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This is a continuation of a thread started in "More X-Wing Fun", covering stories for a start until some new pilots are trained. I gave out "The Force Awakens" to a few guys for Christmas and Birthdays in the hopes of expanding the player base. The group at the local game store seems to have vanished. So continuing...
This is the Rebellion News Network (R.N.N.)
Watchman reporting from somewhere in the Distal Reaches.
We encountered a rather strange cosmic anomaly that has thrown us off course; no one seems to know our present whereabouts. The emergency transmitter has been broadcasting our location since we lost our course lock-on. It has been only forty-five minutes but we have been informed of a locating beacon that has started transmitting a positional fix to home in on. Evidently this is not a standard type beacon, not matching anything on the Galactic Navigational Charts… We are, finally, approaching an uncharted planetary body…
We have been instructed to close all view ports before we land. I am placing a Remote Optical Pad on the port that should pass all but the closest detailed external inspection. I plan to activate a Randomized Signal Receiver just before touchdown, and possibly obtain some external video… So, a Military base of some sort: a Gozanti Cruiser taking off (?), and Y-wing bombers. Looks like about two squadrons of Kihraxz fighters landing. Here are two rows of Z-95s, which I am unable to determine how many are present. Looks like a standard type of base construction seen elsewhere. Hmmm, there is no visible activity of any kind currently, which I can pick out, inside the installation.
Okay we are going down and swinging around just past the base.
We have an interesting development, looks like I am picking up stray video signals close by from someone doing a visual scan of us. They seem to be interested in our weapons mounts. Sorry guys nothing new or special here, same-o, same-o.
Could this be a dual function base? I see three Jumpmaster 5000s, an YT1300 and a HWK290. Also an air patrol of Protectorate Star fighters. Okay feed was terminated.
I will complete the report when we liftoff.
About this project
What Is This Kickstarter About?
The initial Kickstarter goal is to fund the very first WHISPER mecha's masters and production molds.
These are the WHISPERs currently available to pick for your rewards.
SOKAR/BASTET - KNEELING - (Sokar head shown but also includes Bastet head option)
SOKAR/BASTET - STANDING - (Bastet head shown but also includes Sokar head option)
History of WHISPER Design
Over the course of the last four months, the 3-D sculptors of Marchen Atelier - Heriberto and Gibran - and Tom Anders - of Impact! Miniatures - have collaborated with me in the creation of these miniatures.
We've gone from a fantastic two-dimensional art piece done by John Yechan Seung.
To a three-dimensional computer export model.
Full resolution 3D sculpt by Marchen Atelier. To full three-dimensional miniatures created by Tom Anders through Impact! Miniatures' 3-D printing service after some advice on modifications to the design by Tom.
One painted 3d print prototype by Todd Farnholtz next to various 6mm and 15mm miniatures, from Onslaught Miniatures, Khurasan Miniatures, White Dragon Miniatures, and The Ion Age. Now that we have our starting point, I need you, the potential Backers, supporters, and fans, to assist in the creation of the master prints, the production molds, and the base materials.
The Master - These are the original masters that can be re-used to create the production molds.
The Production Molds - The actual mold wheels that will create the miniatures.
Casting Materials - WHISPER mecha will be made of spincast resin. Resin is heated and then injected into the molds, which are spun at a high velocity to fill the molds completely. After cooling, the molds can be separated, and the miniatures removed to begin the process of snipping, partial cleaning, and then bagging for shipping. PLEASE NOTE: All WHISPERs will be sent unpainted. Painted images are just to show you what a WHISPER could look like after being painted.
What Is A WHISPER?
A WHISPER is a mechanized humanoid war machine, approximately 8.5 meters tall, created initially to perform direct actions against hardened targets throughout the galaxy. Piloted by the most elite, the first generation of WHISPERs were created to allow Powers and Dominions to employ their elite special forces teams in fast raids and rapid deployment in response to imminent threats.
The 27th-century version of the U.S. Navy SEAL, USAF JTAC, Delta Force, Russian Spetsnaz, and British S.A.S., WHISPER teams are never to be underestimated. Forty years after the first generation made planetfall on several rogue corporations seeking to commit a heinous terrorist incident on Earth and Mars, technology has advanced at an exponential rate.
First- and second-generation WHISPERs are now commonly employed by lesser Powers, while the elite advance into combat in third- and fourth-generation machines.
The Only Difference is the Head?
With the initial two poses, yes. The Sokar is a beak-like head with a protective armor cover over its sensors, an imposing sight that I thought reflected a combat-worthy opponent. So, I went back to Egyptian times to find a name worthy of a bird that can pursue and destroy prey.
High res close-up of the Sokar head in kneeling pose. The Bastet was initially remarked as "Samurai Pizza Cat", or a fox. I can't help but take my friends and supporters at their joke, so, the cat-like Bastet was a perfect name fit.
3d sculpt example of the Bastet head in kneeling pose. What's Beyond That?
