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State of the Microworld 2020

 Post subject: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 5:01 am 
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2020...man i feel old now. Sadly, I’m not sure how much traffic this sub-forum gets these days. Many things have transitioned over to Facebook and discord now, which kind of makes me sad, because it isn’t nearly as easy to keep track of conversations, projects, pics, etc on those platforms, at least for me.

Another thing that is changing is the slow and steady transition to 3D printing. So many hobby posts involve 3D printed miniatures, it is eventually going to be the way forward for sculptors wanting to direct sell their creations. For my part, I have considered starting to sell the stl’s for my older 6mm scifi products, since practically speaking I don’t sell very many physical copies as it is.

The business is in general doing well this year, the best since 2016. I expect this is due to the impact of the pandemic and the larger amount of captive time at home most everyone has found themselves with.

This year my goal was to run at least 2 KS’s, as well as to sort of clean my plate of all the outstanding projects that have had sculpted models done for a long time. So how am I doing? On the release front, I have gotten off to a pretty good start, pushing out microwasteland and dregs releases, along with some Dieselpunk. By the end of the year I intend to finish releasing 3 complete armies for the dieselpunk line, 90% of which have been sculpted for months. Succeed or not, I think some of the factions will provide something really novel for the 6mm community. Expect some more Dieselpunk in about 5 weeks or so.

The 3mm fantasy is a new project, and new projects are something I told myself I would not start until some existing projects were done and out the door. But, I have a passion for it, the sculptor is motivated and talented, so I have decided to forge ahead. I do have grand plans for the range, though whether sales actually justify those plans remains to be seen. So far they are performing better than any of my other new releases this year.

6mm Fantasy. Always my bread and butter. The Kingdom of light is 100% sculpted, and I have about 70% of it out for mastering, but unfortunately, the pandemic hit and the moldmaker I sent them to is a large shop, and sowere forced to shut down. I have no real idea what this does to the timeline for them, but I imagine I won’t have molds in hand for literally 2-3 months, which is a bummer. In the meantime, Martin Baker is nearly done sculpting the Elven Kingdom line. In the end, I made the hard decision to shelve the CAD sculpted line, as they were just to different aesthetically from the rest of the 6mm fantasy armies.

Not sure when the elves will be released, given the delays with the KoL. One option would be to send them to one of the casting houses, instead of me casting them myself. When I cast them myself, I have to send them to certain moldmakers, which rate the job as a low priority, and so it can take months to get molds back, instead of the typical 4-6 weeks if I am doing contract casting. Undecided on this at the moment.

6mm Historicals. Actually, a lot going on here. I have the Bronze Age line totally sculpted, at least the first couple of waves. Unfortunately, some of the models were damaged in mastering, and had to be repaired b the sculptor, and so must be re-molded also. I really intended these to be released via KS…but I am unsure now if I will just say the heck with it and go straight to retail and hope for the best. They represent a large suck on resources, so not getting some halfway decent return is not really an option, hence my thoughts on a KS.

Besides that, I am currently working with a new sculptor on some CAD ancient Chinese. It is taking some time to work through the anatomical aspects to get to a place where we are both happy with them, delays with the postal service in getting 3D prints back being the main culprit. I am starting with the Warring States period, but will expand to other periods if it proves to be popular. And of course, there are some crossover potentials with the fantasy line.

6mm Scifi…I have a number of irons in the fire. I commissioned one sculptor to do a grav tank force with similar organization to my existing New Terra line, light tanks all the way up to 120mm long behemoths. Unfortunately that sculptor has been hit with a bit if creativity block, and so only the basic vehicles have been done after many months…but I think he will eventually find his muse.

I have a couple of sets worth of Javelin’s 3mm scifi designs upscaled to 6mm ready to rock, not to mention additional 3mm scifi armies. For these, it is just a matter of finding a lull in the release schedule. 6mm scifi and to a greater extent 3mm scifi have not been selling that great for me, and so I have been delaying sinking the money down for moldmaking.

Fantasy naval game definitely still lives. Work continues on the art for the rulebook, when we eventually settle on the rules situation. Some concepts are going to be revised and a bit of re-sculpting is going to be done for a couple designs. I did intend for the Orc Fleet to be another KS this year, but I have not gotten my act together to paint the ships, or to send them to be painted. The project has slowed for a lot of reasons, but lately, the sheer number of folks doing free 3d-printable proxies of original Man’o’War designs has me questioning the viability of this as a commercial enterprise, it took the wind out of my sails if you will :)

Trying to rough out the release schedule for the rest of the year is pretty difficult. I would say something like:
June – 5 x Dieselpunk Insect Nomad codes
July – 3mm fantasy dwarves
August – Remainign Dieselpunk Insect Nomad codes
September through December…this is where things get a bit iffy. For sure at least one 6mm fantasy army will be released, as well as at least 1 more 3mm fantasy army, if not 2. Possibly also a KS for the Bronze Age will be sandwiched in there somewhere and some Dieselpunk Orcs. Honestly though, the release schedule is fairly packed, so things will start to depend on sales.

