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Your insistence that producing minis is "trivial" worries me more than anything else I've seen of this project, as it indicates you as a company have not done your research or fully thought through your plan. Many, many Kickstarters with plenty of raw talent and enthusiasm have failed miserably. True, there are harder things in the world, but that does not negate the fact that producing hundreds of individual minis is a costly, difficult, time-consuming task, and too many projects flounder when their creators realize this after collecting funding, and end up way over their heads. I would expect a company looking to launch a project like this to have researched similar projects in the past, which would have made you aware of the many projects that collapsed under the same hubris you are displaying. Having a real person attached is only marginally more than meaningless as well. Lots of people have staked and ruined their reputations on KS.

 

Your comments here bring up other concerns as well. The resin typically used for minis is notorious for its fragility; it's the last material you would want to use for "action figures." And speaking of which, the target demo here is unclear. You insist these are boutique, display-quality minis, yet also talk about entering them into the action figure/toy market. This is just another of many inconsistencies that suggest this project may not have been fully thought through.

Well, SlenderTroll, you are flat out wrong.

 

As mentioned, we have several quotes from vendors in the U.S. and U.K. We know the exact costs. We have seen samples from a lot of vendors. We have had our employee spin cast minis for us.  And, we started this discovery and investigation process 6 months ago.

 

Did I say "trivial"? It most certainly is a simple process., esp. for an artist with over a decade experience in casting/manufacturing fine art pieces.

 

There is actually no "hubris". I am stating the fact that manufacturing a miniature is something well within the wheelhouse of our team members. Our sculptor actually has been making and casting objects for longer than you have been alive.

 

Regarding, resin:

http://battlereporter.blogspot.ca/2011/05/finecast-resin-vs-metal-miniatures.html

 

Regarding resin for action figures:

http://www.hobbysilicone.com/testimonial1.htm

 

In the event that we present figures for manufacturing in non-wargaming arenas, resin would be the prototype media. I did not say that it would be the production media.

 

You might want to tell McFarlane toys your theories on resin, if Games Workshop doesn't listen to you:

http://www.smooth-on.com/gallery.php?galleryid=288

(Scroll doen to their resin  prototype)

 

And, re: fragility. The real concern is bubbles, isn't it? Even GW has been fighting with these issues and it is well documented that this is caused from faulty manufacturing, not the resin itself.

 

Regarding real names. 1) I notice your name is not listed anywhere, nor are your credentials related to manufacturing or business management, and 2) when you get to midlife and have significant accomplishments, you do not risk your reputation lightly.

 

Finally, why should there be a discrepancy in fine craftsmanship and use? Is your arguement that a mini is either for the display case or a WH game? I thought Apple or William Morris already put that arguement to rest.

 

Finally, I am open to answering any mature concern re: this enterprise. Flame warfare on the web is a bit 90s, and does nothing to further a real exchange of ideas. Our goal is to produce high-qulaity miniatures. It is something well within our team's ability. 

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I GOT IT! I got my chargeback. It's not the end of the line for me - I still plan on dogging these guy's footsteps - but it's a real weight off my back as a broke college student to have this refunded

I just confirmed with my credit card that Kickstarter/Amazon/ADW did not dispute the back charge on my $155 pledged to the Ice Age Mammals project within the time provided for a merchant to do so, so

ladystorm has altered the thread.  Pray she does not alter it further.

To be fair, PIngo is not trying to run a Kickstarter =(

I think they're voicing legitimate concerns regarding the Kickstarter, I don't think they're trying to attack you or your company, as it is I'm questioning if I want to really back it now

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Doggerland, I am not flaming you. If I seem harsh, it is because I care about this industry and do genuinely want you to succeed, but also have enough experience as a consumer to see many serious and dramatic red flags.

 

You claim to know the exact costs, yet you don't even know for certain if you are casting in-house or through another company. Your single employee being able to spin-cast prototypes does not by any means guarantee you can scale that up as easily as you think. If this KS is successful, you will have to produce hundreds of minis, at least. If you produce in-house, is that one employee prepared to cast all of those by herself? Do you have someone set up to do QA? How will you ship them out, and make sure everyone gets the product they ordered, and only the product they ordered?

