In this Update, check out the latest news on
• Shipping Production
• Challenges and Hurdles
• Sculpting – What's Left To Do
• New Sculpts Images
• The Digital Artbook
• Paint Jobs
• Next KS Project
• The TGG Game
• Next Update
This Summer has not quite yet been vacation time for the Raging Heroes Team and a lot has happened since the last Update. Of course, our big push has been on everything related to dispatching Wave 1 and preparing Wave 2.
Some of you may now be wondering: “What?? Dispatching of Wave 1??? But I haven't received anything!!!!” If that's your case, remember that shipping not only depends on when the various TGG become available, but also on the Shipping Option that you selected. If you think you should have received your first minis but haven't, please check out the Shipping Options, and contact us via private message or the Live Chat if you need assistance.
Regarding Wave 2, there have been loads of 3D file preparation, 3D printing, and mould-making. So here's how things are shaping up...
The very first shipment of the 2nd Wave started in late August with the metal Heroines of the 2nd Wave that were available at that time, so some of you have already received them. Their spin-cast resin versions will become available next week.
We will continue 2nd Wave shipments as we receive all the Troops from the foundry. This is scheduled to end in late October.
The 3rd Wave will follow, and we are doing everything we can to get it all shipped out before the end of the year.
Basically, whenever new minis become available, pledges that can be fully completed are sent out right away.
The plan for Wave 2 was for all Troops + metal Heroines.
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.
However, there are also unexpected good news:
The Snipers of all 3 armies are also in production and will most likely be available in time for Wave 2! Here are photos of several of the 3D-printed masters:
The Jailbirds Snipers:
Some KST Snipers:
The Iron Empire Snipers:
And the big news is that, contrary to what was originally planned, we will have a big bunch of spin-cast resin Heroines included in Wave 2!!!
If you remember, once we announced that we were able to make the Heroines also available in spin-cast resin instead of just metal, we told you that they would be produced only once everything else was completed. But since we had some issues on several other minis during the 3D printing phase, that left our resin foundry with extra capacity, so we wasted no time in asking for spin-cast resin Heroines.
Here's the list of metal Heroines that are already produced and in our offices, ready for Wave 2. (Their spin-cast resin counterparts will be joining them next week):
• Aaqila Noyakin (KST)
• Arthemisia Rozenkrantz (IE)
• Doctor von X (IE)
• Drakkan (Lieutenant) (IE)
• Foxy Dynamite (JB)
• Heleria Drakkenfeld (IE)
• Karmina Noxx (KST)
• Katrina Zerga (KST)
• Krüger (Lieutenant) (IE)
• Lady Sigrith (IE)
• Severina Madsen (IE)
• Snow Ivanka (KST)
• #42 (IE)
This means that we have already started the first shipments of Wave 2 for people whose selection was complete with the minis in the above list. And we will continue to do so as new models come in.
Check out this page (screengrab below) for an updated view of
• what's in each Wave
• what's already In Stock and Ready to Ship.
You've probably been waiting for this Update to come earlier in the summer, and that's why we want to tell you a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes.
For example, you've probably guessed that setting up a Pledge Manager that would work with our complex KS reward selection system, complete with a proper back office to manage all the pledges was quite a daunting task. And we still had more administrative work once it closed...
Actually, we usually try to spare you the daily madness, problems and challenges we have to deal with every day. But you might not be completely surprised to know that even mundane, simple tasks can sometimes escalate into nightmares in the context of a Kickstarter...
Here's a couple of examples...
Smack in the middle of the Pledge Manager and the miniatures finalisation for Wave 2, we got a call from Paypal. They told us they were freezing the funds collected during the Pledge Manager to protect their liability. We had to negotiate for several days and provide loads of explanations, but still were only able to unlock half of the money. The rest will not be freed up until shipping is nearly over. As you can expect, this has a ripple effect on the rest of the production, and we had to find and implement solutions to work around this situation.
