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A message from Secret Weapon:
Big news time everyone!
As many of our pledgers know, we need to adjust the Kickstarter - On the positive, we have a good amount of backers and we know that MANY of you are waiting to up your pledges. We have had a really positive response to the product itself, and lots of interest on the customer and retail side. We deeply appreciate this and your support.
BUT - we have a good amount of backers who are opting to wait on their $1 pledge. This is entirely our fault. We caused this when we locked our core offering behind stretch goals. There is no single item that is core. ALL the options are core. We made it so that many of you had to wait around to buy what you already knew they wanted.
That's a big boo boo, but it was made with the best of intentions. The system was set up so that there was no mandatory amount, and you added what you wanted and nothing more. We thought that this was better for the customer, but it quickly became obvious the vast majority of backers want jump-in points at set amounts like a usual KS... and weren't entirely sure about a pledge manager that was open during the campaign.
So, what are we going to do to fix this for you?
We are going to close the campaign, and relaunch it next week. That sucks and it's embarrassing. But ultimately everything else that happens is great for EVERYONE, because this is what happens next:
1.) ALL themes will be shown and unlocked right off the bat. If you want Urban Streets or Infinity, you just go get it, no hoops or delays to choosing what you want. You also know exactly what is on offer.
2.) There will be pledge levels: $50(+), $100(+) and $200(+). The 100 dollar + level will include a set of 3 weathering pigments (really really good ones too - Burning Sands, Dark Earth, and Rust Orange), and the 200 dollar + level will be the pigment set, and a set of 3 genuinely awesome paints. Secret Weapon's Rubber Highlight, Rubber and Tire Black, our most popular colors! At the end of the campaign you will use the Pledge Manager, as usual, to make whatever specific choices you want based on your KS pledge. The Pledge Manger will be available during the campaign for those that would like help figuring out a total pledge level, but that is optional, and you can wait until the end of the campaign to sign up.
3.) Each of the $50(+), $100(+) and $200(+) pledge levels will have 3 shipping zone options
Americas, Europe (NOT UK)
AU, NZ, Asia, Pacific
United Kingdom (NOT Europe)
4.) Any extra themes that are developed during the course of the KS will be added immediately, no stretch, we just give you the option as soon as it is available.
There will be 17 themes live at the time of launch, which doesn't count the licensed product from Corvus Belli and CMON Zombiecide.
Hasslefree specializes in characterful badasses, and I thought it good to paint a few of them up like my merc Frank Russo. Meet the Major, Ekaterina, Rowen, Alex, and Tank, along with their previously posted colleagues:
In several cases they have been modified or accessorized. My FLGS had some leftover GW Bitz they were kind enough to let me plunder, and between that, a GW scout walker's leftover bitz, and Bombshell tool sprues there were plenty of canisters and accessories to go around.
Here is the Major. (Hasslefree designation Major Hoare.) I added the gas tanks and the hose to his weapon. One canister is pyrophoric, the other, an extinguisher. The Major is acutely aware of which is connected at all times. I assume the cigar is a futuristic electronic device, for that would be most unsafe otherwise.
Ekaterina appears to be one of Hasslefree's analogues to Black Widow. I added some canisters and a Bombshell machete.
Rowen here really sold me on this project. Love that dynamic and confident stroll, and the flippy hairstyle. They are very secure in who they are, even more so with a portable GW missile strapped to their back.
Alex has access to guns and grenades but prefers sharp blades. [This mini, unlike his colleagues, comes in like six pieces; pin and glue accordingly.]
And of course there is Tank. Tank is not Hasslefree, but rather a leftover GW scout walker pilot. I've posted in the past about diversity in minis, and resolved to follow through on that by giving him a souped-up wheelchair/personal mobility device with some extra bells and whistles. Tank sees your wheelchair-inaccessible stairs and is prepared to turn them into an accessible ramp of smoking rubble. GW parts plus parts from a toy car I found under a refrigerator.
And lastly, a repaint of Bombshell's Maelee, to get her in line with the Task Force dress code. Also added a couple pouches and canisters.
Together they make a formidable team, good for spacefuture or cyberpunk settings. What sorts of mayhem mightn't they get up to...for the right price, of course?
It would be nice to think about cyberpunk utopias, but somehow those just don't grip the popular imagination. Instead it's always overcast or raining, the sky is brocced, corporations own everything and everyone and surveillance is ubiquitous. There's money to be had, but barely enough to buy noodles unless you're connected...or willing to ignore corporate law.
Devo Ranks eats the *fancy* noodles every day. They have Skillz.
Click for more angles.
Hacking into a Public Service Panopticon? CHILD'S PLAY.
If you need muscle? Devo Knows A Guy. Or lady, really.
Don't worry, Dez! Those cameras are showing nothing but innocuous looped footage now.
No one pays the cleaners enough in the cyberpunk dystopian future.
I won't pretend to understand what kind of cyber-heist these three are conducting.
But you can be sure they have made Powerful Enemies, as well as enough credits to afford the FANCY noodles for the rest of the year!
Devo is a fun one. Gender-ambiguous and tech-savvy. Because cyberpunk is inextricable from the late 80s and early 90s, I gave Devo the most day-glo Nickelodeon counterculture wardrobe I could think of. Dez from Bombshell we have seen before, in the post-apocalyptic Radlands, as well as the little sniper from Crooked Dice.
The Public Service Panopticonnouncer was made from SD card placeholders and chunks of expired credit card, along with I think a vape component. The text, like much of the signage on the building, comes from a beer can label artfully chopped into pieces and rearranged into vaguely menacing advertisements. Also some sprue and all the camera-looking Bitz and Gunz in my Bitz Box.
