New workbench photos…

22 08 2008

Hi Everyone:

I’ve been working hard to coordinate sculpting, playtesting and artwork for War Rocket, but I’m still busy sculpting new items for our Retro Raygun and Primal Dawn ranges. Here are a few photos:

Dr. Zahn, Galacteer science officer and Robot Legion Mini-Bot

Dr. Deiter Zahn is the extremely brilliant but very uncoordinated Galacteer science officer serving with Ace McGuire. He is a master inventor and will be equipped with an accessory sprue that features an experimental beam weapon, an energy field projector, and a pair of hands holding a raygun and a generic scanner.

The Mini-bots are child-sized labor robots created in the Robot Queen’s factories. Despite their small size, a swarm of mini-bots can overpower most foes. The mini-bots pack will contain at least two (possibly three) variant poses.

Vardu Warrior will feature two head variants

The Vardu warriors are the largest humanoid plants to be found in the primeval rainforests. They grow to a towering 12-15 feet tall and this model measures 2.75 inches (70mm) from the base to the tentacle holding the dried spiky plant club. The figure will be equipped with two heads: closed flower head (not shown) and open flower head. Expect more variants of the the Vardu warriors in the future as we expand our Primal Dawn range in 2009.

Our next release is scheduled for October 2008 and should include the following figures:

-Comet, Galacteer chimp sidekick

-Dr Deiter Zahn, Galacteer science officer

-Destroyer Warbot with dual pulse cannons

-Heavy support Robto Legionnaire with pulse cannon


-Vardu Warrior I

-plus a few surprises (hopefully!)

Finally, here are some more Primal Dawn teaser shots of a Rog Warrior and a Rog Noble on the workbench:

Rog Warrior (figure will include head, weapon and shield variants)

Rog Noble (figure will include head and weapon variants)

Status of War Rocket!

21 07 2008

We receive weekly e-mail from gamers wondering about the status of War Rocket, so we’ve decided to give you all an update.

Rules Status:

We are currently doing extensive playtesting of the rules to insure that gamers will have an exciting, satisfying set of pulp sci-fi space combat rules. The quality of the rules is very important to us so we are taking our time to make sure we “get it right.”

Miniatures Status:

We have learned a lot about designing miniatures for 3D rapid prototyping. On the computer screen, it’s difficult to assess the proper scale of features like panel lines, raised ridges, and indented areas like windows. In addition, we’ve struggled to find a method to make sure the final castings are the highest quality. Since the War Rocket ships are smooth and lack the ‘greeble’ of Star Wars style ships, the surfaces need to be extremely smooth and free of the texture left by the 3d printer. We’ve had problems making silicon molds since rapid prototyping (RP) resin leeches chemicals that cause the molds to cure improperly. This resulted in very bumpy, porous castings.

Our new printer Todd Boyce of Ninja Magic successfully steered us toward a solution he uses on his own ships. The RP master prints are taken to a jeweler and molded in a jeweler’s moldmaking material. The RP resin model is burnt away in a high temerpature kiln and molten bronze is poured into the hallow cavity in the heated mold. The mold is broken open to reveal a very clean bronze master casting. We can clean up any imperfections such as printing lines in the bronze with jewelers buffing tools. The result is a nearly flawless casting!

We will be previewing the first few production castings in a few weeks. In the meantime, here are photos of the digital screen shots and finished prints:

Galacteer class 1: digital screenshot (left) and final bronze master casting. Size (1.25″ or approx. 30 mm long)

Galacteer class 2: digital screenshot (left) and RP resin master. Size (2.5″ or approx. 60 mm long)

Final Thoughts:

We’re gamers ourselves so we know it’s tough waiting for products when you are really excited about them. Hydra Miniatures has very high standards of quality and we are working hard to make sure the figures and rules are simply top notch products! Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showing previews of our first productions castings and the first images of the Imperial fleet of Marduk the Tyrant. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned for more War Rocket information!

Hydra welcomes new ranges from Francek Figures

20 04 2008

My super sculptor buddy Scott Francek (pronounced Fran-Sec) has been toiling away on new toys for his own company called Francek Figures. Scott’s figures will be available directly from the Hydra Miniatures webstore in late May 2008. His first two ranges are the Pathfinders (30mm near future troopers) and Francek Females (30mm pulp heroines) We’ll be posting sample images in the next few weeks. is finally open for business!

