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Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






Do they even have the time or the money to make that investment, though?
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





is it even worth it to make that investment? As with plastics you have to order large quantities and then have a large enough warehouse to store the product. Right now they just cast on demand and their resin is really nice atm and I don't generally care for resin.

Infinity is doing quite well and they only use plastics in the Arestiea! bordgame line. I know HIPS is seen as peek model material but I don't believe that's always the case as there's lots of trade off for having it. Though I do think it is the best for things like warjacks and the like.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





A lot of their stuff doesn't translate to HIPS very well. The complex, muscular "skipped leg day" look is really hard to do in HIPs and a lot of their steampunky bits of detail require a lot of extra parts to work. I think what likely really killed their foray into HIPs was the Hydra. That thing was sculpted by people used to the limitations of resin and completely did not work in HIPs at all.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Pyre Troll






they just recently released alt-sculpts of the battle box casters, which maybe supports not producing the not so great plastic battle boxes any more
the resin they use these days is pretty ace though, as others have mentioned
   
Made in us
Stealthy Grot Snipa





Atlanta, GA

 NinthMusketeer wrote:
Do they even have the time or the money to make that investment, though?


Probably not, no. I've been hearing about those supposed manufacturing issues with their Chinese supplier since at least last year, which is why apparently they've been trying to move a lot of their mini production in-house.

Really whatever material they choose to make their product in, I'd honestly pay more for resin, resin/pewter combinations, or hard plastic. Anything but that soft pvc stuff. I just finished an Extreme Juggernaut that I had sitting around for 2+ years and was more than pleased with the casting quality there(resin/pewter).


A lot of their stuff doesn't translate to HIPS very well. The complex, muscular "skipped leg day" look is really hard to do in HIPs and a lot of their steampunky bits of detail require a lot of extra parts to work. I think what likely really killed their foray into HIPs was the Hydra. That thing was sculpted by people used to the limitations of resin and completely did not work in HIPs at all.


Was it the Hydra where was one side was basically completely soft looking, washed out details and when players complained, PP basically shrugged and went "Yep that's totally how it's supposed to look"?

   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





 LunarSol wrote:
A lot of their stuff doesn't translate to HIPS very well. The complex, muscular "skipped leg day" look is really hard to do in HIPs and a lot of their steampunky bits of detail require a lot of extra parts to work. I think what likely really killed their foray into HIPs was the Hydra. That thing was sculpted by people used to the limitations of resin and completely did not work in HIPs at all.


ya. I have that Hydra and I'm not dedicated enough to assemble it. Got it during one of the blind box deals.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Pyre Troll






Is the kit that bad to build?
The one I've painted was already assembled when it was passed along
   
Made in us
Member of the Ethereal Council






My friend threw his against the wall in rage.
Quit Skorne the day after,

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/05/18 02:29:38


5000pts 6000pts 3000pts
 
   
Made in us
Serious Squig Herder






 NinthMusketeer wrote:
Bringing this back towards PP, I have heard recently that they may have had a break up with their Chinese manufacturers, and that said manufacturers may even be keeping the molds. Just a rumor, but serious if even partly true.


I remember reading that on the WM/H reddit like - 2+ years ago. Is why PP completely stopped with plastic releases after the Grymkin.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





greenskin lynn wrote:Is the kit that bad to build?
The one I've painted was already assembled when it was passed along


That's the one! Basically, the actual serpents are a mess of plates that try to fit together to keep the texture while adhering to undercut limitation. Then a bunch of the little bug feet have to be glued on separately.

Mr. Grey wrote:
Was it the Hydra where was one side was basically completely soft looking, washed out details and when players complained, PP basically shrugged and went "Yep that's totally how it's supposed to look"?


My understanding on the whole issue is that it's less "how it was supposed to look" and more of a "we tried and this is the best we could do". The model was delayed for years and from what I've heard, it was largely because they sent the resin master to their manufacturer who couldn't find a way to translate it to HIPs and kept sending even more complicated builds that sacrificed major details to work. The final product was more of a cut our loses compromise and the vibe I've got talking about it is that the people at PP themselves are probably more disappointed than anybody. Of course, that doesn't really help when people were unhappy with the final product. I don't blame anyone for taking the statement "this is what the final product looks like" the way they did. "It is what it is" is just a sucky answer for both sides, but sometimes its all there is to say about it.

It's worth noting that there's a lot to unpack around this moment in time. It's really where PP recognized that the 3rd party manufacturing was really impacting their marketing. It's the most obvious failure, but hardly alone. The HIPs colossals met with huge delays as well as did several waves of plastic jack kits. In Khador in particular, it really stood out as the plastic kits for things like the Spriggan, Rager, and Grolar took years after they were first announced. It's particularly interesting that Skorne seems to have had a planned wave of construct warbeasts in the pipeline that clearly fizzled out somewhere as the relationship with the manufacturer degraded. Certainly something interesting to unpack.

