Wednesday, 29 February 2012

It’s all YOUR fault!

Here we have the assault squad finals, created with feedback by all of you.

Changes from the originals:
Widened stance on one of the leg sets.
Ankle armor to better ground the mini
Complete rework of the grenade launcher.
Addition of a squad leader’s sword.
Addition of an optional shield.

Taking feedback and making changes to these, took me in directions I would never have gone by myself. The vote for the grenade launcher was pretty much unanimous, as a lover of auto-feed weapons; the cylinder design was not an avenue I would have ever explored.
The sword design was so close that I needed to make the call, #1 and #2 were tied, so I stayed with what I had. The only acceptation was the addition of a squad commander’s sword to set him apart from his squad.

I would never have mated these with a shield but the folks on Dakka were pretty persistent and I am happy to oblige. This addition raised some interesting problems as the figures were not originally designed for the use of a shield. This meant I needed to affix the shield in such a way that we overcame collision issues with those massive shoulders and the large drum mag on the grenade launcher. I tried to keep the fit to the arm as tight as possible while allowing some play to be able to tilt the shield and overcome those collision issues. I also wanted to provide enough surface contact so we could avoid any pining and just use glue or green-stuff. As an optional piece you can leave it off if that is your preference.
Thank you to all who took the time to weigh in!

Next up will be the changes to the heavy weapons crew and giving those energy weapons a change to deal with that awkward left arm.
Here is the revised assault squad you helped create.

Here is the optional shield

And the squad with shields equipped.

I hope you enjoy the revisions and would like to once again thank all of you for helping to shape these minis.

Back to the Sturmtruppen for a review or three:

This was a write up over at DWARTIST’S . Although he pins his minis, I have not had a need to do so
He also made a neat discovery, the plastic heads form Warlord WWII minis work rather nicely with these figs.

There is also a review over at Resin Addict. He also discusses the figures on his forum, go check them out...
Anton over at Toomuchmetal posted up a review for his Secret of the Third Reich army. You can see some nice shots next to another manufacturers minis.


I should have these up for retail sales near the end of next week; I just need to push up some shopping cart software to the website to get thing rolling.
 

All the best!
Mark-

Monday, 27 February 2012

I love you guys!

After receiving some great feedback here and on Dakka-Dakka, the general consensus, (two or more mentions of the same issue) so far seems to be.

Make for easy weapon swaps:

Will do…. I will make a few blank arms without weapons.

Make all three helmets available as options for each figure:

Yep, all three will be included with each mini, for both heavy weapon and assault minis.

Energy heavy weapons need to be supported by free arm:

I will rework this, I agree the left arm needs something to do 

Some issues with the size or design of the shoulder pads:

I probably won’t make huge changes to these, it’s a design decision that defines the minis silhouette but I think they could use some tweaking to make the minis less top heavy while maintaining a heavily armored look.

Need to re-design the sword to more medieval two handed sword look:

Easy fix… will do. I will show an option and you can give a thumbs up or down.

Need to redesign the auto-grenade launcher to be more interesting:

Agree, but I’m completely uninspired here…. If you have examples of what you would like to see or a direction for me to take these in please speak up. (More input please) I will show an option and you can give a thumbs up or down. 


There are a couple of comments that reference them feeling like CAD models or stiff or what I call wooden. Simply meaning, that they lack life and movement or individuality. I must agree to some extent that this is true. It’s a side effect of making what I call a troop choice model rather than a character model. 
I can pose these as dramatically as any hand sculptor but the nature of making a multi-part, posable mini to represent a mass troop means that there is a certain amount of generic feel to them. I could make these as dynamic as a character figure but then you would have sixty minis that all look over posed, like a space ninja attack. I would also need to charge a bit more for each mini because I would not be able to swap parts from one mini to another, so every mini would be an individual print. This would likely quadruple the cost for each print and mold.
Keep in mind that the ability to pose these will gives you the freedom to make them more dramatic if you choose, and it also keeps a line of twenty from looking like clones. Making accessory packs will allow me and you to add bits, pouches, etc. that will also humanize the minis.

I don’t mind doing dramatic character models if you don’t mind paying the price the market is charging for them.

Overall, so much great feedback, thank you!


First changes up for review:
Reading the posts here and on Dakka, there have been a few mentions of shoulder pads and the foot size. I don’t want oversized clown feet but there was a great suggestion for an overshoe or ankle armor that I think worked out well.

I widened the stance, added ankle armor and made some very slight tweaks to the shoulders. My desire was to ground the mini a bit and deal with some top heavy issues.