 

All I wanted to see was assurance that you knew what you were getting into. What I saw instead was that you absolutely did not, and are insisting that it is a much simpler process than I, and everyone else on this board, knows it to be. Reaper, the owners of this forum, did a KS a while back. They are a long-established company with much more experience than your team, especially in mini production itself. Now, Reaper is large, well-established, and trusted enough that most of us here had faith they would come through. Even so, their first KS had months of delay, at almost every step of the process, simply because they underestimated how complicated Kickstarter fulfillment can be. They did in the end come through, but there are many Kickstarters, some by established companies, many of which have people's real names and reputations attached, that have failed. Groups with everything you guys have: vision, experience (in miniature production, even), real names, great-looking prototypes, that have failed, and the number one cause of post-funding collapse is simply underestimating the complexity of the process.

 

Dismissing legitimate, if harsh, critique as immature flaming is another surprisingly common red flag, by the way.

 

(Also: if resin would just be the prototype medium, then why would that affect the production material for your KS fulfillment?)

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@Doggerland, People voiced their concerns and you did a fine job assuaging some of the concern by answering the questions, but after that, you just started swinging every which way. :(

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Yeah, I'd say most of us are thrilled to see new minis companies crop up. The minis industry (GW excepted) has never really seemed a competitive one to me - new sculptors and companies crop up all the time, and older businesses often support newer ones (see: the Torn Armor fiasco; Tre Manor's Red Box). As customers, we tend to seek diversity - I am a loyal Reaper fan, mostly because of the community & the wide variety of sculpts, but I'm always willing to give other places a shot - especially when they offer a niche product I want (like your preest-he's) or feature a sculptor I love (Tre, SG, the Klockestarter a while ago...)

 

I would like to see a costs breakdown for this product, though. A pie chart or something, to show us you've got the numbers pat. And I'd also like your reassurrance that, if you don't have the money from the KS to finish things, you'll either cover it from your own finances or offer refunds...

 

I think you've got a good product here. I've seen many people request prehistoric mammals, and few places that offer them. But unfortunately, I need to be more confident in how my money will be spent before I'm comfortable sending more your way - and acting like people with questions are attacking you doesn't really bolster confidence. We all want you to succeed, for your sake as well as ours - but most of us have seen too many KS fail to invest without asking questions.

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Well, SlenderTroll, you are flat out wrong.

 

As mentioned, we have several quotes from vendors in the U.S. and U.K. We know the exact costs. We have seen samples from a lot of vendors. We have had our employee spin cast minis for us.  And, we started this discovery and investigation process 6 months ago.

 

Did I say "trivial"? It most certainly is a simple process., esp. for an artist with over a decade experience in casting/manufacturing fine art pieces.

 

There is actually no "hubris". I am stating the fact that manufacturing a miniature is something well within the wheelhouse of our team members. Our sculptor actually has been making and casting objects for longer than you have been alive.

 

Regarding, resin:

http://battlereporter.blogspot.ca/2011/05/finecast-resin-vs-metal-miniatures.html

 

Regarding resin for action figures:

http://www.hobbysilicone.com/testimonial1.htm

 

In the event that we present figures for manufacturing in non-wargaming arenas, resin would be the prototype media. I did not say that it would be the production media.

 

You might want to tell McFarlane toys your theories on resin, if Games Workshop doesn't listen to you:

http://www.smooth-on.com/gallery.php?galleryid=288

(Scroll doen to their resin  prototype)

 

And, re: fragility. The real concern is bubbles, isn't it? Even GW has been fighting with these issues and it is well documented that this is caused from faulty manufacturing, not the resin itself.

 

Regarding real names. 1) I notice your name is not listed anywhere, nor are your credentials related to manufacturing or business management, and 2) when you get to midlife and have significant accomplishments, you do not risk your reputation lightly.

 

Finally, why should there be a discrepancy in fine craftsmanship and use? Is your arguement that a mini is either for the display case or a WH game? I thought Apple or William Morris already put that arguement to rest.

 

Finally, I am open to answering any mature concern re: this enterprise. Flame warfare on the web is a bit 90s, and does nothing to further a real exchange of ideas. Our goal is to produce high-qulaity miniatures. It is something well within our team's ability.

 

It's not wise to make assumptions about who is whom or what experience they have.

 

People here are concerned that your creators, although experienced in marketing and design, are not familiar with miniatures production and thus may find yourselves with more difficulties than you anticipated.

 

I am sure you have done a great deal of research in your 6 month investigation. But you do not seem to have done the physical work of fabricating miniatures on any kind of scale yet.

