For those of you not following this incredible project, PoweredPlay Gaming has a kickstarter to make lighting your models incredibly easy. As it stands, lighting is only the beginning of the possibilities they have in store- but it might be the only one you get for a while unless you back this kickstarter.
PoweredPlay Gaming has shown us a wealth of lighting opportunities with their current lighting kit- 3mm and 5mm LED bulbs, fiber optic lights... and all this is only the beginnings of what Chris and Chris have in store. For the next bit of awesome, they have three days, and need a mere $1,600 to unlock the first step: a fully programmable micro-controller. This will allow for multitude of properties, including but not limited to blinking or strobing lights, audio effects, smoke units, possibly alternating effects with variable input (buttons/switches)... the variables are nearly endless. In addition, this micro-controller is the "hub" needed for PoweredPlay to be able to make units designed to be installed in Secret Weapon bases- which is simply too cool for words. Unfortunately for my, words are kinda my thing, so I have to try anyway. What follows is a poor man's attempt to show you how cool these micro-controller base options will be.
What we have here are two models from the Zombies!!! game produced by Twilight Creations. The two models you see are a standard and "limited edition clear" male zombie. Both are displayed mostly because I wanted you to be able to see some of the details on the non-translucent version. For the record, this model is exactly 26mm from base to top of head, making it a "truescale" 25mm figure. That is to saw, just a bit smaller than most of the pieces we collect.
I'm going to slug down a few bottles of Nuka-Cola, and turn this chap into a glowing green zombie that any fan of Fallout would be proud of.
Now, I don't have the fancy base controller, because it hasn't been made. Yet. What I did was to leave our clear zombie (by the way, I named him "Charlie"... there might have been something strange in that Nuka-Cola...) on his clear base, hoping it will diffuse the light through the model better. The entire piece was painted with a green glaze, and the clothing was then painted as normal. As you can see from the second picture, in order to get the lamp concealed in the 25mm rounder, I had to model him up a bit taller. A mound of epoxy resin later, and the lamp is successfully concealed under his feet. The paint job for the clothing was intentionally spartan- a bit of a two-toned highlight and that's about it. Now.... it's time to shut off the lights, and flip the Frankensteinian switch on the circuit board.
As you can see even in these poor pictures, the LED illuminates all the way through the figure to the top of his head. Unfortunately the second bulb on the string obscures the second shot a bit. By the way, photography in a dark room without professional equipment is a pain- I don't recommend it. The f-stop becomes so slow that it's nearly impossible to get any working shots. These were the best I could muster, however in person the model is clearly lit up.
Now, imagine for a second that were a dedicated micro-controller on a specially designed, awesome looking base. EVERYTHING in your army on a 40mm base or above could wind up with a dedicated micro-controller and power source hidden in the base itself. Want giant walkers and mecha with fully lit weapon systems? How about heavy armor suits? Maybe even with puffing smokestacks? Dare to dream, even sound effects? I can tell you I'm looking forward to plugging these things into every single Cybertronic model that gets put on a 40mm or larger- possibly even taking a jeweler's saw to them so I can hollow out some interiors of resin models to put concealed lights inside of them. Oh, and every hose and wire lead will be snipped and replaced with fiber optic lines, thank you so very much. Now tell me.... won't that be an amazing army to obliterate off the table?
Unfortunately, my dreams of well-lit yet denied global domination can not happen without your help. The PoweredPlay kickstarter has three days remaining. It needs $1,600 to unlock the micro-controllers which are the first step into a much, much larger world. Following that, it needs another $10K to fund the bases. I know it's a lot, but it's not impossible people! Get a little more word out on this and it can still make it to that finish line!
Okay, let's say you're the pessimistic sort and don't think this can get there... what's in it for you? Well, first off these "alpha" level kits are amazing... check out what they did to a FireBucket Games Deadline Defense. Brush4Hire is going to be working with PoweredPlay to produce a number of aceryllic diffusers designed to be snap-in pieces for most popular model kit sizes. Oh, and then there's the new "mini-battery" that was announced, pictured here- there's simply not many models you'd want to light up that you can't fit that guy into. You're going to get a lot of options for putting lights a lot of places, and trust me it takes seconds to mount these guys, all the hard work is done for you.
What it all comes down to is, this is an incredible project, reasonably priced, that seriously improves the look of your models. This project is worth backing. Again, I'm putting my wallet on the table- anyone anywhere in the US who pledges for an Alpha kit and mini-battery and isn't 100% satisfied with the end product once you get it, I"ll buy it off you at the kickstarter price and even pay for the shipping. You've got no down side here. This is something that can quickly and easily put your models over the top. If you want you models to look their best, you owe it to yourself and your little soldierdolls to back this project.
Charlie and I will see you on the other side of the table.
The Second Class Elitist.