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Author Topic: Atso-Cad Models Announcement  (Read 1639 times)

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Offline Atso

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Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« 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.

Offline Claude Dreyfus

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #1 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.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 03:28:44 PM by Claude Dreyfus »

Online dannyboy

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #2 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:
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline PLD

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #3 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

Offline thebrighton

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #4 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.


Online Philip.

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 05:23:09 PM »
best wishes sir, health comes first  :)

Offline red_death

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #6 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



Offline Dr Al

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #7 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









« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 06:40:18 PM by Dr Al »
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”Dr. Carl Sagan

Online Snowwolflair

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 06:45:04 PM »
@Atso  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.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #9 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
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline njee20

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #10 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.

Online exmouthcraig

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #11 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 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

Offline Roy L S

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #12 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

Offline Richard G Dallimore

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #13 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.
Regards
Richard
Formerly NtasticShop
Dapol Apologist (according to RMWeb)
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Member of NGS (but not allowed to comment)
Why am I surrounded by maroons?

Offline captainelectra

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Re: Atso-Cad Models Announcement
« Reply #14 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.  ;)
Best Regards,
Adam Warr
Electra Rail
Peterborough, UK
http://www.electrarail.co.uk
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