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Topic: Making Artyfacts from Fantasy worlds

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Squire
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Making Artyfacts from Fantasy worlds
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Hi! New here. Found my way by checking my website stats and saw that people were clicking through from here... wondered what it was. Nice forum!

My particular (and perhaps peculiar) interest is in "Artyfacts". We use that spelling to indicate that it is a "made" object intended to emulate an "Artifact". The idea being that, in the multiverse, all these fantasy places are likely quite real. So that by making artyfacts that we can touch and handle, we create a mind-focalization device that helps us find out way through the quantum timespace NOW to actually feel the presence of this other world. I particularly like the idea of making small objects that would be ubiquitously commonplace in the target world... like coins.

Well okay... that's the idea anyway. And it can be a lot of fun. I spent a large number of years making fantasy knives and swords. That was pretty cool... but a hundred swords and a thousand knives later, and trying to make a living doing it, the fantasy ended up being more of the paramilitary type and eventually became distasteful. So I switched to coins, which is what I'm still doing. In 2003 I licensed with George R.R. Martin to make coins for his world. His second book in the Song of Ice and Fire series was just out. The first coin I made for him was the copper star of Robert Baratheon. He already had stags and dragons, but it was actually my idea to make a copper coin larger than a penny but lower value than a stag. It worked for the story so he wrote the star in the next volume. Now I've got a dozen or so different coins based on George's world, plus lots of things from other parts of the multiverse as well. Website here: http://www.shirepost.com/wp/ 

I also enjoy seeing what sort of artyfacts other people come up with, things that help them make the fantasy more real. Obviously there are costumes and outfits of various kinds. Jewelery is a major mode of thematic artyfact. But also ephemeral items made of paper... like documents, letters, quill pens, that sort of thing. In Westeros for instance... I am intrigued by the phrase:  "There's been a raven my lord."  So I want to know things like... exactly how does the raven carry the message? Is it like the little tubes they used to use for carrier pigeons? How large, exactly, can the message be? Is it just the nobility that uses the Raven Post, or can merchants and tradesmen pay to use it as well? 

Having been heavily involved with the reality of swords and such for decades, I don't find the cut and slash of battle very interesting anymore. It's the mostly-ignored minor facets of social infrastructure that fascinate me, and cause me to think about making artyfacts. 

Anybody else making things these days?

I post here and on the Westeros.org forum as Master of Coin, but my real name is Tom Maringer. I call my workshop Shire Post Mint.

Have fun!     Tom



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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Lady Of The Blue Winter Rose
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Ser Coins, do you go to Renasanse faires and sell your wares? I have seen some here in the North.  You work looks wonderful. Nicely done.smile



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Rhaegar, despite wounding Robert, was struck down with a massive blow from Robert's warhammer, which scattered the rubies encrusted in Rhaegar's armor under the water.  Rhaegar died with Lyanna Stark's name on his lips.

 

Squire
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I have not done any renaissance faires outside my local area (NW Arkansas). For a couple of years I have not done any shows at all except for my local farmer's market craft section, along with the potters and knitters and basket makers. I did do world-con in Chicago this year... the world Science-Fiction and Fantasy convention, and that was my first-ever major con. I can see now that I need to do more of such. I also recently did a small local anime festival. Currently I am signed up for World-Con again this year (Lonestar-Con, San Antonio Texas, weekend of Sept 1, 2013), and thinking hard about Comic-Con in San Diego. The stuff I make is so across-the-board in terms of theme that it's hard to select. But I can't just do them all because I also need to be in the shop making the things. It's very time-consuming and I don't have any apprentices, so if I don't personally do it, it doesn't get done. The only jobs I outsource are occasionally the die engraving. The internet presence seems to be the best venue for me so far. I have a guy who is helping me get the "social media" thing together. I have a facebook page now! http://www.facebook.com/TomMaringerFantasyCoins and my youngest daughter is taking photos for that.

