A 40″ x 40″ game board representing a generic WWII European destroyed city. There are just over 200 buildings making up this city. Every building on this board is a GameCraft Miniatures MatBoard series building. MatBoard buildings are made of laser cut MatBoard, a thick paper type material that is lightweight, durable, easy to work with and cuts with amazing accuracy on the laser cutter. So, if you have any reservations about working with MatBoard, check out these photos and see what can be done with this cool material.
Here’s something some guys have been waiting a long for. The kit (number 285CSS033) is available in three different lengths; 3.52″, 7.04″, and 10.56″.
I am working on this new piece for our 285th scale middle east collection. This is the Al Sijood Palace in Baghdad Iraq. This will be a resin cast kit that comes in several pieces. I’ve taken some liberties in scaling this building down, the actual building in 1/285th scale would be about 16″ long … I’ve cheated a bit and got it down to a more reasonable 10″ long while still maintaining an impressive size. I’m doing something very new with this kit, creating a mixed media kit. The 4 walls and the dome will be resin castings and the roof and internal structure will be MDF.
These photos show the internal frame structure that is made of laser cut MDF. This internal structure also makes up the roof pieces. Note: the dome will not be a perfect hemisphere like the one shown, the Al Sijood Palace has a dome with a slight point to it’s top ,, the white dome shown here is for demonstration purposes only.
This kit was inspired by the airship hangars at NAS Lakhurst NJ.Some artistic license had to be taken regarding accuracy of scale, if this was a true to scale model at 1/285th scale it would be approximately twice as large as it already is and we thought that was a little too big for gaming.
The overall size of the model with the doors closed is 20″ x 8.37″ x 5.2″ tall(508mm x 212mm x 132mm)
This model kit is made from .060″ (1.5mm) Acrylic (also know as Plexiglass or Persplex) for maximum durability.
The 1/285th scale Middle Eastern buildings category includes resin cast buildings, acrylic building kits and matboard building kits. As the category grew to hundreds of items it started become difficult to tell which items were resin, which were acrylic and which were matboard … so we’ve added sub-categories for the three different types of kits.
Now you have a choice. If you want to see all items, regardless of material you can scroll through all the 1/285th scale Middle East structures, just like it was before or you can select any of the sub-categories if you only interesting one type of kit.
In addition to the three material types we’ve also added specific categories for Mosques, Ruined Buildings, and Middle East Accessories.
(Click image to see larger version)
Reporting live from Orccon 2012…
The guys at Strategicon and PlusTenToAwesome.com are running a few Force on Force Middle East games this weekend at Orccon in Los Angeles. GameCraft Miniatures worked with the guys at PlusTenToAwesome.com to get them the Middle East 20mm buildings they needed for their game.
Based on the results of the first game today I think we have a success on our hands. This evening’s game was just the first of several to run this weekend there will be two games this Sunday and I will be in attendance for both of those games as well. Tonight’s game was a 10 turn game that ended with the Americans seizing their objective in the last seconds of the 10th turn. The battle was well fought and fun to watch.
The guys assembled and finished all of the buildings in just a few days prior to the convention, they have plans to fine tune the detailing of the buildings and add additional accessories such as air conditioners and satellite dishes in the future. In spite of getting the buildings finished in just a few days they managed to achieve some very nice results. I’m looking forward to the next convention when they will have more buildings and more time to put into finishing the buildings they already have.
I will continue to work with strategicon and the guys from PlusTenToAwesome.com and supply them with the buildings they need for future games and I’m sure by the next convention the gaming board be much larger and far more detailed than what you see below in the photos.
Below are just a few photos from tonight’s game. Click here to see all the photos on our Flickr page.
Recently I started working on a 1/285th scale (6mm) version of the US Navy LCS2 Independence.
This project utilizes rapid prototyping (3D Printing), Laser Cutting, Laser Engraving, and good old fashioned scratchbuilding by hand.
The following are some of the steps in the process.
The first step is the research phase, this involves downloading every available photo that can be found on the internet and researching dimensions and other details about the craft.
After all the research is done it’s time to generate 2D CAD drawings of the ship.
Included in the CAD drawing process is creating flat views of some of the parts that will be laser cut and engraved from flat stock.
Next, 3D solid CAD models are created for some of the parts that will be made using rapid prototyping technology (3D Printing).
Once all the CAD work is done it’s time to start building the model. Below you see some of the laser cut and engraved parts as well as some hand made scratchbuilt parts.
More to come soon….
Still Catching Up
Our Thanksgiving Day Weekend sale and the simultaneous launch of our new 28mm Wild West series of buildings put us in a position where we found ourselves with a pile of orders to fill. We’ve been chipping away at the stack of orders over the last few weeks but as new orders keep arriving we are finding ourselves with a backlog of orders that is keeping steady at about 1-2 weeks. While this is a great position to be in as a business, we want to make sure that we keep you guys happy and get your product out to you in a reasonable time. So, I remind you that you ordered products that are meant be gifts, are to be used at a tournament, or any other time sensitive reason please do not hesitate to write us tell us to get your order out quickly. We always process all orders in the order in which they were received but we can also make exceptions for customers that need or want their goodies quicker. Do not hesitate to contact us, we want you to be happy!
