Please post up details about your transactions. Please put the name of the seller or buyer in the topic title! Only CIVIL feedback and discussions will be allowed.
Forum rules: Please provide clear and accurate feedback for a seller. Search for forum to make sure there isn't already a topic about a seller, if there is post in that thread. When posting please be careful as you will not be able to edit your post later.
User avatar
By AJ Quick
Moderator
#429134
Let me get this straight.

You're upset that he is taking his time developing a kit? And you're upset that he didn't reply to your emails promptly, but is replying to others instead?

You didn't give him any money, why should it matter how long it takes for him to make a kit that you want? He also doesn't need to respond to you if he doesn't want to. I have thousnads upon thousands of unread emails, I don't think those people are going out of their way to find me on other sites to get me to respond.
By drjameshouse
#429141
Depending on the dates on the camera and dates on the computer, you can't really rely on any dates that are posted on digital files.

I have gotten several GB items that Neil has made and I have been extremely happy with them. I would buy from him again without hesitation.

What really disturbs me is that you only came here to post "negative" feedback on him when you haven't given him any money and haven't received any product. And on top of that you post feedback on a Ghostbusters forum about something that isn't sold here and isn't even Ghostbusters related.

I would encourage you to post feedback here on items purchased from Neil off of this forum. Items from other forums should be posted in those forums.

For anybody looking to purchase items from Neil, take advice from people who have actually purchased items from him. I have, and I was not disappointed.
By VforV
#429142
You're upset that he is taking his time developing a kit?
Not at all.
And you're upset that he didn't reply to your emails promptly, but is replying to others instead?
Not at all.
You didn't give him any money, why should it matter how long it takes for him to make a kit that you want? He also doesn't need to respond to you if he doesn't want to. I have thousnads upon thousands of unread emails, I don't think those people are going out of their way to find me on other sites to get me to respond.

No offense at all but I think you're just missing the point.
I don't care of him trying to develop and selling kits of whatever he wants to whoever he wants... as soon as he is really doing it and he's not telling lies.

For you it's normal to pay for a kit and never receive it? (example 1 of my previous post). Since he sent the money, this guy never had news from Neil Ward / Venky anymore. Normal?

When I asked him about it, no news anymore? Normal again?

When a friend asked for wip pictures, he sent old stuff from 2011 and pretend it was the real recent pics of his actual work he was doing right now. All of that sounds normal for you? If you're really working on something, you have the product in front of you and you can make pictures, right? Why sending that kind of things then...

For me it's just too much, too many bad things for one guy on a same product.

And yes you are right on 1 thing: I didn't give him any money. Before buying something that price (around 1300 $), I think you try and compare things, collect info and so on. You're not giving your money like this right away.

I am just trying here to share my experience and the experience of 2 others on this Alien Queen kit.
So that people know.

That's the goal of this thread, right? Giving feedback.
So I did. With documentation.

Venky if you are reading this, feel free to add your point of view...

All the best.
JoeLuna33 liked this
By VforV
#429144
@drjameshouse: I totally understand your point of you regarding this forum and non related items. I just want to add that before doing that, I wrote an email to AJ Quick to explain that. He gave me the link to post the story here.
drjameshouse liked this
User avatar
By AJ Quick
Moderator
#429147
I was under the impression that you had actually made a purchase and exchanged money. This is a feedback forum for former and current customers, not a forum for hearsay and conjecture.

Do not post here again, unless you have had actual business with Venky.
Andrew Phung, JoeLuna33, Venky and 4 others liked this
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#429189
Having already purchased a set of Neil's bellows, Shandor Temple pieces (and where he even threw in a set of grips completely free as an apology for a minor delay), not to mention on the list of people who've purchased one of his Proton Pack Shells, I can't say a bad thing about him. He's kept me informed on a very regular basis, and his products have always been top notch.


As far as my own experiences go, Neil is beyond reproach.
JoeLuna33, Andrew Phung, Ernest Reid and 1 others liked this
User avatar
By Venky
#429391
Wow,

This must be the Stephane and Christine duo from France I have conversed with quite recently. This is just strange to be posting this in this community where this is something that does not even relate to anything here, especially since there has been consistent and frequent talks with both of you.

I do have stock photos from previous clients that show exactly what I do each and every time. There is no reason to attempt to : carbon date photos from what I provide. Plus the quality does not change. I replace parts of items if there was a flaw or any type of dissatisfaction from the client at my expense. I usually do not share work of someone else transaction unless it is a run and it is therefore made public

My communication with you has been prompt and honest. I always, ALWAYS get back to you sometimes sooner for some than others.

Today and the next few days I am moving to a new house since we have a child on the way in March. I will update this to my other for sale threads and will definitely keep all posted every step of the way.

In the end if you do not want to invest in me, based on someone else's feelings or statements, that is your business and you can move on from there.

Personally, I do not feel comfortable to do business with such that have not done anything but crusade to exploit when they have not sent me a dime.

Venky
Ron Daniels, Ejgunth87, lannyjack and 2 others liked this
User avatar
By Nboucher2392
#448846
Great guy to work with. Recieved a beautiful bumper just as described. Plus shipping was fantastic as well. Never had so many packing peanuts to play with before...definately will buy from him again when i start my next pack.
User avatar
By Mr_Stay_Puft
Supporting Member
#448854
I received the bumper that I had ordered from Neil and I was very pleased with the whole transaction. He was very prompt at returning messages, let me know exactly when it had shipped and provided tracking info. When the package arrived it was packaged extremely well! He called this a reject bumper but there is nothing that I can see wrong with it minus some minor surface bubbles. Would definitely buy from again!
User avatar
By ohblee
#449176
I ordered a set of motherboard brackets and an Egon foam piece. Got them in a timely manner, with great communications all the way! I would be happy to do business with him again! That bumper and those grips look really nice...
By Pony
#460237
Got my bumper and grips today. They were packed well, had a tracking number, and included insurance. During the buying process all of my emails were responded to in a timely manner. The grips and bumper themselves are great. I have to parrot some of the other buyers and say that it does feel pretty cool to hold parts cast from screen used pieces. I would most definitely buy from Venky again.
By Michael Scott
#460804
I bought one of the shells Venky is selling in his current run. I'm very happy with the quality of the product, packaging, shipping, etc. Very good work. I also got a bumper that is top notch. The pack shell came with holes drilled, mounted to the aluminum motherboard, hardware for the bumper, and the foam piece for the top of the back of the motherboard. Lots of adjustments were made in the development of the shell to make it a much better product. The time taken and attention to details were impressive. I'm currently working on my shell and very proud to own it.

