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Wingnut Wings... We Really Did Lose Something Special


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I of course have no idea how actual sales went for WNW, but I do recall that way more than once, when a new kit was announced, I'd just scratch my head and wonder why. Some of the very early releases still hadn't sold out, even after nearly ten years of availability, whereas others; Fokker D.VIIs and Albatros Vs, seem to sell out a whole lot quicker. I can easily see why even the most ardent of WWI aviation fans, would balk at some of the bizarre choices of kits released.

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13 hours ago, LSP_K2 said:

I of course have no idea how actual sales went for WNW, but I do recall that way more than once, when a new kit was announced, I'd just scratch my head and wonder why. Some of the very early releases still hadn't sold out, even after nearly ten years of availability, whereas others; Fokker D.VIIs and Albatros Vs, seem to sell out a whole lot quicker. I can easily see why even the most ardent of WWI aviation fans, would balk at some of the bizarre choices of kits released.

As Juggernut said, WnW was for SPJ's amusement and obviously his quirky interests drove the selections, particularly his love of German recon 2-seaters which truth be told mostly look alike. 

 

If their subject choices were more rational and market-driven (like coming out with a Dr.1 and a SPAD about a decade ago instead of all those head-scratchers), they'd have been far more viable long-term, but it is what it is, sadly.

 

They also could have reissued the several sleepers which did very well, like the HB seaplanes, and I will never understand why they didn't make the Rumpler into a D.6 seaplane, it would probably have had the same success as the HBs and brought a lot more appeal to the original kit. Oh well. 

Edited by Basta
Correcting auto-correct
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14 hours ago, Juggernut said:

 

I seem to have read in an article someplace that Sir Peter said that if/when WnW ever stopped being, for lack of the more appropriate term, "fun", he'd close the doors and apparently, that's what happened.  I don't believe it was ever about the "business" for him but more about his passion and interests.  Of course, nobody will ever know unless Sir Peter comes right out and says it but that is what I've read. Let's also be honest...Sir Peter was NOT in it for the money.

You make a good point. How much it was $ viability and how much it’s CEO (Sir PJ) just pulling the plug because it was no longer fun is still largely unknown.

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21 minutes ago, Basta said:

As Juggernut said, WnW was for SPJ's amusement and obviously his quirky interests drove the selections, particularly his love of German recon 2-seaters which truth be told mostly look alike. 

 

If their subject choices were more rational and market-driven (like coming out with a Dr.1 and a SPAD about a decade ago instead of all those head-scratchers), they'd have been far more viable long-term, but it is what it is, sadly.

 

They also could have reissued the several sleepers which did very well, like the HB seaplanes, and I will never understand why they didn't make the Rumpler into a D.6 seaplane, it would probably have had the same success as the HBs and brought a lot more appeal to the original kit. Oh well. 

Good points. Maybe they would have eventually bought a lot more stuff out including a Rumpler floatplane. 
 

Like you mentioned. Ah well. It was what it was. The more obscure projects probably bled money, he lost interest and maybe other factors like use of NZ taxpayer funds killed it off. And Covid was the final straw and used like with companies everywhere to slash staff or close down completely 

Edited by Pup7309
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On 9/11/2020 at 1:03 PM, STWilliams said:

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?

 

 

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.

 

 

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. 

 

 

 

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.   

I agree...the ICM kits have have built and maybe at best average. Nice choice of subjects but very average in fit and detail. And Lukagraph, to me, has zero interesting planes

 

Dave

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Anyone saying the new ICM stuff like Ju-88’s, HE 111’s, Mig-25’s are “average” needs to reassess what they expect in a box.

I’d put up any of those kits on a plastic vs plastic viewpoint dual with any manufacturer.

If ICM’s stuff like the Mig-25 Family is average good luck with other manufacturers..

