Raging Heroes recently started up a 3D printing Patreon, and their first month was so successful, they've since released them as miniatures available through their website. We chat to Benoit Guerville, Raging Heroes' Creative Director about the Pirates of the White Sea and their inception.
This article forms part of our Nautical Tabletop Month that's running across all of November. We're going to look at different nautical wargames and board games, as well as interview developers about capturing the sea feel on the tabletop. We'll also look at nautical factions in popular wargames along with tabletop accessories that are available to keep your hobby ship-shape. You can see all the articles here on the hub. So come aboard as we set sail and celebrate all games nautical in nature.
You can buy all the Nautical Tabletop Month products from our tabletop sponsor, Firestorm Games.
The Pirates of the White Sea initially began life as 3D printable STL files on Heroes Infinite, Raging Heroes' Patreon. They've since been released as resin miniatures, and we were able to get hold of a Pirates of the White Sea full set to show off as part of our Nautical Tabletop Month.
The Pirates of the White Sea set comes in 2 boxes and 3 individual miniature blister packs. The first box, the Legends of the White Sea contains, Leonius Sharp Fang, a literal lion of a Captain. Zassaryah Wave Slasher, a half demon First Mate. Bird Eye Bonnie, a relaxed-looking sharpshooter, and Mad Wren the Cannoneer.
The second box, the Freebooters of the White Sea boosts the crew with a Quartermaster, Iron Hook Turner, and 3 pirates, Two Toes Long Vlark, Sassy O' Jill, and Skye de Vergne.
The final part of the Pirates of the White Sea full set are the 3 blister packs for, Greywir Gold Foot, a Dwarf Accountant, Gertrude Rat Stew, the Cook who towers over even the Captain and Lil' Lola, the Lookout, who even standing on the crates, is the smallest member of the crew.
TechRaptor: Benoit, welcome to our Nautical Tabletop Season. We’re featuring the Pirates of the White Sea Full Pack. Tell us about the Pirates of the White Sea. Who are they and what do they want? And how do they fit in with the rest of the Raging Heroes lines?
Benoit Guerville: Well, if you’ve seen Black Sails or Pirates of the Caribbean, the Pirates of the White Sea are those, I would say good pirates, like the ones you love to like even if they are a bit scruffy and dangerous, not always completely honest and not always completely trustworthy. But there is something good inside them that makes them loveable and so, the story for that band was Leonius, a very experienced captain who had just gone through a bad luck period and mostly lost everything, except for this giant crab that they’ve been able to capture and tame.
As things move on, they’re finally able to take it all on a small boat that we’ve put in the release and this is just the beginning of the story. They’re obviously on their way to get back to their original status and reclaim what is to be their main ship and rebuild their fleet. You know, if you’ve seen the Black Sails series, this is exactly the kind of thing you could imagine for them, all those reversals of fortune and being so close to getting what you want and suddenly, everything falls apart. This is what goes on with them.
How do they fit in the rest of the Raging Heroes lines? Well, they are some kind of side-project, in a way. If you’re familiar with our Toughest Girls of the Galaxy, you will recognize a few of them suddenly want to turn into pirates, like Cruz or Blondie, and there are also a few characters that come from the Daughters of the Orphanage in that set. And it’s always great for us to be able to take some of the characters that our customers and fans love and turn them into something a bit different: giving them a new life, showing them under a new light; it’s the same person but in a different universe.
We find that pretty exciting like, how Blondie would be if she was a Pirate instead of a sniper in a futuristic chaotic world. What would happen if she was adventuring on the seas? That’s something that inspires us a lot. That’s how it fits in our existing lines, it’s like an alternate universe. I mean, she could be the Fantasy version of our regular Blondie which we’ve made for a Sci-Fi universe, the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy universe, but obviously, there’s a good chance that it’s a bit more than that. So, that’s how it fits.
TR: These were originally part of your 3D printable miniatures monthly Patreon. Was there a large demand for you to release them as physical miniatures to order?
BG: Yes, the printing option is fantastic because it allows us to do crazy things that we couldn’t do in our regular webshop, like making massive pieces that we couldn’t release otherwise. But it’s also frustrating for a lot of people who don’t have printers: tricky printing is a very time demanding hobby and I mean, it’s at a point now in which you have to experiment and tweak. It’s great, but it’s not for everyone, I think.
If you like to get your miniature out of the box and play with it right away, nothing beats buying the resin miniature in the shop. So, that’s the reason why we release those miniatures and we’re not releasing all our Patreon sets at this stage as we have some special plans for them. But yes, those miniatures have been very well received in our shop, a lot of people were asking for them, and yeah, that’s been a success. I mean, it’s great because obviously they’re not made for games, basically, and yet they were very popular, so that’s really cool.
TR: Where did the design idea for the Pirates of the White Sea come from? What was their inspiration? Did it start off as a single miniature, or was it always intended as a collection?
