As many of you may know I love miniature war-games. Not that I play many of them these days – work, my Master’s program, and running around and creating havoc in Omaha and the Continental United States take up most of my time. I wanted to go to a local shop, Orcs 4 Hire, and play a rousing game of Warhammer 40k…may not happen.
But I digress.
In my love for tabletop wargames I have the desire to create my own. This is no easy feat. Rules must be created, play tested, rewritten, play tested again, re-rewritten. Miniatures must be sculpted and then mass produced, they have to be packaged, and then a distribution system, paired with a marketing strategy, must be created.
But most of that is down the line. Right now working on the game is that “miniatures sculpted” section. Hiring a sculptor is expensive. Currently the quote is $400 PER MINI. $8000 is where we’re sitting if we pay a guy. And for a small start-up that can be debilitating.
There’s another option that has become more and more viable over the past few years: 3D printing.
3D printing has really taken off in the last decade. Instead of companies using giant machinery one can now purchase a desktop 3D printer for $3000 or less, and the plastic material is $50 or so a spool.
I give you MakerBot. MakerBot manufactures some excellent, affordable 3D printers for companies, or for the average user. The MakerBot Replicator is a rather affordable $1,749. http://store.makerbot.com/replicator-404.html
It’s upgraded sibling, the MakerBot Replicator 2, is a bit pricier at $2,199. http://store.makerbot.com/replicator2.html
Whichever model, they are a much cheaper alternative to paying a sculptor.
But there ARE drawbacks. Instead of having a sculptor do all the work, one (namely me) would have to learn to use CAD or the MakerBot program, MakerWare. This is time consuming, and not prefferable if working to meet a certain deadline, whether that be a shopping holiday season or pre-convention.
Still a bit expensive though? There are some great Kickstarter Campaigns pushing small, very affordable desktop 3D Printers. Like this one here:
For a backing of $1,395 you can get a very nice, all metal 3D printer.
Creating your own miniatures, toys, or parts is more affordable than ever, and the entrepreneur-on-the-cheap that needs one for their operations can find a list of affordable 3D printers on the internet. It’s something I’m looking into, for sure.
Until next time . . .
Dragon Con is quickly approaching! This Thursday I will be flying from the small city of Omaha to the wild, bumpin’ metropolis of Atalanta, GA for comic books, video games, animes, and regular nerdish fun.
More info on Dragon Con can be found here: http://dragoncon.org/
It should be a blast. I’m already signed up for a ton of the parties, and I’m told by my friend that I am required to party until 7AM or I drop, whichever comes first. Though in all honesty she’ll be the one struggling to keep up. This ginger always brings his A-Game.
Will I be cosplaying? No. I don’t have room in my bag, and I’ve never really been into the whole dressup thing. Besides, there aren’t a whole lot of notable ginger characters in popular culture. Popular cultures fears we soulless beings.
Will I nerd out? Oh hell yes. I’m taking three pairs of pants and twice as many pairs of underwear just in case.
Will I be there as an author? Technically, no. But I guess I never really drop the label of self-published author. I will not have a booth or set-up. It’ll just be me enjoying my Dragon Con experience. But feel free to say hello. 🙂 And if you’re a fellow self-published author I’d love to talk shop.
Will I be there to plug the miniatures game? No again. The fantasy miniatures game is still in the works. We’re trying to hash out the rules and miniatures, and are still working on getting the loan. Running a business is expensive! But I will have more on that in the coming weeks and months.
Will I party hard? Oh hell yes. If you wanna hang, you had better be ready to stay up till 7AM, and then wake back up at 1PM to do it all again. No excuses, play like a champ! A-Game people! Like Andrew W. K. says, “When it’s time to party, we will always party hard!”
And, of course, I will post updates from the con as I get the chance. Probably as I drag myself out of bed at 1 or 2PM in the afternoon and am dragging at whatever caffeinated drink I can find.
Should be a blast. 🙂
Until next time . . .