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Zactoman

Production/Shipping delay

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My daughter has taken ill and this has interrupted production.

I stayed behind to try to continue production while my wife drove to L.A. to pick up my daughter, but I have spent countless hours on the phone and this has set me back.

After releasing the Tomcat intakes I was completely flooded with orders and was working 12-16 hours per day casting parts and filling orders. I immediately had about a weeks worth of back-orders. As I was catching up the orders kept coming and despite the long hours it became 1 1/2 and then close to 2 weeks worth of orders piled up.

In addition to the interruption I had to take time to pour an additional set of molds and will need to pour another soon.

As of right now I would estimate that it will be about 3 weeks for any new Tomcat intake sets.

For other products I will ship immediately if I have them in stock or try to fit them in between Tomcat castings to get them out quickly.

I am trying to catch up as fast I can but it is likely that there will be further interruptions in dealing with this crisis.

We still don’t know exactly what is going on with my daughter.

At 23 she suddenly started having seizures.

Cat scans and MRIs have found a rare abnormality in her brain that they suspect is the problem. It isn’t cancer, but whatever it is it’s in-operable. We are waiting for further word from a neurologist to find out more and if anything other than anti-seizure medication can be done.

We are bringing her here to live here rather than leaving her alone in L.A. so that we can help her get through this.

Thoughts and prayers appreciated...

:pray:/>/>

Edited by Zactoman

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Family is number one, look after mini Zacto.

A bunch of old men can wait a little longer for some comparatively insignificant pieces of resin. Don't stress it.

Prayers are with you and family.

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like mcbain says , look after yourselves first chris , I hope all goes well

andrew

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I echo the above, I will wait to order til you are more caught up. Prayers for your daughter.

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Hey Chris,

The family and I will keep you all in our prayers.

Dave Fassett

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Thank you so much guys :cheers:

No new news on my daughter. She's been busy scheduling appointments to eventually see a neurosurgeon...

The good news is that she didn't have any additional seizures today. Hopefully she's getting better or at least the medication is doing its job.

I managed to get three sets of Tomcat intakes cast today in between making phone calls. These will ship tomorrow.

Hopefully I can do better and cast more than that tomorrow.

:cheers:

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Hope your daughter makes a full recovery soon, and at risk of being insensitive will you be producing canopies again soon?

One of my best friends had a brain aneurysm a few years ago, was luck it happened while he was working, if he was home alone he wouldn't have survived, considering what he was like soon afterwards he has made a remarkable recovery. The brain has a mysterious ability to heal itself.

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Hi Chris,

Family first mate, happy to wait just take care and I hope

everything turns out ok.

cheers...........Paul.

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She arrived here on Friday and we spent the weekend trying to get things situated around the house. Unfortunately this means that I got very little done in the way of filling orders.

If all goes well I'll be back up to full production in the next few days.

Thank you Paul and those of you who have written PMs and e-mails showing support :worship:

Hope your daughter makes a full recovery soon, and at risk of being insensitive will you be producing canopies again soon?

One of my best friends had a brain aneurysm a few years ago, was luck it happened while he was working, if he was home alone he wouldn't have survived, considering what he was like soon afterwards he has made a remarkable recovery. The brain has a mysterious ability to heal itself.

Thanks Andy :cheers:

She still hasn't seen the neurosurgeon but we're hoping it is something that will heal itself.

She has had more several more seizures so at this point we have to keep a constant eye on her.

Fortunately her recent seizures haven't been violent, though she did bite her tongue last night. Most of them have been while she's sitting and her brain just seems to shut off, she stops whatever she's doing and just stares off into space then comes to after about a minute. A few of the seizures did involve muscle spasms but not as bad as her first one back in L.A..

It's a very scary and helpless feeling watching your daughter in distress and not being able to do anything about it.

Simple things like going for a walk are out of the question until we get some answers or get the seizure meds dialed in to where it's not such a risk.

