Lighthouse Model Art - going out of Business

Discussion in 'General Card Modeling' started by lighthouse, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. rjm

    rjm Member

    Sorry to hear about Lighthouse, I haven't paid for shipping from them or
    Hobby Factory. Of course I have to wait a few months between orders to
    stay within my model budget. Free shipping is an order over $150. I don't pay shipping or VAT when I order from Scheuer & Struver either, but with the exchange rates what they are now the 250 Euros is a lot more. I remember when it was a Euro was only 80 cents. Bob
  2. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

    just wanted to add my appreciation and regrets. You provided a good service; prompt, accomodating and with good selection and price. I will miss your store. Thanks for what you contributed to our hobby. John
  3. cbg

    cbg Member


    I just placed an order for several commercial models that I had been coveting for a while. I regret that it took a 50% off sale to get me to make a purchase. . .I would rather have kept you around by purchasing something now and then at full retail.

    I am sorry. . .you'll be missed.

    Regards, cbg (Chris)
  4. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    I have already started an active war against the likes of Ebay allowing jerks to sell illegal models online. So far I have submitted reports to shut down 3 sellers on Ebay and REMINDED ebay that since they make money on part of the sell that they are equally libel.

    I'm sick of good people losing out.
  5. darenfranks

    darenfranks New Member

    I am also sorry to see you go! I have heard about your site from this page, but hadn't ordered from you. I have placed an order this week, and feel a bit guilty not have placed an order before.

    Hope you continue to be a part of this great hobby.
  6. lighthouse

    lighthouse Member

    Why I quit

    I would like to answer this question:

    I have done now Lighthouse for a few years. I have a full time job and could do this on the site only. I had to spend considerable amount of money and time to create this business and the Papermodel Academy and the Magazine TransAtlantik Papermodel Magazine. I did not have any time anymore for my Hobby Paper Modeling, but I hoped that all this effort would in the long term pay out. It didnt' and it never will. These are the reasons:

    The North American customer are used to pay less for their models than their European colleges. This is not entirely correct, the Polish are a big exception, here the models are much much cheaper there. Nevertheless compare the prices here with for example Moduni in Germany, the largest card model distributor worldwide. I am not able to get the same price for models as Moduni in Germany from my customers, although you can imagine that is much more expensive to ship the models from Europe to here. The other problem is that the North American customer prefer mostly Polish and do not buy very much German Models. The Polish Models are sold in Poland much cheaper than to Distributors outside the country. After I receive them in Canada I have paid almost the same as you as invidual customer pay on their website. And than I have all this German stock that nobody want, supposingly to expensive.

    My goal was create a store like Moduni from Germany here in North America. This means that I would to have carry all available models on the market, plus all the tools and supplies worldwide. I had to carry a stock of around 2500 models which I had to buy, because I did not want to be just a supplier of Polish Models, but this is what sells. That also means that with the ever new releases you have to continue buying and buying and the inventory increases that in usually has to be paid cash before delivery. To be a complete Papermodel Store is very expensive and the models will have be more expensive compared companies who work with minimum inventory on Polish Models, but my idea was that customers here would appreciate such a service and would pay reasonable for it. Big mistake, customer here do not understand that, they want to cherry pick and buy what ever is cheaper.

    In the end I do not have more money to finance such inventory and for whom. I guess I want to create something that really nobody needs or values unless it is for free. I do not even mentional the time it take to publish the TransAtlantik Magazine and the Model Academy.

    So I am quitting until it is too late and I will have finally again time to build card models, which is much nicer. I only hope that I can recover at least some of the inventory money that I sell to a lower price than I bought it.

  7. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Ralf........... I'm sorry, you are so right. In this day of "Wal-Mart mentality", people want to pay the least for an item, even to the point of getting something that is not even close to the same quality, so long as it's cheaper.

    China made hand and power tools are a big example. Cheap made, cheap materials not nearly as put together as well made Big Name tools. But people feel that they are getting a deal. Until they break and they have to buy more and spend two or three times the price of a well made quality tool if they had gotten it in the first place.

    I still consider myself still a newbie to this hobby.......... and feel that this hobby in North America is still unknown to the public. I'm working on changing that, but the sad truth is over here people think of PLASTIC whenever you say scale model.

    I'm sorry you where unable to make a go of it, and I sorry I didn't support you and your business more. Maybe some good will come of this in that more people will realize dealers and designers need to be supported in order for us to have models to build.

    I wish you all the luck, and am glad you can look for the silver lining, and see that you now have more time to enjoy this hobby. Post some of your build so we can still learn from you............ OK?

  8. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    North Americans in general who understand modeling cannot fathom paper as a modeling medium. Just today I was talking to a friend who tabletop wargames in 1/72 scale. He'd rather shell out $10 each for 5 plastic chinook models then pay $5 for a pdf that can produce an equal quality model and punch out as many as we wants at cost since he works at Staples Copy Center.

