We sit down with the designer, creator and chief shipping officer for Conversion World. Currently they offer a service through eBay but plans are afoot to make the jump to their own internet shop.
Hi Christian, why don’t you tell us a little about your gaming background?
Hi Rory, and first things first, thanks a lot for the opportunity to present Conversion World on your website.
I started gaming back in 1997, I guess, with buying a Warhammer 40k starter set. I stuck to 40k at first, until a new (it was the third edition) edition was released, with rules I didn´t like quite so much. From that point on I basically opened my mind a little bit for all the other games that are out there. I tried a lot of different games. Over the years my focus shifted a little from only gaming towards also paying more attention to building, painting and collecting. So that today I have a few armies for several games I can use to play and additionally I have a mass of different models that wait to be build and painted.
Have you always converted a lot of models?
Yes, converting models for me was always an important aspect of the hobby. At first as kind of a necessity. You see, when I started the hobby back in the 1990s most miniatures were made from metal or plastic sprues with 1-3 parts. Multi part plastic kits were not as common as today, with different weapon options, they just didn´t exist at that time. If you wanted a different weapon on a model you had to convert it. Later on I discovered converting as a medium to express my creativity. Also as a method to distract people from my non-existing painting skills.
What is your process to actually make the pieces?
All our products are hand-casted individually from premium quality resin. We are using all the technology that is out there to guaranty perfect casts, free of air bubbles and with no – or only absolutely minimal – mold lines. Quality is really the important key for me when it comes to production. I hope our customers will agree that we are successful with this ambition.
Why the move from eBay to a website?
Selling on eBay was only just an interim step from the beginning and born from necessity to be honest. Most people, including me at first, do not really have a correct picture of how much time (and money unfortunately) it takes to build a web shop. Especially if you wish for something more than just such a modular system, shop as most internet providers offer. Using one of those would be easier and cheaper for me for sure, but I wanted a shop that does offer my customers an ideal shopping experience. That is tailored fit for selling bitz for tabletop products and those requirements were not met by those modular system shops. The same goes for eBay. With eBay you are really restricted in what you can do and how you can present your products. And also they charge quite a bit sale and other fees.
Therefor from the beginning I decided to build my own web shop. The reasons I did end up selling my bitz on eBay for a short period of time is threefold. First reason was that I could present my bitz to potential customers. Get some feedback from people and also make people know about my bitz a little already. The second reason was that I could gain some experience in running a web shop. Thirdly was so I could earn a little bit of money with my bitz already to be able to invest into the production of more bitz and in the web shop.
Will you be doing custom orders or requests?
Dealing with customer request is a difficult thing to be honest. If I were free of any responsibilities, I would love to fulfill each and every request. But with running a business, unfortunately I also must have the business side of things in mind. If somebody would for example ask me to do a very special shoulder pad for his custom Space Marine Chapter, I would have to decline this request most likely. Because if I would accept it, I would have to design the shoulder pad, make several prototypes, a master model, casting forms and could in the end only sell a very limited amount of those shoulder pads.
Thinking about that I could in the same time made a shoulder pad that a variety of chapters and customers could use, it becomes hard to justify doing the request instead. Especially if the price for the shoulder pads should stay within reasonable limits.
There will be a service in our web shop however called “Suggest ideas for new bitz”. People will be able to message me their ideas and request for new bitz, this way and I will see what ideas maybe someday will become new bitz. I can´t guaranty anything though. In the first couple of months I will of course have to focus on releasing some more “regular” bitz before dealing with special requests. I hope people will understand why this is necessary at first.
What are some of the projects you coming up that we should be really excited about?
If you will check the web shop at shop opening, you will find that our range of products is kind of heavy on melee weapons, shields and helmet right now. A lot of other categories in the menu, such as ranged weapons, backpacks, arms and legs or vehicle accessories etc., are still empty. The imminent short term goal is to fill all those empty categories of course.
You will also find that there is a second categorization system, in which our bitz aren´t categorized by type (such as swords, axes, hammers for example). Instead by compatibly with games and factions. If I for example design a sword that suits the Blood Angels quite well, you will be able find this sword in the category “Swords” later on, but also in the category “Most compatible with Blood Angels”. (Of course this doesn´t mean that you can´t use it for any other faction or game of course if you should thing it suits those game or faction as well.)
For the more distant future I plan on releasing bases as well and also complete multi part models.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Christian. The new site, over at Conversion World, will go live in January but for now keep up with them on Instagram. When it does we will have a review of some of the pieces available and let you all know they are open for business. Stay tuned.