GEEKHACK SETS ARE UP ON THE STORE. DON IS AWESOME. ORDER ORDER ORDER ORDER http://pckeyboard.com/page/category/SBLE <-- ORDER ORDER ORDER ORDER
Executive Summary: Unicomp has agreed to produce red and green versions of their current legend printing process for us _at no cost or minimum order_. In one month, you will be able to order custom unicomp keysets as you always have, but you will have the option to print in blue and red as well as black. I believe this only applies to the ANSI versions of their legends, but they may have a way to work around this. We will know for sure when they have completed their setup process.
Using this red and blue printing option, you will be able to create and order your own variant of red alert using the standard IBM symbols and modifier legends as well as all the key colors that unicomp currently offers. The price per order will be close if not identical to unicomp's current pricing (extremely reasonable compared to all our sources for MX caps), but as we did not pay a setup fee, they are free to adjust this as they need to.
For more details and clever text designed to get you hyped, see the thread below!
Note additionally that the photos below are mockups created by hashbaz to demonstrate the "red alert" concept to unicomp and are not exactly representative of what you will be able to order in one month (although I will be continuing to work with them to see what elements of these mockups can be produced).
----------------------------------------------------------HUGE UPDATE: UNICOMP IS GOING TO PRODUCE RED AND BLUE LEGENDS. ETA 1 MONTH. SEE: http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?32616-IC-Red-Alert-for-Buckling-Springs&p=618745&viewfull=1#post618745tl;dr: red alert and blue alert will be happening for BS in about a month. unicomp will announce when red and blue legends are available on their website (and in their vendor forum hopefully!). cost will be the same as any other keyset from them (downright cheap!). no group buy will be necessary to purchase such a set.
What if I told you that you could have a genuine PBT dye sub RED ALERT keyset?
You might say "well, what's the catch? I mean, I love RED ALERT, I love PBT, and I love dye sub keys.. is each set going to cost me a ton of money, and am I going to have to wait for months for production of a huge batch like with SP?"
and then I'd say "no, no and NO!"
and then you might say "ok, ok, slow down here turbo. There has to be a catch..."
and then I'd say "well, do you own an IBM Model M, M13, SSK or Unicomp buckling spring keyboard? are you willing to share the cost of setup fees in the first batch of keys?"
and then you'd say, well, I don't know what you'd say, but let me just show you these mockups that hashbaz slaved away on tonight, feverish with the desire to cover his Ms and SSKs with the playful yet restrained, classy yet daring, RED ALERT LEGEND SET
Here's the legend set we're looking for in black. Bit boring, right? black alert? wtf, right?
BUT THEN IT GOES RED. WOAH, ALERT!?!? RED ALERT?!?! WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!?!
this last one we probably won't be able to get because it involves two text colors, unfortunately, but I'll see what unicomp says. If we're limited to a single text color (which I think we will be), we could do a slight variation on this by doing a green or violet numrow with red text, or something similar. remember, we're just paying to set them up to print our legend sheet in red text (the jury's still out on whether they'll still be able to print it in black after the conversion process). you can choose whatever keycap colors you want to print on when you pay for your particular set(s).
moreover, keep in mind that there's no quantity requirement for keysets like there is for SP, and once the legend sheet is set up, unicomp will be able to get you a printed keyset with a lead time of ONE DAY. unicomp is awesome folks, and i know we have a lot of Ms and unicomps out there, so let's get cracking on ways to pay for their setup costs.
BORING, ORIGINAL IC IS BELOW
I've been pestering unicomp about making us some awesome custom keysets, and I have the following good news to impart:
1) They can do custom legend sheets in the color of our choice for a one-time setup fee of 800$ per legend sheet. This is about 32$/set for an order of 25 sets. Given the density of Ms on this board, I think we can do much better than that. So, we can customize font, symbols, all legend details, as well as print in a non-black color for a one-time fee that seems absorbable by a single well-run GB.
2) They are going to start rolling out non-grey/black > 1x sized keys starting in July.
3) After the setup fee has been paid, keyset orders/re-orders maintain unicomp's excellent and pragmatic pricing. 25$/set for their standard plastic colors, with surcharges per colored key.
So, what are the possibilities here? This means we could do a true model M red alert, possibly a dolch-ish set... the possibilities aren't quite endless (they are combinatorially limited), but let's just say they are. For reference, here are the colors they have available: http://pckeyboard.com/page/Buttons/KEY
all plastics are PBT.