Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Benan Watchtower - Design WIP

I thought you might like to see some further development on the 3D design of the Benan Watchtower based around a 500ml Ben & Jerry's ice cream tub with a bit of pringles tube thrown in too! I seem unable to get away from Pringles tubes! It turns out that i needed to extend the height of the watchtower and a Pringles tube is exactly the same diameter as the base of the watchtower so its a perfect fit!

I decided to keep with the open hexagonal canopy shape for the watchtower top and to keep the low tech stockade feel rather than a full stone fortress look. The beam work on the tower matches that on the other kits allowing a consistent look to be created.

It took some fiddling to get the dimensions to work properly, but here you can see that the upper surface of the watchtower can fit six 30mm display bases. (note sections of the canopy are removed for clarity). clearly 25mm bases will have more 'wiggle' room.

The Watchtower is configured to meet with the modular Stockade walls at three locations with 120 degree symmetry.  This gives a high degree of flexibility in how the kit is assembled.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Slight Delay, Price Reductions and Custom Shingles.

Slight Delay to Haft-Oob Stables Pre-Orders Shipping

I was hoping to have the Haft-Oob Stables released today, a couple of weeks ahead of the date I advertised in the pre-orders. However I have found a small error in the geometry for the handrail meaning it wont fit the staircase spindles correctly. It is possible to 'fudge' the fit with a bit of work with a drill or craft knife, but I think if you've paid for a kit, you deserve to have that kit go together properly.

I have ordered a set of new handrails to be cut, and shall slip one into each of the kits later this week and dispatch them. I still expect to get these kits out before the 12th July as advertised.

Price Reduction and Direct Selling

The costs of using e-bay are a fair proportion of the kits price and I am finding that "word of mouth" and "word of blog" are more effective marketing tools, so I have decided to also sell directly rather than just through e-bay. This will allow me to maintain an e-bay presence for people who browse and come across my stuff there but also to sell directly to people at a more competitive price.

For the Pryn-Gul Tower this will amount to almost a 15% reduction and bring the price down to £12 + p&p. Clearly if you still wish to benefit from the extra protective measures that e-bay provides you can order through there.

Prices on the full range will be posted here next week. All you'll have to do is email me, tell me what you want and let me know your paypal address and I shall invoice you. I shall continue to only take paypal payments.

Custom Shingles

I have had a lot of interest in the slates and shingles products that I am selling, with a number of people asking for regular and irregular widths and different edge treatments and scales.

So I am looking to undertake a small number of commissions to create differing roof treatments. I shall add a custom section to the website describing the possibilities and the process later this week. In the meantime e-mail me if you have something in mind.

... and finally welcome to Griffit my 84th follower... its hard to believe 84 of you are interested in what I have to say. Just another dozen or so of you and I think I can start a religion and plan for Pringles tube domination of the world!!! 

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Coming Soon - progress chart

In an attempt to give you an idea of what building kits I have in progress and when they might be available I've put together this chart.

I'll update it on around a weekly basis, or if there is any significant progress, but I wont be publishing it here on the news section - it will be on the "Coming Soon" link above. If you read this blog through an RSS feed or similar then you wont be notified when it changes but it will always be there for you to come and read.

Dates shown are estimates so I cannot guarantee that they will be accurate but they are what I am working to.

Hope that helps answer a few questions I have been getting recently!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Gobber Inspiration

Today's building inspiration are a set of three models made by Mike who owns World of Twilight, made for his WarMachine Gobbers (which her reliably informs me are gobblins)

Great over the top cartoon style and pretty good colouring in too!

Assembly Instructions

I completed the comprehensive assembly instructions for the Stables kit today and am waiting for the production run of kits to reach me.

The instructions I provide with the kits are very comprehensive - I don't see the point in selling you a kit that you cannot put together (that doesn't mean that some bits aren't tricky or require three thumbs!)The instructiosna re provided in PDF form to keep costs down so you can download them and refer to them on your computer or just print off the bits you want.

Here is a teaser of the 14 pages of instructions complete with sprue layouts, photographs, CAD images painting advice and templates to help you make optional changes.

I am proof-reading the instructions now they are available on the "Instructions" Tab abovebut may change a bit until the end of the week.


