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Everything posted by WhatAboutBob

  1. Not quite at the same rate...well, not even close to the same rate. RoW provided around 25% or so of the total daily pledges (based on time zones and peak activity). We would see an uptick as European backers woke up and did their day to day grind following a slowing during the evening hours as the peak activity band went from Australia/East Asia across the relative gaming dead zones of central Asia and the Middle East. I havent been watching the hourly numbers as closely this time around, but what I have seen so far seems to repeat last years activity cycles. There really hasnt been a significant drop in pledges due to the shipping issues, just a lot of groaning from a few people. Remember, ther are over 10,000 backers right now and out of those, probably 2,000 or so will be paying shipping. The ones who are upset about it are maybe 100 or so...a small fraction of the whole RoW total.
  2. Just a bit of speedballing, but there is in fact another reason that Early Bird specials could be handy...to set records and make news. The key to a successful Kick Starter is to make as much noise as possible. The fastest way to do that is to break existing first day records, total funding records and even crash the KS servers again. I would need to look, but I think the first day record is somewhere around $1,600,000 or so (elevation dock). Taking the number two slot from Double Fine would be a huge coup for Reaper but would need a million and change on the first day. If Reaper went ahead and offered up, lets say 17,744 early bird Vampire equivelent packages at $100 (as opposed to regular Vampire at say $125) they would quite easily cause all sorts of ruckus on the first day. Between setting new records for first day totals, blowing through 20 or 30 stretch goals and getting to striking distance for the #10 slot on the overall leader boards you would have all the geek and nerd press knocking on Reapers door for comments, and likely even see regular news stories regarding Reaper. Not only is that great for the short term success of the campaign, but it would be huge for Reaper in general going forward. So, yes, while I agree that they dont need the early bird specials, I can imagine why they might want to do them. They serve a purpose beyond just ensuring funding is met, but are an impetus to make reluctant backers pull the trigger earlier as opposed to waiting to see what comes later on.
  3. But Reaper are not CMoN. I wont go into details, but that is a good thing. If Reaper has a path set out, they will honor it, not bank the cash.
  4. Come now, won't it be fun to harass Bryan for not having the next stretch goal posted every 5 minutes? Realistically though, the initial influx of backers generally happens over the first few days depending on things like Early Bird packages as well as how fast the word goes out to previous backers. I wouldnt be too surprised to see close to $1,000,000 on that first day...but I would still be surprised. Plus, things like stretch goals flying by are good for getting the word out. If someone says Reaper raised $200,000 in the first 4 hours, the response might be "So?" If they are told they raised $100,000 than told again 30 minutes later they raised $150,000 and reached the first stretch goal and 40 minutes after that that they raised $200,000, they will be more prone to say, "Hey, what is this about?" and go take a look for themselves. Many of the backers the last time around came on board for just that reason. People who had never collected miniatures, or had collected them when they were younger were brought back because the news from the Reaper KS was consistent and persistently in front of them. Setting the initial goal or the subsequent stretch goals too high can lead to missing a lot of those potential backers, not to mention the possibility of placing the value of the initial buy in too high and causing people to not be worn down by the added value of the stretch goals. Crazy as it might sound, a package of 75 miniatures for $100 is often more attractive after they have seen it start at 50 miniatures for $100 over the course of a few days versus a package of 100 miniatures for $100. The psychology of the consumer is not something which makes sense.
  5. You will always have much wailing and gnashing of teeth from some people, and I am sure anything that is released will cause that to some degree. Even the start/end date will set some people off (do it later so I have Birthday money, do it sooner because I am going on vacation then...). Personally, I am largely indifferent. I would like more dragons, but have more dragons than I need. I cant really think of a strong position I have other than rumblings and mumblings I have heard elsewhere indicate an untapped market for wargamers that Bones would serve nicely, though that would give a lot of strict RPG players collective wedgies as they dont have the need for a set of three lancers or a group of 5 orc archers with slightly different poses That said, more information, the better. It would be good to keep the news sites, forums and blogs popping as we are several weeks past the GenCon flyers and probably a couple weeks till we crash the KS server with 15,000 or so day one pledges.
