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Important Announcement!

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  • Important Announcement!

    Important Announcement

    It's with mixed feelings that I have to announce that I have sold the Sub-driver business.

    After some ten plus years of running the business and the forum, it's time to let go. I'm not getting any younger, and both myself and my wife have had more than our share of health problems. My sons run Caswell Inc these days, and they are extremely busy with the various ventures there and simply don't have the time patience or inspiration to master all the nuances of r/c submarines. In fact, every time they had a problem, I got it in the neck.

    Having said that, I've had a ball running Sub-driver. I made a lot of really good friends on the forum and in the flesh. I really enjoyed finding new products, setting up the forum and running that, banning idiots (a lovely sport), dealing with Merriman (Oh! Dear!). Yes, it's been fun. David and I worked together, we became great friends, throwing insults at each other at every opportunity, and I have no intention of stopping doing that. I'll still be checking up and giving him hell.

    So what's happening next?

    On Monday, we'll be packing up all the remaining inventory, and sending it to the new owner. The Sub-driver web page will remain operating, to take orders, but there may be a week or so delay while we do this transfer. There are a few orders in hand and we'll send out those in the next week. Anything back ordered will be picked up after the transfer.

    As for the Small World Models products, they will come on line in the next few weeks, as will some projects I was messing with like the X-Craft, the M1, Surcouf, the Blueback, Albacore and maybe a 1:72 scale British T Class.

    As for D&E (Merriman) products, there is a problem as David's house and workshop have been flooded out by the hurricane. He's going to be longer than we originally estimated, probably a month before product starts rolling out.

    David and I recently worked through our product range and eliminated a number of items that were time consuming to make, or not good sellers, so you'll see things like torpedoes have been eliminated. I'm really saddened by that because it was on my request (repeatedly) that he wasted lots of time developing them. And then you guys never bought enough! Ah Well! He'll kick my butt next time I see him!

    So, who's the new owner?

    It's someone you're all very familiar with. He's been a major player in this game for many years. I'm delighted to announce that Bob Martin of or has taken over the reigns.

    I wish him all the best in this new addition to his range, and I'll let him explain his vision for the future in another email.

    Thanks for all your support over the years. it's been a blast!

    I started this venture because my dad was a chief petty officer on HMS Sybil and he used to take me on board in Malta. I wanted to make a submarine because dad and I had talked of making one, but never got around to it. Well, I guess I did a bit more than that with Dad would have been pleased.

    Mike Caswell
    Last edited by Kazzer; 11-01-2016, 04:46 AM.
    Stop messing about - just get a Sub-driver!

  • #2
    Good luck in the future Mike and thank you for giving us this forum, which in my humble opinion is the best forum for model subs out there.



    • #3
      It's been a great ride, Mike. Thank you so much. Your enthusiasm, cooperation, and shear joy about the hobby/craft has been inspirational. Now we can play more and not spend so frig'n much time in the shop and doing paperwork. Time for us to enjoy life a bit more. Now the partially completed models on the walls can be completed and set out on patrol. Time to play before we both become slobbering, useless, incontinent, mindless idiots ... we deserve some fun before all that happy horse-****.

      David D Merriman lll
      "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"


      • #4
        Originally posted by Peter W View Post
        Good luck in the future Mike and thank you for giving us this forum, which in my humble opinion is the best forum for model subs out there.

        What he said Mike

        Practical wisdom is only to be learned in the school of experience.
        "Samuel Smiles"


        • #5

          Thanks for the wonderful service and support.

          But, please help me to understand some of the future plans if they're known.

          Does this mean that DM is also not going to produce any more product? Are the Sub Drivers still going to be available perhaps manufactured by Bob?

          Again, enjoy the time off - you earned it.

          Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.


          • #6

            David is temporarily out of action until his house and workshop are put back together. He reckons this will take about a month.

            Bob will be selling D&E Sub-drivers once David is up and running. He has a number of them in stock anyway, so this bump in the road should hopefully be minimal.

            And thanks for being a great customer and supporter of Sub-driver. I’ve got plenty to do, a few models to mess with, and a new 3D printer to keep my mind stretched!

            See you on the forum.


            Stop messing about - just get a Sub-driver!


            • #7
              My apologies for coming late to the party on this thread. I had some family commitments yesterday that took me out of the house for the majority of the day (my 14-year-old son's girlfriend was having her birthday, and we needed to get the "perfect" gift at the last minute).

              Some of you may know me from my projects that I posted up first on my original website at and now my second at Others may have also seen me on my YouTube channel under RCSubGuy. I'm a long-time participant in the forums, even if I don't often post.

              As a bit of background, I got involved in this hobby over 17 years ago when I began (what I considered to be) an epic quest to build, from scratch, a fully functional Disney Nautilus. That odyssey took over three years. During that time, I was introduced to the RC submarine community, and began to understand and fall in love with the nuances that make it stand apart from other hobby communities. What we do is not for the faint of heart, the stingy, or the untalented. We are what I would call the elite of the RC hobby world, and the size of the hobby is certainly indicative of that.

