As we shared with you last time, this present Update does not contain images of new sculpts. The month of November has been devoted mainly to technical works. We did tons of 3D printing work, and we also implemented our workflow for the Troops. But that does not mean that we have nothing to show you.
And as the Holidays are closing in, we have some special offers and promos for you. For all the details, keep reading!
Our plans for November were also impacted by the attacks in Paris, which deeply affected the whole team. Several of us knew people who were there or who were killed. For a few days, we were in a haze, and it did slow us down. We shared our emotion and thoughts on this in a Facebook and blog post. In response, we received such thoughtful and moving replies about it that we decided to share it all with you at the end of this Update.
The most exciting news of the month is that we received the very first TGG2 casts, and they look brilliant!
As you know, this summer, we worked very closely with the foundry and visited the team there twice to set up and fine-tune new production processes. This can be very simple stuff like the way the workspace is set up, or how the casts are broken down and bagged, to much more technical stuff like the way the moulds' layouts are made, or what kind of chemicals are used (resins, release agents, etc.). The foundry even decided to re-do several TGG1 moulds using this new workflow, and the results are extremely rewarding! From the feedback we get, the TGG1 casts are of really great quality, and it looks like the TGG2 minis will be even better...
Here are the very first casts of Doralys, Liligrith, Vladimir, Onyx, and Sister Trematta (Fantasy).
Before the miniatures are made into production casts, there is a step called sub-mastering, through which the 3D print is duplicated into several sub-masters that are then used to make the production moulds.
Here are a few photos of some of these sub-masters, primed with ultra-thin teflon coating and ready to be sandwiched in rubber to create the production moulds.
November was mostly about 3D printing. All the lovely sculpts you saw in our 2 previous Updates got cleaned up, sliced up, and prepared for 3D printing.
This process is pretty long and not very exciting. There are many steps required to turn the original sculpt into a printable object. Yet these efforts are paying off, as nearly all of them are now in the printing queue and the few that are not are currently being fine-tuned.
We now make many test prints before the final version to deal with such issues as bulk, size, assembly of the parts, or modularity of the multipart kits. These tests are mainly done in-house and in lower printing resolution, which means that they are faster and less expensive to produce yet good enough to give a very precise feel for the miniature's final aspect.
Here are photos of some of these tests. Please remember that these are test prints, and that they do not have the final quality and detail of the final product.
The test prints are an awesome way to try different option for the size of a miniature.
Here, you can see the mighty Sister Augusta test-printed at 2 different sizes. The biggest one is as large as a GW Terminator Champion. The smaller one is more in line with a regular-sized character. We think the big one is very big, but at the same time, it looks super cool, whereas the smaller one (which in this picture is missing its arms and backpack) might integrate more easily into various armies. The difference is small. And yet...
So, we are not yet sure what to do with Augusta, and we would very much like your feedback on this, so please do Comment on this Update and share with us your opinion.
We've been talking for a while now about our special workflow for the Troops. In fact, this is something we have been thinking about since the beginning of Raging Heroes, but we never had the time and the people with the right skills to implement it the way we are doing now.
We used a bit of this process in TGG1, but it was nothing like what we are working on now on TGG2. We can't really get into the details, but the first results are now coming in, and they are excellent! What this means for you is that, if all goes as planned, all of the troops' sculpts should be produced 5 to 10 times faster than in the past! We plan to be able to share with you the first troops sculpts in our next Update.
Last week, we had our very first Black Friday/Cyber Monday special event since we launched Raging Heroes back in 2009. It was extremely successful: our Facebook page grew by over 1000 fans in one week, and we added several hundreds new Raging Heroes customers to our list!
If you missed it, it's not too late! We are extending it for an additional 2 days just for you, our backers.
With this promotion, you can get access to pre-releases of several TGG1 minis which will then no longer be available to buy for several more weeks/months from now.
AND, you get 15% OFF your ENTIRE ORDER on www.ragingheroes.com. Just use this DISCOUNT CODE at checkout: NowYouSeeThem15. But don't wait, this will all be over by this Monday evening...
If you want more Raging Heroes' goodness for Christmas, we are planning more goodies for you.
First, we've now implemented a shareable WishList on our Raging Heroes website that will allow you to inspire you friends and loved ones who may not know what to get you....
In the next few days, we will also implement Gift Cards, and we will also have 2 sets of new TGG releases between now and the end of the Holiday season.
After the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, we posted this on our blog and on Facebook (version française ici):
We are in shock. After what happened in Paris this weekend, it feels strange and eerie to be selling or promoting our girls with guns miniatures.
The reason we make miniatures is because we are storytellers. We create fantasy characters that are like pirates, kings and queens, cowboys and indians, like the ones we would fantasise about when we were kids. We want them to be like the fairytale characters of our childhood, the ones who helped us grow and become better adults.
We want them to guide us through crazy adventures and amazing tales of fantasy, to make us dream and play and have fun. To gather with friends and chat about our great deeds on the gaming table and have a drink while we laugh and brag about our dice rolling prowess. But we know that in the end, these are just stories and fairytales. It has nothing to do with real war and hatred.