The Ice and Fire phenomenon is quite astonishing. As I mentioned I have been doing the coins for George since 2003. In those days George was a mid-ranked author and the sales of coins related to it was quite modest... one coin per month perhaps. George himself was my biggest customer, and he would give them away at cons and signings and such. Once the HBO thing happened everything began to change and now I am kept pretty darn busy making things, and especially the packing and shipping... which is still all just me. I attended only enough of the Farmer's Market events to maintain my membership, preferring to spend the time in the workshop. The main item is now the Iron Coin of the Faceless Man... which is a technically challenging piece to make. It seems to have captured the imagination of people in an astonishing way. There is even a group that is not GOT oriented that has adopted it as their "challenge coin". The master dies for that one were hand engraved by the late Greg Franck-Weiby, who tragically passed away almost exactly a year ago. The die-work on the hooded figure was a work of genius, as the shadowed face is just unclear enough that it seems to change expression as it is turned in the light.

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Priestess of R'hllor
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Fantastic work, Master of Coin! The silver stag of Aegon is still my favorite, I love the curves and the stag shown on the reverse. It vaguely reminded me of this emblem, presumably originating from North Caucasus. Wonderful artwork!



-- Edited by Macha on Sunday 2nd of December 2012 09:40:21 AM

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Squire
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Thanks, and "good eye" on that stag! Yes the die engraver/designer on that one was Greg Franck-Weiby again. The stag on reverse was done in that classy Scythian style, very similar to your illustration. It was inspired by a rendering in a National Geographic magazine that was depicting some artifacts found in burials in the Caucasus. The way he melded the hair of the queens in opposing profile with that of Aegon in the center of the obverse was quite unique and original. This piece remains probably the highest expression of the engraver's art in the Game of Thrones coin series. I do some of the dies myself... like the Robert Baratheon one... but I'm a craftsman and don't really consider myself as an artist. Greg's work in this regard was literally world-class, and it's a challenge to overcome his loss. Fortunately those dies are still in decent shape and should last for some time.

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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Braavosi Water Dancer
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I'm a huge admirer of your work, was in awe the first time I found them. Posted them in our tumblr website too. Love the new look of your website, btw. clap



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Knight
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Hello Tom, welcome to the forum. Really nice items you have, its nice to see something that is made by hand, by some one who understands their customer base. So much mass produced , cheaply made crap in the world these days. Genuine craftsmen and women are a rare breed.
Also enjoyed your website by the way.
Do you only post within the US ?


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Squire
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Hi Two Feathers and thanks. Not sure what you mean by the question "Do you only post within the US?" I thought forums were pretty much international. Did I misunderstand?

There are actually quite a few craftspeople these days working hard in obscurity and learning old ways. I've learned much from those who came before me and were generous enough to share their techniques. I hope to pass on some of what I've learned before my time on the world stage is done.

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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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post: verb, common in UK English, to send by mail (Do you post only in the US = do you send by mail only within the US)

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Squire
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Oh! (chagrin) Sorry! Now I understand. So much focus on forums and internet "posts" that I completely missed the root meaning! Which is (gasp) the root of my own website name... Shire Post... because when I started in 1987 it was all about making postage stamps and postmarks for sending paper-and-ink mail through The Shire of Middle Earth. I guess in Ameringlish we tend to use the word "ship" in that context. As in: "Do you ship internationally?"

But to answer the question... Yes I do ship/post internationally. I have several of the more popular items on eBay all the time (just search "game of thrones coin".) There's an international shipping option there. Alternatively my online store will add $5 S&H to ship anywhere. I'm mailing to UK, Spain, Brazil, Canada, and Australia almost every day, and many other countries as well.


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Knight Of The Sunset Sea
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welcome to the part MoC

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Goddess of Tits and Wine
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Hi Tom ! Brilliant stuff! Welcome...

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The sixth pressing of the Iron Coin of the Faceless Man is now well underway.  I think I have FINALLY hit on the right combination of steps to achieve the finish I was looking for. The coins come off the press bright and shiny... but of course that's not a good look for pure iron, because it will not stay that way. So I do a process to blacken the coin (it's called "blueing"... but it's black)... same process that is used to blacken the finish on steel gun parts. Then I tumble them to  brighten the highlights coat them in pastewax to further protect the finish and handrub to give them a gloss.  I love the feel of running my fingers through them in a pile... makes me want to chortle in pirately glee.

 lightbringer

Have fun!

TomFM6-03-comp.JPG

 



-- Edited by Cary Storm on Thursday 22nd of August 2013 03:29:08 PM

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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Braavosi Water Dancer
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they look gorgeous



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“Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.”

