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Thread: Heresy miniatures dragon saga

  1. #1

    Default Heresy miniatures dragon saga

    A post on another forum made me wonder about this, it seems crazy to me:

    http://www.heresyminiatures.com/shop...roducts_id=260


    Now this thing is £200. Andy Foster, the owner of Heresy, has been asking for pre-orders since 2009, and has shipped 21+ out of 222 orders as of November 2011. The poor pre-order schmucks have been topping up their pre-order money as time went on from £60 to £150 and now £200.


    Going into its 4th year now, with Andy continuously rattling his tin cup about his tax and business woes on Twitter, Facebook and his own forums (and even threatening to shutdown if people don't buy his stuff), I have to wonder why no one is talking about this.


    This is £40,000 worth of long con or sheer frikking incompetence. I can't tell if he's a genius or not, and I've gotta say that list of 222 guys he's got must be every miniature makers dream. He should sell that.

  2. #2

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    Has he really only shipped 21? I mean, maybe he hasnt updated the website with proper up to date figures. He always struck me as a very reasonable guy. I've ordered plenty of stuff from him in the past, and had no troubles at all. I know the dragon has been an epic tale of woe from the start, but he does at least have a finished model now. He's just a one-man-band operation, and although it certainly is taking a hella long time to get the backlog of orders sent out, I can't believe that there's a scam going on. Just doesnt ring true to me. A bit of organisational incompetence, quite possibly, but actively conning folk? Nah.

    And to be fair, it is a freaking awesome dragon. If I had the wherewithal to buy one, that's the beast I'd buy (and no offence intended to Cang the Implacable or the Titan Dragonm. Both are fantastic models, too. It's just a question of personal taste, y'understand.)
    "Facts are the impregnable bulwark that stands between us and the insidious evil of bullsh*t." - Pikey, over on Nagoyahammer

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  3. #3

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    This is why I never pre-order anything. Small companies can screw up and you're out the money until they get sorted out (if ever)... and big companies sometimes just decide to screw you for their own reasons (video game stores are notorious for taking pre-orders and then not having a copy for you on release day).

    /get off my lawn

  4. #4
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Isn't it wonderful when people jump onto forums for their very first post to criticise someone.
    Especially when the person being criticised doesn't visit that forum.
    Refering to his action being a Con or Incompetance is pushing the boundaries of good manners to say the least.

    Whatever Andy's problems with getting the Dragon produced (and I'm aware that there have been several issues with moulding/casting) he IS getting them pushed out.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    Whatever Andy's problems with getting the Dragon produced (and I'm aware that there have been several issues with moulding/casting) he IS getting them pushed out.
    I call bollocks on that. He's admitted he's spent all the money from the pre-orders, and blaming it on Fenris games inability to cast it due to "difficulty" just seems to be passing the buck. CMON doesn't appear to have "technical issues" casting Cang which is at least as large and complex, if not more so. Most likely, you don't pay your caster, he doesn't cast right?

    As for good manners, let's call a spade a spade eh?

    1. He's taken 40 thousand pounds of other people's money.
    2. He's spent it all. Various reasons - Tax man, wife's illness etc. Times and tough for everybody, businesses go under. Sure I get it, fair enough.
    3. He's still taking orders and going about business as usual. And telling people they need to wait at least 12 months if they do order.

    The last bit just seems super cheeky. Just grabbing my little napkin -> let's say we take what he says at face value, each of the beasts cost 100 quid to cast. That means all his other business needs to generate £20,000 just to get the scratch together to cast everything up.

    Taking the rest of what he says at face value, (hard times all round, tough to make ends meet, moving workshops etc), generating this excess cash to ship dragons out on which he's already spent all the profit doesn't seem to be high on his list of priorities. Come on. Less than 30 out of 200 pre-orders shipped? After 3 full years?

    What I don't get is when other traders in this industry go belly up with orders outstanding (like WGF almost did) everyone piles in and calls them names. What's so special about Heresy? Can people not see the writing on the wall?

  6. #6

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    Is it even worth me answering this? Terracognita seems to have made his mind up, regardless of his lack of grasp of facts. Not sure why he's so angry about this when he's not one of the people affected. He doesn't have a dragon pre-ordered but seems incensed that other people have chosen to put their faith in me delivering their dragon. Tell me, Terracognita, do you have even the vaguest idea of the casting process involved in such a big kit? DO you? Because Ian at Fenris has been doing casting for 20+ years in all sorts of areas from wargaming to film and tv work and even he has been surprised by how difficult this kit is to get out of the moulds. Thinking a thing will work and getting it to work have turned out to be two very different beasts. And that, my friend, is the be-all and end-all of it: this thing turned out to be far more difficult to get cast then anyone anticipated. That means costs go up, which means the budgets i was working with for three years evaporated. Not a lot I can do about that.

