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Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

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Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby customreplicator » Sat May 18, 2013 10:50 pm

Hello everyone,

It's been years since I've been here at the Sub Committee, but wanted to come back and explore a possible new kit, which I'm sure many of you have discussed at length before.

My company Custom Replicas has been successful for years with our 66" movie Nautilus and feel it's time to expand our product line a bit. I'm here to ask for opinions on large scale kits, primary the H. L. Hunley submarine. Bob Martin and I have been debating this subject for some time now and feel it is a worthy historical sub that might be popular here with members, if offered in say 1/12 scale, as both static and R/C types.

I have seen many of the smaller kits and the beautiful 1/24 cutaway by Cottage Industries. Therefore, we would want to offer a finely detailed kit in a larger scale, so as not to directly compete. A larger scale to accommodate both details and room for W.T.C.s/etc. As one might expect, a fiberglass hull with zinc or white-metal, brass and/or machined exterior details, while using both metals and resins for any potential interior components, if we get to an interior version.

I'd like to invite any response and comments to our inquiry both here on the forum and at our e-mail address: customreplicas@ca.rr.com

Feel free to describe what you'd like to have included in a kit of this subject, as well as any other subjects that may be popular enough to deem production investment.

Thanks for your consideration,

Jim Key
Custom Replicas
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Unit #4
Chatsworth, CA 91311
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby Scott T » Sat May 18, 2013 11:12 pm

The Hunley would be cool. Also the mystic and nr-1.
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby roedj » Sun May 19, 2013 5:21 am

NR-1 at 1:32 - model length = 4.6' (1.4m) - would be really nice.

Having said that, though, specialty or uncommon models may not sell well enough to provide a decent return on investment - IMHO.

Dan
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby Sub culture » Sun May 19, 2013 3:12 pm

I think the suggestion of a DSRV is the best one to date. FX models did a large model a while back, but never appeared to go into production. It does pose some challenges in RC-ing such a beast with four thrusters to build in, but it's a most interesting craft.

However I will say something I've said before- make sure any suggestions are backed up with a good possibility of sale. A lot of people will wax lyrical about a favourite craft, but won't pony up for the kit if or when it's produced, and I can't imagine it's an easy market for any vendor at the moment.
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby Thor » Sun May 19, 2013 4:14 pm

Listen to Andy very carefully. He is spot on.
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby customreplicator » Sun May 19, 2013 8:08 pm

Hello again,

Thanks for all the responses so far. I will look into the NR-1 and Mystic. The DSRV is not something I really want to put on the plate next as you are right in the complexity of the thrusters. Further ideas on this are welcome though.

Since a new Hunley kit is what we started with, and knowing that will cost more than 5K to master and mold, we could then speculate that the molds would be good for about 30 kits. To clear costs, and make a meager profit, a 1/12 scale kit (roughly 40" long minus the spar) would have to sell (trimmed and packaged) for about $395.00 plus shipping.

If we include an interior, the kit would go up at least another $150.00 (and include a display stand).

Given that this kit would range from $395.00 to $545.00, would it sell 30+ kits to justify production?

Conversely, how many NR-1s at large scale would sell?

Thanks again for your input.

Jim Key
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby Sub culture » Mon May 20, 2013 6:11 am

Don't think that is over ambitious, and the price is realistic.

I'm sure it will appeal to civil war enthusiasts as a static piece.
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby Thor » Mon May 20, 2013 4:31 pm

Any kit in this market is a very tough sell.
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby customreplicator » Mon May 20, 2013 4:38 pm

I agree with your analogy of any kit in this market is a tough sell, though we faced the same dilemma when we started offering the 66" Nautilus. However, over the long run it caught on, and with no advertising. That was 12 years ago.

Bob and I are now thinking once again about the long haul and with limited advertising to specific groups, primarily like this one. I do want to appeal to static builders as well or any group that may wish to purchase it.

It all comes down to if we can raise the funds to do it. Perhaps even Kickstarter.com

Thanks again for the responses.

Jim Key
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby JWLaRue » Mon May 20, 2013 5:42 pm

I think that in the particular case of a H.L. Hunley model, being able to draw upon at least two, distinct markets will be a big plus towards meeting your financial goals...especially if you are in a position to stretch out your payback period similar to how the Nautilus worked out.

-Jeff

p.s. from a personal perspective, I'd like to see the DSRV....!
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby subdude » Mon May 20, 2013 8:46 pm

I agree with all that's been said about the market and payback. And I'll add that at that pricepoint I'd be *very* interested in a 1/12 Hunley.....
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby JefftyToo » Mon May 20, 2013 10:57 pm

Jim,

From a personal standpoint, I'm just really glad to have you back among us and consulting with us as a place to start. I wish ANYthing you attempt along submarine lines will become a stellar success!

Proud owner of one of your early 66" Nautilus kits,
Jeff Porteous
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby bob_eissler » Mon May 20, 2013 11:24 pm

Hi,
For what it is worth, I think you have picked a great subject and a good scale.
I would definitely buy a kit.
Wasn't someone working on the Holland?
What happened to the Nautilus?

Bob
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Re: Large scale C.S.S. H. L. Hunley kit

Postby customreplicator » Tue May 21, 2013 5:07 pm

Not sure what you are asking, "What happened to the Nautilus?". Not familiar with the Holland either, but perhaps I should go look at that as well. I am really not up on all the subs as this group is. Just finding them to be a fascinating addition to model making and historic subjects, which I believe is a untapped potentially rich market - without licenses. So please excuse my business greediness.

As to our 66" Nautilus, I will take any inquiries you may have directly at: customreplicas@ca.rr.com. It is too much to get into here.

I am delighted that the Hunley is a subject that the sub committee finds as a desirable, particularly at the scale proposed.

I am aware that it would probably take 2 to 3 years to just break even, but we would have a kit that potentially can last a very long time.

I'll get back with more, as Bob and I discuss this further.

Thanks again,

Jim Key
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