Filipp and Dmytro, the founders of the Wooden Army project, shared with Mezha.Media the story of the creation of their HIMARS wooden construction toy. It all started with Dmytro’s brother, Kostiantyn, who has been serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2014. He admired the effectiveness of the HIMARS system, reading the news about the advantages of this weapon and learning various details of its operation from his comrades. Supporting this passion, Filipp and Dmytro decided to give Kostiantyn a special gift — a miniature of the HIMARS system.
As the first attempt to translate the idea into physical form, they used a 3D printer. But, as can be seen in the photo, the result was far from perfect.
A month later (it was the end of August 2022), Filipp and Dmytro saw news about the wooden HIMARS mock-ups that the Armed Forces of Ukraine used to trick the russians into spending over $65 million hunting for these wooden “systems”.
Taking into account the successful experience of Ukrainian companies in the creation of wooden construction toys, the developers decided to create an interactive HIMARS construction toy from wood, which can fire different types of missiles.
When Kostiantyn received his gift, he showed it to his comrades, and they asked that the same models be created for them. At this point, the developers realized that the construction toy could be in demand and could be used to raise donations.
This prompted the authors of the project to create 3 HIMARS models, which were signed by real HIMARS operators. One of the figurines was put up for auction in the USA and sold for $7,500. All the money went to charity. The other two are waiting for their turn and will also be sold at auction. It was also the beginning of the Wooden Army project.
Today, Filipp and Dmytro launched a Kickstarter campaign that will allow anyone who wants to get their own copy of the legendary HIMARS, as well as help children affected by war. Part of the raised funds will be sent to help through the Children of Heroes foundation, which provides support to children who have lost their parents.
The advantage of the Wooden Army designer is the level of detail. “We achieved a completely authentic image of all details, down to the indicators of the target’s defeat. Thanks to the special system, one ATACMS missile or six MLRS can be launched,” say the creators of the project.
Each model also has QR codes that can be scanned to access an exclusive interview with the HIMARS operator, to learn the detailed history of this weapon system, its specifications and how it was used. The assembly process is designed to be exciting, but not too difficult.
“Our motto is Make wood not war. We hope that soon Ukraine will win, and people will see weapons in the form of wooden models, and not as equipment in their yard,” the authors of the project note.
You can support Wooden Army on their Kickstarter campaign page.