Saturday, February 24, 2018

Interview with Jamie Tranter about: Kickstarter Warsaw Uprising 1944 28mm Figures by Infamous JT"

A crowdfunding campaign about the Warsaw Uprising appeared on Kickstarter.
Its goal is to create a new line of historical miniatures in the 28mm scale.
The campaign is bilingual - all texts have been translated into Polish.
Before us, its creator Jamie Tranter, active participant in the wargaming community and founder of Infamous JT - an independent battle game producer with three years of experience in the industry, including as a freelancer for Warlord Games, Rubicon Models and Footsore Miniatures
We conducted a short interview with Jamie:
Terrains4Games (T4G): Hi Jamie! We like to ask some questions about your KickStarter campaing - Warsaw Uprising.
T4G: Why the Warsaw Uprising?
Jamie Tranter (JT):  Hey guys, thank you for inviting me to this interview.

The Warsaw Uprising, to me, provides an interesting topic as a modeller and painter.

 A large variety of gear and weaponry, with stories of both heroism and tragedy. I have wanted a range for this to appear, I got tired of waiting and contacted Dennis Zarnowki (of Savage Forged Minis) & Jonathan Llinares (of Vae Victis Miniatures) to help me. The Warsaw Uprising in my opinion deserves remembering and homage with accurate and purpose made figures. Polish military history has always inspired me, and the fighting spirit of the AK and resistance especially.
T4G: Where does the idea come from that your company Infamous JT chose the Warsaw Uprising for its first crowdfunding campaign?
JT: So, we are aware we are producing a niche range. It is hard to gauge demand, but I was determined to create models for the Warsaw Uprising. Kickstarter provides us with an opportunity to check a project is viable, but also to do it justice. We can invest in only the best sculptors and casters, but it also provides an oppurtunity to reward our supporters with limited edition miniatures and one time only discounts of 18-30%. This project has been a passion for everyone involved and we decided it would be our first crowdfunding campaign as a result. Our team's experience measures in the decades, so we are confident we will have a great fulfilment.
T4G: Some of the figures were created on the basis of real participants of the Uprising. where this great idea comes from?
JT: There are two answers to this question. Firstly we use a lot of archive images, from both Polish and English texts. So it became a natural response, why would we change reality? Secondly we wanted to pay homage to some individual stories, so for example our good friend Peter Motas told us about his grandmother who was a medic in the Uprising. Her survival from an engagement with a tank, and her time in a camp. We also chose our limited edition model, Eugeniusz Lokajski, to pay homage to those photographers who captured many of the images we have been using. In the future we aim to produce more, for example, if we hit 200 backers of any level (even 1GBP) we will create a miniature of Lt. John Ward, a Brit from the same area as me in the UK who fought with the Polish resistance for 5 years after escaping from a POW camp. The hardest aspect has been choosing who to focus on.
T4G: Do you paint or converting miniatures?
JT: My first steps and love of this industry is as a painter. We are making miniatures I want to paint right now and I couldn't be happier! You can see my work on the Rubicon Models, Warlord Games and Footsore Miniatures' Youtube Channels. I will be painting the entire range as they are cast up.
T4G: Are you getting involved with Warlord Games? Any chances for army list for the Warsaw Uprising? Maybe some scenarios? Rules for KubuĊ“?
JT: Unfortunately not as much as I would like to! But who knows what the future brings? I love working with Warlord Games, and would love to do something with their German ranges and our Home Army. However in the campaign book “Road to Berlin,” there is an uprising list, as well as in “Armies of France and the Allies.” Both lists have small issues: “Road to Berlin” lacks SMGs, trucks, anti tank rifles, mortars and some other weapons. However it does provide rules for Kubus. “Armies of France and the Allies,” provides us with rules for many of the missing pieces of equipment, but no Kubus! There is also much debate about how the weapons in Kubus operated. Therefore we will be releasing a PDF ourselves, as fans of the game, that will contain our interpretation of sources to make a list. I will be writing this with help from Roger Gerrish the original writer of “Road to Berlin,” as well as regular podcasters and tournament goers Paul Walker and Gaz Walsh of “Call to Battle.” We will submit this to Warlord Games, and see what they think. Of course one issue is a lot of information is based upon interpretation or personal accounts.
T4G: And since we're talking about Kubus when will we be able to see the painted model? As we see in the campaign, the model is cast.
