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Iron Mask Miniatures presents swashbuckling 28mm fantasy dwarves modeled after the legendary King’s Musketeers of 17th Century France.
Iron Mask Miniatures presents swashbuckling 28mm fantasy dwarves modeled after the legendary King’s Musketeers of 17th Century France.
114 backers pledged $12,776 to help bring this project to life.

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$12,776

114

[Two+ hours to go and we actually have the $13,000 milestone in sight. The premium at this level will be special hands for everyone from the $15 level and above. Hope we make it!]

The Final Thrust...

I am a little overwhelmed... and very pleased. Iron Mask Miniatures has now exceeded its goal and is well on its way toward the $12,000 mark! Now we are down to the last six hours. The Europeans have gone to bed and the Aussies are just starting their work week, but North America is just entering prime time. Now is the time for one last push, with the stretch-goal bonus figure of Jussac the Ogre Captain hanging in the balance.

Everyone who pledges now at the $59 level and above will receive five bonus figures: the Limited-Edition Dwarf in the Iron Mask, the King, the Cardinal, M Roquefort, and Milady de l’Elfe. And if we reach $12,000, you will also receive Jussac. You can see the concept art for these figures below.

Thanks to everyone who has pledged so far. Please spread the word for this one last thrust.

-g

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...

Thank you. Thank you, everybody, for putting Iron Mask Miniatures past our goal. Your response has been terrific. I am delighted that nearly all of you will get the Dwarf in the Iron Mask limited-edition figure. I am equally delighted that most of you will also receive the amoral, scheming, dangerous Cardinal.

Thank you once more for your interest and support.

All for one and one for all

We are now 80% funded with four days to go, so this is a good time to sweeten the pot. And what better way than with free figures? These bonus figures should be ready to ship in December of this year.

The Dwarf in the Iron Mask Limited-Edition Figure

If we reach our funding goal, everyone who pledged $30 and higher will receive the limited-edition Dwarf in the Iron Mask figure.

The Dwarf in the Iron Mask will be limited to a production run of 200 copies. For Kickstarter backers only, each figure will be packaged with a card-sized reproduction of the Dwarf in the Iron Mask concept art, individually numbered and signed by the artist, Colin Upton. The number you get will depend on the order in which your pledge was received.

This limited-edition figure will have an integral head and separate hands including empty hands (good for prisoners) and sword and dagger (good for prisoners who are tired of being victims). As an additional bonus, he will come with two prototypes from the set of special hands planned for a February 2014 release: a right hand holding a hand crossbow (this one for you, Helen) and a left hand holding a lantern (and this one for you, Daniel). These hands, of course, are interchangeable with any of the first-release dwarf duelist hands.

Limited-Time  Bonus: The Dwarf Cardinal

If the project is fully funded before Saturday, 3 August, everyone at the $59 pledge level and higher will also get the Dwarf Cardinal. This single-piece casting bestows a blessing with his left hand while, behind his back, he crosses the fingers of his right hand.

And, of course, you will receive the limited-edition Dwarf in the Iron Mask as well.

Spread the word.

The Story

The archetypal cassocks, plumed cavalier hats, and broad-topped boots of the King’s Musketeers are synonymous with adventure, intrigue, and swashbuckling derring-do. But the deeds of the Dwarf Musketeers in the King’s service have been long neglected. The mission of Iron Mask Miniatures is to correct this historical oversight. The Dwarf Musketeers are here!

When not on duty protecting the King, these fearless fighters eagerly serve as duelists or pistoliers in your fantasy miniatures army. You can recruit them as heroes, hirelings, or life-saving NPCs in your RPG adventure. As avatars in your dungeon-crawling expedition, they are the equal to any human, elf, or Cardinal’s Guard Ogre.

The money from your pledge will cover sculpting fees and production costs for the first release of the Iron Mask Miniatures range.

These are wonderful figures, full of character and delightfully animated. They are brought to life by the exceptional talents of sculptor John Pickford and cast in white metal with bottom tabs. This makes them decidedly old-school, compatible in size and heft to the classic 28mm-scale dwarves of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Each dwarf is 24-26mm from boot soles to top of head. The Cardinal’s Guard Ogres will be in the 34-36mm range.

You can find out more about the background of this project (and lots more pictures) on the Iron Mask Miniatures blog.

First Release

The first release of the Iron Mask Miniatures Dwarf Musketeers consists of four dwarf duelist bodies with interchangeable heads and hands. The poses were inspired by 17th Century dueling styles (and not a little influenced by Richard Lester's Three Musketeers films of the 1970s).

