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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:

Sculpting the Combat Medic: Part I
over 1 year ago – Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 01:59:54 AM

I have received word that the Cardinal has been displeased with my progress, and I really don't want to be drawing the attention of the Masque of the Red Death. I think he might be eager to see an update on the Combat Medic - apparently we have been losing an unacceptable number of pilgrims to gangrene due to a deficiency in bone saw-wielding nuns...

Combat Medic - art by Mike Franchina

So, as promised, here is the first part in this little sculpting series. I am going to briefly go through each stage of the process so far, from what tools I use to making and posing the armature.


Tools

The main tools I use are:

  • Dentist's tool
  • Clay shapers
  • Scalpel
  • Sewing needle
  • Pin vice
  • Files
My basic sculpting tool kit.

The dentist's tool on the left is my favourite of the bunch and the one I use the most. The clay shapers see quite a bit of use as well, especially the chisel-head, as does the sewing needle (glued and green-stuffed into the end of an old pencil - this one is actually from a Kev White sculpting class I attended a few years ago).

GW clippers and needle nosed pliers.

Making the armature

I also learnt a great way of making armatures from Kev White. Using 0.8mm tinned annealed copper wire, I solder three sections together (these sections form the spine, legs and arms). I use a Dremel soldering torch and have a ceramic plate upon which I have drilled & pinned some jigs for the various armatures I need to make, depending upon scale and whether they are male or female, adult or child. This is pictured below.

Rolling out the wire using a steel rule. This results in nice, straight wire.
On the soldering block. As you can see, we have three sections of wire - spine, arms, legs. These are placed in the jig with the correct torso length - 9mm in this case.
The armatures after soldering. I will clip the head/neck section to the correct length in the next step - posing the armature.

Posing the armature

So, the next step is posing the armature. Just before posing, I will take some putty (ProCreate by Kraftmark in this case, but Green Stuff is just as good) and form the basic skull, ribcage and pelvis.

The armature with rudimentary skull, ribcage and pelvis. These three basic forms are important when it comes to sculpting the initial muscle groups, and gives me something to work around and attach muscles to.
Curvature of the spine.

Now that we have this very basic skeleton, I can begin posing it. Posing a miniature is one of the most important stages in the sculpt - we want to get a nice, believable pose, whilst also ensuring that everything is in proportion. If a limb is half a millimetre out it is quite obvious at such a small scale, so we need to be as precise as possible. This is what the ruler is for! 

In the next update, I will show you the pose and the initial sculpting - getting the basic structure and form before moving on to the details.

I hope this has been interesting for some of you! :)

Cheers,

James

Communicant: Alternative poses stretch goals
over 1 year ago – Wed, Jul 27, 2022 at 12:22:57 AM

In this update:

  • Next stretch goals
  • Brief insight into running a Kickstarter
  • Post campaign

Mike and I continue to be utterly blown away by the success of the Kickstarter campaign, and we have been busy planning where we want to take things next. The potential for the Trench Crusade is huge - with an entire world to play with, including factions, history, characters, unit types, gaming rules... The list goes on! Thank you for your belief in the project and your desire to help to bring it all to fruition. This is only the beginning...


Next stretch goals
 Since the Kickstarter has exceeded our expectations, with multiple stretch goals being slaughtered and well over a thousand backers now, we need to 'stretch out' future goals a little bit, since there is already a lot of extra work to be done post campaign (not least of which, me sculpting the miniatures that have been unlocked)! As such, here are the next two goals:

Running a Kickstarter
 To give you a little insight into running a Kickstarter campaign, it is quite relentless! In between the backer updates, and replying to you via comments or direct messages, I am also speaking with backers and followers across multiple platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Discord). Then there are the communications with the caster, fulfilment centres (I am talking with a couple at the moment to get the best rates for everyone), BackerKit (our pledge manager)... all this in addition to constantly running/updating the numbers as we hit stretch goals that go beyond our initial expectations. Then Mike and I are also in constant communication, timezones not withstanding (me in the UK, Mike in the US). Oh, and I'm trying to sculpt the combat medic, too! I promise to have some update photos of her soon. :)
 

Post campaign
 Initially, with our initial expectations for the campaign, our aim was to have everything done and shipped to backers by the end of the year (2022). Since the Trench Crusade has exploded, we will need to move these delivery expectations back a bit (as mentioned from the beginning in the Risks & Challenges section). Our initial estimates were based upon a couple of hundred backers, and maybe one extra miniature - the combat medic - to be sculpted. Now, we have well over a thousand backers and have unlocked multiple stretch goal miniatures, all of which require sculpting.

As such, delivery will be pushed back. By how much, at this stage we cannot say. Once the campaign has ended, I can sit down and go through everything, speak with Zealot Miniatures about moulding & casting times, then with the fulfilment centre about final numbers. Another factor to take into account is how many of you add extra stuff when the pledge manager comes out, too!

So I really hope you can understand why things will be pushed back. I am very sorry that this is necessary to do, and Mike and I would both be very grateful for your patience! We will get everything delivered as soon as we possibly can, of course, but we want to make sure we get everything right so you are happy with what you receive. I will of course keep everyone informed throughout the entire process! :) 

Running a Kickstarter can be all-consuming - and certainly is with this one, thanks to all you super amazing backers joining us on this (un)holy pilgrimage! Together we are going to make these miniatures a reality, plus you are all here at the very beginning of something very special. So thank you so much once again!

Cheers,

James

1000 pilgrims join us on the crusade!
over 1 year ago – Tue, Jul 26, 2022 at 12:43:51 AM

Hell is that way...

A massive, heart-felt thank you from Mike and myself! To have a thousand join us on this (un)holy pilgrimage is simply mind-blowing! Thank you. 

Only 9 days to go. Like the guy in the pulpit is saying, hell is that way...

Cheers!

James

The heretic tank will burn in holy fire.
over 1 year ago – Tue, Jul 26, 2022 at 12:43:23 AM

Quick update (I'm out with family today - it's Sunday AND the school holidays)...

Illuminator Michael has prepared some sketches of alternative poses for the communicant. Your lord bishop bids you to cleanse yourself of your sins and prepare for absolution.

CONCEPT ART
Alternative communicant poses. Concept art by Mike Franchina.

I will be re-posing and sculpting these as stretch goals. Many have been petitioning for alternative poses, so we hope this goes some way to answering your prayers! Essentially, once I receive the resin masters from Zealot Miniatures, I can convert some in order to give you more variety on the battlefield. My favourite is number 2. Which is yours?

May the heretics tremble in fear.

Cheers!

James

Slaughtering stretch goals like heretics in a trench.
over 1 year ago – Sat, Jul 23, 2022 at 06:28:06 AM

Well, to say the Kickstarter has totally exploded in a cloud of holy napalm would be an understatement! Yet another stretch goal slaughtered. Thank you once again to all of our backers for helping to bring the Trench Crusade from the artwork to the tabletop!

Mike and I are busy discussing what's next and, when we have made some decisions, we will post updates accordingly. I am also talking to a couple of fulfilment centres about shipping, customs duty etc. I had no idea this would explode like it has, so my initial plans for packing and posting a hundred parcels myself, from my living room, has gone out of the window like a live grenade. Will let everyone know about shipping and whatnot as soon as I have some concrete figures from the fulfilment companies.

Can't believe we are almost at 1000 backers... totally bonkers! :) 

Cheers!

James

Witchburner sketch by Mike.