About this project
Get some great new 3D objectives for your sci-fi miniatures wargaming!
Data Targets is a collection of miniatures for representing objectives in 28mm sci-fi wargames. It was specifically designed to match Corvus Belli's Infinity miniatures game and the standard missions in its Infinity Tournament System (ITS). However, they work well for a wide variety of different games, including Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 and many others.
This is a campaign to produce actual physical models via 3D printing. If you have access to a printer on your own, the STL files are already available via DriveThruRPG!
If, however, you would just like some sweet, thematic objective markers mailed to you like any other product, read on and join this campaign!
The Data Targets designs include seven types of objectives and two markers:
- Antenna [40mm]
- Console [40mm]
- Tech-Coffin [40mm]
- Panoply [40mm]
- Beacon [25mm]
- High Value Target (HVT) [25mm]
- Civilian [20mm]
- Datacube/Supply Box
- Control Markers [A and B]
The 40mm objectives all incorporate hutches in which datacubes may be placed and then removed by players to track control, optionally replacing them with an A or B control marker. Extracted datacubes can of course also be moved along with specific figures to indicate possession of extracted data or materials as they attempt to escape!
The 40mm objectives as well as both marker types include recesses to be easily fitted with magnets and ball bearings such that the markers readily and securely snap into place. These are included in each reward kit. Ball bearings are used in the markers so that you don't have to worry about polarity of the magnets, no fussing around or mistakes trying to ensure they're all oriented the same. Just put a dab of superglue in the recess, drop in the magnet or bearing, and it's done! All your pieces will be magnetized very quickly and all be compatible with each other.
Most of the Data Targets designs require no assembly and are ready to go out of the box caveat optional magnetizing or painting. The console, panoply, and beacon designs though come in two large pieces each. However, their components all come together quickly and obviously via built-in slots and can be superglued accurately in seconds.
In addition to the more commonly used objectives, Data Targets also includes civilians and high value targets. Both are abstract, neutral designs that won't clash with the varying factions and races in different games. These are useful for the occasional mission requiring large numbers of either or when players don't have suitable models. They can also be helpful in tournament settings as they are highly visible and cannot be mistaken at a glance for actual models.
Data Targets will be printed in high visibility colors that we think stand out and look great on the tabletop as-is. However, the pieces are also very amenable to painting if you wish. They're made with the same type of plastic as used in high end commercial miniatures, so you can use exactly the same primers, paints, etc., as you use on your figures.
Outside of plastic injection molding, which requires huge quantities to be cost effective, traditionally these sorts of models would be cast in resin. We are producing Data Targets via 3D printing for four reasons: Time, flexibility, quality, and style.
Time. Printing pieces takes much more time than resin casting. However, it's much less time consuming in active labor. To print we click on a button, go do something else for a while, then come back to pop the parts off the print bed. Both processes cost about the same in materials. But as a side hobby business motivated simply by getting people playing with cool toys we design, our labor time is immensely valuable and reducing it makes production feasible.
Flexibility. Another advantage of 3D printing is its amenability to printing extremely low quantities or even one-off designs. We hope to use that in the future to produce designs that are interesting but perhaps too niche to sell in volume. We also hope to possibly eventually support print-on-demand services, e.g., your own personally chosen set of objectives or other models.
Quality. We'll be producing Data Targets using HIPS, the same plastic used in most high quality commercial plastic miniatures. It's strong and hard but very light and produces detailed, crisp models that can be glued or cut easily and take paint very well. Printed parts also of course have very minimal variation across production runs.
Style. 3D printing has its own set of limitations, which these pieces have been designed around to a considerable extent. However, they're a different set of limitations from another very popular low volume, scalable production technique: Laser cut MDF. These designs simply have a somewhat different aesthetic from the ubiquitous laser cut terrain and objectives. Both look good, and more variation and options are great things to have.
That said, there are two main downsides to 3D printing: Time and artifacts.
Time. 3D printing can take considerable time. To mitigate that, the parts and reward tiers here have been designed to be efficiently printed. Drawing on experience printing large quantities of similar parts for multiple significant tournaments and narrative events, we understand the makespans involved and are confident on being able to produce parts in a timely fashion for the number of backers we expect. If this campaign succeeds wildly beyond those expectations then we will address the additional demand by scaling up, acquiring more printers to run in parallel.
