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State of the Microworld 2022

 Post subject: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 5:19 am 
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Its rapidly approaching mid-year, so time for another State of the Microworld update, albeit a fairly short one.
Between December of last year and This May, I have been able to push out the 3mm Goblins and Dwarves, as well as a hefty 6mm Bronze Age line. I’m proud of that level of output, and definitely one of the big goals for me this year was to push out some of the releases that have been languishing in a half-ready state for literally years. That being said, sales are way down, and I can’t really keep that pace of releases for the rest of the year.

I kind of expect a bit of a continual downward trend going forward as I am gradually superseded by 3D printers and 3D printing services. I have made peace with it. I have no interest in setting up a print farm, nor do I really feel like selling stl files. As a consequence, all major releases going forward will be Kickstarter-based. I was hoping to avoid that, because it is a ton easier to just sell from my site + Etsy, but most of this stuff just isn’t remotely covering a third of its cost. I’m hoping the KS’s perform around as well as my last one, as that will enable me to meet the release goals I have in mind. I will definitely still have the odd straight to retail release here and there to bulk up lines etc.

June is going to be the 6mm Chinese Warring States Kickstarter. Almost everything is mastered, I just need to do some test prints of the various chariots for pictures and I will start constructing the campaign page. I’m not going to be casting this one myself, so I am hoping I can get it fulfilled pretty quick.

I would love to try to squeeze 2 additional KS’s in this year after the Warring States stuff, but I doubt I will have the time. The next one is likely to be 3mm Fantasy Imperials, perhaps with Vampiric undead as stretch goals.
Other than that, the rest of the year is pretty up in the air. In terms of straight to retail releases, probably some 3mm scifi that has been sitting for a while, some additions to the Bronze Age line (Gutian barbarians, early bronze age missile troops) and the Insect Nomads faction for the Dieselpunk line.

I do have a pretty large backlog of 6mm scifi items…I might do one last straight to retail release there this year, just to use as a point of comparison for future KS’s.

In terms of KS’s for next year, it will look something like:
1. 6mm Old / Middle Kingdom Egyptians + Libyans and Nubians
2. 6mm Scifi Grav tank force (big one), including some Siocast tanks I had done out of curiosity
3. 6mm Fantasy Expansion

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 1:05 pm 
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I do find it a bit silly just how much sales a KS brings in. I ran a pre-order for my Polish-Lithuanian Winged Hussars, advertised on the same forums and groups, and didn't get nearly the response from a KS even with better deal.

Where'd you get the Siocast done? I saw a video for it. At $80K for a machine though it's a *bit* beyond me.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2022 5:05 am 
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Yeah, its wild how much more you grab via KS. I'm curious to see if it persists over time and multiple campaigns.

I'm getting the Siocast done at Moddler.com. I actually did business with them a decade ago for some of my first 3d prints, so they have been around for a while. They are super new to the Siocast game though, so I think they are still learning. Currently they offer only the softer siocast material, but have plans to get the harder stuff as well, which I under stand is a bit easier to clean up in the case of mold lines and what not.

Because it is contract casting, its really not cheaper than metal castings, even at these crazy metal prices. As you say, the machines are insanely expensive and they have to make it back somehow. For 6mm tanks it sort of makes sense money-wise.
I inquired about some 6mm cavalry though and we couldn't really get to a price that was workable, although they were willing to work with me quite a bit on it.

I'm eager to see what the quality is like, if there are mold lines etc.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 7:39 pm 
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As long as you’re making them, I’m buying your miniatures.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2022 8:35 pm 
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Thanks man, appreciate it!

Taking some pics for the WS Chinese kickstarter, here are a few previews:

Image

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:10 pm 
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“Ahh, the Middle Kingdom! Teeming with fresh victims for my ever-growing army of the Undead!”

—The Liche King

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:21 pm 
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Have to say those look absolutely fantastic, stunning level of detail for that scale.


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 10:19 pm 
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Congratulations on your successfull Chinese Kickstarter. Will we see more Sci-fi soon?

Thanks & regards

Templar2


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 12:08 am 
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Looks good !

However, I'm looking for these Badd Boys though ? 8)


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2022 1:10 am 
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The despot29

Could you please give us a quick update?

Thanks


Gerard


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2022 3:44 am 
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Sure, I can give some general updates.

The Kickstarter was successful, which is great. The whole not being able to ship to the UK thing really hurt me, but what can you do. I’m sure I could have done more to promote it and to make it look more polished that would have increased the funding. Really I had sat on the sculpts so long that I just wanted to get them out there, so given the amount of effort I put in and how much time I actually have available, I am pretty happy with the way it performed.

