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 Figures, anyone? 
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Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:04 am
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Post Figures, anyone?
Hey all!

An opportunity to make collectible Cortex Command figures has come up. It would be a sort of peripheral venture, not expected to be a direct revenue stream, but rather a promotion of the actual game. Even so, getting a model ready for mass production (tooling, etc) is... quite an investment even at smaller runs, so the figures could still end up being too expensive. Worst case scenario, the figures are also ugly and we end up burying them in a landfill (thinking Alamogordo, New Mexico).

I've been making some progress on the prospective figure designs. Keep in mind that I might be changing stuff as I go (uploading new versions). Working with orthos is very uncomfortable to me because I tend to lose my sense of flow/design/proportions when being forced into a very strict way of thinking about lines and shapes. Once I have all the characters lined up and can see how they look together, I can start making better informed adjustments I'm hoping.

Look! It's a directory with pictures!

There are of course many different types of figures, such as:

1. Tabletop scale figures
The scale might be about 28mm heroic (180cm = 32mm ?) though the proportions would match those in CC. It could be unpainted metal or plastic (e.g. 40K), colored plastic (like newer gundam kits), or prepainted (e.g. AT-43). I doubt the CC figures would mix well with other figures of this scale, and there's no plan for a rule system at this point. My idea here is to do a little box/bag containing a set of 4 of the more recognizable CC characters. Example. I'm thinking this option fits the creative tinkerer mindset of the CC player base the best. I also like this option because a 4 figure pack is a "shotgun" approach. Perhaps only one or two figures have to be attractive for the whole product to be attractive, and at a slightly lower production cost people may feel inclined to make the purchase. We may end up selling the entire stock instead of sitting on 100 boxes of wonky skeletons which no one wants, so it's a little safer.

2. Large static statue, prepainted rather well.
3. Posable figure, prepainted (e.g. Figma, not a toy)
4. Durable action figure (colored plastic, prepainted).
Perhaps we're talking 4 inches and up here. Expensive. I'm not sure if the cuteness of CC translates well to larger scales which tend to be a bit more gritty, especially in the case of well painted statues. I think the risk here is larger. If the figure is not of display-quality (due to a weak design on my part, bad sculpting or bad painting), the inherent higher price of these kind of larger figures will feel unjustified. A high price also shuts out a chunk of our potential customers (poor students?), and CC is already sort of niche as it is. On the other hand, not everyone likes to paint smaller figures, and if we get lucky and end up with a great looking figure we'll attract customers who are ignorant of the game. For example, I have a Aegis and Saber figurine, but don't know anything about Persona / Fate Stay Night. At any rate, we can't expect to sell these kind of figures in competition with well established franchises (Daleks, WoW, Spawn etc.) and we might have to use a small web store. Nor can we count on the figures selling just because they're CC related and have been infused with some sort of intangible worth. They have to be strong by their own merit I think.


Anyway, I might be posting my progress here every once in awhile. Feel free to give me an idea of how you feel about this venture, and which type of figure you'd be more inclined to buy, and how much you'd be willing to pay. Personally I'd love to see the project come to fruition just because I'm a toy-nut.

I've seen plastic sprue products by smaller companies sell for as low as 10$ for some 4 sprues, but I don't think we can count on that. Afaik, the sprues are actually almost free, the costs lie elsewhere, mostly in mold tooling and handling. Maybe 10-30 for sprues, 30-60 for a larger figure. That range. We'll see. If this happens, don't expect anything until fall, earliest.


Comments on the WIPs so far:

Dreadnought - Anton made a model of this already (though we're gonna have an engineer guy model the plastic model). I'm still a little unsure about the legs. Something is bothering me there. I might have to put a seam on the canopy because it can't be practically molded in one piece. Otherwise I think it's approaching the right kind of chunky.

Black bot - Here I've been struggling with my conflicting source material. The first design was made long ago. It had all sorts of greebly protrusions. The red dots on the sprites were actually temporary joint-spot markers which never were removed. The promo art pieces were done later and feature a more simplified design. I tried to strike a balance. Perhaps the black bot design isn't fully standardized, unlike that of the cleaner white bots.

