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"Frontier Miniatures - A New Beginning" Topic


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Frontier Miniatures02 Aug 2020 7:00 p.m. PST

Many have speculated as to the disposition and future, if any, of the Frontier Miniatures line. And with good reason as it has been on quite the roller-coaster ride! Fortunately all the molds, equipment and most importantly legal rights are fully secured and consolidated. There is some loose product but unfortunately a good portion was siphoned off during changes of possession. So what now? While available capital was expended bringing this all about, the next step is reaching out to the community at large for the follow-up: New production and continued operation. What does this mean? Essentially crowdfunding through a Kickstarter campaign for capital to achieve the following…

Refurbish production equipment which, while intact, has been in storage for well over a decade.
Sort and catalog all molds and remaining loose product.
Setup suitable minimal production space for initial start-up.
Start production of at least one and hopefully two lines (likely AWOI and/or ACW).
Build an e-commerce web site and business model that is COMMUNITY DRIVEN.
Based on community feedback bring remaining lines into production.
Expand lines based on community feedback and offer custom production.

To this end Frontier Miniatures needs community support not only financially, but in presenting what will be on offer. And that's where you come in: By sharing YOUR painted Frontier Miniatures for the Kickstarter campaign. Take a photo, email to frontierminis@gmail and include your legal name, how you'd like to be credited on the campaign photo (name, handle, not at all etc.) and be sure to state that you give Frontier Miniatures permission to use your photo for marketing purposes. These photos will be edited into the Kickstarter campaign video and also be presented throughout the description.

One point about the Kickstarter campaign is backer rewards. To offer or not? There are some options here without digging terribly into what's needed to get up and running. As mentioned some loose product was retained, and these old casts could be offered up randomly as rewards with quantity of figures proportional to backer level. Another alternative would be options on new production, special requests or even personalized armies. Obviously the higher the backer level the greater the reward, but share your thoughts on what appeals best for what's actually available.

One question to specifically address is crowdfunding liability and failure to fund. Most at some point by now have backed a Kickstarter or similar that's been a bust. The intent of Frontier Miniatures is to get the lines back into production and grow. But experience and realism figure into the business planning and that's why there's a domain but no website for example. Just the minimum has been invested beyond securing ownership. If the funding campaign is successful but the business fails before launch, then all backers will be refunded proportionately minus expenses or unrecoverables. Basically this means all assets will be sold and whatever that brings plus unused campaign funds will be returned minus initial acquisition costs. There is always risk in any business venture but even more so with crowdfunding.

Please post any questions and they will be addressed as best able and get those photos coming as well as backer reward ideas!

Thank you,

Frontier Miniatures

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2020 7:09 p.m. PST

Great news. Please keep us informed.

If I recall correctly there was a line of 25mm Afghan regulars. If that is the case, I hope they can come back into production soon.

Thanks!

BrianW02 Aug 2020 9:21 p.m. PST

Any idea when the Kickstarter might begin?

Personal logo McKinstry Supporting Member of TMP Fezian02 Aug 2020 9:23 p.m. PST

Frontier 15mm Colonials and Old West were great. Wonderful to see they might be coming back and I will certainly try and help.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2020 9:34 p.m. PST

Ill be sending some pics of 15mm AWI and FPW frontier – excited about seeing them come back

You might consider doing a pre-order for certain lines – when you get enough you refurbish that one

kevin smoot03 Aug 2020 6:08 a.m. PST

Keep us informed! Kickstarter would be good and as suggested, pre orders to maybe help get a few lines jump started

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 6:23 a.m. PST

How much money do you actually need? You might be better off partnering with someone who has infrastructure already in place. I know TVAG was interested in the line.

KevinV03 Aug 2020 6:36 a.m. PST

Aces.
A Kickstarter or partnership sound like great ideas.
I was just lamenting about the War of 1812 range Frontier had. Back in the 80's I had; Pony Wars, 1812, ACW. They were great at that time.
I would be in for a Kickstarter.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 9:01 a.m. PST

I am really only interested in the 25mm colonial era figures.

DestoFante03 Aug 2020 10:27 a.m. PST

15mm colonials has some very unique figures, can't wait to have them back!!

oldjarhead03 Aug 2020 11:04 a.m. PST

Another vote for 15mm colonials

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 11:12 a.m. PST

Never got the colonials – but would be interested in them to round out forces

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 11:40 a.m. PST

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope this works out.

