Jump to content

Wingnut Wings... We Really Did Lose Something Special


Recommended Posts

All-

 

I was reflecting this morning while perusing my WnW USAS Camel kit, and realized what a true loss we have suffered for us LSP WWI builders. What hit me is that we've lost a business that truly put research into new WWI kits, and pumped them out on a pretty regular basis. While Meng did release their Dr.1, the kit was basically "ready for print" and I presume that's why they picked it up. I don't imagine Meng is going to research and develop any further WWI subjects in 1/32... we may see them release other former WnW kits (if they bought up the molds), but likely nothing new.

 

Copper State is the new game in town for 1/32 WWI gems, and while I certainly love what they are putting out, we did suffer a loss, from the development standpoint, when WnW shuttered their doors. The promise of several unique and awesome WWI kits in our scale took a huge hit. I can only hope that the kit research and development team from WnW gets on with another outfit, or starts anew with their own company. Until then, we're going to see a lot less new WWI stuff that we had grown accustomed to over the last decade.

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree Dennis. They set the bar high, but are now gone. It is unlikely we will see kits to that standard again. I would part with many kits out of my stash, but not those. They are their own unique model currency.

ICM will have to get a lot more prolific to even come close. They could start by releasing a Do-17; extremely unlikely at bèst.

Link to post
Share on other sites

True enough. Despite the fact that I like WWI aviation in general, at least my two all-time favorites, the Fokker D.VII and Dr.I are either already in my stash (three D.VIIs) or will soon be grabbed (the Meng kit), so I'm a pretty happy guy, regardless. I certainly did miss an opportunity to load up on some Albatros D's though, currently having but one in my stash. What I regret the most, is that we'll now never see the Albatros D.II or D.III from them, which I was always totally confident they'd eventually do, as well as the Fokker D.III.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think they have a warehouse full of stock left. After completing the orders placed via the website, it appears they shipped the remaining stock to Hannants and MBK before letting Weta have the remains. The website will be there for a while yet but I wouldn't be surprised if that too eventually disappears.

 

There's no official word on what's happening with the molds but PJ is notorious for not letting others ride off his coat tails - he keeps some of the props from his movies for himself for example, but makes sure the remainder and the sets are destroyed so they can't be used in other films. Frankly, I'm amazed that Meng managed to release the Dr.I and I can only assume it was done as a deal in lieu of payment for the work they'd already completed for WNW.

 

I think we can assume that, unless PJ changes his mind at some point in the future, this is in fact the end.

Edited by vince14
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, mozart said:

In my book, ICM and Lukgraph in particular are more special. 

Your book is very, very strange. WNW made 70 odd kits of some of the very finest 1/32 models on the planet in the space of 10 years, birthing a cottage industry of WWI 1/32 aviation as a result.

 

ICM are not anywhere remotely near that, both in terms of quality & quantity, whilst Lukgraph kits are nice enough, but largely resin, not many of them, & damned expensive. Both decent, but I've never heard anybody claim they are more "special" than WNW. Is this a widely held belief?

 

 

22 hours ago, ringleheim said:

Roden has announced that it is going to get back in the 1/32 WWI game, now that WNW is out of it.

 

Hopefully the can up their game and deliver some nice kits.

 

CSM did a great job with the Nieuports, but they are a tiny, 2 or 3 man company AFAIK.

 

 

Don't overlook Roden's existing 1/32 WWI kits. They are older and cheaper than WNW's, but they are pretty damned good kits, well within the purview of any decent modeller. Their Albatros D.I & D.III get particularly overlooked following WNW's D.V's, but for around £30 they are superb value.

 

Agree that CSM are just too small and have fingers in other pies to concentrate on 1/32 WWI aviation, especially as their much heralded Nieuport line of kits failed to sell as well as expected.

 

 

3 hours ago, Pup7309 said:

Demise is a better word than end. The website is up for now and they still have a warehouse full of stock. A shame it’s likely we won’t see any more kits from them. It will be interesting to see how it all ends

Still in denial? Despite the staff having all been sacked? Despite the website not taking orders for many, many months? Despite the remaining WNW kits having been sold to MBK & Hannants? Despite the WNW Fokker Triplane turning into the Meng Fokker Triplane? Despite the availability of WNW kits declining so much as to double & triple prices? Despite former staff confirming that the company has ceased working, besides filling older, pre-shutdown orders? Despite hearing directly from former staff that the company abruptly ceased, with zero warning, with all work ceasing stone dead and part-completed projects just abandoned? Despite the company now being managed by Wingnut company accountants? Despite TVA also massively reducing its operations, with similar staff cuts & zero investment? 