Separate heads and hands are not unique, but these have some noteworthy elements.The fit of the head to the neck is accomplished through a kind of ball-joint fitting. This lets the head rotate and tilt so you can animate the figure in realistic and expressive ways. No pinning is needed. There are two sets of heads. The first set has cavalier hats with turned-up brims and generous plumes.

The second set includes a wide-brimmed hat, a flat cap, a bonnet, and a head scarf.

The hands are wearing dueling gauntlets, with the cuffs hollowed to fit over the forearm. You can change the pose and attitude of the figure by rotating the hand on the forearm. What’s more, the hollow cuff makes for a robust attachment, again without pinning. There are currently over 30 finished hands holding rapiers, daggers, and pistols.

The rapiers are to scale and sculpted with great detail. There are four types of hilt: cup guard, sail guard, mortuary guard, and swept hilt. For each hilt type, hands hold the blades at different angles. Rotating the gauntlet on the forearm gives you numerous authentic dueling positions.

The daggers have the same variety of hilts and, like the swords, are held in different positions.

(Note also the left- and right-hand flintock pistols.)
(Note also the left- and right-hand flintock pistols.)

Finally, for grappling with an opponent, brawling in a tavern, or simply showing a little attitude, there is a set of empty hands: left and right open hands, fists, and pointing.

The combined effect of these elements is a virtually limitless variety of credible, dynamic, and animated poses.

Limited Edition Figures

At the beginning of this project, two figures were commissioned to test the concept and validate the production process. One figure was sculpted with a separate head. The other has an integral head with a more traditional "dwarfy" beard.

These figures will be available as limited-edition premiums through this Kickstarter offering at the $60 level and above. They will not go into general production. Since there will be no production molds for these figures, they will be available only as long as the master mold lasts.

The hands for these figures (four left and four right) have cinquedea swords and daggers.

These 15th Century Italian dueling weapons are perfect for those who favor a more traditional-looking weapon for their King’s Guard.

Of course, the limited edition figures are fully compatible with the components sculpted for the first release. The figures below are modeled with hands and head from the first release.

Cardinal's Guard Ogres

The Dwarf Musketeers’ traditional rivals are the Cardinal’s Guard, the most dangerous of whom are the Cardinal’s Guard Ogres. There are four different ogre duelist bodies. Here is a view of the completed greens:

The Iron Mask Miniatures Cardinal's Guard Ogres are 34-36mm from soles to top of head, making them more compatible with the classic ogres of the '80s and '90s than with their modern counterparts. Like the Dwarf Musketeers, they are designed with separate heads and hands. Ogres, regrettably, do not have much in the way of necks, so head positions are somewhat limited. Still, there is a great variety of modeling possibilities. Ogre weapons include rapiers, daggers, and dragons (short-form blunderbuss pistols). There is also a halberd suitable for Ogres standing sentry duty outside the Cardinal’s chambers.

These assembled examples are held together with Blue-Tac, but they give an idea of the modeling possibilities:

There are more photos on the Iron Mask Miniatures blog.

Grand Chapeaux

Grands Chapeaux is a set of skirmish rules suitable for buckling swashes and resolving duels involving your Dwarf Musketeers. The straightforward, quick-play game mechanics were inspired by David Love's Chusingura, a samurai skirmish game that has been very popular at local conventions for many years. The rules are short (6 pages) and without frills, but they work and are fun. PDF versions are offered at nearly all of the pledge levels. Grands Chapeaux will not only get your figures into action, but will also give you a chance to actually use those little boxed sets of gaming dice you have acquired over the years. You know the ones: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20 in a tidy plastic box. Duels and swashbuckling acrobatics are handled easily and efficiently without the need for record keeping.

Add-Ons

You can purchase extra sets of the multipart Dwarf Musketeers as add-ons.

Bodies 1 is the first-release set of four Dwarf Musketeers with separate heads and hands:

A generous supply of hands will be included but you will need to specify which set of heads you want to go with each set of bodies.

Heads 1 is a set of four heads with plumed cavalier hats:

Heads 2 is a set of four heads with assorted hats:

How to Get Some Extra Dwarf Musketeers

If your pledge level already includes a set of Dwarf Musketeers, you can purchase additional sets of Bodies 1 as add-ons. All you have to do is increase your pledge by $24 per set. No additional postage is required. At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you will be contacted for details on your extra purchases, at which time you can specify Heads 1 (separate heads with cavalier hats) or Heads 2 (separate heads with assorted hats). Additional hands will be supplied as needed.

Beardy Add-Ons

He that hath a beard is more than a youth...

