Trench Crusade: Communicant anti-tank hunter

Created by James Sherriff

32mm grimdark miniatures set in the horrors of the Trench Crusade. Important note: * Shipping will be charged when the pre-order store closes (date TBA)

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The Trench Pilgrim: Another zealot for the holy war machine
9 days ago – Sat, Nov 19, 2022 at 04:24:02 AM

Glad tidings, pilgrims!

His Holiness the Cardinal of Malady is pleased to bless the latest soul to enter the trenches. Consecrating oils applied to his rifle, zeal assured unto death, the Trench Pilgrim marches forth to offer his life in Holy War. My will be done.

Trench pilgrim sculpted by James and digitally painted by Mike.
Original sculpt showing front & rear views.

The Lee Enfield rifle and hands is a separate piece for casting purposes (currently held in place with good old blu tac). The shoulder pads (ailettes I believe is the correct medieval term) are also separate. 

Original Trench Pilgrim artwork by Mike.

Next up, the Witchburner General... Updates on him coming soon!

BackerKit Pledge Manager & Late backers

We have had 94% of backers complete the pledge manager now, thank you to everyone in that number! The pledge manager will remain open for now, so if you are in the 6% who have not completed the pledge manager (perhaps you have not received the BackerKit survey email for some reason) then please get in touch as soon as you can. Feel free to drop me a message here on Kickstarter anytime if you are experiencing any problems or have any questions at all.

Also, please help spread the word about the pledge manager for late backers. Whilst it is open, anyone who missed out on the Kickstarter can still join the fun should they wish to please the Red Cardinal with a pre-order! Should they wish to displease him... well, woe betide them. 

Link to pre-order store: 

Other news...

As mentioned in the last update, we have some exciting news coming soon. Suffice to say, it is something that will delight our pilgrims and no doubt result in many offerings and sacrifices (or indeed sacrificial offerings). Nothing more can be said at this stage, since the Cardinal's withering gaze is never far and we have yet to receive his holy sanction. We value our miserable lives, after all. And our souls.

That being said, feel free to chat amongst yourselves as you speculate what it could possibly involve... ;)

Thanks again for joining us on this pilgrimage!

Witchburner general armature 360.

Sculpting the Trench Pilgrim and Other News
about 1 month ago – Sat, Oct 22, 2022 at 04:48:14 AM

Good day to you, esteemed pilgrims! I hope you are all well.

Firstly, many apologies for the gap between this update and the last. A lot has been going on here, including that sometimes dastardly thing called 'life' that has an almost gleeful habit of lobbing spanners into the works at will. The Cardinal sent his boys* around and I was most fortunate to come out of that visit with my sanity intact, let alone all of my limbs. Anyhoo, things are looking to be on the up and I am making progress with the Trench Pilgrim miniature (I have also started the Witchburner, but will refrain from adding to him until I have completed the pilgrim).

*I think they were possibly human at some point. They smelt like something out of a Bosch painting.

Mike's concept art for the alternative pose
Lee Enfield rifle WIP.

I've sculpted most of the body and helmet as well and will take some photos very soon. I hope to have him finished next week, at which point I will post an update with pictures of the finished miniature!

3D scanning

I went down to see Eddie at Zealot Miniatures recently and left the Communicant with him for 3D scanning. Eddie has sold me on the idea of scanning the original sculpts as it makes the mastering process a bit quicker, more precise and allows for printed masters that have absolutely zero mould lines (since they weren't made in a master mould). This will ensure that the production moulds will be made using the very best master miniatures possible. Win!

Another bonus is that I am tinkering about in ZBrush with the Communicant scan, refining little imperfections here and there (although not too many - we still want to retain the more naturally organic feel of a traditional sculpt). Having a 3D file also means I can try out some new poses a lot easier than I could by chopping up resin copies. Another win, I feel!

More exciting news coming soon...

I am going to say nothing more on this matter at all, partly because I like the idea of people wondering amongst themselves what it could be, but mainly because I'm a mean, mean man. ;) 

I bid you good day!


