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Author Topic: How about some IWM plastics?  (Read 3087 times)

Sartris

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #30 on: 17 March 2019, 11:41:04 »
Proxie Models sells very inexpensive hex bases without the international shipping

NeonKnight

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #31 on: 17 March 2019, 12:27:32 »
Ral Partha Europe, and IIRC Chessex, already make plastic hexbases. Just saying.

and Proxie Models makes cheap plastic Hex Bases as well...but their site is offline at the moment with upgrade work.
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FinnMechWarrior189

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #32 on: 28 March 2019, 06:14:00 »
Ahaa... so that explains why there are no plastic nor resin models... the more you know...
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Sartris

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #33 on: 28 March 2019, 08:38:25 »
and Proxie Models makes cheap plastic Hex Bases as well...but their site is offline at the moment with upgrade work.

I usually get their stuff on amazon

Two Guns Blazing

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #34 on: 19 April 2019, 01:10:33 »
If you enjoy painting AND playing with miniatures, plastic is much better than both metal and resin. Metal is perfectly fine if you are painting as a display model only, or play only a little, but I find that paintwork on metal doesn't hold up as well as paintwork on plastics when you consider transporting, constant gaming, and accidents (bumping/dropping/knocking over etc). Resin is ok, but still not as good as plastic.

I think plastic would be viable for IWM, but it would be a slow build-up of the range of miniatures. I feel the best way to do it would be to run a series of Kickstarters, each campaign doing maybe 8-10 miniatures, likely a themed pack in some way or another, enough to fit on a couple of large sprues. Building the range up with a series of campaigns focusing on the most popular miniatures as per their sales history for the metals, would be slow and tedious, but would eventuate in a large plastic range of good quality miniatures.

Initially the work would be sourced out to Chinese factories, but some time down the track, IWM could invest in the machines themselves, in the meantime, once Kickstarter pledges had been filled, they could price the Mechs to ensure a profit and that the man-hours invested was worthwhile...and in the end they would own the dies for the full range and could produce as many as they like, re-packaging into groups or singles as they prefer with the view to one day down the track owning the required machinery to manufacture in the US, a long term business plan.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #35 on: 19 April 2019, 01:17:46 »
Did you read the reasons already given for why switching to plastics would not be viable?

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speck

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #36 on: 19 April 2019, 08:43:49 »
If you enjoy painting AND playing with miniatures, plastic is much better than both metal and resin. Metal is perfectly fine if you are painting as a display model only, or play only a little, but I find that paintwork on metal doesn't hold up as well as paintwork on plastics when you consider transporting, constant gaming, and accidents (bumping/dropping/knocking over etc). Resin is ok, but still not as good as plastic.

I think plastic would be viable for IWM, but it would be a slow build-up of the range of miniatures. I feel the best way to do it would be to run a series of Kickstarters, each campaign doing maybe 8-10 miniatures, likely a themed pack in some way or another, enough to fit on a couple of large sprues. Building the range up with a series of campaigns focusing on the most popular miniatures as per their sales history for the metals, would be slow and tedious, but would eventuate in a large plastic range of good quality miniatures.

Initially the work would be sourced out to Chinese factories, but some time down the track, IWM could invest in the machines themselves, in the meantime, once Kickstarter pledges had been filled, they could price the Mechs to ensure a profit and that the man-hours invested was worthwhile...and in the end they would own the dies for the full range and could produce as many as they like, re-packaging into groups or singles as they prefer with the view to one day down the track owning the required machinery to manufacture in the US, a long term business plan.

It’s not that simple. Kickstarter does not magically make things happen.

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #37 on: 19 April 2019, 19:19:03 »
It’s not that simple. Kickstarter does not magically make things happen.
Which is a shame because one I pledged just failed to reach its goal. Coincidentally enough, it was for a plastic injection molded 28mm vehicle that would've looked great in my collection. Now, if I'm lucky, it may get produced in resin.

Two Guns Blazing

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #38 on: 20 April 2019, 01:57:27 »
It’s not that simple. Kickstarter does not magically make things happen.

Fair enough, I have seen more than a few independent companies run multiple successful kickstarters for the same game setting though, which included lots of plastic miniatures, however it is very probable that those had a greater appeal to a wider section of the gaming community. I suppose Battletech miniatures appeal to a smaller section of the gaming community...I can't help but wonder how well it would actually do though, I feel the market slice would be there to not lose-out, but perhaps the profits may not be enough to justify the man-hours involved in completing such a venture.

kinwolf

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #39 on: 20 April 2019, 08:28:44 »
Fair enough, I have seen more than a few independent companies run multiple successful kickstarters for the same game setting though, which included lots of plastic miniatures, however it is very probable that those had a greater appeal to a wider section of the gaming community. I suppose Battletech miniatures appeal to a smaller section of the gaming community...I can't help but wonder how well it would actually do though, I feel the market slice would be there to not lose-out, but perhaps the profits may not be enough to justify the man-hours involved in completing such a venture.

