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Trench Crusade: Communicant anti-tank hunter

Created by James Sherriff

32mm grimdark miniatures set in the horrors of the Trench Crusade. Important note: * THE PRE-ORDER STORE IS NOW CLOSED

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The Observer, plus shipping & fulfilment update - Part One
11 months ago – Tue, Mar 21, 2023 at 07:04:38 AM

Hallowed pilgrims!

In this update (part one of two - second update to follow in the next few days):

  • The Observer stretch goal miniature & casting update
  • Locking orders soon!
  • Shipping & fulfilment
  • Charging cards (for add-ons & shipping via BackerKit)

The Observer & casting update

I just need to finish the Observer miniature and then I will take the physical sculpts down to Zealot Miniatures for 3D scanning. He essentially needs some arms, a cloak and spear, so nearly done! Here’s a picture of where he is right now.

Oi! Why don't I have any arms?

Once all the physical sculpts are scanned, Zealot will then print the master miniatures (which are superior to resin masters since they have no mould lines and are exceptionally faithful to the original sculpt) and then start making tools for the SioCast injection moulded plastic casting! I’m just waiting to hear back from them with some updated timescales which I will post in the next update.

I must profusely apologise for the delays in getting the stretch goal miniatures sculpted. It’s been a tricky time these past few months for myriad reasons, but to give you some background...

As a freelance sculptor, my job is literally sculpting miniatures. I am a one-man team and have had to continue my freelance work in order to pay the bills, which have been exponentially harder to pay due to the current cost of living crisis we are all being subjected to right now. It’s been tough making ends meet, but I have been fortunate enough to have a fairly steady stream of sculpting commissions. Due to this fact, I have not been able to dedicate 100% of my time to finishing the stretch goal miniatures for the Kickstarter, due to the aforementioned bills. I am very sorry about this - if it wasn’t for soaring costs across the board, I would have finished these a while ago! So please accept my sincere apologies for the delay. We are very nearly there!

Locking orders soon

As we look to finalise item counts for manufacturing, we will need to lock orders in BackerKit to prevent backers from making further changes (add-ons, for example). Don’t worry - you will still be able to update your shipping address if required.

We will be locking orders soon, but you will get a notification with a final 48 hour notice in which you can still make any changes, should you require.

For the very small number of you who have yet to complete your survey, please do so ASAP! I have tried contacting those affected and sent multiple reminders, but you are almost out of time - any problems, please message me via Kickstarter.

Shipping & fulfilment

As mentioned at the beginning and throughout, due to the volatility of shipping prices globally, shipping fees for this project were always to be calculated and added closer to fulfilment, once we could ascertain the best estimates for our wonderful backers. It is pretty standard practice now to charge backers for shipping a month or two before fulfilment when we have better estimates of what it will cost to ship backers rewards. This way, we also greatly reduce the chance of undercharging for shipping - something that has sunk many a Kickstarter!

We are just finalising shipping costs with our fulfilment centres (Spiral Galaxy Games here in the UK for EU and Rest of the World orders, and Ironheart Artisans in the USA for our American backers), but here are some estimates for now. Please note that shipping costs have increased over the past few months. We will be posting the final shipping costs in the next update in a few days time.

  • UK 2nd class = Approx. £3
  • Europe tracked & delivery duty paid = Approx. GBP12-18 depending on your country (France & Germany will be cheaper than Malta and Bulgaria, for example). Please note this is both tracked and delivery duty paid. We may also be able to offer a non-tracked option, which would be cheaper but would not be duty paid. More details in the next update.
  • US = TBD - just waiting for final quotes from Ironheart Artisans
  • Rest of the World standard delivery = Approx. GBP10-14

Charging cards for Shipping and add-ons

Just wanted to give you a little heads up that we plan to charge cards for add-on items you purchased or any additional funds you may owe through BackerKit on 1st April 2023

This charge will appear on your bank statement as “TRENCH CRUSADE” or “TRENCHCRUS” (these are the statement descriptors used by Stripe, the company processing the card payments). Please make sure that you have the correct card information on file. If any issues arise with your payment you’ll receive an email letting you know to correct your payment information.

If you need to review payment information, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under “Lost your survey?” on our BackerKit project page at https://trench-crusade.backerkit.com/.

And finally...

Work on the Trench Crusade game is continuing at a most acceptable pace! Tuomas Pirinen (Mr Mordheim for those of you who don’t know) has completed the first draft of the rules and playtesting has been underway for some months now. Once we have an almost complete version of the rules, you - our glorious backers - will be the very first to see them!

We hope to have an in-depth update on the game soon, but the priority right now, quite rightly, is working through the manufacturing & fulfilment process for the current Kickstarter.

In the next update we will have photos of the finished Observer plus more details on shipping & fulfilment. Until next time, heretics!

