Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mecha Front is LIVE!

My friend Jon Paulson of Paulson Games is having his first kickstarter. Jon make 15mm scale and 6mm scale Mechs (Mecha) for table top gaming, truly a labor of love… and it shows.
Mecha Front is a lovely fast play game with enough grit to keep you interested. If you are a fan of the big stompy bots, do yourself a favor and check out his Kickstarter!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eisenkern APC 'Keilerkopf' in plastic!

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 Stormtroopers.

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.

The Process:

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
APC: 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 command squad.

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 rally behind.

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 tabletop.
Thank you again!