TGG2: Update #64 – The Halloween Update

Happy Halloween! 



As grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal our doom...

we've decided to move this and future Updates to the www.ragingheroes.com blog, as the big bad souls of the world-wide web have given us a run for our money over the past few months. So keep reading for exciting news on production updates AND a special Halloween offer...

We may have now entered the season of less visually exciting Updates are there are no more new sculpts to share with you, and a lot more technical stuff to talk about. However, we think we are in a very exciting time nonetheless, as in the past two months, we've been making massive progress on nearly every aspect of the production process!

October was mostly dedicated to implementing new workflows and ideas, and we are now reaping the results of an extensive reorganisation in production. You'll get many of the technical facts below, but mostly, despite the amazing complexity of the TGG2 miniatures, our 3D printing pipeline as well as the moulding side of the foundry are now getting to outputting one unit every day. This is totally mind-blowing!

Read on for more details and other news!

production cast of Augusta

Augusta - size comparison

Let's Start by what's most Important: the Progress of the Production

First, to clarify things, we realise that the Production Status online spreadsheet with which you can track what's going on has become a bit misleading. If you've been following this document, you might feel like: “I don't get it, things are going into production, and then, never come out of it...”. And so, you might feel that not a lot of progress is made.

But that's not the case, a lot is happening!

The reason for this is that, as we have been working closely with the foundry to redefine the manufacturing pipeline, we realised that it would be much more effective to have nearly all the moulds done before we start spinning them.

So, it means that everything that gets moulded shows up stuck in the In Production category, and doesn't move to the In Stock category because we are doing all the production moulds first before we spin them. To reflect this, we will add a new category in the tracking spreadsheet. This will be done this week. So you will have a clearer view of what's going on.



Overall, we are pushing for having all the Troops and Heroines production moulds done by the end of November. We are still working out the order of production for the bigger pieces such as the Altar of the Succubi, the Avatar of Shah, etc.

Better Focus and Speed

Allowing the entire foundry team to focus on the very delicate task of mould-making ensures more efficiency and quality, and allows us to optimise this process. The same will happen when the foundry starts spinning the production moulds, as the more senior members of the team, who usually focus mostly on mould-making, will be fully available and part of the spinning process, again guaranteeing better quality and improved efficiency.

We now have attained our aim of outputting the production moulds for one new unit every day at the foundry!!!

This is a pretty amazing feat, considering the tasks involved in making this happen. Of course, this is our ideal production plan, which is occasionally slowed down with the occasional breakdowns but overall, this is now going very well.

Improved Quality

In the last Update, we told you about our new 'Pizza Pie' layout system for the Troops. We now have production casts of these, and they look most excellent!

Overall, they allow for less intrusive gates (the connections between sprue and miniature which feeds the resin into the parts), and for us, they simplify the whole packing process with more accurate and speedier picking and sorting while making the sprue more robust.


Creating moulds for a full unit box (we call them Family Moulds) instead of having one mould for each single one miniature of the unit considerably speeds up the mould-making process. It came with other challenges for picking and packing, but we found ways to successfully solve them and so, we are also working on a similar process for the Heroines so they can eventually fit in blister packs once they are commercially released.

The Pizza Pie casts


The Big Paypal Problem

You may have noticed that during the summer, we took down the Paypal payment option in the Pledge Manager. At that time, we did not go into the details of why we did that, because we did not want to unnecessarily risk alarming anybody about something we knew would eventually be resolved. However, we went through a pretty rough time there. If you read our Risks and Challenges section on the Kickstarter, where we compare a KS campaign to a long journey at sea, well, this certainly qualifies as a Category 4 storm!!!

To give you a quick and simple explanation, Paypal can freeze an account and retain all the funds in it until they are given proof that the activity is legit and not a scam. This usually works well with regular businesses. However, when it comes to crowdfunding, Paypal does not have a history of being fair and thorough with project creators. We won't go into the details here, as we are still pondering what actions we might take now that this has been resolved. But just so you know, Paypal tends to say black one day and white the next, or, as one of their representative plainly told us: “Our policies change all the time”, and “I cannot put anything I am asking you in writing”.