Stretch Goal #1 - Raptor - $4,500 USD
A second-generation WHISPER, the Raptor was designed by the Symbiotic Cyber Consortium in its fledgling years on a limited budget and production capacity. Due to these limitations in technology, they could not install cutting-edge full armored cockpits with augmented reality and neural linkage. Instead, the Raptor had to supplement on high visibility cockpits with less armor, with augmented reality displays.
The end result is a machine perfect for atmospheric combat, but incapable of traversing solar systems. Nevertheless, it is an affordable option for Powers on a budget.
John Seung's initial concept art of the Raptor.
The prototype 3d sculpt created by Marchen Atelier. Stretch Goal #2 - Optional Armaments for Sokar/Bastet - $5,200 USD
One of the earliest requests was optional arms for the original WHISPER, to allow hobbyists and gamers alike to swap out arms. Most wargamers and hobbyists are familiar with drilling out a small portion of the arm holes and balls to affix magnets inside.
With this Stretch Goal, anyone can purchase the optional arms as an add-on for $5 USD, though certain high-level pledges will receive one set for free.
The optional weapons include one holding a Gauss cannon over the standing WHISPER's chest.
The second is a missile launcher with arm blade.
The other option is a pair of battle-damaged arms.
High-res images of optional WHISPER arms. Stretch Goal #3 - Poseidon - $7,200 USD
The Poseidon is a second-generation WHISPER designed by the Northern Martian Federation. On the shores of the Federation, the Poseidon acts as a distinct bodyguard, while on exo-planets that are primarily covered in water, it is one of the only WHISPERs that can operate beneath the waves. Thanks to the latest advancements in its hardened armor shell, the most recent versions of the Poseidon can reach depths up to 500 meters without loss of internal pressure.
The Poseidon was created by Elartwyne Estole, another fantastic artist I discovered on DeviantArt. Elartwyne was kind enough to grant me the ability to license his own old mecha for WHISPER, and I've hired him on for future mecha sketches and layouts, as well as more detailed art, if we can get that far in the future.
Sketch of the base Poseidon.
Finalized 3d sculpt of the Poseidon by Marchen Atelier. Stretch Goal #4 - Tundra - $9,200 USD
A first-generation WHISPER designed by PAC-NATO to usurp the original Mark II, the Tundra swiftly took off in popularity among other Dominions as a reliable unit. By the time of its fifteenth year in service, however, the Tundra was beginning to be outstripped by second-generation designs. With the Throne Confederacy's Sokar, the Tundra was thought to be an outdated model with no viable use left. However, several lesser Powers were able to modernize and upgrade the WHISPER's sensors and ballistic computers to level it out, and improvements in maintenance areas were made, making after action field repairs far easier. Thus, the Tundra remains on the field of combat as a WHISPER not to be discounted.
Tundra sketch by Elartwyne.
Finalized sculpt of Tundra with regular armament.
Stretch Goal #5 - Poseidon Alternate Arms - $9,800
An alternate set of arms for the Poseidon, removing the Gauss cannon and torpedoes, replacing them with a pair of directed-energy weapons (DEWs, i.e. lasers) in the palms, with elongated claws for close quarters combat. With this Stretch Goal, anyone can purchase the optional arms as an add-on for $5 USD.
3d sculpt by Marchen Atelier.
An example of the Poseidon Beta painted by Mastergunz. With More Stretch Goals to Come, Possibly?
How Tall Are WHISPER Miniatures?
The standing version of the Sokar and Bastet miniature is approximately 47 millimeters tall.
I spent awhile going over scale options. Miniature wargames come in all shapes and sizes these days, but for this, I wanted them to be physically imposing enough that when you saw one on the table, you thought, "Okay, that looks like a nasty customer."
On final thoughts, I decided to abstract the scale of the game, and simply place WHISPERs in the 10mm range (thus, a 10mm tall infantryman stands at about the height a real human being would to a 8.2-meter-tall WHISPER). However, if you're a wargamer, and you have 6mm, 10mm, or even 15mm miniature infantry, power armor, and tanks lying around, you are free to proxy these into WHISPER for your games. 28mm and 35mm scale wargames can even use the WHISPERs as heavy power armor (or in Infinity's case, mini TAGs) if they so wish.
The Poseidon WHISPER, Sokar kneeling WHISPER, next to 6mm and 15mm miniature infantry and power armor troopers (note that Knight and Talos are 21mm models, good for heavy power armor). Another reason to go with the 10mm scale was that I had to consider terrain costs. The wargame I'm creating is intended to be played with heavy cover and concealment (think an urban battlefield, like Infinity, or MERCS). This is one of those things that can cost gamers an arm and a leg to purchase, or, if they're crafty, you can make your own. But time is also a factor there, and not everyone has the hours saved to create massive buildings. 10mm offers a wide variety of affordable but impressive options for terrain.
Side by Side of Bastet and Sokar The Universe, and WHISPER Armament
WHISPER takes place in the 27th century Anno Domini, and technology has allowed Mankind to spread to roughly 75 different planets (though more are possible, they are usually unchartered colonization and pirate bases, as well as terrorist outposts or "black sites" of the Dominions and Powers of the times). Some are terraformed, some are inhospitable but livable, and others are colonized mostly through Lagrange colonies, ala Mobile Suit Gundam.
