|Newsletter & Customer Feedback|
Newsletter - May 18th 2013.
If an e-mail dialogue box doesn't open when you click on the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail link at the top right corner of this page, or you get an error message of some kind, that means that the e-mail programme or web browser on your computer isn't compatible with mine. Type either the address above or email@example.com into whatever e-mail programme you use, just as you would to send any other e-mail. I'm usually able to respond to e-mails within 24 hours or so, but bear in mind that I do go away from time to time, both on holiday and on other business. Also, I'm often out for short periods during the day, or too occupied to pick up the phone, so e-mail is often the best way for any enquiries, especially anything needing some thought, or more than a brief answer. I receive a lot of e-mails and try to respond to all of them, but inevitably the odd one gets missed or lost, so if you don't receive a reply within a day or two please resend it, and don't leave the subject box blank. If you do that, my ISP and anti-virus sometimes treats quite innocent messages as spam, and banishes them to a spam folder where they can be lost forever.
New Postage/Carriage charges from April 2013.
Royal Mail Parcelforce who I've used to send out almost all UK orders for many years have revised their prices and terms. The cost to me of sending out most hulls by mail has more than doubled from the beginning of April, yes that's right, more than double, they increase prices this time each year, but never before on this scale, so it's "Goodbye Parcelforce".
But now some better news, I've sorted out a deal with a leading UK parcel carrier, and have been able to reduce some carriage charges to not much more than their previous levels. Important to note though, that this carrier insists on a phone number for each delivery address, their forms won't complete without one, so if you don't provide a daytime number with your order, that could delay things a little while I chase you for one. One other change is that there's now a surcharge for anything sent to addresses in Highlands & Islands including Isle of Wight & Channel Isles, and also Northern Ireland, so best to check with me first if you live in any of these areas. I'm sticking with an international carrier I've been using for a while for deliveries outside the UK, but this one also insists on a phone contact number for every delivery. Things are working well with both carriers, most UK deliveries are the day following collection, and the other carrier recently managed a door to door delivery to a customer in New York in under 48 hours, so while I'm having to charge a little more in some cases, the service has actually improved.
The Website Order Form.
At long last I've found time to update and improve the site's order form, it's all a lot better than what was there before. You have two choices now, the form is available both as a PDF file, and as a Word document, and you can fill in the Word one online. Just type in all the necessary information, taking care not to leave anything out, save and copy, and send it me in an e-mail, saying whether it's a definite order, or if you just want confirmation of postage/shipping prices etc, and if you'd like me to send you a PayPal payment request if that's the way you want to pay. If you'd rather pay by cheque or similar method, then print out the form and send it with the payment. Now, I know that not everyone has MS Word on their computer, so if that's the case, open the PDF version of the form, complete all the information requested, then print it and either mail or e-mail to me.
The latest - Falmouth River Boat/Oyster Dredger.
Although I've tried competitive sailing myself, both with IOM one metres and a Laser, I've decided that it's not really for me, so I lean more towards the scale side. A recent request from a trade customer, The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth no less, was for a small semi-scale gaff-rigged design, and they wanted quite a lot of these. The result is a FALMOUTH WORKBOAT, which is more or less the same as a FALMOUTH OYSTER DREDGER, several of which are still working in the Fal estuary in Cornwall today. It had to be a handy size, so the moulded hull itself is fairly small at 540 x 180mm about 22" x 7", it has an enlarged keel, so that all necessary lead ballast can be contained within the hull. It's just entering production, and first deliveries have already gone to the NNM and a couple of trade customers, and it sails beautifully. I'll be adding it to the range once I've done a drawing and sailplan etc to accompany the hull, the fully rigged completed model measures about 910mm x 910mm, or 36" x 36", so it will sit quite happily on the back seat of most cars. Watch this page for updated details. I've tried to keep this design as simple as possible, and the model pictured here is the one I built myself. It was quite quick and easy to make, and they can be made as simple or detailed as the mood takes you. I'm hoping to have the final plans finished quite soon, but if anyone who thinks they're expert enough with scale sailing craft like this to build a model without one, these hulls are available right now.