Aye, other small companies did it, repeatedly, with alot of success, and with brands that are, IMO, less known than Battletech.  So, all the arguments that the market is too small, that molds cost too much, etc, doesn't hold much ground in the face of those successes.  As such, I think the real answer here is that IWM simply are not interested in that venue and are happy sticking to what they know, which is metal. 

One bonus of metal, that we cannot deny, is the sheer amount of models they can offer because of the -relatively- low cost of a scult+mold.


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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #41 on: 20 April 2019, 14:10:09 »
Aye, other small companies did it, repeatedly, with alot of success, and with brands that are, IMO, less known than Battletech.  So, all the arguments that the market is too small, that molds cost too much, etc, doesn't hold much ground in the face of those successes.  As such, I think the real answer here is that IWM simply are not interested in that venue and are happy sticking to what they know, which is metal. 

One bonus of metal, that we cannot deny, is the sheer amount of models they can offer because of the -relatively- low cost of a scult+mold.

I have seen many Kickstarter with plastic minis from China. Good for them being successful with getting there product made in China and not becoming one of many failures that you find out there.

There are many reasons why IWM have not done plastic (not for public knowledge). But Battletech is not what all they manufacture, it’s just a part of what they do. Obviously they still make everything on the webstore (plus more that is not). A large part of there business is contract work for a variety of companies. Some of that work is from Kickstarter projects of other companies that they do the mold work and casting for. So as I have said before it’s complicated and just doing a Kickstarter would not solve all of those complications.

pheonixstorm

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #42 on: 21 April 2019, 06:13:52 »
High machinery cost (north of $500,000)

You can get one used as low as $5,000. I did find a few cheaper than that but I didn't read up on the condition or age. For the software and hardware to cut the molds... That I haven't looked up.

I'm sure if IWM had a reason for it they would/could add one or two machines.

kinwolf

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #43 on: 21 April 2019, 13:10:32 »
who are these success stories

Quickly like that, and in about the same niche as BT, Dream Pod 9 managed to finance all their molds for Heavy Gear(3 kickstarters) and Jovians Wars(2 Kickstarter).  Only the molds were made in China, the minis were then made in the USA.  There were others I've seen in the last few years, but not having backed them, I don't remember the names.

Quote
There are many reasons why IWM have not done plastic (not for public knowledge). But Battletech is not what all they manufacture, it’s just a part of what they do. Obviously they still make everything on the webstore (plus more that is not). A large part of there business is contract work for a variety of companies. Some of that work is from Kickstarter projects of other companies that they do the mold work and casting for. So as I have said before it’s complicated and just doing a Kickstarter would not solve all of those complications.

Always nice to know they have multiples avenues for revenues :)
« Last Edit: 21 April 2019, 14:17:38 by kinwolf »

Cergorach

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #44 on: 23 April 2019, 17:01:30 »
The "BattleTech - Word of Blake Spectral LAMs" KS was absolutely horrible, it's as if those have never left '98 and never seen a KS before...

No offense to the Iron Wind Crew, but it's obvious that they are oldskool in just about everything and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Reaper was pretty much stuck in the same position until they diversified into plastic, and the Reaper Crew can run a KS...

CAV is it's own thing these days, they do seem to use the same Chinese partners oversees and I suspect that if models were ever produced state-side, Reaper would still do that (the have a machine).

Also keep in mind, plastic isn't one type of material, it's a whole range. Resin is also a plastic for example. What Reaper/CAV uses is a PVC, but in the past it was of a softer kind then their latest batch (the assembled one from their last KS). What Games Workshop uses is a HIPS (plastic). Where a flexible PVC is a bit more forgiving then HIPS with undercuts and the like. Material also doesn't dictate quality, it does give a range of possibilities and limits.

Most of us would prefer a HIPS Mech instead of PVC. An HQ PVC assembled version is a close second, but CAV got that one only right with one mini to date (the one mentioned previously. But when you pay $1.82/Mech and half that for a vehicle, you'll end up with a couple a thousand after a few KS... ;-)

When a company like Dream Pod 9 or like Dreamforge Games can KS plastic model kits for a far smaller Niche then BT, it's not about no market or too expensive, it's a lack of skill and motivation.

What people also seem to forget that, like Catalyst, IWM is a licensor with a limited BT license. It could easily be that they only have a license to produce metal BT minis and plastic isn't covered...

Proxie Models is cool! But keep in mind that he has a very old machine, it's temperamental as hell! And it's more of a hobby then a business for him, it better be, that machine has cost him fingers! Thus an old $5k machine isn't going to produce consistent quality results that you require for a business. That's not even talking about making the molds. Others have tried to get US based manufacturers to make molds, but results have been expensive, of (far) lower quality and often extremely time consuming. Making model kits is a very specialized business. If you don't want to go with China (your best bet btw), you can go with Renedra in the UK. Some others do decent PVC minis...

Also, just starting a KS != money. That also requires skill... Companies like CMoN are experts on that field, also love the quality of their PVC minis. Reaper, while cheap and it scratches that D&D mini itch, isn't the best quality imho. Privateer Press makes both PVC and HIPS kits, their PVC sucks, but their HIPS is excellent! Dreamforge does some next level HIPS stuff, they are currently running a KS for a 28mm Grav tank: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dreamforge-games/dreamforge-games-grav-stug-tank-model-with-stl-fil
Their 28mm plastic 'knights' are imho better then the GW versions, moving part, modular weapon arms, etc.