As for canopies :bandhead2:

I sent my patterns to an overseas vendor who is having the same problem that I did. He's taking the patterns to another vacforming expert he knows to give it a try.

At this point I don't know if I'll be offering them again or not.

:cheers:

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Chris, I hope and wish from the bottom of my heart the hole problem will go away as sudden as it came. Hang on and be patient.

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Hi Chris,

I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope everything turns out for the better. Your priority is her, so don't sweat the resin - it can wait.

Cheers,

-Doug

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Thanks again for the well wishes :cheers:

She seems to be doing pretty good and the seizure meds are starting to work a little better, only one (maybe two) seizures yesterday.

Doctors appointments have been made so now it's a waiting game.

Your priority is her, so don't sweat the resin - it can wait.

I'm taking the time that is necessary to be with her and do what I can, but Zactomodels is my full time job and our only form of income.

If I had a 'real' job, I might be able to take some paid sick time or vacation days to sort this out, but being self-employed I don't have that option. I need to keep paying the bills and now I have an extra mouth to feed and will likely have some big medical bills in the near future.

So, please don't hesitate to order! Just be aware that there may be delays...

Production is still slow but I'm finding time to get some done. There will be some big gaps between doctors appointments so I'm hoping to get some full days in soon.

I am going to try to make time today to post a small notice on my website about the delays.

:cheers:

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First the bad news:

I had been casting and shipping parts at a little slower pace than planned until Saturday. I had planned to spend all day Saturday and Sunday casting parts. I went to cast the first set on Saturday morning and,,, my vacuum pump died.

I wasn't able to cast any parts at all this past weekend.

Yesterday I drove 4 hours to buy a new pump which set me back over $600. Ouch!

I got a couple sets of intakes cast last night and shipped today.

I'll be casting as much as I can today and tonight. I probably won't be able to hit the Post Office tomorrow. I'll cast what I can tomorrow night and ship everything that's ready on Wednesday.

Currently I'd guess it's about a 2 week wait for new Tomcat intakes and just a few days for anything else ordered.

The good news:

My vacform vendor was successful and will be sending A-7 and Su-27 canopies to me this week. I hope to be re-re-re-releasing the canopy sets in 2 to 3 weeks.

The really good news (I hope):

Somebody cancelled their appointment and my daughter gets to see a neurologist tomorrow rather than next week. I hope we can get some answers...

:cheers:

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Hi Chris

My thoughts for you and your daughter.

Cheers

Rom

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Hi Chris,

Great news your daughter is seeing a neurologist sooner.

I'd recommend reading a couple of books by Oliver Sacks, a well known neurologist, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, and An Anthropologist On Mars, both wonderful books about people with various afflictions, like a collection of short stories, very well written, and the humanity of Oliver Sacks shines through like the sun on a blistering summers day. Fascinating and enlightening, and not morbid in any way

I'll be placing a sizeable order soon now you'll be having the canopy sets available again.

All the very best,

Andy

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Just a brief update on my daughter.

We saw the neurologist on Wednesday and he cleared up some questions but left us with more.

First, we were under the impression from second hand info from her ER visit in L.A. that she had suffered brain damage, possibly from her first seizures. That is not the case.

My daughter is suffering from epilepsy brought on by a rare condition known as Periventricular Heterotopia (gray matter in the wrong locations in her brain), which she has had since birth. The seizures usually start to occur around her age.

For now the doctor has adjusted here anti-seizure medication dosage and we will go back in a month for re-evaluation.

The seizure meds do take some time to work so she is continuing to have the seizures. Yesterday was pretty bad...

As for her long term outlook, we don’t know yet. If the meds don’t work they will do more in-depth studies to try to isolate the location of the source of the seizures. What they might find will determine future treatment.

For now we just have to keep a close eye on her, limit her activities and make sure she does hurt herself during a seizure.

Thank you so much for all the thoughts and prayers sent her way. I’ve been overwhelmed and haven’t had the time to reply to all of the e-mails and PMs. I just love the model-making community...

