I arrived at the factory in Shah Alam, just outside of Kuala Lumpur and spent about an hour with Jeff and crew as their first guest from the general public.
|This plain door hides wonderful treasures within|
|Mat salleh is a Malay term used to describe a person of European decent.|
Originally from Ohio, Jeff has been running the facility in Malaysia for 7 years,
since it's relocation from New Zealand
|Some Dungeons and Dragons models|
- Flames of War miniatures, maps, terrain, tokens, display plates, and templates
- D&D miniatures (Battlefront has a Hasbro license)
- Gale Force Nine modelling and gaming accessories
- Spartacus board game
- Firefly board game
- Battlefield in a Box for both Flames of War and the Gothic line compatible with Warhammer 40k
They are also a third party distributor for Dust. They do not manufacture any of the items, but do inspect them. The rule books are printed elsewhere, as this facility is not setup for publishing.
The factory has the largest staff among the Battlefront locations, with roughly 100 staff. I was impressed to learn that the factory employs several hearing disabled women for work such as painting; approximately 20% of the staff. This makes Battlefront a popular local employer.
|Partial image of the vast mould library|
|Circular one piece metal mould|
|Spin casters use centrifugal force to create metal castings from a the mould|
The plastic resin is poured into the silicone mould so that the model is upside down. Since the silicone moulds don't break they can be used over again.
|The casting 'shelf' is removed before shipping|
|A grinding machine is used to remove the casting 'shelf'|
The plan is to eventually move every product to plastic, however, the plastic models are not yet cost effective for mass production. Since the silicone moulds are very expensive as opposed to the metal moulds, Battlefront must consider popular items to produce in plastic first, so they can recover the cost.
3d printing allows for rapid prototyping, but is not cost effective for mass production yet. Battlefront has experimented by designing a prototype type using a 3D printer, instead of sculpting it per their normal method of operation. Unfortunately, 3d printing cannot yet capture the details that a silicone mould can.
|ID boards for some of the FoW tokens and dice sets|
|ID board for the BTR-50PK Vietnam era tank|
|A kick ass gaming table in the main office|
|Hand painted vineyards|
|Latex paint is used for added durability and also lets the rivers retain the flex and self leveling that a polymer added to the resin allows|
It was really cool to see how things were diligently hand painted. This totally changes my perspective when placing terrain on my game table, because I've seen how it's painted and appreciate the open and play aspect to the items even more now.
|Houses and natural terrain features are already painted and ready to play|
There is an airbrush department as well that adds some finer details, such as current to rivers.
|Shiney! Customized artillery template in unique colour|
|The QA team checks over post-production items and moulds|
|A close up of one of the items the QA team was checking|
|Most things have already been packed up as this is the tail end of this manufacturing cycle|
|Jagdpanthers nestled in their wrecked buildings, ready to be sealed and boxed|
|The card backs are sealed on one side with heat-activated glue|
|Jeff and Khairul demonstrate how the blister sealer works|
|Staff use ID cards to pack an Open Fire! box set and a Finnish Fokker CX|
|This pallet is ready to ship to one of three distribution centres|
|Shout out to WWPD! From left to right: Jeff, myself, and Khairul|