It's a small update this time, no groundbreaking announcements are left im afraid ;) and that's because we are at that point now where we have just three things to do to complete this Kickstarter:
Remoulding Dead Moulds Casting Resin Scenery (x50,000!) Putting Scenery into a Big Box and sending to you!
Dispatch is ongoing in roughly backer order and everyone can expect to receive their pledge as we plod along with dispatching. Which, now we have been producing with all the casting stations, estimate it is likely take around 5-6 months to make everyone happy gamers and collectors :)
Thanks for everyone's patience, now more than ever, since we know it gets more difficult to wait as more people are posting very kind, positive reviews and comments of their scenery in the comments and other places :D
In our usual fashion, we want to keep everyone updated and involved, so we have a page on the Zealot Miniatures website where all the materials on the KS, along with assembly and painting guides (coming soon!) will be compiled. You can check it out here:
You can also see a progress counter which is a good rule of thumb as to how we are doing. I get around to updating it every week :)
Tracking Dispatched Orders
Every order has a tracking number, so we can locate shipments wherever they are being sent. But, it seems that while 100% of UK customers get emailed a tracking number automatically (to your KS email address), international customers vary a lot - depending on which mail service UKMail hand the parcel over to. A lot are not getting their numbers emailed.
So this means that international backers, you may not get any warning before your pledge arrives on your doorstep! Surprise! ;) But if later you are wanting to locate your pledge for one reason or another you can message me and ill let you know your tracking info :)
Paintjobs - Send 'em in!
Once you get your pledge, it would be great to see your creations using your new scenery! If you would like to share something you are particularly proud of; do mail them to email@example.com - i hope we can compile a backer's gallery to share ideas and inspire others.
Alternatively we find a friendly dungeon themed forum is Ye Olde Inn http://forum.yeoldeinn.com/index.php
And if you needed any more ideas for painting, here are some more masterworks from Adam Skinner :D
Thanks again to everyone for the support and the comments as always :)
What's been happening at Zealot HQ in the last two weeks? It must be time for an update to keep everyone informed :D Please do at least skim the FAQ's in this update
Boxes and Plastic Ziplock Bags Everywhere!
In the last update, news was that we were just about to start to ship out some TC boxes full of dungeon-scenery-goodness. Today, the main news is that dispatch is underway and all the Early Backers have shipped. Most should have their scenery in their hands already or at latest this week!
You may have seen some excited folk and painted pictures in Adam's Project Log- I mean- the KS comments section ;) (thanks for sharing the painting so far Adam, it's really great to see people's creations in the dungeon after being around just grey resin pieces for 6 months :D i hope more of us will post pics soon)
Next, since we want to get you your scenery faster, we have invested in a bigger, meaner ... noisier... casting setup to run alongside the current equipment. A lot of time last week was spent setting this up and making sure everything is going to work OK, and it's looking promising. Now we can dive back into dispatching at a faster rate with regular backers beginning tomorrow :D
More about dispatch plans in the FAQs below :)
Bronzed Items Woes
So far in this KS, every item has been true to the 3D render that we have shown and every piece crafted is being dispatched just as we have promised or even better, with bonus extras :D
Although that record will have to end here; since we are unfortunately having problems with delivering on "Bronzed items" that some backers have selected as an add-on.
Faux Bronze is a very time consuming casting process which is slowing down dispatch of all orders a lot. With the bronze process, we need to halt regular production and mix up a special blend of metal/resin and then pick and pour specific moulds, each backer having chosen a different item from the 136 scenery pieces, to be bronzed for their order.
It then dirties the moulds with bronze (so other casts are contaminated with metal bits unless we spend time to clean each mould out after each bronze cast).
And due to the surge in backer numbers the final amount of bronze pieces is hugely daunting for such a labor intensive process, along-side the mountain of regular casts to get done.
Unfortunately, we have had to pull the Bronze effect add-on from this KS to help improve dispatch times. As a compensation, all backers (not just the ones with bronze items) will get a shipping discount for the scenery in the webstore, which we will arrange once the KS is over. And since we will be releasing lots of upgrades and extra pieces in-store after fulfillment, it is certain to come in useful and be more valuable if you want to upgrade your scenery in the future :)
(There are literally 2 remaining "Bronze Dungeon Keeper" Pledges which we will still attempt to continue with.)
Painting Service Sorted, Hot Drop
With pre-painted pledges, in case you missed the news in the comments and previous update: Golem Painting Studios have had to pull out from painting the scenery due to some staffing problems which left us in the lurch, after having arranged a special price on TC scenery for you.
But Good News is; we have managed to hunt out and line you up with the fantastic Hot Drop Studios https://www.facebook.com/Hotdropstudios Featuring some very talented brushsmiths who have now shown off the painting levels they are offering you and the costs involved. They are offering the same great value as before, starting at £1 per GOLD value of your pledge.
