Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Monsterpocalypse was my big project for a while, I was under contract with Privateer for a year to complete the project and during that time I sculpted all the monsters and some of the bases for the Empire of the Apes, Lords of Cthul, Planet Eaters, Savage Swarm, Terrasaurs and the Tritons with the exception of the vehicles. I think it was sometime early in '08 I got sent the concept art for Terra Kahn as a test piece and right after finishing him up the concept art started flooding in. This was an amazingly stressful and busy time as I was cranking out something like 6 sculpts a month on the average and some of the designs were requiring details that I wasn't sure how I was going to pull it off. I even had to build special tools for some figures like Anglax to get that fish scale effect and once the fig was done I haven't used that tool since.
While I don't feel these guys are my best as I was so rushed it was a crazy trial by fire in creative problem solving which got me thinking it different directions. I had actually done so many figures and their releases had been so drawn out that I had forgotten what I had sculpted, I would see a picture online or down at the game shop and recognize a figure I barely have any recollection of working on. I was pretty surprised to find out that Monpoc is getting optioned for a movie, if I find it surreal seeing product that I have worked on at a game shop I can only imagine what it's going to be like seeing these monsters I worked on stomping around on the big screen.
The pics I chose to show for this are of the last three I did and to my knowledge these have yet to be released to the public. Also, I don't normally post pics of my "greens" so I thought I would do something different.

Empire of the Apes:
King Kondo
General Hondo
White Dijan
Airborne Ape
Command Ape
Howitzer Ape
Stealth Ape
Frontline Ape
Rocket Ape

Lords of Cthul:
Ancient Osheron
Meat Slave
Task Master

Planet Eaters:
Harbinger Comet Shard

Savage Swarm:
Cliff Hopper
Razor Beetle
Spy Fly
Steel Back Roach
Dire Ant Warrior
Vice Pincher

Terra Kahn

Steel Shell Crab
Psi Eel


Pictures provided by Privateer Press

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hmmmm... Another Trollblood figure, anyone seeing a trend to my assignments? A while ago I got an emergency job from PP for Borka, apparently they were unhappy with the original sculpt (not sure who did it but I have my suspicions) as it looked too comical and... goofy, I guess. Anyway I think I had 2 weeks to do this in which was kinda fast for me as I had yet to do a figure of this size yet let alone a character. I was asked to make him "bad ass" since he is supposed to be a symbol of male-ness... ess. Lotsa testosterone. I think the one glaring thing on this sculpt I would like to redo is his face; that upper lip bugs me a lot and I wish I had a bit more time to get it right but, a rush job is a rush job. And while I did sculpt Borka I did not do his little keg-gimp, if I knew I would tell you.
Painting and photos by the usual suspects (PP)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Earthborn Dire Troll

Did this guy a while back, the trick was getting him balanced on that fist. Bit of note: For some reason when they put this guy together his hand that is flung back is upside down from the concept art. When I sculpted it the palm was pointed down so I was surprised when I saw the finished pictures that they assembled him that way. I didn't even know it could do that.
Pictures provided by Privateer Press, painting by Privateer Press painting team

Saturday, August 27, 2011


For the amount of time I had to work on Drago I thought he turned out decent. I had been given 3 assignments to do at once with a month-and-a-half to complete it in; The new standard Khador jack chassis (which was scrapped and replaced with the extreme design) Beast 09 and Drago. This guy had some complex design stuff going on with him in the shoulder department. If you have seen the model he has got a bunch of piston work in that area and normally on the jacks that kind of thing is armored over and you don't get to see the detail but it was pretty key to this guys look. So lots of building and back filling to make it castable. In fact, since I suck at sculpting chains I used real chain which meant that I had to back fill all of that as well. Defiantly one of those "WTF am I DOING!" moments as I was working on his arms. Made with Magic Sculpt, lots of aluminum tubing, real chain, Fimo and green stuff and done in something like 2 1/2 - 3 weeks. Anyway... Yeah, Drago.
Pictures by Privateer Press, painting by Privateer Press painting team

Friday, July 8, 2011

Extreme Juggernaut

I'm not a big fan of my own sculpts, I'm not sure how others in the business view their own work but but for me I constantly see mistakes and things I should have done. Time constraints and mold restrictions pretty much ensure I am always releasing stuff that I am never satisfied with but if I had to pick a favorite miniature it would be the Khador Extreme Juggernaut. Right after I had finished the Warp Wolf Extreme I asked Matt if he had any requests and he said he would love to see an Extreme Destroyer. Funny, since I was thinking just about the same thing and all I needed was an excuse to do it. Khador's jacks are some of my favorites, I really like the design and the concept behind them but how to make it fit into the "Extreme" line? First was size, it had to look like it would go toe to toe with the scale of the other Extreme figures, also, Khador jacks are the biggest on the battlefield due to the fact that they use the biggest chassis and the most armor out of all the armies so if I was ever going to do any other jacks for this line then this guy would be the biggest. It also had to be beefy enough so that customers would feel like they got their moneys worth, since it was probably going to be on par with the price range bracket of the other Ex figs I didn't want to put out something that made the customer feel like he was getting left out. But what else? Extra stuff? No, can't add anything that could be misinterpreted or effect the rules and just adding pretty flourish seemed weak. What I thought would do the trick was articulation.

