Title:
Modular miniature figures
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination of miniature figures that are comprised of members (i.e. arms, legs, heads, torsos, weaponry, etc.) securely connected into a specific position. The connection means includes male and female configurations such as a ball and socket. The members, before securely connecting, may be universally inter-mixed with other figure components across several genres. They can be used in the traditional sense of assembling the figures within genre and army specific designs and then used to play in tabletop and arena war gaming. Under specific rules, any combination of components, from any army release, genre, or time period, will create a playable model with its own unique abilities. They can also be used to recreate historical battles, dioramas, or displays.



Inventors:
Edwards, Marty J. (Anderson, IN, US)
Cumberworth, Curtis R. (Pendleton, IN, US)
Lakas, Anthony J. (Anderson, IN, US)
Lortz, Stephen L. (Anderson, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/373031
Publication Date:
09/14/2006
Filing Date:
03/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H3/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DENNIS, MICHAEL DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RITCHISON LAW OFFICES, PC (ANDERSON, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. A character figure device that is a combination of components made of various moldable materials which may be universally inter-mixed before securing the components comprising (a) a head-like member with features; (b) a torso with features the torso being contiguous to the head-like member; (c) at least one arm-like appendage with features the appendages being contiguous and at a side position of the torso; (d) some type of weaponry; (e) a means to position and interconnect the components; (f) a means to secure the components at the interconnection means; (g) a means to portray a way to move the components once the components are securely interconnected; and (h) a means to support the interconnected components in a stable manner and in an essentially vertical position whereby the character figure device has interchangeable components that may be intermixed across past, present, futuristic genres of character figures; whereby the characters are scalable from miniature to full size and beyond; whereby the components may be interconnected in various poses and then secured; and whereby the resultant character may be used for gaming pieces, display figures, dioramas figures and other historical or fantasy representations.

2. The device according to claim 1 wherein the various material for making the components is plastic.

3. The device according to claim 2 wherein the plastic is a polystyrene.

4. The device according to claim 1 wherein the various material for making the components is a composite material that is moldable.

5. The device according to claim 1 wherein the various material for making the components is a moldable and castable metal.

6. The device according to claim 1 wherein the appendage feature is a means to hold weaponry.

7. The device according to claim 6 wherein the means to hold is a hand-like gripping device.

8. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to position and interconnect the components is essentially a ball and socket configuration features to the connected components.

9. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to position and interconnect the components is essentially a tab a multiple slot configuration features to the connected components.

10. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to secure the components is an adhesive at the interconnect.

11. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to secure the components is by heat fusion at the interconnect.

12. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to portray a way to move the component is by an animal.

13. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to portray a way to move the component is lower appendages.

14. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to portray a way to move the component is by a vehicle.

15. The device according to claim 14 wherein the vehicle is animal drawn.

16. The device according to claim 14 wherein the vehicle is supported by wheels.

17. The device according to claim 14 wherein the vehicle is able to move through air and space.

18. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to support the interconnected components in a stable manner and in an essentially vertical position is by a base with features connected to the secure components.

19. The device according to claim 18 wherein the base features are a means to interlock the base with other bases whereby a plurality of character figures may be securely and detachably connected and then moved as if they were one unit.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/661,126 filed Mar. 11, 2005 by Marty J. Edwards, Curtis R. Cumberworth, Anthony J. Lakas and Stephen L. Lortz and titled “MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES”.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention, MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES, relates to the field of game pieces for board and war gaming tables and areas, museum displays, historical displays, adventure displays, and fantasy displays. Small or large figures such as the invention relate to a myriad of interchangeable combinations of torsos, heads, arms, legs, weapons, mobility devices, and various other parts that can be used as game pieces and display pieces for innumerable areas.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

NONE.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

NONE.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

The present invention crosses several fields of inventions. Primarily, the Modular Miniature Figures relate to miniature figures industry. Traditionally, these have been made primarily of a softer, low melt metal such as pewter, lead, or other pot metals. Recently, more of the industry has migrated to plastics and the like. However, to date, none of the manufacturers provide a nearly complete interchangeability of the parts of the figures and an easy system for adjusting and posing the figures in certain ways. Additionally, the ability to cross time and generations (coined as genre) prevents easy manners to pose armies from different genres against each other in a tabletop or arena war gaming exercise. Finally, most miniature craftsmen and gamers are frustrated that the only current way to make different poses and cross genres is by cutting apart base figures and reattaching them by an adhesive of hot iron.

2. Prior Art

A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed

Auxiliary devices for most vises have traditionally been complex to install onto a base vise in order to modify the ability of the base vise to hold an object or work piece. Often these auxiliary mechanisms require extra hand tools to install and are limited in design to work only with a specific brand or type of vise. Likewise, the mechanisms have been specially designed for a “parent vise” and focused on one limited manufacturing need.

B. Prior Art

Historically, vises and auxiliary mechanisms for vises have been a part of the technology improvement as the industrialization of the United States evolved. Several devices have attempted to improve upon parts of the problems as stated. In use, the prior art devices were often complex, difficult to install and limited in use. The new Vise Mate addresses these limitations and provides a solution to the stated problems.

