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DJM, the end.

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Posted (edited)

From various analyses of this debacle it appears to me that what was actually crowdfunded was the business of DJM not the individual models people paid their money for.  

 

The proposed product list was highly aspirational and the 14 car APT could best be described as a vanity project. 

 

Unless the household relied entirely on income from elsewhere, Mr Jones was going to have to draw on the crowdfunding to live, not just to do specific work on the projects. The latter is what funders might have expected but the longer things dragged on the less likely this was. 

 

Crowdfunding can work if there is a solid business or other income base to add it on to. The time-costly activities of research and CAD can be subsidised by the core business with crowdfunding kicking in close to the tooling stage. This is clearly a long way away from the route DJM chose which is why the money has run out. 

 

If I'm correct, people who are significantly out of pocket were unwitting investors in DJM as a whole, rather than making part payments on a particular model. 

 

The lack of communication and transparency was a significant concern but by that stage people had already paid over. The lack of a plan that indicated how funds would be spent over the life of each project was perhaps more of a warning sign. 

 

Alan 

Edited by Buhar
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I'd also like to record my admiration for the way this topic has been moderated refereed by Phil. No doubt Andy has advised from afar on such a sensitive issue so brownie points there too.

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10 hours ago, brianCAD said:

 

Mike (Stationmaster),

 

I'm puzzled by your constant references to .STL files - and that they have value (very limited in my view).

   

STL files are a byproduct format ex CAD, used primarily for 3D printing processes.  The files are no more than a mesh of triangles, which if not saved at a high resolution can significantly degrade the information contained in the vastly more valuable originating CAD file, comprised of vector information.  Perhaps they could be likened to a pixelated reproduction of a line drawing (which they are when the triangles are shaded) ?

 

While an STL file can transfer data as a "dumb solid" (and might be used where a designer was required to conceal how a design was arrived at), the vector data of CAD files is the real McCoy for the generation of G code CAM data for any CNC work, and that is where the value lies. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_smile.png

 

  

However the files are tangible assets which lead somewhere in the process of producing a model and therefore have a potential value - unlike IP registration which is basically worthless without the files.  Thus the ownership of .STL files and the other production related CAD files are the important issue when it comes to dealing with a company's assets or realisable unencumbered assets.  And of course the $64,000 question in the case of DJM is who owns those files - if it is not DJM then they are most likely owned by the factory which drew them or possibly with whoever commissioned a model in the past when DJM was handling commissions from others such as retailers or other 'manufacturers'.

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16 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

 

No advice needed, Phil's got a grip on all angles with it and has done a lot more work than may be visible to anyone else. I don't think he'll let me go on holiday again though.

 

A large cake is in order methinks :)

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11 minutes ago, Trains4U said:

 

And this is the key.

 

The officers of RevolutioN and Cavalex all have well paid full time careers outside the model industry (as do I), and so remove the main drain on resources for their projects.  The crowdfunding is used purely on the production and marketing of the product.   Rewards for them are earned from the result of completed sales, not during design and manufacture.

 

Even a modest salary will quickly drain resources, and once delays are introduced, the losses become a vicious and inescapable cycle.

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but had Dave chosen to concentrate on delivering one or two projects, living from an alternative income, things may have turned out very differently.

 

I presume the alternative income was supposed to be the commission work

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Very well put Gareth. And this is why I will continue to support both Cavalex and Revolution projects with my hard earned cash! 

 

Guy

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20 minutes ago, Trains4U said:

 

And this is the key.

 

The officers of RevolutioN and Cavalex all have well paid full time careers outside the model industry (as do I), and so remove the main drain on resources for their projects.  The crowdfunding is used purely on the production and marketing of the product.   Rewards for them are earned from the result of completed sales, not during design and manufacture.

 

Even a modest salary will quickly drain resources, and once delays are introduced, the losses become a vicious and inescapable cycle due to the need to make regular salary withdrawals - Delays to RevolutioN or cavalex are an irritation, but do not bear this financial overhead.

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but had Dave chosen to concentrate on delivering one or two projects, living from an alternative income, things may have turned out very differently.

 

I have to wonder, but do we really know that Dave did not have another job outside DJM? He said several times that he had capacity to do 8 projects and even when he had commsion work, he said he was only at about 1/3rd capacity at the time.

