Good afternoon all! We're really lucky to have an interview with Tim Fisher, Studio & Production Manager for Mierce Miniatures Ltd. This author has been following their miniatures with a TON of interest and I've purchased their entire Beastmen range. Personally I feel like having an alternate mini in there as your leader, shaman, battle standard bearer etc is awesome as most people just have the GW pewter one.
Mierce has recently done a Kickstarter that is going until Friday, February 15th. Check it out and see if any of the models are what you're looking for! I picked up the early bird special (they've promised to have these until Sunday) so I am getting a set of six minotaur.
First, please tell us a little about your company and how you got started.
Mierce launched last year 2012 when the team involved in the BaneLegions range of fantasy miniatures wanted to go independent in order to be able to take the range forward and be able to offer it to retailers without bias. On reflection we really should have gone our own way a lot sooner, but these things take time.
To get it out of the way: many people had questions about Maelstrom Games and how your company relates. Can you explain the relationship and how you're doing now for those who haven't seen your answer elsewhere?
Yes, as above the range and the staff were originally a part of the BaneLegions range that was launched by Maelstrom Games. A couple of years into the project we developed plans beyond selling our wares via just the one retailer (Maelstrom) in order to take the range further and also maybe develop our own game we need to be able to do things 1) Cast in-house. outsourcing resin casting was cost-prohibitive to offering retailers and distributors a good discount so we needed to make them ourselves (and make them well!) and 2) Go our own way and become independent of MG. Whilst we were owned by a retailer we would always struggle to get other retailers to stock our minis. The time had come to make our own way in the world!
We launched our own company Mierce Miniatures once we had mastered the fine art of resin casting and had a good deal of experience in being able to make high quality resin miniatures and bought in an independent valuer to decide how much we should pay for the range. Once the price was agreed and the deal with MG was struck we (our staff) effectively left MG and began to make our own way in the world. At first we dealt with retailers and distributors building up a good relationship with our accounts and then once the website was ready we opened our doors to the public as well. The first thing we did (as Mierce) was decide to make our wargame using our minis and decide what miniatures we wanted to feature in our Darklands game setting and bring them over to the game and which ones we didn't want to have in the game )the game will not feature orcs, elves and dwarfs for example) and leave them as BaneLords/Beasts.
Things are progressing well, people are beginning to find their way over to out website and we've been up a steady and strong portfolio of trade accounts whom we sell our miniatures to. You can find retailers of our minis across the USA, Canada and Europe!
|This author's Aanchuth model. The eye inscription works out really well because my Beastmen are blessed by Tzeentch.|
What type of miniatures are you producing now?
We mainly focus on our Darklands range of dark fantasy miniatures for our forthcoming Darklands game. We also make other fantasy miniatures that won't appear in the game setting. These are more high fantasy minis so will feature dwarfs, elves and orcs etc. This part of our range remains as BaneLegions. The BaneLegions range is still supported (it's still very popular!) and we have some new releases in the pipeline for them too! We like to spread the love.
Can you tell us about the different lines that you're producing? It seems like you also have a WW2 objectives line coming out?
Yes, we have our fingers in a few pies! Basically Mierce Miniatures makes minis for Darklands (our wargame) BaneLegions/Beasts/Lords which are generic fantasy figs & Templars Forge which is a range of scenery, gaming aids and objectives for a variety of scales and settings! The 1/100 scale WWII objectives are quite popular! We also have a range of steam fantasy buildings that are only available for a limited run, when they're gone they're gone!
|Kaastaruk, my gorebull BSB. I love the direction they're going with these minotaurs.|
Where did you get the inspirations for the models you're producing?
Well, Darklands is the world of our ancestors. We live just a stone's throw from where Penda slew King Edwin in 633ad at the battle of Heathfield - inspiration is all around us! Basically we take our own history of north-west Europe and ask the question - What if the legends of our past were real? The Trolls, the Fomorians and the Dragons? What if the heraldry and imagery of our ancestors was inspired by real creatures? We take the history of our ancestors and bring alive the myths for an alternative history setting!
|My Brunchath model. He is either a unit champ or wargor. Love how angry this dude looks!|
Where did you get the inspiration for the different faction names, back story, etc?
Again, most of our setting and names etc are based on historical fact. King Penda was very much real (though he wasn't afflicted by lycanthropy like he is in our setting!). King Cadwallon was real, The Vikings really did invade and we mix these know facts with legend such as the lost cities of Ker-Ys and Atalantes and the myths that abound. What if?
Can you tell us what Dark Lands is and your plans for that? What scale will the game be? (Skirmish, regiment, etc)
Darklands will be a skirmish wargame. The Quickstarter rules on our Kickstarter will allow people to get up and running using the starter sets available. Beyond that we plan to launch a full scale skirmish game sometime in 2013. This will expand upon the starter rules with campaigns, more in-depth rules and options and of course imagery and storytelling!