Sculpting the Combat Medic: Part III
2 months ago – Thu, Sep 15, 2022 at 02:57:26 AM

I bring glad tidings in these bleak times - the combat medic is ready for deployment! This nun, trained in the arts of medicine by the finest butchers in the business, specialises in gangrene prevention. She seeks to cure all your ailments with her trusty, rusty (and slightly crusty) bone saw. 

"Do not flee, pilgrim! That minor cut on your knee could turn gangrenous. Please, allow me to help you..."

I managed to take some photographs of the various stages, but not as many as I would have liked (once you get in the zone, time flies and, before you know it, you've sculpted several stages beyond where you might have liked to take a photograph for interested pilgrims). 

As you can see, compared to the last sculpting update I got a little carried away before I remembered to take another photo! Here I have sculpted the skirt, thigh armour and stomach/chest plate. With the armour, I sculpt the basic shapes, bake the sculpt in the oven and then carve/scrape the armour into hard edges. Once I am happy with the surfaces, I then drill some really tiny holes for the rivets, before rolling up some teeny weeny balls of epoxy putty (ProCreate or green stuff) and poking them into the holes to create rivets. Also in this photo, you can see the first belt running diagonally across her waist - this is also ProCreate and I wait for this one to cure before adding the belt that crosses over it.
Whilst waiting for various bits to cure, I worked on the bone saw and medical pack. In this image, the bone saw is almost finished, whilst the pack is in its most rudimentary form (it will form the core of the piece). For weapons such as this blade, I use 0.8mm copper wire and, using some heavy duty pliers, squeeze the wire to flatten it. I will then bend it to shape and file down the point. Using epoxy putty, I add a very thin layer over the wire to form a bonding surface for Fimo (you may recall in a previous update I mentioned that Fimo, like most polymer clays, has an aversion to metal surfaces and does not stick well - the epoxy putty fixes this nicely). Adding a thin layer of Fimo over the top of the blade, I sculpt the basic shape and then pop it in the oven. Once cured, I can then carve the blade shape and, lastly, add the saw teeth.
Bending the arms into place! You really have to get this just right to achieve the correct amount of tension in the arms once sculpted. You also have to be aware of how the shoulders roll forward and the breasts are squeezed between the upper arms.It ain't easy!
Arms now in place, plus the beginnings of her wimple. You can see I chopped her left 'hand' off, since the hand will be flat across the elbow, and even a thin bit of wire reduces greatly the amount of putty you can put down for the hands. Her hands will be slightly smaller than those of the ammo monk.
And this is the last photo I took before finishing her! Can you spot the rivet that fell out?
Finished and ready to start carving up the wounded!

Next up, the Trench Pilgrim...

Mike has sent me a lovely concept sketch of an alternative pose for the Trench Pilgrim, so I will post an update on that sculpt soon. 



A special delivery plus further updates
3 months ago – Fri, Sep 02, 2022 at 08:31:29 PM

Greetings devout subjects of the Church! Your cardinal has some announcements to make, so stop whatever menial peasant task you're doing, get down on your knees and avert your gaze...

In this update:

  • A special delivery
  • Sculpting stretch goals
  • BackerKit surveys - problem solving for those still waiting for their survey email

A special delivery

A courier arrived yesterday and delivered 100kg (220lbs) of art cards! Boxes of these are currently stacked up in the corridor of my house, leaving just enough room to get past. I should probably find a better place to store them, though! 

100 kilos of boxes. A minor trip hazard...

The cards do look very nice! Remember, everyone who backed at the GBP18 Communicant level gets all five of these for free as part of their pledge. :)

Apologies for the crappy picture taken on my old iPhone. My wife keeps telling me to get a Samsung as they apparently have much better cameras!

