After learning about these large scale ship model kit, I just had to find out more. I had a brief talk with the owner of the company and found out that the company is actually a medical hardware company that started producing these kits as a means to keep their employees working during slow times. Times have changed and it no longer makes sense for them to continue making the products.
However, they still have a few models left if you’re interested. According to the owner, Philip Roberts, they still have 3 HMS Surprise kits and 4 Prince de Neufchâtel kits available. Sorry, the HMS Cruiser brigs are gone.
Just out of curiosity, I’m going to try to make a visit in the next few weeks and see what’s there and what they’ve been producing. If they only had “low APR financing available on most models!”
Just this morning, someone mentioned something about a large ship model kit that was being produced in California. But, it wasn’t just large, it was huge – An 8′ long R/C model of HMS Surprise (Patrick O’Brien fans take note). So, I did some poking around on the Internet and found the company.
The company is called Steel, Chapman & Hutchinson Ltd, and it appears that they produce what they refer to as complete kits that include everything needed to build and sail them including servos and fittings and a launching cart. You just need a 4 channel transmitter and receiver. These are very large 1:24-scale (1/2″ = 1) models of sailing ships. They have three different models, the HMS Surprise, a Cruiser-class Brig, and the American privateer Prince de Neufchâtel. When rigged, the smallest of these is about 7′ long and 6′ high, and prices start at $2,875 plus shipping.
Now the bad news…
Now that I’ve discovered these kits, I read further through the company’s website, and it turns out that they’re stopping production. I don’t know the details. As of their last website update, which was in the Summer 2014, they had 7 HMS Surprise kits and 4 each of the HMS Cruiser and Prince de Neufchâtels. I’ll be contacting them shortly to find out what’s left. Not that I can buy one before they sell out, but just to know.
Of course, this may just provide some of us with enough inspiration to build a monster sailing model from scratch…