Kickstart My Heart – Battle Systems Modular Terrain Part II – Interview

kickstarterBS102Yesterday I published an introduction to the Battle Systems Modular Terrain, but as ever with Corehammer, we wanted to dig a little bit deeper and know a bit more about the people behind it. What drives them to what they do, how did they stumble into this hobby, and how did they go about turning a hobby into a business? They kindly obliged us.

What were your inspirations to form Battle Systems?
Wayne: I grew up reading 2000AD and me and Colin would spend hours drawing Judge Dredd and the ABC Warriors instead of doing our schoolwork. We weren’t kids either; we were in the Sixth form! I wanted to work for 2000AD and Colin wanted to work for White Dwarf. Most of my early influences were eighties sci-fi films such as Aliens and Blade Runner and weird stuff like Terry Gilliam. I also read a lot of Philip K Dick. Later on I got into video games such as Fallout 3 which influenced the dieselpunk look to my current style.
Colin: I liked action figures, but not the large ones like He-Man, more so the smaller ones like Mask. Why, ‘cos the environments could be bigger and you could have bigger battles. I discovered the Rogue Trader GW rulebook and the rest is history. The miniatures are great, but I was never happy with the scenery, so started making my own… Twentyish years later… Battle Systems was born.

Crew Quarters

Dudes just wanted to sleep. Is nothing sacred anymore?

How did you start Battle Systems, is it a full time or part time enterprise, and if the former how did it grow to become that? How many people are involved?
Wayne: It was Colin’s thing; he developed it himself but needed help with the web side. Over two years I got more and more involved designing the sites and writing the blogs. Technically, i’m a design consultant that never went home! It’s just us two and currently we do it in our spare time but would like to be able to afford to go full time.
Colin: Wayne pretty much nails that question; it’s a passion turn business. We ran it for 18 months as a sole trader, then decided to do it all properly and now we are Battle Systems Ltd … Dum, dum dummmmm.

The Kickstarter seems to have really taken off, what were your hopes and dreams before it started and what does it’s level of success mean for you now?
Wayne: We were unsure how it’d go down, we knew we had something good but there’s no real way of knowing what will take off until you just try it. We were quietly confident but bricking it. The level of success is yet to be proven, at the moment it’s just numbers on a website.
Colin: It’s definitely a number on a website and it’s all still go, go, go as I’m writing this. However it’s clear that guys and girls are really enthralled and I’m just personally glad of the recognition. Soon it’s going to be time to deliver and I want to wow again.

Obviously you have your hands full with your sci-fi terrain right now, but do you have anything planned for after this?
Wayne: We have a nice dungeon range lined up, feudal Japan, Wild West, modern, WWII and lots more sci-fi. We might dabble in 15mm but 28mm’s our love. We want to branch out into gaming as well but we’ll have to see.
Colin: Note to kill Wayne for giving away secrets.


Some dungeoneering prototypes on a Mantic tile. Might have more chance sleeping inside there.

Being based in Birmingham, the home of heavy metal, does this reflect your own musical tastes? What music have you been listening to while designing this?
Wayne: LOL. We’re both from Kent and though i’m sporting long hair and stubble i’m not known for rocking out. The heaviest music I got into was White Zombie.
Colin: I’ve been playing guitar for years, since I was 15 years old. I like the blues and was even in a country rock Band in B’Ham for about five years. I had a home studio and used to teach guitar for about two years, but Battle Systems dominates all time now. Wayne also plays a little guitar and ukulele.

Is there anything else you’d like to say or anyone else you’d like to mention?
Wayne: Without gushing like an Academy Award winner i’d just like to say that our backers have been very supportive and have spread the word which is the most important thing for a fledgling business. If you’re thinking of starting up something yourself do your market research even if it’s just a blog and a Facebook page. You’ll soon find out if you’re onto something real or just blowing smoke up your own arse.
Colin: So many try to make a business out of a hobby and crash and burn. I want to approach this with a business mind and really give what is wanted. There is a real need for affordable terrain and we want to give it. Sounds like an advert, but it’s completely my honest thoughts. Terrain is as much your game as the miniatures you spend all that time painting.

Thanks to Battle Systems for indulging us, especially at such a busy time for themselves. You can check out the Kickstarter they are running, and their website for their other projects below.

Battle Systems Website

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About OC

As well as being a veteran edgeman, part of Atonement Records and bass player in bands such as Ironclad, Ark of the Covenant and Natural Order, OC has an unfortunate penchant for collecting plastic models that come in shiny boxes, such as Warhammer models and Lego, and an even more unfortunate tendency for procrastination, meaning much of their contents never see the light of day.