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Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 17:26:08
291 forum posts
79 photos
Posted by john stones 1 on 04/04/2020 13:58:37:

Interesting thread. yes

It is yes

Id like to see more business’ post especially if they are open. What ever the state of the nation when we come out of this if not enough shops survive , there will be a turn to mail order outlets .

I’m thankful that despite servoshop being a not wiz bang ultra modern website it’s fairly easy to navigate once people get used to it. I think the mistake on websites is to search before looking at the menu and links . I can only use our own site as an example . Menu of the left is easy to use.

i think it suits the older customers as many of us are not intuitive when it comes to modern website navigation

just thoughts Steve

Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 04/04/2020 17:26:49

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 17:28:06
291 forum posts
79 photos
Posted by Kevin 216 on 04/04/2020 13:18:46:

Wireless Madness still taking orders by phone or online. Placed my order yesterday (fri) arrived within 24 hours.

That’s excellent , especially at the moment


Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 18:22:18
291 forum posts
79 photos
Posted by Erfolg on 04/04/2020 15:55:01:

In a changed world and changing world, we all adapt, or become the modern day dinosaurs. Thankfully all or at least most who have signaled they are open for business are those who are fleet of foot and I believe part of the future, whatever it looks like, when society returns to the new normality.

Again well thought out - Perhaps the regulations that restrict competition in the World Market are what need overhauling. It’s just the annoyance of not being to sell a perfectly good product unless it’s got all the relevant badges . Many are to do with quality and testing and I always think the very laws of retail in the UK are there to protect the customer and he’s protected as he can’t buy items without the relevant European marks, tests - But the same customer buys direct himself , not protected in any way , so maybe that aspect of world trade needs a re think?

My main gripe was the Tax evasion , always as it put us at at least a 27% disadvantage . Depending on how it’s costed . If you cost wages and corporation tax it’s over a 50% disadvantage . Like I said that seems resolved where hobby king are concerned and not sure if you have noticed but eBay have a taxed at point of sale thing going on.

Recently Americans buying of us on eBay have had their taxes deducted by eBay . It stops those willing to write a lower value to avoid US customs. I think Australia and NZ also have the same thing going on.

I’m fine with that

Addmission time - I have ordered from HK and it’s been mainly for an occasional customer or some thing unavailable from anywhere else . Always paid the appropriate tax! Once when getting a lead for a customer I saw an offer on soldering irons. I think they were 200 watt. They were so cheap £3 each . You know if something looks too good it usually is. I ordered a few . They said 240 volt but came with European plug . The handle was metal , the electric wire passed through the handle . It would never have passed for selling in the UK . On getting the item I couldn’t sell it, I remember thinking how stupid I was . Still we could use them. I gave a couple to each of the staff. Then back to front tried one. It got hot quickly , in fact soon it was glowing red all the way up the handle . Obviously faulty , I tried another and another . I went and took them all back from the staff and destroyed them. My own fault .

Other-time’s I’ve ordered the packing has not been of a good standard sometimes. I had a set of electric retracts from HK that were unavailable any where else’s and some EDF motor / fans . I’ve never used the fans yet, but they look quite good. They were not cheap though. The retracts I paid for and they never arrived - I didn’t get much satisfaction chasing them and ended up going to the credit card company via pay pal for a refund.

i have had other items that have been ok , I’m not a regular customer , but have some experience . Regard items like the Irons and behaviour over the retract order. I don’t think there’s too much to fear . As HK get more mainstream the prices seem to be climbing .

it must be fantastic fun to work in R&D there , I wonder what things they don’t pass to sell?

Anyway - UK stores , they need a website - they need to stay competitive , they need to keep up the good service and the customers will come - if SWM survives this crisis and it is an uncertain crisis , we need others stores and UK distributors to survive. Without that no one will.

Locally we are among the last shops standing - There is a model store at WIDNES and there’s another in Chester. That used to be a model zone . It’s not a specialist store and I think it’s closed . Correct me if I’m wrong.

As more shops vanish I have seen clubs in decline . My old Northwich Eagles were once over 60 members I think , but were always a strong club over 40 in the normal times. Less than 15 members now. There’s a list of clubs similar

Less stores seem to equate to less in clubs?