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As of today all the iron Faceless Man coins will be shipped from the Sixth Pressing. The ebay listings, online store listings, and website were all updated with new photos last night.
http://www.shirepost...e-faceless-man/

In other news... Museum Replicas Ltd has got a four-piece coin set up on their online catalogue! http://www.museumrep...coin-set.aspx They chose to include the Faceless Man, the silver Eddard, the Greyjoy star, and a Torrhen Stark penny, along with a newly designed coin bag.

We are talking with two other major retailers who will hopefully start offering coins and/or sets soon. More on that if/when it comes to pass!

Have a great new year!

Tom



-- Edited by Master of Coin on Wednesday 2nd of January 2013 10:22:54 AM

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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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That website URL didn't quite come up, Tom. cry



-- Edited by Cary Storm on Tuesday 1st of January 2013 01:58:57 PM

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Squire
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Ah.... sorry about that. Looks like I need to use the link buttons instead of just pasting the URL. Okey dokey... how about this?


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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Squire
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Cary Storm wrote:

That website URL didn't quite come up, Tom. cry

-- Edited by Cary Storm on Tuesday 1st of January 2013 01:58:57 PM


 

Ooops... is this better?

Shire Post Faceless Man page

Museum Replicas Ltd... Game of Thrones coins by Shire Post

Thanks Cary!

Have fun!

Tom

 



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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Squire
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I think I fixed it. Thanks Cary.

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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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Much much better   



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Squire
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I can see that there are some very talented artists here... which gives me an idea.

I can announce here and now that there will be dragons at Worldcon this year! Dragon coins that is. (WorldCon is in San Antonio Texas, last part of August into the first week of September)

These will be special coins! There will be a very limited edition of real gold ones for George, and then a much larger run of brass ones so that the common folk can afford them. There will be three different designs, so they will be available individually but also in sets of three... and there will probably be less than 35 sets in real gold.

I am seeking to design the archival display packaging that will hold the sets that I send to George. I have got some mockups of the basic format, but then will need the actual graphic design work for the thing. It will basically look like a book and shelve like a book, but when opened will reveal a small box with the coins in special holders. It is the graphic design for the outer book-safe that I am talking about here.

Rather than doing it myself or contracting with a professional graphic artist, I am considering sponsoring a fan-art contest for designs for this, with the idea that something wonderful and unique might emerge. It would have to be entirely original work, with no screen-grabs or other imagery derivative of HBO or any other artists' work. I will be able to provide templates. I'd be seeking graphics for the front and back covers, and the spine.

Is this the sort of thing that folks here would be interested in? Any suggestions about the format for how to conduct such a thing? I've never attempted anything of the sort.

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Braavosi Water Dancer
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i think that's a fantastic idea! we can also post it on the tumblr website too. Make sure you post the exact specifications of what you are looking for, what kind of things are admitted and what aren't etc.

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“Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.”

― Terry Pratchett, Small Gods.

 
 

 

Goddess of Tits and Wine
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Hello Mr Coin , I'm not entirely sure what it is you want ... I'll certainly have a go ?

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Squire
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Let me work on the details for how we might be able to do this. If there are any suggestions please PLEASE let me know. You can contact me through the shirepost website, or via willwhitfoot at shirepost dot com

I think that there is a huge pool of talented artisanry out there, and I'd like to see some of that talent be appreciated.

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Knight
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I guess this thread is technically the right place for this, as it will be a one off, so is not really a hobby.....confuse

Just a progress report on my crown for The King in the North. Its taking a little longer than I thought to hand cut and file the nine small longswords. But I think it will look sweet when its finished.                               

donal



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Mistress of the Rookery
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Two Feathers wrote:

Just a progress report on my crown for The King in the North. Its taking a little longer than I thought to hand cut and file the nine small longswords. But I think it will look sweet when its finished.                               


 

it will look awesome! How tiny are the swords?



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Braavosi Water Dancer
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that's beautiful TF!!! Are you planning to add the swords to the crown? How many?

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“Fear is a strange soil. It grows obedience like corn, which grow in straight lines to make weeding easier. But sometimes it grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.”

― Terry Pratchett, Small Gods.

 
 

 

Knight
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Just another progress piccie. The swords are 4.5" Andie. Thanks Tir also....Getting there slowly, still to add some runes and paint etc.