 

It may seem "trivial" to you to bring miniatures to market. And perhaps it is. Perhaps you have the resources and know-how to make this project work smoothly.

 

But you do not seem to have practical experience. You have no track record. And people with no track record are often tripped up by projects they expect to be easy.

 

I do wonder about the nature of your research that your first link is to an early post about Games Workshop's "finecast" resin, a material with a black reputation amongst knowledgeable consumers.

 

Your second link is to a fabricator who uses silicone resin. Is this the material you intend to use?

 

Your third link is to a seller of resin who makes claims about fineness of detail with which few would argue.

 

And, re: fragility. The real concern is bubbles, isn't it?

No. Bubbles are a concern, but even without bubbles resin itself is brittle and fragile. As such it is unsuitable for tabletop gaming minis, or "toys" as you call them, because it cannot withstand rough, or even everyday handling. It is part of the tradeoff to gain extremely fine detail.

 

That you say your reputation is on the line is, I am sorry, not a guarantee that your project will succeed. Pride is not half so useful as hands-on experience. And people here are concerned that, as much research as you have done, you have not got the direct experience of making and distributing miniatures.

 

It is not clear what your plans are should something go wrong, and repeating that the project is a simple one, or that you would not risk your good names on it otherwise, is not a clarification.

 

Finally, why should there be a discrepancy in fine craftsmanship and use? Is your arguement that a mini is either for the display case or a WH game? I thought Apple or William Morris already put that arguement to rest.

There is a discrepancy because materials with the ability to hold the finest details are fragile and unsuitable for play, whereas materials sturdy enough for play do not hold the finest details that afficionados crave. There have been attempts to find a happy medium, but even the best of them are compromises.

 

I am not trying to be combative here. This is not flame warfare. This is a diverse (how diverse you would be surprised, I suspect) community of people with some practical knowledge of the enterprise you are launching who are curious to know what your plans are and how you expect to fulfil them.

 

I am concerned that you may not know what you are in for. You must know that no project is as simple as it first appears, especially to those who have never done it before.

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See, for example, Midgard Miniatures and Dwarf Gladiators. Created by Mick Leach (real name) owner of Eastern Front Studios, a relatively long-standing company with plenty of experience creating, producing, and selling miniatures, which is more direct experience than even your team can boast. They started with impressive concept art and some very nice sculpts. I don't think you guys have anything they didn't, and yet they are each over a year behind schedule, with some despairing of ever getting all of their rewards. They displayed many of the red flags your project raised for some of us.

 

Mick Leach's reputation is now ruined, true, but I suspect that's little solace to those who would rather just have their minis.

 

EDIT: I add this example of a failed project to indicate not that I think your project will fare this poorly, but that it might, and that we as consumers, some of whom have pledged thousands on campaigns like these, need reassurance that it won't. Telling us it's impossible for it to go poorly is insulting to us and suggests that you have not fully researched other similar projects.

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Doggerland, I am not flaming you. If I seem harsh, it is because I care about this industry and do genuinely want you to succeed, but also have enough experience as a consumer to see many serious and dramatic red flags.

 

You claim to know the exact costs, yet you don't even know for certain if you are casting in-house or through another company. Your single employee being able to spin-cast prototypes does not by any means guarantee you can scale that up as easily as you think. If this KS is successful, you will have to produce hundreds of minis, at least. If you produce in-house, is that one employee prepared to cast all of those by herself? Do you have someone set up to do QA? How will you ship them out, and make sure everyone gets the product they ordered, and only the product they ordered?

 

All I wanted to see was assurance that you knew what you were getting into. What I saw instead was that you absolutely did not, and are insisting that it is a much simpler process than I, and everyone else on this board, knows it to be. Reaper, the owners of this forum, did a KS a while back. They are a long-established company with much more experience than your team, especially in mini production itself. Now, Reaper is large, well-established, and trusted enough that most of us here had faith they would come through. Even so, their first KS had months of delay, at almost every step of the process, simply because they underestimated how complicated Kickstarter fulfillment can be. They did in the end come through, but there are many Kickstarters, some by established companies, many of which have people's real names and reputations attached, that have failed. Groups with everything you guys have: vision, experience (in miniature production, even), real names, great-looking prototypes, that have failed, and the number one cause of post-funding collapse is simply underestimating the complexity of the process.

