Shrike Models

 
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
The days of the pre order could be coming to a end for more modellers now .
BIG-BEAR
They were over for me ages ago. After I saw long-overdue models finally arrive to be available at exhibitions, but I still waited for three months in one case for my fully paid pre-order to turn up. Unfortunately I relented with this 30T, because I erroneously believed the principals knew what they were doing. If it had been spelt out at the time that most of the "principals" in the publicity blurb were only onboard by name-dropping, then I would have been more careful. And nobody will be getting my money from now on without a credit card payment option.

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  Bob K Station Master

Location: East of Port Pirie
You are spot on with your comments and I totally agree.

I paid by cheque (silly me) which my bank tells me is the same as cash, with no recourse for a refund through the banking system. However, there is a record of it, the cheque, going into Shrike Models bank account, so I suppose there is a record of that.

The game continues.

Bob
  TedFreeman Locomotive Driver

Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
It is starting to look like all of shrike's models customers for the 30T and Rx class projects are back into the same boat if the rumours are true about Austrains 30T project are true.

Money gone and No models ?

Shrike models do need to stop playing hide and seek with it's customers .

another way to contact shrike models below

https://www.facebook.com/Hopey1.Benevolent?fref=ufi&rc=p
BIG-BEAR
The Facebook page doesn't seem to have much connection to answers, the truth or even anyone existing on it.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
A easy way to explain things Mr Monk is.

First we have Shrike models .

They have paid up customers but now no product to sell as they don't own the tooling anymore . They like to hide .

They still have product details and payment methods on their website for those people who don't know what is going on .

Second we have the mystery owner of the tooling . They also like to hide .

It could be the tooling company owed money or someone from the stranger danger group . Who ever owns the tooling doesn't wont to recognized the shrike customers .

Thirdly we have Ixion models . They are happy to play with the 30T shrike model customers but for a price

But some of those customers have had enough and just want their money back without being put in a position down the track where some people could call it being held for ransom . When the model turns up and  if shrike models keeps playing hide and seek with a refund . Then you are stuck with a choice . Pay more money or loss a model that has been paid for .

The days of the pre order could be coming to a end for more modellers now .
BIG-BEAR

I appreciate that you're trying to explain the situation to me, even though I already have a reasonably clear understanding of what is/has happened.

I feel your description of the parties is a little unfair, though.

If we start with Shrike, then the information we have been given is that Geoff Hope has been seriously ill (and is still recovering) and that his family is managing the Facebook, website, etc. and other accounts. The fact that the site is still up is a definite oversight, but a previous statement on the Shrike Facebook page did say that there wouldn't be further updates to it until the matter is fully resolved.

Then we have the mystery third party, whom it seems that neither Ixion Models nor Shrike are at liberty to identify. This third party may have absolutely no knowledge of the discussions ongoing on this thread, nor may even care. One could speculate that as far as they are concerned, they acquired the tooling and rights, then negotiated a deal with Ixion and now no longer have a role to play. They certainly don't need to identify themselves, nor get involved if they choose not to. Saying that "they like to hide" is simply unfounded - I doubt anyone besides Shrike and Ixion know the third party's view on the matter or their motivations (and given the heated nature of this thread, I can understand if the third party wants to stay completely out of it!).

Finally, there is Ixion. By far they have gone above and beyond what they were required to. We know that they have the rights, design and tools to produce the 30T as per their official statement, but did not inherit the liabilities of the Shrike pre-order. They are hence being very generous by offering anyone who has a pre-order with Shrike to fill that order at moderate increase (keep in mind that the end price of the model is still quite competitive, given the rising costs of production and the prices of other Australian RTR steam).

The whole situation is a bad one and I can certainly sympathise for those who have been wronged by it. In a perfect world you wouldn't have to pay extra to get the product you ordered. It has definitely tarred Shrike's reputation, even if Geoff Hope is innocent of wrongdoing (whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?).

