Hand-sculpted, highly detailed gaming scenery designed to enrich your tabletop gaming experiences.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
General Updates in strange times. Stay safe everyone.
11 days ago
– Sat, May 23, 2020 at 02:08:40 AM
Please note: Some information may be repetitive as it has been stated in previous updates. This is intentional as we acknowledge that some of our customers don't always have the time to read every update. We also ask that if anyone has questions that are specific to their personal order that they message us directly via Kickstarter. This is a more accurate way for us to track queries that need personal follow up.
We hope that everyone out there is safe and healthy in these very strange, surreal, and challenging times. We also hope you all are finding a path through this, staying positive, still finding time to paint a few minis, play a few games and binge a show or two (a special thanks to those who have reached out to us personally with care and concern). We would have loved for you to have had the world of Hagglethorn Hollow much earlier and appreciate your patience and support as we make out way through these final stages of production towards that goal.
Thanks again everyone for being on this journey with us.
About 5 weeks ago, our factory in China was able to reopen after almost 8 weeks of lockdown due to the COVID-19 lockdown that was imposed in their region. However, as is the case across many aspects of life now, the pace of output has slowed due to the social distancing measures in place as well as increased hygiene practices.
They have been steadily producing the final products that require sign-off before mass production, however, the sign-off and QC are our biggest hurdles and biggest change in process for us. Throughout 2019 we were able to freely travel to China every few months for sign-offs and QC but with that no longer being an option, it has proven a challenge to move things along at the same pace.
We mentioned previously, we had around 25% of the range to still be produced or signed off. We do as much sign-off as we can through video with the factory, but we do need to inspect the casts in person before we mass produce. About half of that remaining range is now in transit to us for the visual QC round. We made several efforts to solve the QC component by other means but decided that to physically see the item is the most effective way to ensure you get the best quality product. The courier times for these shipments are still variable, but we are trying to get things sent as soon as possible to mitigate any additional time delays.
As requested, we will have the factory take more photos for us in this manner as the last items go through the production process.
At this time, we are estimating to have everything produced by July and then shipping out from China July/August. This will mean we are about 1 year late on the campaign's original delivery date, for which we apologise.
We have been told that shipping times by then will be on par with normal (pre-COVID) shipping times. That has been positive for us to hear but our partners have made us aware that regions around the world may differ for domestic delivery.
3D Campaign- Recap
We still receive passionate messages about the 3D campaign and we want the 3D community to know we have not forgotten them. We have digitisied the entire Hagglethorn Hollow range and the work continues with our 3D partners, Printable Scenery, to have them ready for a 3D campaign when the time comes.
While the 3D campaign is still being planned for 2020, we have made a commitment to deliver (or at least be in transit) the physical campaign first. Once we have the product in transit, we will then be able to announce a launch date for the Hagglethorn Hollow STL range.
We have heard you and will endeavor to be more communicative with production and some of the process. However, we do want to maintain a level of brand quality in production, and these updates will be when there is something new to say, not already covered previously. Looking back we are issuing updates roughly every 4-5 weeks, but believe now that things are back up and running a 3-4 week cycle will be more likely, perhaps more frequent as we near shipping.
JK, our comms manager continues to monitor the Kickstarter comments for us but we are able to deal directly with the other platforms and direct KS messages. For those who don't know JK, he joined the team some time back and is a local NZ longtime TTG supporter and backer. He will be the main one responding to KS comments and will likely be the lead for when the forum kicks off. Think of him as a bit of a backer / TTG hybrid. He advocates very strongly for the backer group and provides us with feedback, questions, and concerns.
For direct pledge related questions or to update your address please use the KS message system.
Thanks to everyone who has been actively supporting the competitions. The recent Adam Savage book giveaway was received extremely well. Our winner from the draw exclusive to our Kickstarter backers was Pam Martin from Texas, and our winner from the social media draw was Sean Wainwright (who also happened to be a backer) from Idaho.
We have a few more giveaways that we can run and will probably launch the next one in about a week. This time it will be a 1:1 scale cast of the original sculpt of the Northern Dwarf Statue, which was one of the unlocked stretch goals. This particular piece was cast at Weta Workshop and painted by Johnny Fraser-Allen.