              Over the years I've built and operated well in excess of 50 RC subs, most of which are documented on my sites. I now do custom buildups for customers around the world for both static and RC models.

              I've dealt with Mike and his team at Caswell for many years and have always found them to be exceptionally professional and communicative. When Mike approached me with this opportunity, I knew that it would be a great thing for me and my family. It will be myself, my lovely (and understanding) wife, Renee, along with my son, Logan, who will be taking up the challenge of ushering in a new era for Sub-Driver, along with the amazing team of vendors that Mike has assembled.

              I will be honest in saying that there will likely be a short period of anarchy while everything is transitioned over. Mike's inventory will be shipped to me down in Naples, FL and I'll need to set up the new shop, enter the inventory into my accounting system, and get the website updated with all of the new products and pricing. If things go well, I'm hoping that this will take no longer than 2 weeks in all. Eventually everything will fall under the Nautilus Drydocks banner.

              To begin with, you'll likely see a truncated product scope as I zero in on the products that are truly in demand. I'll work closely with our suppliers to ensure we get the right products out at the right price with the best timing possible. I hope to continue offering an exceptional line of sub kits, electronics and Sub-drivers with the cooperation of Kevin Mcleod, Dave M., and our other suppliers. Our hobby needs a place to source high quality parts for our boats, and I hope to continue to fill that need with the Nautilus Drydocks.

              If anyone has any questions, comments or concerns, I would absolutely welcome them. You can feel free to email me at any time at, or hit me up here on the forums via PM (though email will likely see vastly faster replies!).

              Thanks, everyone, for your understanding and support. I look forward to working with you all in the near future!

              Bob, Renee and Logan Martin
              the Nautilus Drydocks
              Naples, FL


              • #8
                COOL! Looking forward to working more closely with you Bob! With you involved, as well as your family, Im excited to see the upcoming changes


                • #9
                  Hi Bob,

                  Congrads....hope everything works out well for you, I'm very glad all the knowledge will not be lost.

                  I will be a happy customer.......……looking fwd to suggestion.......please look into thecaswell overseas shipping costs (Sorry Mike) will have a lot of new customers the moment they will go down.

                  Just to give an example I was looking to buy a 17$ pump shipping cost was 44$ to Belgium.

                  Practical wisdom is only to be learned in the school of experience.
                  "Samuel Smiles"


                  • #10
                    Thank you Mike for your site and for the passion you have that has kept this hobby going.
                    Bob, congratulations on continuing the fine tradition that was started by Mike. I look forward to the improvements you will do and for the new season that will be offered. Change can be good and in this case I think it is!
                    If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.


                    • #11
                      Whoa !!! bomb shell!!!
                      Lets not sugar coat it and get all mushy, so grab your kit and hit the bricks!!!
                      Best of luck


                      • #12
                        Mike, Thanks for your friendship and hospitality over the years. Bob looking forward to future dealings along with David as a supplier! Actually you 2 should get along great as he respects fellow craftsman!



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bwi 971 View Post
                          Hi Bob,

                          Congrads....hope everything works out well for you, I'm very glad all the knowledge will not be lost.

                          I will be a happy customer.......……looking fwd to suggestion.......please look into thecaswell overseas shipping costs (Sorry Mike) will have a lot of new customers the moment they will go down.

                          Just to give an example I was looking to buy a 17$ pump shipping cost was 44$ to Belgium.

                          Seconded, I'm fortunate to have regular business trips to us and get my parts delivered to my hotel. Having oseas shipping at a lower cost would be a big boon.

                          Mike good luck for the future and enjoy your rest.
                          Next time someone points out it takes 42 muscles to frown, point out it will only take 4 muscles to b1tch slap them if they tell you how mnay muscles you need to smile:pop


                          • #14
                            Yes, there are ways to lower the cost, but it comes at a price. (pun intended).
                            The way we shipped overseas ensured the product is traced, and the freight carrier insurance is liable for the losses. Unfortunately, using services like USPS means the liability is transferred to several mail operations, none of which like to take responsibility. Getting a claim paid is a nightmare, so we take all the liability and have, in the past, had to replace the product at our expense, to keep the customer happy.

                            Now, if I were in China, I'd be able to use their mail service, because they realise that it pays to get product to the customer cheaply. I'm sure it's subsidized up to the hilt by the government.
                            I've recently bought $10 items from China with free shipping. It's ridiculous! No wonder China has all the money and trade.

                            Stop messing about - just get a Sub-driver!


                            • #15
                              Wow. Big news - and completely understandable.
                              Thanks, Mike and David for the wonderful parts and Subdrivers over the years- Thoroughly enjoyed being a PITA customer. Will miss the banter, sledging, putdowns and engineering discussions. David, I do hope you get more stick time now that Mike has packed the cattle prod away. I'll be in touch -but not for products. Enjoy retirement- you guys have earned it.

                              Bob - it's going to be great.

                              Best to all.


                              John Slater

                              Sydney Australia

                              You would not steal a wallet so don't steal people's livelihood.
                              Think of that before your buy "cheap" pirated goods or download others work protected by copyright. Theft is theft.