 

Dismissing legitimate, if harsh, critique as immature flaming is another surprisingly common red flag, by the way.

 

(Also: if resin would just be the prototype medium, then why would that affect the production material for your KS fulfillment?)

 

Well, we should start a little further back. I have not been on a job interview in over 25 years. I have built and sold companies throughout my adult life and now that I have a little business experience, and a lot of practical experience and too much book knowledge, answering questions about producing $10 products does confound me.

 

We all know about spincasting.  A master mould costs about $45. You put several minis to a mould. Spin for ~1minute and let cool. Done.  Time is not the issue in spincasting. With a normal business set up you can produce 100s in an hour, depending on the # of machines and workers. How to accomplish this is not a secret. If you want to purchase a TekCast spin caster, I am certain they can show you how it is done, even if you have do experience.

 

Yes, there are other complexities and items you need to attend to re: production. None more difficult than baking a chocolate souffle. Certainly not as difficult as welding or changing a transmission, or putting out a fire, or doing production ceramics. This is relatively straightforward process, and it does not change on the fly every few months. This is not a steel mill or even a software engineering firm. Manufacturing hardware for interiors is more difficult, or moulding for interiors. Spincasting is close to the bottom in difficulty when it comes to mechnical manufacturing proecesses. One thing I do not understand is why you are trying to insist that it is difficult.  Maybe it is a personal thing, or lack of direct experience with the machinery?

 

Moving on. We all know the open secret. The cost of a mini is negliable. The costs is in the modelling and packaging and marketing and shipping.

 

We also all know the other dirty secret of this market niche. If you go to a vendor, they own your master mould. Which is equilivant to owning your intellectual property. Which is fine, if you are small, or your IP does not have "legs" outside of the miniature world. It is a potential danger if you are extending the economic feasibility of your IP and line extensions through other media and/or licensing. This is the primary concern for us. 

 

Scalability. That is a matter of having extra people run the spincasters, not making the molds or masters. If we hit big on KS, we may have 200-300 Pledges. That MAY be 2,000 pieces, total. We have until September to deliver.  July, August, 1/2 September. Let's call that 75 days. Let's say we have really only 50 days, if we want weekends and time to sort and package, et.al. That means we have to cast 40 miniatures a day. Or, if are really lazy and we are not planning on protecting our IP, we as one of the vetted casting companies, referred by TMP members, and vetted by our team, to cast 40 minis a day. Hmm. And, we can cast say four big guys at a time, being very conservative. That means we are working our person maybe 60-90 minutes a day? Then, some time to sort. Then, another person puts them in boxes and ships them out. In that world we all work 1/2 days and still get done a month ahead of schedule.

 

If you fail at delivering 2,000 minis in 75 calendar days, you are a fraud. there is a work ethic problem, or there is a intent to deceive. It is not the complexity of the process. I have sourced manufacturing and publishing services from vendors all over the world durin my professional life and I never saw excuses like I have seem on KS re: minis and game publishing. It jsut does not happen outside of games for some reason. And, not until the excuses we have all seen on KS Campaigns.

 

Now, it could be the idea that hobbyists have. They may think "I can do that". Which is fine. But, there must be some professional experience to back that up. And, that experience in development/production/fulfillment is the basis of any legitimate, older, experienced business-person's life. This is what business is.

 

For us: most of us have had full careers and we know all about that development/production/fulfillment cycle. We did the research for this line. We did the math. We all took turns spincasting. We all sat at the sculpting table. Some people dropped out because they wanted to do things a certain way, or they wanted to to stay in their corner. That is not how we operate as a group. Everyone knows everyone else's job and what is expected of them, so we keep to schedules and on top of goals just like you are required to in any professional, competitive arena. Maybe it is the ATM-card syndrome that some game KS people have. They made the cash and their is no hurry to fulfill, and to explain that away they make up stories about vendors, et.al. I am not saying this is the case with Reaper, but the little guys. I can see that.

 

If you need to put us into a category, that is not it. We are semi-retired hihg-level professionals that want to develop an intellectual property that we believe in. We want to create product around that property for people to explore their creativity in a different milleu, be it through differnet minis, different stories, different game mechanics, etc... We hire well, to make certain everyone knows how to pull off their part of the business. We make our skills redundant. We have small product launches, such as this Ice Age KS, before we have larger product launches, so we have our sea legs.

