Old Man Blog No.51 Ho229, Episode 3

 Lately, it's getting comfortable in the early summer coming, but how are all of SWS fans doing? It has been quite a while since the last blog updated.

In any case, at Zoukei-mura, every day is the same as Japanese small-to-medium-sized companies' every day. I didn't have enough time to keep my blog leisurely because I had to take important decisions, to give proper instructions all day, to hold a lot of events, and to deal with consecutive unexpected things.

But please do not worry!

Even if we forget food and sleep, SWS kit is never ever forgettable. Day in and day out, all I have been thinking about is SWS kit development.

Sorry to have you keep waiting, but in this blog, I'll report on how 1/32 Horten development is progressing. After that, I'll write about the expectation of the release date and price as far as I can tell now.

Please have a good time enjoying the progress of SWS Horten development in this early summer. Same as the last time, I want to get your feedback. Thank you for all your cooperation.

Look! They are all looking at me!

Oops, that's not right. To tell you the truth, I built all of these kits for research and development of SWS kit. I want to find out how to make easy-to-build kit. I built these kits, 1/72 ~ 1/24 scale, in a snap. It was very good experience for me. It looks as if everyone is begging me for something, doesn't it?
It seems like they are having fun together. Well then, do you know what and which kits these guys are?

After completion, it'd be better to be able to see the internal SWS Horten! Nope, we want to see it by all means!

In the last blog, I asked for your opinion about "whether or not the clear materials should be used on the external parts of SWS 1/32 Horten". I deeply appreciate that so many customers sent reassuring messages saying, "I agree with the idea of using clear parts", from all over the world. Well we can suppose that even after completion, everyone wants to have a close look at the internal structure of airframe that they struggled to build.

Indeed, 100 % of emails were all hoping for the clear parts.

I have understood your request.

Your dream is my dream! Just leave it to me.

I will meet your great expectation by all means.

These are samples of the clear parts for the wing of the SWS 32 Horten kit.
I said clear, but there are some complicated and uneven moulds that can't be polished enough. Please make sure how clear they are in the picture above. Finally you can observe the internal structure of the airframe. Look forward to it!!

Of course, canopy parts are elaborately polished. You can enjoy the correctly recreated powerful airframe of Horten flying at sonic speed.
Use a sharp nipper when you snip parts off. But do not snip off just the part itself, please snip it with a small part of the gate too, and use file very carefully.
However, careful works are needed (handling the parts' cracks, treating the joint area, selection of the tools, etc.). These are not needed when building normal plastic kit, so it will put your skills to the test!

The wing parts have to be removed at the first attempt.
The real aircraft is made of woods, but it's quite unique to observe the internal structure through the clear parts, isn't it?

As shown in the pictures, the SWS 32 Horten kit will be delivered with clear parts for the external coating (mainly the wings). The biggest mystery of WWII German Air force: the secret of Horten, will be finally revealed in public throughout the clear parts.

With recreation of this kit, just by a glance, you can immediately understand the Horten outstanding fuselage structure, the suspension of its engine, the state of its armament and cockpit, as well as the steel pipe frame and the plane structure made of wood. You can complete your ideal scale model with your hands.
(Kit molded with regular color will not be released)

But even if clear parts are a good thing, one day you may get an unexpected and unhappy outcome. In other words, I would like you to know there is not always satisfaction with the external clear parts. I will explain the demerit of it right here so please don't misunderstand what I mean. Besides, please give me any better advice to solve these problems if you have.