Which grenade launcher do you like for the assault troops?
 1 2 or 3?


Next up, the sword.... which do you prefer?



Please let me know what you think, nothing is set in stone so if I make changes that you don’t like, just say so :)
All the best!
Mark-

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Feedback from the Kickstarter project and a review of the minis.

Overall the feedback has been great. Comments like, "The best casts I have ever seen" and "The quality and design is excellent. It’s not often I get metal figures of this quality, nor ones that look relatively effortless to prepare for painting."

Don’t get me wrong, there have been issues... the wrong left arms were sprued on tabs with the right arms.... I have replacement lefts in transit to me right now and will have those out to the Kickstarters ASAP. Overall I am very happy with them and it seems that despite the error with the arms, so are my customers.

One of my customers, a very talented painter posted up a review.  DWARTIST’S PAINTING BLOG

A big thank you, to my customers for all their support and understanding.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Preview of all ten heavy trooper miniatures

Some of these you have seen, others are new. This is a preview of the complete line of Eisenkern heavy troopers, with some poorly written fluff :)

I would like to encourage you to leave comments about these miniatures; this may be the last chance for changes or revisions. Anything you love, hate, or feel you would like to see.... please speak up.

I will be starting another Kickstarter project to attempt to gain funding for these miniatures. I hope to see you there and will post here and on many of the gaming news sites when this becomes available.

Here is the full squad of heavy weapons.

The heavy trooper is encased in a protective layer of armor that simply shrugs off most small arms fire. On its surface, a thin layer of IRC (Iron ring carbon atoms) provides an immense level of protection. The similarity to their large cousins the Leviathans is striking. Augmented by the same mechanical musculature of the Leviathan, the armor provides vastly improved physical strength and resilience. All of this advanced technology would be nothing without the highly trained and determined soldier that wears this armor. Only the most skilled and aggressive soldiers are recruited to the ranks of the Eisen-J├Ąger. All heavy troopers wear a badge of distinction, a white tunic with a black cross, harkening back to the medieval Teutonic order of knights.

Here we have one of the head swap options… Each mini will come with all three heads. The standard heavy trooper, the assault trooper and the M42 German style seen here.

This is the Grendel siege gun.

Stretching the capabilities of the power armor to move such a sizable piece, this cannon fires a fin stabilized, rocket propelled round. An initial underpowered charge launches the round from the cannon. Once the round has cleared the barrel the rocket propellant ignites and hurls the round down range.

This allows for a substantially reduced recoil transfer to the trooper, as the initial charge is only strong enough to expel the warhead thirty meters. The minimum safe distance if there is a malfunction and the rocket does not ignite. Far from accurate, the cannon is most often used for indirect fire against large fortifications. More often than not, this weapon is assigned to an assault squad as a “door opener” for the assault troops.

This is the H.E.L cannon (High Energy Laser).

Energy weapons in the Iron Core Universe are inefficient, requiring large amounts of power from iron core reactors. The size of such a reactor is far beyond what one would consider man portable. The H.E.L. cannon are mated to an advanced capacitor that stores the energy needed to power this device. This has the disadvantage of providing a limited power supply and a limited number of shots before the capacitor runs dry. The trooper would then need to plug his capacitor into a suitable energy supply to recharge.

This is the Nova Cannon.

The Nova cannon is a plasma weapon. It superheats a small ball of matter to the point of becoming energy and accelerates the ball of plasma down the barrel through the use of electromagnetic coils that line the inner barrel. A devastating weapon that suffers from the same limited number of shots as is cousin the H.E.L cannon. The Nova cannon derives its name from the intense light emitted by the plasma ball, the energy thrown out is so powerful and of such a broad spectrum of visible light that it will often  burn the retinas of unprotected eyes.

This is the quad mount.

Four MG-42 variants, that have been mounted two on each arm. Particularly effective against soft skin targets and often used as air defense. This trooper’s main job is to suppress enemy units and limit the opposition’s ability to move freely.

This is the light anti-tank gun.

A 60mm low velocity round is fired from this short barreled cannon. Insufficient for use against heavily armored vehicles, its main purpose is to target and destroy other heavily armored troopers and light skinned vehicles.

Here we have the assault squad.

Armed with a power sword, a device that project a thin layer of energy along the length of its blade, it is more than capable of dealing with light armored vehicles and other heavily armored troops. Each member of an assault squad also carries a fully automatic grenade launcher. The recoil from this weapon is substantial, but the power armor makes control of this weapon a non-issue. Assault troopers are expected to go where angels fear to tread, without hesitation they will charge into action and through force of will, face any obstacle.
Assault trooper will have auto grenade launcher you can glue to the fig.