I have a bunch of 15mm AWI units I'd like to expand with matching figures – especially cavalry – so I'll throw some money into a Kickstarter (or Indiegogo, or other pre-order system) if/when it becomes available.

- Ix

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 11:42 a.m. PST

As kindly mentioned by 79thPA, above, I and another Gentleman with his own range of figures might indeed be willing to participate in manufacture, or in a worst case scenario, be interested in acquiring at least parts of the original ranges.

Feel free to contact me via a PM if this has any appeal.

In the meantime, I think it would be safest simply to offer each range as it currently exists for Subscription. When/If enough people pledge to buy what it would cost to produce and fill those orders (a minimum Subscription you set up front), you would then avoid the risks associated with KickStarter.

I have done this many times before and--so far--with success.

In any case, the very best of luck to you, Sir!

TVAG

RudyNelson03 Aug 2020 12:11 p.m. PST

It is good to see that an effort is being made to bring back the availability of this vast range. Best of luck.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 12:28 p.m. PST

I like the subscription idea. May work like the old Eureka method to select what to produce next.

I never got into a kickstarter since I never seemed to want all the figures selected as the reward levels.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 4:39 p.m. PST

Congrats and best wishes! Looking forward to helping even though probably won't buy any.

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 8:23 p.m. PST

Timing is everything, as the saying goes, and after literally a decade's wait, I just sucked it up and customized a unit of Indian pioneers, as I had given up the last vestige of hope that the Frontier version of those figures in 25mm (small by today's 28mm terms but still very nice looking) would become available again in my lifetime! Not sure but I might still be up for getting a unit of the Frontier 25mm version out of a combo of nostalgia and to win a final victory over the forces of the universe that seemed to have conspired against that ever happening! For me those Indian Pioneers and maybe a few other bits and pieces of the 25mm Colonial range would be it. I probably won't sign on to your Kickstarter campaign but I wish you the best of luck with it and hope it's a big success for everyone involved. I might sign on to the subscription approach, IF those Indian pioneers were on offer.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 9:21 p.m. PST

Glad to see you are doing something. I did try contacting you, or whoever owns the domain name more than several times and finally gave up.

I must agree with TVAG – to offer AWOI and/or ACW as your two lines to kick it off probably will not be enough – I know I myself, though once heavily into ACW no longer have an interest in owning any more lead from that time period. I think if you really want to make a go of it you should try to go with something like TVAG suggests – show or list what is available in any existing lines you have left and let people subscribe to that which they are interested in.

Good luck, Frontier was at one time a major player in the industry – and best wishes in your endeavor.

cavcrazy04 Aug 2020 8:59 a.m. PST

At one time I had some beautiful Zulu war figures by Frontier, that being said just before the figures were getting harder to find, I purchased a large lot of their 25mm war of 1812 Americans, and they were terrible. The moulds must have been worn out because the figures were crude and thin, as we're the horses. I expect that you will retool the moulds,and when you do, I will definitely be buying your figures.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 9:34 a.m. PST

Another "like" for TVAG. I think you need to let the consumer know what you have, and then see where the greatest demand is.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 10:15 a.m. PST

Lay out each available line as a separate kickstarter track -

You are going to have to show pictures of what you have in order to garner any interest – as in photos of inventory you have on hand. Other peoples pictures are not gonna cut it for your Kickstarter. People will be curious to see what the lines look like today – ie quality of casts.

Is your kickstarter $ goal a feasible one?

If you are looking to replace spin casting equipment and vulcanizers you are going to need an awful lot of pledges or some big pledgers with deep pockets.

DinOfBattle204 Aug 2020 11:19 a.m. PST

This is great news and I would love to see their 15mm colonial line jump started again! I'll send photos of my figures.

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 5:34 p.m. PST

Good luck!

Always glad to see a competitor jump in because a rising tide floats all boats!

Cheers, Tumbleweed – The Viking Forge

Frontier Miniatures04 Aug 2020 9:18 p.m. PST

Thank you all for the encouragement as well as ideas and questions! And special thanks for those sending photos! Answers to questions below (some omitted due to being covered in another previous question)…

Col Durnford
Great news. Please keep us informed.

If I recall correctly there was a line of 25mm Afghan regulars. If that is the case, I hope they can come back into production soon.

FM: The goal is to return everything to production, focusing on best selling/popular lines initially. Once all pre-existing lines are restored and available then the community will be solicited for ideas regarding new sculpts.

BrianW
Any idea when the Kickstarter might begin?

