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Old 11-05-2011, 04:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Well I am in receipt of a sample from HM for appraisal. However I'm,leaving the full photo coverage to our past master Agent.

In favour:

1) No ugly seams, just the wing to fuselage join. Well done HM.
2) Nice standard of print and paint.
3) Correct window layout for the early 1049A.
4) Black keyline around the red TWA logo to fuselage.
5) Nice front gear detailing
6) Good nose shape
7) Tip tanks included but not fitted useful spares as not needed on this model

Not so good points:

1) Tail tip avoided by shortening nose gear so connie doesn't sit back nicely.
2) Central tail fin shorter than outer 2 fins
3) Short nose gear leaves gear vertical instead of raked
4) Thick walkway printing to wing surface
5) Windows probably a tad too large and not dropped enough at front end.
6) Twin red lines don't curve down enough, too flat
7) Overscale horns need ripping off
8) Vertical aerial needs adding from Martins fret sheet.
9) Main gear positioned too far back (to avoid tail tipping)

I've already modified the front gear on this one. See pics of before (vertical gear) and after with sloping gear.

Cut front gear with razor saw in to 2 halves...see pic for location of cut. File some material off end of "gear door block" to allow some adjustment when refitting the 2 pieces. As this changes the centre of gravity (and lucky we need to make the gear longer) bung some evostick in the front cavity, add a layer of lead shot (from fishing tackle shop) another small dab of evostick, I use a cocktail stick to apply, then insert the separated wheel strut and leave overnight to harden off.

Last edited by Graham Bridges; 11-30-2012 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Of course we can't comment when seeing the three view drawing and when the pre production photos are released ... it is too late.

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Old 11-06-2011, 04:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

I would also say that the walkway over the horizontal surfaces is very basic.

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Old 11-06-2011, 06:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Talking Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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. . . I've already modified the front gear on this one. See pics of before (vertical gear) and after with sloping gear.

Cut front gear with razor saw in to 2 halves...see pic for location of cut. File some material off end of "gear door block" to allow some adjustment when refitting the 2 pieces. As this changes the centre of gravity (and lucky we need to make the gear longer) bung some evostick in the front cavity, add a layer of lead shot (from fishing tackle shop) another small dab of evostick, I use a cocktail stick to apply, then insert the separated wheel strut and leave overnight to harden off.
So, I guess the 'good news' is the gear struts are plastic so it is easy to modify? I wonder how HM is going to achieve this model in final form without lead shot from the tackle shop OR delivering a tail sitter.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So, I guess the 'good news' is the gear struts are plastic so it is easy to modify? I wonder how HM is going to achieve this model in final form without lead shot from the tackle shop OR delivering a tail sitter.
Yes the gears are all plastic so sawing is easy.

What was delivered to me is the final form !

So much still needing a tweak and I guess they're already on the boat and those 2 forward cabin windows that go up instead of in line withe previous 2 !

Last edited by Graham Bridges; 11-06-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Why would they send you a sample if the model is finished? I thought the idea was to work out the bugs before marketing.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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Why would they send you a sample if the model is finished? I thought the idea was to work out the bugs before marketing.
I guess to say "Thank you" for all the input and photos I gave over a 6 week period, most of which was not implemented because the model was on the assembly line which I did not know at the time of doing it all. At least they didn't fit the tip tanks which was the original plan, and they went with the suggestion of NOT using the Super G cabin window layout thank goodness.

Sadly the large horns, no vertical aerial and short front gear were all "done" deals.

If they make the middle fin taller to match the correct outers, the extra metal will probably cause a tail tip. I would suggest making the front gear assembly (modified of course) in metal to counterbalance the tip.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Talking Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Some appraisal. Fait accompli.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

I think the model looks great! Yes, some things that could be better but overall I think it is nice.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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I think the model looks great! Yes, some things that could be better but overall I think it is nice.
Wow, isn't that attitude towards the very basic characteristics (short fin, vertical nose gear, non tail down attitude,overscale antenna and incorrect cabin window line a little "laissez-faire" ?

This is why they'll make more of the same.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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. . . This is why they'll make more of the same.
To a point of ad nauseam.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

I think you should tell HM about the bad points of the model. If the reason for them being there is because they did not allow enough time for feedback from collectors. Then they need to change the way they make airline models in future.

