Pirates Sail Away & Driders Crawl Into Raging Heroes’ Infinite Patreon

April 28, 2020 by avernos

April saw the launch of Raging Heroes first foray into digital sculpts and STLs for the home 3D printing market with their hugely successful Pirates of the White Sea range of sculpts. With this range about to be retired from Patreon and May’s figures taking a very different turn, we asked Raging Heroes’ Creative Director Benoit Guerville about their experiences with STLs and the plans for Heroes Infinite in the future.

Brooks McClary

Gerry: Benoit we've seen a lot of people getting to grips with the pirate range for Heroes Infinite, what has the move from physically producing a miniature to producing the STL files allowed you to do that wouldn't have been possible before?

Benoit: First of all what is great with 3D printing is that we don’t have any more limits regarding the size of the miniatures we can create. So something like the pirate boat would have never seen the light of the day if it wasn’t an STL file to print. Because it’s a really cool model but because of it’s price if it was manufactured in resin, it would too be expensive for a lot of our customers. With STLs (3D printable files) we can have any crazy super cool idea and make it, and that”s awesome!  That's the biggest thing I think.

Also, there’s a specific size of miniature that’s difficult to manufacture in a way where you can sell it at a fair price and still be profitable. Like the giant crab or a regular size tank, for example, the kind of model you see on the market around 40 to 50 €, this is very hard to make work unless you manufacture tens of thousand units in plastic. But with 3D printing, we can do that no problem.

The second thing is that we can push the limits and go even more crazy in the complexity of the miniature. We don’t have the constraints of mould making, so we can make parts that are much more in volume and create complex arrangements. For example, you’ll notice we like super crazy long hair on our models, here we can go even crazier with swirling shapes. We’re still experimenting so we didn't go too far yet but you can be sure that in the future we are going to make some parts that have a level of 3Dimensionality that we can not easily make in regular physical models. 

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G: Will we ever see the sculpts available through the Heroes Infinite Patreon be physically produced for collectors who don't have access to a 3D printer, or are they planned to be solely a digital product?

B: Yes you will definitely see miniatures from the Patreon in our regular physical webshop (resin models) at one point. It’s still a bit hard to say exactly how it’s going to happen at the moment because of the reasons I mentioned previously. First thing: some miniatures are way too big to manufacture at a reasonable cost, even if we are looking at some possibilities, right now it’s not yet feasible easily. 

And a second thing: some miniatures we will have to rework them a bit. They won’t be castable in a way that makes them either cost-effective or easy enough to assemble. And sometimes it’s just on very simple things. Like when we make a physical miniature we tend to have a leg and the coat behind it, and we press the coat against the leg so there’s no gap that would create a problem in the mould, but with 3D printing, we can have this gap.  So it’s the kind of details we might have to rework. 

Once again make sure to join the group here,https://www.facebook.com/groups/627772854621576/ to follow the plans for the miniatures

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G: The level of detail on the STLs is very high allowing people to print at 50-100% larger, do you foresee producing files for large busts, or will you stay with high detailed digital sculpts for gaming pieces and allow people to resize them as they wish?

B: Yes, in fact, making printable models opens a lot of options. Making busts is one of them, Seeing people printing their miniatures much larger is obviously very cool. Actually we wanted to work on some tests with our 3D printers for bigger models and busts, but with confinement, we didn’t have a chance to do that yet. Hopefully in the next few weeks.  But yes, to see our models in large size that’s very exciting indeed, and opens up a lot of options, not only busts, maybe other projects. And it’s also cool to prototype bigger things, see how they look and find a way to make them into physical products too, so indeed it creates a whole new world of possibilities. 

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G: This week is the last opportunity to get the pirates, after this will they be gone forever or if people miss out will there be a chance to pick them up again in the future? 

B: The Pirates will disappear from Patreon but they will be available on other platforms so that you can buy them one by one. They will be much more expensive though. So the Patreon is a really insane good deal, if you can grab it now, do it. But yes we will make them available afterwards, we will share more information about this ASAP. If you’re interested I would suggest to register to our newsletter because we will reveal details there: http://bit.ly/RHmail

G: The STL's have no support structures on the sculpts they have to be added afterwards, are there plans to add versions with support scaffolds in the future?

B: Yes, we're working on adding some support to this month’s release (May 2020: The Spider Elves: in the Lair of the Spider Goddess). A lot of creepy yet beautiful characters here. We will start offering supported files this month (May 2020). We are just testing the best options we can use, but we will have an announcement on this most likely at the end of the week or next week. But it will be definitely available as a standard for free on all upcoming releases. So you can subscribe now to our Patreon without worrying about having to support the files yourself, all upcoming releases will have them included! And that is very cool 🙂

G: Next months sculpts are based around Driders, we have seen the Goddess Warlock, Aerilith already teased, what is the sculpt that you are most excited by from the Drider set of models, and the Pirate boat and crab are massive centrepieces for anyone's collection. Will we see something similar in every month's Patreon pledge?

B: Indeed, the lineup of characters we have next month (May 2020) is really exciting. First of all, a lot of these characters are pretty big, those regular Spider Elves are already quite big by themselves, and on top of that you got the Spider Goddess which is a massive creature. If you want you could print her as a regular size human character, but I would definitely print her massive.