An important summary of Painting, we have just lined up this service for backers. We are not taking an active role in the painting of figures or can we accept responsibility for anything painting related. We will dispatch your pledge directly to HotDrop to save you shipping. That is the end of our involvement in the process. Please do not try to pay us for painting, this is handled separately with HotDrop like how they deal with any of their other clients, we have simply lined you up a special rate with them. If you have marked on your pledge manager for a painting service, your pledge will be sent directly to HotDrop and you will be contacted by them to discuss painting requirements (if you have not already contacted them to discuss it first). If you have previously chosen the painting service but want to change this so that your pledge is shipped straight to you instead, please message us before your pledge dispatches. For any painting talk please contact HotDrop directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh ye of many questions, looketh upon this scroll of knowledge for answers to sate thou's inquisitive mind before thou message Eddie and drown him in E-Mailings ;)
Can I add to my pledge again now?
We can't add more scenery to pledges now, the admin and processing of pledges is all done if you have filled out your pledge manager. Now it's a casting frenzy where im afraid we cant keep going back to change and add to pledges.
Can i add a few bits from your store to save on shipping?
If you want to, you can order something just before we dispatch your pledge, and we can add it to your box to save a bit on shipping. When you get an email message that your pledge is ready to go out, reply that you want to make an order to add in.
How are you dispatching?
We are dispatching roughly in backer order. We will be taking chunks of 150 backers as a "stage". These 150 backer stages may go out in any order due to the demand of some items over others, but we will try to keep roughly chronological :) We have finished early backers and expanded production, so now we start on regular dispatch tomorrow. There will be a nice progress bar on the website soon :)
Im backer number 999, I haven't got my pledge yet. What's wrong, Eddie?
Please read above and don't encourage my impending nervous breakdown! :P
That's a pain, I backed late, I will have to wait another 3 months for my scenery :(
This manual labor-intensive nature of production is what's involved to produce high detail resin products like these. We are going as fast as possible but we dont want to compromise on things. With your insanely-great-value-KS-only prices on your scenery, you will still get the pieces faster than anyone else in the world. Thanks for having nerves of steel and uber-patience while some of the earlier backers start showing off their minis :)
I have my scenery, it's awesome but I could use some assembly guides for some pieces.
No problem, we will have these uploaded onto the website shortly to help with a few of the more tricky pieces.
I only received one bed, rather than two. Where will my goblin sleep now?!
It's going to happen with so many unique orders and products. Just drop us a message on here and we will sort it out with you.
Need some Basing Details?
Rocky dungeon floors for your adventurers? Rubble or mud? All minis need bases, and our buddies at WargamesBakery are running another basius KS. You can pick up a pad and give them some support so they can keep making these things. Especially since there are rumors of a TC base pad being produced in the future ;)
- If you get your scenery, be sure to post some pictures in the comments section or on Ye Olde Inn ( http://forum.yeoldeinn.com/index.php ) . And maybe some inspirational words for Bill and Andy during this frantic time- master casting artisans! :P
Wow what a week! It seem like no matter how much preparation is done, the lead up to a milestone deadline is always a mad frantic rush.
The news that everyone wants to hear is; Yes, we made it! It's time to start shipping these pledges! :D
Tomorrow all the early backers will get an email about their pledge, to confirm details and release it for dispatch :D
Regular backers are going to follow on next week after we take stock of how everything is working. As mentioned before, we are tackling this in roughly backer order, but there may be a bit of variation in dispatch order.
Judging from packaging things this week, we need a bit more organisation to get things moving a bit smoother, :P So we will be plodding along slowly dispatching at first until we get into a better rhythm. It's a interesting exercise in logistics with 136 products and everyone's order being unique! xD
Mmm pickbins for picking orders ... logistics... dont we love it?
Receiving your Scenery
What should I expect?Scenery from any dungeon forger's wildest dreams :D A neat white box crammed with models and bubblewrap, we haven't splurged on fancy graphics and blisters, in order to keep your postage and packing costs as low as possible. The scenery is stunning enough on its own ;)
Resin eh? So what's all that about? We think that good quality resin is the best material for miniatures. Its light (most boxes are under 2kgs) quite strong and it's easy to work with. The pieces are cast in a premium resin which is durable and takes paint well. Some of the bulky large pieces are in a second type of resin which is harder. No mould release has been used (it's not needed if you have the right materials ;) ) so you dont need to scrub the models! Some of the normal cleanup for miniatures can be done, like removing any gates flashing or mould lines.
A full guide on working with resin scenery will be available on our website soon for everyone :) I hope this will prove useful as we are aware some backers are coming from a boardgames background rather than a miniatures and models background. We will also have an assembly guide for some of the more fiddly pieces! And there are a few bits which will challenge most modellers ;) (im looking at you alchemists bench!) With great detail, comes great fiddle-factor!