In contrast they made a much better job of their CF-18 Hornet model. The pre-production photos showed quite a number of errors. These were corrected in time for the final production model. This shows they are capable of fixing mistakes hence it is worthwhile telling them about what has occurred with the Connie.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Talking Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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I think you should tell HM about the bad points of the model. If the reason for them being there is because they did not allow enough time for feedback from collectors. Then they need to change the way they make airline models in future.

In contrast they made a much better job of their CF-18 Hornet model. The pre-production photos showed quite a number of errors. These were corrected in time for the final production model. This shows they are capable of fixing mistakes hence it is worthwhile telling them about what has occurred with the Connie.
I have to agree with that entirely. I have also been involved, for quite some time before shifting over to 1:200, in the 1:72 military side of model collecting, and know that the likes of Corgi and HM can be receptive to input when they put out pre-pros to forums for evaluation by knowledgeable collectors. In many cases, alterations are made to tighten up the finals, yet in some cases (both Corgi and HM) insight is ignored. I can cite a couple of situations in detail where the insight was ignored and MANY collectors just passed. That simply translated into lost sales. Overall, the loss of sales, on one model, among a handful of collectors isn't going to send a huge message, but when it keeps happening over and over and the collecting community really starts ignoring a firms products, it now starts to send a message. HM is no stranger to this and if they are serious about being a player in the higher end of diecast 1:200 airliners, they had better be paying a bit more attention to what they are doing. Already there is a growing number within the forum world who are seeing HM as merely a light weight option for entry level collectors. And entry level collectors are going to think twice before putting out the cash HM wants for these.

While it is true that HM has put out some real nice ones, human nature will always bring up the 'dogs'. Personally, I think William & Co. have stretched themselves too thin, and I think the breaking point may have something to do with HM stretching out into the jetliner range -- and as a consequence, some of these retro propliners are suffering.

Merely speculation on my part.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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I guess to say "Thank you" for all the input and photos I gave over a 6 week period, most of which was not implemented because the model was on the assembly line which I did not know at the time of doing it all. At least they didn't fit the tip tanks which was the original plan, and they went with the suggestion of NOT using the Super G cabin window layout thank goodness.

Sadly the large horns, no vertical aerial and short front gear were all "done" deals.

If they make the middle fin taller to match the correct outers, the extra metal will probably cause a tail tip. I would suggest making the front gear assembly (modified of course) in metal to counterbalance the tip.
Sounds like they have the same problems with these that i hear is happening with HM 's 72 military planes ?
will look elsewhere
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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I think you should tell HM about the bad points of the model. If the reason for them being there is because they did not allow enough time for feedback from collectors. Then they need to change the way they make airline models in future.

In contrast they made a much better job of their CF-18 Hornet model. The pre-production photos showed quite a number of errors. These were corrected in time for the final production model. This shows they are capable of fixing mistakes hence it is worthwhile telling them about what has occurred with the Connie.
When I report back on their inaccuracies, and they don't change them, it leads me to believe that the monthly invoicing outweighs the need to get it right. Also, different culture and age groups involved probably do not see the problems with their creation. They don't realise that it changes the overall look/feel of the model. They'll only realise when people stop buying.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Also, different culture and age groups involved probably do not see the problems with their creation. They don't realise that it changes the overall look/feel of the model. They'll only realise when people stop buying.
In addition I think that, outside of William, we are dealing with a group of people who just couldn't give a royal toss about aviation in general. To them this is just a job -- pure and simple -- and the resulting products look like it, for the most part. It doesn't seem surprising, since once your run of Connies go through, they're setting up for run of office staplers.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

HM TWA Connies all sold out at Flying Mule. Re-stock next month.
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

It is true that the quality of a model has no impact on the way it sells.

Dicerning collectors, where are you ?

Jean Pierre.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It is true that the quality of a model has no impact on the way it sells.

Dicerning collectors, where are you ?

Jean Pierre.
Perhaps they are living a life with a bunch of crap models (IF 727, PX IL-14 & carvair, New Comet IV's, HM connies, HM viscount, HM F-27's, Hogan connies, CP DC-6B's with white stripes, JC VC-10 with Grand National fences, Herpa fat DC-8, Antennae in 144th scale, etc etc) and completely unaware. But if they're happy it makes you wonder what/who is really OK in all this ??????