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Priestess of R'hllor
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The crown is shaping up and it's looking fantastic, TF! Can't wait to see it finished.

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Goddess of Tits and Wine
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Love it TF! When does it need to be finished for?

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Mistress of the Rookery
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looking good TF!



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 Messi has been and will always be one of my favorite players. It broke my heart a little bit that he didn't win today. Messi is awesome in every way. But Sean Penn still sucks all the dicks. Atat.

 

 

 

Knight
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Finally got time to finish this project. Although we never get to see Robbs crown in the show, the book describes it as being an open circlet of hammered bronze, incised with runes of The First Men, and surmounted by nine black iron spikes in the shape of long swords.
This is my interpretation of that description. The crown and swords are made of steel , and attached with a hidden weld. The circlet has a 3mm waxed leather lining. The runes are based on Norse runes and spell Winterfell. They are carved from an automotive body filler, and gilded in 24K gold leaf.
Sorry photos are not better.....................................................weirwood



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Knight
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Swords now black.



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Goddess of Tits and Wine
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Well done you! That's Fab TF !

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Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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I saw on Facebook that Master of Coin had some new Jahaerys coins... *poke, poke*

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Squire
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Ouch! I felt that! 

Yes we're in the process of finishing THREE new golden dragon coins in brass! We've been wanting to do dragons for a long time. The problem was always how to choose which realm and monarch. So finally I made the executive decision to go with three! Jaehaerys I Targaryen... the old king, standing for chivalry, honor, and peace. Then Daemon Blackfyre, the dashing your pretender to the throne... standing for courage, good looks, and prowess. And finally Joffrey Baratheon, the young bastard... standing for sniveling cowardice and betrayal.

The dragons will be released at WorldCon, August 28, San Antonio Texas. ThinkGeek will also be making the sets available at the same time in case you can't make it to the con, and pre-orders are being accepted through the Kickstarter below (assuming that it makes!)

Just because it would be SOOO cool to do at least a few sets in real gold, we've launched a Kickstarter for the purpose of buying enough gold to do at least four sets.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1717678842/game-of-thrones-westeros-golden-dragon-coins

Finally... as a response to the outrage caused by the Red Wedding, we're planning a small Walder Frey copper penny. The portrait of a younger Walder is rather ugly... hook nosed and hawkish... but the coin itself is rather attractive. Scouts report that number of copies have been seen defaced with an "X" marked across Walder's face... possibly in an attempt to maintain the monetary usefulness of the coin while deflecting the Curse of Caetlyn on the entire Frey clan. No pics yet.

In other non-GoT news, we've done a thousand copper "jots" and will soon be making iron "drabs" for Patrick Rothfuss, based on his "Kingkiller Chronicle" series (now with a movie deal signed and in the works!) And we've signed an agreement with the Bandersnatch Group to make in-world coins for the "Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan. The first trial strikes of a Manetheren Gold Crown (in brass) have been approved, and (fingers crossed) we hope to have some examples at WorldCon.

Anybody going to Worldcon? The Shire Post Mint booth will be the first on the right through the center entrance to the dealer room! 

We'll have three cool badge ribbons available... and will be taking signatures on a petition to "Bring Back Barsoom" by making a sequel to John Carter. If you approach the booth and say out loud "I FIGHT FOR HELIUM" we'll give you a badge ribbon that says DEJAH THORIS IS MY QUEEN.... as long as they last (we only have 200).  Then there will be a badge ribbon that says VALAR DOHAERIS... available to anybody who can show a Faceless Man coin. And there will be another one that says: THE DRAGON HAS THREE HEADS, available free. 

Just 25 days to go and lots to do, so I'd better get back to it!

Be well and hope to see you there!       Tom



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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
Priestess of R'hllor
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"small Walder Frey copper penny"
Tom, you have to advertise this on tumblr, they'll LOVE it.

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Wielder of the Baratheon BANHAMMER
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OMG I am gonna pledge your Kickstarter! They are amazing! Imma gonna get Wic.net on this...come on this stuff is awesome!

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"Robert was never the same after he put on that crown. Some men are like swords, made for fighting. Hang them up and they go to rust.” -DN

Squire
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I know nothing about tumblr... kind of a dweeb on the social media front.

The kickstarter is beginning to look doubtful at this point. Barely half way with just nine days to go.