Artifacts. We'll be printing these parts on mid-level printers. We think the resulting pieces strike a very good balance between affordability and appearance. However, they do still have visible layer striations from the printing process. We don't think it's noticeable on the tabletop and have never gotten anything but very positive comments from the hundreds of Infinity, Warhammer 40,000, and X-Wing players who have used our pieces at various public events. However, look closely at the pictures here and make your own judgement before backing!
This campaign has six backer levels with rewards comprised of different Data Targets designs:
Support ($1): For those that don't need these models right this moment but would like to see the campaign and the larger project toward a new miniatures company takeoff. There is no reward associated with this tier but your support motivates us to continue trying projects like this as well as posting free designs or writing extensive tutorials.
3x Antennas ($10): Three antennas and matching datacubes, perfect as a small set of nice looking, general purpose objectives for small games.
RECON ($20): Three antennas, two consoles, two tech-coffins, a beacon, datacubes, and control markers. This set is expressly designed to support the unofficial Infinity RECON mission pack but works great for many other games and small format missions as well.
RESCUE ($20): Three antennas, a console, eight civilians, two high value targets (HVTs), datacubes, and control markers. This set provides fun markers for that occasion when a mission comes up requiring a bunch of civilians, as well as standardized generic HVTs that won't be confused with enemy models at a glance.
9x Antennas ($25): A simple pack of nine antennas, perfect to use as generic objectives for a wide variety of full size missions in many different games.
ITS ($75): Two copies of the RECON set, one RESCUE set, and three additional panoply objectives. This set works well for many mission systems and games, and includes all of the themed elements called for in Corvus Belli's Infinity Tournament System (ITS) missions.
All of the sets include the magnets and ball bearings needed to make each of the 40mm objectives and markers snap together.
We have one big stretch goal for the campaign already: At $2500 we'll add printed sci-fi shipping containers to each reward tier---
- 3x Antennas: 1 shipping container
- RECON: 2 shipping containers
- RESCUE: 2 shipping containers
- 9x Antennas: 2 shipping containers
- ITS: 6 shipping containers
Our basic shipping container design is already available as a free download on Thingiverse. For these prints we have a selection of minor style variations from which we'll choose randomly.
The Data Targets components are all small and light in shipping terms, so delivery is relatively easy within the United States. Kickstarter will add a small shipping fee once you select a backer level ($5 for all sets except the ITS package, which is $10).
Unfortunately at this time we are not able to ship outside the United States. Customs fees and border taxes are the primary hurdles. We are looking into options to ship internationally at affordable costs. If you are interested please post a comment letting us know, as a big question here is whether or not it is worthwhile to work through the additional complications.
Although 3D printing is very amenable to low scale production and soft launches, we're running this Kickstarter campaign for two reasons---
Kickstarter has a great community of people who are interested in novel approaches to producing new and unique items. We've found it to be an effective way to reach the type of gamers we think might be interested in Data Targets.
However, we have little idea how many people will be interested in these designs and at what price point. Before incurring the significant time involved in setting up a permanent webstore, etc., we want to gauge the level of interest. Similarly, the campaign will enable us to acquire appropriate amounts of filament, magnets, ball bearings, and packaging in bulk. If it turns out there is a lot of interest, then having a number of backers funding the campaign all at once will similarly enable us to acquire more printers and scale up to a small printer farm.
Risks and challenges
Risks for backers on this campaign are extremely low. The models are already designed and well tested, both in terms of printing and play. Some backers may not like the amount of striation and other printing artifacts once they have the pieces in hand and get a close in-person look. However, we have not encountered anyone who did not really like these or any similar pieces of wargaming terrain or objectives that we have printed.
The biggest risk is on our end, that fulfilling the rewards will take up more of our time or impose more wear on our printer(s) than expected. However, we have extensive experience with printing these types of models in sizable quantities and are attentive to but not doubtful of delivering on a timely schedule and in a predictable fashion.
We look forward to learning from this campaign, hope you enjoy the rewards you get from it, and anticipate it being the foundation of additional exciting projects in the future!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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