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For those of you going, those that have friends going and those that have reserved Midwestern Modelworks I communicated with Erik and he is on the vendor list and planning to be there.  He was hoping to have some painted models there.

At this moment I can't get there but plans may change.   Covid is still effecting a lot of things.

Ken

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Since he is presumably sitting on a lot of peoples dollars it would be nice if he were more communicative with his customers and the obvious way of providing updates is via his website. However talented he may be and however grand or grandiose perhaps his ambitions, he could brush up on his customer relations skills. he seems to have one or two apologists here but there is no excuse for taking deposits and then not communicating. Harsh but true.

@Jon Marcus posted:

Since he is presumably sitting on a lot of peoples dollars it would be nice if he were more communicative with his customers and the obvious way of providing updates is via his website. However talented he may be and however grand or grandiose perhaps his ambitions, he could brush up on his customer relations skills. he seems to have one or two apologists here but there is no excuse for taking deposits and then not communicating. Harsh but true.

I was thinking of another O scale builder and wondering if folks have to pass on their deposit information to their heirs in the event the project ever gets finished.  

@Rule292 posted:

I was thinking of another O scale builder and wondering if folks have to pass on their deposit information to their heirs in the event the project ever gets finished.  

That might elicit the question, which of the projects has the longest duration so far, and who has a track record bringing in models?

I'm sure it's all good intentions, but don't forget the old line: The road to Hades is paved with good intentions.

It's always been my opinion, if you plan to gamble on a model, (and it is most certainly a gamble) one better be able to absorb the loss should something go amiss. That in NO WAY implies any shady business, but a lot can happen between here and the Orient. Ships sink, planes fall out of the sky, political upheaval, pandemics! "Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH my!" I sincerely wish all you folks with money invested  the best. I do not derive joy from others misfortune!

East Coast Iron

That might elicit the question, which of the projects has the longest duration so far, and who has a track record bringing in models?

I'm sure it's all good intentions, but don't forget the old line: The road to Hades is paved with good intentions.

It's always been my opinion, if you plan to gamble on a model, (and it is most certainly a gamble) one better be able to absorb the loss should something go amiss. That in NO WAY implies any shady business, but a lot can happen between here and the Orient. Ships sink, planes fall out of the sky, political upheaval, pandemics! "Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH my!" I sincerely wish all you folks with money invested  the best. I do not derive joy from others misfortune!

East Coast Iron

Nicely written East Coast Iron,

I worked the brass department at the original Caboose Hobbies for several years and learned many stories about various projects that were awesome results and some royal blunders. Yes things have gone shady as you wrote in the hobby and one such incident that particularly stands out was I think “Mile High Brass Trains” or something such and such and those Kumata California Zephyr cars in HO back in the 1980s. This has NOTHING to do with THIS thread I know. From what I was told the importer business person that was doing these models took payments for these models based on speculation of arrival; he never filled the orders and took the money. Prison time I was told the eventual result, so many years ago now the stuff of mythos but nonetheless it’s really happened.

That is crazy huh!

Last edited by Erik C Lindgren

Nicely written East Coast Iron,

I worked the brass department at the original Caboose Hobbies for several years and learned many stories about various projects that were awesome results and some royal blunders. Yes things have gone shady as you wrote in the hobby and one such incident that particularly stands out was I think “Mile High Brass Trains” or something such and such and those Kumata California Zephyr cars in HO back in the 1980s. This has NOTHING to do with THIS thread I know. From what I was told the importer business person that was doing these models took payments for these models based on speculation of arrival; he never filled the orders and took the money. Prison time I was told the eventual result, so many years ago now the stuff of mythos but nonetheless it’s really happened.

That is crazy huh!

You could say a similar thing with Bill Benson and Right-of-Way Industries.

If anyone has heard if Erik is actually going to show up it would be nice to know ; here we are a few days before the show and the web-site still hasn't been updated ( contrary to someone saying he was going to more than a month ago )  and you'd think he'd want to let people know he planned to attend . Waiting with baited breath on this one .

I have a model reserved but I'm probably going to tap out. When it comes time to fork over another grand I'm going to be highly suspect about how long the next phase will take before a final payment is requested.

If memory serves me correctly, this model (SD40-2) was first mentioned as far back as 2012. In 2017 the project was officially open to reservations. I placed mine in 2019 and here we are 2 years later and the SD45's have yet to be delivered.

So far all I see is lots of talk and nothing to show for it save for a few painted and unpainted models. I sure hope Erik has some breaking news to report and a more defined timetable otherwise I'm going to cancel my reservation and see if there is any recourse to recoup my $950 deposit.

Let's see, Catnap - you have 2 years later since you reserved your model, and the factories across the globe have been shut down/closed and air travel is restricted all due to Covid which is now going on over 1 1/2 years. That means you have only  been waiting about 6 months.  Could you do any better? I don't like the wait either, but at least have some patience. The models have already been started and we all will have a better idea when the Covid restrictions loosen up.

George DiSanti - Home of the Tar Heels!