Examples of prior game and figurine pieces begin with U.S. Pat. No. 1,211,590 issued to Kennedy (1917) which taught segmented puzzles depicting animal and people figures made of wood or cardboard. Use as game pieces to inter-mix and create point values was not described. Also, the pieces were to remain separate and detachable, unlike the Miniatures described with the present concept.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,223,508 issued to Meyner (1917) depicted and taught a “tinker-toy” figure that could be assembled in various poses with several receiving apertures. However, no “universal”ball and socket was described nor any permanent securing of the various members was mentioned or described.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,506,328 issued to Alger (1950) taught a rectangular “tongue” with several slots to receive the tongue. The art also taught many facial features to interchange. No mention of use as game pieces or varied point designations was mentioned. Description of securing the device into one position was taught as temporary friction without permanence.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,952,449 issued to Terzian (1976) featured an articulated toy figure without permanence. Described and claimed were four legged animals.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,044,498 issued to Rahmstorf (1977) demonstrated a toy animal capable of receiving a mounting person. The invention concerns toy animal figures with four legs and a rigid, shaped body which may receive toy rider figurines. Permanent securing in position or assigning point values based on the features and components of the figure was not described or claimed.

In U.S. Pat. No. 4,186,515 which was issued to Ogawa (1980) a toy assembly capable of being configured into a simulated horse is provided. The body member contains a pivotal connection that is rotatively attached to a joint assembly configured and positioned to represent features of the horse. Appendages are removable and not permanently secured and a magnet assembly in the body of the horse is additionally capable of securing removable accessory parts. These features are unlike the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES

Another U.S. Pat. No. 4,228,615 issued to Melotti (1980) features an articulated-limb toy animal that has a pair of front limbs and a pair of hind limbs articulated to the trunk of the toy animal. In each limb pair, the limbs are joined to each other by a respective horizontal axis cylindrical stem and the trunk is provided at the front and hind portions thereof with seats for a pivotal engagement with the stems. The entire configuration permits a “snap-together” design with rotatable joints. No permanent securement or use with strategic games is taught.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,580,992 issued to McKay (1986) shows a doll or toy action figure transformable from a first character, to a second character. A hard molded head has a facial countenance of a character. A mask is positioned around the neck and is fixedly attached, though not permanently. Means are provided for changing the position of the mask. Articles of clothing may be used and changed to augment the effect. No permanent position of the figures or use with strategy games is discussed.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,626,732 issued to Chung (2003) discloses a character toy which can be fabricated with the use of a series of component pattern on flat sheets for the character toy, the parts of which are bodily components are arranged on the character toy into various combinations and may be posed into Various positions. The method of assembling teaches the component parts made by aligning slits of the various pieces and detachably connecting them in a non-permanent manner.

Another U.S. Pat. No. 6,659,463 which was issued to Mackey (2003) demonstrates gaming equipment for a variety of games. The devices are on a movable base that has values assigned to provide input values to the game. There is no mention or teaching of intermixing components and features to the individual figures as in the concept of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES.

U.S. Patent Publication 2004/0046319 A1 by Merritt III (2004 shows a combination role playing and board game comprising a plurality of action figures configured with detachable arm and head members. The members are unlike those of the new MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES in that they are removable and provide use and ability to carry weapons and are severable during the game play. Each action figure is capable of being disassembled as a result of confrontation and has certain confrontational qualities which lend themselves to enhanced types of attacks and resistances thereof.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,899,333 and 6,899,333, were both issued to Weisman (2005). They show a method and an apparatus by which rules and record-keeping in games employing miniature figures as game pieces are incorporated onto the base of the miniature figures themselves. Weapons are detachable and the respective values and health of the figurines is stored in the base. The figures are of one type and do not interchange body types or components beyond the weapons, unlike the fixed and mixed versions of figures taught by the new MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES.

Another U.S. Patent Publication 2004/0084842 A1 by Bielman (2004) shows a game, toy or article of manufacture that includes a model or piece that has multiple movable parts. The model begins in an assembled configuration. As the model loses points under the rules of play, at least some of the parts are removed from the model, or replaced with substitute parts. The model may be formed from a panel or other substantially planar member, with the individual pieces formed therein. The MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES have three dimensional parts and are integral and not removable once assembled.

None of the prior art discovered to date teaches all the features and capabilities of the Modular Miniature Figures in respect to the interchangeable system and the other special uses.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES is the combination described in this application. The concept of the Modular Miniature system is centered around the universality of the miniatures' designs and components. Everything in the system, from the individual components (i.e. arms, legs, heads, torsos, weaponry, etc.), to the packaging and marketing of said components in individual sprues, has been designed with this universality in mind.

The MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES can be assembled and used in a large multitude, if not infinite number, of positions and ways. The purchaser's imagination is the only limit to this system. The figures can be used in the traditional sense of assembling them within genre and army specific designs and used to play within any game system's rules that allows or requires the use of miniatures that is on the market. MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES can also be used to recreate historical battles, dioramas, or displays.

