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Bill Young

Unisphere Models

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Hello all,

I thought I'd start a new topic for this to follow up on the email correspondence I've been having with Emeral City Modelworks of Seattle regarding a "mass" production of high quality Unisphere models by a proffessional modelmaker. I got this email today from David and Brian of ECModelworks and wanted to share it:

I have been compiling a list of ideas and issues we soon want to pass by you (and your friends, if any might be interested). But there are a few I would like to mention now. For example: the primary issue is scale. We have limits relating to our equipment and production processes, but a 1/16th scale model (a common architectural scale) seems feasible at first look. That scale would produce a diameter of the model at about 7.5 inches, with the orbital rings extending somewhat beyond that. The height of the model (on an appropriate base) would be about 11.5 to 12 inches.

Is this a scale that you (and your friends) would like to see? This scale lets us easily place human figures on the base, if that would appeal to anyone. Smaller scales down to the size of perhaps a grapefruit would also seem workable, but if you think people really want something more like the size of a softball, that would actually be more difficult than 1/16th scale. Smaller is not necessarily easier or cheaper.

In addition, we may wish to consider basing the scale on appropriate display cases that are reasonably commercially available, if you think display cases would enhance the value of the model. For our high-end Space Needle models, glass-domed display cases are essential to protect them from dust, smoke damage, etc. But we have also designed lower-end Space Needle models which don’t require such protection.

As you can see, there are many considerations which go into designing a model, including materials (cast resin parts as opposed to photo-etched metals, for example) and efficient or cost-effective production methods. We hope you have the patience for an ongoing dialog on many of these issues–an interested potential customer base would be immensely helpful in the development process.

There is another issue (besides scale) that we planned to ask you about that you have already answered in your latest email: you mentioned that some of your friends have blueprints. We have created things from photos alone before, but much time (along with trial and error) can be saved if we have blueprints. If you can arrange for us to get a set of blueprints, that would be invaluable.

We will be sending you a more extended email tomorrow (although this one has gotten rather extended), but in the meantime, if you can think about and advise us concerning what range of scales (sizes in the display cabinet) you would like to see for the model, that is really the first consideration in all of this.

Obviously, estimation of pricing (which depends primarily on production and even packaging costs) is a way off yet, but as of now, we see no reason that ultimate pricing (depending upon design choices) could not at least compare to our various editions of Space Needle models. Bottom line is that we are willing, after preliminary research, to commit development time (which we realize probably won’t be recouped) to a line of models which could lead to reasonably profitable sales over time. We hope that everyone would understand that development takes a LOT of time–not just a few weeks or even a few months before a quality product might be available.

If anyone is interested, PLEASE send a note of encouragment to these fellows and let them know if you would be interested in purchasing one of these if they developed one. The cost of the Space Needle models runs $200 to $250 depending on version. Their email address is mailto:sales@ecmodelworks.com The more people they know are interested, the better idea they will have on how to ultimately price these models.

I'm excited!

Bill

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Sounds very interesting Bill!

However, I think David and Brian should check their calculations of scale again... I believe a 1/16 scale model of the Unisphere would be about 7.5 feet in diameter instead of 7.5 inches!

Thanks for keeping us posted,

Kevin

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If they want optional "people", it wouldn't look right without the fountain. ("on", or "off"?)

And that leads logically to the light towers, as Bill suggested.

And if you have "lit up" city lights on the continents, as Mike suggested, how could you not have light towers without miniature spotlights?

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Great job Bill! Thank you for keeping us informed on this.

My note is on its way.

I noticed the scale question when I was looking at their website, Kevin.

They advertise the Titanic as 1/60 scale. Drastically wrong, I think!

Doesn't detract from their amazing models, though!

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Yadda Yadda is absolutely right!

This is David from Emerald City Modelworks, who writes the emails and who designed and maintains the website (http://www.ecmodelworks.com). Brian is the modelmaker and confirms that I screwed up the scale description (“You’re Fired”, he said in his best Trump imitation).

A scale of 1" = 16' should have been expressed as “1:192” scale, and a scale of 1" = 60' should be expressed as “1:720” scale. Brian said that in the loose vernacular employed around the model shops, 1" = 16' is often loosely talked about as “sixteenth scale”, or 1"= 60' referred to as “sixtieth scale”, although everybody knows that the model being discussed will be 1/192th or 1/720th the size of the original, respectively. That’s no excuse, however, for the error.

Thanks for catching this.

David

Emerald City Modelworks

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Hey David, glad to have you aboard here at PTU!

Trust me on this... if you guys need any input on that Unisphere model, you'll get it right HERE... whether you want it or not!

Thanks again for taking on this exciting project!

Doug

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This company does amazing work. I think a unisphere would have broad appeal, and eventually (as assumed) be profitable.

Such a model would be out of my price range: but would be of quality and worth the price for the serious collector/aficionado.

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...That’s no excuse, however, for the error.

Thanks for catching this.

David

Emerald City Modelworks

Hi David,

No problem - just wanted to make sure people knew what they were getting... I also look forward to seeing more about this project in the future!

BTW - A 1/16 scale Unisphere would look pretty awesome next to my collection of 1/18 scale diecast cars - Of course, I'd have to store it in my backyard!

Welcome to PTU!

Kevin

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