For those who choose to pursue the refund option, I wish you all the best and suggest a few creative alternatives:

  • You might stand a better chance recouping your funds by paying for the Ixion model, then selling it afterwards.
  • Ask around on Railpage or people you know (there is already one post offering to do this) who might be interested in paying for the model and taking over your order.

Finally, on the subject of pre-orders, I think your statement is a bit pessimistic. This is one company that has had problems. It would surprise me greatly if the likes of Auscision stopped offerring pre-orders. At most, I would expect that this situation would make people more cautious with newcomers to the market, such that they won't order until a company has a few models on the market.
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

To Mr Monk

First Shrike models . They can remove comments from face book in the last couple weeks but cant inform customers eg . money safe for refunds please give us a couple of weeks to process . instead the customers get silence .

Second Ixion models . If they didn't look after the pre paid customers for the 30T . Don't you think that would be a PR disaster for them .

Endless phone calls and emails from the unhappy shrike customers .

Ixion models at a model train show with the 30T . 20 unhappy angry shrike customers walk up to their stand at once and in their heads take what they think is theirs and that would be called stealing .
  FirstStopCentral Chief Train Controller

It's just funny that everyone would be so much happier if they all (Shrike, Ixion and Mr 3rd Party) just came out and told the truth.

Paul
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I just hope that Shrike, Ixion, and the customers all have sufficient funds to see this through to court. I will commute to the sessions from down town Adelaide, purely for the entertainment factor. I get the feeling that many involved, including the 'third party' are going to learn some expensive lessons in contract.

Who the third party is, and what they paid is a big concern to shrike customers.

I am not a lawyer, but I have studied contract and been in touch with some lawyer friends. I have a feeling that a court is going to have some questions about what an unpaid consultant actually is, and if such a thing can actually be, and what indeed constitutes a partner (or not) in a business, something that at the moment seems to be in dispute. All these things matter to creditors.
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
I would have thought the situation is abundantly clear; Shrike has gone broke.

All creditors have to deal with Shrike to get a refund.

Ixion is offering some assistance to those with a pre-paid order of the C30 class if production goes ahead.

This event will have an impact on the way models will be sold in the future.

Iain
  UpperQuad Locomotive Fireman

Location: 184.8 miles to Sydney
I just hope that Shrike, Ixion, and the customers all have sufficient funds to see this through to court.
Aaron
Taking this to court will be a great thing for everyone involved, and the hobby in general. Bingley Hall’s post on page 12 of this thread summed it up nicely.
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga


How much does two of these adverts cost James? maybe even more?

Why would you say they have arrived?  You would only do that if all monies had been paid to the factory, if you had a build date and if you knew which ship was carrying your container and its arrival date at Botany?

This must have been expected to happen in December or if Geoff mixed up the magazine in which the add was to be placed February! (Hello James I want a third sized  page add in your next magazine?)
Something stinks and that third party should come forward and tell us who he is.
And I suggest That Shrike is restrained from commenting either by legal constraints or more likely monetary restraints. Actually I prefer the last one. Ixion are only a small Company too. The 32 Project appears to have them on their financial limits (30T production will have to wait on  dollar returns from 32 Class project)

Cheers
Rod Young
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
I just hope that Shrike, Ixion, and the customers all have sufficient funds to see this through to court.
Taking this to court will be a great thing for everyone involved, and the hobby in general. Bingley Hall’s post on page 12 of this thread summed it up nicely.
UpperQuad
Ha Ha
We will put you down for $10,000 for the legal fees, then will we?
How many Shrike models have you paid for?
Cheers
Rod Young
  kingfisher Chief Train Controller




Something stinks and that third party should come forward and tell us who he is.

Cheers
Rod Young
comtrain
and what the agreement is that was negotiated with Shrike that saw the ownership of the tooling transferred and any liability for the pre-paid orders.
  FirstStopCentral Chief Train Controller

If Shrike ran out of money, they would have to liquidate their assets (tooling) to enable cash to repay the prepaid customers.

It appears the tooling may have been lost, given, surrended, taken by the third party with no funds recovered.