For use in tabletop and arena war gaming, a rules system is also included as a support mechanism and as a further enhancement to the Modular Miniature System. With this set of rules, known as “WAR UNBOUND”, any combination of components, from any army release, genre, or time period, will create a playable model with its own unique abilities. Each component has an individual point value and attribute. The final point value of the model is based on the sum total of the individual component value and combinations of attributes, discussed further below.

The MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES presented here is comprised of several key components. In a simple combination, first there is a set of arms, hands, legs, heads, torsos, weaponry, movement means (such as horses, chariots, and the like), a means to locate the various parts (by means of a modified ball and socket) and a means to connect, such as an adhesive or hot iron. The MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES are described in detail below with the means to expand the system into many exemplary variations. A few of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES are likewise described to exemplify the many examples that are contemplated in the scope and spirit of this MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, from the background, prior art and summary shown above, there are several objects and advantages of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES. One advantage of this device, the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES, over others in the field is its interchangeable parts across the various genres (historical eras and generations from pre-historic to the fantastic future). For example, the torso of a Greek Guard could accept the arms and weapons from a modern day soldier. Therefore this interchangeability permits the concept to provide a specific miniature that the user wants. Likewise, the connecting system permits the new MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES to be attached to a variety of mobility devices such as horses, chariots, jeeps, and the like. This versatility permits a common connection system serves to reduce the need to cut and fit in order to achieve the miniature desired.

A related advantage permits historical armies to fight battles even though they were not from the same generation. Alexander's army might fight Napoleon's French troops. Likewise, weapons could be interchanged to balance the action into more of a strategic battle of positioning rather than a question of which army has the most men or fire power.

This connection means also provides an advantage to museums, collectors, diorama providers and other display needs. The figures may be posed in many more positions without the need to cut, fir and glue of heat the figures, like is done currently with most miniature figures.

Another Advantage

Another advantage is the high quality design of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES and its components. The design is manufactured in precision molds that are based on an intricate model to provide superior details to the figures. Likewise the whole process utilizes state of the art equipment and process controls to assure repeatability and reduce “mold creep”.

A further advantage is the scalability of the design. The MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES will be likely be in the 28 MM size to start but the process and product concept may be easily scaled to micro-miniatures, 54 MM, small action figures and other figures where one desires high quality and detail at an affordable price.

Additional advantages of this new MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES are that the design and process offer a fast introduction of new requests for different armies. This permits the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES to easily track industrial changes and requirements.

Another design feature is the durability of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES. Miniatures may be handed down to the next generation knowing the miniatures will maintain their shapes and ability to be used for years to come.

Another advantage of this device over others in the field is that the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES are packaged so the user may have various options with one set. Then, any remaining pieces may be used with other sets because of the uniform, interchangeable design for connecting the miniatures.

Finally, other advantages and additional features of the present device will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and from the full description of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES. For one skilled in the art of miniature figures it is readily understood that the features shown in the examples with this new device are readily adapted to other types of inventions which are associated with miniature and other sized figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the present MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the invention. It is understood, however, that the new device is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is DRAWING of the actual invention—a set of MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES with the general configurations shown.

FIG. 1 A shows a human figure and an animal.

FIG. 1 B shows various examples of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES across a span of many generations from ancient history to futuristic conceptions.

FIG. 1 C shows a combination of the interchangeable part crossing time and generations with ancient and futuristic features used by a modern day warrior or soldier.

FIG. 2 is DRAWING of a human figure showing the many subcomponents and features typical to a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURE.

FIG. 3 is DRAWING of an animal figure showing the many subcomponents and features typical to a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURE.

FIG. 4 is a DRAWING which demonstrates the relative scale between the various figures determined by their respective types or classes of MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES.

FIG. 5 is an example of one soldier, here a Greek warrior, along with all his regalia and typical dress.

FIGS. 6-A through C are “example” DRAWINGS of typical classes of people for a certain era or time period which are depicted for the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES.

FIG. 7 demonstrates several examples of gods and demigods for a given era.

FIG. 8 shows DRAWINGS of one particular mythological god in various poses and with different weapons and accessories.

FIG. 9 shows one type of mobility device specific to a given era.

FIG. 10 shows a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURE of a human riding a mythical monster.

FIG. 11 is a DRAWING of a mythical Lemurian monster.

FIG. 12 is a sketch of the various weaponry for given era of warriors.

FIG. 13 are DRAWINGS of an interlocking mount base for holding numerous MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES together for a compact manner of moving several figures at one time.

FIG. 14 are DRAWINGS of the interlocking mount base from different views.

FIG. 15 is an enlarged view of the bottom of a base showing a knockout recess for mounting other non-MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES with the common base system.

FIG. 16 are typical sprue and runner layouts for molding the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES and bases.

FIG. 17 are examples of tabletop war gaming in progress.

