TerraForms Terrain

Attractive, durable, resin terrain for tabletop wargames. Check out our Kickstarter and pledge to help us make this a reality!

Wow, what a delay there!

We hadn't realized how long it's been since we posted an update on here!

For those of you who have been checking the page out recently, our deepest apologies! We've been keeping the Facebook page updated and throwing out the occasional pics as we move through this process. If you haven't yet, you should stop by and drop us a 'like'. That will guarantee you get the latest updates as things go along. It's so much easier to whip out our phones for a quick post than to have to come handle website maintenance... let's admit it, nobody likes website maintenance!

We've been busy casting and shipping, and we're proud to say that we're right at 50% of backer orders shipped at this point. If you haven't gotten your orders yet please have patience, I promise you we're working hard to get things cast up and sent out! Little delays along the way keep popping up and slowing things down, for example we had a mold tearout this past week on a rather fresh mold that shouldn't have failed; things like that slow us down, but they're not stopping us.

Those of you who have received your orders we eagerly await pics of our terrain on your tables during games! Feel free to post them to our wall on the Facebook page or message them to us if you prefer. You can also email pics or links to terraformsterrain@yahoo.com. Show us your setup!

We're going to be updating the gallery soon with some pics of the finished kits showing all the included pieces for each line, as well as some demo pieces that we've scraped up time to get painted up.

So have patience with our delays, enjoy the terrain if you've received it, and stop by the Facebook page for all the latest updates!

BackerKit Surveys Sent!

Alright backers, this is what you've been waiting for!

Surveys are sent! If you were a Kickstarter Backer, check your email - you should have received it from BackerKit or you should be receiving it shortly. Simply follow the link, and you'll find yourself in the BackerKit storefront where you can review your pledge, change packages if you like, select what add-ons you want, and finalize your order and get shipping taken care of.

PLEASE double check addresses!

If you have any problems, feel free to contact the BackerKit help team or us here at TFT and we'll do our best to iron things out for you.

For those lurkers who did not pledge on the Kickstarter but you really, really, really want to get in please use this link and you can get into the BackerKit storefront where you will have full access to all non-Early Shipping packages and add-ons. Please be aware from the start, we are charging an additional $10 fee for late-comers. This isn't to punish you, but our prices will be going up after this whole shebang is done. The KS campaign backers got in early, and it's just a little way for us to reward them. You're still getting the same low shipping rates and low item prices as the backers, it simply helps us offset some of our costs to complete this campaign.

For our backers who do NOT receive the invite email, please contact us or the BackerKit support team and we will verify email addresses and get your survey sent out again.

So yeah, that's where we're at! Go do your thing, pick out your terrain!

Update Time!

Okay guys, I know that a lot of you have been patiently waiting for info, and some of you have also been getting a little antsy. True, I've been quiet for a couple of weeks but we've been having some issues lately. Our printers have been giving us trouble, we also had some other shop projects taking up some time and effort, as well as some unplanned downtime for myself for post processing models (I had an arm in a sling for a week or so with a shoulder injury), but "back in the saddle" is where we are as of today!

In light of the lack of forward movement with our in-shop printers, we started moving forward with the contingency plan. A colleague has a couple of much 'higher end' SLA printers, as opposed to the FDM printers we use in shop, so we went ahead and got things moving by outsourcing some of the 3D prints. It's significantly more expensive, but it will provide a MUCH higher resolution print with virtually no post processing or clean up needed. We're picking out the more 'detailed' models for the first prints, the ones we had expected to end up printing in SLA. Depending on how it works out, and budget concerns, we may be able to get some additional models done this way to reduce the standing post processing queue.

I grabbed some pics while I was there today to show what we've got cooking. The pics show some of the pieces from the Research Station stretch goal model lined up in the software and a little video showing the printer in progress creating the layers, clearing the print tray window and doing its thing.

The SLA printers are significantly slower than FDM, and I couldn't get any pics or video showing the print in the middle of the growth process since it was in the very first layers, but I'm going back by tomorrow and I'll get some showing the model nearing completion!

For those of you who like 'behind the scenes' info, the printer actually grows what is seen in the first images upside down on the growth plate. The plate is lowered into the resin solution and a special laser light is exposed in a 'slice by slice' method, causing the resin to harden. The plate is then lifted up on a measure of microns and the method repeated. Periodically the entire print is lifted out of the solution and a special wiper clears off the tray's window to ensure it stays clean and error-free.

Check out the gallery for the link to the SLA Print Process images!

A shout out from Geeks of the North

We got a bit of a surprise today when we saw a notice on our Facebook page that we had been tagged by Geeks of the North.