  6. Wouldn't you rather have something bigger and better? Better...sure. Bigger? Not so sure. While big K is interesting, that is getting into furniture sizes and it becomes less useful. The existing metal dragons are a great size IMO, and while I have shelled out the peanuts to get them all, I would likely pick up several more in Bones, and they would be used for more than keeping the shelf they sit on in place. Even with pins and epoxy gluing them together, I dont like to mess around with big metal too much. Fear of snapping off a wing or other part leaves them relegated to the display shelves while my repainted McFarlane dragons take center stage. If we were to see them released in Bones though, I have a couple ideas for a dragon rider army that would become feasible...so, yep, better, but not nescessarrily bigger.
  7. The thing to keep in mind on a lot of figures is why they might not be on the top 100 list. Dragons for example will never get there in metal. Not because no one wants dragons, but at $50+ for a dragon, most people buy just one and then sub it for all the different dragons they might need (that REALLY is a green dragon, it is just fall...so the scales have turned color and it looks red). In Bones, I would not be surprised if a couple of the dragons make it into top 100 or even top 50 sales volumes. The same applies to a lot of other bigger items like giants and what not. Very good looking sculpts, but metal prices make it more likely to buy 2 or 3 giants and have them count as any giant you might need from Storm to Frost. Lower prices though allow someone to pick up a few of each flavor. So, while the metal top 100 lists are good for seeing what will also sell in Bones, many things not on the list would be helped by switching to Bones because the lower price point will allow to fit them into their hobby budget where previously they were not able to justify the purchase.
  8. I think your math might be 'slightly' off on how many miniatures need to be fixed... Yah, math while math overloaded from FY issues...move the decimal over to the left a few spots. In any case, 6,000 or so is still a ton of potential problems at a very high rate of accuracy. More likely that it would be something closer to 3 or 4%. I know one of our warehouse specialists is very happy with 99.1% accuracy and they do nothing but logistics.
  9. SOD is short hand for shortage/overage/damaged. Refers to all the fixes they are dealing with, not the original orders... Even at 0.1% error rate, that would still mean fixing a few hundred thousand miniatures give or take a few ten thousand or so. Mind boggling numbers really...which makes me laugh a bit when people get a little bent into pretzels when they complain that Reaper hasnt fixed their order yet and it had been a week since they emailed them about it.
  10. I'll second that... I'm guilty of this very thing in the last KS. While the KS was running I was pretty vocal about wanting to pledge for multiples of the "Free Vampire add-ons" like the Dungeon Attack. In the beginning, I wanted to really bulk up on my horde ranks. But as the KS developed, the funds that I had earmarked for extra DA or extra Fire It Up started to get moved over to other add-ons because of the cool factor and an educated guess that the bigger add-ons would be a better value. I'd like to cite 2 examples here of people in huge numbers saying they want (or Don't want) X but then buying in a different pattern. During the Kickstarter, we were told a zillion times that PC types were overplayed, and monsters was where it was "at"*. As a result, about 2/3 of the line is currently monster types, depending on how you count. PC types are still important, though, as they give us a rounded subject and a firm foundation. But what has sales indicated so far? Monsters as a category outsell PCs, but individually, a given PC *typically* outsells a given monster. And what sold out at PX first? 1 Monster, 2 PC types. So what do people say? Mosnters, please. What do they actually buy? Both, in near equal volumes. Example 2: When we launched Legendary Encounters in 2007 with Orcs and Skeletons, people told us by the score that pre-painted orcs and skeletons were already ridiculously common, and nobody wanted them. Likewise with the figures in Bones. But in LE, those 12 SKUs are all in the top 15. And in Bones, the 6 SKUs were all in the top 10. What's the lesson here? You are probably telling the truth when you say you, and the people in your group want/don't want or need/don't ever need X. But no one gamer's needs is "typical". *This is me, using the slang of the youth of America. Circa 1978. That all goes to the subjective versus objective nature of "what sells". Subjectively, I have a lot of skeletons and probably do not need anymore. Objectively though, skeletons are one of the most useful miniatures and most people will buy a lot of them. I might not need any anymore, however the next 10 new customers who currently have no skeletons in there collection might buy 10 a person. Same goes for other mob type figures like orcs, goblins and what not. When we, as customers, say what we would like to see it is hard to get past the subjective nature of looking at our own collections and looking at it from the view point of the wider market. That said, I think past sales data on metal may well start to fall short as more Bones are released. Very few customers will have decided to drop the cash on things like 5 or 10 fire giants for use in a war game, but I know of 4 people who have done just that on the Bones giants. Being able to pick up 5 Bones fire giants for the cost of one metal one will make a huge difference in the attractiveness of those figures in mass combat game armies. Not only the price point, but hauling around a box or three filled with big hunks of metal versus light plastic...