BG: Well, that’s a question with many answers. The first iteration of this happened right after the TGG1 Kickstarter which was if I’m correct in 2013. Then, we thought, it would be awesome to take all Jailbirds and turn them into Pirates because they have that feel. So, the artistic concepts at the time produced several ideas for them. The one for Cruz and Blondie were then used as a base for the Patreon release. So, you see, it’s a concept from 7 years ago that finally came to life for the Patreon. And then, of course, like I’ve just mentioned, a lot of the inspiration comes from Black Sails, Pirates of the Caribbean and every pirate we’ve seen through our life, reading Fantasy, watching movies and stuff like that.
So, it didn’t start as a single miniature, it really started with that idea of turning the TGG Jailbirds into a group of Pirates. And then, when we started the Patreon, we felt that we needed to have a captain that would be something different and we know that role-players love cat people characters. So, it was pretty obvious to choose a lion, the boss of that band. And that’s how it started.
TR: What’s next for the Pirates? Are there any more Pirates planned for release?
BG: Yes! There are. And there’s a big project which we’re currently working on right now, it’s a big secret, so I cannot tell you much more about it, but you're gonna see many more pirates and well, most likely some stuff to go with it.
TR: Your printable miniatures Patreon is going well. Are there plans to expand it or are you happy with the way the monthly releases are going? What’s the next release for the Patreon?
BG: Yes, it’s going pretty well. At this time it’s tough to answer the question about the plans to expand it. I mean, it’s always expanding, like putting a month of miniatures with the quality we’re aiming for, it’s just crazy. Honestly, people have no idea, they don’t realize. Just so you know, I could say, we are a team of 4 sculptors working on that.
I’m the Creative Director, I’m making all the designs and the mockups of the sculpts and I have two dedicated sculptors whom I work with and we sculpt the final version of the characters together and then, there’s an additional person who does all the print preparation, cutting the miniatures in parts and so on. It’s not like a single man project and it may feel strange because a lot of the Patreon projects you see are made by just one person, so you might think well, Why do they need so many people when other projects are sculpting their miniatures by just one guy?
I would say that what we try to achieve is very demanding, you might feel that this is strange. But the level of details and the designs we’re trying to output and the work on the characters’ creation and all that stuff, I mean, it’s a massive amount of work.
To answer your question, yes, it’s expanding in the sense that every month, there are like 15 to 20 new miniatures, which is crazy, honestly, and it’s growing because more people are coming to it and also, in the beginning, we thought that we would maybe branch out into different sections, like sceneries or a dedicated Sci-Fi project or stuff like that. But, it feels pretty obvious at this time that this thrilling printing thing is still intensive and it’s a bit too early to really go into new projects with that. It’s hard to get support from Patreon for that variety of projects in a way that would allow us to deal with all the logistics like hiring new people, supervising them, making sure that everything is done on time, I mean it would be too big. So, right now we’re keeping it in that format and we will see how it goes in the future.
We’ve just released a crazy cool Cyberpunk series and for the first time, we did something that we wanted to do for a very long time, we’ve made the video presentation in unreal engine, the software that is used to develop most of the video games bestsellers you’re playing with and it allows us to stage the miniatures in crazy cool environments. What we did here is just the beginning of stuff we want to do in the future and bring our characters to life more and more through that software.
The Cyberpunk project has a very unique flavor, the type of characters we’ve made, I believe they’re different to some of the things you’re used to seeing, there’s a little bit more of some kind of fantasy feel to it, yet it’s still very much upcoast Sci-Fi.
The next release for the Patreon would be demons who will make a great opposition to the Angel release we did in September.
TR: What’s next for Raging Heroes? What’s the next release and what’s in development?
BG: A lot of things. We’re currently hiring a lot of new people in marketing, sculpting, graphics, game design and we also have a lot of projects in development.
We have, I guess, something like 4 Kickstarters in development, we’re at the end of a cycle. Raging Heroes is coming to a new step in the company’s life and it’s like many things that have been in development for many years are now coming to a conclusion and are being done. So, we have our TGG game that we’ve been working forever, for like many years and we’ve been doing some playtesting these past years and it was amazingly received.
We’ve got a very special Kickstarter that will happen for Christmas and that is also for people wanting to 3D printing and we have 2 other games which are in the process of being finished and yes, a few more projects in the same line. So, a lot of things are on the verge of being presented to the world and we’re also working on a set of regular releases that won’t be available on our Patreon, but directly on our shop and I guess this will happen somewhere between Christmas and after the Holiday Season. So, plenty of work, plenty of new releases, and new adventures.
TR: Thank you very much for talking to us again Benoit. We're really looking forward to seeing what comes next for Raging Heroes.
You can support Raging Heroes via their 3D Printing Patreon here or buy products directly from their store. Or keep in contact with them through their Facebook Painting Group, and their Facebook 3D printing group.
You can check out our past interview with Benoit in our video below.
The copy of the Pirates of the White Sea Full Pack displayed here ars part of the interview was provided by Raging Heroes.