FM: The target is within the next 90 days if not sooner. Essentially good photos is the only hold as the general consensus was to use finished figs rather than shots of equipment, molds and bins of loose figs.

McKinstry
Frontier 15mm Colonials and Old West were great. Wonderful to see they might be coming back and I will certainly try and help.

FM: Thank you and the greatest help (besides a healthy KS pledge!) would be to share the campaign when it goes live.

DisasterWargamer
I'll be sending some pics of 15mm AWI and FPW frontier – excited about seeing them come back.

You might consider doing a pre-order for certain lines – when you get enough you refurbish that one

FM: The photos so far are great and can't wait for more! The pre-order approach was looked at but once Frontier is initially funded the actual production of any line is simply a matter of getting into the queue. Minimum stock levels are always fluid based on demand but the plan is to to keep delivery times minimal when someone orders.

79thPA
How much money do you actually need? You might be better off partnering with someone who has infrastructure already in place. I know TVAG was interested in the line.

FM: As you can imagine a lot of number crunching went into determining a funding target of $50 USDK. Without excessive detail here, other than initial acquisition everything has been on a volunteer or donation basis. For this to truly be successful there has to be manpower dedicated to startup, no "a little here, a little there" leading to uncertainty. Partnerships/collaborations were initially considered but the trajectory chosen, as well as some intriguing spin-off opportunities, did not fit well. Once established and proven viable Frontier will certainly look to support fellow vendors as it's simply not just good practice but beneficial to the hobby and community at large.

KevinV 03
Aces.
A Kickstarter or partnership sound like great ideas.
I was just lamenting about the War of 1812 range Frontier had. Back in the 80's I had; Pony Wars, 1812, ACW. They were great at that time.
I would be in for a Kickstarter.

FM: The concept of Frontier being a "retro" line has come up and on the wish-list is a goal to solicit the community to send in known older figures for digital scanning to archive and build a sort of mini evolution timeline.

Bashytubits
I am really only interested in the 25mm colonial era figures.

FM: Stay tuned!

Yellow Admiral 03
I wish you the best of luck, and I hope this works out.

I have a bunch of 15mm AWI units I'd like to expand with matching figures – especially cavalry – so I'll throw some money into a Kickstarter (or Indiegogo, or other pre-order system) if/when it becomes available.

- Ix

FM: One answer that will be repeated: Share the word! Once the campaign is submitted and approved the link will be shared here on TMP. There is also a nascent Facebook page for Frontier so feel free to join in there as well. link

The Virtual Armchair General
As kindly mentioned by 79thPA, above, I and another Gentleman with his own range of figures might indeed be willing to participate in manufacture, or in a worst case scenario, be interested in acquiring at least parts of the original ranges.

Feel free to contact me via a PM if this has any appeal.

In the meantime, I think it would be safest simply to offer each range as it currently exists for Subscription. When/If enough people pledge to buy what it would cost to produce and fill those orders (a minimum Subscription you set up front), you would then avoid the risks associated with KickStarter.

I have done this many times before and--so far--with success.

In any case, the very best of luck to you, Sir!

TVAG

FM: Thank you! As mentioned the subscription approach was considered but ultimately an all-or-nothing approach ticked the most boxes. If there isn't enough interest or support to generate significant startup capital then it likely isn't going to be viable as a whole. Then it will be up to others to collect the bones for incorporation into their own efforts.

RudyNelson
It is good to see that an effort is being made to bring back the availability of this vast range. Best of luck.

FM: Thank you! It is indeed vast as evidenced not only by an extreme number of molds but loose figures. And they're almost all in need of sorting!

Shagnasty
Congrats and best wishes! Looking forward to helping even though probably won't buy any.

FM: Thank you! And you are likely the most significant type of campaign supporter, the one who backs a campaign for the better of the community rather than a purchase.

Mad Guru
Timing is everything, as the saying goes, and after literally a decade's wait, I just sucked it up and customized a unit of Indian pioneers, as I had given up the last vestige of hope that the Frontier version of those figures in 25mm (small by today's 28mm terms but still very nice looking) would become available again in my lifetime! Not sure but I might still be up for getting a unit of the Frontier 25mm version out of a combo of nostalgia and to win a final victory over the forces of the universe that seemed to have conspired against that ever happening! For me those Indian Pioneers and maybe a few other bits and pieces of the 25mm Colonial range would be it. I probably won't sign on to your Kickstarter campaign but I wish you the best of luck with it and hope it's a big success for everyone involved. I might sign on to the subscription approach, IF those Indian pioneers were on offer.

