N Gauge Forum

General Category => N Gauge Discussion => Topic started by: Stevie DC on January 11, 2019, 02:33:13 PM

Title: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on January 11, 2019, 02:33:13 PM
Unfortunately, I am currently not in a position on continue developing the Atso-Cad Models Shapeways range of kits. Each kit, not including the CAD time (c. 50-200 hours depending on complexity), has a monetary cost to develop in obtaining reference materials and a (or range of) suitable donor chassis to dismantle, measure up and CAD as well as numerous test prints to ensure that the print can be used as designed.

Unfortunately, the Atso-Cad Models Shapeways range has failed to make a return on their investments and following comments on another thread on this forum, it is clear that there is presently insufficient appetite within the market for this kind of product.

To those who have purchased one of my prints, thank you for your support. To those who have taken the time to contact me with photographs of your finished models, thank you a thousand times over - it is the most gratifying thing to see the results of your work and share your enjoyment.

To anyone who has commissioned a model from me, if it has been started or a financial commitment has been made by you, I will finish it but I ask that you be patient. For those who have inquired about a commission but have not paid a deposit, I am sorry but I will have to bow out.

I would like to thank my parents and girlfriend who convinced me to pick myself up and make a go at making a living out of this. You guys have been so supportive since I lost my house and job, put a roof (or two) over my head and supported both the business and myself (and my hobby) and helped to drive me on during my darkest days. I don't know how I'll ever repay you but I hope that one day I'll be in a position to.

Chris (Tank) and Mick (Newportnobby) also have my thanks, as do the other administrators and moderators on this forum. You guys have been so supportive of my efforts.

The existing Shapeways range will remain available - this costs me nothing to maintain and I hope that I might seen the investment returned eventually. However, I will not be adding to the Shapeways range. The website has been paid for until September so this will remain until either I make a decision on Atso-Cad's future or the subscription runs out - the existing email will remain active and I will check it from time to time.

I am not in the best of places at the moment. Atso-Cad Models may return in some form in the future but not until I'm feeling 100% better and feeling a little more confident that a basic living wage can be generated out of the expenses incurred.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Claude Dreyfus on January 11, 2019, 03:18:54 PM
I am sorry to hear your news. I am also sorry things haven't worked out as you would have hoped. Running your own company is not easy, especially when it requires a degree of up-front investment and long timescales to recoup.

Whilst I understand your comments around the 'State of N gauge' thread, these are comments from a very small number of users on a forum which covers a fraction of railway modellers (especially in terms of active participants). The reality is there are a number of modellers who won't be interested in kit building (for a myriad of reasons), or cannot (skill, time) or just aren't interested in the products you offer (wrong region, period etc.). Thats the case for all manufacturers. For each of the comments where kit building is not for them, there  will be at least another modeller who would relish the opportunity to build a kit, or scratch build.

I wish you the best for the future, and hopefully circumstances will be such in the future where you can make this a success.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: dannyboy on January 11, 2019, 03:32:10 PM
Best wishes from me too Atso and I do hope things start to look up for you.  I know it is an old cliché, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel, (eventually!). :beers:
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: PLD on January 11, 2019, 04:52:11 PM
Steve, you and your range are the sort of 'niche' fillers on which the hobby thrives... You're never going to make you fortune because the majority of modellers don't comprehend the time and skills you have to put in especially the research necessary before you even start creating anything tangible.

I've only met you a couple of times (last admiring 'Yorshires' day out on the North of England Line at Pickering) but I've built a few of your models - currently in progress a Pigeon Van at 'must get round to lettering it sometime' stage (despite having seen action at a couple of exhibitions) and a C12 currently in plain Black waiting for me to sort the chassis. Having followed your and Dr Al's workbench threads, next will probably be a V1 or V3.

I certainly appreciate your input to my hobby, but also understand your reasons for wanting to take a step back.

Best wishes from me also.

