WingScale Announcement – A Sad Day for Audacity

UPDATE 2/7/2012: Some new…perhaps not facts…but some new perspectives have come to light regarding this whole affair. Please check out “Of Wingscale, Wing XL, H-K Models and Big-Ass B-25s” for the latest.

If there’s one thing I hate in a business, it’s laziness and a lack of passion. I prefer that the products I buy have a soul, that you can tell that someone, somewhere poured their heart into them, and went the extra mile not to meet some quarterly target, but because they loved what they were doing and took pride in their work. It’s why I drive a Mini, and why, despite their price, I will happily throw down for Tamiya’s Fi 156c Storch or Tasca’s M4A3E8. There’s passion there.

Why this long preamble? Well, it explains why I was so excited about this new kitmaker, WingScale. Instead of sticking to the popular 1/48 scale, they went big, announcing nothing but 1/32 kits, and then went bigger still, announcing nothing but big multi-engine aircraft (well, excepting the Gloster Meteor, which is multi-engine, but not especially massive).

Their first planned release? A 1/32 B-25 Mitchell.

In three flavors no less – the standard, glass-nosed B-25J, the boarded up, gun-nosed B-25J, and the B-25H gunship, which packed a mean 75mm cannon in its nose alongside the usual .50 caliber machine guns.

Now…a 1/48 B-25 is already not-small. In 1/32 scale, the B-25 has a wingspan of something like two feet! It’s a big-un, and while I have no idea where I’d stuff such a beast, I pre-ordered one anyway. I mean, look at it.

Shortly before Christmas, WingScale wowed again, with a prototype of a 1/32 B-17 Flying Friggin’ Fortress. Talk about a monster.

Since then it’s been more and more. The announcement of plans to move forward with a 1/32 P-61 Black Widow and B-26 Marauder.

Everything was looking awesome, until the B-25’s release date came and went with nary a peep.

Now, today, an announcement from the CEO.

Long story short, work began before the company was legally incorporated, and the guy’s Chinese partner brought in a third partner. This was unwelcome, and ultimately no resolution could be found. As a result, a Chinese company whose name has to be revealed at some point will be releasing the B-25, B-17, and P-61. Martin and WingScale, meanwhile, will do…something?

This, put in the terms of a British colleague, “sucks very hard indeed”.

I was looking very forward to the B-25, but more to the existence of a company with the balls to launch a 1/32 B-25 as their very first kit. It seemed too good to be true. And…obviously it was.

I wish all the best to Martin in whatever course he decides to pursue next. Hopefully it involves regrouping, and offering similarly audacious kits in the near future. May I suggest the PBJ-1?

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Doogs,since you seem to have established a relationship of sorts,with ‘WingScale”, do you have any idea when they will be marketing the B-17 ? It’s long been a dream of mine [ think of the super-detailing possibilitie’s ], in that scale.I’ll do a web-search, but you sound more connected. Thanks, keith r.

  2. Doogs says:

    Hey Keith – alas, no relationship with WingScale at all – just been following what they’ve been doing for awhile now.

    I think they were planning the B-17 for fall 2011, but I imagine that’s going to be pushed back now. Probably early 2012?

    I’ll be curious to see who this Chinese partner is when it comes time to market the kits…but I won’t be buying, and I’m planning on canceling my B-25 pre-order. I’ve got two 1/48 Monograms in the stash anyway!

  3. Pepper Kay says:

    A sad day indeed – sad for Martin – sad for we who’ve waited patiently, hoping what we heard and read was true, only to have our hopes dashed today …

    Dashed not because one man’s dream was too audacious … nay, rather one man who didn’t cover all of his bases with the mumbo jumbo of legalese, has fallen victim to the ‘nameless’ …

    Only ‘they’ know if this was their working plan all along … I would hope not but as the years seem to fly,I cast a juandiced eye at oh too many announcements – proclamations – statements of intent …

    As my dear Granny used to say – “Follow the money, Pepper; follow the money … unless one has every ‘T’ crossed and every ‘I’ dotted, there ain’t nuthin’ final these day … the days wehen a handshake was more than enough – when a handshake was a man’s bond and his word was as good as gold, are long gone” …

    I’ve never forgotten Grandma Chubby saying that to me, at least from the age of 4 (and probably even earlier) and what was true then is true today …

    A sad day for all who trust – who admire good work and deeds – who believe that honesty is the best policy …

    Let’s hope Martin lands on his feet, lesson learned, and brings to the modeling community that which he is capable of doing …


  4. Kurt Mulder says:

    Please check out WingXL…..Martin’s new company name.

  5. Weewillie says:

    All the talk back and forth about how bad things are going for the “Large Lovers” I have in my posession two HK B-25J’s ready for their time on the bench. It’s easy to sit back and ridicule those who put it all out there trying to bring something special like these kits to the market place. Try dancing the “new kit tango” in their shoes for a while. I know very little about kit development and marketing strategies other than it is much more difficult than most neophites realize. I have confidence that these boys will tighten up their act and bring to the fore a host of new products that might just revolutionize scale modelling once again. That is if they turn out to be a profitable thing to do and they find enough buyers. If the naysayers really want to take aim at a ridiculous effort to bring something new to market then look no further than the electric car program, (Volt). Someday, probably sooner than later these model makers will get that huge B-17 and Avro Lancaster in a box and on the shelves and I will be smiling ear to ear as I struggle to find the money for enough paint and glue to put these massive monsters together. My real hope is for the B-26 Maurader and she will no doubt show up one of these days.

    1. Doogs says:

      WingXL (formed by the guy who started Wingscale after things went south) has actually announced that their first kit will be a 1/32 B-26B/C Marauder, due out sometime in the third quarter I believe. Whether it actually happens remains to be seen, but still…

  6. Jerry Mancisidor, from Mexico says:

    It has been a while since all this events have happened between Martin (Wingscale) and the HK Models (Chinese) guys, learning that Legal Contracts today are the mode, and that one’s word is not enough anymore. I was moved by the words of Pepper Kay because they made me remember my own´s GrandPa´s attitude towards Life: Be Honest, at all cost… be honest to all people surrounding you, but specially, be honest to and with yourself.

    On the other side (the modeling side), I have been a fan and have been building since I was 12… now I am 50 and would like to see one new panorama for us, 1/32 scale lovers, because the possibilities are infinite, endless… I imagine all 4 engined big planes on all different camouflages and versions, allied and axis day / night bombers, rescue and patroll planes, seaplanes… When I was 12 I sarted my passion with something special (for me and for my age) like the P-51 Phantom by Monogram. I still have it and now I remember the fascinationI had in those earlier years… and this passion reborns again when knowing about the new possibilities, no matter if ther are Chinese or not… Let´s Cheer Up all, let´s cheer up Martin, let´s cheer the Modelling Industry, let´s cheer up the audacity of those who make things with passion… and let me thank them for my endless hours of Dreams and Joy!!

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