Lots of my free time has been spent sorting and bagging minis for the KS. I just finished cleaning up a ton of masters for upcoming 6mm Renaissance releases and a 6mm Fantasy KS for the middle of next year. I do it myself to save money, but lord, what a job!

The business got a bit busier the past couple of months, which is great to pay the sculpting bills. Due to my day job, I have to say I have been neglecting the logistics side of the business a bit. For example, I haven’t been as quick on restocks, I haven’t kept up on casting items so I have things on hand, etc. I also need to finish getting the rest of my items onto my Etsy store…I think I found a more cost-effective way of doing so. Basically you make 1 or 2 entries for a product line and set the individual SKU’s up as variants. Not sure if it is better or worse from a customer experience and search perspective, but it makes it a lot more viable to put products that don’t sell much on there.

Releases…I should have a fairly big 6mm scifi release out next month, tanks, infantry, etc. The following month I have some odds and ends to put out for the 6mm Bronze Age line. Assuming I finish KS fulfillment by early October, I hope to launch the next one in November, although I am torn on what exactly it should be. I might also just chill out for the rest of the year KS-wise and try to do more prep for the next campaign, like actually paint something and try to make the presentation a bit better. My gut feel though is that quantity has a quality of its own there.

Development…I have a literal ton of 3D prints to order. 6mm scifi stuff for KS’s next year, Insect Nomads for Dieselkrieg, Hammurabic infantry for Bronze Age…it’s a long and expensive list. I’m also planning on getting a couple fantasy naval ships done up in Siocast, just to see how they look. So much went into planning the fantasy naval line and the fact that it has never gone anywhere bothers me.

One big decision I made recently, is that rather than go back and update some of my older 6mm fantasy offerings that are now a bit smaller in terms of scale than the newer Martin Baker sculpted stuff, that I am likely going to get a Forest Dragon printing license and sell rescaled 6mm versions of their warmaster proxies. I am happy with the durability of the resin I am using, and their sculpts are both easy to print on the bed and robust enough to withstand the downscaling. More on that in a month or so. It does free me up to use my monetary resources on releasing some more esoteric stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2022 7:52 pm 
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Sounds good to me. Things are going well !


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2022 12:24 am 
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Thanks for the update, looking forward to next month Sci-fi release :)

Regards

Gerard (aka Templar2)


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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 4:49 pm 
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A year or two ago I’d have been disappointed about a move to printed resin but you did a beautiful job with the Stahlritter medium tank series so I’m on board with that. I still love the character of your “traditional” undead 6mm figures though, so mine aren’t going anywhere. I would like to see the fantasy naval forces come out though - the dwarf ships have been standing in as Steam Galleys in my Steampunk Renaissance world, with Venetian and Florentine fleets. But I so want to see more of those.

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 Post subject: Re: State of the Microworld 2022
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2022 5:49 am 
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@Mr. Average
Its not really a wholesale move to printed resin. Kind of just an exception for some 5mm scifi vehicles and for Forest Dragon fantasy stuff.

Basically all of my earlier armies done by my original sculptor are more true 6mm scaled as opposed to the more chubby / heroic scaling of later armies, which I sometimes catch some flak for. Now for some of the non-human factions (Beastmen, Lizardmen), I don't see it as a big deal...but for the Dark Alliance, most wood elves, Vikings, Orcs...I have been meaning to have them redone. That being said, to get all that stuff redone would be a huge chunk of change, and I am not really sure what the return would be. So since these armies are sort of traditional proxy archetypes anyway, you don't get much closer to the source material than the Forest Dragon versions.

Taking the Dark Alliance as an example, at the very cheapest to resculpt a bunch of units and get them molded would run me like $1500 if I cut serious corners. For the same amount I could buy 2 mini 8k's or a couple Saturn 2's and pay for the Forest Dragon license for like 2 years. Spend another $350 or so on files and I can offer what, like 5 or 6 armies within as many months? Realistically, just to redo the DA, Wood elves and Dark Elves would run me close to $5k.

Not having to drop all that cash on redoing old armies just frees up my capital to do a bit whackier stuff. For example, a series of fantasy armies in a more Eastern-style setting... the Ubdying Shogunate (Undead samurai), a Nippon-esque faction, a full Bakemono faction...I think it could be pretty cool. A fantasy bent on the Roman empire v. Gaul...there are a lot of potential settings for things that aren't 100% in the standard fantasy wheelhouse. More and more I have been thinking that is where I want to put my energy and resources, projects that wouldn't normally get made otherwise.

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