 

 

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My first sight of a WnW kit was a Albatross at the 2010 IPMS nationals.  I thought it was a roden kit at first so  I talked to the builder and he was praising the kit at every turn and said it was a new company from NZ. Up to that that point I had very little interest in any WWI subject but I did like the Albie, so I ordered one. I built it not long after I got it and there was a rare moment where the modeling world lined up. It was something different, it wasn't ghost gray jets, It fit awesome, didn't take long to make, it looked cool and I enjoyed the build. I have built 17 WnW kits in the last 10 years and  I have acquired many more WnW kits in that time as well, I even bought some British and a French A/C :DodgeBall: :P.

I had a chance to talk to Richard Alexander at the 2018 Nats at length and he is a great guy and a great modeler. My brother joking told me that he thought he saw PJ thinly disguised at the convention to check out things incognito.  :lol:

 

 So yeah I agree we did loose something special but at least it was around for a (quick) ten years to enjoy. It greatly expanded my building scope and knowledge of WWI history. 

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1 hour ago, Darren Howie said:

Anyone saying the new ICM stuff like Ju-88’s, HE 111’s, Mig-25’s are “average” needs to reassess what they expect in a box.

I’d put up any of those kits on a plastic vs plastic viewpoint dual with any manufacturer.

If ICM’s stuff like the Mig-25 Family is average good luck with other manufacturers..

Agreed Darren, I suppose we all have varying expectations and needs when it comes to what's in the box, I have no idea of what "average" means but personally I prefer kits that need some thought, some creativity, some research from me rather than shake 'n bake ones, they bore me.  Others of course will think differently.

Edited by mozart
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Irrespective of all the conjecture, WNW I personally believe are gone for good (and the moulds) and I am so glad I got all I wanted in their range except the 'Taube'. Once everything settles down however with the WNW frenzy buying /selling on eBay etc , then I have some very desirable ones in the range to offer up for trade to anyone who may looking for something else in the months / years ahead. I think for many of us, this may be the way ahead.

 

For me individually, I see their loss to the hobby more of what they would have gone on to produce as much as it is about what has gone before. Probably not the best analogy, but I lament the loss of WNW to be not unlike a great sports star who dies young and then, people speculate as to how 'great' he / she (would) have been and what they would have done in the years ahead had they not left us so early. 

 

Oh well, thanks for all the great memories and for that 'rush' upon opening a new WNW kit and for getting so many of us interested in a genre of the hobby where they would never have considered going before; especially with the fear of tackling wing alignments and rigging which WNW proved didn't have to be difficult.... so long as it was done properly!

 

Gary

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Did people get this involved when Accurate Miniatures closed up?

 

I was too young to really pay attention when it happened, but their kits were also game changers. 

AM DID release kits of wanted kits, yet they too dissappeared 

 

I'm sure there have been plenty of other companies in similar situations. 

Did they get the same attention surrounding their demises.

 

If not, why do you think that is?

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, RadBaron said:

Did people get this involved when Accurate Miniatures closed up?

 

I was too young to really pay attention when it happened, but their kits were also game changers. 

AM DID release kits of wanted kits, yet they too dissappeared 

 

I'm sure there have been plenty of other companies in similar situations. 

Did they get the same attention surrounding their demises.

 

If not, why do you think that is?

 

 

 

I seem to remember much wailing and gnashing of teeth when AM went away as well. Not to this extent but still, there was a crowd who noticed their passing and lamented them.

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2 hours ago, chrish said:

I seem to remember much wailing and gnashing of teeth when AM went away as well. Not to this extent but still, there was a crowd who noticed their passing and lamented them.

I missed the whole Accurate miniatures thing but a modeller told me their Helldiver was an excellent kit. Did their molds get re-popped or did they disappear in a train crash or accident at sea? Just wondering 

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1 hour ago, Pup7309 said:

I missed the whole Accurate miniatures thing but a modeller told me their Helldiver was an excellent kit. Did their molds get re-popped or did they disappear in a train crash or accident at sea? Just wondering 

So was the Avenger, and Il-2, probably others as well.

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