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Author Topic: the Forge of Ice, miniatures from Alex Bates - blog/preview thread  (Read 62565 times)
Alxbates
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« on: September 27, 2008, 10:44:58 AM »

Hi everyone!

So... I'm starting my own miniatures company.  I've been tinkering with miniatures for about 20 years now, and I've had a lot of ideas for figures that I thought'd be cool over that time... sometimes I've found figures that looked like what I imagined, sometimes not.  Going to GenCon and meeting the Crocodile Games people in 2006 and 2007 made me realize that there was nothing stopping me from spending some time and money to have my ideas sculpted and cast into real figures!

 It's taken awhile, but things are really starting to roll for me - I've got a business license, an artist, sculptor contacts, and finally a few finished greens!

When Cacique Caribe over at TMP posted pics of the greens of his primitive hide tents in August of 2007, I jumped to buy them from him.  They're at the caster right now, I should have finished castings in my twichy little hands in a few weeks (then I just need to get a webstore up and running!  Aiee!).  Based on my disposable income and available free time, I expect that I'll be able to release six or eight miniatures a year, and I have a few ideas for T-shirts, dice, and posters, too.

I also got my first greens that are my "design", as much as a person can design a real-world animal.  The package arrived in the mail a few days ago (delayed by Hurricane Ike taking out Sandra's post office!).  Three peafowl, sculpted by the extremely pleasant and personable Sandra Garrity:





I'm two or three paychecks away from being able to afford to cast the birds in metal, but I expect I'll have them for sale in November or early December.  More updates will follow as progress is made!

Here's my ghetto fabulous photo setup... I need new bulbs and maybe crepe paper screens for the lights, but it'll do for now (and the lamps are a write-off!  HA HA!!  I can write off nearly all my hobby expenses this year!  I ain't paying a dime in taxes at the end of the year!!!):



Here's a painting that I'm doing.  It'll eventually be the insert card for my clamshelled figures (I do hope to sell to retail stores eventually).  The painting is only about half done, I need to add some more movement lines and solidify my colors, but you get the general idea.  I placed it between to significant pieces of inspiration for me, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (that's a comic from 1981, I think), and the Fire and Ice movie, Frank Frazetta's only animated feature.  Neither of them is really anything amazing, but they both left a huge impression on me when I encounterd them as a kid.



And some more inspiration:



Mmmmm... ice cream...

The logo isn't quite finished, but again, it's close enough for you to get the general idea:



And that's it for now!

-Alex in Alaska
-Forge of Ice
« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 10:59:04 AM by Alxbates » Logged

Wan Chew Tree Faw!
Alxbates
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 10:46:34 AM »

heh... looks like photobucket deleted the "peac ock" titled photos... must've been picked out by their profanity filter... I'll retitle and repost them shortly...

-Alex
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joshuaslater
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 10:50:53 AM »

Dang filter.  Email sent to ya regarding this.  Congrats on your progress Alex!!
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Alxbates
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 11:01:51 AM »

I'll take a moment to mention that the display tailfeathers bit fits much better than that, but in order for it to stand up unaided I need to balance it slightly off-kilter as shown in the photo.  I couldn't find my blu-tack...

And the final catalog photos of the birds will have them next to a dual unit (inches AND cm) ruler for scale reference, but they're scaled for 28mm figures, the same size as Reaper's Dark Heaven line, Copplestone, Crocodile Games' Aegyptus stuff...

-Alex
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2008, 01:14:54 PM »

D'oh!  I forgot one - here's the peahen:

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Alxbates
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2008, 10:01:22 AM »

And the finished castings of the tents are here!



*happydance*

Well, the first five sets, that is.  Sent for my approval, and I approve - they're perfect!

These will be painted four different ways (Knorne-y, Ice-y, LoTR film Orc-y, and natural) for my eventual online store catalog photos.  The fifth set will be set aside to go to the original sculptor, I owe him a few sets as part of our original agreement.

I should have the rest of the finished castings in a little less than a month, I think, and they'll be for sale (fingers crossed) before Christmas.

-Alex

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joshuaslater
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2008, 10:42:21 AM »

Those tents will rock for an SOK encampment, or for any fantasy RPG/TTG.  The peac-ocks would be really cool in any garden setting for an RPG,.
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2008, 10:44:01 AM »

They would work well for a few Sci-Fi/Post-Apocalypse as well!
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2008, 06:28:42 PM »

Very cool, I do like the tents, they seem very usable for a large variety of purposes, I'd like to see some close-ups though.    Also, any idea on the price point for these?
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Topkick
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2008, 06:49:28 PM »

Could you post a pic or two with figs to show scale?
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2008, 07:27:30 PM »

Yeah Alex, get busy!!  Topkick, I'm nearly unconscious; I'll ring you tomorrow night.
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Topkick
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2008, 07:33:00 PM »

okie-dokie
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Alxbates
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2008, 09:12:35 PM »

Could you post a pic or two with figs to show scale?

Your wish is my command, sir!  Three tents and a food cache:



Two tents and Cryx (Warmachine) Skarlock



Tent, food cache and Sebeki Harbinger from Wargods of Aegyptus



Tent and Chronopia Firstborn figure





Tent, Asar Spearman from Crocodile Games Wargods of Aegyptus, and food cache.

Keep in mind, please, that these are quick snapshots I took on my gaming table in the living room - final catalog pics will be better.  There will be two catalog photos of all three tents and the food cache, too - an unpainted pic next to a ruler so you can see the exact size, and a nicely painted version so you can see what they look like painted!  I may do some sort of *very* light wash on the unpainted ones, as the tan resin doesn't show off detail very well in the photos.

As far as the price point goes... well, I'm reluctant to say anything publicly.  If I estimate wrong (and the final costs are not quite available to me yet - I've got one more bill I'm waiting on), then I'll be called to task for it.  So, as long as you keep that in mind, I'll say that right now it looks like they'll be around $8.50 (USA) apiece, maybe $16 for a set of two, $30 for a set of all four, something like that.  It may go up a bit depending on what I've gotta pay for that last bill, and I'll have to rethink it if I'm going to sell to distributors and retailers (both typically want a 40% or more discount, and at $8.50 apiece minus 40% I'm losing money on each one I sell... I won't be in retail stores for a long time, but I'd like to get there eventually!).

That gives me enough of a profit that I can pay for the first run (already spent well over a thousand dollars!) and have enough left over to do a second casting run (I've commissioned 50 sets to begin with).  I'll actually be able to pay myself something once I've sold the first 50, commissioned and paid for the next set of 50, and sold most of those!!  I think that my time should be worth something, after all.

-Alex
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Wan Chew Tree Faw!
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2008, 09:17:55 PM »

thanks for the quick response. They look good and frankly worth the prices you cite and more. If you have to adjust the prices between now you could easily ask for 10 +
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Alxbates
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2008, 07:12:44 AM »

Thanks, Topkick.  I don't think I'll have to go as high as 10 apiece on them (probably eventually, years from now, as prices inevitably rise...), but I appreciate the vote of confidence.  Smiley

-Alex
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