I do also wonder how Asmodee fits into all of this. PP is thanked in the front page of the Marvel manual and the game was basically made by PPs dev team at the time. I'm curious if they were trying to work out a deal where Asmodee started producing HIPs for them. It would certainly fit with the rest of what I've seen, particularly if it didn't work out because Asmodee either sought to acquire PP or expected some ownership rights to the brand as part of the deal.
   
Made in us
Stealthy Grot Snipa





Atlanta, GA

The model was delayed for years and from what I've heard, it was largely because they sent the resin master to their manufacturer who couldn't find a way to translate it to HIPs and kept sending even more complicated builds that sacrificed major details to work. The final product was more of a cut our loses compromise and the vibe I've got talking about it is that the people at PP themselves are probably more disappointed than anybody.


I remember the Hydra delays, and from this is sounds like PP didn't have anyone on hand with the skills to sculpt a Gargantuan that would then translate well to HIPS.


It's worth noting that there's a lot to unpack around this moment in time. It's really where PP recognized that the 3rd party manufacturing was really impacting their marketing. It's the most obvious failure, but hardly alone. The HIPs colossals met with huge delays as well as did several waves of plastic jack kits. In Khador in particular, it really stood out as the plastic kits for things like the Spriggan, Rager, and Grolar took years after they were first announced.


The Grolar was delayed for how many years after the book released? Two? Three? It was a very, very long time. That may actually be the only PP HIPS kit I own, and I thought they did a great job with it.

Quality/material is one of the biggest issues with PP in general from what I see on a repeated basis. Maybe it's just me, but it seems far tougher to sell your minis game as something a new player should get into when the miniatures are all made in multiple different materials and the quality varies wildly between those products.


I do also wonder how Asmodee fits into all of this. PP is thanked in the front page of the Marvel manual and the game was basically made by PPs dev team at the time. I'm curious if they were trying to work out a deal where Asmodee started producing HIPs for them. It would certainly fit with the rest of what I've seen, particularly if it didn't work out because Asmodee either sought to acquire PP or expected some ownership rights to the brand as part of the deal.


I've wondered about this ever since I found out about it. Did those PP devs leave Privateer Press to develop and start Atomic Mass Games? Were they doing it as a side project? Maybe it's a side effect of being a "smaller" company where a lot of the main employees are/were fairly well known by the playerbase, but it does feel like Privateer has constant employee retention issues. I was a bit shocked when I found out that Doug Seacat had left the company, considering that he was basically one of the major pillars of the entire setting history. Same with a couple of other major developer names.
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





PP definitely didn't have the experience with the material. Some of it is just the strengths and weaknesses of HIPs itself. GW is a master of the stuff, but its worth noting they've shaped their art style around it for over a decade now. They've gotten VERY good at making things feel big while actually being rather thin. PPs art style largely doesn't fit within these limitations outside of some of machinery. The jack kits are great (if a little full of tiny parts) but I can definitely see where a lot of the line really struggles to translate.

As for Atomic Mass; it's hard to say. I think if it was an under the table deal we wouldn't see PP credited officially. Feels more like there was something in the works, like PP was contracted to develop the game, but for some reason things fell through and it became easier to just buy the employees working on it rather than compromise on some aspect of the deal. Really hard to say with what we know, but I'm sure its an interesting story.
   
Made in no
Umber Guard





Google Trends are, in my opinion, the best way to evaluate relative interest for miniature games, probably better than ICV2's top 5 lists. It is not 100% comparable between games, as searching for some games will not produce the "Game" tag. Those you don't have the tag will be either overrepresented or underrepresented.

When you look at the long term statistics they very much resemble the general interest I have perceived from 2004 on.
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






Is it a fair comparison with GW though? Given the massive amount of licensed games (some of which have an extremely large following) and LotR being LotR.
   
Made in no
Umber Guard





You search for the individual games, but indeed AoS/40k/WHFB will be somewhat inflated by the licencing. Not massively, though. 40k (but not AOS) has a "game" category that filters out licences and just measures searches related to the tabletop game.