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Also, you have another monster, something super creepy, it’s a flyer, and it’s a pretty big thing too. And then, on top of the soldiers of the set, we have two additional smaller monsters that can be used as pets or sentinel or guardians of the Spider Goddess realm. So you’ve got a pretty cool set of characters. 

And on a personal note, I remember many years ago trying to find those kinds of miniatures, looking for cool elves spiders, and frankly, I never found something like what we did here. I think we did a very exciting job and I would have loved to have that kind of models on my table when I was playing DnD, it wasn’t something you could find really. I think it’s a pretty unique and thrilling offer!

G: Do you see Heroes Infinite as a chance to explore new genres and avenues that Raging Heroes wouldn't ordinarily venture into, or going forward will it be a way to supplement the regular releases of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy ranges?

B: Heroes Infinite is extremely exciting for us. Because it’s a completely new territory we can really do stuff that can either fit our regular range or go a bit more crazy as we did with the Pirates. And for me, as a veteran role player, I’m very excited to get back to these kinds of characters.

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It’s a bit different from what you can find in wargames, so it’s a whole new spectre of characters you can explore. But at the same time, we are very curious to see how the market will evolve on the STL front because there are some people asking us for some of our regular range characters (from our webshop) in STL files, to print them, we’ll see how it goes.

There’s a very good chance that at least we will do complementary characters or creatures, big size projects that we couldn’t do in our regular range. And it also opens up other cool possibilities in game development, stuff that would be very expensive to produce for the mass market, more niche games, so a lot of possibilities. 

A lot of people have asked us if we are going to make only new stuff, our regular range and if there will also be Sc-Fi.  I can tell you, yes, Sci-Fi Characters will come a bit later. For now, it’s a big challenge and a lot of work to have a new release each month, because it's not just the sculpting, there’s also a lot of research and all the technical aspects, preparing the files etc. Since our characters are very complex, it requires a lot of work. So it’s just a matter of time, be patient but once we take our marks, Sci-Fi characters will come! Also, we’ll probably add a new tier, we're not sure yet so that you can get Sci-Fi instead of Fantasy, or maybe a double tier where you can get both. 

The approach we had with this Patreon project is that each release is like a band of characters, either the villains or the good guys of an adventure, or even both in some releases. So the idea was really to get back to my own D&D roots and come up with a band of characters around which you could master and develop an adventure right away. 

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These Pirates are very characterful and it’s easy to build a lot of stories around them. So what we did, and we’ll do that every month, is that we’ve selected some resources to help you set up a game, set up a campaign, design character classes etc. (check out this post). Same thing with the Spiders this month, you can totally set up an adventure around those villains. That’s the goal. 

In the same spirit, since we are working very much in a D&D style environment, we’ve created this unique tavern set with tons of accessories. It's included for free when you register, it's in the “Welcome Box”. And as time passes you’ll have new things in this welcome box, either PNG of characters or assets for this tavern or other stuff. Just the tavern itself would be around 100 or 200 hundred euros of scenery if you were to buy it retail! 3D printing is really cool for scenery because scenery tends to be so expensive.

G: Is there anything else you would like to say about Heroes Infinite that we've not covered?

B: Once again, I would say that this Patreon thing is a crazy good deal. It’s something nobody could have hoped for even two years ago. Getting such a range of miniatures at that price, it’s really crazy. If I were to calculate the cost of the full set of the spider characters we are releasing this month, it would be probably around $300. So getting all this for $10 is truly an insane deal

For 10 years now, everybody has been telling us that we make the best female characters on the market. It was great to bring great female characters on wargaming tables, but I think it has an even greater impact for RPG because in my opinion you really want to make your adventure more colourful with more diverse races and classes of characters and also have both female and male characters well represented in your games. And of course, we know we fill a void for female gamers, a lot of our female clients tell us “I finally found my Paladin character miniature,  I have been looking for her for ten years!” That’s what I think makes Raging Heroes characters very unique and strong.

And by the way, we are also going to make male characters in the Patreon. 

We see a lot of Patreons offering simpler files with simpler sculpts so that they’re very easy to print. It’s very good and effective, but now that we’re going to offer pre-supported files, for the same price, you’ll get super amazing dynamic well-posed male and female characters. I mean, it’s your choice!  😉

Once again, many thanks to all the people who supported us already, it’s only the beginning, we’ll keep on going strong and we have tons of ideas, I think it’s going to be fun!

It is fascinating to see a new direction evolving for a company before our eyes, and the speed at which the community has taken on the Heroes Infinite range and worked with it over the last 4 weeks is amazing. Seeing what people have produced and where issues have been encountered people helping out or offering their best practices to produce the miniatures has been terrific to watch.

The Driders already look like a unique set of figures bringing in the quality we have come to expect from Raging Heroes and combining it with the freedom of unconstrained production. 3D printing may not be the future for every company out there but Raging Heroes can certainly be held up as an example of how to embrace the new technology and format and I am excited to see where they go from here and the direction they can take with it.

The future is now...

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