Monday, 30 March 2015

063. Kick Stater - Toughest Girls of the Galaxy (Mk1)...

It was July 2013.  The idea of having a newborn and the associated financial changes that brings to your life hadn't yet sunk in.  I was still in spend-land where disposable income was a thing, and new miniature releases were catching my eyes all over the place.

In waltzed a small time miniature company out of France which were about to hit the big time and ramp up its range in a big way care of the newish phenomenon (for me at least) - Kick Starter.  That company was Raging Heroes, and their range was the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy!
Beautiful resin girls (and a hippo and bulldog and zombie cat)
I was blown away.  The concept art was engaging, the 3D renders were fantastic, and the few (very few) test prints they were showing were simply stunning.  So, much less money conscious Muppet leapt straight in for a Lieutenant level pledge (and then some) which qualified him for a bunch of free minis, together with whatever he wanted to purchase with his pledged credit from the main line.  That ended up being a bunch of Jailbird and Kurganova heroines and Jailbirds troop boxes.  Being somewhat cheap, I opted for single wave shipping.  

Raging Heroes were estimating a shipping date of March 2014 at the latest, with some coming as early as September 2013.  That was mildly optimistic of them.

"
We prepared this Kick Starter project for an entire year, working with top artists and suppliers (and planning for every potential pitfall we could think of)

...

We made sure that our sculpting planning was realistic. This means that you'll be able to have access to a first wave of production as early as September. And we have set up and used for the past several months a sculpting work flow that allows us to create many miniatures quickly without compromising their quality. This means that 80% of the sculpting process will be done by the end of the Kick Starter.
"

Young, naive Muppet was sucked in.  Coll new minis for March.  You bet.

...

Sigh

...

As it is, I still haven't seen my main pledge minis and won't likely see them for an indeterminate time yet, though other people have received all or large portions of their orders dependent what they ordered and how much shipping they were prepared to pay, and Raging Heroes themselves have advised me 'soon', a much bandied about term in Kick Starter land.  

Over the course of near two years since funding, Raging Heroes have said something about re sculpting to get the mini's just so, and starting from scratch a number of times, even going right back to redrawing the concepts.  Double sigh.  Even typing that I am sighing.

In the interim, Raging Heroes went out to build goodwill in the community prior to launching their next TTG Kick Starter (launched last week - some equally gorgeous [and disturbing] looking concepts are on offer though I wont be going in for this one) and agreed to ship all backers who were eligible, the freebie component of their orders.

I got my little box of resin on Friday.  I had elected for their take on spin cast resin (Finecast anyone) rather than metals as the concept was novel and they were promising to match hand poured resin results.  Is it Finecast - NO.  Is it hand poured quality - Not quite.  Is it good - bloody hell yes!

The freebie package included mascots for each of the three army factions they released, the Jailbirds, the Kurganovas and the Iron Empire.
Charlie, mascot of the Kurganova Shock Troops
Jinx, mascot of the Iron Empire
Harry the Baby Hippo, mascot of the Jailbirds
The freebie box also contained a few heroines (HQ types) for each of the factions. 

These are the ones for the Jailbirds.  The Jailbirds, as the name suggests, are female prisoners who have escaped and are now waging an insurgency against the authorities.  I planned on running my figures as Escher Gangers in a Necromunda gang.  Not sure what I'll use them for now (maybe an all female Necromundan 8th Company to run alongside my Cadians).
Raven, the Chain Breaker
Butterfly Lulu (one of the stray kids that hang around the Jailbirds) - that's a butterfly on top of the rifle scope - the gun is non lethal - its actually a dart gun.  The Lulu set that could be purchased through the KS emphasised this point.
Lucky Lucy, artillery spotter (casually smoking a very tiny cigarette)
Ash, who was intended as a tank gunner upper half (like the copula figures on GW tanks) but who was made into a fully legged heroine
Then we have the Kurganova Shock Troops - a kind of Cadian-esque, Russian inspired primary faction.  The Kurganova Sisters (triplets - triplets Basil) were one of Raging Heroes existing line of sculpts.  This range expanded on that theme.
Svetlana, the Light of Freedom.
Jaheeda Kano, Armoured Division Officer - another one who was only meant to be a top half for inclusion in a vehicle cupola but who got the full treatment in the end.  Also the only mini not in the same scale as the other girls.  Shes out by a mm or so in all proportions, most noticeably in her head - very odd.
Natasha, Comms Operator
Nurse Karoline, Field Medic, flicking the air bubbles out of her tiny syringe
A rear shot showing her tiny, sculpted finger poised to flick the syringe - there is a tiny hole between her thumb and - extremely fine detail capture
Then there is the Iron Empire.  An alternate force to the Kurganovas, who are German/Prussian inspired crossed with Egyptian themes, and from the limited background the company has put out, suggested to be necromantic/psychic to some degree - theirs zombies and mummies in their range.
Nertha, the Faceless Mother - a very cool mini, one of the only ones I like in their range
Kristina Karlstein, Armoured Division Officer.  The Iron Empires tank driver that got the full leg treatment.
W101, Cyberzombie bodyguard
The quality of the minis all round is outstanding.  The bare resin doesn't photograph the best, but hopefully you get a sense of the mini and the level of detail they've captured in their spin cast resin.  The minis are of an Infinity style scale and detail level.  There are tiny boot straps and buckles, clothing seams and stitches, ammunition belts etc galore.  It is definitely not a GW 'heroic' scale style.  I am very scared of what to do when it comes to painting them as there are loads of tiny details on all of them.

