This project is designed to give you the plug & play tools to modernize your creations with customizable effects kits that add lighting, sound, smoke or other desired effects. Our first product, is our Large vehicle kit, complete with a set of lights for you to make cool effects like this:
For years people have been building models, collecting armies, showcasing their creativity and hiding away from their spouses in their garages for hours with the latest hobbies. From planes, trains and automobiles, to tabletop wargames and more, these hobbies give us a chance to creatively express ourselves, hone our craft and one-up the next guy.
To date, nobody has made anything that’s simple. R/C stuff uses a battery that’s the size of an entire model. Model train stuff relies on hard-wired tables (who wants wires running to their models anyway). And most of the tutorials that are out there are anything but easy.
Even going to your local electronics shop to do-it-yourself often requires you electrical engineering creds, or NASA-spec soldering skills – unless you really want burn marks on your hands.
We got those skills and still spent over a year developing our product, burning our hands and filling the swear jar.
We came up with a modular LED kit that lets you only have to worry about where you want to run the effects. Simply drill your holes, run the wires and plug it in. You can do what you want with your models, where you want it, with the colors and effects of your choice.
We designed the lights to ready to be installed into your models, right out of the package. No soldering, no taping, no crimping. The lights come in 5mm or 3mm sizes, which we found to be perfect for headlights, spotlights and accent light sizes for 26mm scale models. Each of the lighting strings comes equipped with two (2) LEDs, but can be expanded to include three on a string at a later time.
Our simple PC Board that has specific ports to plug in the battery cable, and LED lighting strings - and even has an on-off switch. Each PC Board can connect up to 4 strings at a time (that’s 8 or more LED bulbs).
Want to know how easy it is to install the lights in your models, check out this demo video using one of our prototype models in our garage that only took 12 minutes!
$18 - The Spotlight Kit is the basic starter kit. White and yellow lights, a PC Board and battery connector. Perfect for headlights, terrain, spotlights, etc.
$30 - The Alpha Kit is ideal for someone who wants multiple colors. Choose up to 5 LED strings from Red, Yellow, Blue, White, Purple, Green and Orange.
Need more lights? Get a 2 pack of any color with a Color Pack. These can be added to your order for $8 each.
$50 - Get a free color pack with this sampler package. That gives you 9 LED strings options to run in up to two models.
$50 - Get our kick ass alpha kits and look good doing it in our exclusive #LetThereBeLight T-Shirts.
$100 - Get two bonus color packs to light up to four vehicles or some big ass terrain.
$125 - Our best deal. Not only will you be sporting an exclusive #LetThereBeLight t-shirt, you'll also be lighting up to 5 units. PLUS, you'll be registered for our Beta program to receive pre-releases of our next products. This includes mini battery packs, powered bases, microcontrollers, and small vehicle kits - just to name a few.
$400 - Team up with friends or tell your favorite game store of the deep savings. That's 90 lighting strings to blind your opponents! Plus we'll feature you on our Facebook, Twitter, Blog and Google+.
$475 - Start your stockpile for the next Apocalypse battle and light up 25 units! We'll promote your favorite store and gaming group with an interview on all of our social channels
$825 - Looking to host a lighted tournament? Getting your team ready for the next GT? Stocking your shelves? Load up with this bundle to light up to 90 units!
$950 - Now we're just getting ridiculous with the discount, but the guys behind the counter should love this!
$1800 - So you want to throw a tournament? Let us host it! We'll fly in, MC the event and provide over $1000 in prize support when we come!
$2000 - Make the neighbors think it's Christmas all year round.
$2400 - Now you can have enough lights to land a 747!
What if you hit your goal?
The goal, listed over in the top right corner, represents the amount of money we need to raise to make our initial production run of our first modular LED Lighting Kits, to stock our website and to send to local gaming shops around the world (plus enough extra to cover domestic shipping for the pledge rewards and such).
