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Cap'n on deck.... end of May 2010

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Hi Guys,

I am finally back at home after working on a contract job on and off for the last several weeks and it's great to be sleeping in my own bed again (well for a few hours anyway)! :lol:

It's time to sum up the events of the last few months:

It certainly has been an interesting few months with some amazing ups and downs. For those that don't know I have been in a serious and complicated litigation with others who felt they had been wronged by members here and decided to express their anger in a legal way.

This issue is now settled but has left me exhausted, financially fragile, emotionally stressed and living under a cloud of fall out that will take some time to clean up. By far the worse of it has been the testing time some of my board friends have had to endure with me. Guys, for this I am truly sorry but it came down to a simple choice of risking damage to friendships here or losing control of the forum with a real threat of permanent closure.

Due to legal reasons (and a unique position I found myself in for a period of some weeks) I couldn't explain any of this publicly for fear of escalating the legal situation and also the financial costs further. In short this sucked and I could see my friends worrying and speculating about what was happening.

In hindsight I should have trusted them more and explained the situation in private messages or emails. Great stress can cloud good judgement under the guise of paranoia and I made a mistake here, I won't make that mistake again.

Part of the fall out from all this was I had to stop any kit production. Owning and running the forum is a double edged sword, I have the best fun sharing this wonderful place with my friends but I also can't hide anywhere. If I had produced an unlicensed model I doubt Carlton, Fanderson, 1612 or any other license holder would do anything, especially as it is a small run "just for friends" type production. However as a tool to exercise leverage against me by threatening to use it legally it is a huge liability.

The strategy developed was clever and effective and may or may not have had a legal qualification, in the end I couldn't afford to find out. Also at this point I was weary and worried that the extraordinary demands being made I might actually have to comply with. I decided to call a halt and settle provided that no members account were reinstated or other members exiled, all complainants posts were removed and all references to the alleged offences removed.

So I am back to square one, no income from models sales to cover my expenses (I will be selling the tooling, original patterns and casting equipment shortly), had to pay (and still have to part pay) over £2,100 plus VAT to cover my legal expenses, refund everyone who paid for a model I can't make for them (I have just started to do this).

Another part of the fall out has been the bible of Terms & Conditions I now have to ask everyone to sign. I simply have to try to convince another would be adversary not to go there and provide myself with a good measure of legal protection.

Garage kit production is a risky business guys and to those who are making and selling I wish you good luck and as long as this forum is open I will do all in my power to promote and encourage the art of model making and this good band of brothers.

The only good news is making and supplying parts. If you have ordered a panel kit, walkway detailing kit, fuel tanks or discs this is not affected and any outstanding orders will be sent out shortly.

I have been heartened by the friendship and understanding shown by the few that were told about these events and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to them - thanks guys. :thumbup:

It will still take me some time to untangle the mess this has made and repair the friendships that have been bruised over these sad events. In the end the board is alive and kicking and I still have a chair for everyone who wants to be here. The larger community has been unaffected and I am grateful for that.

Now I have to take the unusual step of begging for donations. :pray:

Board costs, both directly in hosting etc and legal defence, have made me financially fragile and I would rather pay refunds back sooner than later. Everyone will be refunded but until I recoup by selling the equipment and some of my personal collection to cover the costs this maybe delayed.

If you can help in anyway with a small donation please paypal to bernie.walsh@mac.com

Would I have done this again? To defend my friends and protect the forum - hell yeah....!!

Bernie.
 

Eagle

Commander Ret.
Just sent some money your way, Bernie and would encourage others to consider doing the same.

I probably know a little more than the majority here about what Bernie's been through lately and it's certainly been an unexpectedly rough time for him. It's a real shame that, due to some desperately sad and spiteful individuals, he's now in a 'worse position' than a few months ago. :(

I created this board and although I've now stepped-down a little, it still have a passion for it. And I will continue to support it in every way I can and defend it by any means necessary.

:thumbup:
 

Captain Sci-Fi

Commander
Support....

Hi Eagle,

A passion we both share, thank you so much for helping out.

While I'm about it thanks to Canvey Jim and Known Space too.

Forum first, always....

Cap'n
 

nivektunk

Alphans
Hello Bernie. You always have friends. Wish I could have done more than I did. I too have a passion for Eagles. Let me know if there's anything else I can do.
Cheers, Kevin
 

TonyB

Forum Supporter
Donation made, its not a lot Bernie, and I wish it could have been more, but like you my fiances are pretty shot ATM.
 

ostrein

Alphans
Got a small extra on my pocket money (have been a good boy last month :yes: ) which I've just paypal'd to you Bernie.

All the best,
Oliver
 
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