Home Forums General General What Strange Hell is This…

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  • #36524
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    ….where I can buy complete armies of dachsunds dressed up for Quatre Bras, but I can’t find a decent Gempei-era samurai in 28mm for any amount of money?

    #36525
    Paul
    Participant

    Have you checked out West Wind Productions? I have some of their samurai and find them to be excellent.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    #36531
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Thanks, Paul. It was more of a rhetorical question but I checked them out, nice selection but the fukigaeshi are too narrow and too stretched out. At least it’s one more option to consider. I’m trying to recreate the Burning of the Nijo Palace, urban warfare in during Late Heian.

    I’m general, though, I was bitching cause, despite this somehow being the Golden Age of Wargame Figures, pickin’s can be slim if you’re not happy with the Diadochi or Republican Rome or whatever.

    #36543
    Paul
    Participant

    Feudal Japanese urban warfare does sound cool – I toyed with the idea of doing a fantasy spin on this with samurai, ninjas, and peasants assailed by zombie-like waves of Tsukumogami. Not sure if you know Oshiro Model Terrain. They do a range of 28mm Japanese buildings. Bear them in mind if you do go ahead with this project.
    I know what you mean about the frustrations of gaps in ranges/missing ranges: I could field Mr. Toad and his anthromorphic constabulary if I wanted, but struggle to find enough suitable Simba in different poses for Congo in the 1960s in 28mm.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    #36545
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    I’ll look into them, thanks again! It’s hard to get correct  shinden-style architecture common to the period, hopefully they can spare me the work. I’m trying to recreate the urban warfare immediately before the Gempei War, the stuff recorded in the Hogen Monogatari. The numbers are small enough that I might entertain the idea of doing it on a 1:1 scale. If I had delusions of mini-grandeur (and I do) I might consider doing the later Onin War, similar urban warfare but on a huge city-wide scale. Big enough, with trenches and hard points, to suggest a medieval World War 1.

    #36567
    Sane Max
    Participant

    It’s a Market-driven hell. Caesar Miniatures do some lovely 20mm plastics, but all they have released in the last 6 months are

    ‘WW2 Germans’

    WW2 Germans looking sideways

    WW2 Germans with different hats

    WW2 Germans in summer

    etc etc. But people will buy WW2 germans until the cows come home, Biblicals not so much. You want figures produced to cover every period? Some sort of Soviet Union with the Nomenklatura made up entirely of Wargamers is your only hope, sorry.

     

    #36568
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    Well, I just discovered Copplestone Casting’s 1920s Chinese warlord range and DAMN but it is tempting. Early twentieth century Imaginations in the Far East in 15mm? Hell, yeah!

    The only thing that stops me from doing it is that I already have 15mm Quar and it is roughly the same tech level.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #36572
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    It isn’t that figure manufacturing isn’t or shouldn’t be market-driven, it’s the bizarre choices it makes. I can’t begin to imagine how the Flintloquest ranges do as well as they apparently do, are there really thousands of wargamers sitting on the pot salivating over the idea of frogs dressed up as hussars? Even the beaten to death historical ranges (I won’t get into Napoleonics which I see as world to itself) like Romans, Sassanids, standard Dark Ages fare, surely it must’ve reached market saturation by now. Even within the standard periods, very little real variation exists. Look how repetitive, unimaginative (these guys raided from a huge swath of territory and if you want that reflected in their gear be prepared to mod it yourself) the average Viking range is.

    Mac, yeah I was looking at that CCW range too, If I can ever find any decent WWI Italians in 28mm I wanted to do a whole thing about an imaginary(and comic-Opera ridiculous) Italian colony in Shantung.

    #36577
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Huh..I like the idea of Imagin-nations in 1900-1930’s China.

    #36579
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Kyote, that sounds good. I’d love to do a diorama of old Chinese buildings used as emplacements for massive German-style WWI artillery…

    #36580
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Paul, Grubby Tanks has Simba in 28mm. I don’t care much for the sculpts but at least it’s a beginning.

    #36582
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    I went to China this year and it’s really got me reading about Chinese history. Fascinatng stuff.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #36583
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    I can’t figure out the Flintloque stuff myself, either. Other than the guy who made the game is a nice guy.

