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Fleet Repair Dock miniature and poll

 
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What type of Fleet Repair Dock miniature would you be most likely to purchase?
A one piece FRD consisting of 2 vertical sides and a detailed top piece, large enough to wrap around most miniatures.
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
A two piece FRD consisting of 2 vertical side with mounting holes for pins to keep the sides apart.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
A one piece FRD consisting of 2 vertical sides and a detailed top piece, built small enough to fit inside the typical megahex.
22%
 22%  [ 4 ]
A multipiece FRD large enough to wrap around the typical miniature.
55%
 55%  [ 10 ]
A multipiece FRD small enough to fit inside the typical megahex.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
A four-sided FRD (2 sides, Top, Bottom) large enough to wrap around most miniatures.
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
A four sided FRD (2 sides, Top, Bottom) small enough to fit inside the typical megahex.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 18

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Scoutdad
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Fleet Repair Dock miniature and poll Reply with quote

The recent thread showing the styrene FRD constructed by Millenniumfalsehood has reminded me of a two or three year old discussion at Origins about a FRD miniature.

I will finsih the new Pegasus tonight (had to go buy a new Dremel bit and a bigger heater for the garage workroom). Single digit temps in an un-heated workroom are not condusive to miniature construction... and hi-pitched Dremel Tool noises and brass shavings in ScoutMoms kitchen are not condusive to a happy household... Rolling Eyes

Anyway, I've been wondering what to do next... and (unless Millenniumfalsehood wants to do a castable version in brass / greenstuff), the FRD sounds like a quick and easy one... yeah, I know; Famous last words and all...

I had SVC resend me the lineart for FRD and began sketching out preliminary ideas. These of course led to questions... many questions. SVC answered some, but for others he recommended that I take it to the end consumers and see what type of mini would be most preferable.

To that end, I have set up a poll with the options so far. These will be detailed in a subsequent post, so please read them carefully and then indicate which miniature you would be more likely to purchase.

Thanks,
Tony
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The miniature can be either a one piece miniature, or a two-piece miniature... or, unlikely but possibly a four-piece mini.
Of course, the more pieces, the harder it is to assemble and to keep assembled if used in play. Contarily, if (like some of us) you paint some pieces prior to assembly - you can geta much better paint job on the separate pieces. A multi-piece miniature also lends itself to easier and more frequent kit-bashes

The next option is size. Of course a FRD is designed to wrap around the ship being repaired - but this produces its own issues.
If the FRD is made large enough to fit around most miniature (you can exclude Battleships and maybe even Dreadnoughts from this requirement, you are still looking at a large piece. In order to fit around a Federation CA, the inside dimensions must be 3 inches long, 1 3/4 inches wide, and over 1 inch deep. Much like the Juggernaut, these would require a large amount of pewter and will be a very expensive miniature that may not realize enough sales to justify the expense of putting it into production in the first place.

With some poetic license, we can get a smaller FRD mini that can still be used as a target in most games. The smaller FRD will be much cheaper to cast / sell - thereby leading to a greater chance at getting the mini produced in the first place.

Option Number three involves the basic layout.
Trek in general always uses an octagonal shaped consturction dock, much like the one made by Millenniumfalsehood. Unfortunately, this is not the SFU version. The SFU version has vertical sides and all the art work produced to date shows only the top. Presumably it has a bottom as well, thus creating a long tube that completely encompasses the ship being repaired.
A mini of this type can be constructed, but it's also possible to make a mini that consists of two vertical sides and a top piece (think of an upside-down "U"). While probably not SFU canon - it would be easier to create and cast.

Now for the poll options:
1) A one piece FRD consisting of 2 vertical sides and a detailed top piece, large enough to wrap around most miniatures.

2) A two piece FRD consisting of 2 vertical side with mounting holes for pins to keep the sides apart.
Two or three brass pins sued to hold the two sides inplace would allow one to adjust the width of the FRD to accomidate various ships needing repair.

