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Vanguard Miniatures the future

 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:05 am 
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Oh, another thing.

I was starting to get into epic a few years ago and then unexpectedly fell a long way down the hole into X-Wing. X-Wing is almost 6mm scale (1/270) and there are a fair number of people on the X-Wing forums that frequently talk about integrating the X-Wing ships with some form of ground action. i don't think it's enough of a market to specifically invest in satisfying, but if you could demonstrate some of your product as being good proxies for stormtroopers or rebel commandoes, it might bring in a few sales. Again, not something to pursue deliberately, just show that you can do more than "just" epic 40K proxies.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:12 am 
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@ Forgottenlore, yes the images in store are a bit all over the place granted this is because they have come from various sources the original models in the DiD range mostly have images inherited from TMG's old web store and I agree these do need updating. Other have images of the actual models whilst other show 3D renders.

I like the 3D renders as a core picture as they give a good clear idea of what the model looks like and then I attach pics of the actual models in the product gallery. But i've had many requests to show the models as core images instead so show what you are actually getting which is what i've started doing hence pictures of infantry sprues and vehicle squadrons.

There is much i'd like to do to improve presentation on the store page but well I just haven't the time to spare to do it all.

Doing really good photos of the entire model range is going to be very time consuming and then uploading them all and editing every product would take a lot of time. I hear you and agree consistency is best and i'll try to work on it as time permits.

Thanks for the suggestions cheers

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 Post subject: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:26 am 
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For the product photos: I agree with ForgottenLore, it's much more helpful for the interested customer to really get a good idea of what something is actually like (especially with the reality of such a pluralistic market). There can be multiple pictures up there too, though, can't there? Why not have a nice painted picture, a render for detail, and a bare sprue picture? Agreed on the difficulties and work required to make them, of course!

In terms of the scale issue: I think the only real way forwards is a manufacturer decides on a scale and sticks to it. If the manufacturer produces quality goods and the demand is actually there, the quality will sway people. I think that 'true-scale' vehicles are a largely untapped niche in the alternatives out there; I personally like it a lot (a lot!) but others not so much. Because Epic's community is largely populated by veteran gamers with established collections and tastes, any catering to the veterans will understandably be skewed in one direction, but I'm not sure that catering to their needs exclusively is a growth direction any more than any other direction (for the future). Besides, we really do have a lot of alternatives in the old scaling.

One other thing I have been thinking about is the loss-leading strategy Vanguard Miniatures follows at the moment: paying a lot to produce a product before you sell any. I think the pros & contra of this approach are obvious from our discussions thus far, but I wonder if having more Kickstarter-style funding is actually better for VM at the moment? It seems fair enough to me for people to put their money where their mouth is, as so to speak. We even get to participate in the design process!

But perhaps the biggest issue is something that we humble gamers and miniature casters can't directly combat: economic slowdown and the erosion of the 6 mm gamer base. It's not just miniature wargamer associations that are shrinking, community groups in general are waning (certainly in Australia, and I'd imagine it's not so uncommon in the rest of the Anglo-world either). If there's any hope of significant growth in 6 mm gaming, I think gaming groups really need to think strategically about membership, simply because we can't just assume that wherever we pop up there is a fully-fledged community playing. The best anyone can do for VM (etc.) is to start gaming with more new people! I certainly would have acquired more Epic if my gaming bunch played it. It's much better than 40K!

PS: Yay, more Eloi!


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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:21 pm 
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About the pictures. Why not have a crowdsourced gallery? An add-on category that buyers can look at if available. People can choose to add nice pics of nicely painted exemplars to it. For fun. You retain full editorial privilege of course. You only want neat pictures...

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:02 am 
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Nitpick wrote:
About the pictures. Why not have a crowdsourced gallery? An add-on category that buyers can look at if available. People can choose to add nice pics of nicely painted exemplars to it. For fun. You retain full editorial privilege of course. You only want neat pictures...


