But wait, Eddie! What aboout my replacement bits or my pledge for this dungeon terrain?
We have sent messages / emails to everyone who we still dont have a pledge manager for. There are a few people who we dont have details for yet and are waiting on. If you can get your managers in, we dont plan on having a cut-off date so you can get your choices in at any time (fairest way of doing things!) :) We do owe some bronze pieces also, which are in the works (sorry! will get the first shipment of those out ASAP.. probably owe them in gold at this point!) And if you are waiting for replacement bits for anything broken in the post or a dodgy cast, we have sent these replacements to everyone who has requested. Anything else, drop me a message and I'll sort it for you :)
And now, it's Minotaur Time! Let them stalk your dungeon halls as the bane of all foolhardy adventurers ;)
Oh and the Beauty and the Beast theme would not be complte without a female adventurer party! Check these out also ;)
What has been an Epic Quest; at long last, is at a close :)
Thank you, once again, to everyone who has taken this amazing journey with us! (some for longer than others :P) It wasn't an easy ride, it was a learning experience every day. This KS has shot Zealot Miniatures from obscurity, to now dominating the Dungeon Scenery google image search results! ;)
Now we have just packed the last Kickstarter boxes. They are to be shipped out next week :D So it's time for us to call Twisting Catacombs finished at last. 'Hmm OK, great! So what is next?' Well, before we go into that, I hope you have time this evening so you can sit and read my ramblings in this final update, as we close TC. Here are some nuggets of what happened here (in case you blinked and missed it! .. ;) )
This has been:
Over 150,000 Resin Casts Elements
3.7 Tonnes of Resin
13 Miles of Bubble wrap
2 Nightmares about plastic ziplock bags!
£14,000 ($18.2k) in postage costs
0 Complaints from backers after receiving their scenery
72 hours each workingweek since funding
887 awesome, patient and supportive backers - thank you again to everyone for making this range possible :)
Twisting Catacombs General Release
Much anticipated by hundreds of folks who missed the Kickstarter and have since subscribed to the TC newsletter - The General Release is today on http://zealotminiatures.com/zealot-shop/ There will be new pieces coming over the next few weeks (it's great to be able to start sculpting again!) and if you would like any extras and, for everyone here, a free Clock miniature: Be sure to check it out on the store :)
If anyone would be so kind as share news of the store release on a forum, blog or similar project - you'll have my highest thanks one final time, and I'm sure other dungeon dwellers to whom TC is still unknown to, will also be most grateful :D
"Hold on, I just realised I'm missing my goodies!"
I have just checked and send the last reminders through PM message, or email, (or both!) to folks who we are missing pledge details or overpledges from. There is a small handful of you still remaining, so - Reply to me, darn it! ;)
I don't think it's fair to have a cut-off date for pledge managers (who does this? cmon!) so we will process anything as soon as we get your PMs or outstanding balance.
I'm sure, out of nearly 1000 backers, out the woodwork - there will be some unforeseen things for my attention :) But as per usual, with any questions - just message me and I will sort it for you :)
Post-KS Late Backers Shipping
A few people jumped onboard with a pledge via paypal after the main KS finished. These "Late Backers" have for the vast majority also shipped now, although there are some late pledges which are dispatching next week. If you are a late backer reading this, feel free to email me to confirm address etc and your minis are also incoming :D
Looking to the future. It is actually very refreshing to be able to look forwards once again, to new projects. Kickstarter is a strange experience where after the funding, every waking business moment is spent looking backwards at the past campaign. With all efforts devoted to keeping things moving along for the sake of the past KS, it is odd. A strange way to do business. But ultimately, it's good fun and i think we will do it again! ;)
"So now that TC is wrapping up - what's next?"
Ok i'll address this now :P We have lots of nice ideas and things in the early stages of development. For now, we will probably take a few months to recover with just the regular store releases and upgrade packs coming out. There will be expansions and improvements to the Dungeon Scenery range in the store - we want to build up the quality high elements so you always get the most detail and character from a Twisting Catacombs dungeon set!
