Wow! We don't know how it's been for you, but here, summer just flew by. We can't believe it's the beginning of September as we've been keeping our eyes firmly on our computer monitors all these past weeks...
We've been torn between waiting for the Big Update with many of the finished sculpts of the first wave that many of you are waiting for, and not leave you too long in the dark with no news... And so, even if the Big Update is nearly on hand, it's past time for some fresh news...
First of all, we have to say that we are really happy with how things have been developing and progressing. It's a bit frustrating for us not to be able to show you the entire process, but we've developed our workflow in such a specific way now that it's becoming part of our trade secrets... As we've told you in a previous update, on top of sculpting the minis, we've been working very hard on making many things much more efficient, from the first steps of the sculpting process to the last moments of sorting and packing the minis.
We think it's very rare for a small company such as ours to have the opportunity to do so much applied research. Before the Kickstarter, we were always caught with having to pay the bills at the end of the month, and had no room to really dig into the roots of our workflow, try new options, and create something completely new. Truth be said, the workflow we've developed and implemented this summer is exactly the original vision Benoit had a few years ago when we started Raging Heroes. But at the time, it required too much resources and skills we did not yet have.
So, to make it short, we are pretty excited about this. We are now working very much more like a visual effects or video game studio, with very well-defined steps. This means that there is no longer one sculpting artist creating a miniature from start to finish. Each sculpt is now created by a full team, with each member working on the steps they are most talented for. It is great because each people brings his or her own quality and skills to all the sculpts, and since this is a collaborative process, no egos are bruised when we decide to change or improve some things. Overall, it significantly increases the quality of the sculpts. So, this is also the main reason why we cannot show you one finished sculpt after another, because most of the sculpts of the first wave will all end up being ready at the same moment (hence the upcoming Big Update).
We've also involved ourselves much more in the mould-making process, and this week's tests are showing that we should be able to fit up to twice as many miniatures per mould as originally planned. So, of course, this means quicker production time, which is a good thing given the volume of this Kickstarter. And we're also working on other secret-weapon techniques for casting...
Also, if things go as planned with the casting process, we could end up with nice little sprues that will greatly help with the picking and sorting (which means, again, faster production) and will help keep sorting errors to a minimum. And if these little sprues happen the way we want them to, they will be great to help you pick, choose and sort the various parts you want to use and make your mix-and-match process of the multipart units more pleasant.
This has also a great impact on what the waves will be. Even at this time, it's hard to give you a definitive list of the Troops, Support and Heroines for each wave, because the workflow keeps on evolving and improving nearly every day, and so, it opens up new options for us. This new workflow is like a big locomotive: it started slowly, and was very demanding at the beginning, it pushed everybody here out of his/her comfort zone, but every day, it's picking up speed and is getting more efficient.
What it means for you is that the first wave might actually be larger than originally planned, although it will probably be available later in the Fall rather than earlier.
Right now, here is what COULD BE in the first wave:
- all the Regular and Heavy Troops (both the Troops and the Command Boxes) for all 3 armies (so 50 different sculpts)
- between 10 and 15 Heroines (which should include Cruz, Tanya, Bernadette, Mimi, Punky, Krüger, Hilda, Nepharyaa, Volga, Karmina, Aaqila, Drusilla)
- Harry the Hippo
- Possibly a few more Heroines
- And maybe all the Artillery for all the 3 armies (this means 9 other box sets)
Again, please note that this is not a FIRM schedule, but we are doing everything we can to make all this part of the first wave. Depending on the sculpting workflow as well as the casting, we may end up releasing a slightly different selection of miniatures.
We know that what you are all waiting for images of the sculpts. We promise you that there will be PLENTY of them in the next update. As a matter of fact, as I am typing this, we are preparing most of them for their final output, so this means that you will see them very, very, soon. As explained above, most of the ones for Wave 1 will all be finished over the same few days, and will be featured in our upcoming Big Update. In the meantime, here are two sculpts that are completely finished: Harry the Hippo and one of the Jailbirds/KST artillery pieces.
During the Kickstarter, we asked you about the weapon options you would want for the Troops box, the Command Group box, and the Artillery for the Free Upgrades. We received plenty of answers and altered our original plans so they would meet with your needs and wishes as much as possible.