 

So, my apologies if we did not explain our backstory or the personal CVs of the team.  When we do deals in our professional lives it is rarely one-on-one, and we deal with multi-national distributors or corporations asking for services. This is a new world of interaction for us. And, I have an old man's tendancy to say "are they kidding?" when I forget that you do not know who we are, or what we have accomplished in our professional lives, either.

 

All that being said, these are toys. Miniatures for games. We have no worries that we can produce a very decent, even world-class, product. And, if we encounter a problem in any area, we will hire the person with the answer, and build more and better products. This is precisely why we started on KS. Keeping the initial run small, so we can get it 100% correct.

 

re: resin. that is the materail for the Ice Age Minis. We understand the manufacturing parameters and how to avoid troubles.

If you prefer metal, please state your case. I am open to arguements that make sense.

 

Thank you for your patience.

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Doggerland, I am not flaming you. If I seem harsh, it is because I care about this industry and do genuinely want you to succeed, but also have enough experience as a consumer to see many serious and dramatic red flags.

 

You claim to know the exact costs, yet you don't even know for certain if you are casting in-house or through another company. Your single employee being able to spin-cast prototypes does not by any means guarantee you can scale that up as easily as you think. If this KS is successful, you will have to produce hundreds of minis, at least. If you produce in-house, is that one employee prepared to cast all of those by herself? Do you have someone set up to do QA? How will you ship them out, and make sure everyone gets the product they ordered, and only the product they ordered?

 

All I wanted to see was assurance that you knew what you were getting into. What I saw instead was that you absolutely did not, and are insisting that it is a much simpler process than I, and everyone else on this board, knows it to be. Reaper, the owners of this forum, did a KS a while back. They are a long-established company with much more experience than your team, especially in mini production itself. Now, Reaper is large, well-established, and trusted enough that most of us here had faith they would come through. Even so, their first KS had months of delay, at almost every step of the process, simply because they underestimated how complicated Kickstarter fulfillment can be. They did in the end come through, but there are many Kickstarters, some by established companies, many of which have people's real names and reputations attached, that have failed. Groups with everything you guys have: vision, experience (in miniature production, even), real names, great-looking prototypes, that have failed, and the number one cause of post-funding collapse is simply underestimating the complexity of the process.

 

Dismissing legitimate, if harsh, critique as immature flaming is another surprisingly common red flag, by the way.

 

(Also: if resin would just be the prototype medium, then why would that affect the production material for your KS fulfillment?)

 

Well, we should start a little further back. I have not been on a job interview in over 25 years. I have built and sold companies throughout my adult life and now that I have a little business experience, and a lot of practical experience and too much book knowledge, answering questions about producing $10 products does confound me.

 

We all know about spincasting.  A master mould costs about $45. You put several minis to a mould. Spin for ~1minute and let cool. Done.  Time is not the issue in spincasting. With a normal business set up you can produce 100s in an hour, depending on the # of machines and workers. How to accomplish this is not a secret. If you want to purchase a TekCast spin caster, I am certain they can show you how it is done, even if you have do experience.

 

Yes, there are other complexities and items you need to attend to re: production. None more difficult than baking a chocolate souffle. Certainly not as difficult as welding or changing a transmission, or putting out a fire, or doing production ceramics. This is relatively straightforward process, and it does not change on the fly every few months. This is not a steel mill or even a software engineering firm. Manufacturing hardware for interiors is more difficult, or moulding for interiors. Spincasting is close to the bottom in difficulty when it comes to mechnical manufacturing proecesses. One thing I do not understand is why you are trying to insist that it is difficult.  Maybe it is a personal thing, or lack of direct experience with the machinery?

 

Moving on. We all know the open secret. The cost of a mini is negliable. The costs is in the modelling and packaging and marketing and shipping.

 

We also all know the other dirty secret of this market niche. If you go to a vendor, they own your master mould. Which is equilivant to owning your intellectual property. Which is fine, if you are small, or your IP does not have "legs" outside of the miniature world. It is a potential danger if you are extending the economic feasibility of your IP and line extensions through other media and/or licensing. This is the primary concern for us. 