1. The weak point of the clear parts is that the material is hard and yet fragile.
"Once you complete the kit, you can see its inside structure through the outer clear parts."
The other side of such a nice thing is that, being the material of clear parts very hard but fragile, thus you need to be very delicate when you cut the part off the runner and when you work on it.
You must be very careful, whether you use a well-cutting nipper, a small knife or a file cliff.
Another weak point of the clear parts is that, if you use a nipper, it is very easy to make a crack if you put too much strength when you separate the runner and the part.
Don't get too close to the runner when you cut the clear parts and be very delicate, without hurrying. Shape every single part, little by little, in order to make an accurate work.
2. Clear parts expose the adhesive surface and the work you did with your file.
You can see the adhesive surface as it is, once you have glued clear and normal parts together. How to address this unavoidable phenomenon is actually a problem that must be sorted out.
If you have any idea, I'd be glad to hear it.
3. It is not possible to repair or fix the painting of clear parts with putty.
The material is transparent. In other words, if it's not, there is absolutely nothing special with it. Whether you make a mistake with the glue, or you slightly damage the part, repair is not possible and it is very hard to make the part as it was before.
Also, with the Horten kit, even if I said that we made it with clear parts, it concerns just external panels. As for the canopy, these parts are not meant to represent the glass of the original plane.
Concerning the canopy, transparency degree may be increased just by polishing the die-cast but, in case of clear external parts this is not possible. Indeed these parts require joints and hatches, thread and rivet, and several molds.
Hence, this interferes with the work that should be done to get the parts clearer. No need to say this extra job would imply an extra cost.

That's all, but all that glitters is not gold. There are many drawbacks to adopting these clear parts into the kit.

Clear parts have also a few disadvantages:

  • - Parts are prone to crack when they are damaged.
  • - They are difficult to mold.
  • - You have to be very careful when cementing or gluing.
  • - Clear parts are impossible to repair once they get dirt or get damaged.
  • - There is a limit as how transparent a part can be.

But, despite all these shortcomings, you still want the SWS Horten kit with clear parts. Am I right?

OK!! You asked for it!
Let's go for the best Horten kit ever in full transparent outfit!! No regrets!!

Because, as you all know, nothing makes me happier than seeing you smiling in a delightful surprise!

Look at this beauty! Admire this piece of art (by the great artist Naoki Kobayashi) finished in clear parts. For the building of this kit, Mr. Kobayashi used a few strokes of superglue only in the most critical spots in order to attach the wing parts. Nobody else than Mr. Kobayashi could pull this off!! He comes up with such great ideas!
Mr. Kobayashi built a test-shot kit especially for a package box and magazine advertisements. It is equipped with the Jumo 004 engine that is perfectly painted like a cut model engine exhibited at a museum! This is a great work! You may come to want the kit by just looking at it!!

This is the cockpit. You can see the complex structure of the steel tube frame. It is astonishing to see that there is barely room to fit a human being there inside that crammed space. It looks and feels like a real fighter that represented the German Air Force last chance to win the war.
And very soon you will have this kit in your hands!! Look forward to that day!!

We are expecting to finally release the SWS Horten Kit this coming October!!

The waiting is going to end soon!!

The SWS Horten is already in its final stage before being released to the public.

I know you are worried about the price. If our strategy to reduce costs goes well, I think that we will manage to get this model kit to cost somewhere between the Skyraider and the He219 Uhu. We will do our very best until the last second!!

As you can imagine, following our style for developing SWS kits, this model exceeds by far the scale of the preceding SWS He219 A-0 Uhu and Skyraider kits with more amazing runners, more parts and even more details.

But this time, we have tried to reduce the price as much as possible so that the largest number of modeling fans can get their hands on this kit.

No need to mention that, as we did for the other kits, we will be also releasing figures of pilot and mechanics, diorama bases and small accessories to exhibit along with the Horten kit. Please, look forward to the release! This could be the best moment to start your collection of SWS kits.

On the next blog entry, I will let you know the details about pre-orders.

Please take care of yourself!!

Hideyuki Shigeta
President, Zoukei-Mura

↓ Please don't hesitate to use the submission form below ↓

PS. Let me know your request for the next SWS kits of Zoukei-mura:

  • 1. WWII airplane of any nation….in 1/48, 1/32 scale
  • 2. Worldwide airplane from 1945 to present days…..in 1/48, 1/32 scale

Please let me know the name of the plane(s) you would like to recreate in Zoukei-mura kit.

Other than that, please feel free to give us any comment and opinion if you have.

Please contact us in Japanese or English via the submission email below.

We, the development team, look forward to your reply!!

Luftwaffe Heavy Fighter 1/32 Do335 is also diligently under development in order to make one of the best SWS kits!!
This will be a breathtaking kit too!! Look forward to it!!

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