Paul
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: thebrighton on January 11, 2019, 05:03:21 PM
Sorry to hear Steve but fully understand, personally I stopped reading the state of N gauge thread and made a conscious effort to not join the 'conversation'. As I think you're aware I took a hit a few years ago when accosted by 2 NGS members in the car park after an AGM who accused me of ruining the annual modelling competition for others, 2 members who then admitted they were RTR all the way! Absolutely no issues with RTR as a means to get pleasure from model railways but one of these 'gentlemen' continues to have an issue online with anyone that scratch or kit builds. All a bit sad really but I don't bother with modelling competitions anymore.
Unfortunately building things yourself seems to be a dying art yet people seem to forget that British 'N' is a very small, niche market which will never be a big earner for anyone, especially the RTR market so without people like yourself there will be many holes in a modellers wish list of locos.
Hopefully things will take an upturn for you but I am grateful for the work you have put in and, as a consequence, the locos I now have in my stud.
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/28/main_23307.JPG)
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/29/main_22960.JPG)
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Philipp on January 11, 2019, 05:23:09 PM
best wishes sir, health comes first  :)
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: red_death on January 11, 2019, 05:35:05 PM
Steve

Sorry to hear that.  I hope things pick up for you and that you start to make a profit on your Shapeways sales - even though your period of modelling is not my era, I've always admired the work that you do (both in your modelling and commissions and in the 3D designs you've created).  As others have said the N gauge community will lose out from not having you developing more models.

Best of luck

Mike
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Dr Al on January 11, 2019, 06:14:25 PM
Health is everyone's number one priority over model trains. So I echo all the sentiments already said.

Personally, I also agree that this is a loss to the market. I've built just about every one of the items you have produced over the years (and a couple that aren't released), and the standard shames many more established kit suppliers. Of course we have also talked off list on some of your works also. It is a difficult area though - only a proportion will take up kitbuilding and that does then limit market size. But the loss of individuality, diversity and interesting-ness to me means those that decry anyone kitbuilding should hang their heads in shame. The hobby is a poorer place as a result of this loss.

I will unashamedly continue to promote both kitbuilding/modelling and your products whenever I see someone asking if a V1, K3, etc can be got in N, and whilst the income from it might not be huge, you still richly deserve that advertisement and any resulting sales.

I wish you improved health and wellbeing and look forward to continuing reading what you are doing on a personal modelling front.

Best,
Alan

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4880/32632017378_cde235f6a8_k.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4852/45155495524_164feb72d2_h.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4313/36007665295_99494f7f8e_k.jpg)

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/416/31462329342_d8d3ebc7d7_k.jpg)

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4835/46651420062_938e047bb2_k.jpg)
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 11, 2019, 06:45:04 PM
@Atso (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=213)  I'm sorry to hear this but sometimes in life you just have to stand back and review where you are.

Please do keep the existing range of prints available through Shapeways as this is a marker in the sand to which you can return to it as an when you feel able, even if it's at a more leisurely pace.

Can I ask one favour.  Please make available any models you have in development, i'm thinking specifically of the Atlantic, but any other models even if they are released with the caveat that they are prototypes would be very welcome.  Your models are of such a high standard I think many of us would hate to not have the opportunity of making these models.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Dr Al on January 11, 2019, 06:49:04 PM
Can I ask one favour.  Please make available any models you have in development, i'm thinking specifically of the Atlantic, but any other models even if they are released with the caveat that they are prototypes would be very welcome.  Your models are of such a high standard I think many of us would hate to not have the opportunity of making these models.

I would warmly second this - the LMS 0-4-4 tank was of great interest to me, as well as the Atlantic and the GWR County.

Regards,
Alan
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: njee20 on January 11, 2019, 06:52:54 PM
Mike sums up my thoughts. Your products are not my era, but I know your work is very highly regarded, and evidently many agree it’s a loss to the community. I hope your Shapeways models continue to sustain you in some capacity.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: exmouthcraig on January 11, 2019, 07:00:26 PM
What a shock to me and this forum obviously. Steve your quality knowledge and skill are here for all to see. Again like a few not my era or region but if you were to ever creep southward then I would definitely become a big customer.

