(… and errrr... please be warned... Harry the Hippo has liberally sprinkled backers' feedback throughout this Update...):
- New Renders
- Where are we on Wave 2?
- What else is happening?
- The TGG Behind Bars?
- Reprinting Doctor von X...
- 3D prints + Upgrading the Freebies
- Harry's Chronicles (part 1) – The Live Chat is Still Live!
- Harry's Chronicles (part 2) – “Where's my stuff?”
- Harry's Chronicles (part 3) – Video Reviews + Links to Web Reviews
- Harry's Chronicles (part 4) – Packing, Shipping, and Bases, too
- Harry's Chronicles (part 5) – Beer Coasters, too!
- New Concept Art for the Upcoming Sisters of Eternal Mercy
"My eyes the shear beauty burns my eyes... My god you and your team are freaking AMAZING!!! If I had half that skill I would be proud.” – Fumiki Miku (on Facebook, August 2014)
“Box just hit the fan! AWE - f***ing – some!” – Wolf Wings (on Facebook, August 2014)
“Oh. My. God. Beautiful!!!!! The detail! The fingers on Drusilla's gloves! The ring pulls on Harry's beer cans! Perfect buckles, realistic folds of cloth! Absolutely stunning, well worth the wait, thank-you so much to the original RH team for the big idea, to all the artists, sculptors, printers and moulders for the design and execution, to the office staff, the IT guys, the couriers and others for helping the wheels to turn, and thank-you Asharah for blessing us mere mortals with her gifts! Now, if only I wasn't so terrified of painting!” – Dan Sanders (on Facebook, August 2014)
As we mentioned before, we felt that the first version of Arushka was not up to par with the 2 other Yagas. And even as we showed you a new concept during the Pledge Manager, as we continued working on the sculpt, we felt that the energy just wasn't there yet. So we repositioned her staff to give her a stronger and more dynamic silhouette. We now feel that each of the Yaga radiates their very own energy while at the same time complementing each other perfectly.
Just like Parker, Kiki was not an easy one to deal with. We worked a lot with her original pose, but what we would come up with was consistently much too static. We felt that she needed to be larger than life. We did not want her to look like a traditional big ugly monster. We wanted her to have attitude, character and her own womanly style. Kiki is a character that we really like, and our goal was not to mock her but to make her a powerful, strong and fun TGG.
Also, here are two renders that we forgot to show in our previous Update:
A big bunch of metal Heroines have already been shipped in late summer, as planned. Normally, we should have also shipped a whole bunch of spin-cast resin Heroines, but the parcel containing them got suck in customs for several weeks :( They have now been shipped. More details on this below.
We are now waiting for a new shipment containing the Snipers from all 3 armies, which had originally been planned for Wave 3.
What is behind schedule are the Troops and Command Group boxes. The Troops have been a real headache, (if you remember previous updates, you know that they have been resculpted, reprinted, recast several times for various reasons) but everything is now under control. The good thing is that many of them have already been produced, but because of the various problems we encountered, ironically and despite our best efforts, not a single box has all of its minis and parts complete... We are working closely with our foundries to catch up on production as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
We know that this waiting is frustrating for you. It has been very hard for us too, as the troops were the very first sculpts we started with on this Kickstarter and we were sure they would be done many months ago. However, all these reworks gave us the opportunity to vastly increase the quality of the troops. All the challenges we've overcome with their production have also greatly expanded our knowledge and experience.
When we had the very first submasters back in December last year, the foundries could not understand why we wanted to ditch them and redo the whole lot, because in their eyes, they were already pretty impressive. And now that they have the final version, we all agree that it was all most definitely worth it. We will also be able to transfer this increased knowledge and experience to our upcoming projects. And we want to thank you for bearing with us, your minis are coming soon!
So, coming back to the Troops:
In our previous Update, we said that “The Troops are currently in production. The plan, as you may recall, was to try and begin shipping them by late summer, which is right about now, but the sheer volume of production and the occasional casting surprises mean that we are looking at a few more weeks than planned.”
So, now that we know more, and based on how things stand now, the following boxes should be ready for shipping in 4-5 weeks:
- The KST Heavy Troops and the KST Heavy Command Group
- The JB Regular Troops and the JB Regular Command Group
- The IE Heavy Troops and the IE Heavy Command Group
And unfortunately, the following boxes will need an additional 3-5 weeks:
- The IE Regular Troops and the IE Regular Command Group
- The KST Regular Troops and KST Regular Command Group
Since some boxes will be finished earlier than others, please be assured that as soon as we can ship your 2nd Wave, we will.