FIG. 18 are typical dioramas using miniature figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS—REFERENCE NUMERALS

The following list refers to the drawings:

    • 31 general MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES
    • 32 modular humanoid figure
    • 33 head
    • 34F/B Front/Back Torso
    • 35L/R Left/Right Arms
    • 36L/R Left/Right Hands
    • 37L/R Left/Right Legs
    • 38B/S Ball/Socket Head (33) to Torso (34)
    • 39B/S Ball/Socket Arms (35) to Torso (34)
    • 40B/S Ball/Socket Legs (37) to Torso (34)
    • 41 Hand feature interface to weapons and objects
    • 42 Animal MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES
    • 43 Head
    • 44L/R Left/Right body or torso of animal
    • 45 Tail
    • 46L/R Rear Legs
    • 47L/R Left/Right Front Legs
    • 48 Standing position combination of legs
    • 49 Stretching position combination of legs
    • 50 Ready Crouching position of legs
    • 51 Running position of legs
    • 52 Accessories to attach to the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES
    • 53 Leg options
    • 54 Head Options
    • 55 Size relationship scale
    • 56 Human figure
    • 57 Soldier/Warrior
    • 58 Local Priest figure
    • 59 Gods and demi-gods figure
    • 60 Priestess figure
    • 61 Godess figure
    • 62 Lemurian Monster figure
    • 63 Greek soldier
    • 64 Helmet
    • 65 Weapons strap
    • 66 Tunic
    • 67 Greaves (shin armor)
    • 68 Sandals
    • 69 Dignatary/orator/counselor example figure
    • 70 Oracle example figure
    • 71 Priest example figure
    • 72 Nobleman example figure
    • 73 Priestess example figure
    • 74 Hercules example figure
    • 75 Alexander the Great example figure
    • 76 Posidien mythological god example figure
    • 77 Athena mythological godess example figure
    • 78 Mars mythological god example figure
    • 79 Atlas mythological god example figure
    • 80 Posidien example figure in poses
    • 81 Chariot
    • 82 Atlantean warrior example figure
    • 83 Sea Monster example figure
    • 84 Arm strap
    • 85 Shield
    • 86 Archery weapons
    • 87 Short swords
    • 88 Spear
    • 89 Persian/Greek/Roman soldier example figure
    • 90 Barbarian/Viking example figure
    • 91 Civil War soldier example figure
    • 92 GI Joe™ type modern soldier example figure
    • 93 Futuristic space warrior example figure
    • 94 GI Joe™ with ancient and future weapons
    • 95 Minotaur like cross animal and human
    • 96 Example belt to transition from animal to human
    • 97 Base for MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES and others
    • 98 Connector strut
    • 99 Assembled configuration of four interlocked bases (97)
    • 100 Base interlock protrusion feature
    • 101 Base interlock receptor void feature
    • 102 Knockout for non-MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES
    • 103 Main sprue for plastic molding
    • 104 Sub-sprue for plastic molding
    • 105 Plastic parts for MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES
    • 106 Extender spoke for some figures
    • 107 Receiver aperture for spoke
    • 108A,B,C Examples of tabletop gaming in progress
    • 109A,B,C,D Examples of dioramas made with miniature figures

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention is a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 that has various features to enhance its use. These features are built-in to or integrally attached to the various parts of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES. The miniature figures concepted here are in a simple combination. First there is a set of arms 35, legs 37, heads 33, torsos 34, weaponry, movement means (such as horses 42, chariots 81, and the like), a means to locate the various parts (by means of a modified ball and socket 38, 39, 40) and a means to connect, such as an adhesive or hot iron.

The MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 is demonstrated in the Drawings and further described in detail below. A person having ordinary skill in the field of this invention appreciates the various materials and component parts that may be used to physically permit MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 to be produced and utilized. The improvements over the existing art are providing a device that:

    • (1) has interchangeable parts, (2) provides historical armies to fight battles across generations, (3) may be posed in many more positions, (4) is high quality, (5) has scalability of the design, (6) is a design and process that offers a fast introduction of new market requests, (7) is durable, and (8) is packaged so there are various options with one set.

There are shown in FIGS. 1-18 complete operative embodiments of the invention. The invention generally relates to MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. The preferred embodiment of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 are comprised of the parts exemplified in FIGS. 1-18 of the drawings.

FIG. 1 is a DRAWING of the actual invention—a set of MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 with the general configurations shown. FIG. 1 A shows a human figure 32 and an animal 42 in segmented parts. FIG. 1 B shows various examples of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 across a span of many generations from ancient history to futuristic conceptions. FIG. 1 C shows a combination of the interchangeable part crossing time and generations with ancient and futuristic features used by a modern day warrior or soldier.

FIG. 1 A shows a human figure 32 and an animal 42 in segmented parts. Here the head 33, the torso 34, the left and right arms 35L and 35R, the left and right legs 37L and 37R, and the left and right hands 36L and 36R are demonstrated for the base human 32. Generally shown are means 41 for each of the hands 36 to hold weaponry and other objects of interests such as flags, reigns, and the like. The parts are all generally posed by using the hemispherical-like mating “ball and socket” 38, 39, 40. Once the position is known a fast setting adhesive is applies to the interconnecting parts.

