet of wood, we lay out the decks, convert the plans to a format that is appropriate for our laser cutter, and then we do a whole bunch of cuts on cardstock. We take these cardstock cuts and keep fitting them to the actual plastic kits until they lay down smooth, with no tearing, no buckling and no gaps. Along the way we get lots of cool-looking cardstock cutouts that we scribble on and make notes.

Once every individual piece fits perfectly (or pretty close), we rearrange the pieces so that they fit nicely on our wood stock. When we have a layout that works for us, we add the planking pattern and then begin to cut on wood. And even then, we take the first wood cuts and test fit those to the actual plastic kits to make sure that they are good to go before we start production.

THEN, once we start production, we manually inspect each and every deck to make sure that the printing is right, and that the cuts line up properly with the printing.

For these kits, I had some cardstock test cuts lying around so I decided to photograph them and begin to give you an idea of what to expect. These are all for 1/350 kits and are scheduled to be released THIS MONTH!
Attachment:
File comment: Tamiya 1/350 Missouri (WW2)
Missouri.jpg
Missouri.jpg [ 138.01 KiB | Viewed 4086 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: Tamiya 1/350 New Jersey (Modern)
NewJersey.jpg
NewJersey.jpg [ 53.69 KiB | Viewed 4086 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: ICM 1/350 Koenig/Markgraff/Grosser Kurfurst/Kronprinz
Koenig.jpg
Koenig.jpg [ 97.64 KiB | Viewed 4086 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: Dragon 1/350 Scharnhorst
Scharnhorst.jpg
Scharnhorst.jpg [ 59.92 KiB | Viewed 4086 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: Tamiya 1/350 Prince of Wales
PrinceOfWales.jpg
PrinceOfWales.jpg [ 97.88 KiB | Viewed 4086 times ]

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:30 am 
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you sir, are my hero :thumbs_up_1:

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USS John Paul Jones DDG 53 (Oct 2002-Dec 2005)

On the bench:
Dragon 1/350 USS Bunker Hill CG-52
In Line:
Tamiya 1/350 USS New Jersey BB62


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 2:53 am 
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Definately interested in the deck for the New Jersey but I wonder if you are going to replicate the somewhat 'messy' decking on the forecastle as seen in the pics on this site: http://colosseumbuilders.com/john/nj/forecastle.htm As you'll see from the pics, the decking, particularly around one of the old gun mounts isn't exactly neat and tidy...

John


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:46 am 
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Scale Decks
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johndon wrote:
I wonder if you are going to replicate the somewhat 'messy' decking on the forecastle ...

Actually... No. We'll be doing a straight plank pattern for the deck. At 1/350 scale, those planks would be little more than a couple of pixels across. A single pixel at 300 dpi at 1/350 scale would represent slightly more than an inch. If I print plank lines one pixel wide, that would represent an inch-wide gap between boards. It would be one pixel gap, three pixel board, one pixel gap... Or, you could think of it as a "25% gray tone." Just a fuzzy, blurry gray mess. If I overscaled it then we'd have that ugly jumble looking horrible. We do have a cut for the metal ring that pokes through the teak that is the remnant of the splinter shield on the gun tub that was sheared off.

Why you may ask? Because the ring is molded into the kit. Note that the planking pattern, including the "framing" planks around the various deck fittings, are NOT molded into the kit. As a general rule, we replicate the pattern that is molded into the kit and nothing more. We figure that (usually) the kit manufacturers know what level of detail to attempt to pursue, so we stick with that.

For larger scale kits - like the 1/200 Arizona, the 1/225 Oregon or the 1/232 Olympia - I think we will be able to get away with a little bit more deck detail. But at 1/350 we're planning on usually sticking with straight plank lines for now and only printing in features that are molded into the kit.

Our I-400 is a good example of that. If you go to http://shop.scaledecks.com, click on 1/350, then click on the I-400 you will get a product description page. Click on the image there and stretch the window to see a pretty large rendering of the deck. You will see lots of grating lines, hatches, non-skid metal strips and other detail - but all of these are structural features of the ship and molded into the kit.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:05 am 
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Thanks for the reply John, perfectly understandable, I did notice the cutouts for the moulded on deck detail.

Cheers

John


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:50 am 
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Location: alton hampshire uk
hi
how much is the scharnhorst deck with shipping to the uk
cheers
gary r

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:44 am 
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Scale Decks
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bismarck builder wrote:
how much is the scharnhorst deck with shipping to the uk

The Scharnhorst will have an introductory price of $59.95 (US). I'm not sure how shipping to the UK will be calculated by my shopping cart (my website is still very new) but I would expect it to calculate out to $5-$10 or so.

-- John D. --

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Hi John,

Please contact me by PM or off-board at johnsnyder@onetel.com.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:24 am 
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Location: Wagga Wagga NSW
John,

Do you plan to do 1/700 decks ?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:57 am 
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Bill Clarke wrote:
Do you plan to do 1/700 decks ?

