My name is Pascal, I am new to figurementors.com and this is my first article here. What better way to ease my path in this adventure than doing a write up on the new models that I have just received: the models from Raging Heroes’ second kickstarter: Light and Darkness.
This is the first review on a kickstarter project AS A KICKSTARTER – i.e. I won’t only look at the end product, but will also take a good hard look at the whole of the project, from start to finish…or in this case: semi-finish, as you’ll read later on.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
As a France-based Indie-miniature-company, Raging Heroes started to do a couple of female models, intended as alternative characters for your average Fantasy and Sci-Fi wargame. It was soon apparent that the models were a big hit. The looks were refreshingly new, dynamic, comic-esque, sexy designs, and a large demand made the company take a leap.
The first kickstarter Raging Heroes hosted was a huge success on it’s own merit. The models were crisp, highly detailed and their best selling feature: all female (ok, there is one single male model!). There seemed a big need for female models in the current Warhammer 40K setting, and Raging Heroes was intent on filling that niche. I was already very excited back then, but saw no inspiration to do more than a single model (Yvanka Kurganova).
LIGHT AND DARKNESS
This time however the themes were Light (Nuns, Sisters, very devout ladies), and Darkness (with on the one hand ‘Dark Elves’, and a more perverse version of those called ‘Lust Elves’). Both themes come in a fantasy as well as a Sci-Fi version.
The models have again been designed so that you COULD use them easily as alternate models in your Games Workshop games, using them as Empire, Sisters of Sigmar or Dark Elves armies (Fantasy), or as Adepta Sororitas (although with options for Terminator-like nuns…!) or Dark Eldar (either as Dark or as Lust versions).
There are even designs for larger models like Penitent Engines, War Altars and the like. YET…the designs are awesome enough to be able to use in a wide range of games, or even as display models and dioramas.
BEING KEPT IN THE LOOP
You know when you enter these kickstarter projects, and then you hear close to nothing from the companies, and it got you all riled up wondering if you will ever see your goodies? Well, not so with Raging Heroes. One thing these Frenchies got right is the at
titude to be perfectly transparent. As soon as there was any development, they sent out a newsletter. And developments were many and often.
They shared news and LOADS of pictures of artwork, initial 3D designs, prints from the 3D workshop and finally the first castings. Most refreshing for me was the fact that they also kept you updated on any management like issues. How and why they chose to add new sculptors, or even got rid of some, the decisions (both practical and aesthetic) for changes in designs, or even why the pledge manager took forever to work properly.
The most heart breaking moment was when terrorists attacked the centre of Paris (Nov. 2015), and the Raging Heroes guys took their moment to express their feelings and devastation because of this. It was completely not related to the kickstarter, yet it showed that they there are ordinary people behind these projects, and it made me relate.
Now there’s the thing: because I get to feel for the guys, because they made me understand their troubles in production, because I lived their processes, that is why I let them get away with…well, actually a lot! The kickstarter was funded almost a year and a half ago, yet promising delivery by March this year. Of course there is always a bit of delay, but the delays kept on coming, mainly getting stuck with the pledge manager and issues revolving around postage costs.
What other company would you let your product come in almost 4 months late? And in truth: I only got part of my order shipped, because not all models are produced yet; another shipment will happen when all is done. That might still take a couple of extra months.
Am I vexed by this? No, not in the least, because Raging Heroes has been so clear in their communication that there are no big ugly surprises (only happy ones!). As such, a job well done.
THEN THERE WAS THE PLEDGE MANAGER…
It seems necessary to mention a small bit about the Pledge Manager. Yes, it took some time to perfect the ‘online shop for backers’, but this was mainly due to issues with shipping. What Raging Heroes intended to do proved not possible, so they had to resort to workaround ways to achieve something as simple as adding shipping costs.
However, although it seemed as a big hassle, they have been thorough and transparent in explaining how to approach the Pledge Manager, making sure there were no mistakes made.
But people are people, and mistakes were still made. It speaks in Raging Heroes’ favour to note that they did not make a big issue of other peoples mistakes and misunderstandings, and just said: we will take care of it! And they did, making sure everyone got what they were entitled to, in the way they wanted it. A very professional customer care if I ever saw one!
“All good and well, but what is the actual product like?” I hear you ask. For starters, packaging was done quite well, practical even. This shipment of 20 odd models was packed neatly in two hard carton boxes. Each (resin) model was packed separately in lock-tight bags, and excess room was filled up with bubblewrap. All of it was sent in a big plastic envelope.
No worries there actually, as I knew the resin itself would be very sturdy as well (or so I was told!).
Next to the models were some goodies and pamphlets, one of which I value greatly. It is one that gives you tips on working with resin. Now, most of us know that you need to wash resin first with luke-warm water and soap and such, so no news there. However, in an earlier reviews I read that people were having trouble with their paints sticking, as it seemed as if the resin still seeped release agents. This pamphlet however gives good advice:
“Letting the miniatures air out out of their bags for 5-7 days will help any release agent that might have penetrated the cast to evaporate.[…]”
I find this of great value, although it does mean that either you have to do some good planning ahead, or you have to find a good way to store all of those mini’s out of their bags without the individual parts getting mixed up. There is probably a very easy solution for that: I have not yet given it much thought though.
