Calvin’s Commentaries: Quar
And, that holds true for those who design, create, and write miniature game rulesets or sculpt the minis.
Such is the case with Joshua Qualtieri, the man behind Zombiesmith Miniatures, and the recently announced 15mm line of Quar minis – more on those later.
Qualtieri says he has been a fan of mini gaming for years.
“I have been a minis gaming fan since I got a pack of 15mm Napoleonics in 1986 or 1987,” he said via email. “I didn’t play any minis games until Rogue Trader but I collected all I could at that time. Luckily my dad was a gamer so he supported my miniatures habit when I was little.
“Now it takes my day job to do so.”
But what of the quirky aforementioned Quar, aliens broke into numerous factions fighting a World War One-esque battle on their world? What was the germ of an idea which led to the creation of Quar and their world?
“I started drawing the Quar when I was eight or so years old,” said Qualtieri. “They were a little different back then. They were more sci-fi with spaceships and lasers. And they fought everyone. Aliens, Ewoks, and WW2 Germans. I would draw battle scenes of all types.
“As time went on and I became more interested in world-building and story and character, and not giant battle scenes, they evolved to what they are today – a single alien race with 1920s level technology caught in a modern war on their very idyllic, otherwise, planet.
The Quar is unique in terms of background.
“It’s an alien planet with a single race of aliens and they have 1920s era technology, so no magic or futuristic tech. Its sort of ‘Wind in the Willows’ meets World War 1 in feel. People have described it as ‘The Dark Crys’ meets Miyazaki meets WW1 as well,” said Qualtieri.
“Quar are just like you and me – perfectly normal creatures. They do eat bugs, though, and lots of them, which is why they have long, agile snouts and even longer tongues.
“Most Quar, when they’re not fighting each other over slights real or imagined, are farmers, or trade-quar, or merchants. Mostly they live simple, happy lives. Mostly.”
Beyond the quirky Quar, I was curious about what Qualtieri was trying to achieve with the game?
“I really like the Quar world in 15mm,” he said of the smaller scale offering recently successfully kickstarted. “It’s more whimsical than 28mm for some reason — feels epic but still personal somehow. It is also an opportunity for me to get a large chunk of the world that has been in my head most of my life out to them as 15mm is faster to produce a wide range of models in quickly and we have plans to do all 18 Quar countries and a bunch of civilians, partisan and minor militaries too.
”I’d like to have a ‘Flames of War’ sized range of models within the next couple of years. It should be doable, even with only me.”
The big vision for Quar, of course, did not come to Qualtieri overnight. He says they have been in development for “almost 40-years!”
That said the current new crop of 15mm Quar Qualtieri started sculpting them last fall in depth.
“I did some tests last summer to figure out the style and size for the new 15s. Then after I had the first three races for Tuske and Sabre done I dove into new Quar.
“The rules have been on Zach’s desk for a little bit but we are doing a big pass at them now to streamline and simplify.”
So what was the most difficult aspect of designing the world/game?
“Well, I am a sculptor/painter by profession in my day job so for me it’s all about the aesthetic of the Quar universe; their vehicles and uniforms and the flora and fauna of their planet,” said Qualtieri. “I’ve tried very hard to create a consistent, persistent world with its own internal logic and look and feel.”
The game has existed for a while now, so I asked Qualtieri why the re-launch?
“Technology has finally caught up to where my skill set lies,” he said. “I have always been a much better digital rather than analog sculptor and modern software and printers have allowed me to bring what I have learned in my day job into my passion job.”
You can jump into Quar by visiting www.zombiesmith.com