Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Kickstarter 2013

The year is coming to a close - as are many more kickstarters. The advent of the crowd source funding has been a boon to tens, if not hundreds by now, of miniature and game makers. I went back over the last year of succesfully funded miniatures projects and picked out the ones I found most interesting to share with you. Rather than list the obvious ones like the massively successful  Reaper Bones kickstarters I've looked for some you may not have noticed or seen. I'll be doing it from a painting and collecting perspective. I have absolutely no idea how the games work or play because I've never been interested in that side, so won't be able to comment on how good they are. Let's start from this time last year!

Fantasy Arc Bug Hunt Corridors

Company: Fantasy Arc
Website: Coming in the new year. Here's the facebook:
Category: Terrain - Modular - Sci fi - MDF

This kickstarter began with an asking amount of $6000 and ended with $81,683 at 263 backers. Laser cut wood seems to be the next big thing in miniatures. This range is based on the same aesthetic as the Alien films' ship interiors. There's a surprising amount of detail on these. The design is excellent in general and I was struck by how atmospheric some of the views down these tiny bits of wood are.

There's straight corridors, t-sections, x-sections, ends sections, airlocks, storage rooms, stairways, loaders, and storage crates. The doors can be opened or closed as well: they sit in spaces between the joining sections and can be pull up and down with a tab at the top. You don't have to choose between permanently open or closed.

I love the aesthetic (very much a fan of Alien and Aliens) and am definitely going to get my hands on some of these when the site and store goes up. And I have a job. And money. 

CMON commissioned a fully painted set to showcase the Sedition Wars skirmish game at a convention. This was assembled, sculpted and painted by Rob Hawkins. The models on the board are for the Battle for Alabaster game, and the infections and organic details sculpted on.

He has a blog which includes a set of detailed photos of the finished board. The rest of the blog is worth a look too - terrain tutorials and more well produced work to look at.

This blogger also received Bug Hunt Corridors and has a post full of very large, clear photos of all the pieces in various stages of assembly.

I am very, very jealous of his terrain order!

He reviews the terrain pieces, the assembly instructions, easy of assembly and shows what each piece looks like fully assembled. Well worth a perusal.

Arena Rex

Company: Red Republic Games
Category: Miniatures - 35mm - Skirmish Game

I don't know how they managed to make the Clash of the Titans films so boring. They took insane, incredible stories about heroes and monsters and made it dull. The Greeks and Romans knew how to design crazy monsters. Their heroes knew how to slay them. These guys know how to make gorgeous minis that let you act out the same thing on a tiny scale. All without having a charisma vacuum playing the main character.

To start with the artwork drew me in. Watercolour tones and a cell shading quality made me go 'ooh' and click the link to see more. The miniatures are at once detailed and interesting without being crowded or fiddly. Varied dynamic poses, variation in equipment and clothes, and some cool female models who aren't just tits on a spine for once! The models have clearly different bodies types as well which is quite unique for a minis range.

As well as Roman gladiators there are some Egyptian themed characters, and Vikings started making their way in towards the end. What is striking me as extra impressive now is how representative the artwork has actually turned out to be for the finalized miniatures. In one particular case the actual model is a big improvement on the concept art.

And some of the monstrous sculpts.

There is one model in particular I'm looking forward to, that hasn't been sculpted yet. This girl:

I should move onto the next kickstarter but I really could just post sculpts and WiPs from Arena Rex. I really want all their female models. I hope they become available soon.

Heroes of the Dwarfs

Company: Oathsworn Miniatures
Category: Miniatures

This is a collection of new dwarf miniatures. I like them because the very crisp sculpting means that they have oodles of detail but aren't overwhelmed. Sometimes I find on models like these it gets difficult to paint and keep track of everything. On these I think it would be easy to paint everything distinctly without getting lost or overdoing it.

That and the shambling mound model looks awesome. Would be great for a D&D set. 

Maki Games Scenery

Company: Maki Games
Category:Terrain - Modular - Sci fi - Plastic

This was another terrain based kickstarter, this time cast plastic pieces rather than laser cut MDF. These guys had a trick up their sleeve that I haven't seen anyone else do yet: the terrain is reversible and features a different theme on each side. First is a standard modern/sci-fi texture. Second is much more in line with the sci-fi future gothic style that is popular in a lot of 40k scenery.

