The Skyway Project, gaming at a higher level.
After years of playing miniature war-games on blank or single level table we had an idea, why not build up rather than out. That one idea got us to this, the Skyway system. The Skyway System is designed to end the blank table syndrome known as the Stadium Effect where all the really cool high ground is at the edges of the table and you have this big open field in the middle. With this set you have to actually move into the terrain so it is part of the battle and not just set dressing. All the action takes place in a way that makes you use the terrain. You have to move and think tactically, something that is really missed with stadium tables.
The key objectives for the Skyway System were a futuristic modular design, high play ability through movement access, a high level of detail and cinematic appeal.
Futuristic Modular Design
The inspiration for the set was largely based on anime films where cities not only sprawl outward but upward. The idea of defying gravity and building densely packed spaces that let you take a normal 4x4' or 4x6' table and comfortable battle with even large units. Each piece in the set is designed to connect to the next using user supplied, 1/4" diameter magnets for maximum stability. This opens up endless possibilities for placement and expansion. The core of it all is giving you the option to build as big or as small as you need to fit your table and even integrate the set into your existing terrain if needed.
From day one the set needed to be playable. This means that not only must you make space for the miniatures in their various shapes and sizes but also include space for the player to move models around the table and not have to compromise model placement. The height from the table top to the underside of the walkway decking was designed so you can fit you hand under it so you can actually move the models. So often this is over looked in terrain design. The same is true for the spacing under the support hoops. Tall models with swords, guns raised or wings can be move under them without getting stuck. Even simple things like stair cases were designed for models with large 40mm and 60mm based to cleanly fit up them and be placed without tipping or sliding. There is nothing worse seeing that expensive, pro-level painted model take a crashing dive off a piece of terrain because there is not enough room for it to fit.
High Level Detail
One issue with most laser cut terrain is the limited amount of detail and texture the models have. This means that even when complete you still need to add allot of detail through paint and sadly most of us would rather spend time painting our models instead of terrain. By adding engraved textures to each model we have made it easily to go from assembly to the table top with just a small amount of painting and dry brushing. All the deck plates use a heavy engraving that takes color well and even little details like the engraved up and down arrows and directional moving walk paths have been included. We even added a few acrylic touches to make things like street lights and signs stand out. We didn't leave the painters out though as there are still enough details make the set really pop and stand out on the tabletop when picked out by a skilled painter. For example there are engraved light housings on some walkway panels that will look great painted with a glow effect.
This was a huge one for us and I hope it is for you as well. Now you can picture your models in a battlefield that you could see yourself in. When you do a line of sight check you get that feeling of space or the tightness of being able to pull off that incredible shot. You can picture speeder bikes blasting down the walkway past people at breakneck speeds. Even reenacting the mecha combat scenes in shows classic anime like Appleseed or AD Police is possible. All those options are there just waiting to be had.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for the set. We are still adding pieces and pictures to take you deeper into the set. We have set up a photo gallery with close ups of the models and larger images to make it easier for you to visualize them on your game table. Take a look and you will fully understand the scope of this project.
The items are currently set to ship from the US and through a distributor in Germany. This will allow us to lower the international shipping cost and lower and in some cases eliminate any additional taxes on the purchase. If you are an international customer on the fence about ordering go ahead and do it. We have taken every possible step to get you the kits at a fair and reasonable price.
All non-European orders will be shipped via US Postal Service. This allows us to track packages and get them to you at reasonable prices safely. There really is no place they do not deliver to unlike some carriers.
At each pledge level we designed the sets to be complete structure units. This way they can be used individually without the worry of having a set with just a single entry point or no way for the models to get up and down from the different levels.
Looking Up! - $2 - We understand that not everyone will buy the full set for various reasons but this is a good way to say you like what we are doing and would like to see us make more. Think of it as a tip jar and as you know tips can add up.
Take Cover - $20+, What game can't use a little more scatter cover. At this level you get a collection of our scifi scatter terrain and barricades. Perfect for adding a little more realism to your table.
Remote Outpost - $45+, The entry point into the system with a small elevated building and stair set.
