We heard back from our Panda rep, Matt, today and everything seems to be running smoothly on the miniature sample production process. Matt also let us know that the different plastic quality of the 3D prints won’t change the final product. This is good news because we won’t have to get the 3D prints in the original plastic redone going forward. We were also able to talk to Panda’s minis guy, Chris, about the project and he relayed the specific miniature production process to us that cleared up some timeline questions. The process is broken down into 3 phases – Sampling, Steel Mold Creation, and Production Samples. Chris Matthew sent us this detailed description of each phase:
Sampling: “We create a few rounds of our own samples, based on your 3D prints. We determine how to break down each miniature for molding, design the connection points, and figure out the layout of the mold. At the end of this we arrive at a set of resin tooling masters that we ship to you for approval. This takes about 3 weeks.”
Steel Mold Creation: “Hopefully the tooling masters are fully approved with no revisions, and we proceed with creating the steel molds. This takes about 4 weeks.”
Production Samples: “We do a handful of plastic injections that are final production quality miniatures from the final molds. At this point some minor adjustments may be possible, but for the most part this is 100% final. This takes about a week to 10 days.”
As you can see this is quite the process, taking a little more than 2 months to complete. Luckily, we’re already about a week or so in and should get the final production sample around the end of May or early June. If we approve of their job, they’ll be able to start the process over again for the rest of the miniatures. Once all the molds and plastics are finalized and approved it would then take about 8 weeks to do a 5,000 copy print run. While this could technically get you the game by the end of the year that would only happen if there were no revisions on any part of the project. Judging by the recent past of boardgame production, we are expecting delays to occur and unfortunately cannot promise the game to you in 2016. Sadly, Q1 2017 is looking like a more realistic time-frame as we proceed further into this process.
Tile artwork is also steadily progressing as Alex is able to get about one tile done every day. He’s more than halfway through the forest and cliffs and should be finishing those up in the next ten days. After that it’s only 39 more tiles to go! If that sounds like a lot it’s because it is! This game is going to be packed with a lot of amazing content and we are all really looking forward to sharing it with you! Check out some of the great looking tiles Alex has finished up this week:
Happy Friday and we’ll be back next week with more update goodness!