This typical human figure 32 provides the base design for all across the various generations of warriors and other MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. The preferred material to mold these parts is a plastic. For example, polystyrene works well with the prototype parts. However, this material is only exemplary. One skilled in the art appreciates the same interchangeable design would work well with many other plastics and composite materials. Likewise, the design could be employed with metals such as lead, pewter, aluminum, pot metal and others with a different attachment means such as a heating iron rather than an adhesive. Finally, the parts, once posed may be painted by the user similar to the metal and plastic “static” figures known today in prior art. Because the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 has such exquisite details, the final product may be used in museums and displays that require a high degree of detail as opposed to the figures of relatively less quality on the market today when compared to the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31.

Still in FIG. 1A, an animal 42 is similarly constructed with interchangeable parts. Here the head 43, the body 44R and 44L, the tail 45, the rear legs 46R and 46L, and the front legs 47R and 47L are shown. Note well the interconnect projection 106 and receiving aperture 107 that is used for the animals 42 in a similar fashion as the ball and sockets of the human figure. The above described materials, interchangeability, and connection means apply equally to these animals 42 as well as the other MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 described below. FIGS. 1B and C will be discussed later.

FIG. 2 is Sketch of a human figure 32 showing the many subcomponents and features typical to a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURE 31. Here, one notes well that similar components are shown as in FIG. 1A, above. However, now the ability to pose the figures in many ways is demonstrated. The set of legs 48 show a typical standing position. The set of legs 49 show a stretched position. With the legs 50, the human 32 may be posed in a ready crouch or used this stance to mount an animal such as a horse 42. Depicted next is a set of legs running 51. Finally, for each of the various human figure 32, there are a plethora of various accessories such as a holster and belt pack 52 shown here.

FIG. 3 is DRAWING of an animal figure showing again the many subcomponents and features typical to a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. Just as with the human 32 discussed previously, the animal 42 has a series of example of leg positions 53 and head positions 54 that may be employed in achieving the correct pose and position of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31.

FIG. 4 is a DRAWING which demonstrates the relative scale between the various figures determined by their respective types or classes of MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. A size relationship scale 55 is shown to provide the general scale between the various MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. Note the typical Human figure 56 is the first point of reference. Next a typical Soldier/Warrior 57 is shown. This is the backbone of most armies regardless of the genre. For additional references are a Local Priest figure 58, a Priestess figure 60, Gods and demi-gods figure 59 and a Godess figure 61. Across the ages, especially with mythological, future space and science fiction needs, various monsters are used. Here a Lemurian Monster figure 62 is shown.

FIG. 5 is an example of one soldier, here a Greek warrior 63, along with all his regalia and typical dress. These drawings depict the helmet 64 and the weapons strap 65. In addition, shown are the tunic 66, the greaves or shin guards 67, and the sandals 68. One skilled in the art of miniatures well appreciates that similar dress and protection details change with each generation and the Greek 63 is exemplary and not limiting to the scope and spirit of MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31.

A table of examples of just a few of the plethora of historical armies and generations to consider are:

TABLE A
Typical Genres of Armies and Potential Modular
Miniatures
ITEMDESCRIPTION
1Prehistoric
2Mythological
3Assyrians
4Persians
5Greeks
6Egyptians
7Romans
8Chinese Warriors
9Japanese Samurai
10Moors and Arabs
11Barbarians - Huns, Goths and the like
12Vikings
13Knights, Crusaders, and the like
14Normans
15Muskateers
16Napoleonic Soldiers
17American Revolutionaries
18American Civil War
19American West - Calvary, Indians, Cowboys and the
like
20Colonial Wars
21Spanish American Era
22World Wars I & II and the Korean conflict
23Israeli and Arab conflicts
24Indo China and Viet Nam
25Modern Gulf Conflicts
26Futuristic Space Eras
27Science Fictional Characters and settings

Returning to the Greek and Roman era, FIGS. 6-A through C are “example” DRAWINGS of typical classes of people for a certain era or time period which are depicted for the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. Shown are the Dignatary, orator, counselor and the like example figure 69, an Oracle example figure 70, Priest example figure 71, a Nobleman example figure 72, and a Priestess example figure 73. These were common figures of the early Greek era when the city-states were strong. Other historical and legendary types are exemplified by Hercules example figure 74 and Alexander the Great example figure 75.

FIG. 7 demonstrates several examples of gods and demigods for early Greek and Roman eras. Shown are the powerful god of the sea, Posidien 76, Athena, the lead goddess 77, Mars 78, another mythological god example figure, and Atlas 79. In addition in FIG. 8 shows DRAWINGS of one particular mythological god, again another rendition of Posidien 80 in various poses and with different weapons and accessories.

FIG. 9 shows one type of mobility device specific to a given era. Here an Atlantean warrior 82 is driving a Chariot 81 pulled by two horses 42. These type of transportation are depicted for the era. A modern warrior would be in a troop carrier or driving a jeep and futuristic space warrior mould be in a space carrier of some sort.