Another challenge is how shipping software are not set up to work with what we'll call, for lack of a better word, pre-orders. So they can't differentiate between available stock and not available stock. We've had to create a system of tags for that, and manually (manually!) the reward selections of over 1,000 backers. And, while doing this, we uncovered bugs that the software maker did not know existed...
You can easily imagine that it's practically impossible to anticipate for such hurdles :( We manage those set-backs as they happen, but let's be honest, during that time, well, we're not fully focused on making minis either...
And then, there are all the other things of everyday life. Even if our in-house team did not slow down even a little bit during the summer, we have partners and freelancers who took vacations during the summer, two who got married (big CONGRATS! to our sculptors Andrea and Francesca), one who was forced to slow down on doctor's orders, and even one who had to travel to see his brother who'd been in a motorbike accident (he's OK though!)...
As you can imagine, since the last Update, we've been focusing on finishing the sculpts of the remaining Heroines. They are now all done, except for Kiki Bulldozer (which is actually 2 minis in one, because of the man hooked on her staff), and the new versions of Baba Yaga and the Yaga Arushka. They will be done in the next few days. Actually, Kiki and Arushka should have been part of this Update, but the sculpts still need some polishing.
Next week, we will also put the final touches to the Jailbirds Mecha, the KST and the Iron Empire Combat Trikes, which are all very close to completion. And then, as promised, we will finish with the sculpting with the Cyberzombie unit.
When we show you these sculpts, we also plan to show you the alternate versions of all the Artillery servants. They are all already sculpted, but there are so many files to prepare for rendering (so that we can show them to you) that we put it aside so as not to hold back the publication of today's Update. All in all, the creative work is virtually over!
Jaheda Kano (KST) and Ash (JB) were originally envisioned as very basic tank operators, but we added details to make them stand out more.
Kristina Karlstein (IE) is one of our favourite in this batch. We are very happy to have reworked her concept and her posing. She's now a striking officer with lots of attitude, and a very feminine Iron Empire type of glamour.
Here is Nertha (IE), the last of the Freedom Fighters. You can bet that the Freedom Fighters will have an important role to play in the upcoming TGG game.
W101 (IE) is undoubtedly the most frightening of all the TGG miniatures. Truly, you do want to steer clear of those Iron Empire labs.
We really love Lucky Lucy (JB) and her cool charm. She's bound to have very cool rules in the upcoming TGG game.
If you are mentally sane, of all TGG medics, Nurse Karoline is probably the one you want to care of you.
We told you many times how Parker has been a pain from the start, and as we expected, she is one of the very last Heroine sculpt that we are working on. But we are truly happy now.
We were always a bit disappointed with how the Keela Krupps (IE) sculpt came out. We really liked her crazy steampunk-style apparatus, and we felt that her initial version did not have the strong charisma we were aiming for. So, we slightly reworked her pose and her proportions, and we are now quite happy with her commanding demeanor.
We know that this is one of the TGG many of you have been waiting for. Translating the 2D concept of General Wolfenstein (IE) into a 3D environment was a big challenge. We took her apart and rebuilt her from scratch several times. Can you believe that seven (seven!) sculptors worked on her throughout the year, with varying degrees of success, until we finally achieved this final version.
As promised in a previous Update, here is the additional alternate head for the Iron Empire Mecha.
Now that we will have all the sculpts done, we will finally have all the base elements we need to complete the Artbook. We have many things to put in this tome. Of course, there will be unpublished versions of preliminary sketches, alternate versions of sketches we didn't use. There will also be new drawings and illustrations, several of them depicting special events of the TGG background. You can also expect KST and Iron Empire propaganda materials, as well as scenes for the TGG's everyday life. And most likely, we'll throw in some fun factoids and behind-the-scene snippets from the TGG Kickstarter.
The question left to answer is: should we wait for more minis to be painted? This would allow us to include shots of the painted minis, but also, dioramas and more... What do you guys think?