If I had lots of free time in my business, I'd either be seeking a means to sell off stock I had, address the pain points and weaknesses, sort out the organisation or a second part time job (or consulting) to make ends meet.

 

I can't believe he would actually just sit there indoors twiddling his thumbs while watching the ship sink (then again, maybe I can reading everything here).

 

I agree though, if he depeneded solely on his company to provide a living, especially in the last few years when he had only "not for profit" crowdfunding then it cannot be viable. Sure he had depreciation of tooling assets to offset maybe tax charges, but that won't bring in cash.

 

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5 minutes ago, JSpencer said:

I have to wonder, but do we really know that Dave did not have another job outside DJM? He said several times that he had capacity to do 8 projects and even when he had commsion work, he said he was only at about 1/3rd capacity at the time.

If he had so much spare time for additional projects, surely that answers your question?

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18 hours ago, Ravenser said:

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_offtopic.gif  They were run on the ECML for some years (at least the short sets) . And far far more people have travelled on them than ever got to ride on an APT-P - even if you take the new generation sets

 

Given all the folk eager to buy and run a 14 car high speed EMU in OO , I'm musing why nobody wants to model CTRL

 

And as someone with a layout designed to run a broad selection of "boring DMUs", I'm mentally comparing the geographic range, service life , tooling cost and likely price of an APT-P  in OO against - say - a Class 114

 

The whole APT-P project was an odd thing. Why is this a "must-have" and a Eurostar "yawn , who can be bothered with that. Doesn't make sense" ?

 

Maybe its my age, but at the time the APT was an iconic, futuristic train and even now when you see it you do get a sense of what might have been with Pendolinos ruling the WCML doing what APT's should have been 30 years ago. It was ahead of its time just not given the support and chance to reach a finished and fully-working product.

 

Why did I order a 14-car? well because I expected it to be a one-off production run so if I'm ever lucky enough in my lifetime to have a layout suitable for it, it'd be there and all colours etc would match. There would be nothing stopping me running 5, 7, 9 cars or whatever I wanted in the meantime.

 

If you think model prototypes are purely chosen on how many have travelled on them, why are prototypes and oddities so common as models - Falcon, Lion, DP2, Blue Pullman, Baby Deltics and so few everyday especially EMUs have been produced (even second generation ones that have had bums on seats for up to 40 years e.g. Class 313/314/315, 507/508, 455, 317/318 nevermind the earlier third rail ones)

 

a Class 114, yeah, some folk might buy it, but its just like a long Class 108 isn't it? Could it be cut-and-shut from the Bachmann 108?  whats like an APT?

 

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The APT was the King/Coronation/A4/Merchant Navy of its day. It had image and Britain Can Make It. It would have sold, although 14 cars would have had quite a price. 

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35 minutes ago, JSpencer said:

I can't believe he would actually just sit there indoors twiddling his thumbs while watching the ship sink (then again, maybe I can reading everything here).

Judging by his postings on another forum, he seemed to spend a lot of time trawling Flight Radar 24 looking for unusual aircraft. He's not been on there since Saturday though. 

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Not for profit is not the same as not taking money out of the business. He could quite legitimately claim that DJM would not make a profit whilst charging various fees and drawing a salary. Lloyd's s Register are a non-profit making charity however their services don't come cheap. 

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I have just been contacted by the Liquidators and informed that I have been added to the list of creditors. I contacted them last week with details of my order.

 

Nothing particularly surprising in the correspondence but at least it confirms where we stand. A confirmation that the models will not be produced and that I should contact my credit card company for a refund. They also said they could provide documentation to back up the claim against the credit card company if necessary on request.

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One other point: the DJM filing at Companies House notes his partner as a manager for the NHS. So the household wasn't entirely dependent on DJ drawing a salary from DJM.

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14 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

The APT was the King/Coronation/A4/Merchant Navy of its day. It had image and Britain Can Make It. It would have sold, although 14 cars would have had quite a price. 

And very few layouts with enough length available to be able to run it I would imagine.

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3 minutes ago, Karhedron said:

I have just been contacted by the Liquidators and informed that I have been added to the list of creditors. I contacted them last week with details of my order.

