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    • Mike

      PhotoBucket are no longer permitting 3rd party hosting   01/07/17

      As most of you are now painfully aware, Photobucket (PB) are stopping/have stopped allowing their members to link their accumulated years of photos into forums and the like, which they call 3rd party linking.  You can give them a non-refundable $399 a year to allow links, but I doubt that many will be rushing to take them up on that offer.  If you've previously paid them for the Pro account, it looks like you've got until your renewal to find another place to host your files, but you too will be subject to this ban unless you fork over a lot of cash.   PB seem to be making a concerted move to another type of customer, having been the butt of much displeasure over the years of a constantly worsening user interface, sloth and advertising pop-ups, with the result that they clearly don't give a hoot about the free members anymore.  If you don't have web space included in your internet package, you need to start looking for another photo host, but choose carefully, as some may follow suit and ditch their "free" members at some point.  The lesson there is keep local backups on your hard drive of everything you upload, so you can walk away if the same thing happens.   There's a thread on the subject here, so please use that to curse them, look for solutions or generall grouse about their mental capacity.   Not a nice situation for the forum users that hosted all their photos there, and there will now be a host of useless threads that relied heavily on photos from PB, but as there's not much we can do other than petition for a more equitable solution, I suggest we make the best of what we have and move on.  One thing is for certain.  It won't win them any friends, but they may not care at this point.    Mike.
Admiral Puff

The WNW Camel is coming!

384 posts in this topic

December 22nd. 100th anniversary of the first flight. Guaranteed. (They'd have to be complete and utter prats to miss that date.)

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I do hope so but I am not holding my breath. It will be a sad day if they pull down the shutters soon on what has been a great experiment for modelling kind.

 

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3 hours ago, Beardie said:

I do hope so but I am not holding my breath. It will be a sad day if they pull down the shutters soon on what has been a great experiment for modelling kind.

 

Don't think there's much chance of that, mate - there are far too many of Sir Peter's favourites yet to be kitted (Dolphin, FK8, BE2, 1 1/2 Strutter - the list goes on for ever ...)

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Hope you're right, Puff.  However I fear Beardie might also have something.  As customers we're all three of four steps removed but it does appear that Sir P. might be taking a well-earned step back from his ventures and allowing those "who know what they're doing" to take a stronger role.  Personally I get a hollow feeling (based on personal as well as work experience) when I hear that people "who know what they're doing" are getting involved.  If my perception is right this was started almost as a vanity project as Sir P. could afford it as a bit of fun and if bean counters are introduced . . . , well enough said.  (What exactly is WetaWorkshop anyway, I haven't placed an order since before they appeared?)

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I would not say the end...WNW has a habit of releasing surprise kits.  They'll pop the Camel out...and probably something like a Be2c or FK.8 to go with it.

 

I'll admit I think the Felixstowe was a poor seller, I doubt we'll see WNW do another multi-engine airplane for a long time.

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17 hours ago, Beardie said:

I do hope so but I am not holding my breath. It will be a sad day if they pull down the shutters soon on what has been a great experiment for modelling kind.

 

 

I have to say I agree and share the above sentiment and whilst hoping I have never been more wrong in my life, I do wonder if the Camel will be a 'swansong' kit for WNW? I base that upon the fact that (a) it is over 12 months now since they last released a new kit of any sort (b) More kits are going OOP over the past 2 years or so than new releases, (c) all the 'Q&A' interviews with the WNW team which were fairly frequent in the hobby media have completely dried up in the last 18 months or so as have the frequent advertising of their products in magazines (d) nothing whatsoever inc. rumours of any 'new' or 'pending' projects etc. other than the Camel.

 

Last but not least, I do wonder what this 'Weta' lark was all about shifting their entire stock over to Holland from NZ which must have been a logistical feat and not cheap either and as such, they must have had to sell a lot of (extra) kits just to recoup the commercial costs of that exercise alone. Why not charge the post but send them from NZ as before? Unless the NZ side of things are winding down (for whatever reason) why would they transfer all the logistical side to Weta as WNW were renowned throughout the hobby as being a first class act in terms of shipping and customer service? My own hunch and again I hope I am waaaay wide of the mark, is they were just offloading remaining stock to possibly wrap up the NZ side of things.

 

Ultimately time will tell but personally I see no positive indicators looking forward but plenty of ominous ones. A real shame as I had such high hopes on eventually seeing some French SPADS and Nieuports....please WNW, prove me wrong!

