I backed my first Kickstarter almost six months ago today, this being Red Republic's Arena Rex and more recently I also threw money in the direction of Baker Company for their Winter War.
By some strange coincidence I backed both to the value of £120 each. The castings of Arena Rex are excellent, I already have one figure given to me by AR and the other figures they have shown are also fantastic. Though they should be given the cost of each figure. By comparison I think the Winter War figures I have seen so far look OK they are not to the finish of the AR figures but then not only do they not need to be but indeed the fact most of them are wrapped up for winter makes it impossible to try and match the two against each other even without mentioning the difference in scale and material.
Another coincidence happens to be release date, both have been chalked up for November, yes even the WW that only finished Oct 8th has set the following month as when products will start to ship. In fact Baker Company have already started to ship the low level pledges.
From here on in though they have started to diverge and share less and less in common. The biggest difference seems to be direct communication. Since I pledged to WW I have had more updates than I have had for AR, not that I needed many a update but AR seem to go into periods of silence which was explained away to an extent last week when I received notice that shipment will be delayed till some time in the first quarter of next year. Fortunately for me it's not so big a deal as I have plenty to keep me active and through the year I tend to paint about the same speed but for some I imagine the delay and the start of end of painting season will be a double blow. The reasons for the delay is that two of the partners have started new jobs whilst the third has had a baby (well their partner has) so their lives are under a lot of disruption. I think the level of success has had a big effect on the time line. Still a possible 33% increase on release time must have been on the horizon for some time, I think waiting till the month before release to extend the time line was not a smart move, worse still they were not saying the release WILL be by March, the door is open for a longer delay. The good news though is that a good chunk of the figures are either now ready or working towards it.
On the other hand Baker Company have a good chunk of the first wave of their figures all ready and have stated the first wave will be going out next month in order of subscriptions so I hope that I will get my first Russians and Finns before the first snows fall. The second and final wave will be with us sometime in March so it's possible I could have all the WW figures and vehicles before I get any from Red Republic. Again it's not an issue, more a highlight on how great Baker Company seem to be. They are also advertising their next date for a Kickstarter, this being April, just after we all should have our lead. The subject is still up in the air as they allowed backers to vote on which will be next. I am glad my birthday is in March!
Another reason Baker Company have a good reason to get their product out on time is that Warlord Games are intending to release their own Finnish infantry and a module for Axis Allies including the Finns also in November (mid to late) with a price ticket of £29.50 for 21 figures. Sure makes the WW kickdstarter seem an excellent deal. The £60 for one Finn Rifle Platoon ended up supplying over 120 figures, a HMG, a large mortar, an AT Gun, an artillery gun, Field Kitchen, AA Truck and a very cool Areosan. Warlord give you 5 sky mounted infantry whilst I get ten so the same amount with a double purchase of the Warlord pack to spend the same value.
Not that it stops here. I am also getting ten guys on bikes and six on horseback, though these are included in the 120 figures. So for my £120 I will have over 240 figures and a lot of vehicles including two AA Trucks and two Aerosan's a T26 and a BA armoured car. I think Warlord must have been cursing as the Winter War kickstarter gained momentum. But on the bright side both Chain f Command and Boltaction now support the period and scale these figures cover. I see a lot of future for this period of warfare.