So I want to start off by changing up how I write these articles. Instead of finding two or three campaigns to summarize, I am going to try to go over just one KickStarter that I think is cool enough for a whole article.
The first KickStarter to get that honour is (insert trumpet noises) Medieval Europe Architectural Model Kits & Gaming Terrain. I know this exciting name stands for itself but allow me to shine some light on what is actually a really cool project that you should consider backing.
What we have is a classic but not average modular 3D terrain project that is intended for the table top. What I mean by classic is that there are a lot of 3D terrain kits on KickStarter, from Dwarven Forge to some 3D printable sci-fi hallway kit. What I mean by not average is the level of professional qualifications, years of experience, and proprietary work that qualifies this project as downright awesome.
I mean LOOK AT THESE MODELS!
Seriously though this campaign was made with love. Each module is designed to fit in and work with the others, and the real kicker is that there is nothing needed to make these kits except for the kit themselves. It is unreal that these awesome buildings, war machines, and facades are all designed to be made without anything but your two hands. The working ballistas and other war machinery really set this apart for me. It’s pretty obvious that these things were made with immersion in mind. I think the biggest thing I would like to point out is that MDF kits are pretty flat and lifeless, but check this out. You can see that somehow I Built it has done a really good job of making textures stand out and even pop on their kits.
The kickstarter itself is pretty self explanatory though and I personally feel like, with all of the videos, posted reviews, and the detailed project itself, that I can’t really add much except for my opinion of how impressed I was. So I got in touch with the makers and decided to try to get a little behind the scenes to help you all get a sense for the project.
Nick: I’ve read over your KS campaign and it is pretty comprehensive, but what would you like your backers to know beyond that whether it be about your inspiration or just yourself personally?
Sunil: This is just the beginning. We believe our super-modular system offers whole worlds of possibilities. We have several other medieval themed models that are almost production ready and many more that are at various stages of development.
Nick: If you had to pick another setting or architectural period to do another project like this what would it be?
Sunil: That would be a toss-up between Medieval Japan and Ancient Rome. I personally have a fascination for the entire Roman time period and would love to capture that world in scale. It poses its own unique challenges in its prolific use of circular columns, which are next to impossible to achieve using laser cutting techniques, but we believe we may have a solution to that problem.
Zoeya and I also love the architecture of Medieval Japan, but many of their details and construction techniques are so complex, and documentation of those details not readily available, that we had to spend a few years compiling our library of data on their construction techniques before we felt ready to tackle it.
Nick: I would like to ask which model set is your favourite and why?
Sunil: This is one area where both Zoeya and I are in complete agreement: the Fawlty Manor is our absolute favorite. It is one of our flagship models, it is beautifully detailed, and architecturally is quite pleasing. It is also one of the few models that went from concept sketch to working prototype with almost no changes; it turned out exactly the way we envisioned it when we first put pencil to paper.
Nick: Also which set was the hardest or most frustrating to design and why?
Sunil: None of our models are frustrating to build as each model has been tested at least 50 times or more on varying criteria, one of which was buildability. We strive to ensure the model builds without frustration yet still offers sufficient challenge to keep you engaged, and also to give the builder that sense of accomplishment when they complete one of our sets.
The most frustrating set to design was definitely the Eyrie, only because it was one of our first sets and we took all our baby steps while working on it. We went through several design changes over a period of 4 years requiring almost a total overhaul of the production drawings for each change. We had first designed the Eyrie way before we had perfected our friction fit system. Once the friction fit system was perfected we had to rework the drawings. Then we reworked the drawings from scratch again once we came up with our super-modular system.
*I did use the word “make” instead of “design” without realizing any negative connotations to a KickStarter where customers are making things so I changed it around a little to smooth out the misunderstanding*
Nick:It seems like your team has been focusing on entry level products that are centered on still being high quality. At the same time all of the architecture is designed to make an inch be a mile. What made you all decide that these were your criteria? I believe that if you focused on making products more akin to dwarven forge in nature you would still fund and even still be successful beyond kickstarter. So what was it that made you focus on creating a product like this?
Sunil: I wouldn’t say they are strictly entry level as we have released a range of buildings varying from individual dwellings (Green Gables/Creaky Timbers) to large and complex structures (Fawlty Manor/Eyrie/Rook/Juggernaut), yet maintained the super-modular system so you could combine all of our sets almost without limit, while imbibing each model with their own unique architectural character.
At first glance it may appear that we are trying to appeal only to beginners since our models don’t require experience or equipment to assemble, but that is not the case. We want to appeal to everyone without regard to their skill level. As mentioned earlier, our models are designed to be both frustration-free yet offer a challenge. Each of our models come with a star rating that indicates the complexity of the model, so customers can also choose for themselves if they want a quick project or something more involved. They are easy and intuitive enough for beginners to use, advanced modellers will really be able to go to town with the degree of customization available. It may sound like a paradox, but building our sets should give you an idea of what we are talking about.
I enjoyed this answer because it really sets the whole tone for the project. These kits are not made to be something you slap together. Medieval Europe Architectural Model Kits & Gaming Terrain is something that you can pour over and put personal effort into to make your own. That’s vital for terrain builders who take pride in the work that it takes to put something on the table top.
I put some serious thought into writing this article. If you all would like to see some more articles like this let me know through a comment or even my socials on Facebook and Twitter @nblogcollective. Let me know if there are some questions you would like for me to ask as well! I would like to give a special thanks to Sunil at I Built it for answering my questions and the whole team over there for making something so unique. This KickStarter still has seven days left and it is already funded so whatever you back for you will be getting so hurry up and hop on before it is too late.
Don’t forget to check out I Built it’s socials as well, and as always