JT: So! What you are seeing is the master, the 3d print from our friends at Rubicon Models as well as the crewman sculpted by Dennis. As I answer these questions Dennis is preparing multiple moulds so we can enter production. As soon as I have one you will see it painted, as well as a Tutorial on how to paint it. I am so excited for this.
T4G: Did you get support from the Polish wargaming community for this project?
JT: We received an amazing amount of support. Over half our backers are Polish! It was really quite humbling. Tomasz Hebel, yourself, and Marcin Ciszewicz, amongst others have provided us with translations, imagery and even whole books! It is why we chose to run the campaign in both languages; Marcin and Tomasz have both provided me with translations. Many members of the Polish community have shared, commented or liked our work. This is my favourite aspect of the campaign. It has become really international: with our work apearing on many foreign language blogs and news websites and backers from all over. I am especially proud of this.
T4G: Say, please, what the process of creating a miniature looks like - from an concept for miniature to a ready miniature in my display case?
JT: Okay, we are really trying to take advantage of modern times so we are mixing both 3d and traditional methods of sculpting. We firstly need inspiration, we use archive images and illustrations for this. As well as thinking what our range requires to be playable. I put these together firstly with Dennis, where we will decide pose, attire, etc. Jonathan then sculpts the weapon digitally, the file of which gets sent to Rubicon Models for printing. Once the gun is printed it gets sent to Dennis, who then sculpts traditionally. He will work from armature and with a variety of putties and clays to create the figure holding the gun. This then gets sent to our casters at Footsore Minis, who first make several masters to be kept and never sold for mould making reasons. We then make moulds with multiple copies of each model, finally we can cast production models in bulk! These will be sent to me for packing and distribution to our customers. As well as painting! (I am excited for this!)
T4G: Why KickStarter?
JT: It has provided a well known and trusted platform to spread our ideas, to interact with our customers and also to gauge interest. As a platform it is perfect for growing our company.
T4G: Tell me a few words about your job in the wargaming industry.
JT: It is very varied. I work as a freelancer. So sometimes I might be painting box art or commissions, as I have done for Great Escape Games and also private collectors. I might at other times be working shows and events as I have done with Savage Forged Minis, Warlord Games and Rubicon Models. This includes booking the show, setting up and attending on behalf of the company. I also provide social support where I help manage a company's reach on the internet. Including Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. I have done this for Warlord Games, Rubicon Models, Savage Forged Minis and Footsore Miniatures. In this role I might be creating tutorials and videos for wargamers, which I love doing, I might be answering queries, I might be adminning groups, or setting up ad campaigns. It is is a lot of fun, and I have been full time with it for three years now. Sometimes I might also be helping with technical sides of the hobby, so for example recently I have been helping Footsore Miniatures and Warbanner Games with creating the cards for their game “Gangs of Rome,” in photo shop. I consider myself really lucky to work with companies I love, as well as to meet many members of the community.
T4G: What are the plans for the future of Infamous JT?
JT: I have a vision for the Warsaw 1944 range to be comprehensive, with many weapon options and iconic figures. So the kickstarter won't be the last Poles Dennis sculpts! I also plan to create videos of the range for YouTube. Finally I also plan to stock products that can be of interest to those buying our Warsaw range: so for example Rubicon Models Hetzer includes Polish decals so I will be stocking this. I also want to stock paints I use on the display models so our customers can easily find the right colours. It is an exciting time.
T4G: Finally, the question you need to ask each wargamer - which games do you play?
JT: Anything! I love most games, both wargaming and board. I play a lot of Bolt Action and Chain of Command as I run a gaming club in West Bromwich: Infamous Wargaming at Infamous Community Arts. Which is where the Infamous title comes from! I enjoy 40k too, and I am looking at Gangs of Rome for obvious reasons. My favourite board games are Takenoko (it's a fat panda!) and anything with zombies.
Thanks Jamie!
We invite you to support the KS campaign - even if you do not play, it is an initiative worth supporting, and models that are worth having.

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