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Wingscale interview

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Usually, when an exhibitor is new at the Nürnberg Toy Fair, he has to stay in the dedicated hall 11.1 the first year, which is at the opposite side of hall 7 where all the plastic manufacturers are. Call it luck, but some late cancellations have allowed Wingscale to be at the right location already this year and while their booth wasn't the biggest, they certainly have made good use of it. Here is an interview of Mr. Martin Oude Vrielink, the owner of Wingscale:

Aeroscale: "I've read that you have a plastic manufacturing company. What do you produce?"
Martin Oude Vrielink: "My company Fakoplast Plastic Products does several different things. Technical parts for the automobile industry for example but also a lot of other stuff. Basically everything which can be done in plastic."

A: "Why have you decided to enter the aircraft kit model business?"
M. O. V.: "I am a plastic modeler myself since the age of 8 and the multicolored Matchbox kits. I did also like the bigger scale models from Revell and Airfix. After some time away from the hobby, I came back some years ago and while I like to build everything, I have a soft spot for big aircraft models. Launching Wingscale was a way to combine my work and my passion."

A: "With other new brands like Wingnut Wings, Zoukei-Mura and Revell of course, you have pushed 1:32 scale to new size limits…"
M. O. V.: "One shouldn't forget Trumpeter which has put 1:32 scale in the foreground again. But Revell with it's Junkers Ju-88 and now the Heinkel He-111 has set new size standards. They have done it first, but I must say that the idea of doing 1:32 scale models of bigger aircraft was in my mind for quite some years now."

A: "While the B-25 is big, you have caught the attention of many people with the pictures of a B-17 test model. Are you really going to release something that big?"
M. O. V.: "Oh yes, sure!"

A: "You will need a huge box!"
M. O. V.: "Not really. It won't be that much bigger than the B-25 box, maybe somewhat deeper. We will cut the fuselage in three pieces: front, middle and rear part and it will fit without problem."

A: "In this scale, a lot of modelers said that the surface of the B-17 kit should represent the overlapping panels and rivets of the real aircraft…"
M. O. V.: "Yes, I know this debate. But we will do our kit with engraved panel lines and rivets like the B-25 because it remains the easiest surface to work with for the modeler."

A: "Back to the B-25. It was planned for December. Now we are February and it is still not available. When exactly will it be released?"
M. O. V.: "May… if I am optimistic. But I fear it will be more likely the second part of the year."

A: "What is the cause of the delay?"
M. O. V.: "Mostly details! I want the product to be like I imagined it. Since it is not the case work continues on it."

A: "But the display model looks fine already!"
M. O. V.: "Yes it does but let me show you something (Mr. Vrielink points me to on of the upper wings of the B-25 model - see accompanying photo). Here, there is a stiffener which was attached with bolts. These are currently missing, so I have asked the manufacturer to add them. Another problem are the engine cowlings (see accompanying photo as well). You will notice that they have a slightly oval shape but they should be perfectly round. I want this to be corrected as well. You see, only these details prevented the model to be ready for release in February."

A: "It was produced in China, right? Will the molds remain your propriety and will you use them when the first batch of kits is sold?"
M. O. V.: "Yes, the molds will remain my propriety. I may add one more batch of 2500 pieces to the three we plan to do. Maybe in a different boxing. You should know that almost all the 7500 examples of the first batch have already been pre-ordered and I have requests for more than 100 samples for review!"

A: "Are the instructions, decals and boxes already ready?"
M. O. V.: "No, but we are working on it.

A: "Will the instructions have the same quality as the Wingnut Wings or Zoukei-Mura ones?"
M. O. V.: "To be honest, no. We want to keep the kit affordable so the instructions will be standard."

A: "Who will do the decals?
M. O. V.: "Cartograf will produce them."

A: "For the display model built by Jeroen Veen, the markings have been made using Aeroscale member Mal Mayfield's Miracle Masks. Can this be an alternative to decals?"
M. O. V.: "Maybe for some specific artwork like in the B-25J "strafer" variant. I play with the idea of including some. But I don't think modelers are ready to do their markings 100% with masks. Decals will still remain easier to use for most people."

A: "The Meteor is also scheduled for this year. It seems to be an easier design than the B-25…"
M. O. V.: "This may be true but we have encountered some problems with it's shape because of bad references. In fact, the B-17 will probably be released before the Meteor."

A: "Wow! That's some interesting info! Back to the Meteor, will it include complete engines?
M. O. V.: "I think we will keep it a simpler kit than the other releases so it probably won't. This will also make the kit more affordable."

A: "Is the P-61 Black Widow, which is also in preparation, a collaboration with someone else?
M. O. V.: "No, it will be our own design."

A: "The B-26 is a favorite of mine. Don't you fear to reveal your projects too soon. Some could jump on the occasion if the B-25 sells well?"
M. O. V.: "There is always a risk. But it's like pool fishing. If there are too many people around the same place, they will catch less fishes. No matter what the others will do, I won't change my mind. So I hope people will be reasonable."

A: "Do you have the time to build models currently?"
M. O. V.: "Not really! But at least I've built the first test shot of my B-25".

A: "Will you also produce in other scales? 1:48, or 1:72?"
M. O. V.: "Yes, I have some ideas already but I won't speak about it because it is too early. Maybe we will downsize our 1:32 kits, who knows?" A: "Thank you very much for allowing us to do this interview Mr. Vrielink."
M. O. V.: "No problem, it was a pleasure to meet you guys*!"

* Steffen Arndt from IPMS Germany was present during the talk with Mr. Vrielink.

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About the Author

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)
FROM: MOSELLE, FRANCE

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.


Comments

Very interesting interview, Jean-Luc. Intriguing models!
FEB 16, 2011 - 04:59 PM
Great info J-L, thanks for sharing. Nooooooooooow we're talkin !!!!
FEB 16, 2011 - 08:32 PM
Great Interview, very exciting stuff! Thanks for the info. I believe that this new player will do two things to the market. First, they appear to be producing a fine product and will provide more options to us modeler people. Second, it will make current manufactures better through competion. Good time to be an aircraft modeler. Cheers Jim
FEB 25, 2011 - 10:09 AM