Several of you have remarked that the Iron Mask Dwarf Musketeers lack long hair and beards. There is a practical reason for this. With the separate-head system, long hair and full beards would restrict the articulation of the head. Also, unless the hair and beard are sculpted with the figure, they do not properly conform to the costume nor flow with the pose.

But excuses do not satisfy the true dwarf traditionalist. Dwarves need beards. Even Musketeer Dwarves need beards. Without beards, they are less than beardlings.

Aware of this inevitable affront to the traditionalists, we commissioned bearded versions of the first-release dwarves. These conversions are based on two each of the four available bodies and one each of the eight available heads. The result is eight bodies (two sets of four each) with integral heads and proper dwarfy hair and full beard. You give up the chance to articulate the head, but, hey, you get beards! These two sets of figures are available as add-ons.

Bodies 2

The first set, Bodies 2, wears plumed cavalier hats with turned-up brims.

Note that the three figures on the left conform to 17 C fashion by sporting wigs with the latest in gentledwarf hair treatments. Here are some assembled and primered examples that show better detail:

Bodies 3

The next set, Bodies 3, features the flat-brimmed hat, flat cap, bonnet, and head scarf.

Painted Beardies

Here are some examples I painted as Cardinal’s Guard (insert obligatory apology for my painting here):

How to Get Some Beardy Dwarf Musketeers

Backers at the $30 level and above can purchase Bodies 2 (integral heads; beards with cavalier hats) or Bodies 3 (integral heads; beards with assorted hats) as add-ons. All you have to do is increase your pledge by $24 per set. No additional postage is required. At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you will be contacted for details on your extra purchases. Additional hands will be supplied as needed.

Alternatively, backers at the $30 level and above may exchange their separate-head sets for their beardy counterparts. You need do nothing at this time. At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you will have the chance to provide the details of your exchange.

Ogre Add-Ons

The Cardinal's Guard Ogres will be available as add-ons, either as individual figures or in sets of four.

If you want to add only one or two ogres, you must identify the combination of heads and bodies that you want. Identifying the components for an individual ogre is simple.There are four ogre bodies numbered 1 through 4:

And there are four ogre heads lettered A through D:

To specify the head-body combination you want, use the number for the body followed by the letter for the head. If you want Ogre Body 2 with Ogre Head B, specify Ogre 2B. If you want Ogre Body 1 with Ogre Head C, specify Ogre 1C.

As for hands, with each individual ogre you will receive a rapier, dagger, and a couple of additional hands. If you have special requirements regarding hands, I will try to accommodate them, but remember that you are already getting a complete set of ogre hands with each set of four ogres, so you will have extras.

One last word about the individual ogres... Be advised that the hand with halberd is not an easy fit for Ogre 3 (the stooping ogre) because his knuckles are nearly dragging. Still, a practised modeler should be able to make it work with some creative trimming or basing.

How to Get Some Extra Ogres

If your pledge level already includes a set of Cardinal's Guard Ogres, you can purchase additional ogres as individual figures or in sets of four as add-ons. All you have to do is increase your pledge by $11 for each individual ogre or $40 for each set of four. No additional postage is required. At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you will be contacted for details on your extra purchases, at which time you can specify your wants. Additional hands will be supplied as needed.

Stretch Goals

These bonus figures complete the "Three Musketeers" theme. How many bonus figures you get depends on your pledge level as well as the success of the funding. If all of the stretch goals are realized, everyone from the $15 pledge level and up (essentially, any one whose premium includes at least one miniature) will get at least one free figure and some small extras included with their premium. Please note the expected delivery date for each figure. If you want to have your figures sent to you as they become available, there may be additional postage costs.

The King -- Milestone Reached!

As of 3 August, we reached $9,000. Everyone at the $59 pledge level and above will receive a Dwarf King figure.

The King is not the bumbling fool many think, but he is trapped by court intrigue and restrained by the machinery of government. He is proud of his Musketeers and sees himself as a foil to the Cardinal. At the same time, he depends on the Cardinal to ensure the smooth running of the government.

Estimated delivery date: December 2013.

M. Roquefort -- Milestone Reached!

As of 4 August, we reached $10,000. Everyone at the $59 pledge level and above will receive a M Roquefort figure.

The vaguely rat-like M Roquefort (so named because of his predilection for pungent cheese) is the Cardinal’s most trusted human agent. He serves as the conduit of intrigue between the Cardinal and any unseemly but useful elements his Eminence cannot deal with directly. A superb duelist, he is the Cardinal’s chief assassin. When required, he calls upon his conspicuously rat-like minions to do his bidding. No one knows where and how the vaguely rat-like Roquefort finds his conspicuously rat-like minions; no one knows where or when they will appear. But then, that is the nature of conspicuously rat-like minions.