Here are 2 new TGG Paint Jobs by the talented Russian painter Ringil.
Since we regularly receive questions about our next Kickstarter, here's some info.
First, the large majority of the concepts for new Kickstarter has been done.
What you see on the picture above is a pile of all the drawings to date for the Sci-Fi Dark Elves and Sisters of Eternal Mercy. This means that you can double it when we include the Fantasy versions :)
As you can see, there are many concepts. We'll now have to sort them out to see which ones make the final cut.
Since the sculpting team will be done with the TGG in 2 weeks or so, we will be moving it to this new project.
We will also be recruiting additional sculptors as well. Recruiting new sculptors who can meet our stringent requirements is a big challenge. In fact, finding the right person with the right skills and the right attitude is extremely hard and time-consuming, as you can probably guess. We need to locate them, test their skills, see how we work together, prepare and sign paperwork. Then, sculpts get started and worked on and often abandoned (often because sculptors cannot or will not put the necessary effort to bring their sculpt to the next level), etc. All of this results in a lot of frustration and time spent in correcting their work which, is the end, is wasted time. Over the last year, we actually worked with more than 30 sculptors, but you can count on the fingers of one hand the ones we chose to retain in the end, and whom we asked to continue with us for the next project.
This is also perhaps the opportunity to address a comment we sometimes get, that is, not to start another project before finishing this one. I fear this may be a bit of an inexperienced way of envisioning a business venture. In every company, there are several departments with diverse resources and skills. While we, as a team, sometimes end up all together to sort and pack the minis, most of the time, every department has its own duties. This means that when Alex, our concept artist, was done with the TGG, he had a full year ahead of him to work on something else. And now that the sculpting crew is also about done with the TGG, we need to move them to something new. It would be financial suicide to keep them all idle until the final delivery of the last TGG. It would be just as bad to let them go on to outside projects and run the risk of not being able to work with them again later.
On the contrary, the fact that we are starting new projects signals the good health of Raging Heroes as a business, an indication that we are growing and that you can expect more and more goodness from the entire team. And as the learning curve begins to flatten, we should also decrease the uncertainty and delays of our first Kickstarter.
Kickstarter backers allow companies to launch projects they might not have done otherwise and support their future. I think most will agree that we would hardly be repaying your trust if we did not use every opportunity provided by this influx of funds to grow as efficiently and as responsibly as we can.
As for when we will launch this next Kickstarter, we'd rather not give out a date and then have to move it around, as things are still very much in flux. At this point, our goal is to have it happen around year-end.
We've been hinting at our TGG game for quite some time now. A few months ago, we really put this project in motion, and started looking for a game designer who would be able to help us translate our many ideas into a game system. We wanted someone who would have very good knowledge of the game market, the constraints of production, etc, while at the same time who, as a game designer, was also willing and able to really think out of the box. We have now found this rare bird, and have been working with him throughout the summer, brainstorming and putting the basics in place.
This game is proving quite a challenge to develop, as we want it to be pretty special. It will be close to the TGG spirit, and is intended to have a very cinematic feel. The action will be far from restricted to an open battlefield, and you will be able to do many moves not usually found in regular wargames. We want it to be fast-paced, with no down time, so you'll never have to wait 3 turns approaching your enemy and then get stuck for 3 other turns resolving combat actions. The personality of each TGG will also play a big role in the game. You well know that some are stubborn, big-mouthed, unpredictable. Others are unflappable, focused, deadly effective. All this and more will show up in the game, and resolving combat will not just be about combat skills but also about bravado, attitude, or even talking yourself out of impossible situations. We are aiming for a wargame that will feel like your favourite action movie.
We'll share more on this with you as work progresses. If all goes well, we would like to include the game in the upcoming Dark Elves and Sisters Kickstarter.
Our next TGG Update will be out in just a few days. It is mostly written by Harry the baby Hippo, and will be about shipping, first TGG reviews, and who is the winner of the “How many bases for the TGG Kickstarter” contest...