The amount involved was staggeringly high. It forced us to make huge adjustments to our production plans. It altered staffing, as you can imagine, as we had to pause the work with some of our regular collaborators. We had to negotiate with our suppliers who thanks to our long-term relationship building, agreed to temporarily act as our bankers. Our careful approach to managing funds over the entire Kickstarter paid off, as we were able to draw on (and complete deplete) all of our reserves to get that first wave of shipments out as quickly as possible and keep operating our business.

The situation was resolved earlier this month, but it took an enormous amount of work and energy to get through it. All this was made by Paypal to supposedly protect you, the customer whereas instead, it made the delivery of the Rewards much more problematic. Had we been a younger company, less organised or less careful, it could have easily sank the project.

Nevertheless, onward and forward, and we are now nearing the end of our journey in calmer waters.

And Other Creepy Stories about the Internet Giants...

Oh, and by the way, Paypal was not the only one to have fun with us. Facebook decided to close our Asharah Raging page and then took two months to start answering our messages.

Google threatened to remove us from their search engine, and I'm still at a loss to figure out what they want.

And Kickstarter still has the sh#@!ty interface that makes every update we make super-long to upload and edit, which sealed the decision to move our Updates away from there.

We're now waiting from Instagram and Twitter to put us in their crosshair ;)

But hey, it's Halloween! Let's party tonight!

Faster 3D Prints Turnaround

One of the impact of the Paypal situation was that it prevented us from getting a new software that considerably speeds up and improves the 3D print workflow. For this software, we were dealing with a new supplier, and so we had to wait to have the cash on hand before being able to proceed on this. It created a bottleneck of nearly 2 months for a product that does in about 30 seconds what can otherwise take half a day to make. You can easily imagine the impact on production.



This has now been implemented, and you can expect most of the remaining miniatures that still show on the Production Status online spreadsheet as Sculpted to be upgraded to In Production within the next 2 weeks. 



Why We Keep Updating Our Wokflows

We already told you that in our previous update, but it bears repeating; what we are doing with the foundry is a major overhaul of the whole manufacturing process, from the time a 3D sculpt is finished to the time the miniature is put in a ziploc bag.

You might think: “Oh, you have already told us several time that you are revamping your workflows.” This is absolutely true. You might also be wondering: “Why do you keep on changing stuff?” The truth is that with a team that has been multiplied by 3 in just about two years and sculpts that in TGG2 have become so complex that technically, they have little in common with the TGG1 (let alone with the minis we did before that), we cannot stand still, do business as usual and hope for the best. We know that the foundry team is reading this update, and we want to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication, as well as their willingness to work with us to improve practices and workflows to achieve the impossible.

Still Reading?

We know that is already a wall of text, so we'll stop now, and have another Update in a few days with additional information concerning re-opening the Pledge Manager, purchasing extra shipments, showing you the next TGG2 beer mats which will be included in your Rewards shipment, and fresh news on our 2 upcoming Kickstarters (Terrain and Game).

Halloween Promo: Harry Gets Lost in Zombie Land!

Head over here for 50% off on selected items with this discount code: PUMPKIN
But don't wait. Deal ends on the night of November 1!


19 Comments

Jack
Jack

November 22, 2016

Bien le bonjour!

Du nouveau?

Je ne suis pas les développements au jour le jour, mais j’ai bien hate de voir l’Avatar en vrai!

Merci et bonne journée!

Jack

Matthew scott
Matthew scott

November 15, 2016

Do you guys have a set form for address changes?

Seriously
Seriously

November 13, 2016

deleting my post… wow.. new low.

Seriously
Seriously

November 12, 2016

Don’t send me notifications for next Kickstarter , it’s a shame how you act, delays are totaly ok but it seem you just don’t answer almost any question. I really doubt il get my order in the next 6 months

Alex
Alex

November 04, 2016

Ravi d’avoir enfin des nouvelles même si celles ci ne sont pas top. En tout cas je continu de vous soutenir à 100% et j’espère que vous n’aurez plus de problème du genre par la suite (sacré emmerdeurs paypal…), et comme il me semble avoir lu sur l’un des commentaires du dessus (peut être mal compris son anglais par contre) ça pourrait être plus agréable pour nous d’avoir des nouvelles plus régulièrement, même si cela implique qu’elles soient plus petites et moins utiles.