 

Nothing particularly surprising in the correspondence but at least it confirms where we stand. A confirmation that the models will not be produced and that I should contact my credit card company for a refund. They also said they could provide documentation to back up the claim against the credit card company if necessary on request.

 

The more people that get reimbursed by the credit card companies, the more there will be left for other creditors from the liquidation.

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25 minutes ago, GordonC said:

...If you think model prototypes are purely chosen on how many have travelled on them, why are prototypes and oddities so common as models - Falcon, Lion, DP2, Blue Pullman, Baby Deltics and so few everyday especially EMUs have been produced (even second generation ones that have had bums on seats for up to 40 years e.g. Class 313/314/315, 507/508, 455, 317/318 nevermind the earlier third rail ones)...

Variety is the spice in short. I travelled many miles in Cravens DMUs and have steadily acquired the required quantity of models of same to realistically represent their back and forth bumblings, but DP1 and Baby Deltic which for some time ran alongside them are far more exciting.

 

Forty odd years of 313's, meh. Efficient, utilitarian, zero excitement once BR fixed the doors opening at 60mph.

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I asked Hattons yesterday when they intend to remove all the pre-orders, their response was they've not had any confirmation concerning the future of pre-orders from DJM so have not made a decision as regards advertising them.

 

@Hattons Dave do you know something more than we do about DJM, because the liquidators are indicating to creditors that pre-orders are not going to be honoured.

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8 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

The more people that get reimbursed by the credit card companies, the more there will be left for other creditors from the liquidation.

 

Quite. I think it is still important for all the crowdfunders to notify the liquidators by email. Once the liquidators get their head round what has been happening in terms of selling crowdfunding , then all they need is a list of crtowdfunders and it is fairly straightforward for them to work out how much liability exists.

 

We cannot be certain that all the crowdfunding money has been spent - there might be money left, but not enough to progress any project.

 

It was suggested earlier that the crowdfunding might perhaps represent DJM's biggest financial liability. It would certainly be in the interests of the the "conventional" creditors to deflect any claims from crowd-funders elsewhere - especially if there is anything at all left in the pot .

 

In fairness, at this early stage the liquidators may not have grasped the sheer magnitude of the crowdfunding issue at this company

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On a more prosaic level I wonder if the Mermaids & Sharks promised for November delivery will ever appear? Personally I imagine not as manufacturing is unlikely to have started yet. On this basis I have just ordered several Mermaids in Dutch Livery from Hattons. Not my era but I will repaint them in Black and/or Indian Red.

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

I asked Hattons yesterday when they intend to remove all the pre-orders, their response was they've not had any confirmation concerning the future of pre-orders from DJM so have not made a decision as regards advertising them.

 

@Hattons Dave do you know something more than we do about DJM, because the liquidators are indicating to creditors that pre-orders are not going to be honoured.

 

C'mon - Karhedron posted 20 minutes before you to say he'd been contacted. Hatton's may well not be a creditor. Why all the vitriol toward Hatton's? No one is being charged anything, you can pre-order something at no charge, then you'll get an email saying "this is no longer available" I don't get why people are so desperate for Hatton's to remove any trace of them?

 

Edit: you can still pre-order things on Rails' website too - should we be tagging their staff and baying for blood?

Edited by njee20
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40 minutes ago, Karhedron said:

I have just been contacted by the Liquidators and informed that I have been added to the list of creditors. I contacted them last week with details of my order.

 

Nothing particularly surprising in the correspondence but at least it confirms where we stand. A confirmation that the models will not be produced and that I should contact my credit card company for a refund. They also said they could provide documentation to back up the claim against the credit card company if necessary on request.


I have had exactly the same happen this morning Matt.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, njee20 said:

 

C'mon - Karhedron posted 20 minutes before you to say he'd been contacted. Hatton's may well not be a creditor. Why all the vitriol toward Hatton's? No one is being charged anything, you can pre-order something at no charge, then you'll get an email saying "this is no longer available" I don't get why people are so desperate for Hatton's to remove any trace of them?

It isn't vitriol Karhedrons response was about the liquidator confirming orders will not be honoured.

 

I just found it an interesting response from Hattons and sought out a response via the @ link to Hattons Dave.

 

I don't have any beef with anyone. 

Edited by woodenhead
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