(edit) The big player is clearly GW. And we seem to mainly be talking 40k. It is just massively bigger than any other game, even if you try to filter out the licences. But even AoS seems to be bigger than any of the competition, possibly excepting SW Legion. AOS seems slightly smaller than WM and H were combined at their peak. The Star Wars licences are kind of odd because they have a customer base in addition to the established miniature gamer community, so I suspect sales there are better than we see when searching for games - they

Another good source for comparison is the ICV2 internal correspondence (which does qualitative interviews with store owners, not actual statistics, for their "top 5 non-collectible miniature games" lists), although they have a discrepancy with google trends when it comes to AOS. AOS seems to be much more popular in stores than SW Legion and some brands I don't know much about, like Wizkids D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Minis, that barely show up on google trends. This probably shows that a lot of sales are shifting away from stores for the smaller companies that doesn't have their own distribution (Wizkid, afaik, uses Topps' own distribution). The Fall 2020 top five are 40k, Nolzur's, MCP, SW Legiona and AOS - all games with their own distribution network. There hasn't been a game that uses regular distribution on that list since mid-2018. WMH fell off in the fall of 2018, when it was just undergoing its next to last interest peak on trends (the big interest peaks the last five years were 2016, with smaller ones spring 2018 and 2019. This corresponds well with when the distribution crisis began and we really started having trouble getting product in Europe.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/20 09:47:20


 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka





That's super interesting. I had heard a lot about how big of a problem the distribution issues were for PP, but that really highlights them in a way I hadn't seen. Thanks.
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Seattle, WA USA

Kaptajn Congoboy wrote:
some brands I don't know much about, like Wizkids D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Minis, that barely show up on google trends.
The Wizkids stuff is not associated with a minis wargame specifically; they're mainly for use in RPGs (though I'm sure lots of folks also use them from Frostgrave and generic fantasy wargames), so probably why it's hard to find a trend thingie on them.
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Valander wrote:
Kaptajn Congoboy wrote:
some brands I don't know much about, like Wizkids D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Minis, that barely show up on google trends.
The Wizkids stuff is not associated with a minis wargame specifically; they're mainly for use in RPGs (though I'm sure lots of folks also use them from Frostgrave and generic fantasy wargames), so probably why it's hard to find a trend thingie on them.


yep. They're not a wargame and honestly I would think outsell 40k due to the current popularity of D&D over the past few years.
   
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Seattle, WA USA

 Monkeysloth wrote:
 Valander wrote:
Kaptajn Congoboy wrote:
some brands I don't know much about, like Wizkids D&D Nolzur's Marvelous Minis, that barely show up on google trends.
The Wizkids stuff is not associated with a minis wargame specifically; they're mainly for use in RPGs (though I'm sure lots of folks also use them from Frostgrave and generic fantasy wargames), so probably why it's hard to find a trend thingie on them.


yep. They're not a wargame and honestly I would think outsell 40k due to the current popularity of D&D over the past few years.
I think the only reason they don't outsell, at least based on dollar value, is because of both the much lower price point of the Wizkid SKUs individually (especially in comparison to GW), and the general RPGer not buying the same number of models that might be for your average 40k player. Would be interesting to see somewhere just a count of units sold, but I don't think that's how ICV2 calculates their "best selling". I could be wrong, though.
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






@Congoboy very interesting, thank you for the information and explanation.

@Monkeysloth depends on how we define sales, in terms of number of items maybe in some communities but in terms of money spent noooooo.
   
Made in no
Umber Guard





ICV2's "best selling" list is simply based on asking the stores -"what do you sell the most of"? At least that is what I was able to read out of them.

Recent editions of D&D getting so heavily into miniatures is a really good thing for the miniature gaming scene in general. It exposes a large group of people with very little experience with miniatures to them - even the norwegian RPG scene seems to be embracing miniatures if the establishment of 3d print shops that licence fantasy miniatures are anything to go by. And NOBODY played with miniatures before the last couple of D&D editions.
   
Made in us
Uhlan





 greenskin lynn wrote:
they just recently released alt-sculpts of the battle box casters, which maybe supports not producing the not so great plastic battle boxes any more
the resin they use these days is pretty ace though, as others have mentioned


Ya, Monpoc sculpts are great and I was putting together a Reliant from a Reliant/Stormclad kit and the plastic was really great. Reminded me of Malifaux - 40k stuff.

I think their best bet is just do what make sense and is cost effective rather than one material and process.

 
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






Kaptajn Congoboy wrote:
ICV2's "best selling" list is simply based on asking the stores -"what do you sell the most of"? At least that is what I was able to read out of them.

Recent editions of D&D getting so heavily into miniatures is a really good thing for the miniature gaming scene in general. It exposes a large group of people with very little experience with miniatures to them - even the norwegian RPG scene seems to be embracing miniatures if the establishment of 3d print shops that licence fantasy miniatures are anything to go by. And NOBODY played with miniatures before the last couple of D&D editions.
There was already a sizeable market for RPG miniatures, that is basically what Reaper does after all. It has simply grown in proportion to the increased popularity of DnD. However, I think having a bunch of 28mm figures providing quality of a similar level of PP for a third the price or less is hurting them more than helping them. It makes people realize just how expensive wargames minis are. GW gets away with it from popularity inertia, PP can't.
   
