Kickstarter Experiences Part 4

First up I guess is the Trollforged Assimilation Alien Host, by Ed Fortae. Basically, Ed is the guy behind Trollforged the company and Trollcast, which is being touted by many as a new all-singing, all-dancing material for miniatures. I went in for $200 which gives me a shitload of gribblies, which will hopefully arrive sometime this year.  The estimated Date is May, so Ed has another 5 months to deliver. There’s apparently going to be a campaign manager at some stage, as well as a while complex system of trades and exchanges. Some guys on Dakka worked out a way to turn it into a feasable counts-as Tyranis army, so I’ll probably do something along those lines. But try and do so in a way that still gets me at least one of each of the cool insectoid figures. I can see use for these in 40k roleplay as well. Not much has been updated since the end of the campaign, but my understanding is that Ed keeps regular updates on his Facebook or his blog or some shit like that. I’d prefer real updates via Kickstarter’s email system, but this one is so far out right now that I’m not too concerned.

Then there’s the Almost-Rans. Campaigns I wanted to back but didn’t for one reason or another.

Relic Knights, by CMON and Soda Pop Miniatures. I was originally in for an early bird pledge, but a combination of poor communication from the creators, especially over the GenCon weekend, not showing the sculpts and a large financial drain (I bought a house and had some massive bills) nixed this one. They also went a bit too far down the “add $10 for THIS” road for my liking. I really like the look of two of the factions (Black Diamond and Noh), not too interested in the rest. – But it was just too expensive. In the end I wasn’t able to up my $1 pledge as I decided to prioritise other things in their stead. I was interested in getting the SDE stuff, but it wasn’t laid out clearly how to get just those, so I left it. Maybe I’ll pick up some of their figures from Miniature Market in the future.

Kingdom Death: Monster by Adam Poots. Apparently Kingdom Death miniatures are the most popular thing in the history of the universe. I was originally in for this, but the combination of being very expensive, the game itself being a bit MMO-lite and unappealing to me, the figures being out of scale to the rest of my collection, and being very expensive eventually got me to drop it. There are some fantastic looking models, but I simply couldn’t justify the amount it would have cost me to buy the stuff I was interested in and then wait a year for it to arrive, especially as it got more and more all about the $15 or $40 add-ons. I put the money towards a new fridge instead.

AE-WWII by Blackball Games. I was interested in this one purely for some of the models, to use with Sot3R/Dust/Incursion. I wasn’t interested in paying for yet another Weird-WW2 ruleset. I wanted to get a couple of their figure sets in a deal without the rulebook (PDF it, if you must, but I don’t want the hardcover). I pledged a buck so I could politely suggest it in the comments. Almost all of the models in this KS are ones already in their range, so it should have been easy enough. They ignored the suggestion/decided not to do it, so I left my pledge at a buck. They made $10,663 of their $10,000 goal – so perhaps they should have taken more suggestions on board? /shrug

Imbrian Arts by Jody Siegel. This one, like Kingdom Death features some beautiful sculpts, many of which are very evocative of the Rackham style. Basically, I just found this one a bit expensive for what it is/was. Unless you wanted an entire themed set, the individual figures were $12 a pop (ie – may as well buy them at retail for less, or an equally-nicely sculpted Avatars of War figure). The themed sets offered better value, but only if you wanted all of those figures anyway. A friend suggested that the $300 pledge level offered insane value. Sure, but only if you actually want and would buy every one of those figures anyway.. or most of them, at least. I’d have happily gone in for a “choose 10 figures” type thing, similar to what Bombshell Babes also did (and they started off as quite expensive for the base level as well). But they didn’t, so I left it at a buck.  I figure that if I’m giving you money 3 or 6 months in advance, I’d like a reasonable price break, rather than pay pretty much the same price I could buy them from at retail down the road. meh.

He made a killing on it, so good luck to him!

Now:

Updates!

I’m a little more generous when it comes to no new updates in general at this time of year – for the campaigns that bothered to keep us up to date, anyway.

