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  • Ebbles Miniatures the new future of wargames

    Posted on June 18th, 2005 Highland_Piper No comments

    With growing prices and inflated egos of large gaming industries wouldnt it be nice to get some quality merchandise for a good price? I mean come on, not many of us can really afford to lay down $150.00+ o­n support vehicles these days. With the multitude of new gamers sticking with card games or cheaply made figures that o­nly come in random boxes, forcing you to purchase hundreds of figures just to get o­ne type of army set up, you would think that the prices of miniatures and the model vehicles would fall right?


    So what to do?

    Have you ever thought of paper models?

    Now don’t scoff at the notion of it. Have you ever seen Ebbles Miniatures?

    That’s right, Ebbles Miniatures. They have a line of Mechs, Battle Suits, Vehicles, and Sci-Fi scenery that is PERFECT for wargaming.

    I personally own several and will testify to the sturdy natures of these models.

    For the cost of $2.99 per color or $9.56 for all 8 color schemes, this PzKpfR-62 Ausf G Wiking Battlesuit can be yours. Just think of it, you could field hundreds of them! The o­nly thing you would need to do is pick up some 110lbs card stock and some glue. But would an army of just these be enough? If not then maybe some fast attack vehicles are required. The M7 Fast Attack Vehicle is just the thing to have for additional support. Also available for the same price and in these 8 color schemes

    You can see the Battle Suit to the Right in color #7 Factory Grey.

    I’m a personal fan of the Type 18 myself and have put several of these bad boys together!

    Tanks, APC, Mechs are also available for download. These models all come in Adobe portable document files and if you are clever and have photo editing software you make them two or three times the size as others have done in the past (granted it is a lot of work).

    But vehicles and robots is not all that Ebbles Miniatures has to offer. They have a huge section of terrain. Can you say city fight?

    I’m sure most of you can just imagine the battles that could rage through these streets. Light weight, easy to travle with. How could you possibly go wrong? This is not all, they offer Multi level extensions or cat walks, and several different objective rooms!

    One of my personal favorites for scenery is the Firebase. I can not figure out if I want the challenge of attacking the firebase or defending it? Price is right $9.99

    Now I go o­n to the next generation of Ebbles Miniature models and scenery. The UCM3. This next description is right from Ebbles Miniatures web site o­n the UCM3

    What is it?
    In a nutshell, UCM is a new file format for cardstock models which allows the customer to change the colors of UCM-formatted cardstock models in a simple point and click interface. UCM stands for “User Customizable Model”.

    UCM3 is the newest fork in the User Customizable Model development path. The original UCM format was ideal for low-pagecount models with complex color schemes, while UCM3 is designed to handle much larger models such as scenery sets and accessory packs. UCM3 models also have a maximum of 255 user editable color regions, where the original had o­nly 8. UCM3 models also use less memory and load from disk more quickly.

    UCMViewer 3 is a lightweight, freeware viewer and color editor for UCM3-formatted models. It currently runs under Windows 98SE/ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP Home/Professional Editions.

    Hey don’t take his word for it. Go download the UCM3 Viewer and check it out!

    I asked the owner of Ebbles Miniatures a few simple questions for this article

    1. What started you in designing paper miniatures?

    I’ve been doing that since I was a kid. When I was around 5 or 6 years old, I built a really stupid looking, life-sized robot out of wrapping paper tubes and various sizes of cardboard boxes.

    I’ve also made Halloween costumes out of cardboard, cardstock, and other things twice. o­ne of them was a transforming Optimus Prime costume, and the o­nly part of it I didn’t build was the head, since I already had o­ne of those cheesy plastic Halloween masks from a vinyl-like Optimus Prime kiddie costume. To transform, all I had to do was rotate the chest box and each leg 180 degrees, and then sit down backwards with my head and arms tucked into the chest box. Looked just like a cardboard truck, and it was a hit at school. Of course, it was so clunky I could barely move around in it…

    I also turned my parents’ basement into some sort of spy hideout, when I was 11 or so, by converting a bunch of appliance boxes into life-sized computer banks and vehicles. Nothing fancy, it was mostly cut-to-fit with box cutters and tape, and detailed with black Magic Marker and spray paint. But it was a lot of fun.

    After that, I scaled down to building scenery and accessories for action figures…then scratchbuilding gaming scenery from paper and cardstock in the late 1990s. It wasn’t until early 2003 that I decided to make a go of it commercially o­n RPGNow, just to see if there was a market for downloadable 3D models.

    2. What direction is Ebbles Miniatures headded?

    Well, there are a lot of things that I haven’t tried yet. I’d like to diversify a little and experiment with other ideas and concepts that could be represented well in cardstock. So, over the next few years, I think I’m going to be expanding the product line into new directions and taking a chance o­n things that would be too risky for a conventional publisher to undertake.

    3. What is your favorite model you have designed so far?

    It’s a toss-up…I’m partial to the MQ-3A Murphy because it was my first commercial model, but I’m also partial to the Wiking battlesuit. If there’s anything that illustrates your capabilities as a model designer, I think a 40mm tall battlesuit does a fine job of it. I call things like the battlesuit “because I can” projects, since their actual gaming utility is just a little o­n the impractical side, but the novelty factor has made it o­ne of my most popular models to date.

    I have to agree with him! I have made several battlesuits and I’m working o­n a custom of it that is 200% the original size with custom weaponry taken from some of the other Ebbles Miniatures.

    If you have any fears about “paper” then stop it right now! They are designed to be sturdy. I even let my 3 year old daughter and my 8 year old son play with them. Nothing wrong with them yet (the 7 month old and 2 year old is another story).

    And if you are still worried you can support the inside with strips of cardstock, craft sticks, or foam core.

    The last thing I really need to stress is the customer service. It is WONDERFUL, rarely do I see such thoughtful, kind, helping, and attention in an internet store.

    I recommend Ebbles Miniatures to everyone that reads this article.

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