I hope you are all doing well and survived huge amounts of spiced ham and truckloads of cookies. While you are eating the remaining Christmas cookies I suggest a read of this first installment of a new interview category on my blog. The idea is to introduce a company I like and also include a short, fun interview with the goal to establish a more personal connection between my readership and the ‘face’ behind a company. I aim on featuring an interview once a month. Today we look at Westfalia Miniatures successful Halfling Kickstarter and put Kawe Weissi-Zadeh to the question.
When we think of Halflings or Hobbits we often imagine some rather chubby, complacent fellows, who like nothing better than a third breakfast and dozing in an armchair. However, 43-year-old Kawe of Westfalia Miniatures felt differently and wanted to add some punch to existing Halfling ranges.
After successful funding and delivery of three Kickstarters Westfalia Miniatures now successfully completed their fourth one raising £34,399. The campaign started on the 14th of December 2015 and ended on the 28th of December (for updates and news check the Kickstarter page and Westfalias Homepage). Some choice add-ons and exclusive miniatures have been revealed.
Former Kickstarters focused on Wasteland Survivors, a Steampunk Menagerie and Napoleonic Persians. According to Kickstarter and forum comments the community is very pleased with the quality of the miniatures and timely completion of the Kickstarters. All campaigns so far were comparatively small-scale operations with realistic stretch goals and delivery times. It is also noteworthy that Kawe presents renders and greens of his miniatures before the campaign starts, so you will not buy a pig in the poke and can decide for yourself if you like the style.
But what exactly will backers get in 2016? In short: A comprehensive line of 28mm heroic scale Halflings that do not conform to traditional ideas, but rather depict a competent Halfling militia. The style reminds me of old Games Workshop sculpts, but with better proportions and much finer detailing.
My personal favourites are the goat knights. They are a wonderful idea and I could also see that these will work very well for conversions, say if you want a Goblin goat rider.
Naturally there are further stretch goals that feature humans, Goblins and Ogres, all made available to backers through the successful campaign.
We know what the campaign was all about and saw some pictures, but let us ask Kawe a few questions:
D&B: Tell me a bit about your wargaming career. When did it all start?
Kawe: That’s an almost philosophical question isn’t it? I think it started with a box of yellow slouchy Airfix Highlanders that some relative bought for me when I was a kid. Pew Pew! The first ‘real’ wargame to me was a game of Warhammer 2.0.
D&B: Can you tell my readers a fun fact about yourself?
Kawe: I am a bit of a trick spitter and can hit pretty much anything that’s in range.
D&B: Why did you create Westfalia Miniatures?
Kawe: Sometimes you just have an idea for a particular miniature that you just can’t find anywhere. So you have it made. And then another one. And another one.
D&B: What is the design philosophy behind your miniatures?
Kawe: I want to make miniatures that have a certain air of quality and character about them. I never cut corners and I (much to often) go the extra mile or two in order to get things right.
D&B: What is your vision for Westfalia Miniatures?
Kawe: Westfalia is now in its 4th year and the whole show is slowly changing from pure hobby to a bit of a business. Any money made goes straight back into new projects. Crowdfunding has helped a lot with that.
D&B: What is your personal connection to Fantasy as a genre and Halflings in particular?
Kawe: I bought a copy of the Red D&D box and several ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books when I was 11 or 12. I’ve loved Halflings ever since my mum read the Hobbit to me when I was a really small child. My first Citadel miniatures were a set of pre-slotta Halflings with pitchforks.
D&B: What inspired you to create a new range of Halfmen?
Kawe: It seems like most people have settled on the idea of limiting Halflings to being soft and whiny little people. I’ve always thought they were capable of more. Plus, they’re often dressed in Victorian garb, even though they live in a medieval Fantasy world. I figured it was time for a more complete range of Halflings; ones who are ready to get down to business.
D&B: What is or was the most challenging thing you encountered on your journey as a miniature entrepreneur?
Kawe: Working with sculptors. Plus, dealing with people from European micro countries that are convinced that I speak their language.
D&B: And in turn: What was the best experience?
Kawe: Working with sculptors. Plus, getting feedback from customers who are excited about this stuff as I am.
D&B: What do you have in store for your customers in the next 12 months after the Kickstarter is finished?
Kawe: I have another smaller fantasy Kickstarter that I am already organizing in the background, and an actual game set in a fantasy world that I am planning to release, with miniatures, later in 2016. That, and more Napoleonics obviously.
D&B: If you could make one miniature, no matter the size or resources required, what would it be?
Kawe: That’s the fun bit about having a miniatures company, I’m making my top picks regularly. That said, right now I would like to have a suitable dwarf artillery advisor.
I would like to thank Kawe for his time and I hope that this short article and interview was of interest to my readers. I wish you all a very pleasant week and hope you had agreat start into 2016.
All pictures featured in this article including the featured image are used with kind permission of Westfalia Miniatures under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.