3) A one piece FRD consisting of 2 vertical sides and a detailed top piece, built small enough to fit inside the typical megahex.

4) A multipiece FRD large enough to wrap around the typical miniature.

5) A multipiece FRD small enough to fit inside the typical megahex.

6) A four-sided FRD (2 sides, Top, Bottom) large enough to wrap around most miniatures.

7) A four sided FRD (2 sides, Top, Bottom) small enough to fit inside the typical megahex.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted for #3.

I'd prefer to have a miniature on the board that doesn't overwhelm the other figures and with the 3 sided version, the mini will fit onto a standard flight stand without standing waaaaay above the rest of the playing field.
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djdood
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tough to say.

I'd say the market for a potential FRD will be pretty small. Only a sub-set of minis-buyers would want one and that is limited even further since the FRD is not in FedCom yet (maybe never).

That's why I was suggesting having it done in resin. There's casting outfits out there (Blappy, etc.) that do short-run resin casting for their own products and for clients.

The resign Juggernaut kits "went dry" because the sculptors were casting them themselves and then for whatever reason couldn't. If the molds are owned by ADB and are with a casting house for use, it wouldn't be the end of it if that house had to stop (much like all the metal molds traveling to Bruce Graw from Reaper a while back).

For a larger "wrap around a mini", resin would also keep the material costs (and product weight) manageable.

If the FRD was to be metal, I'd go with one of the smaller "fits in a megahex" type options and ignore having a ship mini inside it. I'd prefer more than one-piece in the case of this mini, due to the fact that the sidewalls would inevitably end up warped and distorted during mold-making, if done as a one-piece.

Tough decisions to make though. Even the most hardcore are only likely to buy one of these, so it needs to be cheap and not require a lot of QA baby-sitting to even remotely be worth ADB's time.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I don't know...

I was thinking of a smaller, pewter version... of course, I'd probably end up buying a whole bunch of ebay special elite minis to have minis inside the danged thing... Shocked

For what it's worth; Tyler IMilleniumFalsehood] is going to modify his to match the SFU design requirements and have it cast in a heat-resistent resin. Hopefully that'll lead to his version becoming a real miniature.

but Will is absolutely correct.
There are a bunch of hard business decisions that'll have to go into this one:
What size? Bigger is nicer, but the market for piece is limited as is. Do you want to limit it further by increasing the price?
How many pieces? One to appeal to the widest range of players? Two, to reduce any potential problems from warpage?
Material? Pewter is easiest since that's what Bruce does. Resin allows for a larger, lighter, less expensive piece - but then you open a whole new can of worms.

And to answer Will comment about it not being in Fed Comm, yet. I'd bet it'll be in Briefing #3: Support Ships. You'll almost certianly have to have FRD to play a Federation Admiral campaign.
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terryoc
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bloke I know reckons that if a mini seems out of scale on the table, it's because it's closer (larger) or further away (smaller) than the other minis... Very Happy So a small FRD is obviously just further away than the other ships!

I'd probably prefer a smaller, one-piece FRD. Especially if there will also be a resin version available. That way, those of us who need a sturdy gaming piece will be happy, and those who want a collectible will be happy too.
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Millenniumfalsehood
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but what do you do about a docked ship? If the mini is the size of a meghex, I'd say the only thing you could dock in it would be a G1 or POL. Wink Unless you went with the whole "docking to the exterior" thing mentioned in the rulebook. Then what's the point of an FRD in the first place, since a majority of the size comes from it having the wrap around a ship? Rolling Eyes

Of course, this is all moot anyway, since those who want a ship that fits in a megahex want it to be small anyway.