We have a set of classic female adventures ready to release, who are heroic and also exciting, without being a pinup :P We were discussing this on Ye Olde Inn Heroquest forums - where many folk struggle to find good character models to play Heroquest with their daughters - so that's how these came about ;)
There is another Dungeon project planned, which will be really popular with those fiendishly evil GMs who we have in here (im looking at you Alistair!) More on that later. You will all be the first to know ;)
And i think tiles were mentioned once or twice ;) We have been granted design rights (watered down patent) for our planned tile system. However, Dungeon Tiles are a saturated market already (with some already amazing offerings from DF, MHW, HIRST etc) We dont want to repeat something or just copy other companies business models - where is the fun in that grey dull approach? So if we get into tiles, we want to take the same unique approach that we did with the Twisting Catacombs Scenery #firstdigitallydesigneddungeonscenery and produce something a bit different for the tiles as well ;)
If you want to keep up to date on Zealot happenings , you can join the legions of facebook followers here https://www.facebook.com/zealotminiatures/
or sometimes we even tweet something ;) @ZealotMiniature
I really hope that these models have helped inspire you to play more creative games and quests with your friends and families. If you have played a quest including a piece of scenery as an interactive element which added a narrative and added to your enjoyment and fun - then that is mission complete by my standards :) Thank you.
Farewell, until we meet again.
Thanks for the memories:
Paulo received a box 'from Zealot' containing 7KG of gemstones instead of dungeon scenery! Unfortunately for him, they were cheap geodes rather than rubies ;) Needless to say; the parcels had been mixed up but he got his awesome minis in the end and sent away the nasty worthless gems!
Joshua's unboxing video with his kids! If i ever acquire kids i will get them to open all my miniatures mail and hope for the same great enthusiasm :D Thanks for sharing Josh and i hope your quests with the little ones fare well.
The longest journeyed parcel is Peter from Australia, some errors with shipping meant his parcel travelled around the world a few times, before we go things sorted. Another apology to Peter! That box had more air miles than me! :P
Everyone who shared images of their painted scenery on the comments to keep the spirits up of the backers who were still waiting. You didn't have to, but so many kind backers did. Thanks for showing your pieces of miniature art i hope the pieces continue to inspire your paint jobs for years to come.
The 1001 suggestions made by backers. This project was really made by your suggestions - we took on dozens of backer suggested items and i was more than happy to stay awake to 3am during the KS funding, sculpting dwarven arches, iron maidens and spinning wheels for each of you who wanted them :P I hope Charles has spun a lot of gold thread on his spinning wheel by now!
Everyone who trusted us with their hard earned money, to create this miniature art. If I were to try to explain the Twisting Catacombs KS to my Gran - she wouldn't believe it. Nearly 1000 people, from all around the world, who were total strangers to me, pooled their money together, so we could create for them, the worlds first range of digitally designed 3D dungeon scenery. It's surreal. Even more-so considering we were a true small business, almost a start-up, at the time not a big already-trusted brand just using KS as a means to sell customers a product. Nope, this was a true Kickstarter and we all created something together, which otherwise - would not exist now.
For the last backers, dispatch is still moving along and we are shipping the final block IDs 700 - END!
Again, a huge thank you to you later backers with higher ID, who have been extremely patient and supportive waiting for their IDs to be reached and shipped. It has been quite a marathon, but from the feedback received, we have (literally) a 100% satisfaction from all backers who have received their minis :D So im pleased we can keep the quality and detail high.
With the last month of the year, we are aiming to get through as many of the remaining backers as we physically can while working over Christmas. Although it is likely some will slip into next year to fulfill the final pledges.
As something extra to go a little way to apologize for the wait, Im going to be looking at ways of offering all backers, especially folks who have waited on the later pledges, some free minis, discounts or extras on our next set of releases (I wonder what they could be ;) ) This will be on a sliding scale depending on when was your TC pledge dispatch date, once we work some details out :)
Which leads on to; what's next?