By the way, if your are wondering why on Earth we are talking about Wave 2 when you haven't even received Wave 1, please make sure to read the section further down called Harry's Chronicles (part 2) – “Where's my stuff?”.
“Either way, a delay in production such as this is fine with me. This KS generated way more interest than I believe RH anticipated. I'm sure they never expected to have so many additional miniatures and accessories to sculpt. When I first backed this, there were just a handful of cad images and a few "artists impressions" - now we have extra heads, weapons, artillery pieces, bikes, walkers. And all of these extras will take more time. Remember, it's not a pre-order system, it's a backer scheme with benefits - some beautifully sculpted benefits. :)” – Berger (Kickstarter August 2014)
“I really have to say that miniatures you make are something more than simply pieces of gaming equipment, they really are beautiful artwork and true craftsmanship quite seldom found these days. It was distinct that your company and people working there, want to create and make beautiful and functional things.” – Jarno Nordvall (via email, September 2014)
At this point in time, we are mostly focusing our efforts on sending everything to production and making sure that everything we get back meets with our expectations. This means that we spend pretty much all of our time preparing files for 3D printing, sending stuff out to the printer, reviewing test prints and test casts, touching up prints before they're sent to the foundry, etc. All the sculptors have been and continue to work on very un-sexy tasks. That's why we haven't quite finished all the sculpts yet, even if most of them are virtually done. Next week, we should finish Baba Yaga (KST – Yaga) and the JB Mecha, and after that, the IE and KST Trikes and the Cyberzombies will be taken care of.
Now that the pressure is easing, we've also been able to devote more time to recruiting and training 3 new freelance sculptors: Svetlana (Moscow, Russia), Martin (Bulgaria) and Stephen (UK). Right now, they are helping us finish the remaining production tasks.
With them and the rest of the crew, we are also testing a new planning tool calledLiquid Planner. So far, it's been very promising, performing well in managing priorities, coordinating the team members and reducing lost time. (I'm including their link in case you want to check it out, because if you do, they may chuck some funds our way...)
Well, several TGG were not in jail, but their movement were nonetheless limited as they enjoyed the custody of French Customs for a bit...
After many hurdles, last week, we finally got hold of the big parcel of spin-cast resin Heroines that were stuck there for several weeks. Everything eventually got sorted out, but we lost a lot of time with this. We are now implementing measures to prevent this situation from happening again.
The good news is that we have now dispatched those minis to all the backers whose Rewards Selection could be completed with the arrival of this parcel, together with the backers whose 'Personal Shipping - 2 Waves' selection was shippable. If you have any questions about this, please be sure to send us a private message via Kickstarter, or at RagingHeroesTeam@gmail.com, and we'll be there to assist you.
“I leave a comment about Harry, who contacted me to tell me I overpaid which I never knew. Their customer service is top notch. RH you rock and thank you Harry for being on the ball” – Alvin Scott (Kickstarter, August 2014)
However, when we opened the long-awaited parcel, we had to set aside a small number of minis that were crippled by a few nasty bubbles :( This was due to a quality control problem that has now been sorted, but this means that we have less of the good stuff to dispatch right at this moment, until small mould fixes and new casts can be made. Fortunately, this was fixed in one short week, and more casts are already on the way.
But the spin-cast Doctor von X also inside that parcel was a major problem, and remoulding her would not do her justice. So we decided to take the drastic step of fixing the problematic details directly on the 3D sculpt. We will then 3D-print her again, and send this new print to the foundry for a complete remould and new casts. This means that the spin-cast version of von X, will now come pretty late in the Second Wave. We are very sorry about this delay, but you know us... Quality first!
Early autumn over here has not been the greatest time so far for us :) After the Customs snafu, and while we are still trying to resolve the problem of Paypal holding back part of the Pledge Manager funds, Mother Nature joined the fun and Montpellier, Raging Heroes' hometown, got its biggest flooding in 50 years!
Our offices are located in one of the areas that ended up being completely cut off from traffic. We were quite lucky to leave just moments before that happened. The good news is that no minis were harmed during the floods, although we did have to restrain Harry the Baby Hippo from splashing around in the mud outside :)
You can see images and videos of flooded Montpellier here.
