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To all of our fans who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the chilly weather is continuing day after day, so I hope that you are all doing well.
And to all of our fans who live in the Southern Hemisphere, you're currently experiencing hot weather every day, yes? Please take care of your health, and enjoy the scale model hobby.
Now, just recently for one week, from January 31 to February 4, the six of us on the Zoukei-mura Development Team attended the world's largest toy show, the Nürnberg Toy Fair that is held in Germany, as a scale model manufacturer and booth exhibitor.
On top of our list of items to be displayed at our booth was the finished display model for the 1/32 Uhu, followed by a lineup of the Raiden, Shinden, Ta 152, A-1H, and P-51D.
Also displayed were the Shinden and Ta 152 from our long-awaited 1/48 series, which has finally entered the final prototype stage.
This year, there was no assault of snow as we had feared; rather, we had very peaceful weather with some signs of rain. From all around the world, there were toys, games, educational toys, train models, scale models, etc., etc., all gathered together in an enormous event hall.
Day after day, we continued to have passionate business discussions with many different buyers.
Our Zoukei-mura booth was visited by many different kinds of callers, from retail shops and wholesale stores, to accessory part manufacturers and companies hoping to collaborate, as well as journalists covering the event and individual fans of the SWS kits.
Every day, and all day, we were surrounded by the passion that Zoukei-mura inspires.
However, perhaps because Europe is currently suffering from the effects of a recession, every buyer showed great caution with regard to purchasing.
Of course, even under such circumstances, everyone was very proactive when it came to gathering information about Zoukei-mura's signature products, such as the release date for the Uhu, the next new SWS release.
To everyone who visited the Zoukei-mura booth during the event, I extend my gratitude from the bottom of my heart.
And also, to all of our business partners who decided at the event to start carrying SWS kits, as the representative of all of my employees, I extend my sincerest thanks.
Thank you all so very much. We will make sure to continue delivering wonderful products, so please do continue to support the SWS kits.
*We flew KLM into Nürnberg Airport by way of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands. Look. As you can see in the photo, we were blessed with weather that included a glimpse of blue skies.......
*The trip from the airport to the hotel took 20 minutes by non-stop subway. How convenient!! The cars, which ran at a considerable speed, felt sturdy, and many seats were empty. It was very pleasant.
*Look, look, you can see the German townscape from the train car window. Scenery utterly unlike that of Japan continued to fly by. For one thing, there were no pedestrians. There also weren't any minibike or bicycle riders, or the convenience stores that can be found everywhere in Japan. Perhaps the winter weather kept everyone inside? It was also rather difficult to find a place to buy small items.
*Now! From Japan, the gong to mark the start of our battle has been struck! This is a commemorative photo that we took in front of the venue. Although it was cold outside, the heating was on full blast inside the venue!! As a result, I had problems with my throat becoming painfully dry.
*Look! This was the Zoukei-mura booth at this year's Nürnberg Toy Fair!
*The gallant 1/32 Uhu. Because we are very close to the release date, many people took pictures of our finished display model.
*This is our next Japanese fighter, the "Raiden." Although it was fresh in its skeleton state, there were many photos taken of it. There were many people who stood and took in the recreation of its delicate and meticulous details in silence.
*This is a view of our hotel. It was 20 minutes away from the venue by subway, so it was located very conveniently. Although the exterior had a very traditional appearance, the interior facilities were very modern.
Look at this all-you-can-eat ham, sausage, and cheese! Every morning, we prepared ourselves by partaking of this bounty, then departed for the venue!
*Over here as well, several different types of meat were laid out every morning!
*As usual, a big Zoukei-mura team dinner.
*The last day. All of a sudden, there were somehow fireworks in the venue courtyard!
*DB603 Engine Parts
Now, regarding the SWS Uhu that you've all been waiting so long for, the unexpected canopy rebuild pushed out our timeline so that we ended up delaying the release date, for which I sincerely apologize.
While we're delayed, I thought I would use this extra time to give you a special glimpse of the prototype build that I always do prior to the release of an SWS kit.
I'm sure that everyone wants to obtain the SWS Uhu as quickly as possible, which is a feeling that I share to a painful degree, but in order to make this kit as magnificent as possible, please continue to be patient just a little while longer. During this short time, please enjoy this prototype test assembly with me.
Eh, what if you end up having to redo other parts, so that it's delayed even more?
Good question. Yes, your concerns are accurate -- often, the SWS kit release dates are delayed due to things that come up during these test assemblies of mine.
If you should hear of the release date getting pushed out any further, well -- I'm afraid that you all should probably just resign yourselves to delays that ultimately occur due to my test assemblies.
But it's alright. Look, no matter how much it's delayed, the price will remain the same, so not only do you end up getting a better kit for less, but we always throw in extra bonuses as well. Learn to say that you love delays!
....there's no way that's possible for anyone, is it.
However, please do believe that the kit is getting better and better during this short while, and enjoy this test assembly with me.
I digress, but regarding the "canopy improvement" that I went over in my previous entry for this blog -- contrary to our expectations, we did not receive any scoldings, but rather, words of support and encouragement, from readers around the world.
Among them, we even received emails praising the SWS spirit.
Although we confidently said, "It will be delayed, but the end result will be even better," the truth is that deep down, we were filled with regret.
To everyone who sent us email, thank you so very much.
Now, on to the test assembly.
First, let's start with the assembly for the Daimler-Benz DB603 engine.
Confirm all of the parts, as shown in the picture.
At this time, please make sure that parts are not caught on your sleeves or anything else in your work area, or accidentally dropped or crushed out of carelessness. Make sure to carefully handle delicate parts which are easily damaged. As for the assembly itself, as long as you proceed according to the assembly manual, it should be simple.
Also, these test assembly parts were cast in "silver sprues" for prototype purposes, but the parts for the final production kit will be cast uniformly in gray.
Now, time to finally go in with the nippers.
It is necessary to take particular care with slender parts such as the spark plug cord.
The SWS kits are cast using a soft, flexible plastic, so it's easy to work with the nippers, and breakage is difficult, which makes cutting the parts out, and then assembling, unbelievably simple and clear.
At this point, if you use reference photos of the actual aircraft to perform some additional detail work on the pipes, etc., for each part, you will be able to finish a DB603 engine so detailed that there is nothing more that can be desired of a 1/32 scale kit.
If you put the finished engine in the palm of your hand and examine it, you will be able to feel the engine's power exuding from the detailed molding and excellent parts composition.
At any rate, all of the German engines are just so cool~ they truly bear an irresistible appeal. I personally enjoy many such moments such as this one.
As usual, with this DB603 engine being no exception, we have molded all of the pistons, so that they can serve as accurate guides as to which side is left or right when assembling.
Even though these parts will not be visible when the kit is built, they end up as kind of the builder's own little secret, acting as only one aspect of the true enjoyment that can be found in building an SWS kit.
Up to this point, my total build length is two days.
If I were simply building straight through, I would have finished in less time, but I took my time to enjoy each part, the result being a slow assembly process.
Now, how will you prepare your DB603?
My impression so far: in a word, this kit is fun.
*Cylinder Block & Pistons
*The colored wingtip navigation light parts have been finished!
*Have a look at the gallant Uhu (skeleton)!
In my next entry, I will finally be going over the cockpit assembly.
Until then, to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, please stay warm and take the utmost of care with your health, so as not to catch cold.
And to everyone in the Southern Hemisphere, please stay cool, and let your hobbies enrich your life.
I'll see you next time, here on the blog.
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