As TC is in the final phases of dispatch, we can at long-last look to the future and start initially planning some new releases and minis to get Zealot emerging back into the light of the miniatures world after a long dungeon hibernation ;)
The first thing, of many, which we will tackle are The Female Adventures in a Classic Style, who's master castings are gracing the images of this update :) Click here for painted versions by Skinner's Miniatures http://www.beastsofwar.com/zealot-miniatures/showing-of-fantasy-female-heroes/ Be sure to follow our newsletter for info on these :) and I will update here, with news on what freebies and extras TC backers can get with them upon release.
As always, good luck down there adventurer :) Eddie
Since last update, we have been implementing our revised tactics to get the remaining pledges shipped ASAP! All is going well (well, could always be faster i guess.. as 290 others would agree!) and we have been stockpiling castings as we focus on production ready to dispatch everyone in one go. :D
We have been getting some help from our buddies. The ex-Gamesworkshop Forgeworld factory team are helping with casts and moulds, and generally calling in favors to spread easier casts around a bit more than before.
I have been getting more hands-on in the workshop side! So if you are waiting for an email / message reply, apologies I am slow at responding at the moment, I will work a night and dig through these inboxes this weekend :)
Final Days; What's Happening?
A few people, who may have missed the last update, have been asking why the pace of dispatch has slowed this month, as per above, this is because we are temporarily diverting energies from packing, and instead focusing on manufacturing.
The plan we are following is:
Since there are 130 products, we have now just about produced the majority of pieces for the remainder of the backers (around 100 out of 130 products will be 100% finished in 10 days time)
The remaining 30 products which are small with small moulds- all of these we will be able to fit into the production run at once, so they can be continually produced, alongside us dispatching the remaining boxes :)
So in 12 days we are planning to start ultra-mega-dispatch :P And flood the remaining pledges out the door inside of a few weeks.
All that Remains?
I stuffed the camera into some of the boxes of casts! So I shall now flood you with image-spam of the masses of resin casts we are stockpiling :D 1,000 sq feet of workshop is at full capacity!
You get the idea ;) Thanks again for people's patience who are still waiting and for the kind words from people who have received their pledge
Twisting Catacombs continues to dispatch and folks eager for their overdue minis are still becoming transformed into happy backers. Backers who have recieved their pledges unanimously echo the sentiment that the quality and detail of the minis is excellent and feedback has been (literally!) entirely positive so far. We have around 40% of backers remaining who seem to have saint-like patience, since for 40% of backers, their minis are now 14 months overdue from what we had estimated at the end of the campaign! It's blindingly obvious the sole shortcoming is the slow dispatch speed. So it's time for a drastic shake up to get this sorted for those still waiting -
We are going all-in with production, investing in more help and hands to clear the remaining 40% as fast as possible and have everyone who is still waiting on minis, fulfilled around the end of August.
Further investment in production isnt what we had budgeted for, but I think at the end of the day, what is more important than balancing the books, is making sure backers have their stuff before this becomes one of "those" Kickstarters to the backers still waiting. 14 months overdue is too long (overdue in any sense in too long TBH) but i hope you will bear with us a few more weeks to give us the chance to add you to the ranks of happy backers and fill your dungeon with scenery ;)
This month a lot of energy is going into maxing out on moulds. A pretty insane amount of moulds need to be built up to produce the remaining scenery. (have called in favors from the ex-GW Forgeworld team to help with speeding this). Meanwhile, casting will be ongoing and pledges will continue to ship.
When the moulds are maxed out for everything, next month, there is going to be a frenzy of casting (again with extra help, more hands!) and packing so that in August we can have these flying out, the remaining ~300 pledges will be dispatched.
Right now we are just about to start backers 500-550. There are still 20 larger boxes already picked from the 400s waiting for an odd piece to complete them and be shipped, these will be leaving shortly.
A big thanks for everyone's support as we close in on finishing this campaign, especially to those who are sharing great images of their painted scenery - which always brings a smile to the team :D
Below the Bellows
Is a cavity. A few people have PMed that there was a chunk missing from the bellows, this was added after the feedback we received during the campaign. The cavity allows the forge leg to be placed into it so that the bellows can fit with the forge as part of a blacksmith's room scene.
Again, thanks to the remaining bakers for their patience! We look forward to having everyone fulfilled shortly so we can move to bringing you new creations :D