  11. All of this talk of other stuff made me miss the original question, what is a PC versus what is a mob... For me, the PCs figures are things that a player might play as there character...pretty simple, huh? But that is a huge range of different things. In a straight D&D style game, it would be mostly humanoid (or centoid), mostly human sized - a little bigger or a little smaller, mostly intelligent and mostly free willed. This knocks out big things, animals, most the undead, summoned or created things and furniture. However, we have played campaigns using the Giantcraft rules for giants, Council of Wyrms for dragons and even used the rules for intelligent undead (forget the name of the supplement). You also have somewhat crooked D&D style campaigns, rule sets like Rifts that allow dragon, giants and all manner of other things to be played right along side regular human types. For those rules, about the only thing that wouldn't qualify as a possible PC would be the furniture.
  12. Ral Partha 3 Stage figures. Another take on the same concept can be seen from Harwood Hobbies http://www.harwoodhobbies.com/ Instead of a progression over levels you have a progression through the Apocalypse. The first figure might be a normal civilian on her way to work. The second is a bit frazzled wielding a weapon of some form. The third being a zombie. They also do some which have a Lovecraftian bent, so the final one is a crazy person. Of course, when considering series figures, you can not forget mounted and on foot of the same figure. Partha did a lot of those back in the day (I dont recall if they had a specific name for them though).
  13. When considering how many of what type you want/need, dont forget that the price point of Bones also kicks the door down on an entirely new (well, not entirely new...but one which has been secondary for Reaper) batch of customers...the Wargamer. How many different orcs does an RPG gamer need? 9 is probably sufficient. However, if a wargamer is looking to put together an army of orcs for use with a set of rules like Battlesystem (old school TSR rules), they might need 100 total figures. That will mean at a minimum you will have 11 duplicates of all the figures and 12 of one. 9 orcs really is not that many in that market. Even more so when you put the 3 old ones next to the 6 new ones and see how well they dont match up. Having 4 or 5 of each broad category of figure (guys with swords, guys with bows, guys with spears and shields, mounted guys...) all in the same general faction (elves, dwarves, orcs, goblins, good guys, evil guys, undead...) makes the prospect of a Bones army much more attractive. This is even more true when you consider that while an RPG player might buy 100 miniatures in their whole gaming life time, a wargamer will often buy 100 miniatures for a single army, and they might build a new army every 6 months to a year (probably more often with the lower price points when compared to more expensive materials and manufacturers). I end up doing both, so for my own selfish interests, I would love to see more of the same (in different poses and small changes in equipment and other gear). Many of the Warlord sets are already mostly there, and I would guess the higher cost of metal is a lagging factor for sales on them, but if they were to go through and do some of the core grunt sets (things like the Vale Swordsmen 9 pack, dwarven miners 9 pack, battle nuns...) for $25 or so and sets of 4 or 5 cavalry that are stylistic matches, filling in with more expensive metals becomes much more palatable. The past sales data though is harder to lock in on that though. As Reaper has said, their core business has been RPG gamers and collectors. Most of those will only need two or three cavalry figures ever. I wargamer though might have two or three units of 10 cavalry in a single army (and have a half dozen armies). Hopefully though, these are things that Reaper has been considering on their napkins and post-it notes.