Estimated delivery date: December 2013.

Milady -- Milestone Reached!

As of  7:00 PM EDT on 4 August, we reached$11,000. Everyone at the $59 pledge level and above will receive a Milady figure.

She was born of the union between a wandering Dwarf and an outcast Elf maiden. Raised by her father’s people, Milady de l’elfe grew up shunned by both worlds, surviving by stealth, cunning, and ruthlessness. Her pain was her strength. It was only natural that the Cardinal would perceive her talents and turn her resentment to his own ends. Her ability to walk freely in the dwarven courts, coupled with her ties to the darker side of Elfdom, make her the consummate agent for the Cardinal.

Estimated delivery date: February 2014.

Jussac

If we reach $12,000, everyone at the $59 pledge level and above will receive a Jussac figure.

Like the King’s Musketeers, the Cardinal’s Guard is known for recruiting the best swordsmen that can be found. The deadliest of these are the ogres. (Ogres also serve in the King’s Musketeers, but that’s another story.) It is true that ogres generally are not cut out to be duelists. They are slow, clumsy, and their peripheral vision is somewhat restricted by their unfortunate lack of neck. However, their ability to absorb wounds -- their staying power -- makes up for what they lack in agility and speed. And though they fall short of the mark as duelists, they will happily club any opponent in submission with their somewhat over-size rapiers. Occasionally, an ogre rises above the common run to a level of skill and service rarely seen among their kind. Jussac is one such ogre. His skill with the blade had made his name a watchword for sudden death. But for all that, he is an ogre of honor. And, as you can no doubt perceived, he is also an ogre of fashion, and having reached the rank of Captain tends to favor court dress in the latest style.

Estimated delivery date: February 2014.

Special Hands

If we reach $13,000, everyone whose pledge premium includes at least one Musketeer Dwarf ($15 pledge level and above) above will receive a selection of special dwarf duelist hands. Everyone who pledged at the $60 and above will receive a full set of special hands.

Empty hands, rapiers, daggers, and pistols are all well and good, but for some scenarios you might want to accent the personality or enhance the activity of your dwarf duelists. These hands will help you develop the personality of your dwarf duelists. They are designed to provide some alternate (and unusual) weapons as well as objects such as hat, tankard, handkerchief, etc., that add interest to your figures, games, and vignettes.

The special hands will include right hands holding goblet, grenade, bottle, and hand crossbow, and left hands holding hat, lantern, scroll, handkerchief, and tankard.

Estimated delivery date: February 2014.

Dartleby Onion

If we reach $14,000, everyone at the $30 pledge level and above will receive a Dart Onion figure.

Dartleby Onion is an exceptional halfling. Since his youth, he has worshipped the King’s Musketeers and aspired to join their ranks. Young Dart practiced with rapier and dagger until no other halfling would or could stand against him. He adopted the cavalier dress of his heroes, a fashionable, plumed hat and -- to the everlasting shame of his family and neighbors -- broad-topped boots. True, his feet required rather large boots, but that did not deter him. As soon as he was able, he left the quiet village of Pigstead-on-Dibble and set out for the great city, determined to earn his place in the ranks of the King’s Musketeers. Of late, he has become close to Constance, the Queen’s seamstress.

Estimated delivery date: Summer 2014.

Planchet

If we reach $15,000, everyone at the $15 pledge level and above will receive a Planchet figure. After all, every duelist needs a servant and good help is hard to find.

When he arrived in the great city, Dart Onion was persuaded to hire a man-servant. Well, a hobbit-servant, actually. His name was Planchet, a street-wise halfling who was familiar with every tavern, bakery, wine shop, inn, smoke house, tea house, ale house, grog shop, and street vendor (particularly food vendors) in the city. As some might suspect, after serving his master, his greatest pleasures are food and drink. Always accommodating and good-natured, his cheerful demeanor belies his exceptional skill with pistol, musket, and cutlass. And what is just as useful to the aspiring hero, he was an exceptional thief... er, forager as well.

Estimated delivery date: Summer 2014.

The Queen

If we reach $16,000, everyone at the $60 pledge level and above will receive a Dwarf Queen figure.

The long-suffering Queen is devoted to her husband, terrified of the Cardinal, and not above a fair amount of intrigue of her own. Outside of the ladies of her household, she is never sure whom to trust, but she knows that the valiant Musketeers are loyal to her husband. She counts on them to defend her and her husband against the Cardinal’s machinations.