Venky had a lot going on in real life during this run that derailed the build timeline, which is understandable. Communication through PMs was timely, yet trying to get information about updates through the build thread was difficult. At times he would promise an update or pictures by a certain day, then miss the deadline he set himself by days. I would just suggest making a single update once a week, even if no progress has been made, just to let the buyers know how things are coming along. Waiting with no updates, then having to PM or post in the thread to ask made me feel like I was being intrusive. Yet I paid quite a bit, in full, up front and I felt it was within my rights to ask periodically. To his credit, each time I asked he was nice about his response and never pushed away or had anything negative to say.

So, I would encourage buyers to get products offered by Venky. I also think it is fair to say I would hope he improves a bit on keeping his customers updated with their purchases that are works in progress.
Kingpin, kevinj319 liked this
User avatar
By Lewis Tully
#471327
Received my grips today, and I am over the moon with them. They look and feel like the real deal. Can't wait to finish my gun up and add these beauties to it... Then I just wait for the natural weathering to take place and show that beautiful color. :) Thank you so much!
By kevinj319
#472180
I ordered a pack shell bundle from Venky.

The quality is very, very good. The shell will require very little cleanup before being ready to go. The topcoat was chipped in one place, not too bad. It fits the motherboard perfectly. I also received a bumper and mounting hardware, which was all top-notch as well.

To ensure that my feedback is complete, I must mention that I first paid for this bundle on December 11, 2012, over one year ago, and just received it today. Venky ran into various things that delayed production, many of which beyond his control. Unfortunately, throughout the process updates were very sparse. When promises were given, Venky typically failed to meet his own deadlines to provide updates to his customers. To top it off, there was a huge shipping debacle wherein Venky was fighting with the USPS to get bundles shipped properly. All of this shipping trouble delayed the bundle by several weeks, which all in all would not have been too bad if we had not already been waiting a year for our pack shells.

To be fair, Venky's communication did improve vastly in the last few months, however I believe it took a forum warning before he got to that point. Venky did include a bonus in my bundle to make up for the delays, which was an appreciated gesture.

In summary, Venky's customers paid a premium price for this bundle, and while the product is spectacular, the experience is not what I would expect for shelling out so much money. I would buy from Venky again, however I would be hesitant to go in on a run of large expensive items again unless there was evidence of improvement in meeting deadlines and providing updates.
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#474492
Apologies in advance, this is probably the longest product/transaction review I've ever written.

Prior to buying one of Neil's Proton Pack bundles, I'd bought a selection of items he'd offered through the Marketplace, most prominently his batch of Terror Dog and Gargoyle castings from the Gozer Temple prop, and the urethane bellow replicas from one of the screen-used Proton Pack bellows.

Aside from a slight delay, which was compensated with a free set of Proton Gun grips (cast from a screen used pair), the transaction was alright and based on this experience I finally succumbed to the temptation of his offer (Pack shell, plus bumper) and committed my interest to his Proton Pack bundle run.

The Product

As far as the product goes, the shell appears to be in excellent condition and of very good (if not excellent) quality. Of the handful of shells which are from, or claimed to be from the studio mould, Neil's would appear to be the best.

The shell lacks the sunken portions on the Cyclotron Cover and around the Power Cell/Ion Arm mount which are known issues with one of the most infamous "studio mould" shells currently out there, and the clean up work to correct a few details has turned out nicely.

In addition, another known issue of one of the other shells out there is how close it sits to the motherboard. On my Venky shell there is a nearly-imperceptible gap between the shell and motherboard of a few millimetres. This might affect how much the Pack can be weatherproofed, but I believe that you wouldn't see it if you didn't know it was there.

The motherboard and L-brackets have been nicely made and seem like they should be durable.


There are a few minor issues to report from the shell and the physical assembly. There are some spots where the shell seems quite thin (although I believe this is a issue with fibreglass shells in general rather than specifically Neil's) - notably around the cosmetic plating on the Cyclotron and possibly on the underside of the Power Cell... it should hopefully be possible to beef these up using some body filler.

As for the comments regarding the physical assembly, I've found that the L-bracket on the top-left corner (Power Cell) and lower-right corner (Proton Gun hose) are a little loose, and do actually wobble. Upon inspecting the rivets for the L-brackets closely, none of them sit flush against the motherboard. Between this and the shell appearing to be closer to the edge of the motherboard on one side when compared to the other, it can leave you with the impression it might have been built in a hurry (there may be an explanation for this which I'll detail below). I imagine it would be possible to drill out the existing rivets and install new ones, but I would be worried about whether that might have a negative effect on the existing holes for the bolts that have been drilled through the shell.

Having little other fibreglass Proton Pack shell experience to draw from, I can't really say what areas could've been done differently and if they could've been done much better. I feel that the work done to the motherboard could have been better... having riveted the L-brackets to the motherboard on my previous Pack myself... I don't believe they will present a problem in the long run... I hope. I believe that at the time I'd specified that the holes in the N-Filter be drilled, as well as the hole for the Proton Pack hose. Whilst the N-Filter holes in what I was informed was my original shell (I'll elaborate on this below) were drilled out (and I assume, the Pack hose hole... although it's difficult to remember as it's been so long), the shell I eventually received hadn't had the N-Filter or hose holes drilled... but I can tackle these myself.


In addition to the shell, motherboard and brackets, Neil has also provided me with a piece of specially-cut foam for the top of the motherboard, which I'm pleased with. I'm also pleased with the set of brown grips, cast from the set of screen-used ones he had which he has improved the design on (in being able to remove the mould line, and cast them in a nice brown resin). I'm very pleased with these bonus items, and look forward to including them on this new Pack.

As for the bumper, the quality of the cast is very nice (to the point where you can even see the residue from where the sticker had been incorrectly placed during the years the screen used bumper had spent at Planet Hollywood. However, it should be noted that there is a gap between the bumper and the Pack shell on either side of about a centimetre. I don't know if this is the result of the original pack mould having been cut up (possible) or if the bumper has warped outward a little, but it does make it more difficult to fit this bumper without the possibility of either damaging it or the shell.

