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