However, when the dust finally settled this summer, we realised that there might be some confusion on what each box and its options actually stand for. On one hand, the Artillery boxes contain Heavy Weapons mounted on a mobile platform/stands. In most games, these stands would most likely be tripods. On the other hand, the Heavy Weapons that come with the Troops and the Command Boxes are all hand-held weapons utilized by one soldier only rather than a team of 2 servants.
Because of this, we think that the weaponry options available in the Artillery box and the Troops/Command boxes might double up, and that's perhaps a bit of waste for you guys. Since there is already a rocket launcher and a gatling gun in the Artillery boxes, we're thinking that perhaps it would be better to replace these weapon options in the Command boxes by other accessories, such as alternate arms holding grenades, mines, binoculars, etc., or perhaps additional optional heads to provide variety (which could be cool, for example, if you're trying to get some Iron Empire units without helmets).
So, what do you think?
Also, just so you know, you can see very specific visuals for all the Artillery boxes at the bottom of the KS page (here and here. For the Command Boxes weaponry, see the Heavy guns that Cruz and Aaqila are holding as a reference for the Gatling gun (yes, we do know that's it's not really a Gatling gun, but we've been using that word for lack of a better name); and for the grenade launcher, look at the weapons held by Tanya Tanker or by Katrina Zerga.
We'll be waiting for your feedback on this issue.
About HEAVY WEAPONS: To clarify: The proposal is NOT to remove ALL Heavy Weapons from the Command Boxes: the idea would be to remove
- the Rocket launcher (also called missile launcher in some of our descriptions) and
- the Gatling gun
because they will be available in the Artillery boxes.
So, we would keep
- the lightning gun,
- the fusion gun
- and the beam cannon
in the Command boxes, and replace the missile launcher and the Gatling gun with other elements.
But once again, it is really up to you, we're listening.
And of course, new drop ship locations are welcome so if you know a retailer who might be interested in joining, or if you are a retailer yourself, please click here.
- Canada (Montreal, Qc): Le Valet d'Coeur
- United States (Georgia): Morningstar Games
- United States (Louisiana): +1 Gaming
- Germany (21- Buxtehude): Spielebutze Buxtehude
- United States (New Jersey): Jester's Playhouse
- United States (New York): The Compleat Strategist
Regarding the Digital Artbook, we realized something very obvious that we completely missed when we wrote down the delivery date of this reward: If we make an artbook about a whole new line of minis, wouldn't it be nice that the Artbook also feature sculpts and minis, and not just the concept art? So we don't intend to keep you you waiting until we have sculpted each and every miniature, but at least we would like to feature some of them in the book.
We'd really like to take the Artbook as an opportunity to include and showcase the entire process of the creative work of making the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy, rather than stopping at the design part.
This also means that we'll be able to show you the sculpts in a different way than what we usually show on the website. For example, we may use the 3D renders of the sculpts to create illustrations, stage them in various settings, the way we did in our Kickstarter video:
The artbook will also include a few original illustrations and here's a sneak preview: Svetlana, the Freedom Fighter of the Kurgans (see her story here), running with the wereshewolves and rallying her followers.
In the next coming days, we will send you the Kickstarter survey. It will be very simple to make sure that you don't have agonize over what minis you need to choose and be able to answer us quickly. It will simply ask you for your detailed contact information. It will also ask you if you have chosen the 3D sculpting and art direction webinar, which is included in the Connoisseur Pledge and Add-on.
Regarding the Pledge Manager, well, many backers told us they wanted to see the first wave of minis before making their formal selection. So we focused on getting that first wave ready before putting the Pledge Manager together, which should be soon now. As for us, the quantities needed for each mini will in the end have little impact on production, so there is no need for us to know in advance how many of each is required: what takes a lot of time is sculpting and mould-making, but after that, casting is fairly swift.
The webinar will take place during the last weeks of September and the first weeks of October. It will most likely happen during a week-end, because we figure that this will be when most participants will be available.
Overall, the webinar will last 5 hours, divided in 2 sessions. Also, each session will be presented twice, which will provide flexibility in scheduling. In the case you cannot attend the seminar, you will be able to let us know and we will provide you access to a recording of the missed sessions.
The survey will ask you if you have chosen the webinar, which was available either as a pledge (the 3D SCULPTING WEBINAR and the CONNOISSEUR BOX) or as the CONNOISSEUR add-on, so that we can contact and book you.
We leave you with a taste of TGG Digital Artbook, the layout of a double-spread you'll find inside the book, just to give you a feel for how it will look like...
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