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Old 12-31-2011, 06:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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It is true that the quality of a model has no impact on the way it sells.

Dicerning collectors, where are you ?

Jean Pierre.
It's a very good question. Perhaps if a collector really wants a certain airline model with a certain livery. They will buy even if the quality is below average.

I've always thought if a model did not sell then the manufacturer must do something to improve quality, detailing etc on the next release. However it has been said the airlines pay for the models therefore the manufacturers do not give a toss about quality.
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:54 AM   #21 (permalink)
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It's a very good question. Perhaps if a collector really wants a certain airline model with a certain livery. They will buy even if the quality is below average.

I've always thought if a model did not sell then the manufacturer must do something to improve quality, detailing etc on the next release. However it has been said the airlines pay for the models therefore the manufacturers do not give a toss about quality.
Well, TWA wouldn't have been paying for these, given their current operational status. I think it would be safe to assume that retro models are likely the commission of the manufacturers.

But even if this was a direct TWA order -- manufacturers should care about the calibre of the model even MORE, as there are likely to be more 'airplane guys' within that environment who are in the position to make a snap critique which could kill future commissions.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

I am a descerning collector(formerly N6101). I would love a TWA Connie without the radar nose but I will wait until a better example comes along.
How about a non- radar nose Eastern L-1049???
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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A mid-50's Eastern Connie would be interesting, but I'll wait for someone other than HM to put it out.
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Though the model retailer in the state of Washington has berated my previous comparisons to Chinese made 1/43 scale model cars, I will do so again.

An obsolete Mercedes, Porsche, VW or even Borgward can be and has been done by China in excellent integrity with exact, scale modeling. The PMA Minichamps 1/43 scale models are far superior in fidelity to any airliner models available - especially these Hobby Masters. The "little toy cars" cost in the range of 100% to 30% as much as these 1/200 scale airliners. They are made in China.

The job can be done better. The principals of the companies are responsible; the production personnel just do what they are told; they have no feel for the Connie (nor the BMW 507 or the Mercedes 300SL gullwing). The Chinese workers make superb car models; the airliner models leave a lot to be desired.

HM can do better; someone just does not care. The principals at PMA Minichamps are car people; they know and care about automobiles. Do the HM people and "William" know and care about airliners?

I am anxious to see the beautiful, bright color scheme on the HM Northwest 1049 but my optimism has been repeatedly dashed by the negativity of other collectors - which I believe.

Oh, and to that retailer in Washington - take the time and trouble to buy with your own cash a PMA Minichamps model and compare it to the 1:200 scale airliners you tout. Make a fair, honest comparison. If you can not recognize the difference and just criticize the accusers like me you simply reveal your lack of discretion.

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Old 01-01-2012, 05:50 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Though the model retailer in the state of Washington has berated my previous comparisons to Chinese made 1/43 scale model cars, I will do so again.

An obsolete Mercedes, Porsche, VW or even Borgward can be and has been done by China in excellent integrity with exact, scale modeling. The PMA Minichamps 1/43 scale models are far superior in fidelity to any airliner models available - especially these Hobby Masters. The "little toy cars" cost in the range of 100% to 30% as much as these 1/200 scale airliners. They are made in China.

The job can be done better. The principals of the companies are responsible; the production personnel just do what they are told; they have no feel for the Connie (nor the BMW 507 or the Mercedes 300SL gullwing). The Chinese workers make superb car models; the airliner models leave a lot to be desired.

HM can do better; someone just does not care. The principals at PMA Minichamps are car people; they know and care about automobiles. Do the HM people and "William" know and care about airliners?

I am anxious to see the beautiful, bright color scheme on the HM Northwest 1049 but my optimism has been repeatedly dashed by the negativity of other collectors - which I believe.

Oh, and to that retailer in Washington - take the time and trouble to buy with your own cash a PMA Minichamps model and compare it to the 1:200 scale airliners you tout. Make a fair, honest comparison. If you can not recognize the difference and just criticize the accusers like me you simply reveal your lack of discretion.