Light soldier - I'm not sure if I should do a light, medium or heavy one. A light one provides a bit of size contrast between the figures. I think I need to make it more chunky to match the look of the sprites in general, but it sort of destroys the feminine form and makes it too trunky looking (as well as moving it way from the art style I'm using). Perhaps I should just do the androgynous medium version instead. Writing this, I only have WIP 1 up, so there's a lot more work to be done on this design. And yes, I used a lowpoly 3D wireframe I made in Blender for my Kawaiik project as a base, along with some other concept art.

Skeleton - I love skeletons, otherwise they would have never been shoehorned into the CC-verse. They move using a thin film or mucus which cover the joints and keeps the structure coherent. This way a severely wounded soldier can still move despite severed muscles.


Last edited by Promster on Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:39 pm
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
This is great! This will be well for Cortex Command, as I too, have figures that I have no idea what they're from. I personally think any of the 4 would be good for me, but I think it would depend on the price. I am realllly interested in #4, the durable action figure, though, because I can see that (a group of soldiers posed) sitting on my desk in front of me.
I wish you the best of luck on this project!


Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:49 pm
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Thanks! The problem with durable action figures is that they tend to have "diaper crotches", and you have to make a lot of compromises with the designs to make them durable enough. Did you see the new He-Man "Classic" figures? They seem to be in between display and play figure. Pretty nice and clean looking. 20 bucks each, but scalpers got em all so now they're 40-60 :/

I never had any action figures as a kid, so I'm not that excited about them in general tbh. As an adult collector I tend to go for display figures.

I think the Androgynous CMF trooper would make the best action figure because it's more stocky but not obtrusively so.


Last edited by Promster on Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:59 pm
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
when you say "Large static statue"...
How big are we talking? Because god damn I would love to see something like that.


Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:12 pm
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
Large... perhaps between 4 and 9 inches tall. Since the CC designs don't have much detail, being rather small sprites originally, they could perhaps look a bit sterile if scaled up too large, unless new detail is invented or they're given a realistic treatment. A large static statue would not be posable, as to try and look as good as possible. It would probably be pretty expensive, being large and well painted. 60-120 range. The run would be smaller too (fewer copies made).


Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:37 pm
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
I would love to see #1 in 28mm scale because I love modelling and I think they'd be a blast to assemble. My wallet is open and has assumed the position. Commence extraction of cash.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:07 am
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
Whydoch wrote:
I would love to see #1 in 28mm scale because I love modelling and I think they'd be a blast to assemble. My wallet is open and has assumed the position. Commence extraction of cash.

This. My god I very much hope this happens. It's fantastic to see you back, Prom.

And can I use them in an Imperial Guard army?..


Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:22 am
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I would definitively purchase a CMF tabletop figure. Count me in.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:31 am
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I'm more of a fan of the static statues, myself.
I am bad at assembly and painting (I have the half primered Tau's to prove it), and I would gladly pay the extra cost.

Size wise, I would stick closer to the 4 inch idea.
As you said, the lack of detail might be off-putting when bigger, and I need to conserve as much space as I can!

No matter what idea you go with, I would be very glad to see it come to fruition.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:08 am
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Omg, wow, this would be awesome.
There's a 110% probability I would buy a large static Light Soldier, because just love the idea of having a cute little femininely posed coalition soldier on my desk.(too may adverbs?)
Anything else I would still probably get, maybe not a black bot, never liked them... as long as there's coalition or dummy it would be all cool though. Table top scale would be great, as long as its feasible for me to include them into my imperial guard army.


Last edited by Fail Flail on Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:10 am
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Image
Seriously. Id buy this. As long as it were available here.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:19 am
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
I did some Scale tests just to get a feel of things.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:56 pm
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
trystanr wrote:
Image
The light coalition holding her helmet would look pretty good for a large figure thing.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:38 pm
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
Rethinking the heavy armour...


Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:14 pm
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Post Re: Figures, anyone?
Nice! I would definitely buy a static figurine type statue. While the other ideas are cool as well, poseable and action figures will have seams etc. and I'd much prefer a clean looking figurine in a nice pose than something with seams even though you could pose it yourself. I don't play any tabletop games myself, and the detail on those would probably be too small to really make out when you're using them for decorative purposes.


Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:45 pm
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