 

Kings of War: Nothing new shown or heard. I assume they’re still on track for their delivery since Ronnie is a machine when it comes to this sort of thing by all accounts.

 

Sedition Wars: Apparently my first shipment has been sent. It’s in transit. Comparisons showed that it was sent out a full week later than some other people who are also in Australia. I wonder if my critical posting here and/or on Dakka had anything to do with that? 😉 (nah, I don’t think they give two shits, TBH.)

 

Avatars of War: Got an update (!) a couple of weeks ago. Felix has finished a couple of dwarf units and a couple of characters. This week he showed off a bunch of concepts for nice, moustachioed human warriors. Hopefully he finishes the dwarfs before getting distracted by the new shiny and sculpting the humans instead. I’m sure the standard will be the last one to be sculpted..

 

Reaper: No new news. Last I heard, everything was running to the modified plan of everything being sent at once in March or May or whatever the fuck it is.

 

Stonehaven: I lost the little box of dwarves on my desk and only found it again today. I still need to look at them properly. They just started a new Kickstarter for gnomes which I’ll discuss in a forthcoming post.

 

Pirate Goblins: Well… no word from Bruno since the last email, nor updates or anything. Last update was around the 15th of December with Bruno saying that they’d be sent out between the 17th-20th of December. After that, nothing. He was pretty active on Facebook though, until/including New Years’ Eve Until people started grousing in the comments a couple of days ago, including posting links to his facebook account and the Indiegogo fraudulent campaigns page. Then this appeared.

================

Just a quick update to let everybody know what’s happening.
I’m just back from the hospital where I did spent the most of the 3 last weeks with no internet access.
I’m discovering all the fuss about the goblins and I feel very sorry for everybody.
Just to let you know the sending of the miniatures was given to a Help Center for mentally inadequate center the week before Christmas as I was taking some holidays with my kids and wanted to be sure that the miniatures would have been sent, I will check with them on monday what happens and why they didn’t seem to have sent the miniatures.
I’m really sorry for all this and will try to do my best to reply to everyone and be sure that every body will get what he paid for !
Please accept my sincere apology for all this…

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UH-HUH. This all seems above board, right? Right? “I’ll send them out next week”.. then silence… then “I gave them to people with intellectual disabilities to send out right before Christmas.” A bit of an easy scapegoat for his own lack of responsibility, if you ask me.

I posted the following:

azazelx said 28 minutes ago
I work with people with intellectual disabilities, and to be frank, I certainly wouldn’t be giving a help centre something as extraordinarily complicated as a IGG/KS fulfillment to do.

141 Backers, many variances in their orders, international addresses, the need to PAY for the actual postage. That’s no simple task for individuals with an ID.

No, this is clearly BS.

Then Bruno sent me a message shortly afterwards:

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“Hi, You really do think that I’m sitting on 13kg of goblins miniatures and 1300 dice just for the fun ? I didn’t post anything on facebook since the 30th of december as I was in hospital with no Internet Access for [redacted], I might have been seen connected as the computer at home was still turned on as it always is. I will go tomorrow to take back the miniatures and will send them by myself. I’m really sorry for all this.”

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Bruno is now claiming that he’s going to start to send them out himself. We’ll see what happens. There certainly appears to have been more than a little bullshit involved. Ah, my first true Kickstarter Drama. I imagine that if I do get my miniatures in the end I won’t be getting that extra goblin I was wanting, after all.. :p

He’s certainly managed to kill off his chances of getting the Pirate Dwarves funded with his actions regarding the Pirate Goblins. (Which were barely funded.)

 

Red Box Games: Tre’ has been pretty good with regular updates, but he’s also spent the last couple of months saying that everything would be done “in a few days” or “next week” to a point where it’s become meaningless (remember, it was originally an October 2012 delivery date, and we’re about to hit February 2013).. He’s also been starting his second Kickstarter “tomorrow” for the last three weeks, and it finally went up yesterday. A few days ago we finally got a proper breakdown of the status of everything. With this, it pretty much confirms that there’s fuck-all chance of my KS1 stuff arriving before his KS2 finishes.