There is a lot of room in plastic mini land, but IWM and imho Catalyst aren't the companies to get you there. Look at what journey and how many years it took to get to the current generation of plastic BT minis, not to mention the pricing on them...

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #45 on: 23 April 2019, 19:17:21 »
Dreamforge does some next level HIPS stuff, they are currently running a KS for a 28mm Grav tank: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dreamforge-games/dreamforge-games-grav-stug-tank-model-with-stl-fil
Their 28mm plastic 'knights' are imho better then the GW versions, moving part, modular weapon arms, etc.

That's the KS I mentioned earlier that didn't get funded. I don't have high hopes for the relaunch making its goal, either. They make beautiful stuff, and I have a handful of their kits/sets, but they aren't the example you want to use in a discussion of successful plastic miniatures lines. Looks like the majority of the products remaining in their store are 50% off or more, as they were the last time I visited, months ago. That isn't a good sign in my book. (Kind of reminds me of the CGL's plastic Alpha Strike sets--I didn't see a whole lot of excitement about them in the forums here until they were 50% off.)

Sellsword

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #46 on: 27 April 2019, 21:32:13 »
Are there currently any other popular tabletop games that are using metal minis?  The only other one I can think of is Infinity.

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #47 on: 27 April 2019, 21:51:33 »
Are there currently any other popular tabletop games that are using metal minis?  The only other one I can think of is Infinity.
Other than Warhammer, I don't think there is any other game that has the number of models BattleTech does.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #48 on: 27 April 2019, 22:47:19 »
And a lot of Warhammer models are "Infantry trooper with one of six different weapons" since Warhammer operates on WYSIWYG principles.

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #49 on: 27 April 2019, 22:55:15 »
And a lot of Warhammer models are "Infantry trooper with one of six different weapons" since Warhammer operates on WYSIWYG principles.

No it doesn't.  Which is totally irrelevant, because Games Workshop doesn't do a whole lot in metal anymore, which was the whole point of the question.  (Incidentally, you're also wrong, at least as far as modern releases from GW go, which are produced using CAD; the box of Chaos Space Marines I assembled yesterday/this morning includes 10 unique poses that can't easily be swapped between.  It was effectively 10 different models).

To stay on topic: Warmachine and Hordes use metal miniatures for a lot of the non-gargantuan stuff in a given faction (the biggest stuff is resin).

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #50 on: 28 April 2019, 09:45:09 »
A lot of warmachine squads are resin now too.
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Two Guns Blazing

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #51 on: 14 May 2019, 06:09:47 »
Here's a link to a recent update from a Kickstarter for some plastic fantasy dungeon tiles. The update is about how they have just taken delivery of their injection molding machine, funded through the Kickstarter so they can fulfil the manufacturing of the Kickstarter items in-house;

LINK REMOVED It also appears my previous posts showing the high quality plastic sprue kits for Mechs have been removed. The pics contained in those posts were shown in the interests of having an open discussion about the feasibility of manufacturing plastic kits for Mechs.
« Last Edit: 14 May 2019, 22:19:05 by Two Guns Blazing »

kinwolf

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #52 on: 14 May 2019, 14:38:08 »
160 tons machine, and it's smaller than a locust  8)

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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #53 on: 14 May 2019, 14:49:24 »
Please see forum rules about linking to Kickstarters, and edit posts accordingly. C:-)
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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #54 on: 15 May 2019, 17:59:39 »
That's the KS I mentioned earlier that didn't get funded. I don't have high hopes for the relaunch making its goal, either. They make beautiful stuff, and I have a handful of their kits/sets, but they aren't the example you want to use in a discussion of successful plastic miniatures lines. Looks like the majority of the products remaining in their store are 50% off or more, as they were the last time I visited, months ago. That isn't a good sign in my book. (Kind of reminds me of the CGL's plastic Alpha Strike sets--I didn't see a whole lot of excitement about them in the forums here until they were 50% off.)

I think part of the problem was the time delay between GenCon where they were on display to when they finally hit stores.
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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #55 on: 26 May 2019, 12:35:46 »
the real problem with kickstarters is it's a huge gamble, and there's way too many ways for it to go wrong outside of their control.

the money might be there, sure, but even if it is the fanbase might poison itself wanting to get "more" and forcing them to make a choice between watching the backers chase themselves away because it's "not a good deal" or promising them more than they can reliably deliver to keep them interested and then having the money fall very short trying to please everyone, which i've seen happen in the past.
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Re: How about some IWM plastics?
« Reply #57 on: 17 June 2019, 01:21:05 »
https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=65650.0

I want everyone to take a deep breath and repeat after me.

“Plastic mechs in Box sets/Kickstarters are not being done through Iron Wind Metals”

The presence of this kickstarter proves nothing for or against st IWM and their reluctance to adopt said technology into their business strategy. If that is what you are looming for there you are looking in the wrong place for the wrong thing.
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