However, today, some people have mistaken a very dark and sick fairytale for the truth. They have fallen on the very, very dark side of some kind of very sick Force. And they want to bring down the rest of the world with them into their very sick and disturbed story.
All our lives are guided by the stories we tell and immerse ourselves in. Let's make sure that the stories we choose keep on celebrating love, life, peace and joy.
There was this comment that you can read below that was posted by an American on a New York Times article a few days ago. You might have seen it already on Facebook. It is very touching for us because, even if France and the French are far from perfect, it tells everything we, as French people, think France should always stands for. This is the story we want to believe in the face of the forces of hatred:
(Blackpoodles, Santa Barbara 2 days ago:) France embodies everything religious zealots everywhere hate: enjoyment of life here on earth in a myriad little ways: a fragrant cup of coffee and buttery croissant in the morning, beautiful women in short dresses smiling freely on the street, the smell of warm bread, a bottle of wine shared with friends, a dab of perfume, children paying in the Luxembourg Gardens, the right not to believe in any god, not to worry about calories, to flirt and smoke and enjoy sex outside of marriage, to take vacations, to read any book you want, to go to school for free, to play, to laugh, to argue, to make fun of prelates and politicians alike, to leave worrying about the afterlife to the dead. No country does life on earth better than the French.
Paris, we love you. We cry for you. You are mourning tonight, and we with you. We know you will laugh again, and sing again, and make love, and heal, because loving life is your essence. The forces of darkness will ebb. They will lose. They always do.
We used the original Doralys with tears to illustrate our post.
→ Wendy Neeld: What you say is very, very true. Paris is the city of my heart - it's the place where I first truly "found" myself many years ago. It will always be a place of freedom, culture, and innovation - all the things dangerous fanatics will die to stop. They'll die to stop them because those things represent the true glory of the human spirit, the things no rules can stifle, and that horrifies them.
But I would also urge you not to feel awkward showcasing your miniatures. In these dark times, we need a way to play out our horrors, to feel empowered in the face of nightmares. We need fantasy to remind us that good does triumph over evil. Psychologists tell us we must allow our children to play out violent stories with their toys as a way of taking control of horrors that make them feel lost and helpless. Certainly, we as adults need the same. Perhaps your "little figures" can be one small spark of light in the struggle to re-take control and banish the feeling of helpless fear. ♥
→ Jose Luis: I understand your sadness, not only for what happened near to you, but also for the fear that maybe your creations can influence and motivate violence. In that regard, I can assure you as a psychologist, that the human being is violent, and sometimes it's actually fantasy and media that can be an outlet for our "dark side" and let it actually heal. Violent games dont "create" violence, violence is always there, some people play games as an outlet, and actually control the anger with them. So don't feel bad about it, if people started to embrace their feelings and not repress them, if they played more games such as yours, instead of killing real people, the world would be a safer and better place. Dont give up :)
It's because that we need things such the ones that you create, that grown people like us dream again, trying to support Raging Heroes because its worth it. I think grown ups dream the bigger dreams :) because they need them the most
→ Dustin T Ballard: "It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer." -Sam
→ Gavin John: As someone who has seen the horrors of ISIS first hand, I am sad to hear of both the tragedy in Paris and how you feel about your part in this hobby, Asharah Raging. In fact, what you do is so valuable to the free world: the free expression and creation of such amazing art form is something that is a symbol of free societies and something we should all be proud of. You create and share beautiful art pieces and have made a community a better place by doing so. While a weapon on a miniature could absolutely represent weapons used for evil, I choose to see them as representations of the weapons used by the brave men and women around the world who stand up to evil.
Miniature gaming has always been a great way for me to relax, spend time with friends, make new friends and tell great stories. What you and you team do is something you should be proud of. As in it's very nature stands against the very violence that visited your country this week. Keep doing what you do, and hold your head high.
Lots of love from Canada!
→ Ste Chandler: All thoughts are for the people of Paris. Keep doing what you love, and what others love you for, and we can not be defeated.
→ Peter Hodgins: Our thoughts are with you in Paris. The actions of a (small) minority should not be allowed to detract from the freedom or rights of the majority. Now is the time for the world to set aside political, religious and cultural differences and to say that the acts of a misguided cult are not acceptable and we will not bow to their hateful philosophy. Our hobby brings us together irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation or (dare I say) religious belief. And together we are horrified by what we have seen which cannot be justified from any doctrinal or philosophical view point. Long may our hobby continue to be an example of how society should behave -- as an innocent, imaginative world of our own creation in which we are free to express our own creative beliefs. Good luck to all in France and those who have suffered because of the atrocities of these madmen.
→ Roy James: In the wake of this tragedy, the French people returned to every day life, that is the true strength not being imprisoned by fear but living life to the full again. My heart goes out to the families and friends lost, I know it may seem hard to continue on but you have to otherwise they win. I hope that the R@H team are all ok and your love ones, glad to see you back to work and continuing on in what I can only imagine is a difficult and emotional time. Stay safe stay strong.
