Online, Rafel goes by the name Rallbart. He has long had a Shapeways shop full of detailed 3-D printed bits for our models. I have been interested in a lot of those parts for a while. But recently, he has begun selling completed mods.
One of his latest projects is this beautiful replica of the TFC Switch that is typically installed during Issue 43. While the Eaglemoss version is comprised of 3 pieces of plastic with a sticker, Rafel’s is handmade from eighteen different pieces of steel, aluminum, acrylic, and 3-D printed resin. It also includes accurate paintwork and miniature bits that really bring it to life. See for yourself:
When you compare it to the Eaglemoss part, the improvements are remarkable. I found a photo online of the original part to show the differences (I borrowed this photo and will replace it with one of my own when I get the relevant issue):
The cost of Rafel’s TFC Switch is €39 plus shipping. It is quite delicate, but the handle turns as expected. If you feel details like these would improve your build experience, reach out to Rafel and pick one up! He can be reached via his YouTube channel and can ship anywhere in the world. It only took about a week to get mine.
Throughout the subscription build of their 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean partwork build-up, Eaglemoss offers five ‘Special Issues’. These issues are automatically sent, and are billed in addition to the monthly subscription. If you do not wish to receive them, you must notify Eaglemoss in advance via phone at (800) 261-6898 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Back To The Future co-creator/co-screenwriter Bob Gale returns with all new tales from the twisting and turning timeline that made Back To The Future a, well…. TIMELESS pop-culture phenomenon!
From the Old West forward to the 1980s, from the 21st Century back to the Jurassic Period… and every time in between… Doc, Marty, along with their friends and enemies, embark on time-space continuum adventures of epic proportions!”
The Eaglemoss version is a 74-page full color hard cover book. Inside, the tales continue from the first volume, starting in Spring 1986. It contains stories about Doc being gone and Marty’s reaction, letters from 1893’s Clara, and more. Like the first, it was entertaining and provides more backstory to many of the characters in the Back to the Future universe.
Eaglemoss supplies a lot of different screws during the build of their 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean partwork build-up model. Since I am waiting for my next shipment, I took some time to dig into the details of them all and write up The Screws page.
Well, the transmission pains of the Eaglemoss 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean partwork continue. Eaglemoss previously delayed my Issues 15-18 due to a back order of the manual transmission parts contained in Issue 16. Now, the other relevant parts (the manual transmission mounts in Issue 23) are not available. This will delay my April shipment of issues 23-26. They are expecting a restock within 7-10 days from today, so it could be May before I can get to this part of the build.
However, I am not upset about it at this point. I appreciate the fact that they are trying to ship the correct manual transmission parts to their US subscribers. Other countries got the automatic transmission first and had to tear down the car later when the right parts finally showed up. I understand that logistics can be a nightmare when you don’t control the manufacturing process, so I am giving them a break.
In the meantime, I have signed up for two other Eaglemoss partwork builds that just became available in the US:
The ‘D’ is my favorite Enterprise. I know this model may have some inaccuracies, but I am looking forward to it all the same.
UPDATE: I spoke with Eaglemoss a week after this post and Issue 23 was still on back order with no ETA (those darn transmission mounts). I did find out that when any issue goes on back order, it does in fact delay the rest of the entire subscription. It effectively puts the build on hold.
UPDATE May 13, 2019: The transmission mounts are still on back order, so the wait continues. I did check on my subscriptions with Eaglemoss and they apologized and generously offered me a 20% discount on all of my remaining issues. I’d say that is worth the delay. And in return, I signed up for another new Eaglemoss build: their 1:8 scale Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. This is by far one of my favorite cars!
I saw the real thing when I visited the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, Germany a couple of years ago:
UPDATE May 31, 2019: Well, the back order is still in place for Issue 23, and now Phase 1 of the 300 SL is also out of stock. What bugs me about these delays is that they put the entire subscription on hold. They do not send any issues at all for as long as the back order exists. So, it could take even more years to finish these things at this rate. I am keeping my fingers crossed they get their logistics under control soon…
UPDATE June 29, 2019: I spoke to Eaglemoss a few more times and Issue 23 is *still* unavailable. However, this time, I was able to get them to skip the issue and continue the subscription with issues 24-27. These should ship next week. I have heard that the missing issue may become available near the end of August and I will be able to get it installed then. Good news is that I did receive Issue 1 of the Mercedes 300 SL and have started another site for it: my300sl.com. I also started sites for some other new partwork builds such as: myjamesbonddb5.com, myterminatort800.com and mynissangt-r.com.
UPDATE July 13, 2019: I was able to purchase an Issue 23 from another builder via a Facebook DeLorean Trading group. I can now continue my build and have posted up all my latest issues. There is still no ETA on when I will get *my* copy of the missing issue from Eaglemoss.
UPDATE August 21, 2019: Eaglemoss finally sent me Issue 23 along with with Issues 32-34.
Just when you think Mike Lane has done it all, he creates even more! This time around, he has added a few new items for the Mr. Fusion reactor on the Eaglemoss 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean partwork model. I quickly ordered two of these new products and will happily add them to my build. I also picked up a set of his Mini Cable Ties in black for some of the interior wiring, but this post is for the Mr. Fusion mods.
Mr. Fusion Vinyl Wrap
As most builders know, the completed Mr. Fusion has three ugly screw holes on the passenger side. Mike has created this vinyl wraparound sticker to cover up these holes and fix the incorrect graphics Eaglemoss used.
Additionally, Mike has also created a Mr. Fusion Transfers kit containing just the graphics in dry transfer format. This is for those builders who want to actually fill, sand, *and* repaint the entire Mr. Fusion. I didn’t want to go this far so I did not order this, but it is there for those who do:
Mr. Fusion Fuel
This product is more of a novelty display item instead of a correction to the model. It consists of the 1:8 scale Miller Lite beer can and a couple of old banana peels as seen at the end of the first film to power Mr. Fusion. Mike also includes a plastic disc that is mounted under the reactor bodywork to keep them from disappearing. These will add a very nice touch to the completed model.
If you are interested in any of these mods, click on over to Mike Lane Mods and pick them up before they disappear!
Check out my updated Issue 04 for my own installation details and more pictures. This is the end result compared to the original: