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Overread

Warcradle - Limited Print/manufacture runs?

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Sparked by the Ice Maiden being put on pre-order sale I wonder if Warcradle has any plans of doing further such early runs of models from the former spartan games. Whilst I respect that many might want reworking to fit with new designs/themes/approaches that Warcradle is performing it would be a great way to keep existing fans ticking over with interest until there's a major release. 

I'm thinking especially of Firestorm since its probably got the strongest market, after Dystopian, and yet is still a long way off. A few new ships every few months - even if sold in boring packaging and not standard production packaging, would be enough to keep places like the forums ticking over; keen existing fans interested and hooked and get some money coming into Warcradle instead of fans having to hunt down old stock (and also buying models that might be replaced/revamped when the new game comes out). 

 

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And yet at the same time I think there's also a desire to move forward. Whilst I'm sure Warcradle has the old moulds, I would wager it would be best for all if they were to release new sculpts where they plan to release them. Considering the work ads we've seen by them I would wager they are still getting up to steam in terms of design and production - so it could well  be a few months before we get any new model sculpts in a fully ready state for any kind of release ( and the last thing we want is for them to take short  cuts to get stuff out early at a potential cost to quality). 

 

Ice Maiden I suspect hasn't changed much from its original design, so it was likely more a case of just spinning up the casting machines rather than a redesign from the 3D rendering. 

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Tbqh, yes, as they'd have to set up a production and logistics line for this.  so the Overhead to please very small amount of people via releasing miniatures for a game system that they're gonna change and update soon, will at best not be red numbers to them. On top of that it would eat into their potential customer base for the revised edition and updated models. 

Sooner or later that same player base than will want the shiny new updates in their scale as well...

 

I'd love them to keep the same scale for air and sea units in DW ( i have a vast collection there, and I'd like to have my Prussians for DL compatible, but I'd rather see them succeed with the IP and continue these games and keep all their employees employed. 

 

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I don't know about everyone else but outside of the Firestorm Armada Shipyard group, its become pretty tough putting some fleets together these days. I don't know if we necessarily need blisters, but in 2018 we're definitely going to want even cobbled-together Patrol Fleet boxes for major factions. Its going to be a looooooong wait until 2019 anyway, and I guarantee people will pick them up. I've got several fleets I'd like to be painting right now. 

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I'd not expect full patrol fleets - it would be something like a single ship or three or something like that. They could do two alliance/mercenary ships (since in the old FA at least there were two rough blocks of armies with their own mercenary alliance for each). 

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Not grim, just practical and not being greedy ;)

Like I said in the opening post I doubt this would work unless they are new-sculpts or sculpts that Warcradle isn't going to update - ergo so that its all going to be current when they relaunch. And even then it would take time to achieve 

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That's fair, there's just this defeatist attitude permeating the Firestorm forums and its bugging me. You're right, it would take time and effort to get a production line rolling on spartan moulds, but this is something that should be pushed for so lets see if Warcradle would consider it. Anything to get FSA models readily available again is a high high priority for this game

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One would hope that using the existing moulds and pumping out models from them would be cheaper than say redesigning the Icemaiden and creating a new mould for it, and there is a demand for the pieces to complete collections.  Worst comes to worst could have a pre-order ticker than requires x orders before production starts to make it economical.  

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Thing is that not everything in Firestorm was the same age; Warcradle also might want to put their own twist and stamp on things as well. They might also be adjusting the fleet structures; swapping ships out or suchlike. As the game is on hold it makes sense that they can use this as a pause to set things up how they want. 

Still really Warcradle have all the balls in their court at present ^

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More than anything, until ships start getting cast this game isn't making them any money. There's absolutely a market for new models, there's no reason not to use Spartan's moulds and get this game moving forwards. WC has stated that they're not changing the model scale at all

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25 minutes ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

There's absolutely a market for new models,

Speaking for myself I would love for Warcradle to release models, Before 2019. I several ships on my list not just  for my  Terrans, but ships for Dinrdenzi, and Sorylians fleets. 

Of course a lot goes into mass producing models, and with the focus being on Dystopian, I can understand a bit of a delay in getting models out for firestorm at the moment. Besides we are still in January, the years just getting started!

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1 hour ago, Wolfgang Jannesen said:

More than anything, until ships start getting cast this game isn't making them any money. There's absolutely a market for new models, there's no reason not to use Spartan's moulds and get this game moving forwards. WC has stated that they're not changing the model scale at all

Loads of reasons :)

 

Look we understand it is easy to post a remark to say these should all be in production right away.  But there are lots of reasons for not just pouring resin into some of the molds and selling it. 

 

Amongst others:

We want products we sell to be of a high quality.

Some of the molds and masters are simply not present.  

There is a significant outlay involved in remastering and remolding items, and that doesn't include packaging.  If an item is only going to sell a handful it isn't worth the time and effort.

We have a significant amount of construction taking place between March and April which will quadruple the size of our manufacturing facility.  While it is going on it will have an impact

We do not want to follow a direct only model. It alienates retailers and partners.

 

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5 minutes ago, Warcradle Richard said:

We want products we sell to be of a high quality.

Which I greatly appreciate.

6 minutes ago, Warcradle Richard said:

We have a significant amount of construction taking place between March and April which will quadruple the size of our manufacturing facility.  While it is going on it will have an impact

I will be patiently waiting. :D

7 minutes ago, Warcradle Richard said:

We do not want to follow a direct only model. It alienates retailers and partners.

I appreciate that. I prefer going through local stores when possible.

Also thank you very much for giving us a bit of info.

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59 minutes ago, Warcradle Richard said:

 

Amongst others:

We want products we sell to be of a high quality.

Some of the molds and masters are simply not present.  

 

Are you suggesting that the existing Spartan models are too low quality?  What about releasing things from the moulds you have?

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Richard - many thanks for the reply - sounds like a lot is happening indeed at the Warcradle end of things. :)

Out of interest any chance of a once a month or bi-monthly "behind the scenes update" on the forums side of things (and other avenues as suitable via social media) update on the behind the scenes side of things? Not model sculpts but how things are gearing up and what's happening and how plans are going. 

A little behind the scenes would be great as it lets us know what's going on; plus if there are any delays or stalls in things then the loyal (rabid?) fanbase are more aware in advance of the pace of things and that stuff is indeed going on. (which is not to say that Warcradle isn't competent, but that many creative and major projects often hit one or two snags that slow things down somewhat; esp when setting up something new. Heck I suspect many active members online have been involved with or followed more than one model Kickstarter to be aware of delays and unforeseen issues).

It's also a nice bit of news for those who might only be Firestorm/Planetfall/Uncharted fans and thus are expecting a much longer wait until Warcradle is in a position to do justice to those games (after Dystopian Wars and WW ) 

 

17 minutes ago, RuleBritannia said:

Are you suggesting that the existing Spartan models are too low quality?  What about releasing things from the moulds you have?

I think its more the case that they are, it seems, fully rebuilding and building up their own factory. So its not just a case of Spartan sculpts, but of Warcradle gearing up, teching up and training up (where needed) so that what comes out of the production line is quality in a repeat manner to which they can put into commercial production (not just one offs or using a method which results in too high a failure counter quality control wise).

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4 hours ago, RuleBritannia said:

Are you suggesting that the existing Spartan models are too low quality?  What about releasing things from the moulds you have?

As someone who isn't Warcradle staff, I can confirm that several of the molds that they received were of "unusable" quality. Spartan's quality control went downhill during their final few weeks, as they attempted to stay afloat.

Several of the models from boxed sets I picked up during the post-closure sales had miscast components, and a number of ships had either bits of rubber mold attached, or deformities where they continued to use the molds after a previous run had lost parts of the mold.

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20 hours ago, Overread said:

Richard - many thanks for the reply - sounds like a lot is happening indeed at the Warcradle end of things. :)

Out of interest any chance of a once a month or bi-monthly "behind the scenes update" on the forums side of things (and other avenues as suitable via social media) update on the behind the scenes side of things? Not model sculpts but how things are gearing up and what's happening and how plans are going. 

A little behind the scenes would be great as it lets us know what's going on; plus if there are any delays or stalls in things then the loyal (rabid?) fanbase are more aware in advance of the pace of things and that stuff is indeed going on. (which is not to say that Warcradle isn't competent, but that many creative and major projects often hit one or two snags that slow things down somewhat; esp when setting up something new. Heck I suspect many active members online have been involved with or followed more than one model Kickstarter to be aware of delays and unforeseen issues).

It's also a nice bit of news for those who might only be Firestorm/Planetfall/Uncharted fans and thus are expecting a much longer wait until Warcradle is in a position to do justice to those games (after Dystopian Wars and WW ) 

 

I think its more the case that they are, it seems, fully rebuilding and building up their own factory. So its not just a case of Spartan sculpts, but of Warcradle gearing up, teching up and training up (where needed) so that what comes out of the production line is quality in a repeat manner to which they can put into commercial production (not just one offs or using a method which results in too high a failure counter quality control wise).

 

Ok, where are we. 

We literally had all the molds and masters etc chucked into pallet containers. When they arrived with us.  When a company enters administration usually it isn't an orderly and organized process.  So we had this huge amount of stuff that we have had to work our way through. Including an additional 25 pallets found in another location, that though it had no value, was really an important thing for us to be able to control the disposal of.  