30 09 2007

After months of work, the Hydra Miniatures  online store is  finally open and ready for orders.  A common criticism of many miniature manufacturers is the lack of photographs on their websites. However, our online catalogue features full-color photos of every figure we produce. In addition, we have created downloadable PDF catalogue pages with full-size images of our products. If you are curious how the size of our figures compare to other manufacturers’ ranges, just download our catalgoue pages here and print them out at 100%.

Here are two teaser photographs from our ranges: Galacteers from our Retro Raygun pulp sci-fi range and Vardu Sprouts from our Primal Dawn prehistoric fantasy range.



Our business philosphy is simple: unique concepts, quality products, and outstanding service. We’re going to be the absolute best at what we do and we are certain your experience with Hydra Miniatures will keep you coming back for more.

Official Launch Date: October 1st, 2007

18 09 2007

Many of you have been asking “When will you be open to take orders?”

I’m happy to report we are finishing the last molds of our initial releases this week.  Our new website is almost finished, but the links on the navigation bar are not yet active.   

The official launch date for the Hydra Miniatures website and store will be October 1st, 2007.  Our initial product releases will include:

Retro Raygun (32mm pulp sci-fi)
-Robot Legionnaires
-Ace McGuire, Galacteer hero
-Rocky Rizzo, Galacteer hero

Primal Dawn (32mm prehistoric fantasy)
-Vardu sprouts
-Ugg herbivore

In addition, we will be selling the “Fantastic Worlds” pulp sci-fi rules from Rattrap Productions.  We hope to offer a limited edition miniature for customers who purchase the FW rules from us.  Expect “Fantastic Worlds” to be released on November 1st, 2007.

Robot Legionnaire

Finally we have another teaser photo of one of our Robot Legionnaires submitted by  Golden Demon award winning painter Dave Pauwels.  We are pleased to welcome Dave to the Hydra team and look forward to seeing more painted samples and hobby articles  from the Master.

See you on October 1st.

Robot Invasion is Coming

19 08 2007

Good news from Gen Con: the Retro Raygun and Primal Dawn figures are selling very well. I’ll have to do more casting to replenish my stock of miniatures.

I’ve been having more fun with Paint Shop Pro ( a very inexpensive, but powerful alternative to PhotoShop). Here’s a teaser image of the upcoming Robot Legionnaires.

red Robot-4

Robots Invade Gen Con Indy!

12 08 2007




The unthinkable is happening……We finally have castings ready for sale at Gen Con Indy!

Things have been silent, but Hydra Miniatures has been very busy, sculpting, casting, packaging and painting in preparation for the release of our first miniatures to the public. Although the Hydra staff will not be attending Gen Con, our friend Andy from Dark Platypus Studios will be selling our products at booth #2604, by the Exhibit Hall A entrance.

We are finishing casting on Tuesday and hope to have the following products available for sale (prices are yet to be determined):




-Galacteer Heroes #1 (limited quantities)


-Ugg herbivore slave soldiers

-Vardu sprouts

We are currently finalizing the shopping cart system of our official site and are waiting on a few more figures before we have our big launch. We apologize in advance to those who want to purchase our miniatures but  can’t make it to Gen Con. However, we are confident that it’ll be worth the wait.

We’ll be previewing more new miniatures over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!




In-Progress Shots: Ace McGuire

3 06 2007

Ace 2

Super-sculptor Scott Francek sent me these in-progress photos of Capt. Ace McGuire of the Galacteers. I especially like the detailing on the face and hair. He will be equipped with a raygun pistol in his right hand and will have 2-3 left hand options: holding another raygun pistol, holding a Galacteer helmet, and possibly with a wrist communicator. Here’s another photo:


Other Hydra News:

-In the next few weeks, we will be posting more in-progress shots of the new Hoverbot, Cosmo, Galacteer chimp sidekick, and a Galacteer robot.

-Hopefully the first few Retro Raygun greens will be sent to the caster in the next week or so.

-The official website is nearing completion. Once it is functional, we’ll be offering our first releases for sale in our e-store.