Estimated delivery date: Summer 2014.

Constance

If we reach $17,000, everyone at the $60 pledge level and above will receive a Constance figure.

Though she is only a low-born seamstress, the halfling maid Constance is one of the Queen’s most trusted confidants. She is loyal to her mistress and is perfectly placed to aid Her Majesty’s intrigues. She has free access to the Queen’s chambers, while her humble station lets her move unnoticed to and from Court. She often serves as the Queen’s messenger, and because she is a close friend of Dart Onion, she can, through him, call upon the Musketeers when the Queen is in danger.

Estimated delivery date: Summer 2014.

 

Risks and challenges

There are no serious risks. Two proof-of-concept figures verified production procedures and tested the separate-component system. The master molds for the first release of Dwarf Musketeers are finished. Precasts have been checked for quality and samples have been assembled and painted. Greens for the Cardinal’s Guard Ogres are complete and in for master molding. As soon as funding is complete, I will order production molds and put the current range of figures into full production.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    My thanks. I’m glad you like the project and want to see it succeed.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    “I may not have the cassock, but I have the heart and soul of a musketeer!”

    Thank you for your support. Along with my thanks, I'll E-mail you a PDF copy of the Iron Mask Miniatures skirmish rules, "Grands Chapeaux."

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    “I came to Paris with four ecus in my pocket, and I’d have fought anybody...”

    At this pledge level, I will send you a Dwarf Musketeer to represent you in your dungeon-crawling adventure: an unpainted multipart figure with separate head (a plumed cavalier hat) and hands (a rapier, a dagger, and a few extras).

    I will also send you a PDF copy of the Iron Mask Miniatures skirmish rules, "Grands Chapeaux."

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    “Never fear quarrels, but seek hazardous adventure.”

    A set of four Dwarf Musketeer multipart duelists. This includes four different poses, four different heads in plumed cavalier hats, and hands including rapiers, daggers, and extras. You will also receive a PDF copy of the Iron Mask Miniatures skirmish rules, "Grands Chapeaux."

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    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    Boo! Hiss! This reward level is included for those nefarious few who serve only the Cardinal and his avaricious schemes. No noble Musketeers for you. Rather, a troop of four swashbuckling Cardinal’s Guard Ogres with separate, interchangeable heads and hands. I might also (reluctantly) send you a PDF copy of the Iron Mask Miniatures skirmish rules, "Grands Chapeaux," even though Cardinal's Guard Ogres are not known for abiding by any rules.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    “It is our business to risk our lives!” At this level, I’ll send you a full first-release set of Dwarf Musketeer multipart duelists. This includes eight bodies (two of each), eight different heads, and a generous selection of hand options.

    You also get both limited-edition dwarf duelists (available only through Kickstarter at this pledge level and above).

    Finally, I will send you a PDF copy of the Iron Mask Miniatures skirmish rules, "Grands Chapeaux."

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    “All for one...” At this level, you get a mix of Dwarf Musketeers and Cardinal’s Guard Ogres, a total of ten figures including four Dwarf Musketeer multipart duelists: four bodies, four heads in plumed, cavalier hats, and lots of hands.
    You will also receive the two limited-edition dwarf duelists plus four Cardinal’s Guard Ogres with separate, interchangeable heads and hands.
    And, of course, a PDF copy of the Iron Mask Miniatures skirmish rules, "Grands Chapeaux."

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    “...and one for all!” The premium at this level is a complete set of Iron Mask Miniatures first release figures, including eight Dwarf Musketeer multipart duelists: eight bodies (two of each), eight different heads, and all of the available hand options. This set also includes four Cardinal’s Guard Ogres with separate, interchangeable heads and hands.

    Finally, you will receive the two limited-edition dwarf duelists and a PDF copy of the Iron Mask Miniatures skirmish rules, "Grands Chapeaux."

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    For your support at this level, you will receive everything from the $120 level plus an additional set of four Cardinal's Guard Ogres: a total of ten Dwarf Musketeers, eight Cardinal's Guard Ogres, and all of the available hand options.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    This level gets you a painted collection. You will receive a set of eight first-release Dwarf Musketeers, two limited-edition Dwarf Musketeers, and a complete set of four Cardinal’s Guard Ogres. These 14 figures will be assembled and painted by Thomas Foss and Terry Matheny of Sword and Palette studios, who did the painted figures shown on this page. You can select the color scheme for the cassocks, either the blue of the King’s Musketeers, the red of the Cardinal’s Guard, or the colors of your own dwarfhold.

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Funding period

- (30 days)