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Author Topic: Unusual figures  (Read 423 times)

martin goddard

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Unusual figures
« on: January 13, 2021, 09:29:32 PM »
I often muse about innovative and interesting figure poses/ideas.

Sometimes they come to fruition   e.g separate heads range
Sometimes they do not  e.g head and shoulders + arm to surface mount as leaning out of a truck driver's door.

Other ideas that have "passed through" have been.

1. Front face and rear face of buildings with a common meeting plane. Allows resin to be cast in a horizontal direction. Gives lots of combinations for buildings.
2. Casting figures upside down and feed metal through top of figure if limbs point downwards.
3.Top and bottom of figures separate like TIMPO. Lots of combination but difficult to create effective join.
4. Mould join line along a diagonal so that undercuts are reduced.
5. Arms and legs attached to horse with a "slot in" torso head piece. Allows lots of combinations.
6. Balloon within larger resin pieces to reduce exotherm and weight.
7.Long spears/appendages bent to allow casting then straightened by customer. Minifigs did this with crossbow men (very clever).
8. Half figures to build into trenches or wading.
9. Arm with weapon . Allows same figure to have lots of weapon options. Did this with Mexican Western pistol cavalry.

Plus other  weird and wondrous ideas.

martin :)

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2021, 10:04:14 PM »
#10 - open-handed figures to allow customers to add their own spears etc?

Simon

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2021, 10:12:58 PM »
#11 [often asked for, but not yet done?] - headless figures to facilitate the addition of a range of heads and positions thereof.
#12 - tank commanders that can be used either standing up or chopped in half to stick in turrets (cf. the recent discussion on the sadly departed and hence highly-collectible German WW2 crew)

Simon

John Watson

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 11:36:52 PM »
I'd definitely go for number 11.
John

Smiley Miley 66

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 03:29:45 AM »
I too like idea number #11 ???
That would make my life easier, not wasting  heads after I ve twisted them off the torso.
Also allows several different figure looks as the head can be positioned several different ways, looking left or right instead of straight ahead etc.
Miles

pbeccas (Paul)

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2021, 05:48:00 AM »
Half figures on horses.  Then you could choose the top half of figure to attach.  For example, WWI British cavalry.  Legs and lower torso attached to the horse, all riding breaches and riding boots are the same.  The top half you could have early and late war western front cavalry, British cavalry in Palestine, New Zealand Mounted Rifles, Australian Light Horse, Indian Cavalry.  The options are endless.

martin goddard

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 08:51:38 AM »
Idea 11 does come up now and again.
It would give lots of options agreed.
One major problem is that either the figure or head would need a hole in it so that the two can be attached.
This is not possible with 2 part moulds.
The hole would be perpendicular (90') to the direction of mould separation.
This would tear the  "plug/hole"  out quite quickly.
Customers in the main would be horrified if asked to drill a hole for a head.
We get fair few complaints about customers having to trim off the "nips" on the base of figures.

Another lesser problem is that most heads join to the body by more than the neck eg headgear, slung weapons, raised arms, couched weapons.

Also it would create a potential nightmare for us with lots of "can you put in kepi heads instead of the hat ones".
Additionally a pack would then contain 8 figures and two strips of heads.  More castings.

Two part figures suffer the same set of problems as above.

In the final analysis PP needs to cover it's costs when producing figures. It does not do that in many cases though.

As an aside it needs to be appreciated that many "good ideas" make no financial return. Often that is my fault I admit. "Good ideas" cost nothing, producing those good idea costs  a lot.

We have exact sales numbers for 2020 (Jan 1st to Dec 31st).
These random notes will be of interest I think.

Hannomag mortar carrier 3
Turkish higher command 3
Vietnam US in foxholes 2
NVA prone 3
Heads WW1 uhlan 1
Heads WW1 pickelhaube 1
Fantasy swordsmen 1
Viking ship sail down 1
camo Tiger 1
Various humvees 1 each
Tchanka 2
Heads ACW civilian caps 2
SCW mounted officers 2
Heads feld mutz 1
Polish helmet 1
Belgian WW1 shako head 2

Those German standing tank commanders sold about 4/5 per year.

There are 400+ codes which sold just 1 pack in 2020.
Of course they will sell every year for maybe 18 years?
That would only cover a small fraction of the sculpt,master,moulds, time , metal cost.


martin :)


Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 10:09:01 AM »
That's helpful insight, Martin.

I was sad to see the sorry list of codes that didn't pay their way in 2020. However, I feel good that at least I bought one of the Tchankas - that's the next project for Little Miss K (once she's finished her cowboys)  ;)

Simon

martin goddard

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2021, 12:00:23 PM »
We need to find who bought the other one Simon.
Best guess.
Maybe your wife bought it for you, but you pre empted it by ordering it yourself?

martin :)

Colonel Kilgore

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 12:57:49 PM »
We need to find who bought the other one Simon.
Best guess.
Maybe your wife bought it for you, but you pre empted it by ordering it yourself?

martin :)

What a lovely thought that Mrs K is building up her own lead mountain to give to me, Martin :)

Simon

Leman

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 01:36:38 PM »
I have many packs of heads I am working my way through, including ECW hats to euip ACW western theatre Union troops. They work a treat. I recently bought myself a new pin vise and set of drill bits which works much better than my old GW one. Currently using it to add Ancient and Modern pikes to open handed 15mm Italian Wars figures.

sjwalker51

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 10:47:35 PM »
Interesting list of the most unloved of 2020. When were the SCW mounted officers released and would a photo help sales, especially as they may have uses elsewhere - Iím immediately thinking of 1940-41 East Africa. And I really must push myself to experiment with changing some heads for the MexRev project.

pbeccas (Paul)

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2021, 11:28:56 PM »
What were your top 3 selling packs Martin?   I find that stuff interesting.

martin goddard

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2021, 08:12:33 AM »
Good qusetion Paul.

best sellers are
1. Ashigaru spearmen.
2.Union infantry marching
3. WOTR bowmen

Other surprising top sellers are

German MC combos. Probably because they are good value and very nice.
WW1 Austrians. Probably because they are very nice and  not done by other makers.
1/600th ACW figures. Another PP  first in the wargames world.

One fact I keep in mind is that when we are the only ones in an area we obviously do very well.

For the same reason we do not sell many tigers these days.
From experience I try to always avoid "make this item and it will compliment another maker's range. This other maker don't make it because there are so few potential sales. But PP could make it at a loss.  No charge for that great idea martin."


martin :)

Leman

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Re: Unusual figures
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2021, 10:15:36 AM »
I can testify to the 1/600th ACW figures, having received some reinforcements just before Christmas. I used them to replace my 1/300th figures for both Altar of Freedom and Bloody Big Battles. For Altar of Freedom I base two infantry/cavalry blocks or three artillery on a 60x20 base for massed batteries and brigades. Coupled with scenic items from the PP ACW riverine range, Brigade's tiny terrain ACW buildings, Irregular's 2mm railway plus the free to download 1/600 ACW buildings on the Altar of Freedom website, a very convincing large battle can be depicted in a small area.