We went over and checked them out, turns out they had seen some of our terrain advertised somewhere or other and were impressed enough to cover our Kickstarter on their podcast News of the North! We love how much they were impressed by the different lines of terrain, and the scope of what we were able to cover! They seemed really impressed with the modularity of our urban buildings, being able to stack floors to make them higher or shorter to get the building you want. They also really liked the realism provided by having things like police stations, restaurants, and our various factories and power supply stations.

Thanks so much for that Paul and Antoine, we can't tell you how much it helps out our little Kickstarter to have groups like yours being so pleased with what we're offering! Hopefully we can keep smashing through those stretch goals!

As far as stretch goals go we have unlocked several free items for our backers, at least one item for each package is unlocked. We're closing in pretty quickly on the $7,000 stretch goal. At $8,000 we'll have two pieces for each line unlocked, so keep spreading the word with friends and gaming groups, and let's keep knocking over stretch goals!

Send your buddies to the Kickstarter here, and tell them to drop by our Facebook page here and give us a 'like'!

T minus 36 hours

Holy smokes, the response from the gaming community so far has been awesome!

Folks, I gotta say, we NEVER expected to get as big a response as we've seen so far AND THE KICKSTARTER ISN'T EVEN LIVE YET!!

We took some chances earlier in the process, we reached out to some folks in the wargames industry and received a very warm welcome by most of them. Those folks have helped us out more than we could have imagined, helping spread the word within the communities of their games. They have provided advice and tips on things from design to pricing and more, and it's been absolutely wonderful to have their help. We've even been getting contacted by various YouTube channel owners, podcast groups, and more, offering their help and offering product reviews once we get our first molds made and begin pulling casts.

Let's keep building the momentum, keep spreading the word to your friends and fellow gamers, keep sharing our posts and with your help we can smash the Kickstarter goals and get the stretch goals unlocked! The better we do, the more we can focus on getting prototypes completed and get molds pulled!

Thank you so much guys and girls of the gamer world!

The Kickstarter goes live at 8pm Central/9pm Eastern tomorrow, May 25. Spread the word, please drop us a 'like' on our Facebook page and set notifications to 'all' so you get the updates, and let's keep getting prepped to open this campaign with a bang!

Prototype Process

Hey folks, we wanted to show everyone what we're doing behind the scenes as we gear up for the Kickstarter launch in a few days.

We want you guys to see how the process goes, how things start out and the process we go through for each piece as it moves through from a raw 3D print through the stages of post-processing to a final, mold-ready piece.

We start with the 3D design files (all of which can be seen in our gallery page) and print those out on our 3D printers. The standard printers we use are FDM (fused deposited material) printers that lay down in a layer-by-layer starting at the bottom of the piece. The image below shows the very first layers of the 'raft' being printed for floor 5 of the Residential Highrise from the Urban Terrain line.

We start with the 3D design files (all of which can be seen in our gallery page) and print those out on our 3D printers. The standard printers we use are FDM (fused deposited material) printers that lay down in a layer-by-layer starting at the bottom of the piece. The image below shows the very first layers of the 'raft' being printed for floor 5 of the Residential Highrise from the Urban Terrain line.

The finished piece come out looking rather rough and raw. There is a support raft on the bottom that gets removed and any excess bits of filament material are removed.

The finished piece come out looking rather rough and raw. There is a support raft on the bottom that gets removed and any excess bits of filament material are removed.

The layers of 'banding' along the sides are easily visible at this point. Those are the reason for the majority of the post processing we do. This simply would not be suitable to sell to a customer. You guys are expecting a finished, quality piece and we spend several hours per piece on the next several steps.

The layers of 'banding' along the sides are easily visible at this point. Those are the reason for the majority of the post processing we do. This simply would not be suitable to sell to a customer. You guys are expecting a finished, quality piece and we spend several hours per piece on the next several steps.

Once the raft is removed we begin layering on several very light coats of a filling primer. This will fill in the low areas to build up a layer of sandable primer. This also allows us to get our first good ideas of where we need to apply any filling putty. We usually put on at least 2 or 3 light coats of primer at this point.

Once the raft is removed we begin layering on several very light coats of a filling primer. This will fill in the low areas to build up a layer of sandable primer. This also allows us to get our first good ideas of where we need to apply any filling putty. We usually put on at least 2 or 3 light coats of primer at this point.

We alternate adding layers of filler putty where needed, adding additional filler paint layers, and sanding smooth.

We alternate adding layers of filler putty where needed, adding additional filler paint layers, and sanding smooth.

We have to make sure we get every side and every surface of the pieces. Often times the printers leave slight gaps between the layers when viewed from the top and we need to make sure that the master prototypes will create clean molds for the final parts of the post processing.

We have to make sure we get every side and every surface of the pieces. Often times the printers leave slight gaps between the layers when viewed from the top and we need to make sure that the master prototypes will create clean molds for the final parts of the post processing.

