Monday, November 17, 2014

An Experiment in Open-Licensing: 15mm Sculptor's Packs

A while back, I got a wild hare (wild hair?) and decided to design a bunch of 15mm sci-fi small arms (a few dozen, to be precise).  I shopped them around to a couple possible producers with hopes that someone would cast them in metal for general consumption, but nothing panned out.  Since kitbashing with 15mm weapons is somewhat tricky given the scale, and a single pack of a dozen weapons on Shapeways can cost as much as a few packs of ready-made minis, I've decided to try something a little different.

Um... no.  Sorry, John;  I said something a little different.  Sheesh.  

So here's the value proposition.  I'm putting those weapons up on Shapeways in packs of 12, and adding an unholy markup (okay, $20, which is unholy compared to my usual markup of a buck or two on any given product).  In return, anyone who buys them has my express permission to use them when creating their own masters for casting, even if they intend to sell the minis as part of a retail operation.  Think of it as "open-licensing" meets "3D printing" meets "thinly disguised ploy to make money".

This doesn't mean I'm okay with someone simply printing, molding, and casting sprues full of my weapons for resale.  I'm not okay with that.  Neither can I stop it, though, so I'm going to depend on the good character and honesty of those few folks out there who might decide to buy these packs to do the right thing:  use them only for equipping or decorating their own minis.

In short, someone who buys any of my "Sculptor's Packs" may:
  • Use them to equip their infantry greens
  • Decorate vehicles, terrain pieces, or scenics (such as an arms rack or space-corridor tiles)
  • Decorate bases, either as standalone one-offs or for molding and casting
  • Decorate piles of rubble or scatter
  • Profit!

Is there a risk to this?  Of course.  Someone could conceivably take my product and duplicate it en masse until the cows come home (although what use cows would have for 15mm sci-fi weapons escapes me;  maybe I could ask Dana Lyons).  On the other hand, I'm doing this for fun, not profit, and I would just be excited to see my little guns in the hands of cool new infantry hitting the market.  The $20 markup will go towards my New Laptop Fund, so it's a win-win, I hope. 

Here are some of the weapons that are going up onto my Shapeways store under the heading of "Sculptor's Packs":

The M-71 Powergun:

The G-66:

The AK-X, which includes 8 rifles and 4 rifle/grenade launcher combos: 

The A-7 Bullpup:

The CZ-91 Sub-Machine Gun:

The Mk. 5 Light Infantry Laser: 

The H-31 Energy Rifle:

The M6A, which includes six rifles and two each of rifle/grenade launchers, rifles with affixed bayonets, and scoped rifles:

The Heavy Anti-Materiel Rifle (HAMR):

The IRG-90 Infantry Railgun:

The XM2 Flamer Unit:

So that's it for starters.  I'll probably be adding a few packs here and there as time goes on.  I may even try my hand at making 15mm helmets and body armor, but that's a stretch for my humble skills, I'm afraid.


  1. Really like this idea!

    my only concern is shapeways...

    how about selling the model and letting the people print their own?

    1. Hmmm... yeah, I could certainly do that! I think if someone wanted to buy the file for a specific pack, they could email me and we could arrange something.