Sad that like @thebrighton (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=profile;u=943) says how he no longer competes but his were a joy to see in the NGS and was definitely always someone i would love to be able to equal.

I enjoyed all of your Christmas postings Steve and the information gained from reading about the 2mm chassis for wagons.

Take time out, enjoy a break with your family around you and I wish you the very best for the immediate and long term future
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Roy L S on January 11, 2019, 07:28:01 PM
Very sad to read this announcement although I too agree that health comes first.

On a personal level I am both grateful and humbled by Steve's generosity in sharing his considerable skills with me. Thanks to him I have built a point using Code 40 rail and copperclad sleepers, something I never thought I would be capable of, and have ventured into construction of 2mm etched under his watchful eye. Alongside this I have two totally unique and wonderful locos that Steve has built and finished for me, they are the pride of my model railway as I am sure they would be anyones.

Steve, I think you underestimate your contribution to British N and it would be much the poorer without it, but then you are always very modest about your achievements. I hope you will continue to channel your energy into new models for your own personal layout "Hadley Wood" which promises to be something really special, and return to something more commercial when you feel the time is right for you.

Best wishes

Roy
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Richard G Dallimore on January 11, 2019, 07:41:16 PM
Steve, good luck health wise unfortunately I am not surprised you have come to this point. It is impossible to make a living out of N Gauge and I am glad that we both tried but have both suffered as a result. I enjoyed working with you although we had our disagreements and I wish you the very best for the future.

Unfortunately 98% of the market does not appreciate the work, effort, personal sacrifice, financial investment and commitment made by the specialists. As you know I got feed up with my trade stand getting robbed and being asked for discounts.

Please get well and just keep modelling as a hobby much better.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: captainelectra on January 11, 2019, 07:55:01 PM
Sorry to hear your news, Steve and I hope things brighten up for you soon. I've really admired your work and the ingenious way you have been able to bring some really interesting and obscure prototypes to life. As a fellow small supplier I do share some of your frustrations and have come to realise that no-one ever gets rich from N Gauge.  ;)
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Graham63 on January 11, 2019, 08:08:00 PM
Best wishes for the future. Graham
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Hailstone on January 11, 2019, 10:54:08 PM
I am so sorry to hear this Steve, I was looking forward to you unveiling the County as a kit, but your health must of course take precedence. I hope that this will not stop you modelling as your talent is huge and I feel it would be a loss not just to me but many others here if you stop altogether.
My best wishes to you for a happier 2019

Alex
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: RailGooner on January 11, 2019, 11:25:43 PM
Steve, I'm not done with being inspired by you yet. So I look forward to your return to posting. You're a wonderfully talented modeler and nothing but a benefit to and positive force for the hobby.
:beers:

I too am frequently visited by the darkness of depression, but please remember that you've got through it once so you can get through again. Immerse yourself in family and friends and forget the rest. Take your time. Brighter days will come. :heart:
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: carlwooduk on January 12, 2019, 09:31:27 AM
Steve,
Understand your decision and admire your openness on personal health. Echo the thoughts of others on the Forum calling out your talent and achievements in N. You will get back to it when the time is right for you.
Making a living from model railways as a small business is a massive challenge, there are a very few who have achieved a sustainable business over the long term.Having a great product and being a decent person help massively but  those qualities do not always reflect in the bottom line.

Will send a personal message about catching up at a show soon to play trains on VOO.
Best wishes
Carl.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Mike J on January 12, 2019, 10:53:36 AM
I'll echo the sentiments of many on this forum and wish you all the best for now and in the future.
Mike
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Delboy on January 12, 2019, 12:15:34 PM
Hi Steve,
Sorry to hear the news. As someone who is just venturing out in 3D printing and managing to make various small items for my N gauge collection, I am beginning to comprehend the time and effort you must have put in to, your excellent designs, which are far more complex than mine. As others have said, the news is a sad loss to the hobby and N gauge but your health is far more important. Best wishes for any future ventures you get involved in. Onwards and upwards.
D.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Southerngooner on January 12, 2019, 03:37:26 PM
Hi Steve

I’ll echo the other comments on here and wish you well. I’m sure life will turn around for you, looking forward to seeing some more excellent stuff from you in years to come

Dave
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on January 14, 2019, 01:45:36 PM
Thank you everyone for your support. To be honest, I wasn't expecting anyone to reply and feel overwhelmed that you've taken the time to comment and pass on your best wishes.

