Over the last five years Empress Miniatures has earned a reputation for high quality, accurate and exciting 28mm miniatures. Our 'Modern Combat' range was introduced three years ago and has set the standard for modern-period miniatures ever since.
Please visit us at www.empressminiatures.com to find out more and see our current ranges.
With your help we are hoping to make a significant addition to our 28mm (1/56th) Modern Combat range of figures.
As a 'young' company our resources are limited and, with the cost of development, we are prevented from adding to our ranges in a big way. The masters for our weapons alone cost more than most companies will spend on an entire figure sculpt. These are not cheap models to produce, but for us the quality of the end result is what counts and the many conversations we've had with our customers have shown that you feel the same!
Our aim is to add an entire 'theater' or theme to the modern figures range in one go. We could only dream of doing this normally, but with the help of Kickstarter we feel that we are in with a good chance of making a really meaningful addition to this range.
The theme that we have chosen is the Asia-Pacific region.
Partly inspired by recent events, and mostly as a 'what if' exercise, we are producing figures that would be present during both small scale engagements and larger 'land battles'. Our premise was that the world's super-powers have begun to flex their military might in the region in an effort to grab valuable resources. What starts as a minor dispute over a few islands has escalated as each nation moves it's conventional (and unconventional) forces into the area in greater numbers!
This is our take on a modern 'cold-war'. Needless to say these figures will be suitably at home in any modern theater of war, as well as fighting the Zombie-Hordes or Alien Invasion in whatever game scenario you can think of!
The project will initially focus on the United States Marines (USMC) with both tropical and 'desert' equipment options (suitable for all theaters) and the Chinese National Army (PLA), with some rather nice extras along the way.
We are going 'all-out' to produce the highest quality figures that we possibly can for this. With extensive research and attention to detail we will produce 'hi-res' figures worthy of your collection. Both detail and figure posing are second to none in this range already, and these new figures will be no exception.
Each of the Marine and Chinese sculpts will be unique figures. We don't employ a 'dolly' system for our modern figures and we feel that this adds an important level of realism to your tabletop forces. We will produce 20 US Marine bodies (with a choice of helmeted heads or 'boonie' soft hats) and 20 Chinese PLA figures (mostly with heads cast on). This provides 5 'units' for each force in our initial plans.
With luck, we hope to add to this if we manage to reach our goal!
So far we have started by having the first figures sculpted and finished to production standard. These are the miniatures which you can see on this page right now. We will be continuing to update these during the Kickstarter project and will share progress with you as we go.
Here you can see the different units that will be available initially:
UPDATE: ADDITIONAL SUPPORT WEAPON UNITS
We've had lots of requests for different support weapon pledge options ( USMC Unit 4 and PLA Unit 4).
You can now add as many of these as you want to your rewards by adding £6 to your pledge for each additional support weapon set that you need. Each 'Unit' contains 4 figures with a range of support weapons from LMGs to sharpshooter rifles etc.
See the Unit diagram in the project for more details of what these comprise.
We have put our units together to contain troops with a single type of armament (riflemen etc.) and separated out the support weapons. This means that each unit is not a Fireteam (according to Marine TOE) but that you can make fireteams with your choice of load-out by combining Rifleman Units with the Support Weapon Units.
We've based this decision on customer feedback over the last few years (originally our early modern releases were designed to be a full fire-team per pack). Changing military requirements 'in-theatre' meant that it became increasingly difficult to keep things up to date and customers often requested a bit more flexibiliy by being able to buy all of the support weapons together in one pack.
Backers will find that this is a really excellent value Kickstarter, allowing you to get figures at greatly reduced prices compared to when they eventually go on sale. You are also safe in the knowledge that you can get an entire force, complete with all of the expected support weapons etc., at once rather than waiting for the range to develop in the 'usual' way over time.
Oh, and then there is the small matter of the FREE FIGURES! As you would expect from a miniature Kickstarter, we will be thanking everyone who backs our project with free figures exclusive to this project.
Our first free figure is a member of the New Zealand SAS. This versatile figure can find a place in most special forces units in the western world and he will not be available after this project.
We will add more free figures to the project with our stretch-goals, and these will be available to everyone who backs the project at any level which gives access to stretch goals.
We have a number of really exciting stretch goals planned should we be lucky enough to meet and exceed our target. Each of these is designed to fit in to the theme of the Kickstarter Project, while still being useful 'stand-alone' forces in their own right.
The stretch goals will give you the chance to add new factions and units to your pledge.
On top of this we will be adding to the pool of free figures, with additional one-offs and some great figures exclusive to this project!
We have lots of exciting options planned to come after these if we are lucky enough to get there, and we will let you know more nearer the time!
Risks and challenges
Figure sculpting is a creative and, often, time consuming process. We use one of the best sculptors in the industry and the very best casting service that the UK can provide.
As a result our main risks are time-slippage depending on the final total of figures that need to be made, and the turnaround time of our contract casting company to provide the final models.
All of our master moulds are cold-cured silicone in order to preserve the original master model. This is a straightforward process that both ourselves, our sculptor and our casting company have been using for years with almost 100% success rates. It is more expensive than standard vulcanization but allows us to produce stunningly detailed figures with very little risk.
We pride ourselves on working with the most professional team that we can muster, and not choosing the 'cheapest' options when it comes to production. In this way we aim to mitigate most production blockers before they occur.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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