In fairness, here’s his post:

Hey Everybody. I am really sorry for the long delay in my latest update and for the continued delay in fullfillment. I wanted to post a generla update lettign everyone knwo what teh exact current status is on the KS fulfillment.

I have in hand and approved castings of: (lots of stuff cut for brevity)

 I now await the delivery of:

 Guarthagust, Ulbrecht, Yrsa, Fenris ( needed an adjustment for the sake of efficient casting ), Conradt Warp, Horsemen, Horses

 I must approve the castings of Yrsa and Conradt Warp and the horse. The production moulds are made and Ed is confident with them but I need to actually see the results of these production moulds before approving Ed and Brian to go ahead with casting 100’s of copies.

  Every delay in the fulfillment thus far has been strictly for the sake of your final satisfaction. I did not want to settle for anything less than the most perfect model I could deliver so when we had castings with visible shrinkage I asked that those molds be remade. That took a while and then casting the 100’s of required minis took even longer.

 The horses have been a real trick unto themselves. Neither Ed nor I have ever made horse models and this turned out to be a bit more difficult than either of us expected. I am especially particular about the Yrsa figure as it is by far the most complicated and delicate figure I have ever released and it is the replacement figure for the most popular figure I have ever produced. It MUST be perfect.

   In the end I was too optimistic in my expectations of delivery, AND I was remiss in never pushing the expected delivery date backward as the work load expected by that date grew exponentially. It is a mistake I will not repeat. I am ready and waiting for the delivery of these last items to begin shipping the rest of the KS rewards but until those figures are in hand and approved I can do little more than wait. 

  I do expect to have the last of the expected casting within the next week or two. Ed has informed me that the test samples of Yrsa, COnradt, and Horse #1 were shipped to me on friday last which means I SHOULD receive them for approval tomorrow. At which time I will inspect the castings and call Ed with the yay or nay. Upon my approval Ed will finish the last three horse molds and Brian ( if he is back in from being Ill…. get well Brian! 😀 ) will begin casting the rest of the Yrsa, and Conradt Models. 

  There are still 100’s of copies of each mini left to be cast BUT I will be taking shipments of these figures in batches as they are cast to allow to me to begin filling orders as quickly as possible.

  I had intended to have ALL commitments from this first campaign fulfilled before running a second campaign but the realities of development did not allow for this. The difference in this second campaign is that all planned models are already sculpted and mastered ( with the exception of the Goblin footmen ) so the actual production overhead is cut in half. Ed already has the masters and they are ready for the production of production molds. All that is needed is for me to be able to finance the slot in Ed’s work schedule to have those molds made and have castings run. 

  The expected delivery date for the second kickstarter products is set for August of 2013. This is the nearest  date that Ed and I both fell confident in to deliver all planned products, however I will be creating a module in my regular webstore in which you will be able to pay for ” batch shipment ” of any figures involved in this campaign. Figures will be produced in the order in which they are funded and will be available for shipment in specifically timed batches. When ever a batch is ready to ship I will post an update letting all of the backers know. At which point they will be able to ” purchase ” the shipping cost for that batch and have it shipped to them then rather than having to wait until the final pieces are produced and in hand.

   Again, My deepest apology for the delays thus far and my most sincere appreciation for your patience with me in this.

  Cheers,

   Tre’

So while I still trust and like Tre’, I won’t be going in for the second Kickstarter. He’s made a bunch of mistakes and some poor choices along the way, but I trust him to eventually come through. I doubt I’ll go in for the second KS, but that’s because I need to see Trollcast in my hands before dropping more money on it. Like every other material out there, it’s got a bunch of people who swear by it, but until I see it for myself I ain’t spending another $100-150 on it for figures I don’t have any use for just to support a guy’s small business. Very different rationale to not trusting him to come through, though. Instead I’ll be using that money on stuff from other small outfits like Puppestwar, Victoria Miniatures and so on..