 

I fear we have already seen how it all ends, because it has ended already.

 

However, your optimism is marvelous. 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, vince14 said:

I don't think they have a warehouse full of stock left. After completing the orders placed via the website, it appears they shipped the remaining stock to Hannants and MBK before letting Weta have the remains. The website will be there for a while yet but I wouldn't be surprised if that too eventually disappears.

 

There's no official word on what's happening with the molds but PJ is notorious for not letting others ride off his coat tails - he keeps some of the props from his movies for himself for example, but makes sure the remainder and the sets are destroyed so they can't be used in other films. Frankly, I'm amazed that Meng managed to release the Dr.I and I can only assume it was done as a deal in lieu of payment for the work they'd already completed for WNW.

 

I think we can assume that, unless PJ changes his mind at some point in the future, this is in fact the end.

I still believe that money talks, even with PJ. The moulds are worth something, and it would take a particularly pig-headed person to turn down good, hard cash purely out of some spiteful, selfish desire to stop others enjoying them. 

So I think that at least some of the  kits will reappear eventually, in the not too distant future, under new ownership.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

Copper State is a tiny operation, I'm not even sure the 2 guys (I believe) who own it do it as their full daytime job.

 

But they've already announced 3 new WWI kits and they are on the way.  

 

I don't think PUP is in denial about WNW.

 

Regarding the warehouse with stock: the kits that have been available over the last few months at places like MBK, Hannants, Andy's Hobby Headquarters, etc., were just a smattering of the current inventory.

All sorts of current production kits (i.e., non-retired) were never available from anyone over the last few months.

 

The Stahltaube is just 1 example.  Most of that stuff was coming from regional hubs where product had been stockpiled, having already left New Zealand.

 

In theory, there should still be a bunch of kits sitting in a warehouse in Wellington.

 

I do agree though, that as time goes on without these warehouse kits surfacing, they are unlikely to! 

 

I also think, down the road, Meng or other model companies who did the tooling/molding work for WNW kits of the past might re-pop them.  That's purely a question of whether or not Peter Jackson wants to sign his name and make a little bit of money.

 

He allegedly has $500 million US, but you can always do with a bit more! 

 

Again, if 5 years from now nothing like that has happened, it probably won't. 

 

But for now, we don't know.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that WnW did, was show the business viability of high quality kits of uncommon types. 

 

Before WnW came along, there was a bit of interest in largescale WW1 aircraft, but nowhere to the degree of how popular it became after their kits were released. Everywhere you looked, people were trying their hand at a WWI Biplane. 

Sure, that meant that most of the other WW1 kits were overshadowed, but hopefully now that the seed of interest has been planted and the fear multiple-winged aircraft has somewhat dissipated, more people will try their hand at building other brand's WW1 kits. 

 

The guys involved did a historically monumental job of producing those kits, and the best thing we can do is honor their work by actually building the things!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your book is very, very strange. WNW made 70 odd kits of some of the very finest 1/32 models on the planet in the space of 10 years, birthing a cottage industry of WWI 1/32 aviation as a result.

 

ICM are not anywhere remotely near that, both in terms of quality & quantity, whilst Lukgraph kits are nice enough, but largely resin, not many of them, & damned expensive. Both decent, but I've never heard anybody claim they are more "special" than WNW. Is this a widely held belief?

 

ST Williams: 

I really don't care whether it's a widely held belief or not, it's my personal belief.

Edited by mozart
Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, RadBaron said:

One thing that WnW did, was show the business viability of high quality kits of uncommon types.

 

If they were viable (in other words, if they had been paying for themselves) we wouldn't have seen the end of WnW.  So based on my knowledge of the model hobby business, business in general, economics in general, and what was said in the Australian podcast about WnW specifically, kits of esoteric subjects with little or no historical relevance and/or gigantic size (and complexity, and cost) simply are *not* viable.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • LSP_K2 changed the title to Wingnut Wings... We Really Did Lose Something Special
4 hours ago, vince14 said:

PJ is notorious for not letting others ride off his coat tails - he keeps some of the props from his movies for himself for example, but makes sure the remainder and the sets are destroyed so they can't be used in other films.


I’ve read that Kubrick did the same after completing “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the same reason, but with a snooty twist: he didn’t want the models re-used for “inferior” films. A few items survived, fortunately. No matter how badly Jackson might wish to be like Kubrick (he’s got the hairy and rumpled look down pat), I tend to think he’s not so controlling that he’d put the molds to the torch, and might not have that authority anymore.

 

Who knows? Decades from now, LSPers might be hotly debating a rumor that the WNW molds went down with a sinking cargo ship.

 

Adam

Edited by adameliclem
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...