It should be noted that the Motherboard foam, brown cast screen-used grips and bumper were complimentary items offered by Neil, and once again I must stress of very good quality.



The Transaction

(Skip to the bottom for the summary, click to expand for a detailed account)
I originally paid for this bundle in December 2012 (around December 10th) and the first major development on the run came with Neil announcing on December 25th that the list was full. The next big update came in on January 20th, showing off the rivets, bolts, washers and L-Brackets for the Packs and the ten motherboards that'd been cut for the customers on the run. At this point in time there had been a few minor delays, but these were due to Neil going through the process of relocating to Arizona with his family. He further elaborated that his son would be born some time in March.

-Overall the updates through January were fairly regular, and we'd been given some options regarding the choice of screws and protective padding which tided us over until Neil was ready to begin work on the shells.


With Neil posting on February 2nd that their move to Arizona was complete, he indicated that he'd start casting the shells the week of February 4th-10th. Neil also mentioned that he'd be modifying the top of the Power Cell, and filling in the platform next to the Clippard valve, both of which were welcome modifications.

The next project update arrived on February 25th, missing a intended update for the weekend of February 2nd-rd, at this point it still didn't bother those who were following the thread's progress. In his update Neil mentioned that a blizzard, and lack of adequate heating in his workshop were causing delays... and that an incorrectly made guide for the Power Cell windows would also lead to another delay - but that he planned to post pictures of the cutting process for the Power Cells once the correct guide was sent to him. To make up for these minor delays, Neil also produced his offer for the protective foam.

By February 26th, the replacement Power Cell had arrived, and temperatures were beginning to rise in Arizona, it was also here that Neil announced that he and his wife would be heading off to the hospital for the birth of their son.

-The updates through February were more sporadic compared to the previous month, although this could easily be explain as being the knock-on effect of getting the house and shop together, and the inclement weather.


The next major update appeared on May 13th, featuring the protective foam. Although there had been sporadic updates during the March-April-May period, those that were updates on the Pack shells included occasional promises of more detailed updates which never materialised. It was around this time that the other customers and I were starting to have to post in the topic asking for updates.

May 21st brought a significant update, featuring photos of Neil cutting out the Power Cell and Cyclotron windows, full shots of one of the completed shells, assembly shots of one of the motherboards and another photo showing five completed motherboards... this was an update that was long overdue and welcome.

In answer to a question about shipping dates, Neil stated he should have a better idea by Memorial Day (May 27th) link

-We understood that some of the delays/lack of updates from the previous three month period were due to issues relating to Neil's son, and on them coming to grips with becoming parents.


On June 10th Neil announced that he had finished the last of the motherboards, and that he was working on casting the rest of the shells, although he noted that the high temperatures Arizona was experiencing were causing issues with the quality control of the shells.

As of this update there was no clear indication how many shells had been completed, nor was there an indication of when he would start shipping the completed shells.

- There was only one update for the entire month of June.

On July 2nd Neil updated to say that the installation of the climate control in his shop had been postponed, and that the various weather conditions with heat and projected thunderstorms might cause further delays. He continued to relay assurances of regular updates which did not occur. It was becoming common for various customers on the shell run to ask for updates as Neil hadn't stopped by the topic.

- July also only featured one update, and was a fairly minor one at that.


Neil posted a photo update on August 17th, featuring a full shell/motherboard/bumper bundle that was recently completed (although he didn't mention whose bundle it was). Neil explained that his lack of updates for the July-August period were due to him having been hospitalised, and that the heat had been causing many of his pulls to be rejects.

It was also in this update that Neil had mentioned having produced two Pack commissions which taken to California on two separate trips, and that the project had overwhelmed him. He concluded his post with the usual promise of more photos to follow.

On August 19th I asked Neil directly how many shells he'd completed, in answer he replied with the vague "a few". Subsequent attempts to find out how many shells were finished and how many were still yet to be pulled would result in further vague answers. In his response he indicated that Michael Scott's shell would be the next to ship, followed by Kevinj319 and then mine (Numbers 8, 4 and 2 on his original list respectively). He also mentioned that he'd taken on two additional customers prior to making the list, who weren't even listed on it.

-I found it extremely puzzling that he was shipping the shell bundles out of the order in which the interest was expressed in his topic's opening post.

On August 28th Neil asked for clarification from Ectofiend666 (number 9 on the list), Kevin and myself on a selection of details for our respective bundles. Neil indicated there would be a photo update on the 29th which came and went - Neil explained that the update hadn't appeared because he was having problems with his camera, and that they would be posted on the 31st, that promised update also didn't appear.

-August proved to be one of the most well updated months since the early half of 2013.


On September 1st Neil indicated that Michael's bundle would be posted on September 3rd, he also indicated that Ernest Reid (Number 1 on the list) would also be posted that week.

Neil updated on September 5th with a photo update, showing four completed motherboards and four waiting to be finished - something I didn't pick up on at the time but strange to see considering he'd said back in August that "all motherboards had been mounted with brackets".

Along with this photo update, Neil indicated that Ernest and Michael's bundles were packed up ready to post, and that Kevin's shell was the one photographed on the work bench ready to be worked on.

On September 8th Michael received his shell bundle[/b].

-September also proved to be a reasonably good month for photo updates.

Following yet more requests for an update, Neil posted on September 20th indicating that he'd have a photo update for Kevin and I on the 21st, that update was eventually posted on the 25th. In the September 25th update Neil featured Ernest's shell bundle, where he also indicated he'd been working on a set of Gozer Temple pieces for him. In the update he also posted pictures of what he indicated were Kevin's shell and mine nearing completion. Neil indicated that Kevin's bundle and Mine would be posted some time between September 30th and October 2nd.

In October 3rd's update, Neil confirmed that he was still finishing Kevin's bundle and mine, now running behind schedule.

In response to Kevin's request for an update on October 13th, Neil indicated that neither Kevin's bundle nor mine had yet been posted, now running over a week behind schedule.

On October 20th Neil posted a photo update of two boxed bundles, indicating they were Kevin's and mine. I received a private message the same day which I got the tracking info from.

