JOE’S CORNER: “Classified”


I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while.  Well, it’s been long enough.  So, for better or worse, here goes.  Hit the ‘READ MORE’ button and I’ll share what’s been on my mind the past few months.

First, before I get into the meat of this post, I want to let those of you who read my JOE’S CORNER posts in on a secret.  I am not going to be posting an UPDATE or NEW RELEASES today.  It is related to what will follow.  However, because I know that only my most loyal customers read JOE’S CORNER, and because I honestly feel like I am letting you down today, I have set up a “classified” coupon code for you.  Starting now, April 8 and lasting until I shut it down Sunday, April 10, you can get 20% off your entire shopping cart by entering the coupon code:


This sale is intended only for my closest friends and TMD’s most loyal customers.  It is to make up for the fact that this is the only thing I am going to post today.  Remember, I am not sharing this with the world because this is ‘classified.’  If you share it, be share to share it only with those who have clearance. 😉

OK, enough delay.  Time to pay the piper.

I have been struggling through a cycle that has become far too familiar for me.  I am not manic-depressive or bi-polar.  I just go through cycles.  Usually, they are measured in years, not days, weeks or months.  I get revered up and excited about running TMD, then, after a while, the stress of running a one-man business starts to wear me down until I get to a point where I just don’t have the drive necessary to keep TMD at peak performance.

I had just entered one f the up-cycles when COVID hit us.  I don’t know if you remember, but I had just started on the German armored cars, and sales were the best I had seen in years.  The cycle should have lasted for at least a year or more, but, just as it was starting, COVID shut me down — hard.  Since that time, I haven’t released much of anything.  There have been a few new releases — here and there — but they are nowhere near the steady stream of new products I should have been making.  I simply haven’t been able to find my motivation again.

Now, enter the fact that 3D has finally reached the point where it is going to start causing me trouble.  I’ll keep this part short and simple: I am not going to learn CAD!  So, unless I find a good, reasonable CAD artist who knows models and wants to work with me, TMD will start that long, slow slide into oblivion.  It won’t happen fast, as the material being used by most 3D producers is very brittle.  My resin does not have this problem.  Plus, my products are still much more affordable without much — if any — sacrifice in accuracy and detail.  I know from experience that you can use nearly all of my tiniest details from a $5 TMD item where I was only able to use 20% of the details from a much more expensive 3D product of the same thing.  If I can’t safely remove and use those 3D bits, I have to wonder how many other modelers can?  Still, I am not ignoring the truth.  The time on the clock which counts down how much longer TMD will be a viable model company has started counting down and — this time — I do not foresee any pauses in the count-down.  I’ll just be less and less a factor in the industry until I just fade away.

Now, I hope you caught that last part.  I plan to stay in business until TMD fades away.  This means I am not going to shut the doors.  I have struggled with this for a long time now.  I have other opportunities and other challenges I feel drawn to try, but I can’t put my full attention toward them without making TMD suffer.  So, I had been struggling over whether or not to shut TMD’s doors and pursue these other avenues.  Well, that struggle is behind me.  I have decided that TMD will stay a constant in the modeling world until you guys simply stop buying my products.  Unless someone makes me a serious offer for the company, you will not hear any more about this again.  TMD will continue until you guys stop buying or I stop breathing.

That said, I am going to start working on some of my other opportunities.  For those who do not already know, I have several blogs.  They have suffered from a lack of attention since COVID started, but I used to be pretty good at this blogging gig.  I once operated a blog page that got 2 million unique hits every week.  I had three guest writers, but I was the primary writer on that blog.  I would like to see if I can get at least one of my three blogs back to something I can consider respectable again.

On a related note, I have also done talk radio in the past.  Surprisingly, I am pretty good at it.  I can hold a three hour show on my own.  I do not need guests or callers, though I do like the interaction that comes with callers.  Anyway, I have been asked to consider starting a video blog or, better still, a live web-cast show.  I am giving this serious consideration.  The two primary obstacles that have kept me from doing so are the lack of high-speed internet here at our home.  This would require me to travel some 50+ miles every day to a site where I could do the web-cast, and we all know what that will cost just in fuel.  The second and most troubling obstacle is that, in order to succeed financially, a web-cast or video blog would require me to promote myself.  I have a hard enough time with my arrogance.  I’m not sure I want to start promoting myself.  If I actually succeed, the risk of me losing myself again is too great.  It would be like an alcoholic starting a retail alcohol business: he or she wouldn’t have to drink to run the business, but the temptation…

Finally, I have had people pushing me to write a couple books.  Aside from my blogging, this is the opportunity that most appeals to me.  In fact, I have all but decided to start on one of the three books I’ve been encouraged to write.  It’s just that neither of the two books I am trying to decide between it the modeling book I have been asked to consider writing.  To be honest, with the rise of 3D, I don’t see a need for a ‘how-to’ book on resin casting.  Besides, writing either of the other two non-modeling-related books is a big part of the draw: they represent a break from my daily work while allowing me to do something in one of the other areas of interest in my life.

Which brings us to the last item on my agenda today: my other interests.  The more time I spend with them, the less time I will have for making masters.  Heck, the more time I spend in these other areas, the less time I will have for modeling — period!  Still, I am being pulled more and more toward these other interests.  I have tried — hard — to keep this part of my life separated from modeling and TMD.  I don’t see any reason to mix the two, and my other interests would not sit well with many people.  That would hurt TMD’s sales.  So, I’ve kept them separated (I hear an Offspring song in there somewhere), and I’ll continue to keep them separated as best I can.  Some of you have emailed to ask about my blogs and videos from my time on radio and I have shared them with you.  I still will; I do not hide my efforts.  I just know that my faith and political ideology have no place in my business or your hobby.

Whew!  OK, there you have it: the struggle that has been waging within me behind the scenes.  I’m still not at peace with everything, but — as far as TMD is concerned — I have made my final decision and I am going to shut up and stick with it.  What it will mean for TMD is a slower, irregular cycle of new releases, but also a slow, steady march toward updating the entire line.  This will include updating each listing on the web store as I make changes to older products.  I want to keep them as current as I can.  But I am probably going to start setting a 10-hour work day for TMD and, instead of doing extra work in the evenings, that time will be dedicated to blogging and working on my first book.

I know that many of my friends will consider this post to be too much information (TMI), but, hey, I’ve always treated you as my friend.  I’m not about to stop now, not after all this time.  And friends tell each other when there are important things happening in their lives.  So…  Besides, I can’t tell who reads JOE’S CORNER, but I can see how many of you read it.  That’s how I know that many more people read my UPDATEs as opposed to JOE’S CORNER.  I could be wrong, but I figure those of you reading JOE’S CORNER are the same as those who would be most interested in the information I just shared.  If not…  Oh, well, the older I get, the more I get used to being wrong 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe and be well,



One thought on “JOE’S CORNER: “Classified”

  1. Check into Starlink internet. Buddy of mine that lives in the sticks just got it setup and loves it. You also need to let us know where we can find you if you go into the video realm.

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