If we hit it, we have a number of Stretch Goals:
Stretch Goal # 1 – Smaller Battery We have designed a 9v battery pack that is smaller than a AAA battery.
If we reach this goal everyone that supports at the Army Level or above will receive (for free) one of these battery packs with their rewards in July.
Stretch Goal #2 – 40mm Powered Base – We have designed a lighting system that is powered by the base the model sits on. Will support up to three LEDs
and utilizes a microcontroller with multiple effects options for each LED -Only 1.5mm taller than the typical 40mm base.This reward will ship in August.
We have several more and if we get close to those goals, we'll let everyone know (with the ability to add products to the reward options).
Whatever happens, thanks to all of our friends, fans, fellow gamers and hobbyists who have been patiently waiting for us to get our kits in your hands. With a little bit of luck (and your support) we’ll be launching more products in the VERY near future in time for your next trip into your design lair.
Where'd you get the Idea?
Customizing your models had to be easier than all of the tutorials that we saw on the Internet. From smoke to lights, it seemed you needed an electrical engineering degree to get things working. We thought it would be cool to make a turnkey option for people. So, over a year ago, while staring at a model tank, we began the process of developing the product.
We started by sketching out a few rough ideas, ran to Frys to get some components and started freshening up on our physics and soldering skills.
We ordered about 1000 different lights and started identifying the right current, brightness, cable length, type of cable, type of connectors and battery drop-off.
We designed a PC Board, and tried putting it together ourselves. We tested it in a number of models to see what we needed to change and identified that we needed to make some immediate changes to both the connector (which kept breaking).
The PC Boards worked OK for prototypes, but our soldering skills and epoxying needed help. So we contracted with Advanced Circuits to develop a new board to our specs with new connectors and clean assembly.
We also identified new manufacturers who could create the LED lighting strings to our detailed specifications.
Today we have a robust design, that has gone through tremendous amount of testing - both on the dirty engineering side and the destructive testing by our kids. If it can hold up to them, it'll hold up to a LOT more. We fired one or two vendors because they either couldn't met our timelines or send us inferior products that didn't meet our QC standards.
So, Who Are You Guys?
We’re Chris & Chris. It’s cute, we know…
Chris Wessling, CEO, came up with the idea for the kits about a year ago. His then 4 year old son wandered into the garage one day, and found a box of Warhammer 40K miniatures that had been collecting dust. Invigorated by the ability to share an old passion with his son, Chris bought him a new army and wondered, “Wouldn’t it be cool to put lights on this tank?” So, he researched it, looked at the tutorials and was frustrated by the complexity of what’s out there. Thus, using his US Navy nuclear reactor operator training, and NASA-spec soldering skills, he began creating the product.
A year later, he meets Chris Michaels, COO (Chris 2) – a marketing and PR guy who’s been helping launch startups, representing major tech firms and being a spokesperson for a major county fair. Chris 2 was intrigued, since he grew up building models with his dad and uncle, and remembered trying to put lights into model terrain sets and scale stealth fighters. He understood the marketing and business, and shared the passion for giving people the tools to be even more creative with their hobbies. It was a killer match and this past January, we formed PoweredPlay Gaming.
Today we’re often rubbing elbows in the Bay Area with local gamers, hobbyists, store owners and experts as we test our products, show off new prototypes and drool over the applications that other people come up with. We’re sponsoring local role-playing games, tournaments and events, and we may be hosting one soon at a store near you.
Risks and challenges
We’ve been busy identifying vendors, getting samples, testing component designs, redesigning components and then testing them again, and finally placing orders. Some of the things we’re finding out in our own operational alpha stage, is what vendors to choose, and those to fire. We actually had to stop doing business with one company, not only because the quality was not what we had hoped, but because of their failure to deliver your product at the promised time.
At the close of Kickstarter we should be able to start shipping product within 10 weeks. All of non-product rewards take up to 2 weeks for completion and we will be sending them along with your full order.