We are thrilled by the support each of these competitions have received and really hope they are not perceived as anything but a way for us to express our continual thanks and appreciation for the community.
TTG and Future Campaigns
Even with these production delays, TTG is in good shape. We run very lean and the delays have really only cost time. We have used the time to consider future Kickstarters, release dates, and how best to optimize production moving forward.
You may have seen some hints of future products posted on our social media pages but we are intentionally not releasing too much info until Hagglethorn Hollow is delivered (or at least in transit). But we are dying to show everyone what has been created here! It’s so exciting and we can’t wait to share it.
In regards to future campaigns, one very significant change we will be making is the scale of them. For example, the Hagglethorn Hollow campaign had 27 key pieces (not including stretch goals) and the next campaign plans to have just 6 key pieces. That may seem like an extreme cut but our rationale behind it is simple - if we were to face every challenge again for the next campaign that we faced on Hagglethorn Hollow, what is the most assured way to cut production time? The answer is fewer pieces, so that is exactly what we plan to do. This all also allow us to run more campaigns, more often.
Additionally, with COVID-19 affecting international travel for some time to come, we need to address how we work with our factories and allow the extra time required to produce and QC the range (as we are finding now). We hope that this is not the case and that international travel will reopen soon but until then, we will pursue this approach as a precaution.
Coming up next...
Painting Guide Preview - We are doing the final prep for the color/paint guide for the range. This is something that will be included in the Hagglethorn Hollow Book, but we are happy to give everyone a preview (especially for those wishing to start scenery projects to complement their HH). We aim to have that posted up in a few days time.
In addition, JK will document his painting of a Hunters Lodge prototype using the guide. We hope that this will be an inspiration for people to approach their own sets and a reflection of what the TTG forum will be able to provide the community in the future.
Thanks again everyone. We thank backers for their ongoing patience and support, especially their sensible approach to voicing their concerns in the comments. We are late, but still pushing forward. It's certainly has been a journey of trials and challenges and we can't express how appreciative we are for your patience and support and look forward to having more updates out soon.
Stay safe out there everyone,
The TTG Team
Adam Savage - Every Tools a Hammer - Giveaway!
about 2 months ago
– Wed, Apr 08, 2020 at 12:08:37 AM
Just before COVID-19 put us all into isolation, aka catching up on miniature painting and finally using the breadmaker - we were fortunate to have Adam Savage and the Tested crew back in NZ where we filmed the next big TTG reveal! Check our previous update for more info on that encounter.
While in New Zealand, Adam personally signed 2 copies of his book “Every Tool's a Hammer” for us to giveaway to fellow Hagglethonians. Johnny has also sketched original pieces in the books as well. We are giving away one exclusively to one of our Hagglethorn Hollow backers and the other will be open to all to win via our social media pages.
How to Enter: If you are a backer, the just "like" this update! And you are in the running. It's that easy! Entries close 12th April 2020 11pm EST and the winner drawn on the 14th Apr 2020.
For non-backers, (backers feel free to enter again as well) you can enter by our social media pages. Just enter via the giveaway post on whatever social page you follow. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. T&Cs here
Thanks everyone, stay safe out there and best of luck,
The TTG Team
Adam Savage, Giveaways, 3D Files, Production Updates and more.
about 2 months ago
– Sun, Apr 05, 2020 at 12:29:48 AM
Quite a few things have happened since our last update. So much so that we have had to rewrite this update several times over the last week due to the pace of events. It is a surreal time and we hope you are doing well, staying healthy and safe.
Many of you are probably aware that TTG is based in New Zealand and as of the 25th March, the entire country went into lockdown. This means we are all self-isolating in our homes. All non-essential businesses have also closed and the only travel allowed is for food or medical purposes. The current estimate is we will be in lockdown for 4 weeks.
TTG has a studio/workshop which we cannot access at this time, but we are fortunate that we can continue to work from home without too much of an impact on our current commitments. JK and Ike just need their laptops and Johnny just needs his sculpting tools, a sketchpad and Audible. So we count ourselves fortunate in that regard and work continues as best we can under the circumstances.
