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Frequently asked questions about Thachweave Products:

What are these bumpers made from?

The bumpers are hand-woven from cotton crochet thread.  As a result, each set is slightly different and unique; of course, this also means that your model will be slightly more different and unique.

How come these bumpers are so expensive?

It's all relative, I suppose.  Unlike most aftermarket products such as resin, photoetched or decals, the bulk of the effort that goes into these bumpers is not the research and development and pattern making.  Rather, because they are hand-woven, each set of bumpers takes a significant amount of time to make.  We're not amortizing relatively expensive development costs over relatively cheap production costs, but rather putting the same amount of effort into each product that we produce.  We also think that these bumpers significantly affect the appearance of a model, so compared to some commonly used aftermarket items that improve a model by a matter of degree, these bumpers have good "bang for the buck."  The photo below speaks to this point:

One of our bumpers is at the top, while a kit part from the Italeri 1/35 LCM (3) kit is below.

What are the advantages of these bumpers over plastic or resin equivalents?

Because the bumpers are woven, they can be positioned in realistic and unique ways on your model, unlike plastic or resin parts.  Much like workable individual link tracks, these bumpers have a natural sag that solid pieces lack.  Also, the bumpers could be distressed realistically by actually fraying the threads that the bumpers are woven from, allowing you to give your vehicle wear and tear that would be almost impossible to simulate otherwise.  And I just think they look cooler.

How hard are the bumpers to install?

The bumpers are not difficult to install, but some modifications will have to be done to a few of the parts on the Italeri DUKW kit.  Additionally, you may wish to replace some of the plastic tie-downs in the kit with metal rod replacements.  The instructions which come with the bumpers give additional pointers for installation.

How do I weather the bumpers?

Because the bumpers are woven from thread, you can weather them in somewhat unusual (yet realistic) ways.  In particular, they can be dyed using a variety of liquids; brewed coffee and soya sauce have been used successfully, for instance.

What's the extra rope included for?

We’ve thrown in some extra rope to allow you to make repairs to the bumpers if anything should go awry during installation or weathering.  You can also use the thread to practice weathering techniques on, create mooring lines, replace anchor lines, or hook up the bumpers in some of the myriad of ways shown in reference photos.

"Custom work," you say?  What kind of custom work?  Is it going to cost me an arm and a leg?

We suspect that there are many applications out there for these bumpers (and stuff like them) that you may think of which we haven't yet, or things which we don't have a kit to use to make masters from (for instance, a 1/35 scale Sherman BARV).  If you can provide us with details of what you want (preferably including some photos and scale drawings of the vehicle), then we'll make a set for you.  The cost of any custom sets would be basically equivalent to stuff already in our line.  For instance, if you need four rope bumpers to hang off of a Sherman BARV, then it would probably cost somewhere around the price of the 1/35 scale GPA or DUKW sets.  The other big application for this would be with large scale boats, either static or radio-controlled models.  As I said, if you provide us with information about what you would like, we'll do our best to meet your needs.

What's with the name?  How come you spelled "thatch" wrong?

Actually, the name doesn't refer to the pattern used to make the roof of the huts on "Gilligan's Island" (not that there's anything wrong with that).  Rather, it refers to the innovative fighter tactic developed by Commander James S. Thach, commander of the US Navy's VF-3 fighter squadron in early 1942 and one of the great fighter leaders of all time.  Thach's tactic, the Thach Weave, involved pairs of fighters flying abreast of each other.  If an enemy fighter tried to get on a fighter's tail, he would turn towards his wingman, thereby allowing the wingman to get a shot at the attacker.  The Thach Weave became a basic part of fighter tactics, and is used even today.

The first engagement that the Thach Weave was used was during the battle of Midway, when Thach and two of his wingmen engaged in a huge dogfight with approximately 30 Japanese Zeros on June 4, 1942.  The American pilots were able to shoot down four Japanese fighters without loss to themselves.  That dogfight is one of the classic fighter engagements in history; anybody interested in reading more about Thach and his contributions to aerial combat would be well-advised to read John Lundstrom's superb The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway.

I've always been a great admirer of Jimmy Thach, so I was happy that the name of his maneouvre seemed appropriate as a name for our company.  That's why there are a pair of F4F Wildcats in our logo, too.

Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions for new products?  Please contact us.

Last Updated June 20, 2015