In the comments of the new Red Box Games Kickstarter, there’s some slightly disturbing portents regarding the new prices. Remember, Trollcast is supposed to be making miniatures cheaper to produce.

RiTides about 22 hours ago

….
I’m a little bit bummed that bonebacks are about $3 apiece, even at Kickstarter price, which is more than I paid for the metals! But I think I’ll be over the sticker shock soon.

….

Bonebacks were some of the few figures I was potentially tempted to pick up if I did go in for this one, as I’m not otherwise fond of the RBG goblins aesthetic. I think I’ll probably have to leave it out. Apparently Tre is going to start sending out the stuff that’s been sitting around. It’ll cost him a fair bit in postage, but I think he sees how important it will be to fulfill KA1 before KS2 finishes. For my part, he’ll have to send out about 3 late figures at a cost of about $4 including the baggie. On one hand, I can see how it adds up, OTOH, it’s only a tiny fraction of the $150+ I sent him with the initial promise of October fulfilment. Since we’re almost 4 months late now, I don’t actually feel bad about this..

 

Studio Miniatures Zombies: Well, they didn’t go into the post the next day just before Christmas as Stuart suggested. Someone got in contact with me 3 weeks ago (early in the new year) to confirm my address, but then no-one replied to the email I sent then asking for confirmation or the one I sent almost 2 weeks ago…  (Stuff from the UK is usually 5-10 days). I finally had a parcel arrive on the 25th of Jan with my missing stuff – it was sent on the 8th of Jan. A week after I got back to them, and 3 weeks after they initially said they’d resend them by…

All in all, I wasn’t impressed by their fulfilment. Would I go in on another campaign my Studio Miniatures? Maybe. But only for a small amount.

 

Dreamforge Games Leviathans:  Had mostly gone quiet after the holidays, with the shipment due to hit the US shortly. The latest is that the cargo container hit LA and the figures are on their way to Utah and WGF to be sent out around the world.

 

Mantic’s Dreadball: Again nothing new shown or heard. I again assume they’re still on track for their delivery of the second wave.

 

Bombshell Babes: Had another nice update showing progress a couple of days ago, including a couple of very nicely painted models. Apparently all here is on-track.

 

Mongoose’s Judge Dredd: Got some more stuff 2 weeks ago – Two lots of Rifle Judge+Giant/Fergee/Space+Citi-Def. Got another small package this last week as well, with one of the Justice Dept II sets and a few others. (No sign of the same for my wife’s pledge.) According to Matt from Mongoose, the figures that were already sculpted and in their existing JD line that were repackaged for the KS are now also in transit. Not sure where that leaves the Specialist Judges set.

Some new Distractions

So, here’s a quick, low-quality picture of my Mentor Legion that I’m in the process (kinda) of updating. Well, I built some extras for the squads and half-built some others. I need to find a bunch of right arms with bolters for some of them. I also need to find a decent brush for basecoating the green on the newbies…

Wow. That is one shitty picture. I’ll get some better ones a bit later. I actually found the custom decals that I made years ago yesterday featuring the original Mentor Legion icon. Unfortunately, I tried to seal them on the sheet with hairspray back in the day, and it caused the ink to run horribly. I just wish I could find the original photoshop file, but it was done so long ago it may even be on my old, old Powermac G3. Which is in storage at my parents’ place somewhere. I should find it, salvage whatever files on it are worthwhile and recycle it. Hmm…

Here’s the Studio Miniatures Zombies, the assembly of whom was how I spent a lot of my day.

So.. it’s also 2 weeks later since John said he’d post out the missing half of my order after getting in contact with Stuart  just before Christmas (when he initially said he’d send them out “tomorrow” – i.e.: before Christmas). They asked me to confirm my address. I did so, and asked them to confirm what they’re sending out. I didn’t get a reply, and that was the last I heard – No German Zombies yet.. Once again, pre-paying for product via crowdfunding results in sterling customer service. I probably won’t order anything from Studio Miniatures again. I’m getting a bit tired of shitty customer service. Their reasoning for sending the wrong stuff was that Indiegogo didn’t register the increased pledge – that’s because they sent me a PayPal invoice, and also managed to ignore the instructions for which figures I wanted that I sent both through email and their survey… in order to make sure they didn’t get it wrong(!)