If we do it will most likely be in 2012 or beyond. The engineering doesn't take significantly less time, and the price of the kits is so inexpensive that I don't think we'll be able to make as much money off of selling less expensive decks that are in line with the price of the kits. So it just makes more sense for us to concentrate on the larger scales first, to produce a product that can generate more revenue for about the same amount of effort. Once the business is sufficiently launced, and we are running out of projects in the larger scales (which won't be until 2012 at the earliest) then we can delve into the 1/700 market.

Actually, I consider the 1/420 Arizona and 1/535 Missouri by Revell as a good test of that market. These two "been around forever and still selling" kits are low in price. If I can't sell a reasonable amount of decks for them at a margin to justify the engineering time, then it probably doesn't make a lot of sense to make decks for the hundreds of 1/700 kits that could use them.

Now, if the overwhelming chorus was "We would absolutely pay forty or fifty dollars for a 1/700 battleship wood deck" then that would make me start to rethink that strategy. But if the kits go on the street for twenty dollars or so, in my mind that makes a wood deck at forty, or even thirty, dollars a little excessive. If I had to market decks at a twenty dollar price point or less I would have to sell a heck of a lot of them to recoup the engineering for each specific kit that we released.

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Last edited by johnd13 on Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:58 am 
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Location: Athens, Greece
A small note to express my thanks to the Scaledecks team. As an international buyer, I have really appreciated the speed of dispatch of the Borodino and Varyag decks, as well as the reasonable postage charged, but posting the extra little missing piece for the Borodino sternwalk is truly excellent service (as well as PR!)

Many thanks, and I will be back.

Best regards,

Anthony

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:26 am 
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Location: Westerville, Ohio
Looks like a great product. Do you have a ETA on the 1/350 Dragon Scharnhorst deck ?

Thanks in advance
Dick Wood

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:14 pm 
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dick wood wrote:
Looks like a great product. Do you have a ETA on the 1/350 Dragon Scharnhorst deck ?

Right now it looks like we will make our January Target on that one, or come in the first week of February. We have over SIXTY individual and different shapes to cut - and we only have a handful that we are still adjusting. We could release it now and probably "get away with it" but that's not how we do things here...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Can I be cheeky and ask how close the New Jersey deck is to release?

John


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:33 pm 
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johndon wrote:
Can I be cheeky and ask how close the New Jersey deck is to release?

Sure... I think the Konig will be out next week; the Scharnhorst should be the first week of February. And the New Jersey is also looking good for early February - probably week 1 but if we want to do some additional adjustments then it might slip a bit. It is very, very close. This is another one that we could probably ship "as is" but we wouldn't be happy with it. I know it pains you out there to wait, but we want to have a product that we can produce for years and so we want to get it exactly right. We know you want the best quality possible, so we're working as hard as we can to deliver that.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:44 am 
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Thanks John, one more question if I may :wave_1:

Does the deck take into account the 'gutter' that runs round the edge of the deck as shown in the picture below (i.e. does your deck run right to the very edges of the hull or is there a gap left?

Image

Thanks,

John


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:50 am 
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Thanks John for the ETA on the Scharnhorst deck.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:27 am 
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I see a deck for the Hobby Boss/Banner/etc. 1:350 Arizona on the list for February. A few questions, if I may, regarding your plans for this deck:
Will the deck be cut-out around the octagonal engineering access panels that flank the aft-most mainmast pole, or will they be planked over? (Or even separate, optional inserts? There really was a planking "seam" there, so it's a perfectly viable option)
Will the deck be cut around the aft AA gun tub shields that are molded-in (the ones near the panels mentioned above), or continuous in anticipation of removal and replacement with PE tubs (or even omission of the tubs entirely for a 1930s backdate)?
Similar to the above, will the midship deck planking be pre-cut around the molded-on gun shields, or continuous to facilitate typical PE replacement (or backdating)?

This is a kit that doesn't just look better with it, it *needs* a re-planking. No, I'm not asking if it will hit that February schedule... I've already re-planked the Pennsylvania 1941 conversion I'm working on. Just looking to the future. Having gone through this trouble once, I'd be grateful for a pre-made deck if/when I build another.

- Sean F.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:57 am 
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Hey

Do you guys plan to do a deck for a 1/400 Bearn carrier from L'Arsenal? I would LOVE to see it - her deck would really greatly profit from this!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:10 am 
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johndon wrote:
Does the deck take into account the 'gutter' that runs round the edge of the deck as shown in the picture below (i.e. does your deck run right to the very edges of the hull or is there a gap left?

What we are doing (usually) is making a piece of wood that exactly fits the "deck" part, without incorporating the cast hull sides. Since the decks drop into the well formed by the hull, our decks end where the plastic piece deck piece ends, thus leaving the top of the vertical hull sides exposed and uncovered. This provides for a nice surface to attach the PE railings, and it makes a reasonable approximation of the gutter. So the answer is "yes."

I note in the photo that "edge planking" is shown as well, that appears between the gutter and the longitudinal planks. At present, we are NOT incorporating that into 1/350 decks. Since our planks have to be overscale anyway to be visible, in our opinion the overscale edge planking would look "wrong." So straight lines right into the gutter for 1/350 is the norm.

A couple of exceptions...

First, we ARE Looking at edge planking for the 1/200 Arizona. At almost twice the scale, I think we will be able to get away with that.

