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Sad news

Old 02-23-2020, 06:46 PM
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Tanque
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Default Sad news

I went out to look at Geiβwerk's ( Geisswerk) website and was greeted by the notice that the owner/ founder of the firm has passed.
I don't recall when I was on the site last but it wasn't that long ago so this must be fairly recent. My last business with Martin was
last June for a set of tracks. His products were notoriously expensive but most everyone who knew about him recognized his work as sort of a de facto gold standard. His products were like jewelry which isn’t really a surprise when you realize he used methods like those used for making jewelry:
lost wax casting. I blanched at his prices when I first saw them, someone sold, or tried to sell a set of his 1:10 Panther tracks on ebay.de
years and years ago and I thought ‘that’s crazy’. I now have probably 7 or 8 sets of his tracks of various kinds.

I always felt Geisswerk was kind of an 'Ace in the hole' for 1:10 scale tracks. At least one of the tracks in his product line had more than a little
instigation from me.I never met him, although he invited me to stop by his place if I was ever in his corner of Germany. I never even spoke to him on the phone as far as I recall. His English was probably better than my German by quite a margin. Other than my business dealings I did not know him well.
I'm hoping I might find out what happened and when.


My last business with him was in June of last year for a set of tracks. He had been searching for a Famo links to make that, sometimes I think
just to shut me up as I asked about it often. Unlike some suppliers he was excellent to do business with. He delivered when he promised and only accepted payment when he was ready to deliver his product; he mailed orders out promptly when paid and I never once had a bad part. Always flawless.I just thought he’d somehow always be there, reliable an absolute gem of a supplier in support of 1/10 scale tank tracks. Most of his products were never made by anyone else. He was also listed in the credits in the German book 'Ketten' an interesting book about German tracks, just tracks.

Very much sad news indeed, on many levels. There's no indication so far that someone else will take up his business. We can hope. If anyone knows anything more please share.

https://www.giesswerk.de/

Jerry

Old 02-24-2020, 01:12 AM
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It is sad. The Old Guard is slowly fading away, and not only in our hobby.
Old 02-24-2020, 12:08 PM
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I messaged Christian about this and he said that Martin passed perhaps last October. Christian believes Martin wasn't that old, perhaps
40-50 and he's unsure what exactly happened. Martin's brother is handling his affairs and tying up remaining business obligations.
I'd sent a note to see if there was anything yet available but considering the elapsed time I have little hope of it. I never had the impression
that Martin maintained a large stock as almost always I'd place an order and it was some while before it was ready to be paid for. So unless he simply cast up a storm and sat on unfinished castings until an order came in I doubt there was much left soon after he passed. Had I run that business I'd likely do it exactly the same way, cast on demand for most things. In fact when I used to try to sell cast parts I did just that, unless I happened to have a few spares made up.

I'm still trying to wrap my arms around this sad development.

Jerry
Old 02-24-2020, 02:41 PM
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While I never did business with this man, nor did I know him, I would like to pass on my deepest and sincerest condolences to those that did know him.. I'm sorry for your loss...
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:49 PM
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It is sobering and sad that another manufacturer is gone. Martin produced some fantastic parts. Amazingly in 1/8 but mostly in Jerry's favorite 1/10. Really hopeful that maybe Christian might pick up Martins production?
Old 02-27-2020, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MAUS45 View Post
It is sobering and sad that another manufacturer is gone. Martin produced some fantastic parts. Amazingly in 1/8 but mostly in Jerry's favorite 1/10. Really hopeful that maybe Christian might pick up Martins production?
I've corresponded with a few guys in the business and so far no one has taken it over nor do I know that Martin's family wants to have someone assume
his work. I've corresponded with Martin's brother directly and there is just no indication. In circumstances like this I try to tread as lightly as possible yet
make my thoughts available about such things .

And yes Martin's passing is exceptionally impactful to my 1/10 activities. In hindsight I should have purchased more track sets from him. As it is I actually have
more sets of his as well as other of his cast parts than I recalled. I was no stranger to his business. Unfortunately Martin's work did not come by cheaply adding
to the already costly nature of 1/10 scale

If some of you have never seen his work I'd suggest you go take a look before his site disappears for good. His beautiful 1:10 scale British Mark I tank model
sub page has already been taken down so that's gone. It was really a work of art as were all of Martin's work.. You might be able to find references to it on the web.

As I mentioned above I never met Martin but in dealings with him over the years I came to envision the man as a considerate, clever, artistic and intensely capable artist. I don't
know what his background was, why he decided to invest so much effort in making tracks for model tanks or what he actually did or if he really had a 'day job' as we say here.
My fear is that he was unique, it would take an extraordinary person to do what he did when you really think about it. He was a one man track supplier for modelers like me.
That same fear is that it will be quite some time if ever until someone like him again graces our hobby with that level of skill and dedication. I hope someone comes along
to save his work and perhaps even grows it; that would be wonderful.

Jerry
Old 03-03-2020, 04:19 PM
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Jerry,
This is awful news. I have a couple sets of Martins tracks in 1/6 scale. Incredibly expensive but masterpieces of casting skill. They will outlast me. This is really tragic. Martin was a great guy to work with, and as you mention was not opposed to custom work. I sent him CAD models and he cast them for me as well. All of his parts were cast to order, and investment cast brass - which requires a highly talented jewelers skill to do well. I doubt his work will ever be replaced. Really sad to hear. I was hoping to get his Panther parts in 1/10 scale someday.
Thanks for posting this,
Bob
Old 03-03-2020, 06:19 PM
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Hey Bob. There's definitely a market for these sorts of parts though I doubt anyone could make a living on just
making and selling this sort of thing. I was hoping a little more information regarding Martin's background and any possible
primary line of work would be forthcoming but no. I found the funeral notice for him (he was 58) but it didn't give any insight into his life at all, zero. I never thought to ask him 'Oh by the way what do you really do to keep bread on the table?'. I never got the impression that he was not willing to chat but I never thought to ask thinking it impolite. I assumed like several other suppliers of 'tank stuff' in Germany I've worked with over the years that he had a main job and the tank stuff was just a side line. I could be very wrong.

I'm still hoping someone will step up and take his business in hand and do it justice. I'll be brutally honest; this is in part selfish on my part as I want some of the other items he made as do you and others but I really hate to see the work he did, all those exquisite masters and molds he must have made just get crated up and stored away somewhere and forgotten. As you know, I've been trying to promote 1/10 scale as a viable alternative to the other scales and the availability of his tracks and other parts made that a viable possibility IMHO. Now that's lost. His Mark I in 1/10 scale, his only complete model offering was really quite something if you ever saw photos of it. I wanted one so bad and I almost ordered one but I took a different tack and decided to stay solely on WWII subjects. Things you regret....

Let's keep our fingers crossed..and hope for miracles.

Jerry

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