FIG. 10 shows a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURE 31 of a human priestess 73 riding a mythical monster 62. Then in FIG. 11 is a DRAWING of a mythical Lemurian monster 83.

FIG. 12 is a sketch of the various weaponry of warriors for given era, here early Greek. The Greek warrior 63 is there for reference. Shown are the archery weaponry 86 and a short sword 87. The reference human 56 (from FIG. 4 above stands next to a spear 88. Other devices are several views of the shield 85 and the arm strap, 84 used to mount the shield 88 to the warrior 63. Once again one skilled in the art of miniature figures realizes these weapons and defenses are for a Greek era soldier and will change drastically for other generations. Therefore, these are exemplary and not limiting to the scope and spirit of this invention, MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURE 31.

Now one returns to FIG. 1 B that shows various examples of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 across a span of many generations from ancient history to futuristic conceptions. One remembers a series of examples shown in Table A, above, that is representative of many other eras. In this drawing is shown five (5) typical soldiers or warriors encompassed in the scope of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31.

These five are:

Persian/Greek/Roman soldier example figure 89;

Barbarian/Viking example figure 90;

Civil War soldier example figure 91;

GI Joe™ type modern soldier example figure 92; and

Futuristic space warrior example figure 93.

FIG. 1 C shows a combination of the interchangeable parts crossing time and generations with ancient and futuristic features used by a modern day warrior or soldier. In this Drawing is shown a GI Joe™ with ancient and future weapons 94 and a Minotaur like cross animal and human 95. Although the horse body and man's torso fit, an example belt 96 to transition from animal to human may be desired for a special finish.

FIG. 13 are DRAWINGS of an interlocking mount base for holding numerous MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES together for a compact manner of moving several figures at one time. FIG. 13A is an exploded isometric view and FIG. 13B is an assembled view. Here the plastic base 97 is placed together with other bases 97. The are interlocked by means of a connector strut 98 which is also plastic. The interconnection results in an assembled configuration 99 of four interlocked bases 97.

FIG. 14 are DRAWINGS of the interlocking mount base 97 from different views. The views are self explanatory once one understands the components as follows:

The main base piece 97;

Base interlock protrusion feature 100;

Base interlock receptor void feature 101; and

Knockout for non-MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 102.

The knockout feature 102 permit miniature figures of other manufactures and sets to be used with this universal base. This base, with the total interlock features permit a tabletop war gaming user to move a significant amount of troops with additional trays and without spillage or breakage. This feature is unique to the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. FIG. 15 is an enlarged view of the bottom of a base showing a knockout recess for mounting other non-MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURE 102 with the common base system.

FIG. 16 are typical sprue and runner layouts for molding the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 and bases 97. These layouts show a main sprue 103 and secondary sprues 102. The significance of the manner that these molds are laid out permit a set to be completely molded and then packaged to permit an end consumer to get maximum flexibility of his or her set of part. One understands that the bases are shown on FIG. 16A while other parts and weaponry are shown in FIGS. 16B, 16C and 16D.

Table B shows a layout for two different armies that demonstrate the sprue layouts and Table C shows a packaging and marketing example.

TABLE B
Typical Sprue layouts for Modular Miniatures
GREEK ARMYATLANTEAN ARMY
TROOP TYPEWEAPONSTROOP TYPEWEAPONS
BASE20 Basicspear and shieldBASE20 Basictrident and net/or shield
Infantrybow and arrowsInfantrybow and arrows
sword and shieldsword and shield
ELITEAthenaspear and shieldELITEPosidenTrident and net
Aresspear and shieldAtlassword and shield
HeraclesWar Mace(club)/shieldPreistshort sword
Generalsword and shieldGeneral/noblesword and shield
Sgt.sword and shieldSgt.sword and shield
Std. Bearersword and shieldStd. Bearersword and shield
MusicianswordMusiciansword
Oracleshort swordPreistessshort sword
FASTCavalrysling and shieldFASTChariotsbow and arrow
ATTACKjavelin and shieldATTACKjavelin and shield
nets
HEAVYBallista3 basic troops, 2 w/HEAVYLemuriansTeeth, claws, and a
ATTACKspear and shield, 1 w/ATTACK(large creatures)bad-ass attitude
sword and shield