COVID -19 - Production Updates - Our factory, like all factories in China, shut down for a period in order to contain the spread of the virus. However, we are very pleased to report that our factory has recently resumed operations. While they are not functioning at 100%, they are able to resume work for their clients in a limited capacity which means we have products back in production.
We are still unable to travel to China for Quality Control (QC) and it’s unknown when travel restrictions will be lifted. In an effort to keep things moving forward we are investigating alternatives for the remaining QC activities. The two options at this stage are for a third party based in China to perform QC on our behalf we can try have samples sent directly to us here in New Zealand.
The Town Statues Giveaway Winner - Thanks to everyone who entered. We had a great response to the competition with over 600 entries across Kickstarter and our social media pages. We are pleased to say that the winner of this giveaway was David Summers of Illios, USA. These are great pieces we hope you will really enjoy these David.
Adam and Tested back in NZ - When Adam, Norm, and the Tested team wanted to do a follow-up video to the world of Hagglethorn Hollow, we were of course on-board and always enjoy getting to hang out with them and showcase the work from Johnny and Tabletop Troubadour Games. However, when they said they wanted to film in New Zealand in just 3 weeks’ time, we had to act and think fast!
Johnny gives an account of the experience here...
Being an obsessive hobbyist who has made a living from his hobbies, I’ve inevitably ended up as a bit of a workaholic with a fairly decent output ratio but the question remained - ‘What am I going to set up for Tested that is on par, and possibly even a step up from the last video?’
Fortunately, we were in the final stages in creating the prototypes for the next campaign which we recently hinted at. The timing for that could not have been better but we really wanted to make an impact with his visit. The goal was to make Adam speechless and for those who follow Adam, knows that is no easy task so I needed something more.
It so happened that I had also been working on a far more realistic landscape for my own personal gaming and to showcase TTG’s next campaign on (still some months away from launch). The previous table featured on Tested was purposely flat as the goal was to show how Hagglethorn Hollow could really bring a game to life on an achievable table with only paint and flock rather than an elaborate custom table. While I felt that goal was achieved, I personally wanted to push my skills further and attempt the gaming table I had been dreaming of since I began my gaming obsession almost 20 years ago.
While this ‘dream’ table was already underway, it still needed weeks, perhaps even months of work to complete. With a tight 3-week deadline looming overhead, I knew two things - I wasn’t going to ask Adam and Norm to change their flights, and I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity!
So, I planned out the next 21 days with a comprehensive to-do list and delegated tasks to some of my diligent and very generous gaming buddies. Everything was now on a tight somewhat optimistic schedule but I’m happy to report we were able to complete it in time and as a result, Tested will once again be unveiling the next Kickstarter from TTG in a few months time.
As always, hanging with Adam and the team was heaps fo fun and we here at Tabletop Troubadour can not wait to share the episode with you as soon as possible. - Johnny
PS. I highly recommend everyone read Adam Savage’s Book - Every Tool is a Hammer, to learn all about the value of list-making when it comes to creative endeavors.
New Giveaway - Signed Adam Savage Book! - As mentioned above, if you haven’t read Adam’s book or listened to the audiobook (which he personally reads) it’s a fantastic account of his experiences and the lessons he learned over the years which are applicable to all levels of creatives.
You can order Adam's book now from Amazon, or the audiobook from Audible.
While Adam was in NZ, he personally signed two copies of the book to fellow Hagglethonians for us to giveaway. Johnny also has done an original sketch in each book as well. One copy will be given away in a comp exclusive to our Hagglethorn Hollow backers, and the other will be open for all to enter. Look out for info in the next 24hrs.
The 3D Kickstarter Campaign - We are still working towards a 3D campaign for Hagglethorn Hollow and it will still be with Printable Scenery. At this time (unforeseen COVID delays not included) we are estimating it will be around the end of May at the earliest as Printable Scenery does have another campaign currently in development and that will be run before the Hagglethorn Hollow campaign.
We would also like to commend our pals at Printable Scenery for currently doing their part in fighting COVID-19 by contributing their skills and resources in the production of face shields for medical professionals. The global 3D printing community has come together and responded to this pandemic with immense generosity and initiative to provide support in this fight and we applaud them all for it.