By October 31st it'd become apparent that there was some issue with the postage of Kevin's bundle and mine. Neil indicated through similarly vague explanations that the issue related to the weight somehow, and that was holding up the packages... however it didn't explain why neither package had been scanned in upon being received at Neil's post office.

-October proved okay for updates, although with some large quiet gaps in between.

-November passed with no progress updates on any of the other shell bundles, meanwhile Neil had able to retrieve the two bundles, create new shipping labels and was ready to post them for a second time by the end of November.


On December 5th (5 days shy of the first anniversary of the run beginning) Neil posts a minor update explaining the progress with posting Kevin's bundle and mine, and indicating that cjm and noslliT's (numbers 6 and 3) bundles were ready to ship, pending the outcome of Kevin's and mine, and that ThePeferctDecoy, Wiss and Jessejames51's shells (Numbers 7, 5 and 10 respectively) were cast and just needed cleaning up.

On December 6th Neil mentions the names of more buyers who weren't on the interest list.

On December 12th (two days past the anniversary point) Neil posted a photo update featuring cjm and nosllit's shell bundles packaged up, as well as ThePeferctDecoy's and Wiss's unmodified shells. Jessejames51's shell was also pictured, still in the mould. Of interest, there were also three incomplete motherboards behind the shells.

In a minor update on December 19th, Neil indicates that his internet router has apparently been on the fritz, leading to delays in posting photo updates.

On December 28th Neil updated both Kevin and I to say that there'd been no movement on either of our bundles during the second attempt to post them, and that they appeared to have gone AWOL. Due to this Neil explains that he has replicated our orders and intends to post them on December 30th.
Although Neil had said he'd "done them up per their order details", Neil didn't drill out the holes in the N-Filter on the new shell like he had with what he'd indicated to be my previous one. He also supplied me with a set of 10/32 sized bolts for the Bumper, rather than the 1/4 screws I'd requested. Further to this, despite having alluded to nuts being included with the bolts for the Bumper, none were included with my order.

Neil indicates that at some point in the following days, he intends to ship cjm's and noslliT's bundles, and finish Wiss's and Jessejames51's.

December 30th: 89 days after the earliest estimate that my Pack shell and Kevin's would start making their journey through the postal system, we both finally see our bundles moving and getting zapped as they make their way across the United States.

On January 3rd Kevin received his Proton Pack bundle.

On January 10th Neil informs me he forgot to include the bolts for my Proton Pack Bumper in my bundle, and that he'll be posting them off shortly. I receive tracking info the same day.

On January 14th my Proton Pack bundle (minus Bumper bolts) arrives, although there was a customs charge it was a lot less than I was expecting, about £30.

On January 28th the bolts for my Pack's bumper arrive, where after studying them a little I determine they're the incorrect size from the ones I specified months ago.

Neil posts on January 17th that he's suffered a nasty burn to his foot. Undoubtedly this will have an effect on the remainder of the shells.

As of this account on January 28th, 2014, so far only four of the ten packs on the interest list have been marked as posted.
This Post Contains Spoilers
the summary: (tl:dr)

As far as communication is concerned, Neil's updates in the topic have been quite sporadic, with some notable periods where no updates were posted at all and plenty of times where updates were promised and then failed to appear. Early on he was reasonably good at responding to private messages, but that had become less reliable within the last couple of months... and is an issue reported by other people on the run as well.

In addition to the lack of updates at times, one of the other considerably aggravating things regarding the communication were the number of excuses provided for the delays... issues such as the house move and the birth of Neil's child were understandable and couldn't be helped, but there were a lot of technological issues mentioned which... cropped up very frequently.


As for management of the run, I think this is an area that Neil needs to make significant improvement on. My first criticism is his decision to produce the shells out of order in which the interest was taken, I can appreciate some folks might have a more pressing need for their Proton Pack bundle than others... but the other members of the list should be fully consulted about changes in the order. As far as the list was concerned I was actually second, after Ernest, yet with the way things worked out I ended up being the fourth person to receive their shell.

Additionally, I feel that some criticism does need to be made on the decision to take on additional customers for these shells, and full Pack commissions at the same time as the shell run. Whilst some of the non-list customers may have expressed interest before the interest list was compiled... those buyers on the interest list should've been a priority as they may well have been bankrolling the project. Having paid $545 for my shell, and waited over a year for it, I wonder how much sooner I could've had it had those Pack commissions not been done right away.

Although I cannot speak for the assemblies that the other customers on the run bought, I do wonder about the quality control about Neil's run. The wobbly L-brackets and slightly skew-if mounting of the shell were a tad disappointing, and the missed N-Filter holes is unfortunate... but I can see to that (I can't comment on if I did request the Proton Gun hose hole as it's been so long that I can't remember), but probably the most frustrating bit of the quality control is Neil forgetting to include the bolts for the bumper... and sending the wrong size at that. Both were fairly careless mistakes to make and they, along with the transaction in general have left a very sour taste in my mouth with someone I'd previously been quite content with.

I feel that there's a lot of work ahead of Neil in order to rebuild his reputation and reliability, and unless he makes significant efforts to avoid a repeat of this in the future, I don't believe I can recommend him as a seller.

As Kevin noted, a premium price was paid for this bundle but the experience doesn't reflect that.

Addendum:

Whilst re-attaching the shell to the motherboard, I encountered this issue with one of the Cyclotron bolts:

Image

It looks like this is happening because the hole on the fibreglass shell is higher than the hole in the L-bracket. It should be fixable with filing some of the shell downward so that screw can fit in more straight... but this is again an issue relating to quality control.

Image
By skywalker
#476383
I purchased a gozer door and gargoyle set from venky around ten months ago and I have had nothing but excuse after excuse as to why I haven't got them yet, literally the guy has sent me back nigh on twenty replies. come on dude
User avatar
By Jeremy8564
#4781834
Recently purchased a bumper and grips from Neil. Very smooth transaction. He kept me informed at each step of the process and shipping was quite quick. Quality is top notch. Need a little clean up on the grips and bumper, but totally expected.

It's no lie, the bumper mold has every detail shown on his sale thread. First thing I noticed after taking it out of the box - yep the sticker residue is there.