I’ve started assembling the civilian zombies, and they are indeed very slight in stature, though their proportions are okay. They’re noticibly smaller than even the Mantic ones though. With only 4 rather bland torsos and pretty much the same for arms (6 pair) they’re not a real interesting set of zombies. I’d have been much happier if they were a little bigger, which would have made the parts cross-compatible with Mantic zombies and perhaps others. (without going anywhere near GW’s zombie scale)
The detail level is.. well, there’s not a lot, but at the same time they’re very small. The heads have basically no detail on the sides, being so tiny. Some don’t even have ears. Out of the 8 heads, only one is partly skeletal, which is a shame. Most of the others could be used for scruffy living people. I think a bit more variety would have made the kit a lot better, but as a cheap set they appear alright, though you could very easily use the kit for the living homeless. The resin heads are far, far better than the standard ones in the plastic kit, but then again, after these are drybrushed and dipped, I’m not sure who would be able to tell the difference on any but the construction helmet head.

The hardest part is the tedium of scraping off the (small) mold lines on every component. Hopefully I can finish the assembly in a couple of days, then I can start the basecoats and maybe get them dipped by next weekend. If I’m lucky…

I’ll also put together some size comparisons compared to other ranges’ figures (like a Space Marine). I’ll also try and take a shot comparing them to the figures in Last Night On Earth and Zombies!!!

There’s some good pictures and size comparisons out there with:

InfinityModels

Sprue Shots

Lots of other Zombie ranges

In other KS news, Sedition Wars is apparently in the midst of shipping. Dreadball is here and I haven’t had a chance to QA the figures. Stonehaven is here and I haven’t had a chance to QA those either. Bombshell updated again today and seems to be coming along. Red Box appears to be having more delays on fulfilment from Trollforged but is pressing on, bloody-mindedly with his next KS starting any day/hour now. (I’m doubtful mine will arrive before his second campaign finishes).  Trollforged’s own KS seems to get snippets of updates via their own forum or Facebook or some shit. Not via the actual backer update system, but it’s still supposed to be a way away. I got another little box of new Dredd figures from Mongoose and I still wonder why they haven’t sent out the pre-existing sculpts/models? Haven’t heard anything for a couple of weeks from Reaper, Dreamforge or Mantic (Kings of War) since before Christmas.

More annoyingly…

Bruno Galice of the Pirate Goblins hasn’t updated his page since the end of October, or even commented in the comments section for 29 days, when he said that he’d get photos up “this weekend” of the bases and painted miniatures “next week“. Also that he’d gotten the figures in hand and that he’d start shipping the figures “early next week” and that “there won’t be a box” as “the printer went out of business with my money.” Which sounds awfully inspired by what happened to McVey/Mantic. Anyway, clearly the shipping promises were bullshit. Anyway, 29 days since he’s made any communication to his backers, and it appears that he spent New Year’s Eve at some renfaire, but no Facebook communication to his backers either. You stay classy, Bruno. Good luck getting the Pirate Dwarfs funded after this.

https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/bruno.galice

I don’t feel like Bruno set out to scam his backers. I do feel like he may have gotten overwhelmed, not budgeted properly (or used the money that he had in hand for other purposes, like paying the rent and electric bills, wine, etc. With 141 backers and if he’s spent the money on other things, this might be the reason that nothing appears to have been sent out or received.

Hm, I did intend to write this up without adding a Kickstarter rant, though I guess it comes to mind naturally since I’m putting together some figures that came from Indiegogo, and wondering when I might actually get the other half of the figures, and being annoyed at the lack of a reply to my followup email from Studio – which brought to mind “hey, whatever happened with those goblins?” and in turn me checking up to see what the latest was – which turned out to be bullshit, and in turn, the latter half of this post.