If you are a 3D printing hobbyist and interested in more info about the face shields, the STL files for the face shield that PS is printing can be found here.
Hagglethorn Hollow Color Palette - The request for a color palette of Hagglethorn has come up several times now so we will provide that info in any update next week. This info will also be in the book as well and in more detail. We are also going to release a portion of a painting chapter from the book section. In this, Johnny talks about the wide benefits of using common house paint, and the application processes he used when painting Hagglethorn Hollow.
Once again, thank you all for your patience and understanding. You are a great community and we are encouraged by the posts and comments of support towards us and each other.
Stay safe everyone,
- The TTG Team
The Town Statues Giveaway!
4 months ago
– Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 01:31:34 AM
As we work through the final production and delivery stages for Hagglethorn Hollow, we thought we would dig into our prototypes vault and find some unique giveaways to show our thanks for everyone's support. We found a few items that were integral parts of our journey starting with this one - A full set of the first test prints of The Town Statues!
How to Enter: Just comment with "count me in" on THIS update, and just like that, you are in the running. For non-backers who cannot post here, you can enter via our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The post will have the entry info attached.
Entries close 23rd Feb 2020 11pm EST and we will draw the winner on the 25th Feb 2020.
These prints were created by scanning the original 11" (28cm) figures sculpted by Johnny Fraser-Allen and then 3D printing them at Weta Workshop at various smaller sizes in order for us to find the optimal size to suit the world.
"In the original sculpts, I purposefully over-sculpted the chisel marks and aged cracks in the stone so it would register better once downsized. The process also meant that when the dry brush and wash are applied, the details in the statues really pop which for the scale used on the tabletop." - Johnny
Thanks again everyone. We have a few of these giveaways/comps coming up including some that will be exclusive to only our Hagglethorn Hollow backers.
Production, Shipping, Zombicide, Comps and more! 2020 is going to be a big year!
4 months ago
– Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 02:35:34 AM
Again, we thank everyone for their patience and support. The community has been incredible and while late delivery is quite common with Kickstarters, it's something we thought wouldn't be an issue for us and are disappointed for not anticipating every possible detail that could delay delivery. It has been quite an eventful few weeks and this update is quite a sizable one, but we wanted to address everything that we could provide information on.
So here we go!
So, it’s surreal to have to lead with this, and its a subject matter we never thought we would need to address but the Coronavirus does have an impact on the gaming industry. How much of an impact is yet to be determined and we are continually monitoring the developments with our factory and shipping partners. Fortunately, our production facility in China is not in the main affected region, however, like many regions, there are cautionary restrictions in place for travel. The immediate effect for us was having to cancel our trips to China for the final QC (quality control) pass on the remaining products going through production. There are still other ways we can do QC but being there in person is the most effective way.
As you would appreciate the situation in China is quite fluid and at times we have limited information and response times can be longer, however, we will continue to work with our production and shipping partners who are responding to queries from their other clients also.
At this stage, the physical production is around 75% complete, which means cast, painted and boxed sitting in a warehouse. The bulk of that 75% is the stretch goals, the ruin sections and any items that have thatch roofs. All masters have been cast. The final run of production consists of signing off paint masters on those last items and QC on the last pieces before they pack them up.
As mentioned above, we are also constrained by the current travel restrictions to China. So we plan to have the final samples couriered to us for sign-off and acceptance. This means there will be some additional time involved. We estimate the total impact to date of the Coronavirus on our Q1 delivery to be 3 weeks.
Shipping Addresses and Combining Orders
If you have a change of address then all you need to do is DM us on Kickstarter with your new info. Address changes rarely incur any additional shipping charges or shipping credit unless you were to move to another country.
If you have multiple orders with us, we can also combine your orders which will mean you track only one shipment instead of multiple. This can also result in a saving in shipping costs. This is not always much and is dependent on the items you ordered.
Zombicide Comes to Hagglethorn Hollow
Since unveiling the early concepts of the "Zombicide comes to Hagglethorn Hollow" collaboration with CMON at 2019 GenCon, and then having a second showing at the 2019 Essen Game Fair, there has been continual positive interest in this venture. It's incredibly exciting for us and the opportunity to work so closely with CMON is amazing.