    I hope you recoup your investment. Perhaps some selling at modelling conventions will help liquidate your product.
  9. yaniv

    yaniv Active Member

    hi all

    some 1 here can please help me

    i not have a world wild cradit card and not a paypal acount :(
    the only way i cant send mony its with bank transfers

    some 1 here can order me some models and i will send him mony to is bank acount?
  10. Mike_65

    Mike_65 New Member

    Going out of Bussiness

    First off, I would like say thank you to all of the suppliers out there! But really why should I or anyone else for that matter pay $119.00 for say the Nimitz carrier when with a little practice and patience and the right software I could easily design one for myself.

    I understand the quality of work that goes into each of these models, and that you were in business to make money but really talk about marked up prices, afterall we're still only talking about paper!!! It really comes as no surprise to me at all, not to mention one can easily download most of these models via P2P networks which I do not support, but those are the facts folks!!!
  11. NYC Irish

    NYC Irish Member

    Sorry there Mike

    Whats your definition of "little practice and patientce...easily design one for myself" when it comes to a 1:200 scale Nimitz class carrier?

    Ralph I recieved my order safe and sound in Ireland last month and was delighted with the service and safe packaging. Im really sorry to hear this news as you did run a class and prompt business with a huge catalogue. Your service was great when I lived in NYC and still was for my Irish order.

    I hope you will throw a few construction reports up soon to show us that you have been able to enjoy the hobby again

    John John
  12. GT5500

    GT5500 Member

    I don't think many people will appreciate your post Mike, I understand what you are saying but it is a very sad time for us and Ralf. A lot of us will miss his service and I don't suppose he is over the moon to be going out of business. Most of us cannot design models and are more then happy to pay the high prices for the commercial models as we can understand the effort that has gone into their design. I actually take offence at your comments about Ralf's 'marked' up prices, he does not decide the prices and if you bothered to read his post he actually said that the publishing houses were making him pay over the odds, and you can't expect him to offer the service he does for free can you? I think compared to plastic kits paper models are a bargain, for example airfix charge upto £55 for a 1/24 scale kit! this would be ok if the kit was good but some of them are moulded with 40 year old tool designs!. A lot of the paper publishers will go through their designs every few years and tidy them up and issue a re-printed version.
  13. GT5500

    GT5500 Member

    On the other side of the coin though I believe we should all go and stock up our cupboards with these half price models, not because we are cheap skate but because Ralf needs to sell all his stock to get some of his outlay back. I have ordered quite a few, its too late to save them now so I feel we should do our best to help him get some of his money back and in the process get some cheap kits. I have noticed that Ralf made comparisons to Moduni and said they were cheaper and someone mentioned Ralfs expensive delivery charges, well my advice is go and check moduni's delivery charges!!! you will see that Ralf was much more reasonable.
  14. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

    I had ordered from Moduni and from Lighthouse in the past.
    Quick comparison
    Prices - about the same with a slight pointer towards Moduni (on the heavy side)
    Delivery time - 4-6 weeks for Moduni, 1 week for Lighthouse. No comment needed.

    If you want to see outlandish delivery charges, check the GPM site. Their shipping came out at three times the package worth.....
  15. GT5500

    GT5500 Member

    Ouch, I can't belive that anyone can charge much money to ship paper models, I know y0u have to ship them with card in the package but they are still very light and relatively small.
  16. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member

    Delivery is kind of high if you only order a model or two.

    I ordered about a dozen models and 20 sheets of 1mm stock. The shipping for this large order was $20.

    Also, if you are thinking of buying, you better move. The models are disappearing off of the shelves at an astounding rate!

  17. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    There is a lesson to be learned here for suppliers, though. I made several orders from Ralf when he had his "old" website. The website was easy to navigate, easy to place the order, and shipping option quotes were very reasonable. When he redid the website, it was impossible to navigate using AOL. Once I finall tumbled onto using Foxfire browser to be able to even open his pages, there was the pain-in-the-keester of having to manually delete all of the previous order from the shopping cart to keep from paying for it twice, and then most of the shipping options that came up were near $100 for mailing a small, less-than-two-pound package. As a result, I found it far easier (and certainly no more expensive) to order from Spishop, etc, for whatever hardcopy models I wanted. The point of my diatribe....what drove me away from Lighthouse wasn't primarily the cost of his models, but the incredible hassle of trying to place an order with him.
  18. Joseph

    Joseph Member

    Sorry, but that's a common mistake. Take 3 average models + packing and you easily get over 1 kg, and the shipping by airmail to the USA then costs about 30 US dollars (here in Czech republic - it must be similar in Poland (?) ).
  19. GT5500

    GT5500 Member

    To be honest this is probably a one off, I doubt that Lighthouse have been strugling due to people not being able to navigate the site properly.
  20. GT5500

    GT5500 Member

    Its crazy over there a couple of days ago I was filling my shopping basket up, and by the time I went to chekout most of the models had sold out, they were in stock when I put them in the basket though!. Own up who knicked that HMV Hermes off of me then?

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