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Author Topic: Spaceship X 3D terrain  (Read 5610 times)

Offline Willypold

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 386
Re: Spaceship X 3D terrain
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2011, 07:12:27 AM »
Why don't they make more sprues?

The short answer I learned when Target Games went into producing minis for the various Mutant Chronicles games in the 90's is as follows. (I worked as an editor at that company for some years.)

Sculpting a master for either plastic or metal has a relatively low initial cost. Making a mold for metal is also comparatively cheap, but as soon as you have the molds you produce the minis practically by hand - you can only cast a small number of figures per day. It's fairly easy to recover the production costs, as you don't really need to sell a ton of figures. This is why smaller companies can afford to produce and market lead miniatures.

Cutting the tools for a plastic sprue is (or at least was in the 90's) very expensive, and this is the major cost when producing plastic minis. Once the tools are complete you can use them to produce huge numbers of sprues, and each individual sprue is ultra cheap in itself to produce, but you need to sell a really large amount of plastic in order to recover the cost of the tooling.

If anything remarkable has happened within the production of lead and plastic minis, please feel free to update me on the subject!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2011, 07:15:11 AM by Willypold »

Offline Sangennaru

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 5763
  • The Lazy One
    • The Lazy Forger
Re: Spaceship X 3D terrain
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2011, 08:18:26 AM »
i think that now is quite the same: a plastic mould i heard is about 2000 bucks per sprue, which is quite a lot of money, but not SO much.

Offline PaulJB

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 101
    • movealongnownothingtoseehere
Re: Spaceship X 3D terrain
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2011, 10:07:14 AM »
I remember a few years ago watching a documentary on Airfix. They used to budget 1000 per piece on a sprue to estimate the costs, this was a few years ago and I believe that this is a little cheaper these days but I doubt it's that much ....

Have you seen how many components are on the victrix sprues? They must cost a fortune.

Paul
--
Paul Baldwin
Evesham, England

"You wouldn't know a subtle plan, if it danced naked on top of the
harpsichord singing subtle plans are here again!"

Offline black hat miniatures

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 923
    • http://www.blackhat.co.uk/
Re: Spaceship X 3D terrain
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2011, 12:18:21 PM »
There are two methods for moulding injection plastic:

steel moulds as used by Airfix(and the Perries) which cost up to 100k but last forever.

Aluminum moulds (as used by Victrix) which cost around 10k but have a limited life span.

Producing a set of 4 sprues like this you are looking at a fair investment, way more than $2000 a sprue...

Mike
Mike Lewis

Black Hat Miniatures
www.blackhat.co.uk

 

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