Many years ago my friend Bob Steinbrunn gave me a copy of your original 1987 book. I put it to good use at the time and it has occupied a place of honor on my shelf ever since. Some day I will pass it on to someone else, and they will get good use out of it, too. It's timeless.
I've not purchased much from your company but do
remember the hand-written Thank You notes in the packages.
Though I have never met you in person I know from the community what an impact you have had and what a gentleman you are.
I can't imagine how many other "anonymous" customers you have who would say the same thing.
But I did want to add my name to the pile, and wish you fulfilling days ahead.
My recent 75th birthday combined with my increasingly deteriorating health is now causing some undeniable changes in the continued existence of Gold Medal Models.
My wife and I had a talk yesterday and we've agreed to start the process of shutting GMM down. The first items to go will be the entire model ship detail line. As of now, no re-stocks will be ordered and existing stocks will be sold until all is consumed. The N- and HO-scale model train lines will continue as before and re-stocks will continue to be ordered as needed.
My wife is convinced she cannot carry on the ship detail line on her own and seeing as we have no descendants to hand things down to, we're going to greatly simplify the load for her sake.
The ship side of the business has seen a steady slide in orders for the past several years and it makes no financial sense to keep it going. Production costs have steadily increased which has forced us to raise our prices to be able to pay the bills, and numerous competitors have diluted the market for everyone. More and more high-end kits now provide their own PE details so the demand has gone down even more.
Due to my lung condition, I barely have enough physical energy left to fill orders and package products as it is. Being so heavily specialized, the ship detail line requires a certain technical knowledge and level of experience to successfully cater to the wants and needs of customers. Just knowing where to look in my sizable research library for needed information would be a major challenge. My wife does not have these skills (which take years to learn and work with) so this will be the end of the GMM ship line.
In contrast, the model train line of fittings is very straightforward and easily grasped by someone with only basic skills and the job is much more easily learned. Shipping is easier due to the small size and light weight of the products.
In the future, I'll be updating our on-line price list and order form on a regular basis. As of today, the vast majority of ship detail sets are in stock and only a small number are sold out. More sets will be selling out in coming weeks and months. Items that sell out will have the words "SOLD OUT" in place of their former price on our on-line price list. Anyone placing an order for a sold out item after that date will have their money immediately refunded via the manner in which they paid, ie. via check or via PayPal.
Foreign orders will no longer be accepted or processed due to the added paperwork burden and expense. This includes any country requiring customs forms such as Canada or Mexico. This is also effective immediately.
I won't be able to answer many questions concerning this situation so I hope and pray you'll understand. Any answers I'm able to give will be short and to the point.
Gold Medal Models