→ Stuart Baines: Please know that others around the world are shocked and horrified at what has happened and offer support in what ever way we can. Extremism in all its forms and from all religions needs to be stamped out. Let's take all religions back to their root values of love and tolerance and stop letting people twist and interpret for their own sinister gain. We love you Paris and we stand in solidarity with all Parisians and in the hope of peace for all humanity.
→ Raymond Raymond: I see those forces of intolerance gathering on every side. Here in Kansas intolerance often comes wrapped in our flag and singing the songs I was taught in church as a child. In Russia they wear yet another disguise, and in Western Europe yet another. Those of us who stand for peace, tolerance, and freedom have to stand together no matter what our culture, our skin color, are the religion we were raised in. I'm with you guys, right to the end.
→ Jonathan Hart: Never stop creating beautiful things that make people happy. Create, create, create. It's what you do best, it's what we love about your amazingly talented team. Show the world that the spirit of free creative talent is alive and well in your company and that it will continue for as long as there is a community that loves it, and we do love it. Let none stand in your way.
→ Steven Farnaby: It's important to know that what we do is pretend, with pretend guns and pretend wars, but it stays in a pretend world where everyone gets to go home to their loved ones when it's over. We know there are no Jailbirds or Lust Elves in real life, it's just a game like Monopoly or Chess.
What happened over the weekend was real and horrible, and people who should have gone home when it was over didn't. But what is also real is the love we still have for one another, all around the world we stand with you.
→ Dan Sanders: Feel no compunction : all but the very deluded know the difference between fiction and fact, fantasy and reality.
→ Christopher Royles: If we stop doing the things we loved doing before - they win.
→ James Jones: I collect little men and women to play war with, listen to Heavy Metal, and love horror movies. This does not make me a bad person. Only the people can choose what to do with their lives. If they want to kill, it not because little men or music dictate their actions. Keep making them. I have supported both of your Kickstarters and I will support you even now.
→ Raymond Raymond: I know I've already chimed in, but I have to agree about your company. Raging Heroes makes the most beautiful miniatures in the industry. The pieces you guys make are art hands down. The world has always needed art, probably now more than ever. What's more, it's art that draws people into a community, what could be better than that? As for the warlike nature of it, I can say for myself, the older I get the more I love this hobby and the more I hate real war. I suspect I'm not alone in that.
→ Alex Alexander: Don't let the actions of a few bad souls keep you from doing what you love and providing pieces that allow others to also enjoy doing what they too love.
→ Scott Templeman: Only by continuing to make beautiful things can defeat the darkness. Your tiny models are one of the beautiful things. They explore conflict in many ways. Exploration itself is good and necessary even when, and maybe even especially when, the topics are hard ones. Keep telling stories, keep exploring, and never feel bad about the things you create because they are amazing and important in ways that might not be immediately obvious.
→ Chaoswulfen (on our website): Please do not feel strange about selling your beautiful tabletop miniatures. You and your ladies are part of a hobby that brings a lot of people together.
I have played against and with people from a lot of different countries and cultures. It never mattered were you or they came from. American, Arabian, Asian, European, never mattered. Even the age or the language was never a big problem. All we wanted was to have some fun playing a (tabletop) game, explore different tactics and enjoying the store the game wrote.
→ Aulne Le Verménarque Abeille: Merci pour les histoires que vous nous permettez de conter avec vos "petites heroïnes". Ce sont les petites joies qui nous permettront de vaincre la peur.
→ Marie-Joëlle van Gaver: Votre statut est très touchant, et votre image de notre pays est aussi fantastique que les visuels que vous nous offrez avec vos figurines... Continuez de remplir nos tables de jeux de merveilles, et continuez de vivre, de jouer, d'écouter de la musique, et de boire un coup en racontant vos exploits!
→ Antonio Ocaña: Pour la liberté et l'imagination. Pour la vie et l'honneur. Force pour vous et tout le peuple française. Nous sommes tous avec vous.
→ Klav Lili: C'est justement parce que vous faites des héroïnes, des femmes libres qui prennent les armes, que vous pouvez être fiers de ce que vous faites :) Ok, certaines d'entre elles ont un sacré grain, mais on leur pardonne parce qu'elles ont tellement la classe ! ;) Croyez pas un seul instant que ce que vous faites est mal, vous vendez de la joie de se retrouver entre amis pour une partie, de la matière parfaite pour laisser éclater la créativité des artistes en herbe ... Bref, changez rien :D Ah si ! Respirez un bon coup, souriez, soyez fiers ... vous le méritez :) Lionel
→ Jukz L'égaré: on sait faire la part des choses. La grande majorité des gens savent faire ça... Donc oui on peint avec amour des Iron Empire aux gros flingues, pour autant on prône pas l'apologie de la violence et de l'horreur... Je crois qu'on commence à apprendre vers 5 ans, un truc du genre, la distanciation, le raisonnement... L'empathie, aussi. Bref, des choses qu'il faut absolument continuer de cultiver ^^ keep going with your dream stuff !
Again, thank you all so much for your uplifting words, they needed to be said and read and heard!