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Newsletter - December 20th 2016.

 

Sadly, Kingston Mouldings is no more.

The time has finally come and gone, after more years working in the GRP industry, and turning out fibreglass model boat hulls than I really want to think about, to more or less wind up Kingston Mouldings, and from the end of April 2016, that's been the situation. I cleaned off my brushes etc for more or less the last time. The main reason is that Anne and I want to be free to go out and to go away on interesting holidays more often, while we're both still fit and well enough to enjoy it.

The actual finishing date came, after I ran out of packing materials, and some other things. All is not completely lost though. I realise that this isn't going to help most of you, but given reasonable notice, I can still turn out a hull from time to time. Only for anyone able to collect from this address though, and callers by appointment only please.

In all the time I've been running Kingston Mouldings, I think I can count the number of awkward or difficult customers on my fingers, most of you have been a pleasure to deal with, and I've made many lifelong friends along the way.

So a sincere thank you to all who have supported this business over the years, the only real downside had been that I haven't had much time for my own modelling, and that's something I plan to put right in the years to come. I have several untouched steam engines, and a couple of unfinished yachts waiting patiently in my workshop, and I'll be building these into sailing models as soon as I catch up with all the overdue DIY jobs around the house and garden.

I'm still getting a few e-mail queries, mostly from past customers, and although it could sometimes take me a day or two to get round to replying to them, no problem at all with this, it's good to keep in touch with old friends in this way.

 

A few final hull bargains.

I've never kept a very large stock of finished hulls on the shelves, most have always been moulded as orders arrive, and almost all those that were left have now been sold. The few remaining are listed on the website's BARGAINS page. As a long overdue workshop clear-out continues though, more bargain items will be added here, including some more hulls, so for anyone still interested, keep watching. Apart from what's listed on this page though, no more mail order.

 

E-mailing Kingston Mouldings.

For anyone still wanting to make contact, apart from holidays etc I won't be going anywhere in the forseeable future, an e-mail box should open when you click on the info@kingstonmouldings.com link at the top right corner of this page, if you get an error message of some kind, then the e-mail programme or web browser on your computer isn't compatible with mine. Easily got around though, type that address or kingston.rw@ntlworld.com into your own e-mail programme, just as you would to send any other message. I respond to most simple e-mail enquiries within 24 hours or so, but bear in mind that I do go away from time to time for various reasons, also, I'm often out during the day, or too occupied to pick up the phone, so e-mail is often the best way for enquiries, especially anything needing some thought, or more than a brief answer. I do try to respond to all e-mails etc, but inevitably the odd one gets missed or forgotten, so if you don't receive a reply within a day or two please resend it, but 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.

My latest creation - 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, and it sails beautifully like this. The fully rigged model measures about 910mm x 910mm, or 36" x 36", so it will sit quite happily on the back seat of most cars. 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 as simple or detailed as the mood takes you. I'm not going to do the usual large plan, but each hull is supplied with five printed pages A3 size pages with artist-drawn sketches of model construction, fittings, rigging & sail plan etc, see the site's Price List for details.

 

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 think about adding 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 on this model 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 some painting and finishing work on the model to speed things up, Ted wanted to see it sailing, and 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.

 

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