I wanted to share some ideas of what my plans are for the next year. Hearing what you all think about it will help me decide on what specific directions I will go with this next large project.
First of all, I'm currently working on a door and window mold. This will be a medieval style for the half timber houses, inns and so forth. I have about 90% of the mold planned and I'm currently making the windows right now. These windows will be used on my next project which is a 2-story water mill. I'm planning it so that if you don't want to mess with the water, simply leave off the water wheel and you'll have a 2-story house.
I doubt that I will have this mold ready before Christmas though. My plan is to make a test mold of these windows and build the water mill. Then, once I realize what pieces I really needed on the mold, I'll build the water mill a second time and include those unforeseen pieces.
Anyway, on with the plan for next year.
As you may have seen, I have added the brick panel mold to the web site and shopping cart. It was kind of an experiment to see what would happen if I tried to make smaller bricks. One of the main concerns was that the panels did not interlock. I specifically chose for them not to interlock to make building with them easier, and instead find simple ways to hide or disguise the seams.
While playing with this idea, I did discover one interesting thing about the brick pattern. If you look up close, you can see the seams between panels pretty clearly. However, when you back up and look at the whole model, you don't really see the seams at all. That's because from farther away, the brick pattern meshes together and the other main elements such as the building outline, timbers and so forth draw your attention. Because of this basic principle, I feel comfortable with making blocks and panels that do not interlock and are easier to build with.
My next step will be to make regular building blocks to see if the brick pattern can be successfully cast on its side. If so, then a whole new world of brick patterns will open up. One additional note, the brick size is 1/4" long x 1/8" tall. I will probably not be making bricks any smaller than that. I know that this is not "scale size" compared to a 25mm figure, but I believe that this size looks better on a building. It's large enough that you can see it's actually "brick" and is also easy to divide into 1/4" increments for ease of building.
If my tests work out, I plan to release a series of molds that use this brick pattern. I will probably be working on all of these molds at the same time to be sure that the style of pieces from different molds can be all used together. All of these ideas are not set in concrete, and will be subject to change as new ideas happen while working on them.
I hope to have a set of at least six molds that will be released at one time, so that people can get the full set along with the discount. This set of molds will be used to make Steam Punk style dungeons and sewers. These molds might include:
1) Basic brick mold - This mold will have regular 1" x 1/2" x 1/2" building blocks with a brick texture, along with basic arches for windows. These arches will be a low arch, similar to what you see on old brick buildings and factories. This will be the basic molds for Steam Punk dungeons, modern factories and sewers.
2) Ruined brick mold - This mold will have basic pieces of 1" x 1/2" but will only be 1/4" thick. Ruined pieces will also interlock like on mold #75 (ruined fieldstone) so that two ruined pieces will make a full piece. These can be placed on top of regular 1/2" wide blocks (you would need two of them because they are only 1/4" thick). You can also use these to make complete 1/4" thick wall. A project I am planning for this mold is to make walls for a "Zombicide" board, where you set the walls directly down onto their printed game board.
3) Modern window and door mold - This mold would have windows and doors for brick buildings from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. They would be basic square-based pane windows for brick factories or city apartment buildings.
4) Brick sewer mold - This would be used to make the curved troughs that go through the sewers along with half circle arches. Just think old New York sewers like you would see on the first Hell Boy movie or the second Ghostbusters movie.
5) Steel girder mold - This mold would be similar to mold #274 but an older style and not so clean. There would be curved steel arches to frame doorways, similar to what you might see in an old submarine or ship. These could be used as buttresses to go along the sides of a brick sewer or factory for wall supports.
6) Old machinery builder mold - This mold would be similar to molds #326 and #327 but in an older style. Elements would include big old electric motors, furnace, flue pipes, gas pipes, gears, belt drives, chains and other pre WW2 types of machinery.
7) Steel plates and doors - Not sure here but I do think there is a need for steel plates and doors. It might tie into the mold above but be a mold that is not cast as often.
All of this is going to take a long time and there are no guarantees on how things will work out. If things go well, I would like to have all of these molds available by Gencon 2017 along with building plans and projects for each of these molds. Maybe they could be released in a special box set or something, but also be sold indiviually like always.
Anyway, that's the plan. Feel free to share any thoughts on the idea or let me know if there are special items or pieces these molds should have.