Note: This is a look at an ongoing Kickstarter campaign, and I expect that the product will change over the course of the campaign. Models are prototypes, and the posing and anatomy of the models are constantly being refined. In other words, nothing is set and stone, and expect the models to be continuously refined. All images belong to ADW Games.
This Thursday (2014-06-05), ADW Games plans to launch a new Kickstarter campaign – Miniature Ice Age Mammal Adventure Set – to fund high-quality 28mm miniatures of prehistoric creatures like the Wooly Mammoth, the Smilodon (a.k.a. Sabertooth Tiger), and some of their less famous but equally cool contemporaries. Our new spin-off series Kicking the Habit has been given a sneak peak at the upcoming campaign, and ADW has given me permission to give you a pre-launch preview of the prehistoric plastic that they are planning to produce. So, let’s see what we can dig up on this exciting campaign before it is open to the public.
Update 1: ADW has officially launched the Miniature Ice Age Mammal Adventure Set on Kickstarter! Stop by and take a look at the newly released campaign!
The most exciting piece of this campaign for me is the hand-sculpted mini-Mammoth model in the picture below. If the final product has anything like this level of detail, this single model is almost enough to inspire my confidence in the campaign as a whole. Made to a larger scale, that model could stand just as a decoration – even if you didn’t have plans to use it to crush the Neanderthal scouts trying to encircle your early human tribe. It would make an amazing desktop paper weight, glaring at me with that ‘I am going to trample you into dust’ look whenever my attention starts to wander from work. I imagine this would work especially well if you are studying for paleontology final or preparing for a life as a Pleistocene era hunter.
Along with the mini-Mammoth is one of prehistory’s most famous felines – the Smilodon, better known as the Sabertoothed Tiger. The Smilodon render is not as exciting as the mini-Mammoth is to me, mostly because of the spike-whiskers on its face. Strangely, the spike-whiskers do not seem to be part of the original concept art, and I have to say that I like the concept art version, sans cheek teeth – much more than the render. Of course, the campaign hasn’t even launched yet, so this might change. Either way, the model is still pretty darn good looking, and I would be happy to use it, dental problems and all.
Update 2: I was told yesterday that the team over at ADW is already working on resolving this issue, and we should expect an updated Smilodon model coming up soon. Considering they hadn’t even launched yet, I think it is safe to suggest that ADW is going to be extremely responsive during this campaign, and we should expect the models to continuously improve.
But it isn’t just the big names of prehistory making it onto ADW’s list, ADW has dug up some more underground models for their minis. The base project intends to fund eight models, of which you can select a number depending on your level of backing. Every indication is that every one of these models is going to end up looking really cool. Just take a look at the concept art:
The careful creative process which ADW utilizes begins with field trips to see actual remains of these ancient animals and ends up with a dynamic and detailed model through the dedicated work of several artists, and this attention to detail seems like it is paying off big time. This concept art could serve as quality card art for a TCG, which I am going to proceed to invent and play in my head.
And these are just the basic models. There are numerous stretch goals which each add new models to the mix – from Cave Bears to large, predatory birds. Let’s just say that I desperately want this campaign to reach its final funding goal at $25,500. Desperately.
Update 3: They have added a new stretch goal at $35,000 – the cave lion. And now I desperately want the campaign to reach $35,000. $25,000 just doesn’t seem like enough any more.
There are pledge tiers available at all levels, with the lowest level of funding being a $15 pledge to get any one mini of your choice. The highest level, $225, gets you two of everything (including all stretch goals), and is estimated at $240 retail value without considering any of the stretch goals which might be reached. Most levels promise at least a moderate discount on the products themselves, and so it seems like good sense to back the campaign if you are interested in these minis. And you really should be.
If you have the funds, and are even remotely interested in minis, this is a campaign that is definitely worth taking a look at. I can’t guarantee anything without getting my hands on some production models, but it looks like some seriously amazing minis are going to come out of this campaign. If you have the funds, and the insatiable lust for minis that many of us do – I would seriously consider the top tier of funding. If you can’t afford that, or don’t need that many minis, at least pick up a mini-Mammoth. Because he’s watching you.
As always, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions – kick them my way in the comments section.