TABLE C
Packaging and Marketing Example
Basic Boxed Set -:
Get started with our basic boxed set, The Atlantean Scourge, featuring the Greek
City-States and the Atlantean Council of War. UPC 0 12345 67890 0 MMWU 0001
War Unbound: The Atlantean Scourge contains the following:
A custom binder with the rulebook.MMWU 0002UPC 0 12345 67890 0$24.99
1 Greek Head and Torso (20)MMWU 0003UPC 0 12345 67890 0$7.99
1 Greek Arms and Armory (20)MMWU 0004UPC 0 12345 67890 0$7.99
1 Greek Legs and Bases (20)MMWU 0005UPC 0 12345 67890 0$7.99
1 Atlantean Head and Torso (20)MMWU 0006UPC 0 12345 67890 0$7.99
1 Atlantean Arms and Armory (20)MMWU 0007UPC 0 12345 67890 0$7.99
1 Altantean Legs and Bases (20)MMWU 0008UPC 0 12345 67890 0$7.99
Area of Effect Weapons TemplateMMWU 0009UPC 0 12345 67890 0$4.99
A full set of polyhedral dicel(Purchased or self manufactured?)
The above set contains enough parts to create two units of twenty models and play
a quick game All items with catalog numbers available for purchase separately.
Additional items also available:
Greek Command StaffMMWU 0010UPC 0 12345 67890 0$11.99
Atlantean Command StaffMMWU 0011UPC 0 12345 67890 0$11.99
Greek BallistaeMMWU 0012UPC 0 12345 67890 0$11.99
Greek Riding LegsMMWU 0013UPC 0 12345 67890 0$11.99
Standard Horse CavalryMMWU 0014UPC 0 12345 67890 0$11.99
Atlantean LemuriansMMWU 0015UPC 0 12345 67890 0$11.99
Atlantean ChariotMMWU 0016UPC 0 12345 67890 0$11.99
Coming Soon!
In, December 2005. a new boxed set introducing the Persian Immortals and the
Medusa's Horde with scheduled releases through June 2006.
The Roman Legions march to the frontiers to do battle with the Barbarian tribes in
August 2006 with another introductory boxed set. Increase the ranks of the armies
with more releases through December 2006.
The mists of myth arise from dark shores as the mysterious Seelie and the treacherous
Unseelie appear out of legend in June 2007.

In total all the points and details mentioned here throughout this detailed description of the drawings are exemplary and not limiting. Other components specific to describing a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of this invention well appreciates. The drawing and components have been focused on the parts shown in respect to the present invention.

OPERATION OF THE EMBODIMENT

The new MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 as the present invention has been described in the above embodiment. The manner of how the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 operate is described below. One notes well that the description above, the included detailed drawings, and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31. The manner in which the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 are used can be demonstrated in the following Tables and discussion of the Drawings.

Several ways that MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 may be used are shown in Table D.

TABLE D
Examples of Uses for MODULAR MINIATURE FIGS. 31
ITEMUSE
1Miniature figures for Tabletop and arena War Gaming
2Museum displays
3Dioramas
4Scale to larger and smaller precision miniature
figures
5Motion picture set support
6Education, especially history and mythology
7Help assist in military strategy discussions

Most of the uses are self explanatory. However, one not aware and versed in Tabletop War Gaming may benefit from a brief explanation.

TABLE E
What is tabletop war gaming?
Tabletop war gaming is best described as playing army
men. Unfortunately, if you ever tried to play army men with
a friend, it often turned out like cowboys and Indians did.
An argument over who shot who first. These tabletop war
gaming rules provide a means to play was games without
bogging the game down and ruining the fun with silly
arguments of who shot first.
War games themselves have been around for a millennia.
The oldest of which are the obvious and ancient games of
Chess Chaturanga (Hindu), Go (Korean/Japanese). and Wei Hei
(created by Sun Tzu). The first modern example or a full war
game involving free-form movement, on sand tables with
models, was Kriegspiel (roughly, “War Game”) invented in
Prussia in the early 19th Century. By 1824 the Prussian
army officially adopted the “War Game’ to train its military
commanders. This quickly spread throughout Europe, and to
this day, war games are still used as tools in military
training and planning throughout the world.
War games purely for entertainment in civilian society
didn't really take hold until the 20th Century. In 1913
acclaimed science fiction writer H.G. Wells published a tiny
little book called, appropriately enough. “Little Wars”.
This ultimately simplistic game used lead miniatures on
scaled came boards and the primary form of combat involved
the shooting of rubber bands at the miniatures for artillery.
These humble beginnings are generally accredited as the
direct ancestor of the modern war game.
The first appearance of war games as we know them today
came in the form of “Tactics” in 1953 by Charles S. Roberts
and published by the Stackpole Company. Five years later
Charles S Roberts founded his own company, Avalon Hill, which
really pioneered and popularized the war game industry. Many
other companies soon followed. These early war games all but
exclusively focused on re-creation of historical and
contemporary battles. It wasn't until the publication of’
TSR's ground breaking role-playing game “Dungeons anti
Dragons” that the modern war game was propelled, full force,
into the genres of science fiction and fantasy. It is this
storied history which has lead to the natural birth of “War
Unbound”. War Unbound is the culmination of historical and
contemporary, fantasy and sci-fi, all under a single over-
arching and flexible rule system.

As explained above, a MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 may be used in a variety of different War games and strategic games. However, with the ability to have nearly total interchangeability of the parts, another game has been developed. This is called WAR UNBOUND. This game with a unique set of rules which permits point values to be assigned for interchanging different parts across genre. This provides a means for two opposing armies to use strategy of weapons, placement, number of troops and all the other attributes across the boundaries of time. One not aware and versed in Tabletop War Gaming may benefit from a brief explanation.

