May I be permitted to set the record straight on some issues discussed here?
1. There has been no collusion between Shrike and Ixion; Phil Badger is a Director and one-third owner of Ixion Model railways, with myself and our friend Chris Klein form the UK. He was Technical Advisor to Shrike's 30T; effectively, a consultant. He was NEVER a "partner" in Shrike Models as Geoff Hope so often stated in his posts.
2. Ixion Models has not acquired the 30T tooling from Shrike Models. As I clearly stated in the press release, we acquired it from its new owner. That is a confidential business arrangement that I will not discuss.
3. Ixion is not obligated to honour the pre-release sales. Any monies paid to Shrike Models constituted a contract with them, not with us. If thee are, say, 150 pre-sales, for Ixion to supply them to those customers, including postage, even at Shrike's original pricing, is asking us to take a hit of 150 x $435, an amount totalling $65,250. This is totally unreasonable; we are a business, not a charity. Nevertheless, we are modellers, and we feel the pain of people who stand to lose very significant amounts of money. One gentleman has prepaid for six locomotives. We are in discussions with the factory about production costs, and what is still owing on the tooling. When these negotiations are concluded, we will make our comment on this matter, and not before. We are aware of the issue.
4. I am deeply upset at any suggestion that model railway manufacturers are ripping off customers; so offensively called "price gouging" above. Ixion's accounts are a matter of public record in the UK. For the princely sum of one pound you can view them at the Companies House website - as you can those of Hornby, Dapol, Bachmann etc. Ixion was registered in the UK as a company (Company No. 6350980) in 2007. Since then, we have made and sold over 5500 locomotives and railcars in three scales (these figures do not include the HO scale C32). So far, Ixion has not returned a single cent to its owners, neither in profit, nor for repaying the Director's loans which were our establishing capital. Again, feel free to check our audited accounts. Every penny we make has so far been sunk into producing the next model. We love it, and are having tremendous fun. But a get-rich-quick scheme? You have to be joking. John Eassie told the truth when he said the first run pays for the cost of production; only when there's a second run is there any profit. I would say to the critics and anonymous online snipers: if making model trains is such a money tree, why aren't you doing it? Remortgage your house, pick a prototype, and take the multi-hundred-thousand-dollar gamble that people will buy it. Phil and Chris and I did. The fact that after 31 years working in schools, I still have to go to work every day may give you a hint as to how that has played out so far.
5. Ixion wishes Geoff Hope well; as he has bravely stated on his Facebook page, he has had significant personal life issues. He has done what he thought best by his customers, given the situation he was in. I applaud his courage in what for him is a difficult time. If you have no compassion for the man, at least respect his need to deal with issues as his circumstances allow. Disparaging comments on his character or intentions are not worthy of this forum. There but by the Grace of God go Thou.
At the very least, respect his right not to be slandered and pilloried online by people who are making things up to fill the gaps in the little they know of the actual circumstances. Shame, gentlemen.
6. When released, the 30T will cost more than the price Shrike Models set. Ixion set the retail price of the C32 at $595, Shrike set the C30T at $460. We are still in business. I will not elaborate. The 32 Class production run will commence after Chinese New Year, delivery expected in April. The 30T will follow as soon as we have sufficient cash in the bank to fund it. If you want a 30T in 2016, you way you can absolutely guarantee it is to buy a 32. Or lots
I apologise for the length of this post. I hope it is not simply dismissed as a 'rant'. But the Ixion Directors have built a company in which we have set the highest ethical standards for ourselves. It would be nice to know that others share our values.