Sculpting stretch goals

The combat medic is almost upon us! Had some school holidays/children-related delays this past week (it was my son's birthday and my wife had the week off, so we got plenty of family activities in), but the kids are finally back at school from Monday so I have the house to myself again, along with the necessary peace and quite required to get some serious work done. I am sure many can relate! :)

So, I plan on uploading more photos in another sculpting update later next week - hopefully with a finished combat medic! Once she is done, I'll be cracking on with the next sculpt...

BackerKit surveys

So far the surveys have been going well overall, with 82% now completed. However, a few of you have been in contact with some issues, mainly due to not receiving the survey email from BackerKit.

If you have not yet received your survey, and after checking your spam folder, could you take a look at the following BackerKit help page first: 

If you have been through this help page and nothing is working, please send me a message via Kickstarter and we can take it from there. Don't worry - we will get that survey to you somehow! :)



Pledge manager launched + Step-by-step guide
3 months ago – Wed, Aug 24, 2022 at 04:37:04 AM

The BackerKit pledge manager has now been sent out to all backers, so check your inboxes! :)

After receiving some feedback, I need to go over a couple of things here. The 'smoke test' has overall proved to be very successful, but I have had some questions/suggestions...

Some of you have asked if it would be possible to list everything that you are getting with the 'Communicant' pledge, so you can immediately see what you have already pledged for (and easily work out what you need to add, if you want add-ons). I had listed this under 'pledge details', but did not realise that this would not be immediately obvious when you open the survey. Unfortunately, BackerKit 'strongly discourage' any changes to the survey now, so the best I can do is as follows:

  • You can see what you get in the survey by clicking on the highlighted '£18 - Communicant' pledge level. Here it will tell you that you get the Communicant, Ammo monk and all free stretch goals. However, unfortunately this does not specifically list the individual free stretch goals.
  • I have added another FAQ (on BackerKit) titled: 'I pledged at the 'Communicant' level (GBP 18) - What do I get?' If you pledged at the Communicant level (the only pledge level, unless you are donating or wanted access to the pledge manager), you get all of the following: 1 x Communicant miniature, 1 x Ammo monk miniature, 1 x Combat medic miniature (free), 1 x Witchburner general miniature (free), 5 x Art cards (free). You will have the option to add more paid-for add-ons in the BackerKit pledge manager.

All of the free stretch goals are still free to Communicant level backers!

Some of you wanted to confirm that all free stretch goals are still included, since you have seen that there are paid-for options in the survey. Yes - you absolutely still get the free ones! On the BackerKit survey, there are now paid-for options of, for example, the Combat Medic. This is for anyone who wanted more than one, or for any late backers who just wanted to order this miniature. :) 

Step-by-step guide to completing your survey

Here follows a guide to filling out your survey, in picture form! :) 


Step 1

After clicking on the link in the email, you will be taken to this page on the BackerKit website. Check the country for shipping, as well as your state/region. Additionally, you can click on the '£18 - Communicant' text highlighted, and this will open more details on the pledge, shown below. If everything is looking ok, click on 'Get Started'!
The pledge details, should you wish to check them.

Step 2

After clicking 'Get Started' you will arrive at this page. Just put 'ok' or something to that effect to show you understand the question and supplied answer. Then click 'Next'...

Step 3

Click on the 'Got it, thanks!' in answer to the statement regarding shipping. Then click on 'Next: Add-ons'...

Step 4

On this page you can see on the right hand side the pledge amount and credit remaining. Basically, if you pledged GBP 18 for the Communicant pledge it will look like this, with zero credit remaining (since the Communicant pledge is auto selected). If you want to add any paid-for add-ons, you can do so here. Once you are done, click 'Next'.

Step 5

Enter your address details here. PLEASE BE SURE TO ADD A PHONE NUMBER. We need this for the courier - if we don't have phone number, we get a fine from the courier! When you have filled out the form, click 'Next'.

Step 6

All you need to do now is confirm your information and place your order! Job done! :)

I hope that has been useful, especially for those who haven't backed a Kickstarter before, or have never used BackerKit. 

As always, any questions just let me know in the comments or send me a message.