April 1, 2015 by brennon
We got a chance to sit down with Benoit Guerville, the Art Director behind Raging Heroes and the new Light & Darkness Kickstarter to get the low down on where they are with Kickstarter right now, how it’s all going for them, the new factions and a look into the process that goes into making these miniatures a reality. Check it out!
BoW: What made you come back to Kickstarter for another round of Toughest Girls of the Galaxy with Light & Darkness?
Benoit Guerville: When we started to think about Kickstarter our first project was actually a Dark Elves army. Some of the most successful miniatures from our regular line were Dark Elves, and we definitely have an affinity for this army. So, we started doing research and design for those. That’s when the three Kurganova Sisters came out, and really made a killing. They were so popular that they started acting like princesses, demanding their own personal army. Sine they had big guns and a bad temper, we felt that it would be wiser to comply.
When the dust of TGG1 (Toughest Girls In The Galaxy 1) started to settle, the Dark Elves project came back to the forefront. Also, from the early days of Raging Heroes, I had this idea of a band of Sisters protecting little street urchins. If you go roaming through our blog in some of our very old entries you’ll even find a teaser picture there. They were the perfect opponents for the Dark Elves.
By that point we ended up with so many Elves concepts that it made sense to break them down into separate sub-factions. This is how the Lust Elves were born.
The Kickstarter offers a massive amount of models for Fantasy and Sci-Fi but let’s start things off on the Sci-Fi front. Tell us a bit more about the armies here…
The Sisters of Eternal Mercy were born from the idea for a single unit. I wanted to create a group of characters that could be staged like a little diorama. A group of young and not-so-young sisters defending a bunch of small street orphans. This is what gave us the box for the Girls from the Orphanage.
Some characters, like the standard bearer, are a mini-diorama all by themselves. Originally, this unit was planned for Fantasy but from this simple concept, I decided to develop an entire army.
Over 15 years ago, I developed and worked on a Fantasy feature film project that featured a rather fascist religious order within which the main character was fighting against demons with very unique shapes and forms. This became the foundation for the Sisters and the Flesh Elves.
When I started to transcribe this idea to science fiction for the sisters I turned to two distinct inspirations: Gothic religious art from the 15th, 16th and 19th centuries, and the Mexican gangs in Los Angeles. In this way it became possible to create totally Gothic characters like Santa Dolores, which evokes traditional virgin statues, or completely badass characters like the Daughters of the Crucible inspired by the Mexican Cholas and makeup from the day of death.
That’s how we get a sort of military hierarchy forming with characters who preach faith in the street to those in the upper echelons of theocratic politics. The higher up the hierarchy, the more we move towards something rigid and noble.
For the posing of the miniatures we sought to transcribe the feel of gunfight-filled Hong Kong cinema. It’s quite visible with the Icariates for example. We will continue to strengthen this in the sculpting phase that will come up after the campaign.
With the Dark Elves, the idea is that it is a race for which we know almost nothing except that it is virtually omnipotent. These beings have reached such a degree of knowledge that they have no real physical bodies. They project their form into some sort of hologram made of solid light which allow them to interact with the real world.
Those who attack humans appears to be a tiny portion of this incredible civilization. They do it just for sport. Some of them, the Void Elves, are hunters, a bit like Predators. The Lust Elves are much more twisted and as they do not have a physical body, they are fascinated by flesh and love to create constructs that mix flesh, technology and other things unknown to humans.
In a way, they have come to harvest flesh to make their wildest creations.
…and now we move on to Fantasy. Tell us a bit more about the armies fighting with swords and sorcery instead of big guns!
As mentioned above, the Sisters were first imagined as a Fantasy unit. The Daughters of the Orphanage started the whole story. Then, it was logical to add an entire army: angels, cavalry, strong Heroines such as Mother Superior Augusta, Santa Dolores, and the Archpapess. I also think you’ll fall for Vladimir and Tobias, the two mascots of the Sisters.
As for the Elves, they have a rather tragic story. These are people who lived in harmony and were decimated by particularly terrible fratricidal wars. Through these wars they lost half of who they were and turned into burnt, charcoal like creatures. It took them century to somehow heal from these burns, but their souls never recovered.
The most perverted among them turned to even darker forces which distorted them to become what we know today as the Flesh Elves. You will discover more about their history and why they are called the “Burnt” by reading Update Number Five.
Which are your favourite models that have already been shown off in the artwork for the Kickstarter?
Wow, it’s almost impossible to answer this question. There are so many characters that I’ve had in my mind for so many years that I was finally able to create through this Kickstarter…
I love the Lust Elves’ Centaurs, Santa Dolores, the Daughters of the Calvary, the Daughters of the Orphanage, the Altar of the Succubi, and the Draahk Knights. There are just too many to name them all!
In the same vein which are your favourite models yet to come!?
The Terrible Twos, the Sisters’ small mascots Vladimir and Tobias, a heroine for the Sisters who will be called the Pillar of Faith, and, if we manage to go pretty high, the Dream Riders who are among my favourite figures.
Tell us more about the process that you go through when it comes to creating the miniatures and with that in mind how long do you imagine its going to take you deliver on this new project?
The biggest amount of creative work is done when we create the concepts, but that begins first with a lot of research. I create a very large number of boards on Pinterest where I accumulate hundreds of images. I look for many references from outside the traditional worlds of Fantasy or Science Fiction. My inspiration comes from architecture, fashion, paintings, nature, strange animals, etc.
Once this is done, I work with our concept artist Alex to bring these ideas to life and turn them into actual characters on paper. Some are born very quickly while others require sometimes months of tweaking and retouching before reaching the desired result.
It is only then that sculpting can begin. Today, our workflow is akin to how an animation studio works. It is rare that a single person completely sculpts a character. In most cases, we divide the work so that different people will do different things like recreating the poses, creating the clothing and armour, sculpting the weapons and the various accessories, or making the faces and their expressions.
All of this is then assembled and particular attention is given to the expression and posing of the characters. This is in the hope that they are infused with energy and emotion.
It is difficult for the moment to be precise about the dates of delivery. This will depend on how high the Kickstarer goes. We have planned to begin shipping figurines in the month of December 2015. We think we’ll have done a very big part of the production by March 2016. If the Kickstarter is really huge, we’ll have to wait until the end of next August (2016) to reach the end of production.
The miniatures are awesome but you also have plans for a game to go with them. Can you tell us a bit more about how this is going to work and what stage you’re at right now?
Yes, we’ve been working on a game for quite some time now. What I can tell you now is that it will be quite different from what is already on the market. Our idea is to do something that immerses players in the atmosphere of their favourite film or TV series and enable them to live actions and battles out that are just as spectacular.
The game will also incorporate a psychological dimension with bluffing, espionage, and certainly a lot of other things. It will be possible to play on a small scale with just a few models, or on a much larger scale.
Thanks for the chat and we wish you the best of luck with the rest of the campaign!
Let us know in the comments if you’ve pledged for this new Raging Heroes Kickstarter.
"When I started to transcribe this idea to science fiction for the sisters I turned to two distinct inspirations: Gothic religious art from the 15th, 16th and 19th centuries, and the Mexican gangs in Los Angeles..."
"We have planned to begin shipping figurines in the month of December 2015..."