A gallery is a nice feature, but the actual product pages need a consistent, quality visual guide for each product. It conveys a sense of professionalism and makes it easy for customers to evaluate what they will get. With a gallery of user submitted pictures your going to be all over the place in terms of how they look, quality of paint jobs, composition, size and so on.

Another thing. As I understand it, the DiD range, while obviously being primarily meant as proxies for 40K factions, does have its own background and fluff associated with it. Having a page that lays out that background in a consolidated place would also be good, it helps to show that you aren't just trying to piggy back on GWs fluff.

Obviously, you need to continue producing new products, but I would honestly make those web site changes (quality pictures and background section)the number one priority. Having a solid framework upon which to add new releases can do a lot for keeping maintenance costs (both time and many) down in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:37 am 
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ForgottenLore wrote:
Nitpick wrote:
About the pictures. Why not have a crowdsourced gallery? An add-on category that buyers can look at if available. People can choose to add nice pics of nicely painted exemplars to it. For fun. You retain full editorial privilege of course. You only want neat pictures...


A gallery is a nice feature, but the actual product pages need a consistent, quality visual guide for each product. It conveys a sense of professionalism and makes it easy for customers to evaluate what they will get. With a gallery of user submitted pictures your going to be all over the place in terms of how they look, quality of paint jobs, composition, size and so on.

Another thing. As I understand it, the DiD range, while obviously being primarily meant as proxies for 40K factions, does have its own background and fluff associated with it. Having a page that lays out that background in a consolidated place would also be good, it helps to show that you aren't just trying to piggy back on GWs fluff.

Obviously, you need to continue producing new products, but I would honestly make those web site changes (quality pictures and background section)the number one priority. Having a solid framework upon which to add new releases can do a lot for keeping maintenance costs (both time and many) down in the future.


Where is the +1 or like button? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:45 am 
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Naturally. By all means go ahead. Tons more work, and probably time and cost. But it will look good. When it's finished.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:49 am 
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That's true, but another option would be to then delay the releases a bit. So instead of releasing new miniatures at random dates (often multiple times per week) you could go for a monthly release date.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:17 am 
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Honestly, while I do not have anything against nice stories and propainted pics, I wonder if this sits well with the rest of the workload.

You also sell several brands. As I understand it, we are talking DiD here. Will you merge Onslaught, and minors, in?

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:52 am 
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This would then just be for VGM.

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:20 pm 
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OK. Whatever you do, please drop the 90s glow effect! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:23 pm 
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Also, it would delay releases somewhat. But generally that wouldn't be that problematic considering the range needs to be built up from the ground. Sort of a one step back is two steps ahead kinda thing.

As for the background, I doubt the site would need a separate background section. Background could be added to the unit descriptions and if VGM does decide to do their own game(s), in theffect rulebook(s).

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Nitpick wrote:
OK. Whatever you do, please drop the 90s glow effect! ;)


You mean on those renders?

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:42 pm 
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malika2 wrote:
Also, it would delay releases somewhat. But generally that wouldn't be that problematic considering the range needs to be built up from the ground. Sort of a one step back is two steps ahead kinda thing.

As for the background, I doubt the site would need a separate background section. Background could be added to the unit descriptions and if VGM does decide to do their own game(s), in theffect rulebook(s).


Sounds reasonable. Proven method. Erect thin narrative scaffold. Add a small amount of detail fluff when needed (i.e. when a new nice mini is released).

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 Post subject: Re: Vanguard Miniatures the future
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:47 pm 
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malika2 wrote:
Nitpick wrote:
OK. Whatever you do, please drop the 90s glow effect! ;)


You mean on those renders?


Yes. Again, just my subjective view. Nice and sharp renders, made to look less nice by a strange fuzzy radioactive glow. It has been mentioned before, but Ben insisted (if I recall correctly). Not a huge biggie, but if you are really going for a significantly more professional vibe, in my view, that would be a place to start.

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