Monday, 21 June 2010

First Customer Review

 I was pleased to see a review of my Pryn-Gul Tower kit on the World of Twilight Forum yesterday. Posted by Emberbreeze I have recreated his post with permission in full below.
Well, having got one of Brandlins towers and finally finished building it tonight I thought I'd stick a couple of photos up and give you my thoughts.

Firstly I've done a quick and dirty assembly of the tower, not much in the way of trimming etc. and I have to say I'm still happy with the results. There are some gaps and crooked bits, but that is my assembly not the kit and I made a few mistakes/misreading of instructions before getting the hang of it (always wanting to build not read instructions)

Best bits for me are:
The balcony, which went together really well, is very solid and looks great
The roof tiles, which took minutes to do and look fantastic!
All the details, like the windows and the etching on the doors for adding something extra which would take ages from scratch

Things I'd change:
The top of the roof structre (the cone the tiles are stuck to). I would follow advice I was given {in the assembly instructions - Brandlin} and make my own in card as it is more flexible and the plastic one supplied takes ages to glue and both of mine were a bit skew (not nessesarily a bad thing on a ramshakle roof)
I'd follow the instructions and build the leanto and boxout correctly
I'd glue the doorway arches at the same time as the pillars to avoid any gaps.

Overall, things like having all the beams cut to length is really just convenient, and would save a bit of time from doing it yourself, but things like the roof and all the details are massive timesavers and add something special to a typical building I'd do at home without a kit. I've got the stables on order and looking forward to the staircase which again is something which would take hours (days even) from scratch and not the minutes I'm expecting from the kit, and would almost certainly not look as good either.

If like me your terrible at finishing projects then this is for you, I've got a detailed tower (which still needs some paint) in less than 4 hours (within my attention span!) and for not very much money.

There are more pictures on Emberbreezes original post. Thanks !

I'll take on board the couple of comments about the assembly instructions and make improvements.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Kit Contents

I was asked earlier today to see what is actually in the building kits. I have shown pictures of the Laser Cut CAD files before but they are buried on the blog in old posts. So I have added the kit contents page above...

I also added up the number of components in each kit and was surprised...

Haft-Oob Stables - 144 Pieces
Pryn-Gul Tower - 202 Pieces!

Hope that helps.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Watchtower and Stockade Walls - Concept

I am planning a watchtower (built around a ben and Jerry's ice cream tub) and stockade walls to join them. I've shown some earlier sketches of these before but I have been doing more work on making them buildable.

The design intent is to make a stockade rather than a fortress. Walls and towers that provide security and defence against wild animals or perhaps troll-sized monsters. Built from rammed earth or stone sloped walls topped with beam and stucco constructed upper walls and with vertical planked palisades. These are not structures that would survive the advent of gunpowder, or stand against seige machines! All the Walls have walkways which meet the watch tower tower tops.

Firstly the watchtower. This image doesn't have the random width plank edged top to the walls facing outwards. It does show the railing on the inside of the tower. I think I'll provide this with enough railing and planking to run around the circumference of the tower so oyu can use it stand alone either as a lookout or a fortified tower.

Next are the wall sections. Again showing an external planked defencive upper wall and a railing for health and safety on the inner wall. I may put some battlements into the planked uprights, what do you think?

I'm imagining these walls with the lower "beams"  on the slope painted as stone and the panels filled with small gravel to look like flint. Then the upper section painted to match the buildings with wooden beams and stucco between.

I have also reworked the Tew-Fah Bridge which was one of my first prototypes so that it better fits with these structures. I'm also working on some additions which will turn the bridge into a gateway allowing it to fit within the stockade walls.

... and some group shots showing what I am aiming for. As with all the kits I'm aiming for modularity and interchangability, so the watchtower roovs can be replaced with say the slate roofs from the Pryn-Gul Tower or Haft-Oob stables. The Tew-Fah Bridge will also meet the third floor on the Pryn-Gul tower, the bridge can also be used with or withough the gates etc.

Finally a couple of more indulgent group shots :)

Anyway, thats thethinking behind the next FOUR kit releases. Watchtower, Stockade Wall, Few-Fah Bridge and Gate conversion.

As always comments and suggestions welcome!


Quar Inspiration!

I recently saw some comments passed on another internet site about my building kits which suggested they might be suitable for use with the Quar figures from ZombieSmith.

