I really do not like contributing on another manufacturer's product thread, so please do excuse me, but I simply wanted to point out a couple things.
Little Loco Company will be producing the 'as-built' loco AND the refurbished loco. The additional tooling costs are pretty negligible over the entire run, so it make sense to me. We're also producing all of the liveries carried by both types – there's no 'upto' or 'maybe' in our line-up.
As is the normal procedure for LLC, we are working with preservation groups, owners and specific charities to give something back to the railway community. None of the groups we are working with have knowingly been approached by any other manufacturers recently.
Finally, to clarify the crowdfunding position, these early funders are paying a good proportion of the development and production costs of the model. In return for that they will receive a significant discount on the RRP. After all the early funder's orders have been satisfied the models will be available directly from us and from our small band of valued and faithful retailers – most of which are family owned.
I personally welcome competition to us in the same way that LLC will provide competition – and we all benefit. Keener prices and better quality models are the result, and being a modeller myself I'm very interested in that. LLC is committed to two things: that we produce the most accurate models we can afford; and we give anything we don't need back to the people and organisations that preserve our industrial heritage. A part of that ethos is that we now produce as much of our models in the UK as possible.
I don't want anyone to read this as any sort of detriment or critique of Heljan or any other manufacturer, I'm simply pointing out there is a choice and everyone is free to make it.