I feel like many people would buy your models to use for a fantasy wargame produced by a large company in Britain. Do you take that into account when producing models? You do have quite a few models that match up well (I have purchased every beastman and minotaur model that you have) but there are others that don't match up (snake people etc).
Initially we wanted to make miniatures that people would use! Beyond that of course we have grown and expanded our horizons into something much more original and very much our own.
|Chaagmuth the Jaw-Taker... perhaps my favorite model in my entire army. Such an awesome looking guy. He is my beastlord now.|
Where can your models be purchased? Obviously you have your own website, and you list prices in USD (so nice) but are there distributors in the US or Europe as well that sell your product?
Yes, we have many retailers in Northern America and Europe. Presently our distributors are Warpath and E-Figures in the USA/Canada, Tabletop Depot in Germany servicing mainland Europe, Warlord Games and Northstar Games in the UK and of course we will distribute our own product to any retailer/distributor anywhere in the world!
So there are numerous avenues a retailer/customer can pursue to obtain our product. We offer healthy terms to our distributors and retailers At present we would love an Australian retailer/distributor to service Oz/NZ. We send a lot of product over there directly but it would be easier for customers to be able to buy from somewhere closer to their home! Would also reduce our carbon footprint somewhat.
Can you tell us what your plans are for your Kickstarter?
Yes, to fund the production of the starter sets and the quickstarter rules and allow us to bring our plans forward by several months. The sooner people have a game to play the sooner they can fully buy into our world, game and setting.
|The author chose these as his Kickstarter set. So awesome!|
Why leverage Kickstarter now? I guess this is a loaded question - I follow a number of news feeds for gaming and it seems like there are a TON of minis and games companies coming out with Kickstarters now. It almost seems liek I have Kickstarter fatigue.
HOWEVER, your Kickstarter does seem to be giving funders a deal, which many companies don't seem to do... they treat it like a retail outlet. Anyway, I'm rambling. Can you elaborate on your Kickstarter?
Well, of course we want people to back our Kickstarter and for it be a success. And of course to that end we want to give people an attractive deal. However on the other hand we want to be responsible and not go crazy with the give-a-ways for the sake of a few extra £/$ that may bite us in the backside in the long run, so whilst we're giving a good deal - we aren't giving things away.
Also, we want to make sure we put the starter rules into people's hands so they get into the game and play at the FLGS and buy new kindreds and expand their kindreds there. We want to get the game into people's hands and get them buying the minis from the FLGS. To that end we aren't giving stuff away so the retailers miss out. We're doing our best to tread a fine line between giving people a good deal so we can bring our plans to fruition sooner and also getting them into the game and into their FLGS!
Why now? Well, as above it allows us to bring the project to market much sooner and this is the first time we feel we've been 'ready'. We didn't want to rush it for the sake of cashing in, we needed to have something to offer.
|Another sweet monstrous infantry set. I might pick these up at a later date as another unit of Minotaur, or to use in Darklands.|
What is your personal favorite model that you've released?
Heh, that's a tough one because like many gamers I change my mind often! I'll break it down into 4. Fave beast, mtd character, character and monstrous infantry!
Beast - Chimaera, The Terror of Fortriu because of the impact he had and because of the pant wetting, jaw dropping moment when I saw the concept and then got to work with a personal hero of mine Dan Cockersell *shucks*
|Their beasts are HUGE. I have yet to purchase one but may get Galagaak soon as another Ghorgon.|
Mtd Character. Krann. Such an awesome sculpt that tells a story just looking at him.
|Geneguard will be painting this one soon for a miniature review :P|
Character. Carrowek. I had a great time working with Stephane Simon on this sculpt and he nailed it. Even down to the over-sized axe!
Monstrous Infantry. Very hard choice here as I believe we've carved out quite the niche for ourselves with our monstrous infantry. There's so many and the choice is so difficult! Benoit's Tarvax are awesome, as are Stephane Simon's Gorgonars and Roberto's Dyndraig not too mention Stephane Nguyen's Hydrar.....but I'll go with anything by Allan Carrasco! He's so good at big, barrel chested brutish types and his work ethic is second to none! His Trolls and Sronax are legendary!
What are some plans for future models? What should players be looking forward to?
Well the Kickstarter will hopefully be unveiling new stuff as we go along and reach our targets so all I would say is watch that space!
Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about Mierce Miniatures?
Aye, stick with us. It's been a long hard slog and we've had some blood, sweat and tears along the way but it looks like we're about to turn the corner and get the starter rules into people's hands. I can't wait to see people having fun!
Thanks to Tim Fisher for the interview. Check this space later for a miniature review of Kraan, the mounted Bear riding Chaos Lord.