The truth is (not) out there (yet)...

Paul
  Bob K Station Master

Location: East of Port Pirie
Is there anyone in the Sydney area who knows Geoff Hope who can actually go and speak with him face to face, either at his home or at a hospital if he is a patient due to his reported "serious illness" and find out what is going on?

OR is this just not an option.


The first thing asked if any action is proposed is "Have you contacted and spoken to the trader"?

Probably, for all of us, the answer will be "No".

There are several of us in South Australia who would like to speak with him face to face.

Apart from emails and telephone calls, it also appears that Australia Post mail to his mail box is not being answered.

Bob
  brissim Chief Train Controller

The notion that only those people with monies paid to Shrike for the 30T have a interest in this situation is nonsense. Any modeller who has pre-paid money on any model from any manufacturer/importer has an interest in this story. The hint has been dropped several times now that Shrike may have been a victim of some dastardly deed by a Chinese partner or company. If this story is true, why can't Shrike - or a duly authorised spokesperson - simply come out and say this. Don't need to know names in case of confidentiality (or whatever), but a fuller explanation of how Shrike lost ownership of the tooling would be welcome. We all deserve to know whether or not a similar situation could develop with any other importer.

Tony
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
Rod

If you are going to blame James and AMRM you should first read the disclaimer on page 78 of the Feb issue which has been in almost every AMRM since forever.

There are plenty of cases where advertisements have been lodged only to have models unexpectedly delayed in China. I recall Auscision being caught with the VLX and much of Eureka s advertising seems to suffer as well.

Shrikes problems are shrikes

Iain
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
ok I got a real big problem with all this. And I know not where its going.
The people who do know are being fairly quiet?
But its amazing what a few minutes on the phone with a friendly stranger, can change how you think
No matter what , we have one huge positive.

The folk at Ixion have the rights to build for sale 1000 30T engines and tenders and they have agreed to supply every customer of Shrike, their ordered locomotive under two conditions.
The first is they pay to Ixion an extra $85, a loss Ixion are unable to cover. Think about this, please?
Shrike made their decision on price by using 2000 models as their calculator.  Ixion must charge more because their calculator is 1000 units. Its a bargain!! The higher the number, the lower the unit cost.

The second being that some numbers and versions will not be built and the Shrike customers will be able to pick another version or number.

I know that Ixion are also a small company, not much different from Shrike.

I note they say that their 32 Class is ready for production and a date is set.

Ixion will not go ahead with the 30T if the 32 Class is a failure, and it must be assumed that Shrike will not be paid for their interest in the 30T till the 32 Class has been successfully released and sold?


Those that have no money invested in Shrike models should just shut up and go away. You (we)  may cause Ixion to walk away, and that will be a disaster for the Shrike customers (and payday for the lawyers)

Those that are customers of Shrike need the two engines to sell well and for honest businessmen to make refunds or supply models as promised.

It is highly mischievous for those here without a financial interest to cause harm, and put at risk the opportunity for those who have the opportunity of getting a loco in hand and not sustaining a loss, the noisy ones here are not going to sustain.

And before you ask, I will lose my two models as I have no chance of recovering a special arrangement done between friends.

We should now sit back and let the Lawyers gobble it all up, or not?

But I certainly wish I had never posted anything here, as Geoff is still my friend, and I have not been doing him a service as I always thought. And no, I have nothing more from Geoff since last time.

Rod Young (hoping he can leave the room)
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Rod

If you are going to blame James and AMRM you should first read the disclaimer on page 78 of the Feb issue which has been in almost every AMRM since forever.

There are plenty of cases where advertisements have been lodged only to have models unexpectedly delayed in China. I recall Auscision being caught with the VLX and much of Eureka s advertising seems to suffer as well.

