This is incredibly sad to hear. GMM has been a part of my scale modelling for time immemorial. I still have a treasured copy of your book Photoetching For the Plastic Ship Modeler
which I purchased brand new back in the day.
Over the years I only attempted some builds because GMM provided fixes for certain detail issues. Remember Tamiya’s 1970s vintage, slightly clunky, 1/350 H.M.S. Prince of Wales? I decided to give it a go for the sole reason that GMM provided two beautiful mid-ship cranes.
Or what about the old Revel 1/426 scale (What the?!) U.S.S. Arizona? There are two booms, triangular in cross section and extending at angles rearward from the forward spotting top. It was GMM’s provision of that detail that convinced me the build could be done.
I want to thank you for being such a friend to scale modelers over the years and kudos for your efforts and achievements.
Parry Sound, Ontario
My recent 75th birthday combined with my increasingly deteriorating health is now causing some undeniable changes in the continued existence of Gold Medal Models.
My wife and I had a talk yesterday and we've agreed to start the process of shutting GMM down. The first items to go will be the entire model ship detail line. As of now, no re-stocks will be ordered and existing stocks will be sold until all is consumed. The N- and HO-scale model train lines will continue as before and re-stocks will continue to be ordered as needed.
My wife is convinced she cannot carry on the ship detail line on her own and seeing as we have no descendants to hand things down to, we're going to greatly simplify the load for her sake.
The ship side of the business has seen a steady slide in orders for the past several years and it makes no financial sense to keep it going. Production costs have steadily increased which has forced us to raise our prices to be able to pay the bills, and numerous competitors have diluted the market for everyone. More and more high-end kits now provide their own PE details so the demand has gone down even more.
Due to my lung condition, I barely have enough physical energy left to fill orders and package products as it is. Being so heavily specialized, the ship detail line requires a certain technical knowledge and level of experience to successfully cater to the wants and needs of customers. Just knowing where to look in my sizable research library for needed information would be a major challenge. My wife does not have these skills (which take years to learn and work with) so this will be the end of the GMM ship line.
In contrast, the model train line of fittings is very straightforward and easily grasped by someone with only basic skills and the job is much more easily learned. Shipping is easier due to the small size and light weight of the products.
In the future, I'll be updating our on-line price list and order form on a regular basis. As of today, the vast majority of ship detail sets are in stock and only a small number are sold out. More sets will be selling out in coming weeks and months. Items that sell out will have the words "SOLD OUT" in place of their former price on our on-line price list. Anyone placing an order for a sold out item after that date will have their money immediately refunded via the manner in which they paid, ie. via check or via PayPal.
Foreign orders will no longer be accepted or processed due to the added paperwork burden and expense. This includes any country requiring customs forms such as Canada or Mexico. This is also effective immediately.
I won't be able to answer many questions concerning this situation so I hope and pray you'll understand. Any answers I'm able to give will be short and to the point.
Gold Medal Models