Thanks to Dr Al and The Brighton for sharing their work - exceptional, as always.

Firstly, with regard to anything that hasn't been released, I'm sorry but no, I don't like to offer something for sale unless I'm 100% happy that it is as good as I can make it. While I could offer it under the advisory that it is a prototype, I don't want to have to deal with the inevitable requests for help (and/or complaints) because things don't quite work as they're supposed to.

I have bowed to such requests in the past, the Y5 got 25+ requests (despite the lack of a direct use chassis) but only sold two models. The pigeon van was the other with over 40 requests to put it on the Shapeways shop but has since gone on to sell only six or seven prints (of which I saw two of them yesterday!).

With regard to Atso-Cad, it is clear that the business model, based around the Shapeways shop doesn't work. Part of the issue is that, to keep prices affordable, I can only place a small mark up on the cost of the print from Shapeways. This ranges from 50p to £7 depending on the size and complexity of the model. Also to be factored in is the high shipping costs and Shapeways' frequent redefining of design criteria - requiring amendments to the CADs before they'll sell any more. Should I decided to try this again, it is clear that Shapeways' is not the platform from which to do it. Similarly, I have when requested, on a few occasions, provided free prints to clubs and established Youtube reviewers to build and review. Sadly, over a year on, I'm yet to see any reviews, good or bad, from these people which is a little disheartening and frustrating - should I try again, I'm not going to go down that route either.

On a more positive note, I did manage to get enough drive together to complete one commission in time for the Stevenage exhibition yesterday (where it was to be delivered), although it created a minor domestic disturbance as I had to miss a friend's birthday to achieve it. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't have gone but I am glad I did, if only for the wonderful chat/analysis/pep talk that RoyLS (and a couple of others) gave me. Thank you guys.

I've not been on here much but have noticed that several people have also contacted me privately, both here and via email. Thank you for you messages and I will be responding to you - just not today.

Once again, thank you all for your messages.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Mustermark on January 15, 2019, 03:21:57 AM
Hope things turn more positive for you soon, Steve. Very sorry to hear your business venture hasn’t succeeded, but it seems that you have enriched the hobby for quite a lot of people. Good luck for what you do next, and I hope you manage to keep modelling as something fun in your life. (Sometimes it’s the thing that keeps me going in life). All the best.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on January 16, 2019, 05:05:45 PM
Shapeways have been increasing their prices again recently. However, items previously available on Shapeways shops have been frozen. This ends on the 4th February when all products will be increased to the new prices.

While my own modest mark up is unaffected, this price increase will significantly increase the cost of each model.

If you are thinking of purchasing an Atso-Cad Shapeways print, please do so before Monday 4th February.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 16, 2019, 05:29:00 PM
Shapeways have been increasing their prices again recently. However, items previously available on Shapeways shops have been frozen. This ends on the 4th February when all products will be increased to the new prices.

While my own modest mark up is unaffected, this price increase will significantly increase the cost of each model.

If you are thinking of purchasing an Atso-Cad Shapeways print, please do so before Monday 4th February.

Can I echo this and point out that following 29th March in theory we will be paying import duty on items from Holland.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: red_death on January 16, 2019, 05:31:32 PM
following 29th March in theory we will be paying import duty on items from Holland.

Unlikely, WTO tariffs are zero on plastic model trains (assuming there isn't a different tariff for 3d printed items!).

Cheers, Mike
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 16, 2019, 05:33:51 PM
following 29th March in theory we will be paying import duty on items from Holland.