    I haven't taken £40,000 of people's money. Maybe half that, over 3 years. I wish I had taken £40k, then I'd still have enough left to pay for Ian to hire a guy JUST to cast dragons. I put most of the money aside for dragons, but unfortunately that money was wiped out by the need to resculpt and remould the dragon when it proved too difficult to cast after all.

    I'm the first to admit that this thing has become a fiasco, a nightmare of epic proportions and a millstone around my neck and will happily talk about it with anyone concerned. I have issued refunds for two people out of the list of 220+, People who have waited since January 2009 have received their dragons and told me that it was worth the wait, which is both reassuring and unbelievably patient of them.

    Yes, there have been issues outside of work that have affected work, what world do you live in where this doesn't happen? Not the wargames industry, I'm certain. At the small end of the scale, whihc is where Heresy is, work and life are the same thing. There is no getting away from it. You do it every waking moment that you can.

    For instance, I am selling my house - and the bulk of the equity tied up in that is going towards getting more dragons in. Sadly, the house still hasn't sold after a year and three months on the market thanks to the downturn in said market. At some point it will, and that will help enormously. I am also investigating ways of taking some of the workload off Ian and help speed things up. I've tried to get hold of Ed at Trollforged to see if I can persuade him to do some bits, but he's snowed under with his own work, and his own real life job. I'll be trying my hand at learning resin casting for myself in the New Year. I will investigate other options too, as they crop up.

    Yes, the Dragon is still up on the cart. I tried taking it off and got emails form people asking where it was all the time. That page is mainly there to keep those people who have shelled out already in the loop. I don't really expect people to buy one given all the warnings on there, but some people still want to. And every time someone orders - which has been three times in the last year, if you must know - I contact them and make sure they understand that this is not something they're going to get soon. I explain that the Dragon is proving difficult etc and offer them an immmediate refund. So far they all seem to be happy with this. You're not, but then you aren't £100 out of pocket.

    If I could do it all again, obviously I wouldn't have given in to the demand at the time and put the deposit scheme in place. I wouldn't even have bothered with the Dragon at all, I would have concentrated on other things. But people asked to give me money towards the eventual model and I foolishly obliged. It's been an abject lesson in What Not To Do. But here I am with a big list of models to get out to people and the answer is out there somewhere as to how to fill it. How do CMON get their dragon produced? No idea, wish I did. China somewhere, probably. You can solve anything in this industry if you start from a position of wealth and funding. At the end of the shitty stick that Heresy and Fenris are dangling from, things are different. Ian is doing his best but has his own problems to deal with on top of my Dragon. I respect that, you don't. We spent an hour on the phone just this morning discussing casting and how we could alter things so that stuff works better for both our ends.

    I've spent ten years building up trust with my customers, based on good service and honesty about my situation at any given point. Heresy has never been massively profitable. Those Dragon sales weren't in addition to my regular sales, they were money that people spent instead of buying other stuff. Which is why i don't type this from a gold chair, being fanned by slave girls and throwing coins at passers by. I am well aware of how much I owe my customers and unlike other companies who are in it for the money and have no qualms about disappearing with the funds I am not that guy. I would rather sell my house, lose my mortgage and spend that irreplaceable money on fulfilling my obligations than walk away and rip people off.

    So for now, why not shut up, and see how it goes. You've done plenty of bitching online already. If it all goes tits up and nobody ever sees another dragon you can crow about it and point people to this page or the one on Frothers. Meanwhile, I can do without having to spend ages typing this sort of answer out again and again to people who aren't even directly affected.

  7. #7

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    Just as a point of clarification, Cang is made in the USA, as is almost all of our product, except for the SDE box set and books. Not that it really matters.
    I like it firm and fruity!