Top notch! :cool:
User avatar
By xmr
#4785666
I ordered a Gozer temple door from Venky at vthe beginning of February. He told me that it'd ship with a week approx. It took him a bit (3 weeks) longer but he really made up for the delay, he included the gargoyles for free and I got the Terror Dogs at a real discount price. The communication was very friendly, I got pictures of the finished product and a tracking number. All was packed very carefully. Perfect deal imho. Thanks!!
By abaka
#4790374
Sorry I'm only getting round to posting this now.

I ordered a set of grips and booster frame from Venky. Both arrived however, due to a communication error the grips were the wrong colour. I immediately contacted Venky and he offered to send me a replacement set of grips free of charge. I offered to return the ones I had but he refused and said I could just keep them for a future build.

I declined this kind offer based on the fact that I would have no use for them. So we worked out a deal that if he got somebody in the UK who requested those grips I would send them to the buyer and Venky would get the money back minus my postage costs.

On top of this, the grips arrived a few weeks back and they are fantastic. Clean cast, very little work and beautifully detailed. The incorrect ones probably had the same quality but as soon as I seen they were wrong I didn't even open the shrinkwrap.

I know there's been issues with him in another run but to me he's been one of the smoothest transactions I've had in a while. Pay for an item, it immediately comes and I have a complaint he fixes it. I wish more sellers in this community followed suit.
By jessejames51
#4820645
Finally, the shell bundle i bought in December 2012 showed up at the post office the other day. i couldn't be happier!!! a quick once over, after ripping open the box, showed a great quality product, free of blemishes with exception of those supposed to be there (hallmarks of the shell and bumper). holes were nicely cut, shell seems to sit perfectly flush with the mother board, and aside with a small ding in the top corner of the motherboard (weathering ;) ), everthing is peferfect with my order.

i would be lying if i said this was a total 100% perfect transaction. as many know already, this run has taken longer then anyone, venky included, thought. he hit lots of snags (personal and acts of god), delaying the run, as well biting off a little more then he could chew (self admitted). as of this feedback, people are still waiting, but the end seems to be nearing. personally i found venky's communication to be great. whether on the phone, pm's on gbfans, or most often, messaging on facebook, he always answered my questions within, what i found to be, a reasonable time frame (not always but usually same day, if not hour). there might have been a couple of times i waited longer or might have had to message him more then once to get a response, but that was maybe once or twice. i do, however, agree with the majority that he should have made more updates and kept everyone informed, especially after the time frame started dragging on. sure, i know that i had been taken care of, but from some of the comments in the for sale thread, i get the impression, some were out of the loop, so to speak, but to point out, his contact info was given on the paypal invoices, so for anyone to directly get in touch with him, the option was always there (the updates seem to have been getting better though in the last little while).

aside from the time frame (almost 2 years for me), and updates, venky delivered a great product, just what he said he would, and it seemed to be very well crafted and packed (if anymore packing peanuts were used, you'd swear he was trying to feed an elephant....good thing too, usps and/or canada post, maybe customs, was not to kind to the box). venky seems to have a lot of special things to offer the community, which makes the whole situation a little sad. i assume there will now be a lot of mixed feelings surrounding doing business with venky, among new and old members,with reason. i hope he is able to refine his process for future runs so he can chew his food and keep everyone totally up to date, in order to avoid another run like this one. i personally have faith and confidence in him, and i would do business with him again, without question.
User avatar
By S2KJAY
#4843398
I've done business with this cat before so I figured I would give Venky another try. MISTAKE. Ordered a 500+ dollar "Shell/mobo/bumper". Ummm let's edit that to say REJECT " shell/mobo/bumper. He promised me a quick turn around time, and he delivered on that promise. Except the turn around time was indeed a month however he said he sent me a shell that had been sitting around for a while! So why the month?? This shell is indeed special, bondo outside (cpu64 confirmed that) and very very VERY poorly done fiber glass work on the inside. I requested he drill out the legris straights and filter holes, didn't do it. He did however drill out the cyclotron holes, thanks but the issue was he drilled them out 2 times the size they were supposed to be! Who wants giant cyclotron holes? The mobo brackets were not aligned with the holes properly and were set way too far away from the shell. As for the bumper... Are you SURE this thing is from a screen mold? Why is it so much damn longer than the shell?? You have to bend this thing to bolt it on the shell, no way they had it like that in the movie! No way! I'll upload pics later but I must say NEIL, if your reading this, you REALLY disappoint me bro, really. He then promised me a replacement, nice of him only he never delivered on that and stopped communicating since then! Thanks for screwing up my October Neil, you really did a number on me. Enjoy the money. I'll be posting PLENTY of pics later on. Let's hear your response bro, I'm sure you have something to say to "justify" this garbage you call a shell?
User avatar
By S2KJAY
#4843492
Disregard the previous post. Neil fixed everything. Replaced the shell and I'm happy. I wrote this post before the package arrived. Sorry Neil, all is well.
By DeloreanDan
#4844076
I first contacted Neil in Oct 8th 2013 expressing interest in a shell, I was put on a list.
Almost a year later I got on offer on Aug 28th 2014 someone passed up a shell, so I jumped on it.
$525 ready to ship, so I said yes, and ordered some other parts totaling $820.

I sent payments on Aug 28th/29th 2014

His exact words were, "I have his bundle ready to ship this moment!"

I received the bundle July 22, 2015 ---> Minus 1 booster ladder.

Sent a 30 day letter of demand to Venky, which he didn't comply with so I filed a police report in Maricopa County, I was advised to file a complaint on IC3.gov or Internet Crimes Complaint Center. Just before I could go courthouse and make a arrangements to take him to small claims, he shipped everything out and posted pictures of the shipping receipt and shell bundle (which differed from the shell he had ready to ship a year ago)

I know I'm not the only one, things got pushed back and priorities became forgotten. Whether its personal problems or other issues. He seems like a nice guy, but he's go too much going on to focus on one thing at a time. If you don't have the time or resources to provide a product in a timely manner don't take payment.

In the end, the time I spent grueling on whether or not I was going to get the things I ordered or be out $800+ could have been spent building a ready to ship pack and I could have saved myself a couple of gray hairs.
AJ Quick liked this
User avatar
By Canthor
#4849060
After sending Neil (Venky) $545 US dollars payment for a shell bundle and two cast bellows prior to that, I have been patiently and foolishly waiting over 3 years and 4 months.