FM: Everything will be in production once viable so stay tuned! Even if some molds or masters do come up missing once inventory is sorted then efforts will be made to produce new masters from whatever sculpts can be found to restore any holes in the catalog.

Dadster
Glad to see you are doing something. I did try contacting you, or whoever owns the domain name more than several times and finally gave up.

I must agree with TVAG – to offer AWOI and/or ACW as your two lines to kick it off probably will not be enough – I know I myself, though once heavily into ACW no longer have an interest in owning any more lead from that time period. I think if you really want to make a go of it you should try to go with something like TVAG suggests – show or list what is available in any existing lines you have left and let people subscribe to that which they are interested in.

Good luck, Frontier was at one time a major player in the industry – and best wishes in your endeavor.

FM: Thank you! Unfortunately due to how ownership was secured and some legal wrangling much communication was missed or simply ignored. The idea to initially offer AWOI/ACW isn't set in stone but as arguably the largest/most popular lines seems logical. The agreed timeline is to have product shipping no later than one year from successful crowdfunding. Any estimates from Frontier will be conservative at best while the hope, and expectation really, is to deliver much sooner. The real challenge is simply sorting through the molds and any production issues, so any of the lines have as much chance getting into the queue. The AWOI/ACW have a little head-start in this regard which helped bring them to the fore.

cavcrazy
At one time I had some beautiful Zulu war figures by Frontier, that being said just before the figures were getting harder to find, I purchased a large lot of their 25mm war of 1812 Americans, and they were terrible. The moulds must have been worn out because the figures were crude and thin, as we're the horses. I expect that you will retool the moulds,and when you do, I will definitely be buying your figures.

FM: There are some issues with the later production batches and the causes are fully understood. The level of quality control that's coming with this effort is quite simply tip-top.

79thPA
Another "like" for TVAG. I think you need to let the consumer know what you have, and then see where the greatest demand is.

FM: This approach, or something like it, may be incorporated into the campaign. The challenge is do you alienate a potential backer because they might not get their favorite line in a pledge vote? Hopefully most will realize that whatever they want from Frontier as a whole will be available in reasonably short order once the ball drops.

Dadster
Lay out each available line as a separate kickstarter track -

You are going to have to show pictures of what you have in order to garner any interest – as in photos of inventory you have on hand. Other peoples pictures are not gonna cut it for your Kickstarter. People will be curious to see what the lines look like today – ie quality of casts.

Is your kickstarter $ goal a feasible one?

If you are looking to replace spin casting equipment and vulcanizers you are going to need an awful lot of pledges or some big pledgers with deep pockets.

FM: As mentioned above the funding goal is $50 USDK and was the best middle ground for the best chance of operational success. The initial campaign plan was to show photos of the equipment, molds and a random selection of existing stock. All very grey. There's a reason all the big boys show finished figs: It sells. And the casting quality is all over the place as it's all old production. The quality of the casts can't improve until Frontier is funded and able to cleanup and restore the molds and masters. A bit of a catch 22. Perhaps a hybrid approach is in order, certainly these are early days and the community is speaking. As for the equipment all is intact and in need of only basic refurbishment, so (hopefully!) not too much of a fiscal hole there. But enough capital needs to be secured to ensure there is no interruption of the momentum required to deliver upon a successful campaign. Experience has proven too many pare back and ask for too little leading to additional rounds of funding, loss of confidence and ultimately failure.

DinOfBattle2
This is great news and I would love to see their 15mm colonial line jump started again! I'll send photos of my figures.

FM: Thank you! It's a real treat seeing all the photos coming in!

Tumbleweed
Good luck!

Always glad to see a competitor jump in because a rising tide floats all boats!

Cheers, Tumbleweed – The Viking Forge

FM: Exactly and couldn't agree more!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 6:52 a.m. PST

FM, thank you for the detailed response. Good luck to you.

Double G Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 12:44 p.m. PST

I own hundreds of the 25mm ACW figures, they blend well with my 20mm ACW figures, "old school 25mm" for sure.

I have been asking on this forum and elsewhere for 25mm Franco Prussian War Frontier figures, I have a large 20mm Franco Prussian War collection and again, they would work well with those figures.

I was lucky enough to get ahold of some French and Bavarian Infantry on Ebay, they blend well with my 20mm figures.

