KICKSTARTER, Backing the Underdogs

COUNTERBLAST
I’m currently backing three projects on Kickstarter: Shadows of Esteren: Tuath, COUNTERBLAST, and World of Twilight: Travels through Anyaral.  None of these are mainstream brands, but based on the quality of their products and design alone they should be more well known than they are.

Shadows of Esteren is the most successful of this group.  With three very successful Kickstarters under their belt, the Esteren team has built up a reputable brand and can rely on a strong customer base to propel their projects along at this point.  I don’t foresee myself ever having time to actually play this RPG, but as an example of artistic design and deeply imaginative world-building, it has few contenders.  In many ways it reminds me of the efforts Rackham put into similar products when they were still leaders of the avant-garde in this industry.

COUNTERBLAST.  My preferences in miniatures have always been eclectic.  I don’t obsess about a particular scale, probably because I rarely  game, and I’ve never been particular about a single genre over the others.  In recent years, however, I’ve noticed a growing trend toward historicals, pulp, and more old-school flavors.  I’ve also started moving away from highly detailed miniatures in favor of models that are simpler in design.  Currently, for example, I’m working on some Copplestone Back of Beyond and High Adventure models, a Crusader Miniatures Carthaginian army, Warlord Soviets, Flames of War Soviets, Gripping Beast/Ebob Normans, and Baueda Vikings for DBA.  COUNTERBLAST appealed to me in part due to its apparent influence from Star Frontiers, which scratches a nostalgic itch, but also the simple yet characterful designs of the models, something that also distinguishes some of the models noted above.

COUNTERBLAST - Miniatures Game -- Kicktraq Mini

World of Twilight.  I first encountered Mike Thorp’s work when he won a sculpting contest on Frothers for his unique Traveling Court of the Brownie King model.  I’ve been following his related Twilight project ever since.  I was lucky to get one of the old Twilight starter kits when they were still available from Hasslefree, and have collected the odd model from his range from time to time.  The Twilight Kickstarter has rekindled my interest in a big way, and I count myself lucky that I got in at the early bird level.

World of Twilight
World Of Twilight: Travels through Anyaral -- Kicktraq Mini

PODCASTS, Game Glassy 56: “XTREME GAMING!!!”

Game Classy 56

The latest episode of Game Glassy is ready for your listening pleasure.

Joe and Steve push it to the maxxxxx 90′s style this week as they cover explosions, energy drinks, and male beach volleyball. Well, actually they talk a lot of kickstarters including Arcadia Quest, Super Dungeon Explore, Vikings, Minotaurs, and T5 terrain.  All this and Steve loses it over some meeples.  P.S. T2: Judgement Day isn’t very Good.

ANAKRON MINIATURES STUDIO, Restock and New Accessory Kit

Anakron Miniatures Studio

tentacles accessory kit

Anakron Miniatures Studio recently restocked their complete line of miniatures and added a new tentacles accessory kit to their store.  Some of these restocked items have been out of print for a few years, so if you were wavering before now’s the time to pick them up.

Anakron Miniatures store

RED BOX GAMES, Norse Warriors Kickstarter

Red Box Games Norse Warriors on Kickstarter

Red Box GamesNorse Warriors Kickstarter is down to the final hours at this point.  This is definitely break the 10k mark this evening, but I’d love to see this end at least in the neighborhood of $15,000.  It is an incredible deal for six models by one of the industries most talented artists; and your contribution will ensure that more of the same will follow.

IMBRIAN ARTS, Basilisk/Cockatrice

Purchase the Basilisk from the Imbrian Arts store

The Basilisk

Imbrian Arts released today the next model made possible in part by backers of their first Kickstarter campaign.  Behold the Basilisk.  In a post on Frothers, Jody SIEGEL, owner and lead sculptor for Imbrian, described his “[f]reaky dinosaur loin cloth wearing bird man” creation as something of a “a middle evolutionary step between dinosaur and bird.”  I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it’s unique concepts like this that set Jody’s work above and beyond a lot of traditional fantasy fare.

The Basilisk measures 45mm to the tip of the wings, and comes with an alternate head (see concept art below) allowing one to build the Cockatrice variant of the beast.

The Basilisk concept art

Basilisk concept art with alternate Cockatrice head

MINIATURE MENTOR, Complete Guide to Photographing Miniatures

Photographing miniatures has always been a major challenge for me.  I have all the right equipment, but my pictures have never turned out quite right.  I’ve read several tutorials on still photography, some even devoted specifically to  miniatures, and the results have always been unsatisfactory to some degree or another.  Then Miniature Mentor released their latest video, The Complete Guide to Photographing Miniatures, and I was saved:

Miniature Mentor is excited to bring you the Complete Guide to Photographing Miniatures in over 7 hours of video!!! Join professional commercial photographer Felix Wedgwood as he guides you through all the steps necessary to create amazing photographs of your miniatures. THIS IS NOT A BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIAL – plenty of those on the net.

NO LIGHT TENTS WERE USED IN THE MAKING OF THIS TUTORIAL!!! We didn’t take the easy way out here – you’ll learn the true art of photography and lighting.This tutorial focuses solely on miniatures and the obstacles of shooting/lighting tiny objects. You’ll learn about lights and lighting, diffraction, depth of field, sensor size, lens resolution, light fall-off and more.

This tutorial is designed for any and all budgets. It is not neccessary to upgrade your existing equipment. The tutorial’s main focus is how to properly light your photographs and how to setup your photo station.

$25 well spent.  Don’t believe me?  I shot these after watching the video, and they are miles ahead of my earlier attempts.  I’m predicting even better results once I get the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.  If you’re serious about miniature photography, I can’t recommend this video enough.

ANAKRON, Le Goelier de Cadwallon

Anakron recently shared this preview of his entry for a painting contest in France, “Le Gaelier of Cadwallon” (Jailer of Cadwallon).  This is a combination of stock Rackham models and some unique elements designed specifically for this piece (i.e. the tentacles).

Anakron’s work ceases to amaze me, and I wish him all the best at the contest.