I have a problem :( im missing my boulder / My giant rat has snapped.If you have any problems with your scenery (which with 1000 backers all with different pledges of hundreds of pieces, its going to happen a few times! :P) , send over a message or email to email@example.com and we will sort it for you :)
Some of the early backers ready (almost) to go out. Why are some not sealed? Because we had a panic here when we realized we dont have the mould for the second brazier style yet!!! :P We have been rushing through moulds and casts for that now. Also Weapons Racks, we decided to give you 2x the amount of weapons on a rack for free :D but we hadn't increased moulds, doh! Amazing how two products can hold up 80% of boxes being marked as complete! It's been an interesting three days!
External Pledge Painting Service News
And the last bit of good news is about lining backers up a painting service. Previously we had an agreement for Golem Painting to provide backers a painting service. But the bottom line is they have had a lot of staff leave to work elsewhere in pastures new, so Golem are unable to meet this commitment any more.
Some of their staff are now working with HotDrop Studios, a great UK studio with some serious brush talent, and this is where we have picked up on the same terms, to get you a painting service if you wish it :)
It is time to unleash the picture spam! ;) Over the last couple of days i have been collecting together images of everything in the KS, all the casts, of every piece, exactly what you will be receiving in your pledge. :D
These are casts which i have pulled out from the pick bins (or out from under Bill's nose as he demoulds! :P) They are not masters or anything special, but a true representation of what the pieces in your pledge will be like. I spent under 60 seconds on each piece, cleaning the gate or de-flashing where needed.
Taken at all times of the day, with all sorts of lighting!
Ok so not quiiite 100%, as there are 2 pieces which are being moulded up and we will have casts of tomorrow.
Plus 3 revisions of parts, the gargoyles wing membranes came out very paper thin. So we want to improve the reliability of that mould and thicken them up a bit, the round table needs a remould as the base was causing issues with casting and the snakes for the sacrificial chamber are proving tricky, so need a remould too. Then that's it! Finito! Done :D
Lets have some better pics of the dragon ;)
He is around 12 inches in wingspan :D nasty brute!
Also, Russ, the chap who has been kind enough to help with sorting some electrical problems in the workshop, has also been wiring up the fire with LEDs. :D
Pretty cool! :D All the clear pieces will look great modded with LEDs, although the designs may need some small modifications to mount them by drilling holes. :)
Tomorrow we start packing up orders for dispatching :D
Pledges are being sent in order of backer ID, starting with early backers. Once we get into the rhythm of cast and dispatch, in a couple of weeks time, we aim to estimate a release schedule.
So what can you expect to happen now?
Well, you will get an email confirming your address and selections before your pledge is dispatched. This will be sent to your email registered on KS. You must reply to this, confirming everything is OK to release your pledge. This is so we can catch any errors with addresses or pledges before sending ;)
You should get a tracking number automatically emailed to you once your pledge is dispatched (we will see how well this auto-email process works heh!)
In your box, there will be nice resin minis! We will sort blister packs out for store and stockist sales later on, but for pledges we are going light on packaging, so lots of ziplock bags and a few boxes and bubblewrap.
We will have some assembly instructions for a few of the more complex bits, along with some painting guides uploaded on the website soon (once things are a little calmer here! ;) )
Bottom line, it's safe to say we are just about to enter a whole new (and final) stage for this kickstarter. Thanks again for everyone's support and patience :D
Time for another update to keep you all in the loop! :D
I'll start by saying that it is going to be an intense 10 days. Since within 10 days we aim to be shipping the first pledges out! Thanks for everyone's support and patience through what has been a hurdle getting everything 100% ready for full scale production. We are indeed pushing the upper boundaries, reaching better quality than ever before with this new dungeon terrain (just check out the new Forgotten Fountain miniature further down, if you need proof of that ;) ), and it's been an interesting ride to get everything translated from digital to physical!
So, how can we say a further thank you for everyone's patience? A free Plain Grandfather Clock of course! Very symbolic ;)
It's a WIP sculpt still which will be finished when there is more time! (the irony!)
I think i managed to hold back some castings from the last update, so now i have something to spice this update with also ;)
Here are some more pieces fresh from production.
Dont make bunny angry! You wont like him when he is angry! Great detail on a veeeery small miniature here :D
A forge scene, still missing the roof of the forge and the bellows (that's two of the outstanding moulds)
Elkor screwed his eyes closed as he flicked a gold coin into the Forgotten Fountain. He really needed a Wish from the fountain, now his supplies were running low. "Please land heads! Please land heads! Please land heads" he muttered as the coin span through the air. Plop, it hit the water and Elkor opened his eyes. The coin shimmered as it sank and landed at the bottom .... Tails! "Ahh cra-" Loudly the fountain erupted into the form of a mean looking Fountain Demon, hovering inches from Elkor's face!
Casting. Lots and lots of casting. This is going to start full time after next week. Here's some of the minis organized into boxes ready to be packed into orders.
And a pile of casts waiting to be sorted out. More news next week!