    But I think it has to do with sculpting more than anything else. Niche markets are economically viable if you do the sculpting or gradually expand the range, year after year, hiring someone to work with you. Especially if it’s a hobby-that-pays-for-itself sort of deal. The Flintloque stuff has been around for twenty years now. Five sculpts a year makes a dcnt line. If you are self-casting and what not, it’s very doable.

    But if you want to do a mass market line, then you have to go with the popular stuff.

    One thing I don’t understand is why no one has done 15 mm plastic ancients or sci-fi yet. Or Napoleonics, for that matter.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #36584
    Paul
    Participant

    Thanks Mike, I have those figures. They are weird sculpts, but they do have a certain charm. The main problem is that they are pretty big compared to my other post-WW2 28mm’s (The Assault Group and Eureka mainly), and the limited number of figures (I am a big fan of tabling only unique poses in modern games, because of the small number of figures involved). Insurgents with AK47s are easy to find, but the problem is that Simbas didn’t really use AK47s, from what I’ve read.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    #36585
    Sane Max
    Participant

    One thing I don’t understand is why no one has done 15 mm plastic ancients or sci-fi yet. Or Napoleonics, for that matter.

    If I was a bored Billionaire looking to become a bored Millionaire, I would pay PSC to do plastic 15mm Ancients.

    It’s always puzzled me why there are no 20mm plastic SF, surely people would buy those? But not a sausage. I would consider playing something like 40K if I could buy 50 NotTyrannids for a fiver. Wouldn’t you?

     

     

    #36590
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I can’t figure out the Flintloque stuff myself, either.

    I used to play it.
    I played it back when I was quite a bit younger and also when Sharpe was on the TV for the first time.
    I really loved Sharpe and these figures were characters too, unlike mass battle Napoleonics which were all too common then. (and now)

    Doesn’t appeal now though.

    #36592
    Earther
    Participant

    Paul,

    Mike Bravo Miniatures are talking about releasing Congo mercs and Simbas this year, based more on the Wild Geese film, rather than on the reality. But worth considering.

     

    http://mikebravominiatures.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/wild-goose.html

    #36596
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    C’mon, Max! I don’t buy that for a moment. You can’t tell me that the most commonly sold toy soldier in the world is the 1/72 scale plastic “Airfix guy” but that dropping down a mere five milimeters more means financial ruin.

    The PSF seems to be doing fine with their 15mm WWII plastics, which I recall knowledgeable old grognards grumbling “will never happen” a out only a few years ago. And if there is anything that is market saturated, as you yourself pointed out, it is plastic WWII.

    The price of metal is only going up, as is the price of plastic. Sooner or later, someone will do it.

    I am not clear on why 15mm is supposedly so undoable. I get that it’s th same outlay as for 28mm plastics, but I don’t get why the economies ofmscal won’t work there, especially when they seem to work fine for 20mm plastics.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #36599
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Why do 15mm in plastic when it costs the same as 28mm? Despite some improvements in sculpting over all scales 15mm still tends to come off deformed (not that 28mm doesn’t have its share of crude sculpts and lead elephantiasis).

    #36600
    Paul
    Participant

    Earther: thanks, I have been keeping an eye on Mike Bravo Miniatures waiting for Simba as I would love to resume my stalled Congo project.

    Thaddeus: like you I also wonder why there are not huge ranges of 15mm plastics available. Tooling might be the same price as for 28mm, and 15mm might be expected to sell for a lower price, but surely a manufacturer would make it up in volume sales: I can’t be alone in using 15mm for bigger projects (= more figures), and 28mm when I need less figures.
    Bring on the 15mm plastic Zulus!

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    #36602
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    Setting up a wargames company:

    Do WW2, Imperial Romans or Napoleonics. Everything thing else is niche, the three named periods have the largest buying base (given that you cannot break into the closed shop of GW). Therefore they have the most created for them.

     

    With that logic, Fantasy Napoleonics makes perfect financial sense. Japan other than WW2 is a niche, Gempei period is a niche within a niche.

