We are FINALLY seeing the light!
AND NOW (funnily enough), I understand what Companies that do Kickstarters go through now - whilst my efforts with my Retro-Booster are piddly compared to the "big guys" - I've learned a LOT!
The biggest lesson being, when you have issues/delays over half a dozen miniatures its a hassle - when you have issues/delays over a few dozen miniatures, its not something like eight times the hassle - its more like EIGHT HUNDRED times the hassle.
The delays began when the Royal Mail actually LOST the first lot of Greens (even though they were sent Special Delivery - and insured for £2500) that were sent for casting.
They FINALLY turned up at the Sorting office in Lincoln, nowhere near Ranby (my casters home town) although that's still in Lincolnshire.
They were FINALLY returned to my local Post Office (and a BIG thanks to Rand, my new local Postmaster who's been awesome) who brought them round to me personally.
I know they were (over) insured - but the HASSLES and delays would have been longer and more stressful!
All's well that ends well, I suppose - but yes its been a pain ON TOP of the other issues.
Next I was let down BADLY by the first round of 3D printing (from another company that promised me fast and great quality) which is why my ETA for shipping was so fast initially because I based it on their timeline.
They fu**ed up . . . . and I mean fu**ed up BADLY. . ..
It took them twice as long as they promised, and when the prints FINALLY came through the quality was not (and I mean NOT AT ALL) as promised - rough, so much so some of the detailing was obscured - and actually malformed in places (elements were "twisted" for want of a better word).
Luckily I found a new guy (overseas) who's printing quality is much MUCH better the samples he did are just undercoated white (please see the very rough attached picture of the "New Defenders"), I think you can see how good JUST WHITE undercoat looks. The First wave is with me now - and they are gorgeous.
Please find attached pictures of the prepped models of Charley, Felix, and N.O.R.M. (with three optional personalities) I think you will agree they really are fantastic - printed to 16 micron layers (rather than the industry standard of 25-29 microns) because I want the best for you guys.
A few more adjustments had to be made to Aunt Petunia (sorted with a bracing bar between the pigtail and shoulder), Wildfire (the Guns details are just way too fine), and Barrys pen and clip board proved too vulnerable even to cast in resin - personally I think the new poses are much better, the new Rimmer actually LOOKS Arrogant.
What have I learned from all this (and this is without the fiasco with the Post Office - which is HORRIFYING but I will share with anyone interested by PM if they are truly interested) -
1 - People can't work as fast as myself or Carl can (and even Carl has admitted he cannot keep up with me a couple of times) especially 3D printing guys.
2 - I give people too much credit, just because others recommend their services doesn't mean their work is "guaranteed" to be good or fast.
3 - I need to take over my own production at some point (which I think everyone knows is a given really) if only to give me more control.
4 - Never forget to Factor in people having real lives! People have had real world issues, plus I've been ill, Lindas been ill, Casters have had problems too! Utter UTTER nightmare!
We've lost more than 10 weeks in all, and thats currently how far we are behind (sorry guys, I hate letting people down even when I'VE been let down to begin with) - BUT its still going to be faster than a Kickstarter LoL! (Carl and Dave can back me up there LMAO)!
MEGA UPDATE II INCOMING!