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  • Writer's pictureRobey

Zero Dark: The Miniatures Line - Stretch Goals #3


Now that the project has funded, I've a chance to talk briefly about the most challenging of the stretch goals, which is for alternate materials.

The great benefit of printed miniatures is that you don't have to store endless piles of physical packs and boxes. You can print only the minis you need, as you need them. They are easy and cheap to distribute and, for the designer, relatively easy to modify and adapt once the basic design is complete - at least, compared to physical sculptures.

The great down side, of course, is that you need the skills, patience, hardware, software, time and money to print them at all. And part of this problem can be easily addressed by commissioning a firm like our partners at Mr Lee's Minis who will do perfect prints for you, every time (and Kyle is a hobbyist, so he knows how to print a mini to look its best on the tabletop). But printed resin still has some material down sides. There will always be the printing support marks to deal with. And the material has to be really brittle to attain the levels of detail we want in our minis.

Cold-cast resin, meanwhile, avoids these problems. You can get near-perfect castings every single time - especially when you get them made by an expert like Chris at Shed Games a.k.a. Lancaster Casting. I've seen Chris's workshop first hand, and Chris has been casting Precinct Omega's Ballmonsters for a while, now, so I know for a fact that his skill is world class.

That said, there's always something to be said for the heft and robust qualities of traditional (albeit lead-free) white metal. I love metal minis the most out of any material option that's within my reach. So I'd love to be able to commission Other Chris, at Macrocosm Miniatures, to make moulds and castings of the Kickstarter designs in white metal.

But moulds have some substantial up-front costs. And heaven knows white metal prices are sky-high, right now. So I can't commit up front to these materials as I had originally planned. Instead, they will only unlock if the Kickstarter reaches a high enough backing level. It's something I'd prefer to avoid because people who want minis in those materials won't back the campaign unless those levels are unlocked and people who back the campaign before they're unlocked, almost by definition, don't mind what the materials are. My hope is to attract enough people who don't care too much about materials to the campaign to unlock these alternate materials and then, by doing so, to attract additional backers once the new materials are unlocked.

Whether that works or not... well, we'll see.

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