    #36625
    Etranger
    Participant

    Well, I just discovered Copplestone Casting’s 1920s Chinese warlord range and DAMN but it is tempting. Early twentieth century Imaginations in the Far East in 15mm? Hell, yeah!

    The only thing that stops me from doing it is that I already have 15mm Quar and it is roughly the same tech level.

    The Copplestone figures are 28mm, not 15mm, lovely though they are. His 15mm range is limited to some fantasy figures.

    There are 15mm Chinese figures for the warlord era, available from Eureka. They’re nominally WWII but work for Warlord. http://eurekamin.com.au/index.php?cPath=87_102_109_684&sort=3a They also have US sailors suitable for Sand Pebbles scenarios. The truth is strange enough, I’m not sure that Imaginations would be any more bizarre than some of the actual parties involved in the East in that era. Who would make up someone like the Mad Baron?

    Or, if you’re going full Imagination, is there any reason why there can’t be a Quar Intervention force?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Etranger.
    #36637
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Mac, you’ll never go wrong mucking around in Chinese history for atmospheric military stuff. The end of the Qing and the (most recent) warlord era is so ripe with odd combinations of gear and kit you could profitably [email protected] around with it for years. It’s much more than just the Back of Beyond stuff, though that doesn’t lack for charisma.

    #36641
    Sane Max
    Participant

    C’mon, Max! I don’t buy that for a moment. You can’t tell me that the most commonly sold toy soldier in the world is the 1/72 scale plastic “Airfix guy” but that dropping down a mere five milimeters more means financial ruin.

    No, I didn’t mean that – I actually meant that generally speaking running a Figure-Making buisness is not enormously profitable in any scale, and that if you only make Niche Figures, in any scale, then you are likely to lose money . It was basically a reference to the old ‘How to become a Millionaire Wargames Manufacturer….’  quip.

     

    #36721
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    How often can anyone make a real living through figure manufacturing? If it’s a labor of love, take a shot. Is it too much to ask for some inspired (= oxygen deprived) manufacturer to admit he’s bored [email protected] with the rancid olive stank of Legio IX Insipidus?

    #36739
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    Given the condescending and demeaning tone of your last reply.

     

    YES.

    #36754
    A Lot of Gaul
    Participant

    +1 to Fredd Bloggs. Rather than insist that someone else take on the financial risk for this ‘labor of love,’ it shouldn’t be too much to ask why the OP doesn’t simply pay to commission a figure caster to create his own own personal custom line of ‘decent Gempei-era samurai in 28mm for any amount of money,’ and be done with it.

    "Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field

    #36762
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    This is a speculative conversation, no one’s being dragooned into doing anything. The thin skin and petulant reactiveness of hobbyists never ceases to amaze (and entertain) me. Before responding to a post it might be helpful for certain personalities to read the offending post aloud in a variety of tones. This will help to provide alternative interpretations of intent for those who seem determined to see sneering boogeymen lurking behind every sentence.

    #36769
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    I am sorry I came over as ‘thin skin and petulant re-activeness’ I was aiming for rude I endeavour to try harder next time.

     

    As to the tone of the reply, may I suggest that inferring that Figures Manufacturers are brain damaged, does not then help your cause when then calling them thin skinned etc.

    As another posted, maybe you would wish to bankroll your niche within a niche, for a range of 12 figures and then say 24 further adaptations from these masters will only set you back in the region of £4,000 and 6 months to a year. If you wish to hand that over, in advance, then your range can be done.

    #36772
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    As much as I’m enjoying your masterclass in missing the point of a thread, I feel obligated to underline (in the stark red ink usually reserved for stamps on documents relating to the institutionalization of those with profound mental hygiene issues) that the oxygen-deprived reference was toward the giddiness and enthusiasm of someone who goes into figure manufacturing for the love of the thing itself. That your interpretive compass went directly to your (presumable) true north of abusive sarcasm says, as always, more about the reader of the post than the author.

    #36776
    Joe
    Participant

    I like the igfnore feature myself.

    #36780
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    Pardon Monsieur.

    Missing the point? I do beg to differ, in your original post you threw your teething toys from your pram in a petulant rant that your precious toys were not being made, but that toys for amusement of others (that were beneath your sneering notice) were.

