What The?! Miniatures to Sell First Custom Figs

What The?! Miniatures is the miniatures company formed by Brian and Amy Cottrell who are best known for the Protocon 9 Best Minis Game Winner Battleground Weird War II. The game takes place in World War II and includes a twist with superheroes, villains, and monsters like King Kong. It is a great independent game that deserves a lot of success. Wanting to increase the pool of available Weird War minis, the Cottrells formed What The?! Miniatures as an outlet to create and sell their own minis that fit perfectly with BG WW2.

We first covered the game when Amy crafted the Battleground World War II – Wargaming in a World Gone Mad article, which is also our Highest Rated Article by all you readers. Now the weird gaming continues with two brand new figs. The models are German Fliegerfaust. If you never heard of that before you have a lot of company. Until I read up on them I hadn’t a clue what they were. Thankfully, Brian has shared that information in a post titled New Minis on his website. Basically, they are shoulder-fired anti-air rocket launchers.

Photos (Click to Enlarge)

You can see the progression of the model below. The first two pics are right and left views of the finished green (sculpted but not cast) model. The last one is the finished model after being casted in metal. This figure is walking with his Fliegerfaust to the perfect location to shoot down Allied planes.

BG Weird War 2 German Fliegerfaust 1BG Weird War 2 German Fliegerfaust 1 (Pic 2)BG Weird War 2 German Fliegerfaust 1 (Completed)

Again the first two pics are right and left views of the finished green model before it was sculpted. The last one shows the finished model after it was sculpted. It has the Fliegerfaust on its shoulder waiting for the right shot.

BG Weird War 2 German Fliegerfaust 2BG Weird War 2 German Fliegerfaust 2 (Pic 2)BG Weird War 2 German Fliegerfaust 2 (Completed)

How to Buy

Both models are in 28mm scale but the rest of the models What The?! Miniatures will have for BG WW2 will be 34mm scale. These models look real nice and only cost $3.50 + actual shipping. That’s not a bad price at all and you can save a lot with a low cost shipping option. Or, if you need the figs now you can choose a more expensive overnight shipping method. You can only pay with Paypal for now and please e-mail amylopan [at] gmail [dot] com to place your order.

Reaction

That said I have some concerns about these models and the road What The?! Miniatures has chosen. The figs look good and I like the idea of having one pose of a guy walking with the weapon. Movement is good and shows action. Action makes people want to buy the fig so that is a plus. Also, in terms of fluff the soldier needs to get to a location to use the weapon. What I don’t like is the shoulder-fired pose. I love having a shoulder-fired one but I think the rocket launcher needs to be aimed higher in the air. It looks like it is posed to take out a tank but a plane. Fliegerfaust are anti-air weapons. Therefore they need to be aimed at the sky where aircraft are. You don’t see planes bombing or strafing while on the ground. They do that from the air.

Brian promised to create rules for the Fliegerfaust and make them available before the figures go on sale. He still has time because the Fliegerfaust were leaked on TMP and also on here. But, What The?! Miniatures isn’t officially open for business just yet. Perhaps in the rules there will be options or a chart for using the Fliegerfaust against tanks. It makes sense on one level that rocket launchers can take out planes but also how devastating they are against tanks and other vehicles. If those rules exist that will mollify me a bit. Even if such a rule comes into existence I maintain that an anti-air model should be pointed into the air. Not directly forward.

There is some good news here that leads into a concern I have. Future models will be sculpted and cast in 34mm scale. The Fliegerfaust will be re-sculpted and casted in that new scale too. Don’t let that dissuade you from getting the 28mm versions, they’re quite nice and can work with a ton of 28mm games, and perhaps they’ll re-sculpt one of the soldiers with his rocket launcher pointed in the air.

My concern with this change in scale is that most games I’ve seen are 28mm and they enjoy a lot of success. I’ve read that a lot of WW2 and Weird War figs from other companies are in 28mm scale or something close to that. By switching to 34mm scale I’m afraid that long time gamers won’t buy the new figs because they won’t fit into their existing collection. I’m also concerned that other companies will be alienated because gamers will either need to use other companies’ stuff or product from What The?! Miniatures.

I understand why the Cottrells made the decision to switch and I am sure it was a difficult one. The main reason for the change was that 38mm models will fit in better with 1/48 and 1/50 scale vehicles, which most gamers use. A road to success for the Cottrells is to fill a niche with high quality, desirable, and useful product. I think 38mm will be that niche and the Fliegerfaust are certainly desirable, high quality, and useful. They went all out and are now getting the Fliegerfaust professionally painted. When those photos are available we’ll share them here for all of you to see.

