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I had at least the opportunity to look at the prototype. It was displayed at the International Model Exhibition in Dortmund, Germany. I took the picture in March or April 2009 which is 12 years (!!!) ago. At the time I was very excited about the "forthcoming release".  A nice model she might be, if ever produced...

Due to reasons of local data protection / privacy I blanked the face of the gentleman in the background.

Uwe

PICT1184 - Kopie.JPG

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52 minutes ago, Oboship said:

I took the picture in March or April 2009 which is 12 years (!!!) ago.

 

And during those 12 years, kit design has advanced by leaps and bounds -- features-wise, this "new" kit would lag far behind recent releases. Still, it has that magical name attached to it, and that would count for something.

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They used to be one of the most interesting kitmakers, then they simply stop producing anything new at all. They even seamed to have lost the password to their website since it has been completely silent for more than 10 years. 

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I think the window of opportunity is lost concerning that kit. It could had rided on the wave and popularity of the Hollywood movie, but too much time has passed now.

Luckily, I got to see the movie ship in San Diego when I was there on a business trip back in 2012. 

 

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_DSC9356.thumb.jpg.db49a81c0034725eccffbf63fbd7b17b.jpg

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Gentlemen, in defence of the company, I buy a lot of kits from Jotika/Caldercraft. They are a great company and their kits are, in my opinion, a great value. It's a small company and can barely keep up with the demand for their current line-up of kits and other products. The weakness of the UK pound is giving them great leverage these days and they are shipping as fast as they can. Compounding the production pressures, issues with Brexit are adding a level of complexity and administrative effort. 

 

All this means they are very busy with the kits they already produce. There is enough variety in their line-up to make most builders happy for several lifetimes and I suspect very few people have built all their kits.

 

I don't want to start a big discussion on this point. I just think we should encourage our favourite companies in this fragile industry and give them the benefit of the doubt. It is surprising to me to see that, on the one hand we want traditional companies to thrive, and then on the other we make disparaging remarks about those same companies. 

 

If others are developing new kits, that's great news. I just don't see the need to make discouraging remarks about our friends. 

 

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I am building three of their kits and as I said they used to be the most interesting kit manufacturer. I think the problem people have with Jotika is not that they are not producing any new ships (most wooden kit companies produce very little new nowadays). Its just that they just stopped so suddenly in the middle in their development and didnt bother to inform their customers about the situation. If they just remove the info on the upcoming "Surprise" and "74-gun ship" on their website, people dont get confused. 

They even put out this message about lack of updates (JoTiKa Ltd. ~ New Kits Page 1 (jotika-ltd.com)  . Its not dated, but I think that is a very old statement from many years ago. Back in the days, they were coming out with so many new kits on a regular basis, they became kind of the top of the line and we were just so surprised (and also disappointed) that everything just stopped.  

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@rshousha:

I guess it was nobody's intention to make disparaging or discouraging remarks about Jotika / Caldercraft. Except for the Lady Nelson my entire "fleet" is or has been so far from Caldercraft, and I'm still fond of their kits because they are of high quality and are shipped with all fittings and a comprehensive set of drawings (for clarity, my next two projects will be from Vanguard, though). 

Fact of the matter is, however,  Jotika / Caldercraft have come to a standstill since at least 2010 or 2011, which was when I came back to shipmodelling. Since then there has been no innovation, whatsoever.
This is a pity and particularly sad on their own account. Had they continued developing the Surprise and the mystic "Nelson's 74" and pushed forward the sale of the two models, I'm quite convinced that these ships would have added considerably to Jotika's business (and reputation).
And please remember: Brexit and its obstructions came up far later than 2010.

I still would order from Caldercraft rather than from a manufacturer unknown to me.

Uwe

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I dont know if you are aware but the Seaways "ships in scale" magazine had proposed a few years ago to have a building log published in their magazine of the Caldercraft Surprise kit. There was a request by Seaways to submit proposals on who would write the series of articles (this was over 10 years ago now) and I was lucky enough to be the successful choice. I was pretty stoked about it and we were all waiting for the kit to be released but as you all know, no kit was ever released so no building log was ever written and released.

 

The completed kit has made its appearance at a few model shows in Europe (from what I have seen on the internet) but either than that, its been radio silence. Too bad as I think they had a really neat kit that would have got a lot of peoples attention. 

 

Mike Draper

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/6/2021 at 6:34 PM, James H said:

That development has been sat on that site since Methuselah stalked the earth. 

It's a real shame that any new developments/completed projects stalled.

 

I do remember Chris Watton once telling me that he was once considering HMS Surprise himself.

That is some tease, James. I wonder if @chris watton remembers the conversation and the thought...

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On 3/8/2021 at 10:50 AM, rshousha said:

Gentlemen, in defence of the company, I buy a lot of kits from Jotika/Caldercraft. They are a great company and their kits are, in my opinion, a great value. It's a small company and can barely keep up with the demand for their current line-up of kits and other products. The weakness of the UK pound is giving them great leverage these days and they are shipping as fast as they can. Compounding the production pressures, issues with Brexit are adding a level of complexity and administrative effort. 

 

All this means they are very busy with the kits they already produce. There is enough variety in their line-up to make most builders happy for several lifetimes and I suspect very few people have built all their kits.

 

I don't want to start a big discussion on this point. I just think we should encourage our favourite companies in this fragile industry and give them the benefit of the doubt. It is surprising to me to see that, on the one hand we want traditional companies to thrive, and then on the other we make disparaging remarks about those same companies. 

 

If others are developing new kits, that's great news. I just don't see the need to make discouraging remarks about our friends. 

 

Fantastic post Rick, thius is my same feeling in regards to Jotika/Caldercraft. I don't care if they never come out with another (new) kit as long as they stay in business and continue making the kits they offer for years to come. I'm also in awe of the ships that were built for the movies, like the Bount and Surprise.

 

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I agree that Caldercraft/Jotika make some fine models, even if some of the kits are now becoming a bit dated and are in need of a makeover.

Regarding the HMS Surprise model, I don’t think you will ever see it in production from Caldercraft as I suspect it is more than production issues that prevented it being marketed. If you think about it Jotika must have spent a lot of money in development and to stop production at a stage when it was just about ready to go on sale says to me that there are other technical/legal issues in play. We will probably never know why the kit was not issued, but we have a growing market with other companies so we have more than enough to last most of use a lifetime of happy model making.

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  • 6 months later...

Oh, my giddy aunt! I’ve had a reply from the JoTiKa managing director today… Quote:
“Dear Mr Marley, I can assure you we’re still in business and producing Caldercraft kits. At present, shipping of static kits are 5-7 days from placement of order. We’re still trying to recover from the past 18 months. Our kit stock was all sold out in the first month of COVID lockdown, and we’ve been running to catch up ever since. Severe disruption in the supply chain had not helped. 
 

Regarding HMS Surprise, we had hoped to release the kit just before COVID but were unable to do so. It will not be released before next year. 
Miniature Steam Models (Australian distributor) decided to withdraw from the market last year. I will remind our web-editor to remove them. Kind regards, John Wright. Director.”

 

I’m a happy guy again. The Surprise is on the horizon! I’d better start saving my doubloons…

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