I don't have any cyberpunk setting or games planned, but I can feel the itch growing. C&C welcome.
Mel Bose – The Terrain Tutor – has been building terrain for almost as long as he can remember. When he was five, Mel built playsets for his little green army men in the corner of the craft store his mother ran. He was often assisted by model railroaders who were regulars at the store and, by the time he saw his first White Dwarf magazine at age 15, Mel was primed for a life of building terrain.
Mel has traveled the world, as a medic in the army, a physiotherapist, and even a salesman. He has worked with people from all walks of life, and looked at things from many different perspectives. It is this approach that he brings to his successful YouTube channel (The Terrain Tutor, click the image below to check it out). For the last fiveyears, Mel has been able to make a living from sharinghis passion – teaching people everything he knows about building terrain for tabletopwargaming, for hobbyists, clubs, displays, and for dioramas – and it’s that passion and knowledge that he is bringing to this book, TERRAIN ESSENTIALS.
This Kickstarter campaign is to fund a printed version of the book – TERRAIN ESSENTIALS – a 96+ page book perfect to add to the collection of anyone with an interest in creating excellent tabletop terrain, regardless of purpose or the builder's ability.
The Content of TERRAIN ESSENTIALS
Mel has spent many years researching all manner of tools, materials and techniques, as well as experimenting and documenting his process. He’ll be putting it down on paper for the first time, and TERRAIN ESSENTIALS will include:
• Theory – From inspiration and research to planning and set design, from colour theory and build types to workflow and longterm project management, this section will help you plan the best terrain for you before you even start building.
• Materials & Tools – Covering all the most commonly used materials, from basic craft and DIY to specialist modeling materials – including how and where to use them in terrain making – along with an in-depth guide to the essential simple, professional, and custom tools specific to making terrain, this section is all about making sure you have the right tool and right material for the job!
• Core Techniques – From cutting bases to sealing your finished terrain and a whole host of techniques in-between, this section will ensure you have a solid understanding of the core skills and techniques used across the spectrum of terrain building. Covering the essentials, from basics like cutting and gluing, to advanced washes, sealing techniques and combating warping, this section will not only give you the information and confidence to use these techniques but also troubleshoot them.
• Base, Texture, and Paint – Good terrain starts with a good foundation and this section provides in-depth coverage of basing, laying down the ground, realistic texturing techniques, and a range of earth tone painting guides. From cheap and easy basing materials to perfect pigments, you will have the information you need to make sure all of your projects start with a solid, realistic foundation.
• Grasses and Trees – This section is all about the greenery, from laying down beautiful and durable grasslands and pastures, to tufts, flowers, shrubs, bushes and hedgerows. As well as tackling the small stuff, this section will go into creating a range of trees; everything from armatures, to bark textures, painting and finally creating awesome looking foliage for your trees.
• Hills and Rocks – As the most common feature on gaming tables, this section covers those rocks, slopes, hills, and cliffs. We look at everything from a number of different construction techniques to maximising playability without sacrificing realism, realistic painting guides, and more advanced techniques for modular and large feature hills and cliffs.
• Buildings and Ruins – Buildings and ruins can be mini-projects in their own right, so this section breaks it all down and takes you step-by-step through building, painting and fine detailing for buildings from our history, or a dystopian, gothic, far-flung future. Covering multiple techniques for everything from the foundations to the roofs, this section will have you making the best buildings for your urban combat.
• Water and Snow – Often seen as the more challenging aspects of terrain making, this section will demystify water and snow pieces, giving you a range of techniques, core colour theory, and guides to the most common pieces like ponds, modular rivers, and snowy terrain.
• Terrain Kits – As kits, prints, and casts become more prevalent in tabletop gaming, this section not only equips you with the key knowledge to make putting your kit together problem free. But it’s not only about building kits; we will also take you through customising and tying your kits to your existing terrain collection, giving you what you need to turn each kit into a unique terrain piece.
• Mel’s Top Tips – Throughout the previous sections, Mel will be giving his top tips, tricks and fixes, making sure you learn from his mistakes so your builds go as smoothly as possible.
We are planning to cover each of these chapters in as much detail as possible, to give you as much information as we can. We have a number of stretch goals planned that will help us provide more in-depth knowledge on each of the techniques used and sample builds shown in the book.
Why create a book?
It has been quite a while since there was a great “Introduction to Terrain Building” type of book on the market, so after five years of helping the community build their terrain on Youtube, it seemed right for Mel to be the one to do it. On The Terrain Tutor YouTube channel, Mel presents a lot of great ideas, techniques, materials, and tools in a handy, episodic fashion, but we know that not everyone learns in the same way. The written word (particularly when accompanied by great photographs) can help many terrain builders connect with the material covered in Mel’s videos. Helping others enjoy their hobby is one of the key drivers behind The Terrain Tutor, and Mel finds there’s certainly a lot of job satisfaction when helping others be happy is your living.
Mel is partnering with Dave Taylor, of Dave Taylor Miniatures, to bring this book to life. Dave has been involved in tabletop miniatures wargaming for almost 30 years, has worked in "the business" for 25 years, and has known Mel for a decade. Dave recently delivered his own book aimed at helping wargamers complete more of their wargaming projects more often – Armies & Legions & Hordes – which he successfully funded here on Kickstarter last year. Dave is running this campaign, and will be coordinating the layout, editing, publishing, and distribution of TERRAIN ESSENTIALS.
Of course, this campaign is also a bit of an experiment. If things go well, we may look into a series of more detailed books for a future campaigns.