The pieces can be used to make cargo containers (cutely referred to as makitainers on their website), multilevel structures with stairs, bridges, or interlinked corridors. As the kickstarter progressed they introduced new 'themes' to some of the panels meaning more variety and customization. Even the dedicated floor pieces have something different on each side!

I just think being able to flip pieces over for a different theme is a great move.  Hopefully someone will want me to paint up some of these for them soon. I love painting scenery!

HD Stencil System

Company: Anarchy Models
Category: Painting - Stencils

This is a little different from all the others listed previously. A large set of stencils to add detail to your painting. It is easiest to use stencils with an airbrush but really you can use any way of painting with them. They unlocked quite a large selection over the kickstarter and yet again I am quite jealous of all the people who got in on it.

Examples include really cool hexagon and scale patterns:

And some that would probably see much broader appeal, such as tradition camo, digital camo, hotrod flames, tiger stripes, symbols for spraying on tanks and planes.

My favourites though would have to be the tiny sexy ladies, the tiny tanks, and the skulls:

I mean seriously. It's a tank with tiny tanks sprayed on it. It's all I want to paint now. Just painstakingly assemble and paint tanks. Do everything else normally and as well as I can. Then just spray hundreds of tiny tanks on it. Then weather it as normal. Act like I hadn't done anything unusual. Just rock up with my tank covered in tiny tanks.

I think it's a good thing I didn't see this kickstarter when it was up because I would be the owner of hundreds of stencils and a ruined house. My housemate sleeps through me using my airbrush. I would definitely spray tiny sexy ladies on his face the first time he fell asleep in the living room. 

Acheson Creations Terrain

Company: Acheson Creations  
Kickstarter: Fantasy Terrain:
American Frontier Terrain:  
Category: Terrain - Resin 

I nearly didn't click on the link to the fantasy terrain kickstarter. Their advertising image for the front of the KS was really unappealing and did not showcase their unique selling points. I was rewarded for my faith on the other side of the link. 

It's a massive apple pixie house! How cool is this? I'm having James and the Giant Peach flashbacks. I don't like the film and I don't know why. Maybe something bad happened while it was on? I still like peaches so couldn't have been too big a deal. Perhaps I thought the cinematography was poor. I can't think of another opportunity in miniatures to paint up a giant apple.

This bridge may not be as unique as some of their more fairytale inspired pieces but it is 19 inches long. It manages to have the individually sculpted bricks without being overwhelming on detail too. 

And as a stretch goal they unlocked an eldritch horror's anus. Great painting opportunity, both looks fun to paint and can be done in a number of horrific colour schemes. A bloody centre, or bubbling bright green pus. 

Their fantasy collection as a whole looks great for D&D RPG centrepieces, or as bases for diaramas and display models. 

There's a balance to be found in sculpting between having enough detail to convey texture and material, and not having so much that it breaks down the scale and overwhelms. Even though it is more standard terrain I also like the pieces from their other kickstarter based on old american and indian type buildings. 

I want longhouses and wigwams like I have never wanted them before. They have a large range already established on their site. Even outside the kickstarter the prices look good so I really recommend you check them out. 

Battle Systems Terrain

Company: Battle systems
Category: Terrain - Sci fi - Prepainted

These guys have made up some snazzy sci fi terrain that just needs to be assembled. It comes prepainted. I normally avoid anything that comes prepainted because a) they tend to be awful and b) for me the point is the painting!

However these are actually very well designed and themed. It is a general sci fi futuristic metal base set, nothing too specific to keep it open to the most game systems possible. Multistory set ups are possible and there's numerous components that can be set around each room you build including; med bays, computer terminals, pipes, crates, ramps, cloning chambers and battle damaged versions of most things. 

It this stuff was plain plastic terrain you need to paint up yourself I would be super excited. It's nicely detailed and very clear. As it is I think it would be great for people who are less inclined to enjoy painting and building as I am, and more want some really snazzy looking terrain without having to spend hours to get it.

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