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  #1  
Old 03-24-2018, 01:14 PM
the mole's Avatar
the mole the mole is offline
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Default Dr Zooch bad news

More bad news.

‎Wes Oleszewski‎ to National Association of Rocketry

To all of my friends and customers in the model rocket world... during 2018 Dr. Zooch Rockets will cease operations after having been in business for 14 amazing years. As of Friday, March 25 I have notified all of my retailers that I will no longer be taking orders and will be busy clearing the huge back-log of pending orders.

The reason for this is singular... it for my own personal health. As some of you may know I have suffered with three bad disks in my neck since December 2014. I was not then and am not now a good candidate for surgery, I have been going through pain management and physical therapy with good results... until I go back to the activity of filling boxes with rocket parts. Three times now that repetitive motion has aggravated my neck and caused the pain to return resulting in another spinal injection. Now I have a choice, either delete the repetitive motion, or go under the knife. My choice was to simply close the company.

Dr. Zooch has always made a profit- often very slim, but still remaining in the black. I have zero debt, because I always paid for everything I needed up front. So, it has been a great 14 year run and a lot of fun along the way. My thanks go out to the guys who gave me my start among them being Tim Van Milligan and Pat McCarthy both of whom went to Embry-Riddle with me and are charter members of the Avion mafia. One of the most key people all along has been Bill Saindon of Balsa Machining Service, whose custom parts and countless "rush" deliveries helped make my little company go. Thanks also the the MDRA, my home rocket club where nearly all Dr. Zooch flight tests took place.

Now, of course, what about me. No worries, the rocket company was a part-time gig anyhow. My 24th book will come out this April and my author's career is chugging right along- this'll probably be my second best-seller. Just visit Amazon and under "books" search my last name, "Oleszewski" I'm the only Oleszewski in that area- so most of my work pops up. I can also take time now to build and fly rockets just for fun again. Thanks to all of my Dr. Zooch customers- you are all super.

Last edited by the mole : 03-24-2018 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 03-24-2018, 04:44 PM
Scott_650 Scott_650 is offline
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Wishing you all the best “Dr. Zooch” My father went through a series of treatments and surgeries and, now, is finally on the road to full mobility so stay positive and hopefully things will turn out well.

Glad I stocked up on kits! I have a half dozen ant-scale rockets that need a steely eyed missle man to assemble and fly - no squirming hatch blowers here!

Thanks again for the great kits, wish my Crumman C3C hadn’t been taken by an evil rocket eating tree...
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:03 AM
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njrick njrick is offline
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Thanks for all of the great kits Wes, especially your Saturn 1b kits and your Lifting Body ( a true sleeper of a kit..just a lot of fun!) Best of luck on your recovery and thanks for all of the fun your kits provided over the years!
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Old 03-25-2018, 11:27 AM
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I'm sad to hear this news. It was always nice to know if you wanted a scale model of a certain rocket you could get it from Dr. Zooch. They were nice size rockets. Not too small, not too big. They all had good detail without having to do a ton of work. The wraps helped a lot with painting. They helped in honing your building skills.

My favorite rockets were all the Saturn 1b and Saturn Vs.

Thanks Wes for giving all of us what the big model rocket companies couldn't. Your rockets will be missed. I'm sure as time goes on your models will be missed more and more.
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:56 PM
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luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
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Yes, very sad news. Hope your health improves soon Wes, best of luck!

I had the privilege of being a beta-builder for many of Dr. Zooch's kits, and I have to say that Wes's kits were some of the most innovative on the market. What started off as improvements in an homage to classic kits of earlier days evolved into some really innovative and interesting kits that were both "builders kits" and yet easy enough for those with less than expert building skills to manage to produce a nice looking, and great flying, model rocket of some truly "expert level" historical rockets.... and to do it without breaking the bank. Rockets that were fun to build, fun to fly, and didn't cost a fortune or require months of highly skilled craftsmanship and tons of esoteric materials and capabilities to produce. Great looking kits that were great flyers, which rarely goes hand-in-hand, as usually you get one or the other. Kits that were capable of adapting to the skills of the builder and tailored to the level of investment of time and effort they wanted to put into the kit-- built simple "straight out of the box" for a quicker, easier build for a fun "sport flyer" rocket, or adaptable to greater amounts of time and effort invested into the rocket to truly make it "pop" while honing the builder's craftsmanship and skills, allowing him to produce something that could literally approach "museum quality" builds, yet still capable of powered rocket flight...

Wes's use of pre-printed paper "skins" for his kits allowed builders to produce flight-ready great looking models without needing tons of finishing expertise to be able to replicate the elaborate and complex paint patterns and details of the prototype. It brought a unique confluence of easy-building and finishing of complex historical rockets into a perfect low-cost package called "ant-scale". While not 'true' scale rockets in the "competition" sense of the word, his kits allowed those who were interested in historical rockets to "get their feet wet" in scale-type rockets in an affordable way, and to learn the skills necessary to tackle those larger, more expensive projects and rockets without being paralyzed into inaction for fear of "messing it up".

Take care Wes and take it easy, and we hope that maybe in time that you'll take up the mantle again and bring us more innovative and cool rockets in the future...

Best wishes! OL J R
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Old 03-25-2018, 06:35 PM
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If you could only train your ants to package the kits for you...
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Old 03-25-2018, 07:41 PM
jetlag jetlag is offline
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Wes,
I have enjoyed building your kits very much. To talk with you a few years back was priceless. I hope this action will help you gain some relief!
Best of luck!
I wish I had pulled the trigger on your last kit (I presume), the Falcon Heavy.
Everyone seems out of them.
I have all your kits, except that one!

Take care, sir. Your work for us rocketeers s much appreciated! I love the aplomb with which you approached kit building. Ant Scale is genius!

Allen
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2018, 08:00 PM
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njrick njrick is offline
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jetlag..beautiful job on those Zooch 1bs!
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2018, 08:26 PM
olDave olDave is offline
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Default Wes,

Sorry to hear that you have some health "challenges" but it sounds like you have made the right choice.

Congrats on inventing a unique and creative line of model rocketry. Your designs have always been standouts in the field, and that's pretty hard to do.

I suspect that your company could be partly sold to some other investors who could do all the legwork and packaging, while you sit back and think up some more fun stuff?
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:05 AM
jetlag jetlag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njrick
jetlag..beautiful job on those Zooch 1bs!


Thanks so much! Enjoyed those builds a ton!
They fly nicely, too.

Allen
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