One of the first things that is immediately noticeable when taking a good look at the models is the great amount of ‘flash’. And I mean really great amounts of it. However, it is so very thin, that a quick brush with your fingers removes most of it. It is cleaned very, very easily. Because I always expect some cleaning up, this is not a huge problem to me.
Looking further, the models are amazing. The detail is crisp and fine, even in the smallest bits everything is very recognisable. It dawns to me that the scale of it is somewhat like that of Malifaux models, and that may very well be due to the anatomically correctness of each model.
There are hardly any mold-lines present, and those that are, are very minute. The separate pieces fit nice, leaving little to no gaps. There are several very tiny, fragile looking parts to each model, yet, as was advertised, the resin is sturdy enough for it not to break at the slightest touch. More so, it seems to give way just a little when pressure is put on. This is one of the best resins I have seen so far! A lot of the models are walking around on high heels – sexy though it is, it does make you wonder if such a small surface will be sturdy enough for fitting on a base. Yet, feeling the sturdiness of this resin, I have no doubts.
As I spoke about the release agents still being present, the resin does indeed feel very oily. Of course, it should be washed but even so, it does feel more oily than usual. With the great guidelines presented, I think this also will not prove to be problematic, just time intensive.
If you wanna have a look at the product, there are already some good unboxing video’s on Youtube, like this one from Aella13, displaying each freebie in detail.
WAS IT WORTH IT?
I invested a large sum of money, but was it worth it? If you’d look at pure cost vs. product, then very much so. First it is useful to know that when you participated in this KickStarter project, your investment was worth more in retail value (or so they claim). For instance, I pledged $255 USD, I got to spend $264 USD, and on top of that it is said to be worth $398 USD retail value.
When ordering, a single charater is rated at about $10 to $20 USD, and units of 5 regular sized models are rated at $22-$40 USD. These are prices that are comparable to other products. However, when these models are available for the public, estimated retail values could increase by 30-45%, which makes some choices pretty steep. We’ll just have to wait I guess
If you’d think that this was not enough product for your money, every backer above $160 USD would receive a set of 15 freebies, model characters fitting into the full range, with a said value of $250 USD. That would make my $265 USD investment worth a retail value total of nearly $650 USD – or so it is estimated.
However true or not, it still is a great deal.
The other nice “goody” earned is a digital art-book that is still to be received (and had no word about in a while). So, it is worth the money. Was is worth the wait? Well, that is a tricky one. As I explained earlier, I could not be displeased with Raging Heroes for delays and production problems.
However, when I started my investment, one of my motivations was to start a Warhammer 40K Adeptus Sororitas army. Maybe. However, during the past year I started to back away from the game of Warhammer 40K, losing interest in playing altogether. So there was no need for an army anymore.
If I was a huge, fervent gamer, that would have really put me off, wondering what to do with the wasted investment. Luckily for me though, I am more a painter than a gamer, so I saw ample opportunities for great diorama’s, display models, and all round awesome looking models that I just needed to paint.
The downside though is this: it is not done yet! As said earlier, this is just a first shipment. A shipment of the freebies, plus all that has been produced at this moment. Looking at my order, I am still awaiting a whole load of models still, and there is no indication to how long that will take.
There is good news and bad news about that: the good news being that shipping costs for that shipment are free. The bad news is that it will only ship when it has all been produced and in stock. And delivered in order of backing. I am number 1248. Out of 3000+ backers. So it may take a while…
It may have taken a while, but the product is finally being released. Raging Heroes has set up an incredible project, surpassing their first project in both financing as well as in quality. Their transparent communication has left backers without nasty surprises, churning out regular updates on progress. Backers are awarded with a hefty ‘discount’ compared to (estimated) retail value, and on top of that a huge load of free figures, increasing the return big time!.
Customer care was top notch. Every issue or question was taken care of, making sure EVERYONE was happy and satisfied. It hurts me to think of the time and effort and side tracking it must have taken them to make it so!
The models themselves are excellent. The details are perfect and apparent, crisp to the finest parts. The parts fit well and there is hardly any warping to the parts. The resin is sturdy to even the finest details. However, there is a lot of flash to clean off, but as there are hardly any mold-lines, this is the most trouble you’ll have with cleaning. Still present release agent may however be somewhat of an annoyance, since it takes time to work this out before able to work with it.
I may be somewhat prejudiced, but I am absolutely in love with these models. The thematic is done perfectly, both Light and Darkness. Even the Lust Elves, of which I may not be a big fan of, are sculpted grotesque, shocking and perverted as I would expect them, really no bars hold.
The Sisters have this amazing regality, holiness about them, yet teasing you with the sexiness that is Raging Heroes. Each model has been sculpted (and often resculpted) to perfectly represent what RH wanted to achieve, and it makes for energetic, sexy, and deadly females that have been missing from my cabinet all these years!