Bottom Line

Overall I give these figs 4.5 out of 5 stars and 2 thumbs up. You can order the figures by e-mailing amylopan [at] gmail [dot] com or going to the official Battleground Weird War II website for more information. Until the What The?! Miniatures website goes live Paypal will be the only accepted payment method. Remember that $3.50 + actual shipping is all it takes for you to get these incredible models. Way to go Amy and Brian! These figs are excellent.

5 Comments on “What The?! Miniatures to Sell First Custom Figs”

  1. amylopan

    Thanks a lot for the early review! We have amended the name of the weapon, however. The Fliegerfaust is the aircraft version of the weapon, whereas the Luftfaust is the infantry based weapon. We have some painted examples of the minis here (http://battlegroundweirdwarii.com/forum/index.php?topic=207.0) done by the talented Jim Bailey.

    The new scale will be in 34mm and we actual have just cast our first two in that scale and will have painted pics of them up within the week. The two minis are of a Luftfaust gunner and German NCO with a C96 Mauser. The larger scale will cost $4.50. We have several projects being worked on right now so as soon as we let them loose we will let CWF know.

    The rules for the Luftfaust for use in your games of BGWWII are here (http://battlegroundweirdwarii.com/rules.html) so check ’em out.

    We are constructing a e-commerce site right now so we should have an official What The?! Miniatures site soon.

    Thanks for the review and hope we see you on the weird side of WWII,
    The Cottrells

  2. ^Raven^

    Thanks for the update. I know that the review was less than stellar but please know that the constructive criticism was born out of a desire to see you succeed with the line of miniatures.

    The change of the name of the weapon actually helps a lot and I will be the first to say as much. By making the weapon the land counterpart of the Fliegerfaust the posing on the models is much better.

    The sculpts are near perfect for a land based rocket launcher to kill other land targets.

    I wish I could bump the score to 5 stars but I’m still worried about the change in scale and think it’ll negatively impact the viability of these two models.

    Is there an inventory of how many Luftfaust you have in stock at the 28mm scale? And, are the 28mm scale figures still $3.50 plus s&h?

    I have to say that even $4.50 for the 34mm scale isn’t bad and if you bumped the prize for the 28mm to $4.50 that’s not bad.

    Perhaps a promotion of buy x figures and get free shipping would help. It could also help to clear out your stock of 28mm figures.

    One of the things I love about your husband and you is your communication with other gamers. That personal touch is great PR and also one of the strongest aspects of your business.

    I can’t wait to see the 34mm Luftfaust and all the other models you make. Please don’t hesitate to give me sneak peeks and I’ll talk them up here.

    You guys rock!

  3. amylopan

    We intend to sell the 28mm minis as a permanent item in our catalog. We also intend to shadow any popular 34mm sellers in 28mm so the 25mm-28mm won’t get left out on the popular stuff.

    All 28mm minis will be $3.50 and the 34mm will be 4.50.

    We have several projects percolating right now so we should have some interesting stuff to offer later in the year.

    We will be sure to keep CWF in the loop.

    Thanks again,
    Brian and Amy

  4. ^Raven^

    When I read the posts on the BG Weird War 2 Forum (please visit http://battlegroundweirdwarii.com/forum/) it seemed that once the switch to 34mm was made there would be no 28mm models.

    I’m glad to learn that is not the case. Keeping both scales will, I believe, do nothing but help you in the long run.

    I understand the reason for switching to 34mm. Yet, there is an allure to using 28mm. I love 25mm scale for models and 28mm is close enough to fit in. That enables me to get into BG Weird War 2 with models I already own. I’m sure others who wish to try the game are in the same predicament.

    This also helps those with extensive collections. I believe people will be more likely to add on to their existing collections by purchasing your models.

    I am now pleased to say that I am officially updating the review to show the new rating. There will be an update piece on this and I’ll be discussing this in this week’s podcast.

    The comment feature is a great way to engage in this kind of discourse. Without it I wouldn’t have known the information you shared as soon as I have.

    As always it is a pleasure to discuss gaming and help other gamers. To all visitors I highly recommend playing BG Weird War 2 and purchasing the Luftfaust models produced by What The?! Miniatures.

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