It’s a great time to be a wargamer. As Bolt Action players we have several different manufacturers to choose from when we’re looking for our tanks. Warlord has come into its own recently with better casting, Rubicon is picking up the pace in their offering, and places like Blitzkrieg Miniatures are selling through local distributors now. What about the “Little Guys” though? Followers of the Bolt Action Alliance should be more than familiar with Mad Bob Miniatures through the Hungarian and French armies we all know and love on these pages. Trenchworx, recently interviewed by our own Hauptmann Pittman, is beginning to pick up traction too. There is also Company B, Army Group North, and a few others.
Here, though, we are going to take a look at Die Waffenkammer, a one man operation based in Canada but with global reach. Jeff, of Die Waffenkammer, is busily slaving away to make some of the best resin kits on the market. I hit Jeff with a game of 20 questions, and thought I’d share the highlights so you could get to know him a little better. Interspersed among the questions are pics of some JTFM kits done by the community.
We’ll take for granted that you know about the wait time on delivery (which can really be worth it) and focus on the history and quality here instead. We’ll also take for granted that you’ve read Patch’s article about prepping and painting resin kits (found here, if you haven’t seen it).
Here we go!
Me - How long have you been in the business, and what got you started?
Jeff - I've been casting for a little over 10 years now. Basically a friend got Bruce Meyer, of Company B, and I together at a convention here in Canada. I was looking for something new to do and Bruce was looking for someone to cast vehicles. The rest is casting history.
Me - What are your thoughts on the current state of the wargaming industry?
Jeff - It's a great time. There's a lot of product out there so it's great for gamers, lots of choices, also lots of overlap. Small shops are being buried and somewhat forgotten under the deluge, so we have to be on our toes.
Me - What games do you yourself play?
Jeff - Right now not any, just too busy. I did play Disposable Heroes and Rules of Engagement when I did, amongst others for different periods.
Me - Do you have a favorite battle or period in World War 2?
Jeff - Kursk for sure, I'm a treadhead. All of WWII is fascinating but I prefer Ost Front and Northwest Europe.
Me - What is your favorite kit of all those you offer?
Jeff - Definitely my Tiger I E. It took me a couple of years on and off to build and I think it's my best.
Me - What is the kit you enjoy least?
Jeff - The Deuce and a Half, the de-mould is not fun, LOL.
Me - What are some of the kits you’ve got in the pipeline? Cough cough Matildas cough cough.
Jeff - For WWII, I'm playing that one close to the vest. There are lots of paper panzers, Allied and Soviet gear for "After 45". Yes to the Matilda, I will confirm.
Me - What are some kits you’d really like to do?
Jeff - A T-35 for sure. There are plenty of German vehicles that need to be built. You might be seeing a Landkreuzer P-1000 Ratte in the future.
Me - What is your favorite war movie?
Jeff - Hard to say. I really like the German film Stalingrad. Love Cross of Iron with James Coburn, I like the old Battle of the Bulge. The list could get pretty long.
Me - Worst war movie you’ve ever seen?
Jeff - Force 10 from Navarone...... It should never have been made.....
Me - What are three things you’d say to each person that orders from you?
Jeff - I'm working as fast as I can. Canada Post is a joke! I replace everything that gets lost and I always honour orders.
Me - How do you go about choosing what kits to make?
Jeff - I bounce ideas around on the business Facebook page, I look for things that have variants.... there are a lot of factors, like filling gaps in the product line. I have no real pattern when it comes to choosing what to build.
Me - If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
Jeff - It would be nice for small shops like myself, Company B, Mad Bob, AGNM, etc... to get a bit more "air time" so to speak. 10 years or so ago it was just Die Waffenkammer, NZWM out of New Zealand, Company B, Chieftain Models from the U.K., AGNM and a few others I can't remember off hand. Some of us dropped out of the game because we worked other jobs or just couldn't keep up. Those of us left tend to be forgotten because of the "corporate" businesses out there. I'd just like the small guys to get some attention. We all make great product but the majority of the wargamers just don't know we're out there and what we have to offer.
Well, Bolt Actioners, now you know. Check out Jeff’s products (just remember to plan for a longer wait) as well as some of the other places we’ve mentioned here.
I don’t know about you, but I think I need an early production Tiger…
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