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Sad news indeed

Copied from the post at Hyperscale:


by Dave Wilson

Sad news from New Zealand today indicates Wingnut Wings has been closed down permanently and its assets are to be sold off.

Details are yet to be publicly disclosed but it’s understood staff have been informed they no longer have jobs at Wingnuts, and all assets- the moulds etc- are to be disposed of.

Wingnuts, which was begun by Sir Peter Jackson in 2009, has like many NZ businesses been locked down recently due to the coronavirus shutdowns there.

The business issues affecting the decision to close the business permanently are not yet known but are not thought to be entirely due to the Covid 19 issue.

The Forum contacted Wingnuts’ General Manager, Richard Alexander yesterday and sought comment. He responded that an official statement would be forthcoming.

When we approached him today (Thursday) on this matter, the email diverted to a message referring all future Wingnut Wings matters to Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard.

Clare Olssen is Chief Executive Officer of WingNut Films and Kate Leppard is the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

We sought official comment from Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard. We asked about the status of the Wingnut Wings business, the employment status of staff and the situation re pending mail orders in their system.

There has been no response from the designated contacts for Wingnut Wings. Significantly Richard’s name now no longer appears on replies from his official email address.

Update: late Thursday Richard Alexander confirmed to the Forum that he is no longer at Wingnut Wings. Asked about the situation there he said "I am not able to comment at this time".

Further confirmation came from Bryan Wall, one of the Wingnuts designers, who posted on the Wingnut Wings Fans' page on Facebook: "Guys we are closed for good I am sorry to say, the whole team was made redundant on Wednesday".

By Friday morning the Wingnuts website, which had still been accepting online orders, has now been changed and all online orders have been suspended. The website message alludes to Covid-19 issues and still does not address the closure of the business but does assure customers that current pending orders will be processed " as soon as possible".

It’s understood there are also major job cuts at the Vintage Aviator (TVAL) too with all aircraft production stopped, most staff made redundant and the company retrenched to a maintenance team for the existing aircraft collection.

Sir Peter Jackson has made no comment on the closure decisions.

More details will be posted when they are known.

15 responses

  1. ...sad news indeed...

  2. There are lots of rumours about sackings and/ or stand-downs and the complete closure and selling of the assets of the company. We are not going to speculate on that - we just thought it would be proper to pass on real information as it stands from the WNW website to modellers who want to know.

    c+p from The Modelling News

  3. sad news indeed and such a loss to the modelling community as they produced good quality stuff not sure its about financial issues or course SME will suffer the most unless theyre big enough like tamiya , trumpeter or revell.

  4. I guess we'll have to wait to find out the truth as to why WNW died in the fires of Mount Doom.

    Every kit these guys did was first class work that put a lot of manufacturers to shame. The glossy full color instruction manuals (actually booklets), the rigging diagrams, the detail in the parts, etc.

    I hope those guys find work in the modelling industry again.

  5. I guess HK Models stole their Lancaster thunder too.

  6. Looks like I got my first (and last?) WNW kit just before the bad news hit! Phew! (It's the snipe, if you're wondering)

  7. I hate to see ANY model company fold. That said, I have never and didn't ever plan to my any of their kits. Wrong scale.

  8. Thanks for the heads up, Tom. Though I primarily build 1/48 WWII kits (primarily Eduard), I've wanted to do a WNW kit but never got around to buying one and now the prices have tripled on ebay. You got me off my butt and with your info, I snagged a Göring Fokker D. VIIF from Kitlinx at the original price.

  9. I hurried to buy three boxes online at a store here and at reasonable prices, but I missed the last Felixstowe in stock. With the DH9 already received, it means a few months (years ?) of work.
    It is not the worst thing in these difficult times but what a sad news ... they really offered exceptional kits.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  10. I have all the single seaters I want to build but I probably should have stockpiled some two seaters as well.

    Still sad to see them go.

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