Unlikely, WTO tariffs are zero on plastic model trains (assuming there isn't a different tariff for 3d printed items!).

Cheers, Mike

I do hope this is the case, but what chance HMRC getting it correct  :)

Regardless I shall be perusing ATSO's Shapoeways pages tonight.

Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Dr Al on January 16, 2019, 05:38:44 PM
While my own modest mark up is unaffected, this price increase will significantly increase the cost of each model.

Can you quantify how much an increase this is?

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on January 16, 2019, 05:42:53 PM
While my own modest mark up is unaffected, this price increase will significantly increase the cost of each model.

Can you quantify how much an increase this is?

Cheers,
Alan

Depending on the product, up to £17.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Dr Al on January 16, 2019, 06:09:20 PM
Depending on the product, up to £17.

Ball park 50% increase then. Ouch - wonder what reason they are peddling for this. Better start searching for stuff I want.

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on January 16, 2019, 06:19:32 PM
Depending on the product, up to £17.

Ball park 50% increase then. Ouch - wonder what reason they are peddling for this. Better start searching for stuff I want.

Cheers,
Alan

Not necessarily, the lowest is £4 and I'm at a complete loss as to the logic with which Shapeways had applied these increases as it isn't applied as you think. For me, this is the final nail, I'm now certain I'm not doing any further development on the Shapeways range in the future.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Dr Al on January 16, 2019, 06:22:39 PM
Ok, ball park MINIMUM 50%. That's.....crazy, their business will evaporate overnight....

Cheers,
Alan
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on January 16, 2019, 06:25:32 PM
Ok, ball park MINIMUM 50%. That's.....crazy, their business will evaporate overnight....

Cheers,
Alan

Sorry, to clarify, the lowest increase is £4.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on January 16, 2019, 06:50:12 PM
OK, the prices increases work out to be between roughly 30% and 200%. Unfortunately, even adjusting my own mark-ups to zero still wouldn't get anywhere near close to combating any of the price increases in the Atso-Cad Shapeways range.

As I've indicated before, I'm not in the best of places right now and really am in no position to look into this further at the moment.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: woodbury22uk on January 16, 2019, 07:55:03 PM
I feel for Atso sustaining this latest blow.

The Shapeways price increases were announced back in October, but will only be implemented from the beginning of February. Today they have provided a spreadsheet analysing the price changes for existing items. I only have one item in my Shapeways shop, and the increase varies from 3% to 22% depending on material. It is the adapter I use to motorise the Oxford Diecast Borismaster bus, and the cheapest material is actually the best in my experience. The 3% increase from Shapeways is less significant than the monthly price variations caused by translating USD/EUR to GBP at Shapeways exchange rates.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Newportnobby on January 16, 2019, 09:39:24 PM
Hells teeth, Steve! :o
That's a horrible state of affairs and does nothing to promote 3D print whatsoever :unimpressed:
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: NTrain on January 16, 2019, 10:31:05 PM
I feel for Steve in all of this as well.

I have had my own problems for quite some time, as Tank is aware, and can echo the wonder with which Shapeways seem to be doing things.  I thought my increases were bad enough at 113% in several cases.

And Steve, remember, family and health first. All this lot will still be here, whenever you feel ready

Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 16, 2019, 10:51:53 PM
I feel for Steve in all of this as well.

I have had my own problems for quite some time, as Tank is aware, and can echo the wonder with which Shapeways seem to be doing things.  I thought my increases were bad enough at 113% in several cases.

And Steve, remember, family and health first. All this lot will still be here, whenever you feel ready

I wonder how long it will take for a rival to Shapeways to be Venture Capital funded (as Shapeways is).  A new entrant can learn from Shapeways mistakes and will have an understanding of what will be commercially successful.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Snowwolflair on January 17, 2019, 01:35:47 AM
I just ran one of my complicated 3D designs that I know the price of through Shapeways through Sculpteo and the equivalent price looks in line with the new Shapeways pricing.

this indicates the pricing may be being driven by material costs.   Sculpteo is a US and France based production house but do not have a shop.