At this stage, we are still refining the product so look out for it at 2020 conventions for more playtesting and development updates. This is a longer-term project so following us on social media is the best way to stay informed about any events we attend and you can find us through these links Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
The Next Kickstarter
So we've been chomping at the bit to launch our next Kickstarter, but we made a firm decision that we would not launch the next one until delivery was completed or at least well underway for our first.
We originally planned for the "Tree Creatures" campaign to be the next (quite logical) Kickstarter, but with R&D still ongoing, we have decided to change that plan. We acknowledge that there are many options in the market for trees of various styles, so we are committed to bringing out a product that is completely unique in the market and maintains TTG's and Johnny's creative vision.
The main challenge for the Tree Creatures coming to market is that while we’ve had great results with prototypes for mass production, they do come at quite a high price. So the R&D work will continue and we are optimistic we will find a solution through material research and some clever re-design choices to make it an affordable product without sacrifices to quality. However, we believe the next campaign will satisfy some of the desire for trees. What we are developing draws strong inspiration from the Tree Creature range and we are forging ahead to have it ready to launch when the time comes.
We really appreciate our backers’ patience and to show that, we continuously want to improve all aspects of our Kickstarters. For the next campaign, we want to leave nothing to chance in regards to production and will be producing 30 complete sets of the next range of items before we even launch. We are doing this to minimize and eliminate the type of production issues that we experienced with this campaign. This will also help facilitate a very quick production turnaround and delivery. Plus! We will have 30 sets for promos and giveaways, many of which will be exclusive to our existing community in thanks for all they have done for us. We will do these promos before we even launch.
Now, we don't want to reveal too many details about the next one (we like our big reveals), but what we did do is get our comms coordinator - JK, to give us his impression in his own words about what we revealed to him recently at the studio.
So, enjoy JK's first sneak peek impression...
So, Johnny has been working away in the bowels of the machine sculpting the next chapter in the world of Hagglethorn Hollow. I managed to get a sneak peek at the yet to be named environment and was asked to give my initial thoughts as a backer, while not revealing too much. Let’s call it my emotional reaction to the first viewing.
Firstly, I always love seeing the ordered chaos of Johnny’s sculpting room, with all the available space occupied with sculpts in different phases of development… some with just the armature, some with form starting to emerge from the clay and others frozen, patiently waiting to be completed (mostly complete except for a limb or two), others fully completed and painted. Wire, to clay, to the flesh, to life.
Anyways, back to the new environment… it was totally different from what I expected. A mix of stone and wood twisted and gnarled but in total harmony. There is a real character to the sculpts, stylistically consistent with the ruins, buildings, tree creatures, totems and other forms that are now becoming iconic to TTG. The integration of stone and wood is really nice, Johnny has captured natural growth and you get the sense of ages past.
From a gaming perspective, the modular components are legitimate standalone pieces that evoke numerous narratives in their own right. The pieces have been thoughtfully designed to integrate with the current range of models, some, in particular, are very natural fits. I believe I said “gee, that's cool” about 10 times.
I think what these new sculpts do is build on the previous models but with greater prominence of certain characteristics which will act as historical and story anchor points within Hagglethorn Hollow. The sculpts also definitely have a crescendo too which is sure will wow backers.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This is certainly the case for TTG’s latest creation.
Now we hope that wasn't too vague, it's hard to build suspense and describe something without giving too much away but we think JK nailed it. We really are so excited to show everyone!
So... in a show of our continued thanks and with a small request for a little more forbearance we decided to liven things up with a couple of giveaways over the next weeks. These will be announced on our social media pages and JK will advise in the comments when they go live. The first giveaway will be a full 3D printed set of the Town Statues. The sculpts were scanned and printed at Weta Workshop and used to determine the final sizing of the sculpts. This first giveaway will be open to all our followers but we also will have promos exclusive to the current KS backers coming up as well.
You can follow us here on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, but for those who do not use social media, we will have other options in place for entering too.
Again, we thank everyone for their patience and support. We would not be on this journey without you and can't wait for Hagglethorn Hollow to be part of your own tabletop adventures.