What are your kits made out of?
The main pieces in our kits are made of polyurethane resin. We use a very durable odor free and safe product in the production of our kits. Many kits also include pewter pieces. Our pewter is a high quality, lead-free pewter sometimes referred to as Britannia metal.
Resin? Isn't that hard to work with?
The resin parts in our kits are very user friendly and do not usually require anything but minimal cleanup of very small parting lines and occasionally very thin "flash". Most of our kit parts come out of the box ready to be assembled. Our resin parts can be sanded, drilled, cut and easily modified for kit bashing or customization of your model. If a part happens to become warped (long, thin parts can occasionally warp if not evenly supported over a long period of time) you can straighten it by heating it in hot water and straightening it by hand. Most of the time the hot water straight out of the tap is sufficient.
I've heard bad stories about resin kits. How are yours different?
Unlike most resin kit manufacturers, we strive to produce the thinnest, cleanest and most accurate parts so that you, the customer, can assemble and paint your kit with the least amount of hand work and the least amount of clean up possible. Many manufacturers of resin kits cast their parts in a way that leaves the customer with hours of sanding and shaping before they can begin assembly. Not so with Frenchman River Model Works. Each of our kits are engineered with our philosophy in mind, when we say "Quick Assembly Time! Great Results!" we really do mean it.
What kind of glue do you use?
When assembling our kits we recommend a good quality cyanoacrylic adhesive (CA glue). CA is basically "super glue". The type we recommend is usually sold through hobby shops and is offered in several different thicknesses or viscosities. We like using the thin CA as it will easily flow into tight joints using capillary action giving great holding power without telltale residue. Frenchman River offers for sale the exact type of glue we use here in the shop. Pair it with the Accelerator for instant curing which dramatically reduces build time. Please note that regular model cement used for plastic model kits will not work on resin kits.
I've never used CA glue before. Is it hard?
If you're not used to working with CA glue we do offer a kit that contains everything including instructions and tips as well as an application tool to get you started. Be sure to also order the Accelerator and the UN-CURE for those occasional misalignments and finger-gluing. CA is quite easy, once you get the hang of it, to work with. You simply hold the pieces to be glued together, pick up a drop of glue with the applicator tool and run it along the joint to be made. The capillary action sucks the glue from the tool into the joint. Mist lightly with the accelerator and the glue cures instantly. See our glue products HERE.
What kind of paint can be used on resin kits?
The resin we use can be painted with any type of paint that you prefer using. We do recommend scrubbing all of our resin parts thoroughly before applying any paint. The resin casting process uses mold release which also has a nasty habit of releasing paint. We like to scrub resin parts with liquid dish detergent and an old toothbrush under warm tap water. Once the part is rinsed and dried we recommend a light coat of automotive primer (in a spray can) to insure good paint adhesion. If you have a resin part that is having a problem with paint sticking to it, you might try a quick wipe down with acetone to remove any stubborn mold release. As a side note, the resin that we use is naturally resistant to most solvents. Once your resin parts are primed and dry, you may paint them with any paint you would like such as spray paint, acrylic craft paint, enamel hobby paint, as well as any painting method you would like such as brush, spray or airbrush. Jim prefers to spray paint everything with spray cans while Anna prefers to brush on acrylic craft paints.
Lately, we've been enjoying working with products from Dr Ben's Scale Consortium and are impressed with the results we are getting from using these products on resin castings. We like them so much that we are offering them for sale on our site. You can order HERE.
Boats and Trains...how did you get into this business?
Jim has always had a passion for trains and ships and boats and decided to combine them and produce boat kits for model railroaders.
Where can I buy your kits?
We sell online from this website. We also do accept phone orders as well as orders by mail with checks. Some hobby shops carry our kits. If you would like your local hobby shop to carry our products, please mention us to them. We do offer dealer terms. Do you sell to dealers? Absolutely. Please contact us for dealer terms.
What ages are your products for?
According to our insurance company, our products are not intended for children under age 14, however they are simple enough that our children down age 8 have assembled and had great results with our kits.
I'm hesitant to try your kits since I've never seen them in person. Do you have a return policy?
We certainly understand the risk taken in buying "sight unseen". That is why we have tried to give good details as to what to expect with our kits on this website including many close up photos of kit parts and products. We are sure you'll be happy with your purchase, however if you are not happy we do offer a return policy. If within 10 days you are not satisfied with your purchase you may return it in resalable condition with a note explaining what you found unsatisfactory (so we can address issues for future customers) and we will happily refund the purchase price. Please note that shipping and handling fees are non refundable. We cannot offer a refund on partially assembled kits or products that have been in your possession for more than 10 days.
What about N Scale?
We do not currently have any products in N Scale, but do have plans to expand soon. If you would like to be included in new product announcements shoot us an email and ask us to add you to the list.