If I dig further and come up with anything significant on where to get cheaper prints I will create a new thread.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Ben A on January 17, 2019, 08:39:43 AM

Hello Steve,

I am sorry to hear of your travails and wish you all the best for both a good personal recovery from your health issues, and then a successful return to the hobby when you're ready.

I have only ever heard good things about your models and service.

Best wishes

Ben A.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: icairns on January 22, 2019, 04:35:10 PM
Dear Steve:

To say that I was disappointed to hear your recent announcement is an understatement! 
However, I do understand that good health and financial security are very important in one’s life and must take priority over other things.
 
I consider myself to be a (very) “average” modeler and my main interests are fiddling about with locomotives and rolling stock.  However, scratch-building stock in n-gauge to the standard that would satisfy me is beyond my capabilities.
 
Consequently, 3D prints provide me with a great starting point for unusual models that are not (and may never be) available ready-to-run.  I have a double track, continuous run layout based in the north-east of England during the period 1950 to 1970 that enables me to run my stock.
 
My first experience with Shapeways 3D prints was the Atso-Cad Thompson LNER 2-6-4 Class L1.  In order to avoid having to line the loco, I painted it Floquil “Grimy Black” in the hope it would give it a care-worn, weathered appearance.  Next time, I will probably paint it loco black, make an attempt at lining, and then weather it using conventional paints and weathering powders.
 
Unfortunately, being new to working with 3D printed models, I did not research the initial step of soaking the print in a solution of IPA or white spirit in order to remove the waxy residue and make the resin opaque. 
As a result, my L1 is now showing evidence of what looks like a crystalline residue forming on the model.  However, in the photos it looks like realistic water stains from the loco’s washout plugs!
 
After hearing that you were going to upgrade and re-release the L1, I had decided to leave my model as is and wait for the new print.  I learned a lot from my previous effort and was looking forward to the upgraded 3D print.  Please reconsider!!
 
Atso-Cad LNER/BR Thompson L1
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/73/3276-220119162747.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=73386)

3D models that I have recently finished include a set of three PALVANS (“Rail 3D Prints”) and two Conflat L container wagons each with 3 limestones containers (“Modelopolis”) - like the old Tri-ang model.  For one of the Conflat L wagons I used the kit available from N-Brass Locos but for the second one I just used an unmodified Graham Farish Conflat wagon. 

My current 3D projects are an Atso-Cad LNER/BR 2-6-2 V3 and a Tyneside Electric LNER single luggage motor coach from Recreation21 (“rue-d-etropal”).
 
The V3 has received an initial coat of grey primer and looks very good so far.  The surface is much smoother that it appears in the attached photo.  I also like how the model includes a separate print for the cab floor (I had to make a cab floor for my Thompson L1).  Also, the rear bogie/truck chassis can be purchased separately which I think will makes things easier but I have not progressed that far yet.
 
Another thing that is much appreciated in the Atso-Cad models is that the locations of the hand rail knobs are indicated by small pin-prick indentations that makes drilling of the holes easy and accurate.  These indentations can be seen in the photo of the V3.
 
Atso-Cad LNER/BR V3
(https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/gallery/73/3276-220119162939.jpeg) (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?action=gallery;sa=view&id=73387)

On a general note regarding the sale and marketing of 3D print models, I believe that they would benefit by including/publishing:
a.   Clear instructions on the preparing the print prior to painting (searching the Internet gives many different methods (but which one is the best and/or recommended method for the resin used?); 
b.   The recommended chassis; 
c.   Modifications required to fit the chassis to the body (if any).
 
I think Steve’s articles entitled “Getting Started in 3D Printing” in the Spring 2018 issue of BRM and “Making the Most of 3D Prints” in the May 2018 BRM are a very good introduction to making good 3D print models and good publicity for the 3D industry. 