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Umber Guard





PP has enough miniatures that aren’t easy to get good third party replacements for, so I am unsure if that is as big a problem as you’d think. GW’s problem is that their style is the current generic style for a lot of models (thank you Blizzard). I saw an estimate that 3d printing is eating about $100 million off the hobby industry’s profits annually and considering how little you have to search to find legal counts-as models for their Space Marine cash cow, I imagine GW should be taking this seriously.
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

I'd argue that in the miniature world World of Warcraft is a lesser impact. It's simply that most game groups play 40K the world over. GW has built itself into THE market leader bar nothing else; no other firm (even PP At their best) is anywhere near the size and impact of GW.

As a result if you're new and want to sell, its much much easier to sell for the big name as counts-as models. Smaller game firms aren't worth going after; starting your own is risky - so copy-cat or make alternate designs for 40K or AoS and you've got an instant huge market.


The other big name is DnD. From what I see a huge chunk of 3D printing is copy-catting 40K or DnD designs in some form - either outright copies (which is allowable under DnD licencing rules for most, but not all - - and is not allowed for 40K); close copies/inspirations and wild outlandish ideas that at least fit the army construction style of the game.



My gut feeling is that 3d printing might well reach a glut point much more quickly than independent casting of models whereby there are big names within 3d printing that dominate and then the market has to settle and find new ideas and outlets. I'd also note that there's a good few big patreons doing totally their own thing and doing very well at it.

   
Made in no
Umber Guard





WoW/Starcraft doesn’t have a direct impact, but it definitely perpetuated and popularized the style. You can see the difference in D&D art before and after WoW got big. 4th edition went whole hog on the over-ornate Blizzard style that eventually took over all GW properties as well.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Oh very much agreed its had a subtle impact on changing the nature and style of fantasy artwork and depictions. It's been a huge influence over the last decade or so.

   
Made in no
Umber Guard





When it comes to 3d printing, my money is on it sadly devaluing the job of sculptors. It is just so (relatively) much easier to learn these days than it used to be. This also means that if a few platforms end up dominating, they will be just that - platforms. Less 3d GW and more Cults.
   
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

Kaptajn Congoboy wrote:
When it comes to 3d printing, my money is on it sadly devaluing the job of sculptors. It is just so (relatively) much easier to learn these days than it used to be. This also means that if a few platforms end up dominating, they will be just that - platforms. Less 3d GW and more Cults.


Far as I'm aware GW has been 3D sculpting for years already.

I do agree that we will see a skill shift from physical to digital sculpting happen and that the sculpting world will go through a general digital shift much like the photography world did when digital photography rose to take dominance over film. And just like that market, the original skill won't be totally lost nor devalued. Heck even with 3D design there will still be plenty of people kit bashing with putties and tools and making dioramas and such. Heck you can also do both, the guy behind Warploque Miniatures is doing both physical and digital sculpting.

   
Made in no
Umber Guard





 Overread wrote:
Kaptajn Congoboy wrote:
When it comes to 3d printing, my money is on it sadly devaluing the job of sculptors. It is just so (relatively) much easier to learn these days than it used to be. This also means that if a few platforms end up dominating, they will be just that - platforms. Less 3d GW and more Cults.


Far as I'm aware GW has been 3D sculpting for years already.

I do agree that we will see a skill shift from physical to digital sculpting happen and that the sculpting world will go through a general digital shift much like the photography world did when digital photography rose to take dominance over film. And just like that market, the original skill won't be totally lost nor devalued. Heck even with 3D design there will still be plenty of people kit bashing with putties and tools and making dioramas and such. Heck you can also do both, the guy behind Warploque Miniatures is doing both physical and digital sculpting.


They’ve been 3d sculpting for at least 13 years by now, because the studio Taurox(? - the IG bus) had visible print lines on it and it came out in 2012 or so.

The thing is that sculpting is a bit like making computer games - there is a lot of people who want to learn to do it - and it is comparatively easier, or at least more convenient, to 3d sculpt than to sculpt in putty. Art world has already started to translate here, but in the art world, the physical sculpting or painting is valued higher in itself than physical sculpting is for miniatures - in general, people seems to love the advantages 3d sculpting has over physical sculpting, such as just blastic surfaces with all kinds of crap to make them easier to paint and making those uncanny value smoke, ghost and fire effects people seem to love. That’s why I think there are going to be a lot more digital sculptors than physical sculptors, which will devalue their labour :(
   
 
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