EXPOSED: The Game Behind The Scenes – Plastic Production

Hello all and welcome to another EXPOSED: The Game Behind the Scenes. In the last blog post about production, we discussed the pre-production phase and the time that is needed by the factory to send quotes and make the first preparations for a game. Today we are going to be discussing the production of the miniatures. 

Mold preparation

The first thing that is being created is always the molds. In order to do that, the factory needs the final files of the minis in digital format. Back in the day, this wasn’t the case. We had to take the miniature prototype from the sculptor, protect it REALLY well and send it to the factory. Then they would take this actual mini and create the mold out of it. As you can imagine this created several problems, as if the mini was broken or arrived in a non-perfect state, this was reflected in the creation of the mold. 

Today this is changed, as we send the 3d images of the sculpts and molds are created based on them. The miniatures start to be produced very soon in terms of molds. The factory first processes the files and does 3D prints of all the minis. They send us images of these first minis for validation. This allows us to make any modifications that need to be done in the minis in order to make sure that they have the level of detail we want them. The same process is repeated with a second run of the minis, where we need to make sure that all modifications we proposed were done. So the molds will now be printed based on those last validated images. Then we decide on the mold layout. This means how the miniatures will be separated in molds. Here we decide for example that the KS Exclusive minis need to be together so that we can print retail components without problems. Or we say which parts need to be printed with PVC plastic and which with hard plastic so that the miniatures are all sturdy. 

Plastic printing

This process above concludes the validation and preparation of the molds, which means that now we are ready to start producing the miniatures. However, the miniatures are not the only “plastic” component that our games usually have. This same process is followed for any deluxified component that is in a form of plastic token. Then, after all the plastic is validated, the factory will start preparing the trays. Again a similar process is followed for the trays. As you can understand however the preparation for the trays can only start after the minis have been made. After the tray is validated, the factory sends images of the minis in the trays, so that we observe how they fit and if any modifications need to be made at the trays. The last thing to be created and validated is the tuckbox, the brown carton box that we send the trays of minis in. After this is produced and validated, the mass plastic production is ready to begin!

The next part of the production is the paper production. This follows a similar pattern as the plastic one, but it is something we will discuss in the next blog post!

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