  14. There is a lot potentially going on. You have the time between the coats of paint and being sealed in the ziplock. Acrylics take several days to completely remove all the water from them, lacquers (Dullcote) and enamels (primer) will also outgas and cure at a rate slower than most people realize. If you seal all of that into the bag and let it stew, the top most paint can become tacky again. You also have the interaction of a primer and bones. We know that not all primers work well with the vinyl miniatures, so a minor bad reaction might be being made worse with no where for the solvents to dissipate too. Believe it or not, you also have chemicals from the bag itself. Plasticizers are migratory to some extent. When an area of high concentration (the bag) comes into contact with something of low concentration (the paint) it can let off some into it. You see this happen with plastic/plastic connections fairly frequently. Even without that, the bag is slowly releasing its plasticizer all the time and that can react with the paint some. Give your minis a good week of breathing before you seal them up, and consider something like a dice bag instead as the cloth will let them breathe better. After they are fully cured, you should be able to zip them up.
  15. Not sure where the conclusion of ABS comes from...ABS can and is thermoformed on a daily basis, both on the industrial scale to make things like dash boards and bumpers and the hobby scale to make LARP armor and cosplay gear. It really takes heating and forming in much the same way as other thermo plastics like PVC and polystyrene. Differences in surface texture are releated to the finish of the mold more than the material. Highly polished molds result in highly polished surfaces (see plumping PVC). Less refined molds and dies result in a somewhat rougher surface. Casting temperature of the plastic will also impact this as well. Higher temperatures generally produce a glassy finish as the plastic pulls tight against itself during cooling. The sound will vary as well due to the specific density of the plastic mix...not the material. You can get very dense and hard polystyrene (CD jewel cases), very light PVC (cellular PVC panels), rubbery ABS (as found in certain industrial hoses) and even other like polyurethane resins and acrylics can be formulated differently as well. Each plastic with comparable physical properies gives off the same sound when thumped. It is nearly impossible to identify which is which without a bit of lab work. Either chemical reaction tests, or something like a GC mass spec. The two plastics are very comparable though in terms of chemical resistance though, so many of the easier home tests dont work well. For the heating and bending side of things...harder plastics tend to be more heat resistant. Most likely you just didnt get hot enough, and it is quite possible that hot water will never get hot enough (limited by the boiling temperature as it is).
  16. Yep, right now I am sorting through looking for things I have 2 or more of in order to have a test subject and a control in order to figure out what the best time/temperature/thickness formula might be. You will always have some shrinkage when you remove something from the mix, it is a question of what is acceptable to your needs and still gives you the desired stiffness. They high end on the temperature range before you need to worry about it burning should be somewhere North of 500 degrees, so most tests below that should be fine. As I think about it, I might try a rather high temperature for a very short period of time. This should create a candy coating of hard plastic but it may also soften the surface details and cause them to slump. Once I have a bit more information, I will take some pictures of the results so that others can see the shrinkage that occurs and decide for themselves.
  17. Most likely you are seeing the same affect as baking, though I dont know what the fear of baking would be. Model makers have been baking PVC for decades, and as I mentioned polymer clays are PVC as well. The open air and time of baking allows the heat to drive out more of the plasticizer, wheras the boiling in water keeps a lower temperature and the water will slow down the outgassing. If we could find out the specific plasticizer, you can identify pretty easily a companion chemical that will leach it out of the plastic...but without knowing the plasticizer, it is hard to determine what chemical bath will work to leach it out. That said, we are having thunderstorms now, so as opposed to doing the yard work...I had to play with miniatures instead. I went ahead and took the regular goblin sprue (mace, bow, spear) and baked them in the oven for 10 minutes at 275. The plastic is significantly harder. For example on the unbaked figures, when I push the top of the bow, I can bend in back till it touches the goblins face. However, on the baked goblin I can push on the bow tip hard enough that it actually bends the attached sprue runner not the bow. The reason is that thinner parts will bake out the plasticizer faster, so the thin bow is almost fully rigid PVC now while the sprue being several times thicker is still more flexible. There does not seem to be a noticeable loss of detail, though the surface has become somewhat shiney so it will need some tests for painting and closer examination as shiney white plastic is even harder to inspect. A word of caution though, the baked parts are smaller than the unbaked. Plasticizer takes up space and when it is removed the PVC polymer chains tighten up and the object gets smaller. On the thinnest parts, it looks like they might be as much as 10% smaller than the unbaked parts.