Is that bad? I think so. Clubs can certainly help a beginner become one with the Force. Sorry - their chosen hobby.

In these days of self righting , self returning GPS fencing , have we reached the point where clubs are Dinosaurs and Club Tutors are no longer required?

Another Club local to me is the Tornados and they are strong still , but unusually have lots of builders and a very good contact / discussion thing going on where they encourage each other to help each other or just offer an opinion of how something looks or just chat . I’ve been privileged to be part of their Blog. It’s old fashioned email circ. a lot of the time just banter. They do patronise various Uk model business’s including their local store ( us). They are all on lock down and I have to say being at home on lock down it’s nice to chat to them .


Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)04/04/2020 18:35:11
291 forum posts
79 photos

ps -
Retail is complex .My own store has survived me being ill . Far better than I ever thought it would. I have a good team that get very worried when I say I’m posting on a forum . Lol. Without my staff SWM would not be what it is. I expect far too much at times , but on this occasion they have been part of every decision regard staying open. I have leaned to thinking we should close , But although the staff decided to close before the Government restrictions closed places to callers . They all want to continue as long as possible because they want to still be ‘ there’ at the end of this crisis.

I’m past my sell by date that’s a fact, but my staff are very serious about pushing forward . Today marks second Saturday closed to callers , open for mail order. Still people banging on the shutters having no idea why we are shut. I kid you not. It’s incredible really.

Phoning from outside the store needing something for a birthday or urgent for a competition. Doesn’t matter we can’t sell face to face . Mail Order only.

Its surprising how many items are needed for birthdays and competitions . Warning if using the ‘ I’m in a competition’

ploy to try and get something faster or the shop open the staff love to ask what competition it is and why is it still on with the restrictions . Priceless trade sometimes .

have a good weekend lock downers !

Stay Safe


Shaun Walsh04/04/2020 19:18:38
307 forum posts
49 photos

Good luck Steve, hope you all come through this OK, always had excellent service from the guys in the shop, where would I go otherwise crying

Nigel R04/04/2020 19:29:24
3744 forum posts
586 photos

Recently bought a selection of canopies.

Sarik, pegasus and vortex vacforms - all delivering promptly.

Andrew Calcutt04/04/2020 19:31:35
53 forum posts
1 photos

Let's support these guys,and for gods sake don't use hobbyking,banggood we need to support uk business even if it costs a bit more.

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)05/04/2020 00:22:02
291 forum posts
79 photos

Thanks Shaun, For the kind words and support.

I think I’ve had a good ramble in this thread - it’s been emotional as Viney Jones said. 34 years SWM and it would be no surprise that trading through the limbo of Brexit uncertainty was hard . I don’t think any retail in the UK would be in a very strong position before this unprecedented health disaster . Fortunately we own our own building and unlike some stores paying incredible rents. I mean retail in general. The team are certainly planning to be opening into what ever it will be like after this. I think some folk have been buying kits to build across the whole trade . I hope this doesn’t break any rules but it interested me that we have a 2nd delivery of Chris Foss Kits on the way and we had stocks before the crisis . Not ARTF but the almost ready to build type as Chris calls them . So now we know what people want in a crisis! I don’t mean it as an advert - it’s just an interesting fact. That Wot 4 design continues to sell as a kit when there’s ARTF cheaper. I know the kit is far more robust.

i know we’ve all been venting off about the state of trade and the changing times in retail. I think we all need to spare a thought for the front line NHS workers and those that have lost loved ones. The news that 4 Doctors had died and 2 Nurses was incredibly sad.

I’m not my usual ‘happy’ self, but looking forward rather than backwards. It’s what we need to do


Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)05/04/2020 00:26:47
291 forum posts
79 photos
Posted by Nigel R on 04/04/2020 19:29:24:

Recently bought a selection of canopies.

Sarik, pegasus and vortex vacforms - all delivering promptly.

Hi Nigel,

You’ll have to excuse my lack of knowledge on this one but is Sarik the old Traplet designs and plan packs? I get emails from them and have a quick speed read and have seen some adverts , but I’ve not looked into everything they do. Great to know they are another company battling on.


Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)05/04/2020 00:48:35
291 forum posts
79 photos
Posted by Andrew Calcutt on 04/04/2020 19:31:35:

Let's support these guys,and for gods sake don't use hobbyking,banggood we need to support uk business even if it costs a bit more.

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your concern and rallying cry!

if some of my friends in China are correct, there’s very little being sent from China. HK & Bang Good are very different regard how they are structured . Bang Good - I suppose is like an amazon website . There’s loads of different sellers . We discovered Tony Rays kits on Bang Good , it’s a long story but because of a case of bad packing I contacted Tony and after lots of mails chatting became friends with him and we are now his UK distributor and it was going well until the Virus hit China and no one was returning to work after the Lunar New Year. Now he’s returning to work and there’s a couple of projects he’s working on I’m excited about . One is Bush Plane around 700 mm span , really light weight . It should be under 250 g by a long way. Nice big floater for indoor. I can’t give exact pricing range but the Bush Plane £40 to £50 I hope and all laser cut . Of course now he can’t send items as he’s been warned they will be returned only essential exports are allowed. He brought out 3 designs quite quickly at the end of 2019 and there was a 4th ready . An SE5A and I persuaded him to release it in the New Year instead of it becoming lost with everything else at Christmas . The DH Humming Bird was late 2019 and the DR 1. Of course I had no idea this would happen and now we can’t get them! Worse is that the Bleriot that was reviewed in Aeromodeller is almost out of stock. Again Tony has stock but he can’t send them. Tony’s in his early 20s . He’s designing amazing for his age. He’s a good modeller & flyer. It’s been fun helping him expand . I expect we’ll be able to pick up where we left it. Fingers Crossed .

Tony’s latest designs didn’t get put on Banggood . He has a UK agent (us) , a German distributor and an American dealer might be very soon.



Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 05/04/2020 00:53:12

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)05/04/2020 01:17:38
291 forum posts
79 photos

The Vintage Model Company - My sister was speaking to them and found they are still in work. Not only that but they were very busy, I’m presuming people buying kits to make while on lockdown. They don’t trade their entire inventory. They supply the Magnificent Flying Machine range to model shops through out the UK , they also supply direct. They also got the MFM range into John Lewis and Not on the High-street plus some other outlets that were not model shops. I think that is amazing and makes me recall how News Agents, Sweet Shops, some chain stores sold Keil Kraft & Veron back in the 50s, 60.s and 70s . We mentioned North Pacific Sleek Streek Sheet Balsa models. I can’t help thinking such a type with counter dispenser could be a success again for a company like the VMC. Placing the products outside the model trade is genius.

Some lines they carry such as replica kits of old aeromodelling kits they do not sell to stores. I was chatting with them before this happened and we were hoping to stock the new RC Simple Cub they have released and Minimoa Glider . We were about to order and the ‘Crisis’ hapjpened . We’ve been stocking the MFM range and along with KK And.Dumas and Guilows means there’s quite a selection of Free Flight kits available to UK stores now a days. Try your local model store or UK supplier! Most are easy to convert to RC.


Vintage Model Company Direct and All good Model Shops (MFM range only)


Edited By Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 05/04/2020 01:19:10

Nigel R05/04/2020 07:29:39
3744 forum posts
586 photos

Steve, sarik are indeed the reincarnation of traplet.

It's interesting to hear your perspective on things during these strange days too. More power to you and swm yes

Peter Miller05/04/2020 08:39:34
10959 forum posts
1272 photos
10 articles

I remember the Sleek Steaks from back in the 60s, they were good and with a little modification such as a longer,better motor prewound and removing the U/C I got over a minute out of one.

I remember going to the RAF Championships when they first appeared.The hangar was full of them and people were coming into the hangar,looking round and putting their competition models (One was an Astrohog) and rushing over to buy one.

Many years later they reappeared but the quality was poor with warped wings and he propellers were not nearly as good, they looked the same but they lacked the free turning.