As for Zactomodels and the back-orders, I will continue doing my best to catch up. Now that we better understand her condition I should be able to find more shop time.

I’ve been receiving a bunch of orders lately for both Tomcat intakes and previous products. To those who have been purchasing specifically to help us with our financial situation, I am grateful.

It’s hard for me to accurately estimate how long until I am caught up with the orders. We’re living life one day at a time.

Tomcat intakes are the most backed up. The initial flood of orders was really overwhelming and I am just finishing up those orders received on August 31st. I’d estimate that I will be caught up with the current Tomcat orders in 2 to 2 1/2 weeks.

I’m trying to cast parts for orders of other products between the Tomcat castings. Smaller orders might just take a couple of days and the larger orders (i.e. MiG-29 or Su-27 combos) will have to fall in line with the Tomcat intakes.

A-7 and Su-27 canopies should be available again in about 2 weeks. While this will likely add to the delays, I want to release them as soon as I have the vacform canopies in-hand as I know a bunch of you are waiting for them.

Thank you all for your understanding, patience and continued thoughts and prayers...

Cheers,

Chris

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Hi Chris,

The good news here at least is that the problem has been identified and a suitable treatment can be found sooner rather than later.

mine and my wife's thought are with you guy's.

As for the rest of us we can wait. Your family is the priority as our projects can handle delays and as soon as you get the Su-27 canopies

I will order that early big combo set from you.

cheers mate. Paul.

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Chris, I just heard about your daughter. I'm sorry for what she is going through and i know it can stressing times for the parents as well, especially mothers. Their babies and it doesn't matter how old they are will always remain their babies. I want to let you know that I am praying for your daughters recovery and to give strength for you and your wife through it all. God bless you all.

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Hi bro!

I'm into the thread with my thoughts and prayers for your daughter.

What I gathered from your last message the Docs found out the reason of Michelle's seizures.

This is a great deal they made the diagnosis. Now they are about giving her a proper treatment and will cure her for sure.

I know you have to pull yourself together keeping close eye on Michelle from one hand and trying to fill the orders from another.

You have to work as harder as maybe never before but sure things will come around for you one day.

I wish your daughter sooner and complete recovery.

May God bless you all.

Keep well!

Alexander

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Since my last update I'm sorry to say that the seizures have gotten worse and more frequent despite increases in her anti-seizure medications.

The neurologist was very concerned about her condition and expedited getting her to a special clinic where she will undergo a 3-5 day EEG with video cameras monitoring her the entire time. With the data they collect they should be able to isolate the problem better and determine a course of treatment.

Zactowoman (bless her!) is taking Michelle to Salt Lake tonight and will check her in to the clinic to begin the testing in the morning. She's Michelle's step-mother but she's giving her the love and attention any good mother would.

As for orders and the delays.

Unfortunately this past week has been very difficult and I've been working at 50% or less with no work done on a few days. I have been shipping orders almost daily, just not as many as I'd like.

During the 3-5 days they're gone I should be able to make lots of progress, but I will need to take some time to pour fresh molds (again...).

Currently I'm at August 16 on F-14 orders. I have a few big Su-27 and MiG-29 orders that will fall into line with the F-14 orders. I'm trying to fill smaller orders between things and am almost caught up on them.

So far everybody has been very understanding and patient and I'm grateful for that. If any of you who have placed orders decide you don't want to wait, you are free to contact me for a refund.

I'm hesitant to even estimate, because we're living one day at a time, but I'm hoping to be caught up with current orders in 2, perhaps 3 weeks.

I did receive A-7 and Su-27 vacform canopies but due to the situation have decided to hold off on re-releasing them until I'm a little more caught up. Keep an eye on the ZactoForum. I will make an announcement when I release them.

Thank you all once again for the continued thoughts and prayers for Michelle. :worship:/>

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Very sorry to hear Michelle's condition has deteriorated, I truly hope the medical folk can get to the bottom of it and she makes a full and lasting recovery soon.

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