Lucky Lucy, Ash and Jaheeda are all a bit samey in looks, with Jaheeda standing out due to her odd out of scale size (noticeable in that group shot - shes the larger looking one on the far right of the photo).

They were all a bit of a pain to put together, with tiny little bits on some of them, and mould gates in the oddest spot, but I imagine that's the cost of spin casting them to a high enough quality level that you don't get lots of bubbles/voids where resin cant flow too.  The resin itself is on the brittle side of FW resin - but nothing like the gunk GW put out under its Finecast banner. 
W101 on the sprue
Svetlana on the sprue
I've only popped them onto the standard slotta bases for now while I ponder what sort of basing I want them on.  I also have to go back in and tidy off a few mould lines I noticed in the pictures, as well as fill in a few tiny gaps on some of the joins with GS.

Overall, if the rest of the minis eventually turn up and are of the same quality, I will be a very happy Muppet.  As I say, not sure what to actually use them for now, but at least I will have something new to build and to distract me from painting more Orks, without the need to spend any money seeing I paid for these near 2 years ago.

For those that stuck through the wall of text, Huzzah for you! HUZZAH!

Cheers all,

Muppet

16 comments:

  1. Huzzah to me ;)

    I have ogled these minis for quite a while now, as they look bloody fantastic. The Iron kingdoms I really liked. The new kickstarter stuff looks great but I dont think I will be investing either (first child on the way soon). It does kinda suck that it has taken so long to get your stuff to you. Puts a bit of a damper on the whole thing

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    1. Congrats on the baby news mate - parenthood is a whole different experience!

      Yeah, the delay is a bummer, but what I have received so far I have been very happy with so there is a slight silver lining.

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  2. They look great, but that's a terrible wait to get your minis.

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    1. Seems about par the course for those miniature Kick Starters that do well in excess of their original (some might say fake) funding targets

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  3. Feel your pain on the long wait for KS minis, my Relic Knights pledge took about the same time to arrive, though was far from the quality you preview here. So bad, that I've found it hard to be at all excited for the game and have since stuck them all in a box for.... another time, or something.

    I almost bought into this KS. I have been a fan of their "not-Commissars" for a while and was super excited when they previewed a whole faction of them. But I took the high road and saved my $$$ for real life needs. Heh.

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    1. Yeah, my Sedition Wars stuff was my first Kick Starter and the quality of that was a real let down compared to what I had come to expect from something with the McVey name attached, though his recent stuff on KS seems to have improved in quality as PVC mini technology has advanced - still not my cup of tea though.

      In hindsight I shouldn't have gone in on this KS for as much moolah as I did.

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    2. Yeesh... Sedition Wars, yeah - that was my first KS also. What a let down. Not really sure why I haven't sold my copy yet. Terrible terrible quality.

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    3. I've tried offloading my SW a few times now but no takers. The fact you can get it for $25 from some discount retailers kills the secondary market.

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  4. Wow, it is a shame you still don't have most of your models. I backed the Kickstarter way back then too, but for only like $50 or so. Not having pictures of the actual models during the campaign left me a little wary. I got all my models a month or so ago (so it still took me a long long time to get the few models I wanted).

    The models are certainly well done and are filled with lots of neat little details. I however was not super impressed with the casts of the models I received (I should really contact Raging heroes about them...). Lots of mine have pretty significant moldlines that will not be easy to fix. Additionally (and more upsetting), many of the models have large air bubbles or even regions that never got enough resin to fill the molds. Some of the miscasts are bad enough that I seriously doubt I will ever do anything with the models. I really wish they would have just made most of their models in metal. The few metal characters I got from the Kickstarter were all beautifully cast with next to no miscasts.

    Hopefully when you get the rest of your models they are all cast well.

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    1. That's a real shame about the state of your minis. Reading on Dakka and other forums, it seems very few people have had bad luck with the stuff so far, and those that did have been able to get replacements from Raging Heroes fairly easily once they have contacted them.

      I know how exacting you are with your prep, so having really bad sculpts would be a nightmare.

      I went all in for resin over metal, and so far haven't been disappointed in that choice, but will need to keep my fingers crossed now for the rest of my stuff to turn up in as good a shape as this lot did.

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  5. Lovely models - I was sorely tempted but after hearing the issues I'm somewhat relieved I missed out. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of 'em as they arrive though!

    KS is a bit of a crap shoot. Heck I'm still waiting on some stuff from backing OGRE back in 2012. :P

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    1. You're not wrong on the KS roulette - it seems for every positive story, there are two or three more mediocre ones (normally on shipping delays rather than quality), as well as the odd horror story.

      Since this one I have steered clear of KS in general, though I have been tempted more than once. I think I prefer to wait for retail release now for minis and see the finished product as it were rather than rely on good faith and blind hope to see a product develop out of a KS - which is a shame as traditionally the format was intended as a means to assist startups and the like to access seed funding - it now seems like its a business model for more than one company (ie Mantic, CMoN, Mierce etc).

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  6. "I was still in spend-land where disposable income was a thing"

    Ha!

    Ha-ha!

    ...Still, these sculpts are just beautiful!

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    1. Can't fathom how you lot with more than one little grommet get on with things. Its hard enough with one.

      Cheers for stopping by Drax.

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  7. Oh. I missed this one. I might repost on Devos IV. Our experiences are the same.

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