Shrikes problems are shrikes

Iain
Iain
Iain
I certainly hope James does not read into my post any blame, as you have?  I suggested Geoff may have put the add in the next magazine thinking it was February. Nothing more?  And finally I understand why James is keeping right out of it as well Wink See my post above.
Rod Young
  Lloyd1952 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Sydney, Australia
What has happened with the 30T is a tragedy on many levels. I am sure Geoff didn't set out to rip people off. This was not a money making scam and it has clearly cost him dearly. Before people think about legal action, just remember the only people who will benefit out of that will be the lawyers.  I think it is time for a bit of compassion and patience. Do you want a 30T or do you want to kick someone when they are clearly down.

Without knowing the behind the scenes details of the Third Party,(and yes it would be nice to know),  Ixion are offering the best deal going. You will get a 30T for a small extra cost, which is probably the price Geoff should have been selling it for in the first place.

Lloyd
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
First, a disclaimer: I am not affliated with Shrike, Ixion or the mystery third party in any way. I also have nothing on order with Shrike or Ixion models. My interest in Shrike was based on the possibility of a VR steam locomotive after the SAR Rx.

I have followed this thread out of interest, as something did not sit right about the situation from the early on. I am concerned that some are too readily jumping to conclusions about the three different parties motivations and involvement in the matter when there is so little verifiable information. For example:

  • We don't know how far along in production Shrike's 30T was. The advertising in AMRM suggests that it was close to completion, if not completed. If so, what, then, has caused this situation?
  • We don't know Shrike's financial status. All we have is that Shrike was flagged to be potentially deregistered on the 19th of January 2016. This could be caused by missing a payment (which Rod/comtrain reports was the case) rather than insolvency.
  • We know almost nothing about the third party and their involvement. We don't know how they got the rights, designs and tooling, something which I believe is a crucial detail that would undoubtedly affect how Shrike is seen.
  • We have very limited information regarding the pre-orders; we know that Ixion did not inherit them, but don't know why. We also know that Shrike believed the pre-orders were covered by the agreement with the third party (according to a post on their Facebook).
  • We don't know why communications with Shrike Models has ceased. With the exception of Rod/comtrain's updates about Geoff Hope's health, we have little more than speculation (most of it damaging to their reputation).

I fully understand that many people stand to lose money as a result of this situation and I sympathise. However, I don't think all this talk of lawyers is helping the situation, nor would taking this mess to court benefit anyone (with all due respect to those involved, the cost of a lawyer is going to dwarf your 30T preorders in no time - you probably stand to lose more than you would gain).

The nature of this thread has me wondering if Ixion Models will regret getting involved. As I've already said, they are going above what they are required to in the situation. I doubt that it would have reflected badly on them if they didn't offer a compromise for the pre-orders - instead of people berating them over the additional costs, the attention probably would have been on Shrike or the third party over which of them was responsible for honouring the pre-orders.

@comtrain - I think it is a wise move to bow out of this thread and I will be following suit. I appreciate your updates, Rod, and your attempts to highlight the inconsistencies in the available information.

To everyone else - I apologise if I have offended you with this post. That was not my intent. All I ask is that you take time to consider what is actually known to us and what is simply speculation. There is more than one possible explanation for this series of events and it's not necessarily the result of malice or corruption by any of the three parties involved.

Finally, consider the possibility that Geoff Hope's world has just fallen apart around him - health issues resulting in hospitalisation, his 30T project being acquired by a third party and the likely loss of his retirement and then finally the irreparable damage to his reputation, potentially through no fault of his own or wrongdoing. You might have lost several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars in this project. Geoff has probably lost a lot, lot more.

[End of rant.]
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller




Those that have no money invested in Shrike models should just shut up and go away.

Rod Young
"comtrain"


This is Australia a free country and stop telling people what to do Rod .

Now you love Ixion models .

before you where attacking this group or that group .

Before that you where selling your mate which would of got people to hand over  money to your mate.


If the unhappy shrike customers of both projects wish to go and have a chat to a lawyer its up to them . It's called keeping your options open .