Here is a new batch of of prints that came through the studio and straight back out to the foundry this month.
You'll probably remember that in the first few days of the Kickstarter, the Freebies' very first versions of Ash, Kristina Karlstein and Jaheda Kano were only supposed to be upper bodies to use as tank pilots and tank officers. We had made this choice because before the KS launch, we had many people asking for such minis.
But then, you asked us to make them as full characters, so we obliged and quickly gave them each a pair of legs. However, since they had not been designed as full-fledged characters, they were definitely lacking a little oomph. So we took the time to upgrade their poses, attitude and clothes. Freebies they may be, but they still deserve the full Raging Heroes treatment!
Harry the Hippo was all over the Live Chat during the Pledge Manager. He burped his way through many of your messages, and spilt nary a drop of beer during the TGG shipping process. He deserved a chance to get his paws on this Update, so look out: Heeeeeerrre's Harry!
Hi Folks, Harry here! After many hours with you all on the Live Chat during the Pledge Manager period, I moved on over to the Packing and Shipping Area.
But guess what? I LEFT THE LIVE CHAT OPEN!
You have questions or comments? Click on the Live Chat window at the bottom right of the Pledge Manager. I'll be there for you, with my buddy Charlie the War Bulldog (just back from touring with his band in North America), and Jinx (that's the haughty one). If I'm away, leave a message. I swear I'm now pretty fast at getting back to you!
“Thanks for getting back to me, you guys are so amazing and this is the most professionally handled Kickstarter I have backed. Congratulations for being awesome.”– Holy Jane Lycanthropica (via email, June 2014)
IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you think you should have received some of your TGG models by now, please make sure you read this section, as you may have missed some of our previous info about shipping...
Right now, the top question I get is this one:
“YOU'VE SHIPPED THE FIRST WAVE, AND I HAVEN'T RECEIVED ANYTHING!!!” Well, in most cases, that's normal: many of you selected Standard Shipping as your shipping option. Standard Shipping means that we send your Rewards Selection in one single shipment. So we can only ship yours when everything you chose is ready to ship!
“BUT SOME OTHER PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED SOME STUFF!!!”True. But that's because either:
- All the minis they wanted were already available
- Or, instead of Standard Shipping, they chose another shipping option, either Drop Ship or Personal Wave shipping. The Drop Ship option is now closed but you can still get additional shipments through the Personal Wave shipping option.
“WELL, I DO WANT MORE THAN ONE SHIPMENT!!!”
Easy to fix: extra shipments continue to be available for $14.95 per shipment (or $10 if you're in France)! Just drop me a note (RagingHeroesTeam@gmail.com) (or send me a private message on Kickstarter) if you want one or more, and I'll make it happen. (BTW, that is what we called the Personal Wave Shipping option.)
“BUT, WHAT'S A WAVE EXACTLY?”Actually, I must confess that we've shouldn't have talked about Waves, because there are 2 kinds of waves: the shipping waves and the production waves, and it gets everybody mixed up... Charlie nearly ate his own hat because of this...
So let me try to clear that up:
We should not have used the term Wave for the Shipping options. Really, we shouldn't have. It created unnecessary confusion. We should have called it something like Number of Shipments. But it's too late now.
So, just know that we are producing the minis in roughly 3 Waves (these are the Production Waves) and that you can get the minis shipped to you in 1 or more shipments, depending on your Shipping Option.
The Production Waves and the Number of Shipments are not necessarily tied together.
For example, those of you who chose 2 Shipments (that is, Personal Wave Shipping – 2 Waves) may be getting a combination of Production Waves 1 and 2 in their first shipment, and Production Waves 2 and 3 in their second shipment. Other combinations also exist, depending on your selection of minis. Basically, you don't have to worry too much about this, as I try as much as I can to set up the best possible combination for each of your shipments. I also do follow your wishes if you share them with me. You can always contact me on the Live Chat about this, or anything else :)
So... I am really if it feels like an eternity for you to receive your precious minis :( I promise I am doing the best I can to please you (yes, even those of you with small claws). For the curious, we have a total of approximately 4000 parcels to ship for this Kickstarter :).