But realistically, even good models need promotion and advertising - just look at the number of advertising pages in the monthly magazines.  This is obviously not possible with small manufacturers as it would push up prices but it does illustrate the challenges of making a return from such a business.
 
In conclusion, Steve take care of yourself and realize that you have a loyal (but apparently small) band of followers that are very much looking forward to your next models (whenever it might be).  Remember how long modelers have to wait for the promised Graham Farish and Dapol models!  Hopefully, the refurbished LNER L1 won’t be too long! 

Best regards

Ian Cairns
Los Angeles

Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: icairns on January 27, 2019, 08:48:26 PM
I forgot to mention in my previous post that the Thompson L1 was motorized using the loco chassis from a GF Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 loco.

The rear driving wheel with the traction tyre was replaced by a new driving wheel for the 2MT (without the traction tyre grove) from the Bachmann Service/Spares Department.

The L1 rear truck is a GF front bogie from a B1 loco supplied by BR lines.
 
Ian
Los Angeles
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: EtchedPixels on January 27, 2019, 11:25:37 PM
I don't actually think there are enough active N Gauge kit builders to make it possible to earn a living doing it. Not only that but you inevitably compete with those who do it for fun.

All the money is in OO (because of the volume) and O (because of the money). Just look at a n O gauge show car park and an N gauge one.. it's enlightening.

Alan
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: njee20 on January 28, 2019, 09:34:53 AM
Genuinely interested by what you mean, nicer cars at an O gauge show?

It certainly stands to reason that only those with more disposable income will be drawn to O. For every person in N who does spend hundreds without really thinking about it we have 5 people moaning that the new Farish releases are too expensive. O is never going to be 'cheap', although of course most will only have a small roster comprising few, more expensive items.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: EtchedPixels on January 29, 2019, 06:20:17 PM
If you walk around an O gauge event or look at the car park it attracts a certain part of the 1%. There are lots of O gauge modellers who are not ! but it does mean there are people who will buy a £1000 kit on the spur of the moment, and pay someone to assemble it and spray it etc.

Also O is cheaper in some ways: most O gauge modellers don't own very much stock for obvious practical reasons. That may also be why the kit market works better. Building a kit is fun, building 35 identical wagon kits gets to be a chore.

Alan
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Jim Martin on January 31, 2019, 01:04:28 AM
Steve

This is a great shame; but given what you've said about the sales and margins involved in the business, you should be admired for persevering as long as you have. Even though my own modelling is based very much in the diesel age, your topic was one of the ones that I always checked because you were always doing interesting things. I hope that at some point you'll be doing interesting things again and writing about them. Until then, the best of luck to you.

Jim
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on February 04, 2019, 10:44:30 AM
Thank you all for you continuing messages of support.

As has been posted elsewhere on this forum, Shapeways has sent the following email regarding the new pricing.

Quote
Dear Shop Owner,

After reviewing some members' pricing comparison csv reports, we have determined that we have a flaw with how our new algorithm is calculating the price of certain types of models using Fine Detail Plastic (FUD).

We will be extending grandfathered pricing for all existing products using Fine Detail Plastic (FUD) until we fix this issue. We expect this to take a few weeks.

Once we determine it is fixed, we will provide an additional week for impacted members to download their new pricing comparison csv files before rolling out the changes and removing grandfathered pricing for this material.

All other materials will change over on Feb 4th, as previously announced.

Thanks very much to everyone who contributed their csv file reports to us enabling us to pinpoint and address the issue.

Sincerely,
Shapeways

Therefore, the current pricing for Fine Detail Plastics (the bulk of the Atso-Cad range) remains unchanged until Shapeways decides how they are going to calculate prices for Fine Detail Plastics.
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Richard Taylor on February 05, 2019, 10:42:50 PM
Hello Mr Da Costa (forgive the formality but I'm new to the forum)

I'm very sorry to hear your announcement, but as I know only too well from personal experience you *have* to put yourself first in this kind of health situation.  The only thing I'd say is not to let the small but vocal minority of pedants, club bores and naysayers that unfortunately infest parts of the model railway internet get to you.  After nearly a working lifetime dealing with railway enthusiasts in one form or another (usually from a heritage/museums perspective) I have realised that there is nothing that you can do about some of them.  They have simply have lost all sense of perspective about what is meant to be a hobby.   I do hope that in time you feel up to returning to model production.