  18. Off the top of my head...heat. The principle is the same as working with polymer clays (also a PVC variant). Baking a bones part should drive out some of the excess plasticizer. The specific temperature and time will vary of course, but starting at the directions for something like Sculpey should get you close. As always, bits of the runner or small things like those goblins would be the best starting point as opposed to something big like one of the heads. I dont think I will have a chance soon (I might later today, but if not then, then not till August). Everything that I am thinking though says it should work though. If it does, you will want to support the larger items when you bake them to maintain their shape. Polymer clay sites offer lots of guidelines for doing that sort of thing though.
  19. Keep in mind, the plastic used for Bones is PVC. PVC comes in all sorts of flavors from hard stuff like you find in plumbing parts all the way to stuff that is soft and flexible enough to wear. Most Bones are somewhere in the middle, while things like the clockwork wings are closer to the plumbing fitting formulation and things like the head seem to be closer to the PVC goth clothing formulation. They should all take paint in the same manner - that is a function of the PVC polymer chain shape (think of it like Velcro hooks, while acrylic is more like thight curls of the loop side of velcro). The actual choice is made by the engineer. If a part has more undercuts, it will need a softer plastic in order to eject from the mold. If a part is undercut free, they can use a nice rigid formulation. The rigid formulation is cheaper by a bit and allows those wings to stand upright without sagging. You probably have some cross contamination you could say as they switch from one formulation to the next while working through the production orders. The aside on paints, dont forget that not all acrylics are water based. Tamiya uses alcohol, same with Gunze for their acrylics. Valejo has some alcohol based metallic acrylics. Thinning those with water can cause problems...the same gumming that can happen with alcohol and water based paints. Also, strictly speaking...both the alcohol and water are solvents. Water is after all referred to as the universal solvent.
  20. Back while the KS campaign was still ongoing, Niranth (sure I goofed the spelling on that) tested purple primer on the Bones figures. Worked well enough. Purple primer is only slightly removed from regular PVC dyes. They are permanent (melt the very top surface of the plastic and the dye is permanently bonded with it...the only way to removing it is to remove the plastic itself). While it wont allow for a whole lot of variation on each figure (though could prove really useful on the clear figures) it would allow people to quickly add color to them if you plan on using them for game pieces. http://www.naraddyes.com/serv02.htm I have used these on other PVC materials and they work great. 10 colors for $35 and it should be enough to color a whole vampire order with all the options.
  21. Keep in mind, under normal business they will ship an order a day or two after it is placed, and normally that would be regular business days (Monday through Friday). Actual shipping times of course will depend on where you are at though.
  22. Mostly to do with the freebies...not actual paid goals. With the paid goals, in theory...you cover your tooling with the stretch goal, then peoples fullfillment is covered by their pledge amount. With freebies though, you get into a different problem. If they give 100 backers a free miniature for a $20k goal...that $20k may well cover tooling and fullfilment. A week later, they now have 1000 people who will also be getting that freebie, and are in the hole for that particular item. I order to compensate, they need to pad that extra cost into the next stretch goal amount. As a result you see goals going from $20k, to $50k, to $100k. By the time they would have gotten up to the $10 million mark, each stretch goal would likely need to be a million dollars just to cover the free items added to the basic package. Goals like that yield diminishing returns as their isnt enough to draw new attention.
  23. PVC is a very common material used in decorations and utility devices in fish tanks. The chemicals which are used in formulating it should not leach out due to water, but may be affected by UV light from the high intensity lighting that is often used. That can be countered by coating the PVC in paint... Which would be the next issue, acrylics are safe, some pigments are not (fish, and especially invertebrates are very sensitive to dissolved metals which are the source of many pigments). So, you then need to check pigments carefully (difficult to impossible) or seal the paint extremely well with a pure petsafe clear coat (both acrylic and polyurethane are fish safe once cured). You can find more information on various DIY fish tank building sites and the chemistry involved of why and how.
  24. I have, in the past, had two boxes shipped from the same location, at the same time arrive on different days. Did you get tracking numbers where you can see if there is more than one box?
  25. Soooo...sort of like this: http://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/flickering-led.html
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