  8. #8
    Anatora
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chern Ann View Post
    Just as a point of clarification, Cang is made in the USA, as is almost all of our product, except for the SDE box set and books. Not that it really matters.
    Thank you for letting us know that your dragon is made in the USA. It does matter...quite a lot, from my point of view. I do not buy anything "Made in China" if I can help it. It seems our 6-year-old has been since birth, and is still extremely allergic to anything that comes from their manufacturing that he puts in his mouth, handles with his hands, wears on his body, or breathes the air in the same room. Because he spends a lot of time in the studio with us, he is exposed to all the miniatures we have, including your Cang dragon, which he loves to look at. By the way, I am one of the two people who, after nearly a year after it went to production, we asked for our money back and, knowing by the numbers vs, time, it would be more than 2.5 years before we saw #70 and #71 dragons, Andy refunded it. It surprises me that more people haven't asked for refunds unless they think, erroneously, that he can't raise the funds to refund.

  9. #9

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    <snip>
    Isn't it wonderful when people jump onto forums for their very first post to criticise someone.
    <snip>

    Totally this, first impressions last and the OP tbh just looks like a whining arse-hat - on the anonoymous internet? surely not! :rollseyes:

    Seriously - that page clearly states the wait, the discouragement to order for anyone not prepared to wait AND the number produced and sent out - no obfuscation or misdirection that I can see - all very clear, whining for the sake of it? I think you might well be...... well done - you got the attentention of a few members of a small niche hobby, happy enough to go away? I hope so, unless you are determined to amuse us with more pointless drivel.

    Well played heresey with the explanatory post, I saw that dragon some time ago and thought it very clearly indicated of the wait and trouble it has caused in the making, my skills don't come close to doing anything of that magnitude justice so that alone was reason enough not to place an order - though I was indeed tempted - that's an awesome looking piece of sculpture. I can well imagine how it would be a struggle for a small operation to cope with and I applaud your bravery.

  10. #10

    Default 2 cents worth

    Well I'm one of the folks who put in their preorder just on 2 years ago. At no stage have I felt uncomfortable or misled. Andy has always been quick to respond to any questions. He has always been very clear about why it has taken so long firstly in sculpting it and secondly in casting it. Regular updates on twitter including pics have kept us nicely in the loop.
    When ordering you were given the option to pay upfront which you didnt have to do but I effectively got my dragon for half what its selling for now. 100 squid for that dragon is a bargain, I'm not entirely happy I only ordered one at that stage.
    As of a week ago my dragon went into the post so I'm waiting for it with baited breath. As for comparing it to Cang which I'm also lucky enough to have (and let me just say I love them both), its a very different sculpt.
    You can see how Cang's scales have been carved out at a fairly speedy pace while Andy's dragon has the scales individually scuplted (perhaps I should wait to be looking at it up close before I get a few fanboy accusations).
    Anyway, the point is that noone is talking about it since everyone who has ordered the dragon knows what they're getting and is happy to wait. Those who have fallen on hard times or changed their minds would have their money refunded. Big deal...

  11. #11

    Default

    Since you're directly engaging, I'll humor you.

    Why am I interested? I find it bloody fascinating that you've been able to keep a lid on what looks like a volcano of epic proportions.

    It's fair comment surely, all this info is from you:
    1. 20,000 quid in
    2. No money to make the dragons
    3. Selling the house, no buyers
    4. Your word that you'll make the dragon if it cost you your last penny
    Let's play a game shall we?

    Wargames Factory
    1. 20,000 quid in (or whatever they took in)
    2. No money to pay suppliers
    3. Selling shares to investors, no takers
    4. Their word they'll ship all pre-orders no matter what
    The only difference between you and WGF v1 is that they had a big enough creditor to clean house. You're either fucking lucky or a bloody genius to not owe enough individually to anyone for it to be worth their while.

    I get mad if someone nicks a stranger's wallet in front of me, and you don't seem to be doing much different, except you're saying, don't worry I'll put the money back, honest. Keeping the order page up so that you can inform existing customers? Are you even reading the garbage you're typing? You know how to use the Internet right? You're on Twitter all day, you just need to put up a page and say, "no new orders until backlog cleared, ticket 28 being served". You're saying taking new suckers money is customer service? You're tired of answering emails about the dragon, but you will write to new buyers to tell them they may not see the dragon before their kids, born in 2008, go to kindergarten??? It's just too much for my credulity.

    It's one thing to just get on with it, and another to moan about how hard it is all the time. It's not that hard, you're not painting the Sistine Chapel, tons of your competitors do it everyday. Maybe it's just hard for you, which is why you might want to think again about taking people's money for it and not be "making a living" from it, which according to you, you aren't.

  12. #12

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    Hokaaay.... thread closed I think, unless Andy you want a right to reply, just let me know.
    I like it firm and fruity!

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