 

Scalability. That is a matter of having extra people run the spincasters, not making the molds or masters. If we hit big on KS, we may have 200-300 Pledges. That MAY be 2,000 pieces, total. We have until September to deliver.  July, August, 1/2 September. Let's call that 75 days. Let's say we have really only 50 days, if we want weekends and time to sort and package, et.al. That means we have to cast 40 miniatures a day. Or, if are really lazy and we are not planning on protecting our IP, we as one of the vetted casting companies, referred by TMP members, and vetted by our team, to cast 40 minis a day. Hmm. And, we can cast say four big guys at a time, being very conservative. That means we are working our person maybe 60-90 minutes a day? Then, some time to sort. Then, another person puts them in boxes and ships them out. In that world we all work 1/2 days and still get done a month ahead of schedule.

 

If you fail at delivering 2,000 minis in 75 calendar days, you are a fraud. there is a work ethic problem, or there is a intent to deceive. It is not the complexity of the process. I have sourced manufacturing and publishing services from vendors all over the world durin my professional life and I never saw excuses like I have seem on KS re: minis and game publishing. It jsut does not happen outside of games for some reason. And, not until the excuses we have all seen on KS Campaigns.

 

Now, it could be the idea that hobbyists have. They may think "I can do that". Which is fine. But, there must be some professional experience to back that up. And, that experience in development/production/fulfillment is the basis of any legitimate, older, experienced business-person's life. This is what business is.

 

For us: most of us have had full careers and we know all about that development/production/fulfillment cycle. We did the research for this line. We did the math. We all took turns spincasting. We all sat at the sculpting table. Some people dropped out because they wanted to do things a certain way, or they wanted to to stay in their corner. That is not how we operate as a group. Everyone knows everyone else's job and what is expected of them, so we keep to schedules and on top of goals just like you are required to in any professional, competitive arena. Maybe it is the ATM-card syndrome that some game KS people have. They made the cash and their is no hurry to fulfill, and to explain that away they make up stories about vendors, et.al. I am not saying this is the case with Reaper, but the little guys. I can see that.

 

If you need to put us into a category, that is not it. We are semi-retired hihg-level professionals that want to develop an intellectual property that we believe in. We want to create product around that property for people to explore their creativity in a different milleu, be it through differnet minis, different stories, different game mechanics, etc... We hire well, to make certain everyone knows how to pull off their part of the business. We make our skills redundant. We have small product launches, such as this Ice Age KS, before we have larger product launches, so we have our sea legs.

 

So, my apologies if we did not explain our backstory or the personal CVs of the team.  When we do deals in our professional lives it is rarely one-on-one, and we deal with multi-national distributors or corporations asking for services. This is a new world of interaction for us. And, I have an old man's tendancy to say "are they kidding?" when I forget that you do not know who we are, or what we have accomplished in our professional lives, either.

 

All that being said, these are toys. Miniatures for games. We have no worries that we can produce a very decent, even world-class, product. And, if we encounter a problem in any area, we will hire the person with the answer, and build more and better products. This is precisely why we started on KS. Keeping the initial run small, so we can get it 100% correct.

 

re: resin. that is the materail for the Ice Age Minis. We understand the manufacturing parameters and how to avoid troubles.

If you prefer metal, please state your case. I am open to arguements that make sense.

 

Thank you for your patience.

 

 

And, you will have to excuse my spelling. I type fast, but poorly. Not a skill in the wheelhouse. :)

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See, for example, Midgard Miniatures and Dwarf Gladiators. Created by Mick Leach (real name) owner of Eastern Front Studios, a relatively long-standing company with plenty of experience creating, producing, and selling miniatures, which is more direct experience than even your team can boast. They started with impressive concept art and some very nice sculpts. I don't think you guys have anything they didn't, and yet they are each over a year behind schedule, with some despairing of ever getting all of their rewards. They displayed many of the red flags your project raised for some of us.

 

Mick Leach's reputation is now ruined, true, but I suspect that's little solace to those who would rather just have their minis.

 

EDIT: I add this example of a failed project to indicate not that I think your project will fare this poorly, but that it might, and that we as consumers, some of whom have pledged thousands on campaigns like these, need reassurance that it won't. Telling us it's impossible for it to go poorly is insulting to us and suggests that you have not fully researched other similar projects.

I like that DeathCap mini!

Re: this guy, please see previous post. It is a business failing, or a personal failing, for sure.

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Not sure I'd trust TMP members to make business recommendations for me. But, then, as savvy businessmen, I must assume you know these people well.