James

New Antioch Cleric

Tremble heretics, for the Witchburner is here!
about 1 year ago – Tue, Feb 07, 2023 at 06:34:15 AM

Greetings everyone! The Cardinal hopes you are all well and ready to undertake the final oaths before your deployment.

Firstly, apologies for not getting an update out sooner. Apart from running this Kickstarter (and sculpting the final stretch goal minis) I am a freelance sculptor by day, and have had quite a bit of commission work to get through. The cost of living crisis is no joke and those bills that keep going up have to be paid! So currently I am working pretty much seven days a week to not only get everything ready for production, but also to keep food in the belly and a roof over our heads. I am sure many can relate. 

Anyhoo, enough of that. I've finished the Witchburner General sculpt and Mike has done a lovely digital paint-over! Here he is an all his glory:

Witchburner digitally painted by Mike.
360 of the Witchburner.
The Witchburner is a large fellow as you can see from the scale comparison with a couple of his menials. Here he is mounted on a standard 30mm base.

The Witchburner General is tasked with hunting down and punishing witches. His power and judgments are absolute.


"So heinous are the crimes of witches that they even exceed the sins and the fall of Lucifer's Angels, and if this is true to the witch's guilt, how should it also not be true of their punishments...?"
- Malleus Maleficarum

Next up...

Well next up, of course, we have the Observer sculpt which is now on my desk in the form of some wire shoved into a cork. Mike is just sketching a rear view for me but sculpting will properly begin this week.

Once the Observer is done, I will be re-posing the Communicant anti-tank hunter in ZBrush from the 3D scans provided by Eddie at Zealot Miniatures. Then I will be taking the physical sculpts down to Dorset to hand them over to Eddie for scanning before production begins in earnest! I hope to be able to do this by the end of the month (other work permitting). 

Then there is the game...

Game design

Tuomas (yes - Tuomas Pirinen of Mordheim fame, for those who missed the last update) is churning out manuscripts by the bucket load, under the watchful eye of the Cardinal's overseers. We will have some news - along with details of the game - very soon. To go with this, we will be releasing details of an upcoming Trench Crusade mailing list, where you will be able to get all the latest game development updates (and sign-up for notification when the next Kickstarter is due). Naturally, updates will continue here right up until fulfilment of this Kickstarter.

I will leave you with some of Mike's latest art for the project - New Antioch Mechanised Infantry on patrol along the Carcass Front. The remains of vast and ancient war machines can still be found, rusting slowly into the mud...

Cheers!

James

New Antioch Mechanised Infantry

Merry Christmas from the Factory Fortress!
about 1 year ago – Sun, Dec 25, 2022 at 11:12:46 PM

Yuletide greetings!

 The Cardinal has given us five minutes on the telegraph, so here is a quick Christmas update:

  • Witchburner General and Observer miniatures are underway (photos in the next update)
  • 3D scan of the Communicant is being cleaned up and re-posed for the alternative poses (image below)
  • Plus a 'Special Announcement'...
The 3D scan back from Zealot Miniatures (original sculpt on the left, scanned 3D model on the right).

A Special Announcement

The witchburner general stoops as he enters through the small door to my cell. His cold eyes meet mine, but I quickly turn my gaze to the floor. “You may deliver the Special Announcement,” he rasps. Swallowing what little spit remains in my suddenly parched mouth, I turn to the telegraph machine...

 It is with immense pleasure that we can today announce that a Trench Crusade skirmish game is currently in development! And we have pulled off something of a coup, managing to recruit (with only a little inquisitorial encouragement) none other than the mighty Tuomas Pirinen as game designer! Yes - the very same Tuomas Pirinen who designed Mordheim and Warhammer Fantasy Battle 6th edition! Exclamation marks!!! More exclamation marks!!!!!*

 Ahem. Carefully sealed within his chamber in the highest tower of New Antioch, blessed by the hand of the Red Cardinal himself, Tuomas has been given all the parchment, quills and blood - um, I mean ink - he should require, along with the finest holy dice, carved from the bones of saints martyred in the trenches. Fed the very best gruel, strained from the Cardinal’s leftovers, no less, along with holy watered-down ale (passed through the tiny hatch into his cell thrice daily), our hallowed game designer has all he needs. Blessings of the Holy Bomb upon him. Amen.

We will bring you more news as the game develops, but for now that is all the information we are allowed to share. The witchburner just cleared his throat, and is now staring at me in a way that I find most distressing. In fact, I suddenly find my bowels loosening... Must dash!

 +++

We hope this missive finds you all well, and wish every one of you a very Merry Yuletide from our tiny, dank, mouldy and generally unhealthy corner of the factory fortress. Also a jolly Happy & Healthy New Year!

 Mike & James

* “Multiple exclamation marks... a sure sign of a diseased mind.” - Terry Pratchett

Venerated leper.

The Trench Pilgrim: Another zealot for the holy war machine
over 1 year 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: https://trench-crusade.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders 

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
over 1 year 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!

James