Have you seen the price they ask for an original Sleek Streak on EBAY!!!

kc05/04/2020 12:05:33
6423 forum posts
173 photos

My order from Servo Shop came yesterday within a couple of days of placing the order -well done. The order was for Futaba 3003 servos which I could have bought from 'BG' at about half the price but those were too cheap to be true? Some comment said they were fake thats why they were so cheap! ( to clarify -fake from BG I mean of course )

But fake aside the real problem is postage - free post from China. On some props I bought a while ago the cost of postage from a UK supplier ( not Servo Shop) was greater than the cost of the props and post from China! And they were both delivered by Royal Mail. Thats the problem -Royal Mail are obviously giving a better deal to the Chinese than to UK business yet the real hard work house to house delivery is done in UK. Somthing there needs to be put right. I remember back in the 1960's that my Dad - Post Office employee - saying there was some reciprocal agreement that gave foreign posts the advantage as UK did all the work while the foreigners didnt. I bet thats still the case! The world has changed but some stupid agreement to UK businesses disadvantage has not.

Nice to see some good info from Steve Webb but its a bit like buses - wait for ages for one then three come all at once! Interesting stuff though.

Erfolg05/04/2020 12:58:23
11710 forum posts
1309 photos

Without any data to back up my view, with regard to the PO, I can only make clear that it is my opinion and observation, that the PO still requires a lot of restructuring.

The local distribution point for many PO are still buildings of a size that reflects a bygone monopoly state owned enterprise. There needs to be reevaluation of actual current needs, so that overheads of this type and others are reduced to the present needs and future prospects of the organisation. There is also a staff moral issue, still have the odd unable to deliver card. With Independent logistics companies this never seems to happen, certainly not with Amazon.

Why even mention the issue, because UK mail-order can be undermined by the relatively high postal charges. It is notable that it is more often than not cheaper to order from Holland than the UK. I did note that much of the Dutch post office outlets, seem very commercial in sales, scale of premises and staff attitudes.

I am convinced (that is before (Covid-19) that for the majority of the UK model trade, that Internet Sales and distribution by so called Logistics companies was the way of the future. It is good to see so many continuing their business, by these means during this troubled period.

With the influence of additive techniques (3d printing) and home laser cutting and routing, seemingly appearing in every other home (so it seems), I am less clear about some other aspects of future modeling. It does seem that selling CAD/CAM files could be another business opportunity. Yet even guessing at the size and value is another thing.

I wonder if a single listing could be compiled that is current, with respect to who is trading on line at present, as I suspect that many of us will be subject to limitations with respect to free movement for some time?

I would suggest that those who live in the NW (England) who have not visited Webbies, As you will not be disappointed, when able. Just make sure it is not the one day a week when closed. Frodsham has a good market, that is a bonus with most wives. More importantly than ever, for me, it now being a 140 mile round trip, there are some excellent pub diners in the centre. I have my favorite modern one.




Edited By Erfolg on 05/04/2020 12:59:46

Edited By Erfolg on 05/04/2020 13:01:08

john stones 105/04/2020 13:11:37
11453 forum posts
1516 photos

Hmm, overheads ? The postal workforce is being screwed into the floor, the men n woman delivering our Amazon stuff are being screwed into the floor, same with many picking our orders, some are doing pretty well though.

People like Steve Webb have been let down badly in many forms of business, might want to remember who where there for us, when this current crisis is over.

Good thread this.

Ron Gray06/04/2020 15:05:39
1920 forum posts
799 photos

Chris Foss Designs is still doing business, just spoken to Chris and ordered an Extra Wot, always liked the shape of the EW especially with the 2 pilot canopy. Should keep me busy after the Rascal re-covering exercise!

Morris Mini Motors is also still sending orders out.

Edited By Ron Gray on 06/04/2020 15:34:17

Zflyer06/04/2020 16:43:27
29 forum posts

I believe that GLIDERS in Newark are still doing online orders. I have always found them very friendly.

They have a web site so give it a go

Airtek06/04/2020 18:01:16
19 forum posts

We have managed to get some help so have just re-opened Airtek Hobbies for internet orders only. Like everyone else things could be delayed so please bear with us but glad to be back!


Craig Carr06/04/2020 20:54:07
706 forum posts
504 photos

Hello peter

really pleased your back on your feet in these difficult and trying times.

Got some of those great DM08 micro digital servos from you a couple of months ago

super business to deal with. Prompt and efficient. Similar feedback for all the other great business on this thread as well


Edited By Craig Carr on 06/04/2020 20:54:40

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