I am going to have to cancel the Sagittaire pre-order. After 350 page views here and the 50 or so people on the private FB page, there have only been six people who have expressed interest in the kit. To make a run viable, I need a minimum of 15 paid pre-orders.
Below are some thoughts related to some questions I have been asked about producing mechs.
First, this is a hobby more than anything. I make kits for ME unless they are a commission piece. If it is a build that gets enough attention, I will kit it.
Second, pre-orders generally sort themselves out in a couple days. They may not be paid pre-orders but they will be things like, "I am in...I just need a couple weeks." There is usually no point in keeping them open for weeks if no one communicates any interest.
Third...there are a core of you out there (you know who you are) who would buy a flaming piece of shit on mech legs if I made it. Your support has always humbled me beyond belief but you should not feel "responsible" to make sure these kits see production. And there have been a couple out there who have offered to pre-order multiples if it would help. Thank YOU!
Fourth point relates to point three. Most casters don't like to make a set of molds and then cast only 10 kits. Molding and casting takes a lot of time and money. They need to make money too and are not going to make it only making molds and then casting 5 mechs here and 5 mechs there. Usually, they like to do around 30 but I can occasionally get them to do 20 with another 10 to be purchased in the near future. Sagittaire...only 6 firm and a maybe.
Fifth....almost every time I have squeaked out a pre-order, I end up with stock on my shelf for months and months. I still have Bushwhackers on the shelf...and all that stock on the shelf is money I could have put into another mech. Heck, I have about $1000 in stock just sitting here and that has made me gun shy. I can't bring myself to do it again with the Sagi.
Sixth...financing. Usually, when I sell a run of mechs I make a bit of profit. Nothing to live off for sure, but enough to roll over into financing the next kit or restocks of the popular kits. The Fafnir fiasco hurt. Not counting labor...I lost money on supplies, shipping, PayPal fees and I still have nothing to provide the guy who originally commissioned it. Also, think of the time I spent putting into a wasted effort. All that time could have gone into another project. In the past when things got tight, my wife would toss me some funds from our "fun" budget...but with the two surgeries, the bills from them, and being out of work for the better part of 4 months there is just no way I can justify taking funds away from the household to make kits that will probably just sit here.
Seventh...I hate doing these damn clearance sales. To me it is unfair to those who originally pre-ordered at a higher price only to see them selling for 30% less a year later. It just rubs me the wrong way.
All that being said, I am sure I will do the Sagittaire at some point. Jimi has already started the molds so there is that...it just is not happening at this time.