Wow, things are moving quickly!

Posted by advancedterrain on August 23, 2011 0 Comments
Big Yellow Mold

Zounds! It's been a crazy few weeks. The Kickstarter campaign, uh, kicked off, and quickly exceeded our expectations. Really, really exceeded them, I believe we're about 400% funded as of this writing, and we still have a week to go. This is great!

Anyways, blah blah blah, enough about the business side of things. Since it looks like the funding is a sure thing, we've accelerated our plans. We've gone ahead and gotten the mold maker to commence work, and he has just delivered a sample of our first production case mold. That's the big yellow block there. Not much to look at, is it? No, but it's a beautiful, beautiful thing to behold, particularly if you had seen my own efforts at producing such a mold. Is there a middle ground between dismal failure and abject failure? If so, I had found it.

So, with a bit of luck... we will be pumping out some produciton pieces even ahead of the early September funding date!

Domus Ruin 'B' Fails its Saving Throw

Posted by advancedterrain on July 28, 2011 0 Comments
Domus Ruin B - Destroyed!

What project could be complete without a few little mishaps? As part of our ramp up towards getting the molds created, we've been sampling the services of a few local mold makers. Ruins A, B and C went out to three highly skilled individuals. Or, in the case of Ruin B, perhaps not so highly skilled. This is literally a shot of what the master looked like when I removed it from the ziplock bag he had so kindly gathered its remains in. So... Ruin B will need to be recreated before the end of the Kickstarter project. Luckily, we have lots of pictures to go from.

And happily, Ruins A and C were no worse for the wear as part of their mold making excursions.

Domus Ruin D Has Arrived; Ruins Master Models Now Complete!

Posted by advancedterrain on July 25, 2011 0 Comments
Domus Ruin D

Very exciting, the master models for the Ruins are complete! We are getting very close to kicking off the Kickstarter project at this point. All that remains is writing some content, and coming up with a video that explains who we are, what we do, and why it's so great. None of us a particularly photogenic, unfortunately. Maybe we can hire a model? Perhaps Mr. Angry would like to do the video, that would be... unique!

Newly Created Domus Ruin 'C'

Posted by advancedterrain on July 18, 2011 0 Comments
Domus Ruin C

Excellent, Smithers... Domus Ruin master model #3 has hatched from it's leathery shell. This leaves one last ruin to be shown, and my sources are telling me it is almost complete. We should see it next week. At that point, all that will remain is the need to raise some funds to get professional models created for these pieces. Go Kickstarter!

Better Views of Domus Ruin 'A'

Posted by advancedterrain on July 10, 2011 0 Comments
Domus Ruin A

I realized that was a pretty poor picture of the initial ruin that I posted, so here are some better shots. This is the smallest of the four, and the one from which all the prototyping work has been done. We're starting easy, working our way up to the bigger projects. The third ruin is almost complete, and work has started on the fourth. The fourth is definitely the fanciest of the bunch, we're starting to get more confident creatively since the "manufacturing" process is getting more finalized.

"Manufacturing" is definitely the wrong word, these things are virtually hand made. We're more like a small-batch artisanal bakery than a manufacturing facility!

Footing Replaced & Recycled Rubber

Posted by advancedterrain on July 05, 2011 0 Comments

Prototype Footing

Finally got around to finding a replacement for the EVA foam footing. We found a great thin rubber matting, made from recycled tire rubber. It's got a nice texture on one side to make give the terrain a little more grip, and it's thinner and tougher than the EVA. The cost is only slightly more, so it's a good upgrade all around.

While we were hunting around for a suitable replacement, we ran across a recycled tire re-use industry we never even knew existed. Apparently all these discarded tires are becoming quite an environmental problem. Anyways, to make long story short, we additionally ran across a form of "crumb rubber" that can be used as a filler material. We're going to be playing around with filling the terrain with recycled tire rubber. This will make the terrain tougher (yay!) but also heavier (boo!). We'll do some testing and see if it's something we want to pursue...

Second Domus Ruin Created

Posted by advancedterrain on June 27, 2011 0 Comments
Domus Ruin B

Second in a series of four ruins we're creating. Larger and more complicated than the first, as we're now a little more confident in our molding and casting process. I don't think we'll be making a prototype mold of this one. we're going to roll the dice with the Kickstarter concept, and see if we can send the whole set of Domus Ruins off to get the real production molds created. That would be fantastic!


Posted by advancedterrain on June 18, 2011 0 Comments

Possibly I'm the last person on the Internet to get wind of Kickstarter, but... wow!
No, we'll fire up the 'ole triple exclamations here: Wow!!! I could not have imagined a concept more perfect for the kind of small-batch creative work we do.
This might actually make it possible for us to reach a larger audience.

They explain it much better on their site, but this is basically the gist of it:

  • Somone (like us!) has a creative project in mind, but not enough capital (that's money) to do it properly
  • So, they describe their project on Kickstarter, list how much capital they need, and get it in front of a bunch of people for a set period
  • If people are interested, they pledge some money in return for "Rewards", which is generally the product, but sometimes other cool stuff
  • At the end of the time, if the project has met its target, the pledged money is gathered and they execute the project
  • If the target is not met, not enough people were interested in your project: no pledges are paid, everyone walks away
  • We can't produce enough terrain to meet any serious demand with our homebrew molds. However, proffesionally produced molds cost a lot.
    Well, it's actually not that much, just a lot for our "poor gamer" standards... let's say $2,000 for the whole Domus Ruins set at a guess. Now that's not very
    many pieces to sell in order to make that back, but none of us have $2,000 lying around. But, if we can test the waters first, line up a few dozen
    prospective buyers... all of a sudden it's possible!

    We are so doing this.

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    Completed Prototype

    Posted by advancedterrain on June 15, 2011 0 Comments

    Domus Ruin Castings
    Work continues on the prototyping. Here we've got our first basically complete model. It's got a candidate paint scheme, is filled with flexible polyurethane foam, and is based with a thin layer of EVA foam. None of this is necessarily final. In fact, we're pretty sure we're not going to go with the EVA foam base. It's not very tough, seems to soak up liquids, and just generally doesn't have a good feel to it. Being waterproof is a key criteria for us - neither Coke nor beer nor showers of rain nor sweaty palms shall damage this game terrain!

    Sandstone Brown Terrace
    I really like the colors, we're definitely going with a "sandstone" brown scheme initially instead of the traditional "granite" gray. Gray terrain is just so... tired. Here's a another terrain piece we have cooking (not anywhere close to production, this one). This is the color scheme we're shooting for: basic sandstone brown with nice highlighting and shading, slate blue roofing tiles and possibly other details picked out. Something that looks great, is relatively quick and easy for us to paint, and isn't so busy that it competes with your miniatures visually on the table.

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    Posted by advancedterrain on June 07, 2011 0 Comments

    Domus Ruin castings
    Some exciting work on the Ruins: not only have we created a mold, but we've actually churned out a few prototypes using it! So far we are really happy with the results we're getting from this neoprene casting rubber from Critical Coatings. This rubber is great: tough, durable, flexible, holds great detail, easy to work with, non-allergenic, non-toxic, low odor.

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