Today I have the great pleasure of sharing with all of you
the Keilerkopf Eisenkern APC. This kit is the first DreamForge product to take
physical form without ever having been produced in either metal or resin.
This kit was roughed in just shortly before the Kickstarter.
The APC lacked a lot of the details now present in the production kit and was
very much a work in progress when the backers good faith made this kit a
reality. We have taken this kit from a rough concept to a stunning plastic
model worthy of the brave troops it carries.
The completion of this kit was no small task, moving from a
strictly CAD based environment into a real world model without a 3d print or
master meant I needed to put a lot of faith in the Wargames Factory engineering
team, I think the end results speak for itself.
The final kit required eight full tools and three partial tools,
(not including the crew) far more than we first anticipated but perfection
demanded nothing less.
Some of the kit features:
Clear windows that have the greenish tint most commonly
found on ballistic glass (we are still playing with the tint color to get it as
close as we can).
Working doors, hatches and hood.
A detailed interior and engine compartment.
A full crew compliment, driver, gunner and ten seated
A movable defenses turret, mounted to a gantry, it provides
a full 360 protection against unwanted guests.
Wheels that roll around the fixed center hub and a linked
front set that simulates real world steering.
TPE a soft plastic tires.
What you see in these images are essentially T2, we have
some very minor tweaking to do and some texture to add to the non-slip pads on
the top deck and inside of the rear egress hatch.
As we draw closer to the conclusion of this Kickstarter, I
must thank the backers again for all the understanding you have given while we
worked hard to provide you with the best platic sci-fi kits possible.
This process is more often a negotiation than “Here are my
files, make them”.
The artist provides the models, WGF works on the mold split and sends me back
sample files to review and approve, and sometimes I am not happy with the way
the model needed to be modified to make it work in hard tooling. I make
suggestions and we take another run at it. We split the model up differently or
separate a component from the mesh and see if they can get a model to work in
hard tooling and still meet my requirements.
Sometimes we cannot, and I need to compromise, sometimes we can, with a simple
change it all works out. The negotiation process between the engineers and the
client is something that happens with every kit, we can take as many as three
runs at a single model before we have exhausted the options.
Just to give you an idea of what it takes to make a kit like
the APC; the time and resources required for such a large and complicated kit
requires the dedicated effort of a skilled engineering staff many weeks of
concentrated effort. The APC’s tool cost
at retail would have been roughly 1/3 the total amount raised by the
Kickstarter. The sheer number of tools
required to complete the entire Kickstarter is staggering, by the time we have
completed this project, the currents estimates are that we will have created
90+ tool sets for the 90+ unique sprues. To date, we have created 75 tools,
averaging 1.25 tool per week since the Kickstarter closed. That is a very
respectable average if not an amazing one when you consider the process and everything
that goes into finalizing each kit.
I know that you are pleased with the quality of the kits, I
appreciate your trust and investment in DreamForge-Games. We are lucky to have
a partner like Wargames Factory to skillfully execute my vision.
What has been done what is remaining:
Items that have made it all the way through tooling-
All the 15mm kits have been completed, these were not simple
scale downs, every component needed to be handled and changed in CAD.
15mm Mortis: Complete
15mm Nova Cannon: Complete
15mm Mauler claw right arm: Complete
15mm Mauler claw left arm: Complete
15mm HEL cannon: Complete
15mm Left Vulkan: Complete
Mold splits for the vast majority of the infantry, are
complete but I am in that negotiation phase I spoke of earlier to see if we
cannot improve the form fit and appearance of some of these kits.
The Zeus/Loki and Stuka Zu Fuss are in engineering.
The Command Squad is in engineering.
The Black Widows have not yet hit engineering while I fidget
with them a bit more to make sure I am happy with the kit. I will complete
these and have them to them once they have completed the mold splits of the
Speaking of the Command Squad, I have a preview of that
kit. I have made some changes from the renders shown in the Kickstarter.
The Platoon Commander now sports a frock to make him easily
recognizable on the table.
The Platoon SGT. now carries the unit flag for his troops to
The Sniper teams have had some design changes to make them
more unique and tacti-cool with Thermal/NVG. Note the sniper rifles do not have
direct view scopes but a digital camera and a side mount display screen to lock
ant track targets.
The Combat Medic shown with his MULE is in full dash to his
wounded compatriots. The legs on the medic MULE will be one piece for easy
assembly and have a base with holes so that we can have it supported on two
legs at full gallop.
The Coms officer has remained mostly unchanged but I had to
make change to his helmet antenna as there would have been issues with
direction of pull. The Coms officer will also include a MULE to aid in transport
of his coms gear
The Forward Observer team remains unchanged from what you
saw during the Kickstarter. The FO team will also include a MULE to allow them
to pack up the designator and coms relay and remain mobile units on the
Thank you again!