Before going on about my Packing Adventures, I wanted to thank you all for your kindness and for your support. Indeed, we have received loads of awesome comments and reviews on the Chat (the Chat is still up!) and on Facebook, Twitter, Kickstarter and by email, and saw some on various blogs too!
So I've sprinkled them all over this Update! First, because they made us all very happy and encouraged. But also, I figure that if you haven't received any TGG minis yet, you'll probably want to take a look at some of these very detailed and exciting Open-the-Box videos and articles.
Want to see the Wave 1 TGG minis? Check out these 3 Video reviews on Raging Heroes and the First Wave of the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy. They are in French with English subtitles.
- Part 1: 17+ min. on Mimi the Radio (JB), Tania Tanker (JB), Punky (JB), Cruz (JB), Blondie (JB), Bernadette (JB)
- Part 2: 11+ min. on Harry (JB) and the Lulus (JB)
- Part 3: 11+ min. on Charlie (KST Mascot), Tarja (KST Yaga), Natasha (JB), Jinx (IE Mascot), Drusilla (KS exclusive), Mortaria Noctis (IE)
And now, some blog links:
En español (from akibastation.es)
- Post sur La Communauté du Marteau
A special THANK YOU to all to the reviewers who took the time to share how the TGG actually look like in person! Keep' em coming! And if I've missed some, please drop me a note, I'll add them in the next Update!
And now, let's talk about what I do in Shipping :)
I must say that being surrounded by all of these beautiful ladies all day long is not an easy thing (oooooohhhhhh Bernadette...). Every now and then, they break into fights, too!
So, I ran all over the packing area, I motivated the packing elves when they needed it, and I made sure that the ladies stayed in line as the elves carefully wrapped and packed them for dispatch around the world. Packing and shipping the TGG is an operation of great scale, and so I've also devised many contraptions and procedures to make the elves' work easier.
To give you a scope of the operation: You may remember that we had a quiz in the last Update about how many bases would be shipped for the entire Kickstarter. Well, if I put them in a straight line next to one another, you'd be looking at a nearly 4 kilometres-long road of round black bases, that is, about 2 ½ miles. And if I stack them up (not easy with my fat clumsy paws), the pile would be taller than the Empire State building!
Jinx told me that the number of bases needed to fulfil the Kickstarter is 156,804! In the last Update, we wrote: “The backer with the nearest guess gets a bonus TGG mini!!”, and so, Dennis Becker with 153,780, gets to pick the TGG mini of his choice! Congrats Dennis!
And I want to award special kudos to Wakoun, Andrew Brock, Gavin Ng, Elliot Williams, Jeffery K Chandler II and Federalist42 who were pretty close too!
That's A LOT of bases to pre-pack together with the minis... So the guys get to pack the bases in bags of 5, 10, 15 and 25 whenever they have some idle time. Sometimes, I even give them something to drink from my private hoard to motivate them. Good thing I had loads of supplies!
“Hello there, I have just got home from work and pound a parcel in the house, which i have opened, and all i can say is... it was most definitely worth the wait!!! Many many thanks for the hard work and for the lovely miniatures you guys / gals rock just one question though... where do I get more of the drinks mats ?” – Mark Russel (on Facebook, July 2014)
Drink mats? Yes indeed! The fact is that Charlie the War Bulldog had this very cool idea of making TGG coasters for your drinks, an idea which of course I highly supported. And they even made one about me!!! Yeahhhhh! There are 4 different designs, and we randomly include them in each shipment. The more minis you're getting, the more coasters you'll receive. Free of charge, too :)
Sometimes, when I read the feedback you are sending me, I'm wondering if you don't love the coasters more than the minis ;) So I'm wondering... Do you think we should consider putting them up for sale in the Raging Heroes webshop? Would you buy some ? Would you want other designs ? Which ones ?
Now... Please, please, please paint me first! Alright, you can also paint the other ones too and share your photos with me via email (RagingHeroesTeam@gmail.com) orFacebook! And I'll make sure Charlie posts the best ones on a Pinterest board (or something similar) for you all to see!
A big BURP from the bottom of my heart to all of you!
And to end this Update, here's another sneak peak at our upcoming Kickstarter. These 2 images are for the Sisters of Eternal Mercy army. Keep in mind that they will be available both in Fantasy and Sci-Fi version, and that there will also be Dark Elves(again, both Sci-Fi and Fantasy) available as well. (Follow the links above to see previously shown concepts.)