I was part of the pre sale before the actual offer was publicly posted and yet it looks like 9 out of 10 of those people were shipped their bundles.
I feel that I have given Neil more than enough time on this deal and have heard enough excuses.

He gave solid dates throughout this time like on 18 Oct 2012 he said "most definitely be sending out your shell on Monday/Tuesday" which would have been the 22-23 October 2012.

December 6th 2012 he sent me a picture of "My" shell. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the same picture he sent others.
November 7th 2014 he claims to have no record of my address.

Being too understanding and patient has been rewarded by being left on the backburner. Staying quiet about this was a big mistake, but I was trying to be respectful to Neil.
I feel my frustration is justified due to the public sale having priority over the money he received prior to the public sale being posted.

I committed to this deal and sent payment nearly five weeks before this offer was made public.

All I want is to finally receive my bundle, I really don't want the headache of filing a police report and reporting to the Internet Crimes Complaint Center (FBI) but I feel like I now have no choice due to the continuing avoidance and excuses.
I sent Neil an email on the 16th of November 2015 and a pm on here the 29th of September. He has seen the pm but continues to dodge my pm's and when he does answer he says my bundle will ship soon or mentions another setback or excuse. This has gone on far too long.

Last response from Neil was almost 7 months ago on May 13th 2015.
He has not responded to any other pm or email
Sent: August 26th, 2015, 1:27 am (no response)
Sent: September 29th, 2015, 9:30 am (no response)
Email Sent November 16th 2015, 8:30 pm (no response)
Outbox: December 3rd 2015, 10:03 am (unread)


Here are all the previous details summed up.

My order to date:

One shell
One film spec motherboard
One booster frame
One bumper
Two cast bellows
One hand cut set of hero L brackets & the 3/16 wide flange rivets and allen screws
Selection A for my bumper (10/32" screw & 1/4" yz washer) and
Selection D for my shell (1/4"screw & 5/16" ss washer)
Stantz style foam pad

Extras

Shell mounted to the motherboard.
Cyclotron/Nfilter/powercell windows cut out.

Here is the copy of the paypal transaction

PAYPAL INFORMATION

Business Name:
Naward Conceptions (The recipient of this payment is Verified)
Email:
**************@hotmail.com
Amount sent:
-$545.00 USD (equals -$567.71 CAD)
Fee amount:
$0.00 USD
Net amount:
-$545.00 USD

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conversion from:
-$567.71 CAD
Conversion to:
$545.00 USD
Exchange rate:
1 Canadian Dollar = 0.9600 U.S. Dollars

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date:
Jul 15, 2012
Time:
20:22:45 PDT
Status:
Completed

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject:
Payment for Pack shell / motherboard / bumper / booster frame
Note:
Hey Neil, It's Canthor from gbfans. Here is the payment for the Pack shell / motherboard / bumper / booster frame. The two cast bellows can be shipped with everything else. Thanks again -Steve
Funding Type:
Instant Transfer
Funding Source:
$567.71 CAD - Royal Bank Chequing (Confirmed) x-XXXX

Back Up Funding Source:
Visa Credit Card XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

-Steve

Sent: April 17th, 2012, 5:48 pm
Hi Canthor,


Really sorry about that. thats the problem with having two separate lists of items and trying to keep up with combining them. I will ship them out this week for certain. Thanks for letting me know and thanks as well for the compliments. I am really glad you like them.

Best,
Neil

Sent: April 19th, 2012, 1:21 am
Hi Steve!

I just wanted to give you an update and change of plans that will improve what is sent to you. The Bellow molds are shot. After many attempts both gave out by the extreme tension that was being applied to the sections lying in between the fins. They were stretched to the point where they would not lie normally anymore, causing the fins to cast very strangely, not giving you a clear view to the center piece of the bellows as I demonstrated in my initial photo. I did not want to send anyone who I have remaining order with (4 people total) so I will be molding the bellows sometime this week to get out those I owe. I appreciate your understanding and cannot thank you enough for your patience. I only want to give you the best that can be offered and not something "close or good enough." I will contact you with pictures of not only the new mold, but your actual casting. :) Its the least I can do for how long you have waited.

Kindest Regards,
Neil
June 23rd, 2012, 8:09 pm
Hi Canthor!


First I want to thank you for all the business you have given to me either recently or in the past.

As I wrapping up the last of my orders, I would like to offer something very exclusive where I feel it should be done to those I have done good business with and that appreciate this stuff as much as myself. that is why I am offering for this time only the infamous stunt to hero shell!

This is the shell that is a representation of a project that started over 11 years ago. With the help of Sony and Planet Hollywood and the studio who would handle the restoration/ conversion process of this shell, would come the most accurate shell to date with all the tells and history to boot.

Along the way there were aspects of the shell that were cleaned up hence the removal of the N-Filter, which would later be recreated and applied exclusively for this shell, and the inclusion of the loom socket located at the top of the "teardrop" portion of the shell. This feature does not exist on the original hero shell and was made for practicality and does not affect the cosmetic accuracy of this piece, only structurally. These two aspects are what set this shell apart from any shell ever worked on.

As you can see from this thread:

http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... =2&t=28580

I would chime in with proof and picture to share some of the rich history this pack project began as, and would eventually be an investment by myself and one other individual.

Since then, I have had help by the admins and by a member here who has one of Ross' shell, the item in question with great suspicion of being a potential recast of one of our shells left over in the hands of the studio who was hired to do the project initially. Following this write up I have provided an extensive comparison of the shells and mine.

As mentioned above he N-Filter and Loom socket appear EXACTLY on the two shells in the following photo compared with mine. (Caption from left to right.)

Not only does the N-Filter have the exact weld layout on the edge of the cylinder as compared in the next photo...

...but the alignment of the holes to the lower right cyclotron ring is exact as well. the two holes that are accurately too close to each other line up right underneath the face of the ring at six o'clock with the right hole.

The two discs at the base of the booster tube are crooked as pointed out in the thread linked above.

Other features that are provenant of this being a shell from our investment of a project also appear here:

...and here.

NOTE: there is one discrepancy involving the angle turned curve on the base plate below the discs. This I modified on this shell to illustrate the improvement of accuracy I will offer ONLY on these units. As you can see from the pics of the mold and in the thread of the master, the angle was originally established.