Later! Tom

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Squire
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Kickstarter has "made"! If anybody wants to pile-on it is essentially a way to pre-order now. Whew... now there's lots of work to do! I'd better get to it! Tom

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Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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Is the Kickstarter a "Pledge" deal or does it require real actual today money? Because I'm a starving student. 



-- Edited by Cary Storm on Thursday 22nd of August 2013 12:07:10 PM

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"There's no cure for being a cunt."  Bronn
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"Who the fuck is Jon Snow?"  Locke

Priestess of R'hllor
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I think it requires money, no? And if the project doesn't meet its deadline, you get a refund? Isn't that how these things usually work?

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Wielder of the Baratheon BANHAMMER
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Yeah Kickstarter sucks that way, you dont make the goal and everyone gets refunded and the creator gets nothing. IndiGoGo is better as even if you don't make the goal you keep what you earned.

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"Robert was never the same after he put on that crown. Some men are like swords, made for fighting. Hang them up and they go to rust.” -DN

Priestess of R'hllor
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DonalNoyesArm wrote:

 IndiGoGo is better as even if you don't make the goal you keep what you earned.


 Hmm, isn't that a bit tricky also? What stops people pulling scams then?



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Lady Of The Blue Winter Rose
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Can we get a Frey coin with Valar Morghulis on it? That would rock! Much luck to you, ser, your coins are lovely.

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Rhaegar, despite wounding Robert, was struck down with a massive blow from Robert's warhammer, which scattered the rubies encrusted in Rhaegar's armor under the water.  Rhaegar died with Lyanna Stark's name on his lips.

 

Wielder of the Baratheon BANHAMMER
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Macha wrote:
 Hmm, isn't that a bit tricky also? What stops people pulling scams then?

 Nothing, you just have to use judgement and common sense before giving anyone cash on the internet.

Kickstarter is not scam free, more than a few crowdfund projects have proven to be scams with the backers receiving nothing and the starters running away with the cash they gathered.



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"Robert was never the same after he put on that crown. Some men are like swords, made for fighting. Hang them up and they go to rust.” -DN

Squire
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Well this one's for real! You are welcome to check me out through my website, my ebay feedbacks (seller: tmaring) and through the dealers that are handling my products (HBO shop, ThinkGeek, Museum Replicas, Mighty Ape etc.). I've been making fantasy artyfacts since 1975... that's a long time! My primary reputation is in the field of custom swords. I've had photos of my work featured in numerous issues of BLADE magazine as well as KNIVES ILLUSTRATED, and every issue of KNIVES annual from 1981 to 1996. But nowadays I've turned my attention primarily to coins. The Krause Publications catalog UNUSUAL WORLD COINS (from 4th edition onward) includes over ten pages of listings from Shire Post Mint. My philosophy is that I want people to be happy with what they purchase from me... and not just ordinarily happy, but ecstatic. The greatest compliment I ever received was from a fellow who purchased some coins and then wrote back after he got them. "I thought those were just made up stories... but these coins are REAL!" With coins in hand he was able to suspend disbelief for long enough to actually think that these stories could be true! That is just awesome! (Yes, I gently let him know that the stories are made up... I couldn't let him go on) Anybody who's ever bought something knows I always put a note in the package... and it always says: Have fun! Which is what it's all about.


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Lady Of The Blue Winter Rose
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Two Feathers wrote:

Swords now black.


  Feathers! freakout Look at these, soo awesome highfive



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Rhaegar, despite wounding Robert, was struck down with a massive blow from Robert's warhammer, which scattered the rubies encrusted in Rhaegar's armor under the water.  Rhaegar died with Lyanna Stark's name on his lips.

 

Lord Bannerman Of The Smileys
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I got my Jahaerys coin today!!!!

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"There's no cure for being a cunt."  Bronn
"King Stannis is my god."  Davos
"Who the fuck is Jon Snow?"  Locke

Squire
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Cool! I just finished a few strikes in 22k gold for the people that chose the highest levels on the Kickstarter. A new set of dies was prepared just for the gold. On the real-gold ones the dragon on reverse has a forked tongue, and on obverse the raised characters "22K" appear at the bottom left corner of the bust.

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Tom Maringer Fantasy Coins http://www.shirepost.com/wp/
 
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