I've been a long time admirer of the Quar range but have never quite got round to buying any, so I tootled over to the ZombieSmith Forum and said "Hi!".

Josh (Head Zombie) was kind enough to show me his idea of a Quar house - This is what he refers to as a sketch.. !

I love the idea of the building being carved out of a giant termite-mound/ant-hill with extensions added on as necessary.  This set my mind racing on all sorts of possibilities for future building kits and models. I'll probably add further inspirational pictures in time but feel free to leave our own suggestions too.

For those of you not in the know, this is a Quar. Think WWI aardvarks ;)

Thanks to Josh and the others on his forum for the flow of ideas. And my congratulations to Josh on his wedding this weekend!!

The pictures remains (c)opyright ZombieSmith.


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Blog Changes

Blogger has undergone a number of changes recently which means it is now possible to take greater control over the layout, look and feel of blogs. I shall be trying to take advantage of this to make changes and improvements to my blog over the coming couple of days.

Principally I want to
  1. Expand the width of the blog and particularly the posting area to allow bigger and better pictures.
  2. Re-organise the layout of materials on the main page so it's easier to get to stuff
  3. Align the style of the Blog and the style of the materials for the lasercut building range
Please bear with me while i make these changes - it may mean that the blog looks a little odd at times until the weekend .



Monday, 14 June 2010

Haft-Oob Stables available to PRE-ORDER

Today I have made the Haft-Oob Stables kit available for pre-order. Click on the big laser cut kits logo overe there>>> for more details, or go straight to my e-bay pages to buy.
Following the positive comments received from showing the prototype assembly and painted model, kits have been sent for cutting and will be available for shipping by the 12th July latest. This is to comply with e-bay's regulations on pre-orders, but kits may be available earlier.

In additon to this new building kit, I am also releasing more in the range of Building components. This time Clay / Concrete Roof Tiles with a curved edge (BCS-02). Again, available for shipping by 12th July at the latest.
I am also restocking the Slates and shingles random width building components. Available 12th July latest.

Another three lost souls seem to have stumbled in here and decided to stay so welcome to Jack of all Games, Crown Brear and Gyro. Stick around pass comment and spend money guys (and gals) :)


Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Stables Promotional Model Unveiled

The promotional and display model for the Stables kit is now complete. This is the second model in the range and will be available as a kit in July. Scaled to match heroic 28mm figures, the stairway and landing accept a 30mm round lipped display base.

The first kit, the Pryn-Gul Tower is available to buy by clicking on the Laser Cut Kits Logo >>>

Finally a teaser shot of the models to date. The bridge and larger building are prototypes and will go into production in due course.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Stables roof WIP

Just a teaser picture of the paint job on the roof of the new stables kit.  The rest of the model is painted, just the grain on the extensive amount of woodwork to go!

I'm hoping to finish this and have the snags on the kit corrected and available by the start of July. I'll be offering pre-orders on this kit in the next couple of weeks.

Another three more followers to the blog - welcome Lord of Excess, TredHed and Doctor Warlock.- I hope you find plenty you like, and say so. Comment and constructive criticism is always welcome here.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Painting and Finishing Guide

Whilst at Salute 2010 I was asked a number of times about the paint job I had used on the Pryn-Gul Tower. I've always thought of myself as a competent painter rather than a good one or a professional, so I was quite flattered. Spurred on by this and subsequent comments on the pictures of the tower on the internet I have put fingers to keyboard and written a painting and finishing guide for the buildings.

I wont win a golden demon for my painting nor a Nobel Prize for Literature for the guide, but this is the way I do it.
If any of you talented painters and model makers out there have anything suggestions of improvements then please let me know!

Also welcome to yet more new followers of my ramblings on this blog. So a big hello to the vowel-less twrchtrwyth, the dreadded ogryn and Charlie.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A stables is born II

I managed to fix the handrail by drilling new holes for the railings. Its not perfect, the helical shape is actually pretty complex, as well as being curved it twists but i think this will be ok.

Next stop paint...

And hello to 5... count them FIVE new followers... this is silly its almost like I'm the popular kid in school!  Hi to Feldherr FigureCases, Philfy, Andres Villaseca, laughingferret and sikil.