Most States will have a system in place with free legal aid . Where you can get the first session free ( 30 mins ) I have used it before to ask questions on a big problem .
  Bills_Billboards Chief Commissioner




Those that have no money invested in Shrike models should just shut up and go away.

Rod Young

This is Australia a free country and stop telling people what to do Rod .
BIG-BEAR
Must agree with Rod on this one , if you do not have any money invested in any Shrike product it has nothing to do with you so there is no need to comment making a bad situation worse ,Keyboard worries can do more damage than any one seeking real information from any of the 3 parties involved
  2LaGrange Train Controller

I would have thought it is plainly obvious that this mystery 3rd party that Ixion "Acquired" the tooling and rights to produce the 30T from is the factory that model was to be made in.

Ixion deliberately did not use the term purchase or buy because they don't own the tooling the Factory still does.

Why the Factory and not Shrike own that tooling is also fairly obvious now that Ixion will honour pre orders with the added cost to move the model price to a realistic level.

Ixion stated that Shrike planned to produce 3000 units which was way more than would ever be sold. Proof being Ixions stated plan do 1500 units.

Ixion also stated they have a pre order list of sorts from Shrike of customers orders for 30T of "more than 160" but they didn't say 170 or more so also fairly obvious pre order sales were at a disappointing volume.

Looks like a very inexperienced and overly optimistic upstart manufacturer bit off more than he could chew. Told a few porky pies to help sales along and got caught out.

If not why isn't the model here as it was advertised as being here in AMRM.

The suggestion that the factory (3rd party) did something dodgy is not right, Ixion are using the same factory to produce the 32 class so that suggestion doesn't wash.

We are very lucky Ixion are willing to take over project after their 32 class is produced, otherwise say goodbye to your pre order money.
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller




Those that have no money invested in Shrike models should just shut up and go away.

Rod Young

This is Australia a free country and stop telling people what to do Rod .
BIG-BEAR
Must agree with Rod on this one , if you do not have any money invested in any Shrike product it has nothing to do with you so there is no need to comment making a bad situation worse ,Keyboard worries can do more damage than any one seeking real information from any of the 3 parties involved
"Bills_Billboards"


Bad management have caused these problems not the customers .

Rx class customers seem to be on the don't care list . It's all about the 30T .

If there is 100 paid orders or more for the Rx class  and half of these people are members of model clubs over in SA and they put the word out to the other modellers over here and decided to get a lawyer involved and then share cost of the lawyer .

It is something that could happen and  views of other people wont matter .

It's all about the customers money and each customer will have different views .
  FirstStopCentral Chief Train Controller

I would have thought it is plainly obvious that this mystery 3rd party that Ixion "Acquired" the tooling and rights to produce the 30T from is the factory that model was to be made in.

Ixion deliberately did not use the term purchase or buy because they don't own the tooling the Factory still does.

Why the Factory and not Shrike own that tooling is also fairly obvious now that Ixion will honour pre orders with the added cost to move the model price to a realistic level.

Ixion stated that Shrike planned to produce 3000 units which was way more than would ever be sold. Proof being Ixions stated plan do 1500 units.

Ixion also stated they have a pre order list of sorts from Shrike of customers orders for 30T of "more than 160" but they didn't say 170 or more so also fairly obvious pre order sales were at a disappointing volume.

Looks like a very inexperienced and overly optimistic upstart manufacturer bit off more than he could chew. Told a few porky pies to help sales along and got caught out.

If not why isn't the model here as it was advertised as being here in AMRM.

The suggestion that the factory (3rd party) did something dodgy is not right, Ixion are using the same factory to produce the 32 class so that suggestion doesn't wash.

We are very lucky Ixion are willing to take over project after their 32 class is produced, otherwise say goodbye to your pre order money.
2LaGrange

"I would have thought it is plainly obvious that this mystery 3rd party that Ixion "Acquired" the tooling and rights to produce the 30T from is the factory that model was to be made in"

It's plainly obvious... It is NOT the factory...

And as I said before, maybe everyone would be better off if the truth was told by (all) those involved.

Paul

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