Scammer Alert - Replica Forge / Don Semora

vaderperp

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Scammer alert!


Been a RPF member for a while but slowly making my way back into the hobby again. Think I may have been scammed by Don Semora of Replica Forge as well. Yeah I know I’m part of the blame for being so gullible but when you have two parents you’re looking after due to illness time flies. Ordered a Bandai Falcon to be pro built last July. Going to see what my credit card company can do about my $700. Below are my messages from Don as well. He also sent progress pics but I’m beginning to think they were stock photos of past projects. I’m posting them in case anyone else has received the exact same pics me.
 

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1138sw

Member
Hello saw your reply. I am very very sorry for your situation. I've been looking for modelers to do some builds for me and I ran across Replica Forge awhile ago but never committed to any builds as I am still doing research on other builders. Never found any posts or reviews on them so I sort of put them at the bottom of the list.

I was wondering if RF gave you a specific time for the build? Has he reached out to you since your post? I hope things can be worked out and you can either get a refund or your Falcon completed.

Contracting with others, especially with small businesses in the prop replica game with little to no infrastructure is risky. There have been so many horror stories with prop makers...i.e. Icons, Master Replicas, and just recently ANOVOS. It's a great hobby but the risks are there too...unfortunately.

Good luck I hope you get things sorted.
 

Moviefreak

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So it’s been 8 months? I am not sure this is a scam yet. For a build and paint up like that, it isn’t uncommon for it to still be a work in progress at the 8th month mark. It is also not too uncommon for a builder to underestimate the timeframe, as they don’t think of things that can delay the progress. Life does happen and can slow things down significantly. And often when time slips away, the builders tend to avoid communicating because they are scared since they have fallen behind. Could this be a sham and they are providing stock photos of an old project… sure. But could this just be a slow build and they aren’t being good at speeding along or communicating? Also yes. Look into the chargeback and if it is possible, let Replica Forge know that you will give it maybe one more month and then you will be moving forward with the process.
 

MattMunson

Master Member
You'd be surprised how many people suddenly find the time to respond to your texts and send progress pics once you file a paypal claim or credit card claim. Crazy how that works.

Fact is, there's a group of people out there who respond way better to the stick than the carrot.
 

awol007

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You'd be surprised how many people suddenly find the time to respond to your texts and send progress pics once you file a paypal claim or credit card claim. Crazy how that works.

Fact is, there's a group of people out there who respond way better to the stick than the carrot.
I personally fall into this sometimes with my customers. Mainly because I just try to keep normal business hours (try not to do customer service on weekends for example). But I'm also surprised how many people will send an email and demand an instant reply, like within an hour or two. You definitely have to give small businesses a little buffer lol. But in principal I 100% agree with your messages theme. Just wanted to add not everyone has the capacity to answer in "normal" and quick timeframes.

Now, to OP I say, it's unclear if you two had a completed timeframe in mind? If there wasn't a predetermined expectation than I would not just go full on chargeback nor assume this is a scam. Just reach out to him again, let him know your thoughts at least one more time and what your next moves will be if you don't hear back in a week or something. If we assume he's not a scammer he's probably put a ton of work into this project already. Granted, you paid a lot of money for this and definitely deserve your products.

I'm rooting for the both of you to get this worked out to everyone's satisfaction. Good luck.
 

vaderperp

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for the advice guys! At first I was giving a lot off leeway because I understand the prop game usually means waiting ( long time Master Replicas and EFX collectibles, so I get waiting. ). I only post some of the messages but in the more detailed messages I’m asking for pictures and I have had nothing sent since a few months into the order. Then on his website his Facebook page he posts a photo of one recently delivered to a client which was odd since I was told I was in the current queue. I needed it by the holidays and he said no problem in his messages. Last message I’ve asked him to just give me something to restore my faith but nothing so far. I just wanted any progress pictures with a card with my name on it next to whatever progress there is. His reply was he does not play those games as I demonstrate that in one of the photos. I should have maybe done more homework in this? Replica Forge has a lot of complaints on the BBB website. I’m all for supporting the independent artists out there and in my 30 years of prop collecting and models no one has let me down, so this one in particular kinda hurts.
 

joberg

Master Member
I personally fall into this sometimes with my customers. Mainly because I just try to keep normal business hours (try not to do customer service on weekends for example). But I'm also surprised how many people will send an email and demand an instant reply, like within an hour or two. You definitely have to give small businesses a little buffer lol. But in principal I 100% agree with your messages theme. Just wanted to add not everyone has the capacity to answer in "normal" and quick timeframes.

Now, to OP I say, it's unclear if you two had a completed timeframe in mind? If there wasn't a predetermined expectation than I would not just go full on chargeback nor assume this is a scam. Just reach out to him again, let him know your thoughts at least one more time and what your next moves will be if you don't hear back in a week or something. If we assume he's not a scammer he's probably put a ton of work into this project already. Granted, you paid a lot of money for this and definitely deserve your products.

I'm rooting for the both of you to get this worked out to everyone's satisfaction. Good luck.
As an ex-owner; my customers were always aware, from the get go, that:
1: I was not available on week-ends (it's against my religion;))
2: My work days were from 8:30 AM to 5:30PM. During these hours, email/phone calls would be answered ASAP. Other "after hour emails" were staying in my inbox until the next morning.
Communication/expectations are to be clear and in writing to avoid any confusion! Never had a complain in 14 years;)

Good luck vanderperp; I hope the situation resolves itself to your satisfaction.
 

vaderperp

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just updating this. No update or photos from Replica Forge despite repeated requests. Don Semora has gone silent. I even noticed he posts projects he is working on on his Facebook page, but oddly enough does not allow comments in any of his posts or projects.My credit card company is involved now.
 
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joberg

Master Member
Just updating this. No update or photos from Replica Forge despite repeated requests. Don Semora has gone silent. I even noticed he posts projects he is working on on his Facebook page, but oddly enough does not allow comments in any of his posts or projects.My credit card company is involved now.
Good for you; I hope it gets resolved quickly now that your credit card company is in with you(y)
 

1138sw

Member
Just updating this. No update or photos from Replica Forge despite repeated requests. Don Semora has gone silent. I even noticed he posts projects he is working on on his Facebook page, but oddly enough does not allow comments in any of his posts or projects.My credit card company is involved now.
Very sorry to hear. But at least now you have your CC company involved and hopefully they will help in getting your money back! Good luck and please let me know how everything worked out!
 

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