"Semi-retired high level professionals that want to develop an intellectual property that we believe in." If I put myself in your shoes, I am not sure I would choose ice age megafauna, as that seems pretty much in the public domain. I mean, sure, there's a DEMAND for it -- I personally am quite interested in good 25-28 mm models of thylacines, among others -- but I'm also thinking that it sure would be an easy line to compete with, since anyone could theoretically produce the same critters without stepping on your IP toes, so to speak.

"A master mould costs about $45." Dang. If I could find an artist who'd sculpt whatever I wanted for fifty bucks or less, I'd be running a kickstarter, too.

 

"Since we have an actual person attached to this KS, there is no where to run. The only option is success." Um, no. You're addressing an audience which has been burned in the past, and has been witness to some really remarkable failures, some of which have gleefully danced across the boundary into outright fraud. I regret, if your project fails, that you would personally be embarrassed, but this would be little consolation to those who invested in your product, and lost their money. Your personal guarantee is appreciated, though. Should disaster strike, I would certainly hope you have enough in the bank to pay back all your backers without suffering personal hardship.

"We have no worries that we can produce a very decent, even world-class, product. And, if we encounter a problem in any area, we will hire the person with the answer, and build more and better products." With all due respect, it's this kind of line that worries me. Y'see, part of the problem in this thread is the fact that those responding to you have seen a hell of a lot of game and miniatures kickstarters; the three examples I personally will provide are Reaper, Tre Manor's Red Box, and Andy Hopp's Mutha Oith Productions, three businesses whose Kickstarters I helped to fund.

All three of these outfits produced miniatures funded with a Kickstarter. And all three of them ran across problems. I EMPHASIZE that ALL THREE of these outfits were above board, and fully intended to make good on their promises, AND DID SO; I make NO complaints or imply any dishonesty or incompetence or anything on their parts. But the fact remains that all three of these outfits ostensibly knew what they were doing... and all three hit some bumps along the road. And they all had firm goals in mind when they STARTED; they did NOT make a point of waffling about what the minis would be made of, or what scale they would be, and so forth. All three outfits had unexpected difficulties leading to delays in fulfilling their promises.

I make no implications about you, sir. I don't know you. I have no idea how you're running your business. You SEEM sincere, and more than a little determined. But I find your remarks about how "we'll make it work, and if it doesn't, we'll just hire people who WILL make it work" to be less than reassuring. With all due respect, and no insult intended, you frankly come across more like "Hey, they're just toys. How hard could this be?"

With all due respect, it can be quite hard. Y'might contact Tre Manor, a chap with more than a little experience in this, who knows all KINDS of ways it can go banana shaped on you. And whose product is not in any real competition with yours.

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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So, my apologies if we did not explain our backstory or the personal CVs of the team.  When we do deals in our professional lives it is rarely one-on-one, and we deal with multi-national distributors or corporations asking for services. This is a new world of interaction for us. And, I have an old man's tendancy to say "are they kidding?" when I forget that you do not know who we are, or what we have accomplished in our professional lives, either.

 

All that being said, these are toys. Miniatures for games. We have no worries that we can produce a very decent, even world-class, product. And, if we encounter a problem in any area, we will hire the person with the answer, and build more and better products. This is precisely why we started on KS. Keeping the initial run small, so we can get it 100% correct.

Your experience is not being expressed through the Kickstarter as it stands. Instead, it appears that your project is in very preliminary stages of sculpting (having not decided on scale or medium (physical or electronic master) until after the campaign started) and that your team has no notable experience in miniatures or Kickstarter. Yet you are promising to maintain an aggressive timeline matching Tre Manor.

 

By way of comparison, that is Tre's fourth successful Kickstarter project, he is working with the same casting company that he has before, and the sculpts were essentially finished before the campaign began. And, Tre was experienced and known in the minis industry before Kickstarter, learned a lot from his first two KS projects, and stayed close to a 60-75 day timeline for his third project.

 

I'd suggest that you take a long, hard look at your KS project (or even better find someone independent to look at it) -- try to identify why there is a wide gap between the confidence you have that you will deliver and the skepticism expressed here by both industry folks (some with KS projects) and by long-time miniatures consumers (some who have backed hundreds of KS projects). What do you know that we don't, and how can you convey that information and confidence?

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If the KS goes through, and if the product is made commercially available, I'll look into it... but I think I'll pass on the actual KS.

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