Insider 1-06-2011

A 120 mm base gives me 110 mm of real estate to build on. In miniatures that is a ton of space to create with, and believe me, we did! There is no end to the ideas of what to do with this. Some have been on the drawing boards for years awaiting production while others were created due to current battlefield needs.

Either way, the blueprints were placed on my desk with the orders to build them. YES! I love it! Finally we have the skills, materials, and production facilities to build the battle engines. This is a good day, and we all have been waiting for this, whether you knew it or not.

After receiving the blueprints, it was time to distribute them among the sculptors to create the original builds. Most of the battle engines are big machines with human crews, which would naturally turn into a multiple-person project: one building the machine and another making the crew. Like the Cygnar Storm Strider below.

Some of the machines were created to perfection on computer. Others, like the Khador battle engine, were hand-sculpted from the ground up with a skill set accumulated from years of straight-line sculpting. With a good sculptor ready to work on the crews, I quickly found the people who could build the engines and lined them up for the task.

Before we could get to work making the battle engines we had to dial in the sizes. There are a few ways to do this, but we ended up printing out the concept art at the desired size, then cutting out the images and taping them upright to compact discs (great approximations of 120 mm bases). Then we lined them up and had a long look at them. We enlarged some and reduced others until they all felt right; then we made sure the crews were in scale with the engines.

Then it began. Sean Bullough wanted to make the Khador Gun Carriage—as he reminded me often! ;) He got what he wanted and began to build. Ben Misenar clicked away on the Retribution Force Generator, creating the beautiful symmetrical curves that only a man and his computer can do. Jason Hendricks dove in on the Cryx Wraith Engine, and Edgar Ramos sculpted away on all the engine crews. Soon all the factions were covered, and we were rolling hot!

I have to say it was not hard to do. Given the time we had, all the preplanning, and the strong drive everyone had with the project, it came together very well.

After sculpting all the parts, we made the first castings and glued them together. At this stage we finally got to see an entire kit put together. We here in the studio were nearly fighting to be the first to run around the office holding it up in the air screaming, “Look, a real miniature battle engine!” There were oohs and ahhs all around, and we were quite proud. When the first of the machines was painted, we knew we had created something so fully badass that some lost sleep in bliss and I wanted to breach my confidentiality agreement and tell people all about it. But I kept my mouth shut and my fingers off the keyboard until it was announced.

One thing that is key to making all this happen is the material we use to make the great machines. Resin allows us to build a battle engine in fewer parts than a warjack. It holds details very well, there is not much shrinkage, and the molds are flexible, so we have more control over where to put the mold lines. This comes all together to make the engines easy and fun to assemble.

I know all of you will enjoy the battle engines; they are fantastic to build, paint, and play. I hope you can also see all the possibilities with 120 mm bases. This might get edited out (hehehe), but the HORDES battle engines are looking just as hot. Those of you who know what I play will know which one I am chomping at the bit for. And it’s what I have always wanted. Yes, it is. ☺

I look forward to seeing these on your tables. Enjoy.

Ron Kruzie