Checkpoint Alpha - $100+, This set gives you a larger building set that meets most game system coverage rules for a 24"x24" area. The 3 pieces of this set can be setup in a few different configurations to improve game play options.
Landing Party - $105+, When moving forward to explore a planet you need to move quickly. You need a landing party.
Omega Overpass - $150+, The long road. This set includes over 3 feet of walkway and works great as an add on to your existing terrain as a elevated road or tramway.
Echo System - $250+, RECOMMENDED LEVEL This is a full 4x6' tables set. Everything you need for a complete narrative table in one box.
Beta Base - $350+, The centerpiece port city. With plenty of room to spread out and stage larger battles for control.
Gamma Quadrant - $450+, The table is getting denser. If you play big games or like really dense tables and options you need this set. 4x'6 or 5x8' tables are covered here. Lots of options to build what you want.
Paradise Station - $750+, Like the Gamma quadrant but bigger. Everything we offer in the Skyway. We were able to shoehorn it all onto a 4x6' table. This will make for some very tactical battles.
The Hive - $1500+, Go big or go home. If you are running a store or have more tables than you need that is where this set comes in. 2 Paradise Station sets and all the extras. I really want to see what ever game gets played with these.
World Builder - $2800+, Call this one the tournament pack. This should cover 6-8 tables with dense levels of terrain or 10 at medium levels. There are only a few of these sets and they get naming rights and custom signage for the various buildings and roads. What better way to brand your world?
Crystal City - $5000+, We have always wanted to do an ice world and if you have as well this is the set for you. An all acrylic build of the Paradise City set.
Call the Magratheans - $10000+, The Magratheans were great planet builders and we have found a few of them to help us out with the Skyway Project.
We understand that there are some kits you need in bulk. Kits like the buildings, scatter terrain and containers all work best in quantity. These packs are designed to address that and give you the best deals on parts you will want several of. You can add them to your pledge either as an add-on to any of the above or as a standalone. Once the surveys are ready you will get to choose what items you want to add.
We have tried to make the basic kits as accessible as possible but we cannot cover every option so we are also offering options to augment your collection to build even bigger networks and cities. You can add them to your pledge either as an add-on to any of the above or as a standalone. Once the surveys are ready you will get to choose what items you want to add.
We understand that everyone loves a deal and the extras and we do too. Stretch goals are going to be kept simple for now but depending on demand almost anything is possible. For now I can give you the first few.
Risks and challenges
Why Kickstarter, Risk, Challenges and What the funding covers
We are a small model shop that started with the purchase of a low end laser cutter and some free time. We quickly grew from making models for myself and friends to shipping kits around the world. The pace is great but came at the cost of a simple side project turning into a full time business. To sustain that growth we need to expand. Newer, larger cutters, shorter production times and more gamer outreach so we can get our terrain into as many gamers hands and on their tables as possible. Kickstarter is the best path for us to do just that. With gamers behind us we can drive this and future projects forward for years to come.
So you are in to help us now where does the money go. First up more laser hardware, we have made a few deals with manufacturers and have made arrangements to purchase at least 1 additional machine outright and finance a second. This gives us the tools necessary for us to hit our production goals. Next it helps us advertise and send products for viewing and as prize support to events like Adepticon, Nova Open and Gencon. As with anything the more we can get it out there to the people the easier it is to release new projects and kits at lower and lower prices.
Currently our risks are fairly low. We have the equipment to complete this project on a limited base of 3 - 4 large sets a month. We feel that will be too low for the interest and demand we have been seeing with the early prototypes. As we mentioned above we are already making arrangements to address this issue. Based on our current production times they will allow us to move 8 - 10 sets a month without compromising the quality or taking away from other projects.
The next possible risk is of runaway success. This is one that most Kickstarter projects overlook. Our first counter to this is simple; add more laser cutters to increase local capacity further. The labor of adding more machines is minimal and the hardware cost are fixed so we have compiled a chart based on total amount pledged, time to cut order and number of machines required to complete the task in a timely manner. Beyond this we are trying to work with a few outside contractors here in the United States and abroad that can take over excess production in the event we cannot keep up with the level of orders we receive.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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