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Crowdfunding

 Post subject: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:05 am 
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I've had an idea put my way by a customer on FB about creating a kind of new models funder club.

His (Cranium27) idea is that members would make a monthly cash contribution that would be used towards getting new additions to my various ranges manufactured. In exchange members would receive a permanent discount on future orders, access to new models early and other perks yet to be decided. The amount of £10 minimum was suggested but could be less and those committing more than that would get a bigger discount.

Also members will have the ability to suggest and vote on which new models should be produced next.

Your thoughts please would this be something you guys would be prepaired to sign up to.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:19 am 
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Sounds akin to something like Patreon to me, could be rather interesting.

I know that Paulson Games did something similar for some of their Mecha. So once enough people 'pre-ordered' the model, it would start being produced. That way you ensure that you can cover production costs.

Also, such a system might also allow you to start producing kits in resin (I just find metal difficult to work with when converting stuff).

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:23 am 
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if it was monthly, but gave a permanent discount, what would stop people from paying for 1 month then never again to get the discount?

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:32 am 
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Apocolocyntosis wrote:
if it was monthly, but gave a permanent discount, what would stop people from paying for 1 month then never again to get the discount?



Well we would have to have a contract to sign up to that would layout such things.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 10:44 am 
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The reason for suggesting this proposal in the first place is because of generous contributions i've already received from a few customers. Paul from battlescene committed funds towards the truck design and another guy from the states proposed a new model he wanted to see in his collection and volunteered to pay for the design stage on the model.

I have a long shopping list of new models i'd love to get made but as always money is the big stumbling block I don't have sufficiant spare cash to get all these new models created in a timely fashion. Currently the new stuff which was shipped to the casters friday has cost me around a £1000 so far and thats for design work and printing i've still to pay for mould making and actual castings on top.

New models are very expensive to get in production which is why a lot of companies go down the kickstarter route but the proposal to have a permanant contributers club would mean almost continuous new released and maybe even new armies if it works.

Anyway this is just a proposal at present to guage reaction and gather ideas from you guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 11:39 am 
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Personally I think that a monthly contribution would exclude a lot of customers who may just want to dip in to help get one particular model produced.

I'd of thought you're better off just doing a straight forward pre-order system with a selection of ideas and their threshold costs which, once reached, go into production.

I suppose the only issue with this is how to control people's contributions which is where the kickstater concept comes in of only running designs for a set period so people can get their money back if the idea they backed isn't popular enough for production?

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 11:40 am 
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You could do something like Eureka's 300 club. 300 unit pre-orders to get it sculpted/cast.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 12:05 pm 
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I see Eureka have actually closed down their funding clubs but that is a good suggestion i'll think on.

The biggest problem with this idea would be the workload, once a new model comes online I would have 300 or more parcels to pack and ship all at once. :P

I could easily set up a pre-order system on my site and if a model never reached it's funding goal the contributions could be returned via paypal easily enough.

Another thing to consider here is that I would still have to pay the designer to create the 3D sculpts upfront otherwise i'd have no images to show backers.

Would anyone else be interested in this idea or have anything to say on the original proposal?

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 12:39 pm 
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Eureka did 300 unit (packs). Depending on what it is you'd likely be looking at 50ish orders (based on the KSs I've done).

Celery would be worth looking into. I thought about using it but it didn't offer a way to give a volume discount.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 1:01 pm 
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I do like the idea.

Another problem would be how much to charge for the models as until they are manufactured I wouldn't know how much an item would cost. So you could end up paying to much or be lucky and pay less than the retail price.

Obviously backers would get a pre-release discount on the models if I can get the figures right.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 1:42 pm 
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Discussions with Mordakka came about this morning as he mentioned crowd funding for all the goodies he is trying to bring to us. As he has highlighted he is personally heavily invested in this. I raised my concerns about what has previously happened with both Steel Crown and TMG when trying to expand ranges led to significant personal expense, and unlimited them closing their doors. So my investment here is to see people like Vanguard thriving.

We had a bit of a brainstorm and further reflections (whilst trying to oversee the assembly of a Lego Millenium Falcon) this morning has led me to try and put some thoughts together. I am however prone to overthinking thigs but....

Level 1 'Mines a Vanguard Miniature'
- Nominal fee per month which entitles individual to a certain level of discount. Level of discount may be related to amount, or duration which someone has contributed.
- I would envisage people need to think of this level as a support level with a fringe benefit rather than a 'want to see my money back in discounts'.

Level 2 'Keep them coming'
- More significant monthly amount which is held on account to buy models and advanced order / fund future models.
- Discount benefit also.
- Bit of a 'brand' commitment, essentially a pre-order system to models you did not even know you wanted yet.

Level 3 'I want one of these'
- Three stages - Concept, Design, Production.
- Concept - It costs nothing to generate ideas.
- Design - 3D design costs. Possibly covered by Level 1 or 2 contributions, or by an individual or group wanting to take concept to the next level.
- Production - Clearly the biggest cost. Pre-order system may well work at this stage. Perhaps if funding fell short they could be made available on something like Shapeways.
- Somebody may of course want something so bad that they will want to fund the whole process and have their say about it.

The '300' club has merits, Pendraken ran similar in house to pre-order to product their Mongol range.


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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 2:03 pm 
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@Cranium27, all reasonable suggestions mate I will consider such a set up if that's the way I go.

Must say though i'm warming to the 300 club idea as it could be run on my site with little effort.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 3:51 pm 
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GMT games has a preorder system called the p500, it uses a discounted preordering system with a floor of 500 units. This is the only discount they offer as a company outside of special promotions. You could put several concepts up, put the floor floor for design at 300 and production at 500. They also handle reprints in the same manner which might help with managing stock on hand but could have a much lower floor since you just have the casting cost to absorb. Something to think about, good luck with whatever route you decide to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 4:01 pm 
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moredakka wrote:
I do like the idea.

Another problem would be how much to charge for the models as until they are manufactured I wouldn't know how much an item would cost. So you could end up paying to much or be lucky and pay less than the retail price.

Obviously backers would get a pre-release discount on the models if I can get the figures right.


Hmm, I think this will require a bit of guess work and experience. You'll never know the exact costs in advance. However, you can get an estimate based on your previous experiences. Lets use the Novan IFV I've made for you. You've got an idea what the production costs are now. It's something you can take into account when producing another similar model later on. Use that price + a tiny bit extra as a risk margin (that's why a baker is able to throw between 10-30% of their daily baked bread away and still make a profit) as a basis. If it ends up costing a bit more, you can easily cover it. If the costs end up being lower you might be able to either invest that in other miniatures or 'give it back' in the form of discounts, freebies, etc.

I'll have a chat with some other fellows in the business to hear their thoughts about this. :)

EDIT: We've had a sort of similar discussion over at Troll Forged Miniatures a couple of years ago. Keep in mind that back then it was just Kickstarter. However, we might be able to learn a thing or two from it.

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Last edited by malika2 on Sun May 29, 2016 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Crowdfunding
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 4:12 pm 
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Thanks for the contributions guys i'm seriously considering the pre-order set up as I can manage that on my site.

@malika2, mate such info would be greatfully received.

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