My apologies on how tight the pad geometry is on the breakout board. I whipped that thing up real quick so I could send it out to fab the same day I ordered my modules from Seeed in hopes that they'd both arrive at about the same time. In hindsight, I probably should have spent a bit more time refining it a bit. In the end, the joke is now really on me because so many people have already received their boards, and mine have yet to be delivered.
I've placed countless orders with DirtyPCBs over the past year without any trouble, but looks like I got unlucky this time. For this reason, I don't have any helpful tips yet since I haven't actually gone through the process of putting my modules on the board.
Without having done it myself, it's hard to give specific advice, but my #1 advice for using the hot air gun is to always keep the airflow set pretty low, almost down to the minimum, when working on sensitive parts. Of course, this makes the process take longer, however it's much more forgiving if you leave the gun accidentally pointed at something it shouldn't be for a while. Also reduces the chances of thermal shocks. Another thing to keep in mind could be that it's not necessarily being damaged by the heat gun, but could be caused by an ESD event during handling. I'd say that's fairly unlikely, but still within the realm of possibility.
Another huge improvement to working with larger ICs and modules is to use either a hot plate, toaster, or cheap-o reflow oven. With larger devices which can heated evenly with a hot air gun, these other methods do a good job of evenly heating, and therefore making alignment less of an issue during reflow, as it will tend to reflow at the same time and self-align.
I've really got my fingers crossed that my boards will show up soon, I'll certainly provide more specific feedback once I get to go through the exercise myself. However now there's already an easier method than soldering the module yourself, just pick up a few of these: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/WiFiMCU- ... 39773.html