Also, you may notice the warbled streaks in the body of Ross' shells. this is just an example of poor fabrication of the castings on his part. I have heard reports of his shells having warped areas as well as what was clearly pointed out in the thread linked above. These flaws may have also carried over from the left over casting from HMS as it was probably defective to begin with.



In conclusion, Ross did not attempt to contact me or send me photos to ultimately make sure he was not recasting a possible shell that was not accounted for in the project we paid handsomely for. He knew what he had and justified his actions solely on a "story" told to him by the place he got it from. He has no documentation, pictures nor history on his piece. I have all of this, some of which I have posted only here on this forum, and more that I will share here soon enough. That is why I only sold what I have sold here so far. All of these items came from this investment and we sat on them for three years before finally offering them to the community.

All of us already know about how Ross' shell, a recast of mine, was recast again by a man named Videobob.....


Now, what you will get from me....

You will get a shell cast in fiberglass and outer edges cleaned flush to mount properly on the other piece, apart of this package deal. The aluminum motherboard is cut directly from the illustrator file from the hero motherboard. I will not cut out any of the cyclotron rings or power cell areas. I want to provide this shell in its entirety to you. The price for this piece will be $525 shipped in the U.S. and $545 outside of the U.S. Though some of you may have one already...as a bonus I will throw in one of my bumpers cast from an original in for free!

Please get back to me for I have the one pictured above all ready to go and have the ability to cast one each night immediately (when its cool enough) for all who take advantage of this one time opportunity.

If you choose to purchase one, please paypal to ****@hotmail.com

Kindest Regards,
Neil

If you have any question or wish to see more pics, please do not hesitate to ask!
July 15th, 2012, 7:22 pm
OMG!!

First and most importantly Steve, I am so sorry! I thought that was taken care of. I had made a new mold for the last few I needed, and it did not last too long for the fins on bellows are very taxing on the tear strength of silicone. I will get a couple out of the old molds for ya' immediately and clean them up for you and get those out to you immediately OR I can pack them in with your bumper and booster frame with your shell. You decide and let me know.

The story on the shell in a nutshell is as follows.

Hero Shell was made for hero packs that were used again for GB2, only slightly altered on the surface. Electronics inside were HUGE and very complicate, therefore never tampered with, only used for the next film. I have pics of the interior of the hero shell not posted YET, but will be when I have the time to do so.

One fully built pack was clayed in areas, creating channels or barriers, easy for molding as is, to create the GB1 stunt shell.

That mold was chucked, found and rebuilt using black RTV to assemble them old together, and for a master pull made to the best of their ability. That hard copy of the stunt shell AND wand (have pieces of the pack that I have shown AND have a nearly complete hard casting of the stunt wand I recently picked up as part of the Arron Mack pack project transaction, four years in the making.

The hard shell casting was cut in areas to rebuild to "hero" form. Using all the measurements they acquired off the hero pack, cross referenced with the stunt parts, they created a database of layouts for both shell and wand. So, even though it was cast out of the stunt mold, it was technically retro fitted to remain a "1st" of sorts. The second generation begins from The AM / Venky shell, then goes to third with Ross' since he molded one of the shells HMS had that came from our mold I have. Bob Mosely's is then is a 4th generation from mine since it is a recast of Ross'.

So there you have it!
I will order a batch of motherboards tomorrow to insure they come by the end of the week or beginning of next for they function on a M-F basis. the moment your board arrives, so will your shell be all ready to go!
July 15th, 2012, 11:04 pm
Hey no prob Steve,

You are too kind and I am glad you are so enthusiastic about it all. No worries about the booster frame as I already have one cast up for you and will throw it in as a I'm sorry for the bellows that you are finally getting.

Its something I never thought I would have either, so all and all its a big breakthrough for the community, and I am glad to be apart of it.

It is $545 sent to ****@hotmail.com whenever you can I am re ordering the motherboards tomorrow so those should be ready by Friday or Monday depending on their workload and they function on a M-F business schedule.

Let me know if you have any more questions. I will do the best to answer them for ya'!.

Kindest,
Neil
July 27th, 2012, 8:43 pm
Hi Canthor!

I just wanted to drop you a line that I picked up a new batch of motherboards for the old batch were of my old "fan made" shell board file. Let us just say I made them delete that one and resent my film spec motherboard, they should have already had in my file section. Oh, well. I picked them up yesterday and should have your package out this coming week! :-)

Please let me know if there are any questions you may have and I will update you with tracking and all when it is off and in your direction.

Kindest Regards,
Neil
August 3rd, 2012, 11:00 pm
Hi Canthor!

Just wanted give you a brief update. I was getting a little backed up and overwhelmed with orders, so I will be getting your and one other members shell order out. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you to make the wait less painful by throwing in something for ya' Its the least I can do for you. :-)

Highest Regards,
Neil
August 29th, 2012, 4:00 am
Hi Steve!

I just wanted to let you know I am still alive and have not forgotten about you and another member that I am both taking care of on the shell front.

Last week was a really bad monsoon week for we had some nasty rain and terrible humidity. I unfortunately work in a A/C-less shop until I move in a month to a better work space. I work overnight and rain was in the way of such.

Now that we are having a drier week, I will be banging out the last of these shells for you and another before Itake a short break from them to only turn around and do a run of ten publicly, THEN that is it. :-)

I got some other things I am working on for the community. Doing more grips for AJ AND Joe for his wand build ups(you did not hear that from me.) ;-)

Perhaps a perfect sniffer replica

And one of the last pieces to my "original stunt pieces cast of" items....

an entire GB1 stunt thrower.......

..and a few other items down the road.

I hope this helps you understand what I am preparing to offer PLUS work on all that I do. Unfortunately its a one man wrecking crew. It does get crazy and I am surprised I have not collapsed from it yet.

Thanks again for your much appreciated patience as I did not mean for these to take so long.

I will let you know when yours is ready and will be more than happy to answer anything you are curious about!

Highest Regards,
Neil
October 18th, 2012, 12:28 am
Hi Steve!

Thanks for the new address and will most definitely be sending out your shell on Monday/Tuesday. Things have been crazy because of Halloween, but I am about to be all caught up.

All My Best,
Neil
November 15th, 2012, 10:53 pm
Hi Steve!