 

Gary

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Been thinking about this and I wonder if the move to Weta is indeed part of a 'winding-up' of the company. As I understand it Weta Workshop are a company which Sir Peter was involved with (although I believe that I read that he had resigned from the company) who are basically a special effects,prop and movie memorabilia company and so have a distribution network in place. Because Weta have taken charge of all the product Wingnut Wings no longer need their own warehouse in New Zealand or staff to deal with packaging and despatching which is quite possibly a sign that the company is in the process of running down. If this is the case there can only be one assumption drawn and that is that the venture has been very unprofitable and, no matter how much Sir Peter likes his world war one models, I doubt he is daft enough to keep on funding a venture which has probably cost him millions.

 

The worrying aspect for modelling in general is that, if my suspicions are correct, it will be clear to others involved in model manufacture that modellers are not prepared to pay the high prices that are neccessary if you want top class but low demand kits.

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Very succinctly put Marty and as I said myself, this transfer to Weta (who have hardy attracted rave reviews for service and reliability) by WNW who themselves were hobby leaders in service and after sales made no business sense whatsoever in order to 'move forward' any viable business venture.

 

Given Sir Peter Jackson's wealth, it was probably always a billionaire's fantasy indulgence where a bottom line profit was somewhat secondary but like anyone else, people develop and move on and perhaps the initial enthusiasm and vigour that he approached this project with no longer exists?

 

Who knows and let's hope it's not the end....but I feel like I'm witnessing the final phase of a superb company whose products have probably given me more enjoyment in the hobby than anyone else.

 

Gary

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It makes no sense (to me) for WnW to transfer the distribution operation to Weta if the intention was simply to wind it up.  I suspect we'll be surprised by a few new releases shortly. Personally, I'm hoping for a 2F1 release as well as the advertised Camel. 

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Well if Sir Peter passed his remaining stock, a significant portion of which will be sold to the US and UK markets, to Weta who already have facilities for distribution then he no longer needs staff or space to handle that part of the process meaning a reduction in costs. In my last correspondence with Richard Alexander he did say there would be future releases but his exact words were - " Yes there will be other new releases in the future, but what constitutes 'near' is open to some subjectivity." Which I would take to mean that he is still hopeful that things will continue but that it may be a long time before anything new comes out.

 

I did wonder if, perhaps the continuation of the project depends on a significant portion of remaining stock selling with the proceeds funding the future of the company. As we have no idea of just how well kits have sold or indeed even how many of each kit were produced it is very hard to tell just how much of the money invested has been recouped in sales. It may be that there is a rather large amount of loot tied up in boxes still on shelves. I could see a situation where, unless the model buying public continue to buy up existing stock, we won't see any new ones.

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Evening all!

 

my thoughts on this:

 

1/ WNW wouldn't announce a new partnership with Weta if they were just going to wind it up. What has happened there is probably a very careful analysis of the market and the realisation that a lot of the kits are sold to the US/UK markets. If this had been a case of wanting to remove the stock, there would be many better ways than striking a deal with Weta. As a result, I personally would be hugely surprised if this was a winding up move. 

 

2/ regarding remaining stock, I guess that nobody really knows how many of each remain. The Felixstowe, despite being one of the most beautiful kits ever, is really a big and expensive beast. Whereas something like the SE5A would have sold much better. The only people who are likely to have a close idea on this are those involved with the company. It doesn't take much to see how many of their kits have sold out, and I suspect this is the best indication that we will ever have as mere mortals on it.

 

3/ I think that whereas we as enthusiasts have a number of subject that we would love to see made into kits, a lot will depend on what is available in terms of recreations, original drawings and photos. The subjects covered thus far have been more or less plentiful in this aspect, but as the more common types are used up, then expect the research to have to be much deeper and more involved into each kit. Hence why I suspect that they are talking about conjecture of future releases and timescales.

 

4/ i suspect we will see 2/3 kits released when the Camel comes. These will be a surprise and WNW has always had a little xmas surprise or two lined up.

 

The WNW kits remain a labour of love for the designers and those who are involved in the projects. However, in my honest opinion, talk of them winding down is very premature. There's plenty more for them to do, and I suspect that we'll see some of these fruits of their labours soon. I also suspect that in the challenging world economy of the moment, that unless you are a major producer with a good bank roll on board, that things might well slow down a bit anyway. But as far as I can tell, WNW are here to stay... and any talk of them winding up will just push the value of our stashes up even more!!!

 

All the best,

 

Chris 

 

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I surely hope you are right Chris but I am not taking any chances and I am dedicating whatever I have spare to acquiring copies of the available kits. I have managed to get twenty six kits together so far so about halfway there.

