| Ten manufacturers, who between them offer a tremendous variety of boats, any of which we will be happy to build:|
WAVERLEY MODELS Iím putting Waverley Models at the top of the list, because Mike Mayhew is such an extraordinarily helpful character. He produces a wide range of hulls, covering such diverse subjects as traditional sailing craft, fishing boats, big paddle steamers and narrowboats. He also does a huge range of fittings. If you visit, it is wise to phone first. The premises of this one-man firm are a regular Aladdinís cave for ship-modellers.
DEANS MARINE Deans have the largest range of any kit manufacturer. I have always got on very well with Ron Dean. He is tremendously enthusiastic and helpful. He has an excellent eye for an interesting prototype, and has some fascinating models in his range of over a hundred boats, all highly detailed models designed for operation under radio control, covering everything from graceful traditional craft to complex modern merchantmen. He also produces a range of hulls under the Mouldeans label, which are also listed on his site. Well worth a look.
MODEL SLIPWAY This manufacturer concentrates on working scale models of modern vessels. Their kits are of superb quality, and they are very pleasant and helpful to deal with.
MOUNTFLEET MODELS Frank Hinchliffe founded Mountfleet Models as a retirement project, to keep himself busy, after he sold the original Caldercraft range to Jotika. Mountfleet produce a range of superb scale working models; trawlers (their Boston Typhoon and St Nectan are justly famous), tugs, coasters, etc, all based on the more traditional type of ship. The format is similar to Caldercraft kits (GRP hull, ply decks, whitemetal fittings) but having built both, my personal opinion is that Mountfleet have a definite edge. Although Frank Hinchliffe recently passed away (a sad loss to the hobby) the firm he founded continues.
JOTIKA Jotika manufacture the Caldercraft range of boat kits. Under their founder, Frank Hinchliffe, Caldercraft pioneered the modern type of detailed radio-controlled scale boat kit in Britain, and won prizes at the prestigious Nuremberg trade fair. Jotika have more recently introduced two series of wooden display kits; a heritage series of historic vessels, and a series specifically devoted to ships of Nelson's navy.
KINGSTON MOULDINGS A large range of hulls. I have based several boats on their hulls, and been most impressed with the quality of the mouldings. The site also contains much useful information and helpful advice. The owner is friendly and pleasant to deal with. Thoroughly recommended.
METCALF MOULDINGS Some lovely lifeboat kits, several semi-kits, and a huge range of hulls on which an enormous variety of boats can be based. The owner is friendly and pleasant to deal with. Well worth investigating.
SIRMAR MODEL SHIPS Hulls and fittings for mostly modern warships (in which we do not claim expertise) but also a few RN WW2 models, which we do know about. Nice firm to deal with.
MOBILE MARINE MODELS An excellent range of hulls and fittings for tugs both traditional and modern. I havenít dealt with them personally, but they are well spoken of. Well worth a look.
SCALE HOBBIES An interesting range of hulls and fittings, including tugs both traditional and modern, steamers, an Oakley lifeboat, and others. I havenít dealt with them personally, but they are well worth a look.
Two retailers I know well:
MODEL DOCKYARD Tremendous range, efficient mail-order service, exceptionally clear website, very easy to navigate, very helpful to deal with.
WESTBOURNE MODELS Tremendous range, very good stocks, excellent mail-order service, very knowledgeable and helpful about the trade and everything in it.
Two excellent electronics specialists, whose products will ensure your model works properly:
ELECTRONIZE A supplier of motors, who quote and guarantee current consumption figures for their motors under different conditions of load; vital information when planning a working model. Also excellent speed controllers, switchers, etc.
ASTEC An excellent range of speed controllers, mixers and other clever gizmology.