So yeah, lots of stuff, lots of stuff in progress, as usual. The year may be almost half over, but I am committed to really push out some of these lingering projects in the back half. If anyone has questions about the business or specific releases, feel free to post away!

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 2:26 pm 
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Very exciting stuff. I've been tempted to get your 6mm fantasy and the microwastelands, but in Portugal in particular it has been hard to get hold of the models without customs reaming me hard with 30% on top of both the models and shipping costs. I may end up pulling the trigger this year.

I must say I love your State of Microworld posts, mate! Don't give up on them :)


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 10:08 pm 
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Great update.
Insect nomads sound very different in a good way.


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 3:45 pm 
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I don't even like fantasy and your 3mm line has me very interested. Probably as I have this idea of a grant scaled BotFA session

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:14 am 
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Just a little update 3 months on from my last post. As usual, I have totally missed the release schedule I was trying to hit. My primary moldmaker and caster is focusing on his own Kickstarter projects for the second half of the year, which does cause some delays for my releases as moldmaking resources are spread a bit thin as a result.

The first of the Dieselpunk insects are n various stages of painting on my desk. As I was bagging them for release last week, I noticed a production issue with one of the molds that needs to be addressed before they are up for sale. I don’t expect it will take very long for that to be resolved though, so a September release is likely for them

I believe September will also see the launch of my very first Kickstarter to help fund the 6mm fantasy Kingdom of Light production molds. It is really more for research than anything else…I know several other small scale miniature makers heavily use the platform, so just interested to see how much it will differ for me sales-wise.

Currently trying a couple different avenues to speed up the release of the 3mm fantasy stuff, but will likely not know how they pan out for at least a month. Regardless, dwarves and goblins are all fully sculpted. I have several dwarf codes out for test molding with another moldmaker.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:35 am 
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Ah the ever sliding to the right of release schedules I know it well.

Sounds like you have plenty in the works sir, its a challenge isn't it juggling all the various new products in development.

I will say that i'm quite fond of your new 3mm fantasy line and really appreciated the samples you sent me, not had a lot of time recently to really take a proper look into them but yes I'm still considering bringing them across the pond.

Guess what I need to know from your customers in Europe really is this, is there enough interest over here to justify the expense for vanguard of importing the 3mm range?

I get very little feedback in my own vanguard thread so thought I'd ask the question here.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:26 pm 
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I, for one, would like to see the 6mm fantasy range come to Europe, though I'm a bit wary of what will happen once Brexit comes into full effect, given I'm in Portugal. While I really like the 3mm models, both Vanguard's and Microworld's, I can't really justify getting into yet another scale


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:09 pm 
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I would like to cast a vote for the 6mm fantasy line rather than the 3mm. I do like the 3mm line but I too am to heavily invested in 6mm.

In terms of the Kickstarter would it be possible to add access to other existing ranges. This because I may have interest in a few codes from the kingdom of light but not a lot, however I will shortly want to top up on orders from other ranges. I think battle valid games offered figures from existing ranges.


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:01 am 
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Not being in Europe I can’t help Vanguard out on this one but I for one am a huge fan of the 3mm fantasy and 3mm sci fi lines and really want to see both expand. The real thing about them is that they’re economical enough to make getting into them much easier and far less expensive than 6mm. But then this is the same thing that happened when 1:300 started to take off: “Nice little figures, but I’m too invested in 25mm scale to change now.” Nevertheless you have to run a business so ultimately I guess that is what will dominate the decision-making process. Just know that if you cast it, I will come.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:21 am 
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Good news on the dieselpunk insects.
Really looking forward to them.


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:03 pm 
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Me too! While the Stahlritter Confederacy is locked in a civil war, the Desert Uprising is going to begin, and what will they do without Beetlebacks to fight with?

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 3:14 am 
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Despot29

Any progress on the 6mm grav tanks force?

Regards


Gerard


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:32 pm 
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@moredakka

You might be better off asking on Facebook, or in the dedicated 3mm group on FB.

@Templar2

Just got these pics from the sculptor yesterday...after 10 months, so quite the wait.

Image

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:29 pm 
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They would play VERY nice with Team Bayonet. Superheavy Grav Tanks? A bajillion times yes.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2020
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:53 pm 
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The Despot29,

Thanks for the picture, they have a very Star Wars look, will you have infantry with them, I would see Stormtroopers with these☺

Regards

Gerard


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