Our PC Board supplier will take 6 weeks to manufacture, assemble and ship our boards. Our LED lighting strings will take up to 3 weeks to make and 10-15 days to ship from our vendor. Depending on the size of the orders, we plan on fulfilling the orders ourselves (under $100,000) or hiring a fulfillment house to help us with final distribution if Kickstarter takes off!
Getting things to our customers and everyone who supports us is our top priority. Thus, we’ve identified the highest quality and most reliable suppliers that we’ll be working with for years to come.
Yes, really. We know that some of our friends and family will be donating, and rather than receiving products, we know they deserve a better thanks. As creative writers, we thought it would be somewhat cute and more meaningful to create something more personal.
At the conclusion of the Kickstarter, we’ll send you an order form to fill out, or a link to our website with your order number to specify your color selections based upon what’s available. Remember, we’re hoping to add more colors in our stretch goal, so you may have the entire rainbow to choose from!
Yes, if you have the time, talent and tools to do it. But if you do, it’ll cost you about the same as our retail price. If you don’t have the 3Ts, or, you want to save a bit by on a kit pledging to support on Kickstarter, we’ve got you covered.
Currently we supply a battery cable for a standard 9-volt battery. We found that a 9v provides just enough juice to ensure brightness and the longevity for upwards to 80 hours (depending on full charge or battery chemistry). Also, our Canadian friends reminded us that when they’re dead, they pack a wallop when tucked inside a snowball (#Assault&Batteries) (#DontTryThisAtHome).
Take a look at the images for each level. Those that were created with retailers in mind show the discount. To get a pricing sheet with the MSRP for each product, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAMPLER SET - 1 Alpha Kit (PCB, 5 LED strings of your color choice, Battery cable) + 1 Spotlight Kit (PCB, 1 White LED string, 1 Yellow LED string, Battery cable) + 1 Color Pack (2 strings of any color). That's 2 PC Boards and 9 LED strings to light up to two models or large terrain.
LARGE MOD SET - 2 Alpha Kits (2 PCBs, 10 LED strings of your color choice, 2 Battery cable) + 2 Spotlight Kits (2 PCB, 2 White LED strings, 2 Yellow LED string, Battery cable) + 2 Color Packs (4 strings of any color). That's 18 LED strings and 4 PC Boards. Light up giant terrain or a small battalion.
THE ARMY KIT (REVISED) - Our best deal. Not only will you be sporting an exclusive #LetThereBeLight t-shirt, you'll also be lighting up to 5 units. PLUS, you'll be registered for our Beta program to receive pre-releases of our next products. This includes mini battery packs, powered bases, microcontrollers, and small vehicle kits - just to name a few.
REGIMENT LEVEL - 25 Alpha Kits - prepackaged with 5 lighting strings, including one each of Red, Yellow, White, Blue, Green. That's 125Lighting strings in total. We'll promote your favorite store and gaming group with an interview on our blog and Google+
TOURNAMENT LEVEL - 50 Spotlight Kits + 40 Color Packs (you select the colors). That's 180 total lighting strings! We'll promote your favorite store and gaming group with an interview on our blog and Google+
BRIGADE LEVEL - 50 Alpha Kits - prepackaged with 5 lighting strings, including one each of Red, Yellow, White, Blue, Green. That's 250 Lighting strings in total. We'll promote your favorite store and gaming group with an interview on our blog and Google+
CHAMPIONSHIP LEVEL - 150 Spotlight Kits and 120 Color Packs (You select the colors). That's 540 total lighting strings! We'll also promote your tournaments on our blog and even drop by if we're in town for demos and tutorials.
CORPS LEVEL - 150 Alpha Kits - prepackaged with 5 lighting strings, including one each of Red, Yellow, White, Blue, Green. That's 750 Lighting strings in total. We'll promote your favorite store and gaming group with an interview on our blog and Google+