Here is a thought for a bit further down the road.
I am a fan of RPGs and Skirmish level wargames (There's a shock. ). I remember CAVBOSS saying that he would like to do a Space based game centered in the CAV universe. This is fantastic, and I'd love to see some cool ships in Bones. However, I'm wondering what might be available to play 28-30mm skirmish games in the CAV universe?
I've seen some of the Cronoscape figures which are based on CAV factions. I'm also working on a few groups of IMEF and NOVA troopers which could serve well for such games. On that note, I'm also really excited about receiving my Bones II shipment because of all of the reinforcements my IMEF will get, as well as their new alien adversaries.
We have also seen pictures of #D printed 28mm CAV inspired models. Thank you for sharing, smokingwreckage. What are the chances, if any, of Reaper doing such models in Bones in the future? Would they be interested in instead setting up a Shapeways' store so that those interested may purchase such pieces without too much further cost to Reaper? Just brainstorming here, its' cool if this isn't possible, as I'm mostly just curious.
Here is why I'm imagining that this could work. Reaper has already proven that large models in Bones will work. Splitting a model into individual arms, legs, then the head and torso, would allow for a certain amount of pose variation while still keeping things simple enough that I imagine the pieces would fit into the same size mould which would make one of those larger dragon models. Which model should be made? Why not put it to a vote? Reaper could pick a series of five of the 'light' CAV's that they think would work and then leaving it up to the community for a month of voting.
What I'd really like to see, however, is an APC and/or a VTOL shuttle. These are useful for RPGers since everybody, heroes and villain alike, needs a ride. Something generic would be fantastic, or the voting system outlined above could be used to discern which one receives the most attention. These would really be awesome when role playing, or wargaming, scenarios similar to the "Black Hawk Down" incident, or the events which inspired We Were Soldiers.
Why not use one of the very many vehicles which already exist out there? I've been thinking about this quite a bit today. After spending a lot of time looking through the various vehicles on offer I have come up with a check list for what is needed.
1, Not specific to any popular IP. (You brought 40k into our CAV game? )
2, Easy to assemble. (Oh, darn! I missed a step in the instructions!)
1, IP issues might be considered small, but they can cause a serious problem for some people when the asthetic of one series of models doesn't match that of the other. Ever tried to have a space fleet battle using Star Trek or Star Wars ships and 'forgetting' that they are Star Trek or Star Wars ships? CAV has a more unique feeling then some of the kits I've seen, and it would be awesome to see that brought into reality for this scale.
2, Ease, and speed, of assembly isn't that big of a deal for most wargamers, but it is a hallmark of the Bones figures which keeps me coming back. I have grown tired of spending hours building a single squad or transport vehicle when I know that it will look almost totally identical to all of the other squads or vehicles in my force, and those of my opponent. Since they will all look nearly the same, aside from turret placement and detail/weathering work, why not make the tank or shuttle in as few pieces as possible? Resin kits tend to be great at this, but require a lot more prep work before assembly starts. Metal kits are heavy, and often require pinning. Plastic kits tend to run from easy, to very advanced.
3, One of the things that makes Bones awesome is the player's, or DM's, ability to just throw the miniatures they want to use into a bag and go. Much less time, and money, needs to be spent thinking about protecting the thin bits, like swords, gun barrels, or comm antennas, which leaves more time for actually playing games. Resin tends to be delicate, and can't be dropped. Metal is even worse at times. Plastic, the kind used in model kits, tends to break when dropped, and can be difficult to repair. This is especially true when trying to 'game' with model kits from companies like Tamiya. Still, it is easier to use, abuse, and store, then Metal or Resin. Bones is superior to all three, IMHO, and would allow a player to have a troop transport, or three, which can be put into their tackle box miniature case without worrying about needing to do some last minute repairs before the game begins. Even the larger Bones figures have survived falls on tile floors without a scratch or break. I have to actively try to damage a figure in order to see a dent in its' parts or paint job.
4, Material is important. Resin is dangerous to use if you are a beginner and don't know the pitfalls, or don't have the proper face mask for when you need to file down some edges or cut away flash and mould lines. Add that concern to its' breakable nature and the need to protect it during transportation and it is easy to understand while the mobile gamer wouldn't be very interested. Metal is awesome. It holds sharp edges and detail very well, and the weight is very satisfying when you hold those figures in your hands. Yet, that same weight is its' downfall when looking at a transport vehicle. Not too bad if you only want one, but it gets very heavy very fast when you start traveling with more than one squad. Plastic is by far the best. It is light weight and fairly durable. Bones takes that to a whole new level. While some detail is lost, if a person wants to be picky, its' other advantages more than make up for it.
5, Affordable figures are important. When I did a search I also asked for some help from members of Warseer.com. Their suggestions led me to a few interesting companies. If somebody wants a list of the different companies I came across feel free to PM me. The common problem that they all had, however, was price. Nobody, even the smaller shops which made APCs from resin, were cheaper then about 30 US bucks for a small armored transport designed to carry a squad of ten men. Most of them were closer to 50 bucks for a single transport or tank. Those few who made shuttles or other kinds of aircraft charged even more , or the shuttles were too small and would look out of place. Those few which were cheaper were located in the UK, and the shipping charges turned it from affordable to more expensive then Games Workshop. This is where Bones, I feel, can shine the brightest. After looking at how much the larger dragons cost at RRP I believe that Reaper could offer something which would knock all of those other options out of the water. Add in the other advantages of the Bones material and I bet it would quickly be a hit with RPers, as well as wargamers who are looking for a change in style, and something easier on their wallet.
In conclusion, this could be a very fine an excellent idea. Bones is, in my humble opinion, a superior material for the purposes of making an affordable, unique, and durable plastic transport vehicle. Still, I'm only brainstorming and sharing the thoughts which pr-occupied my mind while being stuck in traffic. If this isn't an idea that Reaper is interested in perusing I can understand that. The mould prices would probably be killer, and it would be hard to gauge what people would actually buy. Maybe a kickstarter to gauge actual interest and cover the first mould or two?
What would be involved in opening up a Reaper shot through Shapeways? Not selling the designs, but just allowing people to order them and shapeways, or a different company, to print them.
What would I like to see the most? \If nothing else was made I'd like to see a VTOL shuttle or transport. There are a 'lot' of options out there for tanks and APCs, but almost nobody makes sci fi aircraft, much less affordable ones, in plastic so there is a hole in the market.