Personally, I voted for a larger mini that can wrap around another one. Some because I think it would be easier to represent a ship in dock during a scenario that way, but mostly because I already built the pattern for it. Rolling Eyes

I also voted for a multi-piece miniature, because if the thing were one piece, no detail other than a few support beams would be possible on the inside walls. I imagine a dock to have at least some side illumination panels, and there's only so much you can do with paint and decals. Well, I mean if you care about such things. I'm more anal than most, so I like industrial minis to be at least somewhat realistic, and the FRD is pretty much as industrial and utilitarian as they come. You just don't get much less fancy than a glorified box. Wink
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semperatis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I have remembered this correctly,was it not the case that,anything bigger than a battlecruiser,couldn't dock internally anyway. I recall that the likes of a dreadnought could only dock externally to one,as there was not the internal space to allow access.

There used to be a table showing the various docking points of each ship,and if the value was greater than that of the FRD,then that ship could only dock externally. That was why the dock that I made,could only take up to a Fed BC's saucer,and that was tight.
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Millenniumfalsehood
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

semperatis wrote:
There used to be a table showing the various docking points of each ship,and if the value was greater than that of the FRD,then that ship could only dock externally.


I hadn't thought about that. My FRD is designed to accommodate a DN. Perhaps I should redesign it. Again.
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Jack Bohn
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To phrase it in the form of a question: photoetch brass?

Which really stands for a host of questions:
Can all the detail for weapons, bridge, tractor beams, impulse engine, cargo and shuttle hatches, etc., be put on the cast pewter top (and maybe bottom) piece to leave the sides to be slabs or open framework?
Are the sides an open framework track for work cranes and such, or are they like the Navy's ARDM-1 with a narrow passageway and narrow workspaces in them? The brass sheet is paper thin; stacking 3788 papers together is less than the width of my shoulders, and I'm a skinny guy.
Would the paper-thin and etched brass have the strength to support the top pewter piece? Would it require some new cantilevered stand design, or maybe four pewter posts at the corners?
Would the thin brass stand up to being handled during game play?

And finally, can one get photoetched brass in quantities somewhere between industrial-sized lots and individual pieces at a price comparable to pewter? I guess that should be the first question.
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Scoutdad
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off: Tyler is modifying his FRD to meet the SFU design. It will be cast in a heat resistent resin and sent to ADB where they will cast a pewter master, so the whole poll is moot at this point.

Secondly: If I had attempted to construct a master from brass, it would not have been the same type of brass sheet you are referring to. When I did the masters for the Juggernaut, the Federation LTT, the Planetary Defense Monitor, the Hydrna Gendarme, and the Juggernaut - they were all formed from brass sheet stock. The differnece is that I typically use sheet stock that varies from 1/16 inch to as much as 1/4 inch, depending on the need.
The top would have been a single piece of brass stock 1/16 inch thick with additional stiffening ribs on the inner surface. The upper surface would have been detailed with a combination of brass stock (tube and sheet), aluminium mesh, and "green-stuff"
The sides would have been roughly slab shaped and constructed from 1/4 inch sheet stock with similar detailing, i.e., rails for work cranes, hatches for personnel egress, larger hatches for material storage, etc.
The bottom would have been a bit different. It would still have been formed from brass sheet stock, but the detail level would have been lessened to a degree since most of it would never have been seen.

This brass master would have then formed the basis for a production mold that would produce a 4-piece, pewter version of the finished product. Glue the two sides, the top and the bottom together, attach it to a standard ADB flight stand and "Viola!" - instant FRD.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know that the poll is moot. Given the expected low sales and the expected high cost, I'm not positive we'll do a pewter one. Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps a new poll asking "how many would buy an FRD" would give useful information? I don't know.
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Millenniumfalsehood
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that's a fine idea, Steve.

I mentioned to you that it would probably be cheaper if this were a limited-run resin kit instead of a full-fledged addition to the Starline 2400 series. But it would be nice to know just how many people would buy one (not like one: buy one) so it can be priced. I'm familiar with the rule that says "for every ten people who say they'll buy something one person actually does", so I would factor that.
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