Let me know what I can do to assist you with this, great news as I've tried numerous times to get ahold of the former owner of the molds out of Florida, a real shame they just sat for years without being in production, I have found there are many fans out there of the figures………………GREAT NEWS, thanks for your efforts Frontier Miniatures……….

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2020 7:33 p.m. PST

Anything happening with the rebirth of Frontier?

Aspern1809 Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Aug 2020 4:04 a.m. PST

I'd like to see Frontier in production again! I lived in Tampa when Modeller's Mart cast the range and always enjoyed buying the figs freshly cast! I have 15mm AWI and ACW and some 25mm ACW. I know their 25mm Colonial range sold very well. I would personally buy figs from all these ranges as well as 25mm Mex/AMR and 25mm Franco-Prussian.

I think $50 USDK is an ambitious goal for these older figures. I'd suggest making a go of it on a shoestring budget or selling the molds to an existing company. The reality is that the figures were once top of the line compared to Minifig and other older manufacturer's, but No longer compete with new ranges like Perry, Victirx, etc. The core market Audience would be the nostalgic gamer which is quite limited. Just my thoughts.

ACW Gamer Supporting Member of TMP19 Aug 2020 6:09 a.m. PST

Apern1809, there is nothing better than freshly cast figs!

My company is going to install a Krispy Kreme style sign that says "HOT FIGS" so you know when to stop in.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse19 Aug 2020 6:46 a.m. PST

Aspen makes a good point.
Us old time "true 25mm" Colonial gamers are a dying breed. There used to be a half dozen ranges we could go to. Now, Ral Partha are priced and sold as if they were rare collectibles. Mini figs were never that great. Iron Brigade are in limbo somewhere (probably a landfill in the Midwest).
And so it goes. We can say that Foundry are sort of compatible…
But all the new ranges are "heroic 28mm" or larger.
I wish Frontier good fortune in sales to come. I'll probably buy the Indian Pioneers, and possibly a bunch of Pathans. Just to fill out what I have.
But there aren't as many of us "true 25mm" collectors around as there used to be, when it was the only game in town.

rcdemel19 Aug 2020 1:08 p.m. PST

I also remember buying the original Frontier line from Modelers Mart. In fact, I believe I may still have one of their old catalogs lying around somewhere.
There are numerous figures on the market right now in many ranges, but the Frontier figures can still compete if they are made available again at a good price point.I still have a rather large FPW Prussian army and would certainly be interested in adding to it plus acquiring the related French and Austrian lines. I had a few of the Crimean War figures also and they were very nice. I never did get any of the Mexican-American War figures, but the pictures I saw of them were good. These are all periods that are not overly saturated
by other manufacturers plus all of the Frontier figures are compatible size-wise. Just some more food for thought.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse19 Aug 2020 1:52 p.m. PST

Having said what I said above, I should also say that Frontier ranges were as complete as one could reasonably expect.
If reasonably priced, you won't have to ask if a new range is compatible. They won't be.

Tricorne197122 Sep 2020 8:34 p.m. PST

I have hundreds of Frontier (initially Pass of the North). I think I have st least one of each of the 25mm figures.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2020 7:57 a.m. PST

Just a short point, if you do go through a Kickstarter campaign, any funds raised will be subject to Federal and potentially State Income Tax. Don't forget State Sales Tax and potentially other State Sales Tax depending upon you customers location. Consult your CPA if you haven't already done so.

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP23 Sep 2020 11:24 a.m. PST

Is there a catalog listing what they carried, because I don't remember.

jeeves28 Sep 2020 7:31 a.m. PST

Literally just now discovered Frontier Miniatures. I'd back a kickstarter or anything else. I'm very interested in the 15mm Boxer Rebellion line.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2020 9:41 a.m. PST

So, what is the latest with Frontier? Any rumblings of the Phoenix being reborn from the ashes yet?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse21 Oct 2020 9:46 a.m. PST

Ten years ago, I would be holding my breath for news.
Now, not so much.

wmyers22 Oct 2020 9:04 p.m. PST

Is there even a website?

Marcus Brutus23 Oct 2020 6:45 a.m. PST

I am skeptical that a Kickstarter campaign is the way to go. I personally like the proposal above of subscription with the range slowly returned as needed. That seems more manageable to me as well.

Dadster Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2020 8:36 a.m. PST

It is a bit of a mystery……I agree with you though – will be hard generating a decent amount of gelt via Kickstarter with reintroducting an older, smaller less detailed line than what 'the kids' like today

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