This week we added a new line of inexpensive based for your miniatures. The initial launch of this mile includes round bases, square bases, hex bases and even small, medium and large Flames of War compatible bases. The round, square and hex bases are available in four sizes from .75″ to 2″ (19mm-50mm). You can see these new bases in the Bases and Gaming Accesories department of the site
Some new 28mm Wild West Stuff
This week we added a windmill kit and a set of corral fences and gates. The windmill measures over 8″ tall when assembled. The corral fence and gate kit contains over 100″ of fencing and gates, enough to build several corrals. Check out these new Wild West pieces HERE
Have I Gone Insane?
This is a work in progress, it’s not done yet but getting close. I’m not even sure why I did this, I’m just crazy about 1/285th scale and I wanted to build the biggest piece of scenery that I could in this scale. I’m pretty sure this might be the largest structure ever modeled in 285th scale … I’ve certainly never seen anything bigger. Over 4′ tall. More photos on our flickr page
Something free for the gaming community
Here is something that I’ve been working (off and on) on for literally 28 years. It’s Called TAC II. What is it? Well, here is the history/introduction I wrote for the TAC II website:
In 1980 I purchased TACFORCE, a set of miniatures rules published by GHQ/GDW for 1/285th scale (6mm) modern war gaming. I loved the TACFORCE rules, it was easy to play and yet it was very realistic (IMHO). The TACFORCE system was based on a deck of cards for all the vehicles, one side of the card had weapon data and the other side provided target data … so depending on whether you were shooting or being shot at dictated which side of the card was used for the engagement. The one flaw in the TACFORCE system was that while it was marketed as a “modern war gaming system”, it was actually frozen in time when it was published. As new weapons and vehicles were developed there was not an easy way to incorporate them into the game system. GDW/GHQ could have chosen to release updated decks of cards for new vehicles and/or other nations … but they didn’t. The most modern US vehicle in the deck was the M60A3, well actually there was a card for the “XM-1”, but that was not even a real (deployed) tank at the time. The most modern Soviet vehicle was the T-72. So, soon after the TACFORCE rules were released they became obsolete for truly modern conflicts, they were still fine for “cold war” scenarios in Western Europe.
My dilemma was; should I chuck the rules out and find another system or should I develop some means of updating the vehicle/weapon data and retain the core rules that I was happy with.
While I was serving in the US Army between 1983 and 1986 I started working on the TAC II Combat Data System. I chose the name TAC II as a sort of nod to TACFORCE, the game system that inspired this project.
I chose to develop updated vehicle/weapon data. While I liked the card system that came with TACFORCE, I could see that it could become unmanageable if there were hundreds of cards, also since many vehicles shared the same weapons it seemed that a lot of the vehicle cards would have identical data on the weapon side and since many vehicles were the same or similar size many of the cards would have identical data on the target side. So I moved away from the card system in favor of a table system that concentrated on weapon data and target data that could be shared by multiple vehicles. Now rather than hundreds of cards there is a Weapons Data Table, a Vehicle Data Table and the Shot Tables. With these three basic tables I have replaced hundreds of loose cards and I have created a system that infinitely expandable.
While developing this combat system I also decided to move away from measurements in inches and go with meters instead. This would allow you to choose your own ground scale (for 1/285th scale I use 1” = 50 meters) and allow the combat data system to be used with any miniatures scale. While I made TAC II for micro armor gaming it is usable for any scale because it uses meters as its measurement system. All you have to do is make your own measuring tape to match your ground scale.
All of the tables, charts and notes that I created in the 1980’s were typed or handwritten. Over the years since then I have been slowly (very slowly) putting all that information into computer files, mostly in MS Excel format. I’ve also been adding data and updating data over the years.
TAC II will never be “done” but I think it’s time to share it with anyone that wants it. In starting the tac2game.com website I have taken the first step in getting this out into the hands of people that want it. With the TAC II forum I’m hoping to build a community around this system and get people involved in developing and updating the data, sort of along the same lines as the “open source” software model where a group of people work on developing a product for the good of the community. With my website I will serve as the collection and distribution site for updated data in order to maintain some sort of version control rather than having hundreds of different versions floating around out in the wild.
For more information on TAC II, to download the data sets or to become involved in the project please go to
…Almost too many to list. Tonight I added 10 new buildings to the site and over the last few days I’ve added some others as well. Most of the structures added are in the 15mm Middle East series, 20mm versions will be added in the next day or so as well and most of them already exist in the 1/285th scale line.. the ones that are not yet available in 285th will be added real soon.
Many of the strucures added are Afghan style walled compounds, there is also another cool ruined building, larger version of the recently released school building and micely detailed story middle eastern building.
Here are just a few of the new buildings added tonight
Full sise images of all the new items can be seen on our flickr page by clicking here
Just For Fun
Today I took some photos of some of our 15mm products out in the desert. You can see them on our flick page by clicking here