 

It would be great if the people at Wingnut Wings would give us some indication of what the future holds. They always seem to employ a sort of cloak and dagger approach to business which does not build confidence or put their customers at ease.

 

The thing about the shift to retailing through Weta is that it would be of little trouble as I gather they are in roughly the same location and Sir Peter has had a long association with Weta workshop who made much of the props and costume for his movies and,he was formerly a sleeping director of Weta (I understand that he resigned as he felt he was not involved enough on a day to day basis to comply with new Health and Safety legislation) so the transfer was basically from one hand to the other.

 

It is getting a bit late in the year for surprise Christmas releases as, if they don't come very soon a lot of people will have committed their Christmas funds to other things and won't be able to treat themselves to a Wingnut or two. I know that my missus has committed the funds to gawd knows what pressies for me (I can't think of anything at all I want or need apart for more Wingnuts and some nice figures) and so it is too late for her to buy me any Wingnuts.

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Beardie,

 

maybe they know that the average modeller has no chance of getting any kits off their spouses for xmas! 😂

 

I still say I'll be very strongly surprised if they wind down. 

 

Oh oh and I recommend the approach of buying as and when you can do! It's what got me all of mine, and you never know when the next one might go pop off the radar!

 

Chris 

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I know that I am getting a brace of Wingnuts for Christmas :yahoo: and I have a reserve strategy in case the Camel does appear.

I hope that the Wingnuts ball keeps rolling as there are many more aircraft I would like to see kitted but my gut feeling is that the future of the company depends on continued (and increased) sales of the existing stock. I do see the shift to Weta as a cost cutting measure and it would be entirely logical that Sir Peter would make the project have to fund itself through sales rather than continuing to sink money into the business while unsold stock piles up in the warehouse.

 

Let's all hope that rumours of the company's demise are premature but please everybody continue to buy up copies of the existing models. They may be expensive but they are worth it and I believe the future of top quality models depends on the Wingnut Wings approach being a success.

 

 

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Oh bother- caught out by the ol' "Psst, there's another page after this comment..." syndrome.

Edited by gingerbob

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21 hours ago, Beardie said:

". . . modellers are not prepared to pay the high prices that are neccessary if you want top class but low demand kits."

 

FWIW, I had few qualms about paying the price (and even the legitimate HMRC dues) but the highway robbery involved with ParcelFarce really stuck in my craw, so I restricted my purchases to five or six kits at a time when an attractive new release prompted the step.

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One advantage of the European operation for me is that I won't have to take half a day off work to pick up the kits from the customs house in Heidelberg!

If the Camel doesn't make it in time for Christmas, chances are that it will in time for my birthday. I can be patient.

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Some interesting comments and observations and I just hope the more optimistic ones prove to be correct.

 

BTW - 'GOTHA" has now sold out today as well making it 16 kits OOP by my reckoning .

 

Gary

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With the Gotha going OOP, I think it can be argued that these model kits remain aspirational to many model makers, and eventually even the slow sellers will go... it's taken a while though!!

 

 

 

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I emailed Weta about Gotha stock availability over the weekend.

This was their reply.

I guess when they say limited they really do mean limited. :D

 

Dec 5, 12:56 NZDT

Hi Martin,

Thanks for your email,

There is no stock in the US or EU warehouse. There is very limited stock available in New Zealand.

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Glad I got me one of those a while back, thanks to Sean 'Bushbrit66' :D

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I picked one up from Hobbylink Japan.  Should not have done it, but....

 

Anyway, I firmly believe that WNW is a business.  Peter Jackson isn't losing money.  And some of their last subjects have been perplexing...the backbreakingly expensive Felixstowe and AEGs, followed by the Albatros B.2?  I think they're realizing they need to put out a hot seller or two.  Like the Camel.  If you're making First World War kits, the Camel and Fokker Triplane are the silver bullets - sure to sell well.

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Well I am not so sure of that Wingnut Wings actually has a goal of making money. Some time ago I asked a few questions of Richard Alexander about the likelihood of the 'Sold out' kits (i.e the best sellers)  being re-released and his reply could be summed up as -  "We are not about making kits because they sell well and make money and so have no interest in dedicating resourses to making more copies of these kits preferring to concentrate on developing more new and never before available models although we have had to put up prices and end free shipping in an attempt to come closer to a break even situation."

 

If this is truly the case then it is to be saluted as an altruistic approach to enriching the world of the model builder and World War One aviation history buff albeit a suicidal one from a business point of view.

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