I have just sent a strongly worded email to Austrains regarding this paragraph of their most recent newsletter in which they have announced they will be making a C30T:
"Our SPECIAL offer still applies to those who have placed orders for C30T class locos with another company and can
prove, to our satisfaction, that they have received a full refund of their deposits, we will supply them with an equivalent number of Austrains C30 Tanks and C30T’s at the price of $495.00. FUNNY though, we still haven’t had anyone take us up on our previous offer."
Yes, those two words were in caps in the original.
For those of us who have been in contact with Ixion Models regarding their very generous offer, this would seem to potentially put their plans to make Shrike's 30T, and that special offer to those of us who lost our money, in jeopardy.
I do understand that business is business, but to me, this seems like an unnecessarily aggressive move that targets another manufacturer who has been very understanding and compassionate, whilst also being condescending to those of us who don't have another $500 to spend on a model.
I am however interested in what others think about this...
From what I understand and, I am one who will be affected by this is that the reason that John Eassie has not received any responses to his offer is that Ixion is not prepared to give a refund to those who have paid out money to the previous owner of the Shrike brand.
Earlier there was a report that those taking up the offer had to show bank deposit of the refund &/or other proof that the refund had been made and was genuine. The catch in the offer really is that Ixion who now owns the Shrike toolings themselves will not refund any money to those who have paid for the Shrike models, they have to get it from the former owner, so unless the owner can refund the money, then its a non offer.
The other aspect in this also is that when I gave the production run sample a good going over at Liverpool last year without having any scale rules and the like I would say its the most accurate model I have yet seen in the steam RTR models so far produced, that along with the said situation that the final payment money was ready to be transferred to the factory and should be here prior to Christmas last, I put my money up for one. Had the events that followed happened prior to then I would not have paid up front. Something I no longer do until I know a model is at least under production and I have seen the final production sample.
I believe that the Austrains model may be a better model if it has the metal bolier, with minimal cast in detail, forget the rivet detail being that big a problem but more noticeable items such as oil lines almost all end up as blobs, with little and no definition. If such things like the funnel and domes are also seperate then we wont have the terrible 2 joins as found in the Ixion 32cl either. (I did not see evidence of that in the 30T, but that's likely a factory assembly guality issue). May be better for the haulage ability of the model owing to what seems to be some sensible design items with the model.
The problem for me is that while in one sense I would be sort of happy to pay the extra money to Ixion for the 30T, I wonder where I and others in the same position stand if the model comes out not to the standard that it was when the decision was made to purchase it. To get a refund and return the model means you would likely only get the $85.00 from them.
Other aspect is that we still wait to see when Ixion has made enough 32cl sales to get the 30T into production, seems a bit of an open ended thing that we may not know for some time. Also those who have fully paid for the models at what part of the models run will they be placed at, in receiving their model?
There is hardly any news on their blog and home pages these days, and for those not on FB, how will they know what is going on with the model, unless there is a post here on RP?
For me, I would be more than happy to have a refund of the money I paid, show the details to Austrains but, then sit back and compare the Ixion 30T to the Austrains model and get the one that I prefer.