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ME Models is making a fully functional model railway system that can compliment the current LEGO® Gauge railway offering.
260 backers pledged $87,357 to help bring this project to life.

Your April Update...

Posted by ME Models (Creator)
2 likes

This past weekend must have everyone itching to get their railway layouts up and ready because we received a record amount of emails and questions that I want to address to all of you as a whole.

Just for reference, our current fulfillment completion is at 20%.

First and foremost, we are still actively shipping items to our backers.  Should your pledge contain ONLY ABS rails in black, dark brown, or reddish brown, you should have received the rail portion of your pledge.  If you ordered ONLY ABS in Dark Bluish Gray, your order should have already arrived, or will be arriving very soon.

Now, with regards to the metal, first, a little history,  During our last batch of extrusion that we ordered from the company, several of the rails were "corkscrewed" rendering them unusable.  The manager had attributed this problem to sending them too fast through the die.  He felt that slowing the process or re-timing the feed arm would correct the issue.  Now, fast forward to today.  We spoke with an engineer at the facility as well as an engineer from another facility who told us that that reason they were being corkscrewed was due to excess pressure in the die.  With the small size of the parts which we are pressing, a special press is needed which limits the total tonnage of force used to press the part.  In short, we were referred to another extrusion company which has the correct equipment to accommodate our needs.  Why this was just disclosed to us now and not six months ago when we asked and were put on the list is beyond our scope of knowledge, however, I can assure you we're doing what is necessary to get the job done as quickly as possible and the correct way.

I have fielded several questions from backers regarding the plastic and why we are also selling product at retail while some backers have not been fulfilled yet.  To answer that question, I would like to share with you a brief financial statement of the project:

As you are aware, the project was funded with a total amount of $87,357.  Of this $47,965.94 was actually collected.  This difference reflects fees taken from the total amount which were allocated to both KickStarter and Amazon.com payments as well as pledges which went uncollected due to non-payment of backers.  For those doing the math, that's 57% return.  An additional $11,952 was raised through BackerKit, of which, $9168.96 was collected after fees giving us a grand total of $57,134.90 to work with.

On the expenses side, the molds needed to make the plates and curves in ABS came to a grand total of $43,640.  The balance due on the metal fixture cost $3770 as most of it had been previously funded via the company.  Also, an additional $3400 was spent on CAD drawings that were needed to create the mold and for the metal process.  That gives us a total of $50,810 not withstanding any incidentals, or, at the end of the day, around $6325 to work with in order to pay for product and shipping to roughly 400 backers and pre-orders.

As you can see, the funding shortfall left us in a position where we needed to find a solution to make up this difference.  During our initial release of product, we were seeing very good retail sales which allowed us to begin shipping items to our backers and pre-orders by using any profits made to cover the manufacturing and shipping costs of those items.  Within a month after release, those sales began to taper slightly, thus necessitating our need to slow the fulfillment process.  Now that word of the product has spread and thanks in part to all of you who have been writing reviews and telling your friends about the product, sales have began to pick up again which will allow us to continue feeding the system.

I hope that this somewhat lengthy explanation now sheds more light on "what is taking so long".  I can't promise you when your items will arrive.  What I can promise you is that we will continue to diligently promote our product and that ALL of you will receive your items and you will be more than pleased with what you receive.

Again, I can not thank you all enough for making this project a reality and granting us your extended patience as we continue to give 100% effort to getting everyone taken care of as soon as possible.

Mike & Eric
ME Models

Sal Ciofani and Peter Ogilvy like this update.

Comments

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    1. guiton jean-baptiste on

      i've ordered only plastic, and still haven't received my order... what is going on?

    2. Missing avatar

      Claudio Gomes on

      I ordered both Metal and Plastic to help boost both projects and now I'm feeling I'm getting penalized for that. If my pledge had been lower, and plastic only, I would already have the rails?. Its taking way too long.

    3. ME Models Creator on

      @ Corey Gehman: More or less funding. We found another extrusion company that can deliver, but that's not an overnight process either.

      Once we deliver the plastic rails that are left, we can divert 100% of retail sales to completion of the metal.

    4. Missing avatar

      Corey Gehman on

      Is the metal being delayed by lack of funds or by technical hurdles? I would actually order metal track from your webpage if it was shipping and if it helped fullfill orders but I already pledged far more plastic than I will probably ever use.

    5. ME Models Creator on

      Hi Nicholas,

      I think we explained everything in the last update. We are shipping as fast as we can, but sales need are driving us right now. As long as we still have retail sales, we can keep shipping stuff to backers. I hope that makes sense.

      Rest assured, it's coming. Just please be patient.

    6. Missing avatar

      Nicolas Teeuwen on

      According to the above update, " If you ordered ONLY ABS in Dark Bluish Gray, your order should have already arrived, or will be arriving very soon.". I have not received my order, and its now May 21st. I also haven't received a response since the last email I sent.

      I understand you may have a lot on your plate in getting this up and running. My problem though is that I was supposed to receive my order ages ago (according to your update above) and yet I have not received anything yet and no communication as to why either.

    7. Missing avatar

      Marvin Malkowski Jr on

      Thanks for the update. I put in an order for some ABS track thru the website to further assist the cost as well we are rapidly expanding my plastic setup. I was not aware that even after something gets funded, that people are not truly committed to backing a project.

    8. ME Models Creator on

      @ Peter Ogilvy: You will receive a tracking number as soon as your items are shipped. We're slowly getting through the pile placing orders as we can.

    9. Peter Ogilvy on

      My pledge was for all dark bluish grey ABS so from the update I assume It should be arriving soon. Will I get a tracking number or will it just turn up in the mailbox? Is there any way of checking my payment was recieved and I'm actually on your production list?

    10. ME Models Creator on

      @ Ashgill: we would combine your orders into a single shipment; that's what we've been doing to this point.

    11. Ashgill on

      If we order some tracks from your website (enough to help cover the postage), since we need more straight tracks anyways, will that help you to mail out our ABS only pledge?

    12. ME Models Creator on

      @ Justin Rupp: Thankfully, we weren't liable for it!

    13. Justin Rupp on

      I hope you didn't waste too much material before discovering the corkscrewing problem. Thanks for the update!

    14. ME Models Creator on

      @ Matt Sailors: The reason those with combined orders were delayed is we were hoping that metal would be available so that we could combine shipments cutting down on postage. Nothing with that regard has changed and we will still continue fulfilling ABS only until we are at the end of the list. At that time, if metal is ready, we'll ship them combined, if not, ABS will come first and then we'll follow up with metal once it's ready.

    15. Matt Sailors on

      Thank you for the update.
      A follow on question:
      Will those of us who pledged for metal rails and added plastic rails through backer kit be getting just one shipment when everything is ready or separate shipment of plastic rails and metal rails?

    16. ME Models Creator on

      @ Andrew Glina: Once we get over these few hurdles, we'll be set.

    17. ME Models Creator on

      @ Antoine Vallières: Thank you!

    18. Siegfried Glina on

      It's good. Try to stay in business...

    19. Missing avatar

      Antoine Vallières on

      Thank you for this very detailled update.

      You two are doing a great job, keep up the good work.

      Take all the time needed.