TABLE F
WAR UNBOUND - Briefly Explained
Modular Miniatures US Presents WAR UNBOUND
Historically Fantastic
The new tabletop mass warfare game!
1. Features nearly complete interchangeable Modz ™ to create
billions of playable models!
2. All Modz ™ manufactured from easily modeled plastic.
3. Buy what you need packaging! Our packaging will allow you to
purchase just the Modz ™ you need.
4. Try out the revolutionary and unique interlocking bases! Move
units of forty, fifty, even a hundred models easily without a separate
movement tray.
5. Case Numbered, expandable rule book. You never have to buy
another rule book again!
6. Play historically accurate with pre-made army lists and
scenarios from eras in ancient history! Field the historical army of
Alexander the Great. Withstand the hordes of the Persian Immortals at
the Gates of Thermopoly! Turn back the Roman Legions with the
Barbarians!
7. Immerse yourself in the fantastic stories of legends from days
bygone.
Destroy the Greek City-States with the Atlantean War Council. Journey
into the mists of myth with the deceptive Seely and the dark Unseely.
8. See into the future as expansion packs delve into recent
history and then expand into the realms of science fiction as the
Terran Defense Force protects Earth from the ravages of the alien
Calashar Consortium!
9. Finally, break the barriers of time using the Master Level
construction rules. Field Greek Hoplites armed with Anti-matter
Rifles or an M-1 Abrahms crewed by dark goblins.

A point system to provide armies of different eras and armies re-equipped with different weapons was developed to go along with WAR UNBOUND. This is briefly explained in Table G.

TABLE G
Point Systems
2.2 Basic Model Profile
Each model will have a set of six attributes that are part of the model profile. These are: Initiative,
Movement, Accuracy, Silhouette, Shock, and Mental. These attributes are used throughout the game to
perform various tests to determine the outcome of various actions and situations. Also included in the
profile will be the model name, any special abilities, equipment, or traits attached to the model and it's
base point value, or PV. Vehicles, artillery, and other special models may have other attributes
associated with them.
Sample Model Profile
NameINIMVTACCSILSHKMNTTraits & Special AbilitiesPV
Greek Hoplited6d4d4d8d6d6Troop, Reach(+2)19
2.2.1 Initiative - (INI) - Initiative is a model's ability to think and move quickly; to take action when it's
needed. It's often a representation of a person's quick mind, instinct, and sometimes, plain dumb luck to
be in the right spot at the right time.
2.2.2 Movement - (MVT) - Movement is used to determine how far models may move while
maneuvering, fleeing, charging, and is also used to change formation and facing. The movement
attribute is a combination of physical fitness, technological advantages, or even magical abilities
possessed by the model.
2.2.3 Accuracy - (ACC) - Accuracy is the models skill with ranged weaponry, be it a sling, crossbow,
or even a laser gutted from an alien space craft.
2.2.4 Silhouette - (SIL) - Silhouette is a model's ability to defend themselves while being fired upon
in ranged combat. A high silhouette might be from wearing thick armor to an energy shield generator
clipped to the model's belt.
2.2.5 Shock - (SHK) - Shock is the attribute that determines how well the model can attack and
defend itself in shock combat. Shock combat is typically a swirling melee of close combat weaponry and
wild shots, but in some eras, tight formations turned the melee into a shoving match, shield on shield, with
long spears jabbing back and forth overhead.
2.2.6 Mental - (MNT) - The mental attribute is a model's psyche; their intelligence and mental
fortitude that allows them to withstand psychic and magical attacks and also to resist fleeing the field of
battle as a coward.
2.2.7 Specials - The “Specials” column of the model's profile lists special abilities and traits the model
has. These abilities will also show in parantheses after the name, the point value of those traits and
abilities.
2.2.8 PV - Point Value. This is the base point value of the model before any variable multipliers like
Commander or Piety are applied to the cost of the model.

A simple example results as: A standard torso from any given genre/army/time period has a set of attribute modifiers of “U”. It is then assembled to legs from a different genre with a different set of attribute modifiers of “V”. Arms are added for “W” each and a head with “X” modifiers. Next, hands, weapons, and other equipment are added for “Y” modifiers. Finally, traits and special abilities are added for another “Z” modifier. The final point value for the model is derived by comparing attribute modifiers U, V, W, X, and Y with the final cost chart and totaling the results with the cost “Z”. The model also has the attributes/abilities that are associated with the components selected.

A FIG. 17 are photographs that are examples of tabletop war gaming in progress. FIGS. 17A and 17B are photographs 109A, 109B that show layouts of battles. FIG. 17C is photograph 109C that is a battle underway with war gamers actively playing.

FIG. 18 are typical dioramas using miniature figures. FIG. 18A is a Western view 110A. FIG. 18B is an old Hannibal portrayal 110B. FIG. 18C is a troop enlistment on an island 110C. FIG. 18D is a French scene from a World War I display 110D.

Finally, the MODULAR MINIATURE FIGURES 31 invention has been described above in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical embodiments. With this description it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiments. On the contrary, the invention is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements of miniature figures included within the spirit and scope of the description.