Prehisoric Fantasy Preview–the Vardu

23 04 2007



I’ve been sculpting robots and a new pulp creature for the Retro Raygun range, but I recently took a break to make production molds of some masters that were cast a while ago. For my upcoming prehistoric fantasy game, Primal Dawn, I have created a number of bizarre races for the game. One of my favorites are the Vardu (plantmen.)



vardu-mom-art.jpg vardu-art-1.jpg

Here is a description of the various troops of the Vardu:

Xenophobic and defensive in nature, the humanoid plant race of the Vardu rarely travel far from their native rainforests. The Vardu are not one species of plant-being, rather they are a variety of different species linked by collective intelligence of their surroundings. Silent yet ferocious when provoked, the Vardu use dried organic weapons from the forest—large seedpods on rigid stems become clubs, enormous dried leaves become blades. The humanoid Vardu warriors tower over most enemies on the battlefield. Their gnarled bodies are a mass of tendrils formed into strong sinews. A thick wooden hide usually protects their central bodies and their limbs and body often sprout incredible sharp thorns. Their blossom-like “heads” contain all of their sensory and sexual organs and are often opened dramatically in battle to enhance their awareness, aid in communication, and frighten invaders. The Vardu reproduce by budding, and small sproutlings emerge from the leaf-like structures that project from their backs. These sproutlings finally drop to the ground and gain mobility, easily swarming invaders. The exotic Vardu elders are rather exotic and are easily identified by an abundance of brilliantly colored, feather-like petals sprouting from their heads and backs. Covered in sharp spines and rough barky armor, the Vardu blood thorns are the most dangerous close combat warriors of the forest. Breeds of smaller, muscular, carnivorous quadrupeds known as maw hunters serve as the “hunting dogs” of the Vardu. Their strong limbs allow them to overrun their enemies and their gaping maws can make short work of their prey. Ambling quietly along the forest floor, the sporers are bloated multi-limbed fungi with massively oversized heads. A distinctive whoosh sound can be heard as the plant-thing launches a powdery cloud of spoors, choking all non-plant creatures in the vicinity. These floating clouds of spoors are also used to cloud enemies vision, thus allowing the Vardu warriors to advance undetected.
These figures represent the Vardu sproutlings. The figure with the closed flower head stands 20mm tall; the figure with the open flower head is 24mm tall.

Although the Primal Dawn rules are not slated for general release until summer/fall 2008, I plan to release a few of the figures from the range as they become available. When the Hydra Miniatures website and webstore are finally online, you’ll be able to buy these little critters. They’d be perfect for pulp /VSF games or as familiars for a fantasy druid.

General Updates from Hydra HQ

22 04 2007

I apologize for not updating my blog sooner, but sometime real life takes over for a while. Now I’m back with an update about what has been happening at Hydra HQ:

1) Robots: The large and medium robots are almost finished and ready to be sent to the moldmaker by the second week of March. I’ll start the two small robots I have planned.
2) Galacteers: Two team members are finished, but I still have to work on the other main characters. My good friend and talented sculptor Scott Francek is helping out on one of the Galacteers. The figure is bareheaded and is looking really good. I think his figure might eventually become our main hero, Ace McGuire. However, I’m not sure what weapons/equipment Ace should have. Since the Galacteers are based on late ’40s/early ’50s pulp Sci fi, I feel that a sword is out of the question–too Flash Gordon. Since westerns were really big in the ’50s, Ace could have two pistols. Another option would be to have Ace McGuire with one pistol and giving orders to his team mates via wrist communicator unit.

I’m going to be starting Comet the space chimp soon. He’ll be dressed in the same outfit and helmet as the other Galacteers, but I’m not sure if his feet should be covered with boots or gloves?  I’m thinking about giving Comet the chimp a wrench as an improvised weapon (get it, monkey wrench!). Finally, each of the Galacteers will have a jetpack. I’m thinking about giving Comet one, also.

I’d love to hear what you all think about equipment options for Ace and Comet.

3) Pulp Sci-Fi Creature: Although I love sculpting robots and other weirdness, creatures are my favorites. Over spring break I sculpted a new pulp creature that will be used for the second Retro Raygun episode, Ace McGuire: Peril on Planet P. This new creature was really fun to do and was one of the first sculpts that I didn’t keep cutting and re-sculpting parts. When it is finished, I’ll preview it here.

4) Website and Other Business: I have been busy taking care of the business side of Hydra Miniatures. I filed my official business papers and took care of some bank-related stuff. I am getting closer to getting a functional website built, complete with an online store. I plan to have a very clean and functional website and eventually hope to host other online content such as modelling articles, scenarios, and paper models/scenery.

In the next few days, I’ll post preview photos of figures and art for one of the races from my upcoming prehistoric fantasy game Primal Dawn.