I do not know if I responded to this message, but CONGRATULATIONS on your first house purchase. That has got to make things much nicer and easier for you both. Good times ahead for you guys!


Thanks for the address update as well. :-)

Sorry I have been out of touch for I just got over being really sick. It was probably due to lack of rest and working my fingers down to the bone in time for many Halloween related orders among other overdue orders. Somehow I am still alive to tell the tale. ;-)

I have pics of your shell and motherboard and will have it shipped out by this weekend or Monday at the utmost latest.

Hope all is well and I will talk with you real soon!

Best,
Neil
December 6th, 2012, 3:18 am
Hi Steve!

Image

Here is a pic of your kit with your motherboard and already have your bumper, but not in the pic. I can send you one if you would like. All I need to do is do a bit more clean up and it will be finished.

Had a question for you, I will be making a FS thread for this shell ONLY to 10 people and it will have the same price and perks that you and the other few got when investing in this package.

I will be offering as well a hand cut set of hero L brackets, which will be revealed for the first time along with some never before seen photos ..... of the inside of a Hero GB1/2 pack, BOTH the hardware attached to the motherboard and the inside for the shell. I will also be including the 3/16 wide flange rivets and allen screws as well. These I will send to you either with the package or separately, that is up to you.

LMK if you want these :-) I will be getting the bracket stock and rivets ordered once the thread is posted. You and the other few will receive their sets FIRST.


Best,
Neil
October 19th, 2013, 8:36 pm
Hi Steve,

I will be working on your shell next week. If anything has changed or needs to be added in regards to your order, please let me know when you can.

Best,
Neil
December 6th, 2013, 1:08 pm
Hi Steve!

Thanks for bearing with me this whole journey as it will becoming to a close here in the next couple of weeks, YAY!

I am resuming shipping on items as I had some major issues in the past weeks with items becomig untraceable for excessive periods of time, exceeding their shipping dates.

Hope all is well and again, thank you for being ever so patient. :-)

Best,
Neil
January 17th, 2014, 7:10 pm
Hi Steve!

Thanks for the sentiments regarding my injury. It is a doozey and will never make that mistake again.

Your place is with only a few others that are unlisted and as I near the end of the public list, I am working on getting the rest ready to go out the following week and the one after that. that will conclude that run entirely and allow me to accept individual orders from there on out.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support, understanding and most importantly your patience!

It goes to show that there are those out there that truly understand this craft and believe in what I do and will deliver on. Not to say I do not acknowledge my faults with this run, I do, but in the end its all about choosing to work on this stuff for people and make them happy in the end. :-)

Let me know if there is anything else you need or have concerns about.

Kindest Regards,
Neil
November 7th, 2014, 7:53 am
Steve, Could I please have your most current address. I cannot seem to find any current record of it.

Thanks!
Neil
May 13th, 2015, 4:13 am
Hi Steve,

I assure you and others I am not ignoring you. I will make good on my word. Many complications have come about in my life I have been and am dealing with that have made work difficult. Many re organizational things are happening to insure my business will continue and complete that which I owe to you and others. I am in the process of working on all these shells as yours is being worked on currently. I apologize for not being more communicative about this process, but they will ship and be of the same quality as I shipped out my first one.

Kindest,
Neil
absinthetic liked this
By absinthetic
#4862251
We still doing "Trouble with a Venky order" stories? Really wish I had found this thread a few months ago, would've saved me a headache.

Dec. 5, 2015: I PM him via GBfans, asking if he's still doing the Gozer doors.

Jan. 13, 2016: He responds via email, saying yes he still does them and gives me the price. I happily agree and tell him the money will be coming soon.

Jan. 19: Money gets transferred via Paypal. He says thanks and "I will start laminating up the front today and maybe get the glass laid in tonight or tomorrow!"

Feb 5: I ask him how it was coming along, and how long he might expect it to take to get shipped. He apologies, saying he had some trouble getting the materials from supplier, and he'd throw in a Slimer maquette for my trouble. Cool, thanks Neil!

Mar. 5: I ask him for a status update. He apologies and says he had some family issues (I won't go into the specifics here), but he can have it shipped out that Monday (Mar 7th). I say great, looking forward to getting.

Mar. 17: Having not received the package, I ask him for a status update. No response.

Mar. 29: I ask him for a status update.

Apr. 5: He responds, apologizing for the family issues taking longer than expected. He says he'll send me pics of the door tonight, and have it shipped out tomorrow. I never receive any photos.

Apr. 13: I ask him for a status update.

Apr. 17: "I have your doors scheduled for being shipped this Monday and your tracking for Priority 2 Day is XXXXXXXXX". I check the tracking number, and sure enough, it says that the Post Office has been notified that there is a shipment scheduled for pickup on Monday, April 18th".

Apr. 21: The tracking information hasn't moved, which means that while USPS may have been NOTIFIED about an upcoming shipment, the package never actually went out. I email him again, asking if perhaps there was a second tracking number for the actual package (still trying to give him the benefit of the doubt at this point). No response.

Apr. 25: I email him, giving him a review of our email communication and how it would seem that the doors have been "done" since early March, even though I've yet to see any proof of that. I tell him he has until the end of Friday, April 29th, to send me a tracking number that shows the package has actually been picked up by USPS/FedEx/etc and is in motion...otherwise I'd be filing a claim on Paypal.

Apr. 30: Friday comes and goes, no response from Neil. I file a Paypal claim, discover this thread, and am now leaving a "buyer beware" warning to anyone else thinking about doing business with him.

Really disappointed with this. Everyone on the boards seems to be super helpful, friendly, and reliable when it comes to prop-related parts and items, and when something like this happens, it really puts a damper on the GB experience.
twmedford23, barison82 liked this
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#4862296
I'll attempt to send him a PM for an update, although the last one I sent went unanswered.

He still visits the forum, and was last here on the 15th of April.
User avatar
By Canthor
#4863424
Thank you for trying to follow up Kingpin.

Neil has not answered any emails or PM's. He reads my PM's but does not respond. I even sent a message through Paypal.

After all the stress and time wasted I asked simply for the shell bundle refund, not even caring about the cast bellows I paid for over 4 years ago and never received...

I have been waiting two months short of 4 years now after paying Neil over $545 US dollars.

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