Moving to practicalities, I've just bought some of your V1/V3 shells from Shapeways (complete coincidence - I didn't know about either the price increase or about you stepping back from the business untila fater my order went in.)  I've secured a couple of discounted N class locos from the Rails sale.  Now, for the rear pony wheelset you recommend 7.1mm diameter Farish pony wheels.  Do you order these direct from the Bach/Farish spares department (BR Lines don't stock them)?  If so, do you know what locos Farish use these wheels under, so that I can provide a bit more detail when ordering?  Many thanks in anticipation,
Richard Taylor
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: RailGooner on February 05, 2019, 10:55:26 PM
Welcome aboard Richard! :wave:

When you've settled in, come and say hello. :beers:
 Welcome to the NGF! (https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=426.0)
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Richard Taylor on February 05, 2019, 10:57:34 PM
Many thanks!  Will do...
Richard
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Stevie DC on February 06, 2019, 09:56:59 AM
Hello Mr Da Costa (forgive the formality but I'm new to the forum)

I'm very sorry to hear your announcement, but as I know only too well from personal experience you *have* to put yourself first in this kind of health situation.  The only thing I'd say is not to let the small but vocal minority of pedants, club bores and naysayers that unfortunately infest parts of the model railway internet get to you.  After nearly a working lifetime dealing with railway enthusiasts in one form or another (usually from a heritage/museums perspective) I have realised that there is nothing that you can do about some of them.  They have simply have lost all sense of perspective about what is meant to be a hobby.   I do hope that in time you feel up to returning to model production.

Moving to practicalities, I've just bought some of your V1/V3 shells from Shapeways (complete coincidence - I didn't know about either the price increase or about you stepping back from the business untila fater my order went in.)  I've secured a couple of discounted N class locos from the Rails sale.  Now, for the rear pony wheelset you recommend 7.1mm diameter Farish pony wheels.  Do you order these direct from the Bach/Farish spares department (BR Lines don't stock them)?  If so, do you know what locos Farish use these wheels under, so that I can provide a bit more detail when ordering?  Many thanks in anticipation,
Richard Taylor

Hi Richard,

Thank you for your kind words and please, no need to be formal.

I usually source my wheels from the accessory packs that (used to?) come with the Farish A1s, Jubilees and Black Fives. The wheels you want are the largest bogie/pony wheels which are now most usually used for the Cartazzi truck on the A1s and A2s. Farish will sell these as a spare bogie/pony as long as they have some in stock if you ask nicely - most cost effective to order as a bogie but be sure to 100% specify that you want the largest bogie/pony wheels fitted.

Hope this helps

Steve
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: Richard Taylor on February 07, 2019, 12:11:26 PM
Hello Steve

Many thanks for the advice.  I will contact Bachmann and see what happens. 

Thinking about it, I should have a couple of Bachmann pacifics still in their boxes in the loft, so if I can find them I might already have the wheels in the accessory packs...

Best wishes,
Richard
Title: Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
Post by: PaulinSouthMidlands on February 09, 2019, 06:43:49 PM
I'm no expert on this and might get shot down in flames but the impression I get is that businesses like yours in the N gauge Serious Modellers Kits market are, with a few exceptions part time affairs.

Either a supplementary job done evenings/weekends supplementing another full or part time job or someone who has retired early supplementing their pension.

I've not bought your products but they look good, and you now seem to have put the hours in to develop a portfolio; so one conceivable option might be to step back a bit and let it tick over as a part time enterprise for a while, while looking at other full or part time work to make up a decent income, rather than stopping altogether and seeing your hard work go to waste, perhaps with a total break for a short while if things have really got to you?