Claudia Anastasia
Claudia Anastasia

November 01, 2016

Augusta model is simply amazing. I regret not buying it in the pledge manager. But sooner or later she will be mine!
Sisters troopers and portions of pizza… Perfect combination XD

Jean-Philippe Le Dez
Jean-Philippe Le Dez

November 01, 2016

Hi ! thank you fot your update, I wish that you will not have anymore trouble. Your products are amazing !

paul reekie
paul reekie

November 01, 2016

Thanks for the update and i think i can speak for 90% of your backers that although we sympathise with your problems it’s better to keep us in the loop all the time rather then 1 update every 4-6 weeks even if it’s to say hi nothing to report.It let’s us know that things are ticking over and stops all the negative comments.

Steven Remington
Steven Remington

November 01, 2016

I hope that you’ll still be providing links to each update here through Kickstarter, otherwise, out of sight, out of mind…

Derek Cassidy
Derek Cassidy

November 01, 2016

Folks, whatever the hurdles you are currently facing, keep going. Your figures are gob-smackingly gorgeous, and a true joy to assemble and paint. I’m well into the TGG1 models I got in your first Kickstarter, and everything I’ve seen so far indicates TGG2 will be even better. Your fans (like me!) know there can be delays producing top quality product, and having seen the benefit from the first project I’ll be with you to the end of this one. I’ve seen figure manufacturing evolve in many directions since becoming an “addicted” painter in the early 80’s, but your projects are the most exciting I’ve seen in a long time. I love your work!

Josh
Josh

November 01, 2016

Thank you for your hard work, dedication to detail and customer satisfaction. It sounds like you all went through hell with PayPal and am glad that you had routes to help so that the entire project didn’t implode.
Thank you for the honesty. I can’t wait to receive my minis ?

Rod Fleck
Rod Fleck

October 31, 2016

Appreciate all of the information. You folks do an awesome job keeping us informed. Thank you

CorallineAlgae
CorallineAlgae

October 31, 2016

Can you add links to larger versions of the pictures in the next update?

Megan
Megan

October 31, 2016

Thank you for the update on the Kickstarter models.

I got all excited about the deal, thinking “Halloween! Werewolf sale!” but alas….Maybe Christmas season!

Ian day
Ian day

October 31, 2016

I understand the pitfalls of life and the world as we know, the long explanations of why I have not received my remaining kickstarter pledge, what I really want to know as I believe we have waited long enough is when will I receive my remaining KS pledge?? Of which a 1 line email stating the month and year?

Todd M Ferrullo
Todd M Ferrullo

October 31, 2016

So “all the Troops and Heroines production moulds (will) done by the end of November”; but you did not address the question that everyone really wants to know. How long will it take from when the molds are done to when the actual figures are cast and done?

Ross
Ross

October 31, 2016

Thank you for the lengthy update, and taking the time to explain the situation. As a backer, I appreciate the level of candour and care Raging Heroes shows their supporters and customers. My faith in your ability to deliver has never wavered. Keep up the great work.

Stefan
Stefan

October 31, 2016

Interesting update, but I’m still angry about

- the huge gates that (almost) make it impossible to get the miniatures off the sprues without breaking anything (as many of those gates led to very tiny part of the miniature) … it does not help that this will be improved because I’m stuck with what I have already received (granted, most of those miniatures are the freebees, but they were one reason I backed and some of them I was really looking forward to).
- the huge amount of mold release that I am seemingly unable to get off the miniatures no matter what I try (and I tried everything you and others said)

For the price I paid during the KS, I’m not satisfied at the moment.

Oh … and what about the miniatures that you offered in metal, too? Any word about them?

lordante
lordante

October 31, 2016

Mouai… Et après on me demande pourquoi je déteste paypal… VOILA pourquoi, résidu de voleur\gratteur qu’ils sont!

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