- ranchero -
I can agree with you. Recently I have bought superb 43rd scale models of Cobras and Ford GT40's etc with a high degree of quality, detail and finish.
Each one is probably made by the thousand, but none the less accuracy is first class.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:52 AM   #26 (permalink)
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. . . HM can do better; someone just does not care. The principals at PMA Minichamps are car people; they know and care about automobiles. Do the HM people and "William" know and care about airliners? . . .
Some time back about 2-3 years ago this question was asked to William on the Model Hangar II forum. He confessed to being an accomplished modeller and had more than a passing interest in aviation, but that was military aircraft based, not commercial.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:38 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Some time back about 2-3 years ago this question was asked to William on the Model Hangar II forum. He confessed to being an accomplished modeller and had more than a passing interest in aviation, but that was military aircraft based, not commercial.
Indeed, I have been in contact with HM several times and are of the understanding the focus is military. Certainly their military aircraft is doing considerably better than the commercial side.

Returning to the subject of this thread. If HM decides not to correct their Connie, what are the possibilities another manufacturer will step in and make a better model?
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:16 AM   #28 (permalink)
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. . . Returning to the subject of this thread. If HM decides not to correct their Connie, what are the possibilities another manufacturer will step in and make a better model?
It is hard to say. Others do make Connies. Western and Herpa, for instance, have both done a reasonably decent job on certain variations, albeit each have had their fair share of issues. I think it is fair to say that we could see duplicates (or near duplicates) of some of these HM 'toys' by either of the other two -- especially of the more popular liveries. It has happened before in recent times. Both Western and Herpa have recently released, essentially, the same Air France Starliner (F-BHBQ), for instance. Both Western and Herpa also currently offer a TWA Starliner at ARD, so it does happen.

The Connie situation is far from dire, so as long as these two companies continue to cater to collectors who are in love with the Connie, we could see more duplicates to HM's 'leavings' that are far more presentable as closer to historically accurate.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:51 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

This may say it all.

I wanted a TWA L-1049 model. I would have liked a short nosed version. Because of the issues with this model (nose gear AND mail gear forward rake (yes, the main gear should rake forward also), uneven tail sizes, and passenger windows, I bought a Western long nose version and skipped this model.

Too bad, I still would like a short nose TWA L-1049................but not this one.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:52 PM   #30 (permalink)
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This may say it all.

I wanted a TWA L-1049 model. I would have liked a short nosed version. Because of the issues with this model (nose gear AND mail gear forward rake (yes, the main gear should rake forward also), uneven tail sizes, and passenger windows, I bought a Western long nose version and skipped this model.

Too bad, I still would like a short nose TWA L-1049................but not this one.
That doesn't surprise me.

Those who collect diecast aircraft are often aviation enthusiasts who spend time either around aircraft or researching them at the amateur level. Being aware of various nuances and details are part of the process, so when a diecast manufacturer offers something less than accurate, it could well be passed over by all but the neophite -- and often for a different model or something quite different like a couple of DVDs or books.

Manufacturers in the practise of fobbing off 'good enough' [email protected] really should reconsider their actions. I can think of a couple of makes that I certainly wouldn't recommend, when asked, to anyone looking to get a bit more serious.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:22 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

To be fair, even Minichamps messes up from time to time, especially with their race cars -- incorrect or incomplete markings, wrong wheels or out of scale aerodynamic devices, etc. And sometimes even the shape of the car is off. I am an avid collector of 1/43 cars as well as 1/200 airliners. If you read the car forums you see very similar complaints...
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:25 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Good description of the nose gear mod

I will do it on my AF when it is released.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:39 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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Well I am in receipt of a sample from HM for appraisal. However I'm,leaving the full photo coverage to our past master Agent.

In favour:

1) No ugly seams, just the wing to fuselage join. Well done HM.
2) Nice standard of print and paint.
3) Correct window layout for the early 1049A.
4) Black keyline around the red TWA logo to fuselage.
5) Nice front gear detailing
6) Good nose shape
7) Tip tanks included but not fitted useful spares as not needed on this model

Not so good points:

1) Tail tip avoided by shortening nose gear so connie doesn't sit back nicely.
2) Central tail fin shorter than outer 2 fins
3) Short nose gear leaves gear vertical instead of raked
4) Thick walkway printing to wing surface
5) Windows probably a tad too large and not dropped enough at front end.
6) Twin red lines don't curve down enough, too flat
7) Overscale horns need ripping off
8) Vertical aerial needs adding from Martins fret sheet.
9) Main gear positioned too far back (to avoid tail tipping)

I've already modified the front gear on this one. See pics of before (vertical gear) and after with sloping gear.