Second, we've begun taking a look at the classic Glencoe Oregon in 1/225. My oh my, what a mess THAT kit is. The gap between the deck and the hull can be almost 1/8 inch at places, and looks quite ridiculous. Most hobbyists fill that in with putty or filler of some sort - it's one of the nastinesses of the kit. So for THAT one we are seriously considering running the planks right out to the edge of the hull, and allowing the hobbyist to snip away as much as they want with scissors or a sharp knife to leave the outer edge exactly as they would prefer it to be. After all, it's a lot easier to snip away material than it is to add it!

The rule is that "we will do what we think is best for each individual kit; and if the community wants something specific, all they need to do is ask. With THAT said...

SeanF wrote:
A few questions, if I may, regarding your plans for this deck:
Will the deck be cut-out around the octagonal engineering access panels that flank the aft-most mainmast pole, or will they be planked over? (Or even separate, optional inserts? There really was a planking "seam" there, so it's a perfectly viable option)
Will the deck be cut around the aft AA gun tub shields that are molded-in (the ones near the panels mentioned above), or continuous in anticipation of removal and replacement with PE tubs (or even omission of the tubs entirely for a 1930s backdate)?
Similar to the above, will the midship deck planking be pre-cut around the molded-on gun shields, or continuous to facilitate typical PE replacement (or backdating)?


Our plans are to always produce a deck that fits the kit out-of-the-box, except for common sense exceptions - Aztec staircases being the prime example. When we come across those, we are pretty confident that modelers that will want a wood deck will probably be going with replacement brass staircases. Therefore, we generally will cut the deck assuming that those clunky molded in stairs will be removed by the modeler. If the modeler is KEEPING those stairs (?!) then they would always be able to cut a notch in the wood deck to allow for that - once again following the rule "it is easier to remove material than to add it."

As for the specifics on the Arizona, we haven't decided what we are going to do with the octagonal hatches. We think that on the 1/200 we will print them on the wood, and if the hobbyist wants to cut them out they can do that. The 1/200 kit allows for a plastic (simulated metal) plate to be placed there, or you can leave it with the wood planked pattern molded into the deck. We figure we will print the lines on the wood, and if you want to add the plastic piece on top then you would be free to do that. We haven't decided what to do on the 1/350 kit yet.

As for the other features such as gun tubs and shields and such... Let me explain our concept of "HD" decks, or our "High Detail" variants.

At scaledecks.com we are VERY impressed with the LionRoar Super-Detail sets. We already have the Bismarck and Missouri in-house, and the Yamato set is on a boat somewhere between Hong Kong and Southern California. We plan to offer "High Detail" decks for those three kits that ASSUME that you will be following the LionRoar instructions, and scraping off all the molded in ammo boxes, boat racks, splinter shields, etc, and replacing all of those with the LionRoar brass. As a result, the decks will be much simpler and cleaner, and will cover up all of the "fittings hacked off here" evidence quite nicely. We feel that the results will be superb. The only problem is that these decks will NOT fit the kits "out of the box" and so we still want to sell another version of the deck that would suit the less ambitious modeler. In those instances we will sell TWO products - a "standard cut" and an "HD cut" (which will actually have less detail cut into it than the out-of-the box variety to support the add-on details.)

The big question is... "How much for the HD decks?" And the answer is "the same as the standard decks." The follow-up question is "how long after a standard deck is released until we can expect to see the HD variant?" And the answer to that is "pretty soon - most likely just a week or two" because to make the HD variety all that we will need to do is to eliminate cuts from our instructions to the laser cutter. The HD deck is actually EASIER for us. BUT - we can't hack away at our test deck and remove all those fittings until after the standard deck is complete. So we will always do the standard deck first, make sure it fits right, then we are free to demolish our molded deck in anticipation of the HD variety.

Whew! Long answer. But I think it all comes around to the logical question of "are you going to do an HD variant for the 1/350 Arizona?" And the answer to that question - at least until tonight - was "we weren't planning on it." Seeing all the work that can be done on the MiniHobby kit, and the work that some people actually do, we could certainly add a 1/350 Arizona HD deck to our plans - since it's easy to do once the basic kit is done. All that we would need to do is to decide what cutouts should be eliminated - so when that project is nearing completion, I'll post a new thread on that specific topic and I'll take feedback about what cuts to eliminate for the Arizona HD.

Would that suit your needs?

Petros wrote:
Do you guys plan to do a deck for a 1/400 Bearn carrier from L'Arsenal? I would LOVE to see it - her deck would really greatly profit from this!

I think you're right - we could do a super job on that kit, but alas it has not yet made it to our production schedule. I think it might make the list for a 2012 release as our 2011 plans are booked pretty solid right now... If you REALLY want it and are willing to pay a rush fee for it, we could add it to the production list and burn the midnight oil for a few weeks to crank it out for you. Info on custom services can be found on the scaledecks.com website.

(And I think I hear faintly in the distance, "Nooo! Finish the Dragon Scharnhorst and the Trumpeter Arizona, and the Tamiya Yamato and Revell Bismarck..." Can you hear that? I think I can hear it... :eyebrows:)

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