     

    I have also answered the point of how much money and time would be needed to make your childish whims reality.

    You may take this as rude, sarcastic or beneath your contempt (a place I realise 99.9% of the universe exists). But unless you offer a bankers draft for the said sum, I am done with this thread, and you.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Fredd Bloggs.
    #36783
    Mike
    Keymaster

    As much as I’m enjoying your masterclass in missing the point of a thread, I feel obligated to underline (in the stark red ink usually reserved for stamps on documents relating to the institutionalization of those with profound mental hygiene issues) that the oxygen-deprived reference was toward the giddiness and enthusiasm of someone who goes into figure manufacturing for the love of the thing itself. That your interpretive compass went directly to your (presumable) true north of abusive sarcasm says, as always, more about the reader of the post than the author.

     

    Assuming that Fredd was indeed mistaken and felt offence where no offence was meant, rather than apologise or politely clarify the matter, you went and insulted him.

     

    #36784
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    Actually, Mike, I clarified the oxygen reference above. It took as long as it did because it gets tiresome dealing with people completely unknown to me who, nevertheless, seem to have an (astonishingly childish) vendetta against a harmless post in favor of figure diversity. The onus should not be on me to have to constantly clarify or cushion every statement in the face of what amounts to entrenched bigotry.

    #36785
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Actually, Mike, I clarified the oxygen reference above.

    Yes, but not politely, you then went on to insult him.
    It is a common MO for you alas.

    I have had a number of complaints about your behaviour, I have also read a number of complaints elsewhere, about your behaviour on TWW.
    The ethos of TWW is to be cool and laid back and to foster a warm and welcoming environment.
    I feel after many chances to fit in here you seem determined to rock the boat.

    Please do not come back.

     

     

    #36786
    Katie L
    Participant

    “I can’t begin to imagine how the Flintloquest ranges do as well as they apparently do,”

    For those of us who like the idea of doing Napoleonics, but don’t like the idea of having to argue about button colours.. I think the ed2 musketry rules were better than the latest version, but the turn seq of ed3 is sufficiently nice to offset it. It’s a fun game. And yes, I’ve got Toads! (That unit has sold out of its 100 copies so I don’t think AA is having trouble shifting things!)

    Frankly I can’t understand why modern 40K does as well as it does… horrible figures.

     

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Katie L. Reason: Apostrophe
    #36788
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Well, I don’t ‘get’ the idea of animal grotesque Napoleonics (I do get the idea of playing Napoleonics without the button fetish approach – and do so accordingly) but I don’t mind if others do (the animal grotesques and/or the button fetish).

    I sincerely doubt that having a range of animal based Napoleonic figures drives out designers/purveyors of niche ranges in historical periods.

    I guess the answer is that someone (correctly) thought there would be a market for the Flintloque idea and no-on currently thinks (correctly or not we may never know) there is a market for 28mm Gempei era Samurai.

    #36795
    Piyan Glupak
    Participant

    Sometimes I wish that this forum had an ‘Agree’ button for posts, like RMWeb (a model railway forum), and some other forums.  If it did have, I would use it to show my agreement with Guy Farrish’s post just above this one.

    #36800
    Katie L
    Participant

    I think market research for wargames companies is difficult. You can wander out into the street, find 1000 voters and ask them what way they’re going to vote and you’ve got a +/- 3% poll result.

    If you ask 1000 wargamers what era figures you should make you’ll get at least 1000 answers… and mostly those people won’t buy ANY of them after you make them because of some other reason.

    What people need is a company who’ll run a UK equivalent of Eureka’s 100 club… or just simpler kickstarters[1].

    [1] Simple, small range ones seem to work. It’s when people set off to make 250 variants of figures and 30 vehicles that it all goes desperately wrong.

    #36816
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    Most figures ranges are done, because the person involved wants them himself, and then they are offered for sale. Sometimes it is done because of a perceived gap in the market (No one has done X well, and while it may not be my period I can see them selling).

     

    Market research will you people want Bavarian Kettledrummers of the Wart of Jenkins Ear, but they will buy French Napoleonic Infantry.

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