My Steam Yacht.
A newish model from the Kingston Mouldings workshop as yet un-named, but all mine and most definitely not for sale. If enough people tell me they're interested, then I'll add the hull and plan to the range. The basis for this new creation is a modified version of my 1904 Windermere open launch hull, but moulded with bulwarks, and everything else is wood built up the old fashioned way, I like ‘traditional’ modelling methods. The steam plant is an SVS unit, all quite extensively re-built and modified by retired engineer friend the now sadly late Ted Hodson, who also helped by doing a fair amount of painting and finishing work on the model to speed things up, he was getting rather impatient with my slow rate of progress.
And now, African Queen.
It's been a while since anything new has been added to the range, but at long last, the one that many have been waiting for is here, the ever popular open steam launch AFRICAN QUEEN. I've done it at one tenth scale, which makes it around 930mm x 270mm, or 36½" x 10½". With those distinctive hull strakes, it hasn't been an easy one to make, and research has proved especially difficult. I've lost count of the number of times I've sat through the film DVD to try to gain fresh info on the boat, and I know almost all the dialogue for both Humphrey and Katherine off by heart. As all who have seen the film will know, the boat that they used was pretty rough and battered in appearance. I haven’t reproduced this effect on my hull, no dents but not a polished high gloss finish either, so you could also use this hull for a model of several other period launches if you want to. I first thought that it would be a relatively simple matter of scaling up the little Billings kit design, but not at all, the original boat from the film still survives, but some time after filming, the boat was altered substantially, also the dummy steam plant used for filming was replaced by a completely different functioning one, all of which means that the Billings version doesn't represent the film boat at all. Naturally, no useful drawings of the original exist, but I think I've managed to do justice to the true AFRICAN QUEEN design in the end. Of course, a detailed scale drawing is supplied, and some pics of an excellent finished AFRICAN QUEEN have just been added to the AQ page on this site.
Some not very good news for most customers outside the UK and Europe. I can still send any hull in the current range to any European address, but it has become more expensive to send anything over one metre long to most countries farther afield because of postal size limits, and that includes the USA and Australia. The only way that I can send big hulls to most non-European counties now is by an airfreight service like UPS. These charge by volume rather than weight, so shipping costs to an address in the US and most other places are higher than airmail prices, though the service is both fast and reliable. E-mail your requirements, and I can usually get back to you with a firm quote within a day or two. Ordering more than one hull at the same time makes the cost per hull much cheaper of course, and everyone so far has been very happy with the service.
02 - 04 - 13 - INCREASED UK POSTAGE/CARRIAGE CHARGE Please check these carefully, or contact for a quote before ordering.
08 - 10 - 12 - NEW ORDER FORMS in both MS Word and PDF format. All seems to be OK now, but if you encounter problems, please let me know.
25 - 08 - 12 - Website transferred to NEW HOSTING COMPANY. All seems to be working well, but please report any problems to me ASAP.
09 - 05 - 12 - Following Royal Mail's recent price increases, a little re-wording of P & P CHARGES, but no significant increases for the time being.
05 - 12 - 11 - New PRICE LIST - first general increase for almost three years, but it had to come eventually didn't it?
22 - 11 - 11 - Details and pic of new FALMOUTH WORKBOAT added to Newsletter page.
02 - 06 - 10 - Yet another update on ORDERING & PAYMENT information for customers outside the UK.
09 - 04 - 10 - Additions and updates to the BARGAIN BUYS page.
21 - 09 - 09 - Updated ORDERING & PAYMENT information for customers outside the UK.
28 - 01 - 09 - Latest German Type 142 Schnellboot hull added to the BARGAIN BUYS page.
10 - 10 - 08 - Yet more additions to the BARGAIN BUYS page.
27 - 08 - 08 - New pics added, and revised text on AFRICAN QUEEN page.
04 - 03 - 08 - New page added for open steam launch AFRICAN QUEEN, also featured on price list and Newsletter pages.
08 - 03 - 08 - Updated text added to the SPIRIT IOM one metre yacht page.