Most pieces go through anywhere from 4 or 5 repeats to up to a dozen re-runs of filler and sanding to get a glassy-smooth finish. Often the 'highest' levels of a piece will have the primer completely taken off down to the raw plastic material as we build up sufficient layers and get the finish we want.

Most pieces go through anywhere from 4 or 5 repeats to up to a dozen re-runs of filler and sanding to get a glassy-smooth finish. Often the 'highest' levels of a piece will have the primer completely taken off down to the raw plastic material as we build up sufficient layers and get the finish we want.

Most pieces are sufficiently finished with the first phase of post processing, and will have master molds taken from these finished prototypes.

Most pieces are sufficiently finished with the first phase of post processing, and will have master molds taken from these finished prototypes.

Some sections of certain pieces are very difficult to get to due to the designs. These pieces are smoothed and sanded as much as possible by hand, but sometimes certain steps are saved for a second level of post process. Those extra pieces involve a one-time mold and cast, and then the resin piece gets finished further to create the master for later molding.

We'll cover that in a later update, can't give away too much now!

So yeah, that's how it works! Check back again and get the latest updates as we go through the process of printing, finishing, and readying all of our lines to get ready for pouring molds! Spread the word to your buddies, your gaming groups and let them know that the Kickstarter will go live this coming Wednesday, May 25th!

The journey begins...

First off a huge thanks to the friends and family who have helped us get this far. Without their support and encouragement we never would have begun this project and we wouldn't be looking at turning a passion into a reality for ourselves and our fellow gamers!

That said Welcome to TerraForms Terrain!

We began this whole thing as a pet project. I've been a lifelong gamer, as most of our staff have been, though with the demands of life I'd gotten out of tabletop gaming some years ago. It's hard to be a regular tabletop wargamer when you're in the Army and galavanting around the world, so I sold off all my games, all my armies, and thought I'd closed that chapter of my life.

Life changed, and I'm now medically retired from the Army and back into a situation where I can game. Several months ago I was looking at the possibility of beginning tabletop wargaming again and an old friend told me about DreamPod 9's Kickstarter to retool their facility to produce injection molded plastic figures instead of white metal for their game Heavy Gear: Blitz. HG:B was a game I'd eyed for several years, though never bought into. I talked to some pals and we decided we were going to split the cost to back the starter set with multiple armies. We would each have an army, and we'd have a game to play again with regular opponents.

For his part in pointing me to DP9's campaign and helping spark this whole thing a huge thanks in particular goes out to Matt Bleichner, a friend and fellow gamer from long ago. Our team wouldn't be here without your setting this all off, man!

As we got more and more excited about the game (the minis will begin shipping in the next month or two, SO excited!) we realized that we needed a table and we needed some kick ass terrain. One of our team had about half a dozen FDM (fused deposited material) 3D printers that he used for prototyping movie prop replicas, and another of our team was already running his own 3D design/prototype and large scale figurine manufacturing company and we figured we could use those resources to design and print off some cool custom terrain.

We started showing our designs and prototypes to friends, family, and people in various online forums and everyone had the same reply: "When is this going to be available for me to buy and use on my own table?" We eventually decided that since we already had the resources and the expertise to create high quality molds and cast resin replicas of this terrain for resale, we really needed to look at the viability of doing this as a full scale project.

Fast forward a few months of research, informal polling, and quizzing people we had access to that are in the miniatures and wargames industries, and we decided we could really do this. We could create this awesome terrain, we could do it better than what we saw as our competition, and we could do it cheaper than anyone. That meant that we could provide better terrain to more gamers and do it affordable enough to open our doors to gamers world wide.

That was our "eureka!" moment.

We worked on some terrain redesigns to make our terrain cheap enough to ship worldwide. We worked on creating terrain that can be customized by cutting away wall sections to create battle damage. We put in removable roof sections with hollow interiors so players can place units inside buildings they are occupying for the best look on a gaming table. We wanted our terrain to be 'generic' enough to flow easily from recent historical settings to modern day to sci-fi genres. We wanted it to be detailed enough to be visually impressive on a table. Perhaps most importantly we wanted it to be affordable enough that a gamer isn't having to feel like they've just thrown away enough money to buy and entirely new army to have a good looking setup on their table.

The biggest problem with all of this is that we needed startup capital to get all this going. We already had the printers, we were already creating the prototypes, but we needed to buy large quantities of quality urethane rubber to create the detailed molds from the prototypes. We needed to buy the urethane plastic to actually cast the terrain for sale. Not to mention all the extras that come along with setting up a large-scale molding and casting process.

That's when we went to Kickstarter. We think there are enough gamers who want great terrain, and we think that you will help us make this project a reality.

We're still putting the final touches on our Kickstarter, but we'll be sure to let everyone know when it goes live!