Cut front gear with razor saw in to 2 halves...see pic for location of cut. File some material off end of "gear door block" to allow some adjustment when refitting the 2 pieces. As this changes the centre of gravity (and lucky we need to make the gear longer) bung some evostick in the front cavity, add a layer of lead shot (from fishing tackle shop) another small dab of evostick, I use a cocktail stick to apply, then insert the separated wheel strut and leave overnight to harden off.
I have re-instated the 2 pics I deleted.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:10 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Your model sits perfectly. Thank you for posting the pics.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:40 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Your model sits perfectly. Thank you for posting the pics.
Yes, it sits nicely now, but the forward gear door that attaches to the strut is still a bit too large and clumsy looking. Also the top of the strut (the large block) is showing. It really needs that remodelled front gear (in metal) and I think it would solve both the balance problem and the ugly large door problem at the same time. But that would add a production cost to the model
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:47 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Many years ago Herpa,Hogan and WM produced an all metal (Super) Connie with the right
tail and u/c. Best of all, these weren't tail sitters! How typical of HM to scr...w up this model!!! IT AIN'T ROCKETSCIENCE!!!!!!!
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:04 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

I agree with that, the only tail sitter that I know is the DC 4 ... and the DC 3.

Jean Pierre.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:22 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Many years ago Herpa,Hogan and WM produced an all metal (Super) Connie with the right
tail and u/c. Best of all, these weren't tail sitters! How typical of HM to scr...w up this model!!! IT AIN'T ROCKETSCIENCE!!!!!!!
It seems that HM never got hold of an old Western and took it to pieces (unlike the Japanese who wanted to make motorcycles).

Old Westerns are hollow castings with a huge lead plug shaped and fitted to the inside forward fuselage. This gives a clue to the problem !

The older 200 connies all had their problems. The Hogan is diabolical. The Herpa looks sort of acceptable but lacks detail on engine cowlings, nose a bit off on the short nose version, horrible seam and front L/G strut needs to be further back.

The old Western has fabulous cowlings and wing detail, but suffers a bit with that ridge just below the windshield. Never liked that bit. Front Landing gear a bit dated now as well.

New Western, though lacking nice cowlings, has got the best interpretation overall I think, The polished TCA is just fab while the TWA super G went haywire on the silver windshield decoration...wtf was that for ??

HM's snub nose is right on the money for me...no ridge, nice sculpture work. Shame about the Fin problems, plough shears on roof and too large air intake area on the engines.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

Constellation landing gear, especially the nose gear, is a work of art and should be made correctly. It would be great if an after market concern would come up with accurate metal gear for the Constellation. Model railroaders have load of options and diecast modelers should also. Just a thought.

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Old 08-22-2012, 01:40 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Default Re: HM's TWA super connie - Can the phoenix rise from the ashes

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Constellation landing gear, especially the nose gear, is a work of art and should be made correctly. It would be great if an after market concern would come up with accurate metal gear for the Constellation. Model railroaders have load of options and diecast modelers should also. Just a thought.
Well said.

Connie nose gear is most definitely a work of art. I feel fortunate to have gotten a hold of a few of the New Western Connies with intact gear - they do not like to be shipped. IMO the delicate nose strut almost makes up for the lack of cowl detail. But no Connie out there is anywhere near perfect that's for sure.

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Old 08-22-2012, 08:21 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Well said.

Connie nose gear is most definitely a work of art. I feel fortunate to have gotten a hold of a few of the New Western Connies with intact gear - they do not like to be shipped. IMO the delicate nose strut almost makes up for the lack of cowl detail. But no Connie out there is anywhere near perfect that's for sure.
I have to agree 100%.

The unsettling part of the new Western's packing is the 'roulette' one plays when ordering one of their beautiful Connies. To make matters worse, there is NO source for a replacement when one does arrive busted. Western really needs to work on that part of their business big-time -- either fix the boxes; or create a replacement parts department; or both.

Sadly, that is what has kept me away from their models.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:36 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I have to agree 100%.

The unsettling part of the new Western's packing is the 'roulette' one plays when ordering one of their beautiful Connies. To make matters worse, there is NO source for a replacement when one does arrive busted. Western really needs to work on that part of their business big-time -- either fix the boxes; or create a replacement parts department; or both.

Sadly, that is what has kept me away from their models.
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