I wish Erik nothing but the best . I've had money tied up with him for 6 or 7 years . I was so intrigued with what he was proposing that I ordered engines that have I zero interest in - I was only hoping that somewhere down the road he'd produce early generation engines that are of interest to me .  I think the premise of what he wanted to achieve taking diesel detail and running properties to a new level are really exciting . I think the  main issue however is continuously moving the bar on detail levels and then introducing new models before getting something done . Over the years we've had lengthy phone conversations which I always enjoyed . I told him several times he would do best by getting the original SD project finished / delivered before getting bogged down in other projects . Over the years when I asked when deliveries would begin it would be '' by next March or by next fall '' so it gets harder to imagine this actually coming to fruition . At a bare minimum he could have updated his web-site 2 years ago with some plausible explanation of where things stand . I don't think there was anything nefarious going on - just  a case of not focusing on one thing at a time . I've talked to a number of guys who have deposits who are worried about where this goes so I really hope some firm plan is laid out when Erik speaks with customers this weekend .

This info is second hand from someone who was there yesterday ( and will be again today )  . At least he made an appearance . He had painted samples of the gons which apparently looked very nice . He was quite defensive about not updating the site or communicating with customers which shows a real lack of  understanding of how you need to relate to your customers .  I didn't get any indication of there being any schedule for delivery the long overdue SD project engines either - guess I'm not surprised . He had a lot of traffic / interest at his table from what has been relayed to me . This person intends to talk to him again today so if anything of interest is passed along to me I'll do the same .

I got the same email, too. Apparently 2 craftsmen on the SD40-2 project have quit and Erik has not been able to travel to South Korea in 2 years because of COVID. He hasn't updated his website because he's been too busy with his day job.

I don't take any of this as encouraging news. He can produce fantastic preproduction samples and I'm not questioning his ability to design a museum piece but it seems like he's taking on too much at once. How about delivering the SD45's then focus on the SD40-2 project before building BetGon's. I know he's already checking to see if there is interest in 73' centerbeam flat cars.

@Bryan D. posted:

This info is second hand from someone who was there yesterday ( and will be again today )  . At least he made an appearance . He had painted samples of the gons which apparently looked very nice . He was quite defensive about not updating the site or communicating with customers which shows a real lack of  understanding of how you need to relate to your customers .  I didn't get any indication of there being any schedule for delivery the long overdue SD project engines either - guess I'm not surprised . He had a lot of traffic / interest at his table from what has been relayed to me . This person intends to talk to him again today so if anything of interest is passed along to me I'll do the same .

As a reservation/deposit holder, does he provide any updates to you?

I don't have any Midwestern Modelworks on reservation but the last thing I reserved years ago ended up screwing me by taking my deposit money, providing no meaningful updates over 7 years and then shipping me versions of the model that weren't even close to what I reserved. 

I have no basis to critique Erik so this is not meant for him but I'm soured on reserving high dollar things with "nonrefundable large deposits" from builders with a so-called "track record of delivering". 

I've stayed out of this - but this is so amazing I can't help myself

I was at the show, the MMW models on display looked great

At the hotel, there were impacts on meal service; COVID and the current economy

When I fired up my computer a couple minutes ago; one of the popup stories is a major airline canceling flights this weekend, impacting many; COVID and the current economy

If you have watched news recently; a message is buy your Christmas presents now if you want to be sure you have some this year; COVID and the current economy

As there is no way to reasonably get to the far east right now to work models; how do you suggest MMW moves this project to completion at this current point in time ?

@Bryan D. posted:

^

Hey Rob ,

               We've gotten nothing .   There is just no excuse . My engines are mostly paid for and I will NEVER get involved with anything like this again . Never thought anyone would outdo the '' other guy ''  .

I certainly know that COVID has taken a bite out of everything but my seven-year tale of woe is long before COVID.  Amazingly, public complaint was few and far between.  I wonder if folks are/were worried about losing their money so they hushed up any complaints?  In my case there were certainly others who complained "hey, I ordered one thing and he took my money and he shipped me something else".

Production delays due to COVID and supply chain are to be expected in nearly every industry.  I have much sympathy with anyone trying to do offshore manufacturing or business.

With that said, honest and open communication has nothing to do with COVID.

It's simply good, honest business.

Last edited by Rule292
@Bryan D. posted:

^

Hey Rob ,

               We've gotten nothing .   There is just no excuse . My engines are mostly paid for and I will NEVER get involved with anything like this again . Never thought anyone would outdo the '' other guy ''  .

I ordered this model in 2019 only because Atlas canceled their SD40’s (I had 6 ordered) and 3rd Rail’s SD40-2’s had yet to receive sufficient reservations (I had 2 reserved at that time).

Now that 3rd Rail’s SD40-2 is a go I reserved 2 more and have pretty much given up on MMW’s model. Needless to say, I won’t be investing in any brass models ever again.

I have no stake in any of this debacle, but like others, it seems that things have gone on WAY too long.   Don't give me the Covid excuse crap, either!   These projects were started long before Covid, and too many use that as the excuse.    The engine project has not advanced much other than the dog and pony show put on since this started back in 2012......long before the current state of the world with Covid!   I agree, some things are out of Midwestern Model Works control, but open and honest communication certainly is not!    The fact is, this guy does not have a solid track record....Period!    Talk to anybody who sent him engines to be repowered in past years, and never got them done.  Always an excuse as to why things were not done on time, or as promised.     I have nothing against Eric one bit, just stating my observations.      The Beth Gons on display at the show at the show are beautiful....but they should be at $600.00 a pop!    Too rich for my tatses, however....   Still, I did not see any actual locomotive models, other than the same one displayed at Chicago back in March of 2020.

Last edited by R Nelson

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