FTL travel is accomplished through hyperspace 'jumps', a capability provided through Tiggs-Dyson eventium generators as an energy source, and hyper-acceleration devices.
Directed energy weapons (i.e. lasers), are the primary armament of almost every standard military force in the universe. They don't fire the intense cutting beams that are a trope of mecha action. Instead, they create a pulsed high-intensity 'blast' that vaporizes on impact. Another high-power weapon system is the Gauss cannon, which utilizes railgun principles to accelerate a metal sabot to a muzzle velocity exceeding Mach 7.
How do you dodge something that travels at nearly the speed of light, or a projectile breaking the speed of sound 7 times over? You rely on a limited artificial intelligence matrix and threat-avoidance programming to recognize when a threat emerges, and utilize high-output vernier thrusters and jet packs to juke away from the threat. Plus, you shoot back.
It's being worked on, but it is not the end goal of this Kickstarter. This Kickstarter will focus entirely on the initial WHISPER miniatures line. I've decided to emulate Infinity, Heavy Gear Blitz, and other various wargames and boardgames, in that I'll be focusing on releasing the rules in a free version that you do not have to pay to play.
However, for those interested I'll be regularly sharing bits and pieces of the universe, and also sharing some of the basics in the Facebook Group for WHISPER:
Squareware has now launched on Kickstarter. I'm seeking funding to prototype and mass manufacture a very special dice kit I have developed that combines the best features of a Box, Bag, Mats and Dice to give you millions of instant creative solutions during or while building your RPG - and - help the DM eliminate creative, mental and physical fatigue; minimize the need for manuals; free up space behind the DM screen; allow you to craft entire quest concepts in seconds; and make it easy on your shoulders, bag or pocket to carry. #dice #rpg #dnd #tabletop #gaming https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gametilewarehouse/squareware-rpg-dice-tools-for-sparking-the-creativ
Since I first saw miniature terrain, I have wanted to build a village for my miniatures. When I saw sappet102's Gloomholde City, I was blown away! I know I am not a sculptor and can't make that nice of a village for my minis so I went on a hunt.
I came across Tabletop World and their buildings had exactly the look I wanted. As my Christmas gift, my hubs said if that is I wanted, I could place an order and pick out a few. (I want them all!) I kept to a conservative amount to see what I thought. Once I received them, I was so pleased. I have not found a single mold line. I had to fill in one tiny bubble spot on the top of the cottage chimney. My only complaint is with the cottage and Townhouse I, there is no fireplace on the inside to correspond to the chimney on the outside.
I ordered the Cottage, Townhouse II, and the furniture set. There was a mistake with my order so they sent out a Townhouse I for my troubles.
They are having a contest on their facebook right now where people sent in their painted models. Man, some of those are amazing.
Anyway, so I am going to paint up the little cottage first. I want to paint it up and then mount it on a (probably square) board and then do a little flagstone walkway, some flowers, trees, maybe a little garden. So if anyone knows where to get tiny animals like little birds, bunnies, butterflies, etc, I'd be interested. I was taught how to make paper butterflies but I haven't tried that yet.
I washed the cottage with soapy water, rinsed it and let it air dry. I then primed it with spray on primer. I will be starting with the inside as to me, that just makes good sense since I will be holding it on the outside. When I get to the outside, I want to use different colored "stones" like it is found stone rather than quarried. Kind of like this picture:
(Sorry, had to remove the picture. Got a takedown notice from Getty Images. --Kit)
Townhouse I, Townhouse II, Cootage and furniture
Aerial view of furniture
Front of cottage (will post more of exterior when ready to start painting the exterior.)
By Dan d'Lyon
“The enemy fleet brings its guns to bear as your captains await your command. Yet you hold your course even as fear threatens to test your mettle. You know the broadside you are poised to receive will be returned in kind, and with a single cunning maneuver your fleet will gain the weather gauge. The wooden behemoths creak and groan as the wind pushes them into position. With one sharp word the sky blackens with the smoke of canon fire. The battle begins!”
Oak & Iron is a 1/600th scale naval game set in the age of piracy, imperial expansion, and above all - fighting sail. It allows players to recreate battles between squadrons and small fleets of armed sailing ships. The game is designed to be true to the theme and tactics of the period while supplying significant flavor for the various factions. Players of Oak & Iron can expect to find all the usual design hallmarks fans of Firelock Games have come to know and love: innovative rules, historical integrity, and beautiful models.
The starting point for the game is the Oak & Iron: Core Box below. We have included everything that you will need to play right out of this box, including six starting factions and a large amount of customization options for your squadrons and individual ships. We have done our best to add as much stuff to the Core Box as we could, but larger orders with manufacturers means less cost. A savings which we in-turn pass on to our backers through stretch goals. With this Kickstarter, our hope is to add an even greater value to the Core Box over the course of this campaign and launch a game that we will support with new releases for years to come.
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