All the best!

Mark-

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Shortpack Adventures (Session 1)

This week my wife started a campaign for me to play in. She opted for using the stand alone Pathfinder modules and the first one used was The Godsmouth Heresy by  Rob McCreary. 


Characters in this Session

  • Piria Coln - a female halfling trained as a flowing monk.
  • Onana Justcause - a female halfling paladin sacred shield with an oath against undead.
  • Boram Icebringer - a male halfing sorcerer with the elemental bloodline of water.
  • Hakon Truthbringer - a male halfling inquisitor with a hatred of aberrations.
While in the city of Kaer Maga the shortpack adventurers responded to a request for help from the clerics of Pharasma. They were hired to investigate the ossuary of Pharasma to discovery why some of bodies recently interned there have gone missing and to rid the site of other vermin. 


Lamia stock art by Gary Dupuis.
Available at Rpgnow from Purple Duck Games.
The ossuary has a number of sealed doors that can only be opened with the chime of opening provided to us by Valanthe. We were confronted with three sealed doors initially. To the right we encountered a strange feather statue and a sealed door with a depression in it. We could not open it so we went back to the left. In this passage Piria claimed a feather icon off a strange lamia that had its face replaced by a seven-pointed star and was wielding a whip and a peacock feather. 


There were many different monsters that we encountered in the crypts here including a pair of tengu youths who had tunnelled into the crypt to steal treasures, a bloated ungol dust-filled zombie and a weird slutty aberration thing that knocked our inquisitor. The halfling adventurers were fairing pretty well until we came to a room with a suit of armor chained to a skeletal figure. The inquisitor examined the body and saw no obvious risk. Thinking the armor could be animate, he pulled the chain which released a swarm of flesh-eating cockroaches. The party fell back but their little legs were no match for the onslaught of the roaches. If it weren't for the magic of Boram, all the party could have been lost. Even with magic at their disposal, Hakon's bones were picked clean. 


They will need to be more cautious now because there is no easy way out of the ossuary and they are short an adventurer.


XP earned: 650 each
Enemies encountered: darkmantle, tengu, sultry deformed aberration thing, flesh-eating cockroach swarm, bloated zombie
NPCs met: Valanthe Nerissa, Iszard and Fiszard (tengu youths)
Treasure found: two potions, archiac jewellery, masterwork banded mail, masterwork bastard sword, scroll of remove paralysis, feather icon
Characters lost: Hakon Truthbringer (killed by flesh-eating cockroaches)

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Kriegsmarine have landed!

The Kriegsmarine were created when the Imperial navy took to space. A merging of the Navy, Air force and Fallschirmjager, these are elite troops and medium troop choices for the Eisenkern faction. Typically assigned to planetary assault, they drop from low orbit with the use of their drop packs, a device that allows the trooper to fall at terminal velocity towards its target and stop just before impacting the planet’s surface. This is achieved by creating a micro tear into void space, encapsulating the trooper in what is essentially a bubble of reality that overrides the laws of physics for a brief moment, saving the trooper from a grizzly impact.

The effects to an observer would be a blinding flash; a two-meter ball of energy is created encapsulating the trooper, then a huge energy release that scars the earth at the point of impact. Scrambling from this crater, a Kriegsmarine, his armor popping and pinging as it cools.
Here we have a five man squad.


This is a command squad.

The Kriegsmarine can use the same support weapons and F.O. Designator as the Strumtruppen.

Here is an example of a typical color scheme:

A Kriegsmarine

A Sturmtruppen

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Assembled Sturmtruppen squads and support weapons

First shots of an assembled squad, command squad and support.

Keep in mind these are multi-part metal minis. There are five standing/running leg poses and two kneeling leg poses. A total of seven weapons choices and the ability to choose what weapons to assemble with any leg set, as well as the ability to customize the pose by twisting the torso and heads.

Here we have a five man squad.

This is a command squad.

A forward observer with  artillery/orbital strike designator.

A light Anti-Tank gun and crew.



Not every venture goes as smoothly as one would like. Apparently when the arms were matched, not all the left and right arms were matched properly as a set. This will cause a slight set back as I correct the issue for the Kickstarter crew and the stock that I have for retail sale.
I will post pics of the Kreigsmarine next and update with an official release date and price as soon as the kinks have been worked out.

All the best!
Mark-