Then we have had to back up and protect the huge amount of data for the assets. Well over 16TB, that wasn't well protected. So we had to build the local storage solution, then ensure it was backed up and safe whatever happened in transit.   Lots of issues with the files... We had to audit them to remove any items related to Halo. 

Then we have to start looking at SKUs.  I know it seems simple to say here is a mold, that must be a single product. But it isn't like that at all.  Most of the molds are not labeled in any way.  We have mold labels at Warcradle which are actually molded into the mold making process.  So we have to identify what constitutes a product then start finding the molds for them.  We already have an ERP system at Warcradle to put the data in, but though there was an equivalent on the Spartan kit we acquired,  It had been deactivated months before administration due to non-payment so we didn't have access. So building assembly lists for products takes a while.

Add to that there being almost no Studio minis present... Despite them being photographed everywhere in packaging and books, and then lots of missing equipment that had managed to vanish between going into administration and us visiting... amazingly it was a selection of equipment that would allow manufacturing of a wide range of products. One of the 3d printers vanishing.  The list of frustrations goes on. 

So since then, we have been building data, assessing molds, getting data into our ERP and expanding production facilities. Had all our creative guys work on design libraries for the games and various factions too. Making our facilities safe etc. For example, we have proper ventilation and air quality infrastructure for casting environments and resin residues are dealt with responsibly. We have proper health and safety plans. As opposed to just chucking out empty resin buckets at the back of the factory like Spartan did.

Loads of meetings and investment in how things are going to be arranged moving forwards.  

It is important that we do things properly.

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26 minutes ago, Warcradle Richard said:

 

Ok, where are we. 

We literally had all the molds and masters etc chucked into pallet containers. When they arrived with us.  When a company enters administration usually it isn't an orderly and organized process.  So we had this huge amount of stuff that we have had to work our way through. Including an additional 25 pallets found in another location, that though it had no value, was really an important thing for us to be able to control the disposal of.  

Then we have had to back up and protect the huge amount of data for the assets. Well over 16TB, that wasn't well protected. So we had to build the local storage solution, then ensure it was backed up and safe whatever happened in transit.   Lots of issues with the files... We had to audit them to remove any items related to Halo. 

Then we have to start looking at SKUs.  I know it seems simple to say here is a mold, that must be a single product. But it isn't like that at all.  Most of the molds are not labeled in any way.  We have mold labels at Warcradle which are actually molded into the mold making process.  So we have to identify what constitutes a product then start finding the molds for them.  We already have an ERP system at Warcradle to put the data in, but though there was an equivalent on the Spartan kit we acquired,  It had been deactivated months before administration due to non-payment so we didn't have access. So building assembly lists for products takes a while.

Add to that there being almost no Studio minis present... Despite them being photographed everywhere in packaging and books, and then lots of missing equipment that had managed to vanish between going into administration and us visiting... amazingly it was a selection of equipment that would allow manufacturing of a wide range of products. One of the 3d printers vanishing.  The list of frustrations goes on. 

So since then, we have been building data, assessing molds, getting data into our ERP and expanding production facilities. Had all our creative guys work on design libraries for the games and various factions too. Making our facilities safe etc. For example, we have proper ventilation and air quality infrastructure for casting environments and resin residues are dealt with responsibly. We have proper health and safety plans. As opposed to just chucking out empty resin buckets at the back of the factory like Spartan did.

Loads of meetings and investment in how things are going to be arranged moving forwards.  

It is important that we do things properly.

Hope y’all don’t have regrets about buying the ip and success awaits your endeavors 

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Richard many thanks indeed for the update. It's a great shame that there were so many items that vanished during the transfer over. I can imagine that the loss of machinery is one of the most troublesome as those are likely some of the more expensive items harder to replace (models at least are cheaper to replace and its not a totally bad thing if Warcradle sets up some of their own official schemes for the range). A headache indeed ontop of the pains of transfer of information, data and general organisation issues (which are a bit more understandable considering it was an administration sale rather than full company transfer).

Sounds like there is indeed a huge amount of work to overcome and it certainly goes a long way to explain why there's a long gap between the buy-out and being able to go back into full production. I can only hope that the additional costs and issues are not too damaging to Warcradle and the future of the ranges and wish you all the best in the rebuild. 

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Richard, it speaks a  great length that you guys are so open about these issues. Indeed,  I think you should actually communicate these issues officially, and though I understand your frustration, I'd advise to leave the blame out when you do so, but do not refrain from explaining the issues. I think it will buy you a lot of trust and understanding in the existing community.

 

 

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