Kickstarter has recently been the home to some astoundingly successful projects for gamers, especially those who are interested in the miniatures side of things and now we have two great projects underway for those of us who like to collect and paint miniatures, or perhaps those who are curious and want to give the hobby a serious try.
Now these are not Kickstarters for pre-painted miniatures so you will need to do some work once you get the goodies, but these two Kickstarters represent a great investment opportunity for fantasy RPG DMs in particular. The best thing about both projects is they are already funded for their first tier and (at time of writing) their first stretch goal.
The other good thing about both of these kickstarters is that they are aimed at establishing a lower price point set of miniatures. You can readily see this already on the Reaper Miniatures site with their existing Bones line, where a plastic minotaur costs $3.50(US) while the metal version of the same model costs $17(US) and requires assembly (much harder in metal). This makes the larger success of these projects important to us in a longer term sense as well; I know my money only stretches so far and it rarely stretches to $8-10 for a miniature if I need 5 or more of them (or even 1), but stretching to $2-4 for a miniature or even multiples is pretty easy.
Recommended Pledge Level $100.
This Kickstarter is intended to fast-track Reaper’s Bones production and if successful enough move their plastic miniature production to the USA (instead of China) beside their metal production facilities. In 3 days (with 30 to go) pledges raised $50000 to fund the project and hit the first stretch goal. It seems likely this is going to be a hugely successful project and those who pledge in at the $100 level are going to get a massive collection of miniatures suitable for use in fantasy RPGs.
At the time of writing this the $100 pledge gets you 12 kobolds, 12 giant rats, 12 goblins, 5 black orcs, a mimic, a hellhound, a harpy, a medusa, a bat swarm, a lizardman, a zombie, a rust monster and 20 minis suitable for use as a range of PCs. It also includes a promo figure that you should be able to sell readily enough of a sucubbus on a motorcycle (I don’t get it either).
Just around the corner (at the rate the project is going) is the addition of fantastic fire giants for an extra $10 and soon after a batch of undead which will give you 6 skeletons and 4 more zombies. The project has goals mapped well ahead and you can expect to see more big models like the giants and even dragons along with more human sized models.
Recommended Pledge Level $60
Red Box Games is a one man company that is trying to produce high quality products at affordable prices for its customers. Curiously enough the Reaper Miniatures Black Orcs, Bugbear Warrior and Gnoll Warrior from their plastics line (including the KS) are among the many miniatures that are sculpted by Tre Manor, the man behind Red Box Games. Tre’s personal work is of the same high standard that you expect from companies like Reaper.
Tre is undertaking the Kickstarter to convert as many of his models as he can to a type of plastic to both improve the availability of the miniatures and reduce their cost. As a small company dependant on other small companies he will never get his plastics down quite as low as Reaper, but for fantasy RPGs his work is mostly about character models anyway.
Currently this kickstarter is very small, but with 10-20 more backers it will become far more attractive. If it can raise another $10k in the 20 days it has left (at time of writing) the recommended pledge will probably jump to the $110 mark, at which point you are looking at getting 4 different units of 4 or 5 models you can mix together to choose your 6 units and easily having 7 different character models to pick from.
As you can see from these pictures these miniatures offer a very distinct appearance that is rare to find in fantasy models and the Kickstarter offers a great opportunity to get a solid collection of them at $4 or less a model.
As an aside some of the best female miniature sculpts I have seen are produced by Tre for his own line, check out the Aenglish, Aelfar, Njorn and Dverger (dwarves) lines for yourself. Which is a part of why I personally want this KS to work well.
We Need Success
So there we go, these are two Kickstarter projects that are of interest to all DnD fans who like to use miniatures and to miniature collectors. There have been others recently that didn’t garner my attention (such as the Dwarves one) because the models were not of use to me, or seen as duplicating existing models (such as the Dwarves one). These two projects offer things I think are interesting; Reaper’s offers a large array of miniatures that are useful to me as a DM while Red Box Games’ offers miniatures with a distinct and powerful style that I personally like.
The success of projects like these (and the dwarf one to some extent) are good for the gaming hobby, not because we really need more minis (though they are like dice, you can never have enough) but because plastic models at a low price point are an important model to see succeed. The more companies that are able to successfully produce low-cost miniatures the better for us the consumer in the long-term.
Reaper metals used to cost what their plastics cost now, that trend of price increase will continue, so we need it to be reset to a lower price point and that is why plastic is so important for us and why these two Kickstarters need to be a great success as their respective companies measure them.