I love action figures and how the sculptors are able to hide points of articulation and with the Jack here was a great opportunity to do just that. I wanted to make a figure that would give the modeler the opportunity to maximize the custom potential and ensure that no two would look the same. I asked Matt for the original artwork for the jacks and began to go over the sketches. Something I try to incorporate in my sculpts is a level of plausibility and with the Khador jacks there are some design flaws that make it look unworkable as a robot; namely the elbows and shoulders. Going back to the original artwork I immediately saw where I could change it and give it the articulation that it needed. First was the shoulders; a rotation point was added there so that the arms could swing forward and back while the ball socket (that seems to get used for the full range of mobility in the arm with previouse sculpts) would handle the pivot outward and in, with these two points added the figure already had a massive leap in believability as a working automaton. Next was the elbows; the connection point normally was midway down the arm and while this gave it a battering ram look it didn't give it reach. It reminded me of a T-Rex which is a detriment to something that uses its arms for combat so the elbow was moved farther back . Also the angular rectangle aspect of the forearm was rounded out because I wanted to add wrist articulation as well. I haven't seen the pewter version of this but the original had articulated fingers too, this way the builder could decide which hand they wanted the weapon in and it also meant that if any variations were done only the weapon would have to be sculpted. There was only one point I had to sacrifice and that was the knees, originally there was a pivot there but by that time I didn't think it could structurally stand having another possible weak point and with this thing being cast in pewter the knees were too iffy so the thigh and lower leg were made as one piece. But with a ball-and-socket in the hip and ankle it still had some pretty spiffy articulation in the lower half.

I sculpted him almost entirely from Magic sculpt, a tough 2-part epoxy that when dry is like a rock, I can cut, sand and drill it without worrying about it tearing or shattering like greenstuff or Milliput. It took me about a month-and-a-half to two months to finish him up but once done Privateer didn't know what to do with it. Sure, it looked great but the logic was that it made sense that monsters like Dire Trolls an such could grow, jacks don't. Yes, this makes sense to me as well but since I was asked to do an Ex version of the jack I'm not sure what was expected; a jack the same size as all the others but with a really big ass base? So, he sat on the shelf for... what, a year? I don't remember now but it was quite a while. During that time I did a rush of Khadors jacks, Drago, Beast-09 and the new, revamped Juggernaut. But, there was a problem with the new Juggy and apparently something catastrophic happened to the original sculpts and Privateer didn't have a replacement for it... But I had. I got a call from Ron describing the situation and asking if they could get the Ex from me. They would shrink the jack down to the appropriate size and use it as the basic jack for the new plastics (something I had suggested a year prior but was rejected) I said "sure" and gave them a price break on it as well. Normally I get paid a bunch more for the Extremes but since this wasn't going to be released as one I went with the standard cost of what a jack normally goes for. Well, it got released as an Extreme and the basic plastic jack AND used in the Grind game. So, I guess they really got a deal out of me.

I had big plans for this guy, I put a lot of forethought into the design and customizability for the figure and planned to do weapon variants for the different jack types. One of them was the Destroyer but PP didn't like the alt pieces I made and got Sean Bullough to make new ones that resembled the original concept art. I had also begun to make "prestige armor upgrades" pieces that would fit over the existing model allowing for further customizing, giving the jacks a more unique look with bits of flourish and character. These parts were not wanted by PP and never went into production. I've included a picture of two pieces of shoulder armor and a piece of cowl armor with a blade that would have fit on the armor over the head.

Whether you like him or not this guy was a real labor of love for me. I made him from the standpoint of "If I was buying this thing what would I want to see" and as far as product went he turned out pretty well. Tons of potential for the modeler as well as an intimidating presence on the board.
Pictures: me and Privateer Press, painting by Privateer Press staff

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wraith Engine

3 1/2 months of my life went into making this engineering nightmare, and that's about as much as I want to talk about it.
Photos provided by Privateer Press, paints by Privateer Press paint team.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gorax part deux

About a couple of months ago I finished up the new Gorax sculpt for Privateer. I know Ron and a few others weren't too thrilled with the original sculpt. This time since there wasn't a huge rush on getting him done as there was already a model out for it we got to take our time. That neck harness threw everything off on this guys anatomy, getting the head into the necessary position and the chest flexing with that object in the way made sure I was plenty frustrated with getting it to look like the art as well as like it could be a living creature. Geah.
He's not dragging a stone behind him this time and the sculpt is based off of the Hords book art of the gorax and not the concept art. Anyway, hope this goes over with Circle fans, I know from doing the extreme sculpts that people hate to have new interpretations done of their warbeasts.
Pictures provided by PP and paint by PP's team.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For the love of Lovecraft

I have been sculpting a lot of big stuff lately, I mean A LOT. Oh man, have I been sculpting a lot... Um, anyways. I was asked by Blackball Games a while ago to work on their Book of Fragments project which is a Lovecraft based game. They wanted their creatures to be as big as they are reflected in the stories so I have been working in a scale that has pushed me out of standard gaming miniature techniques and into garage kit type of sculpting.
Here is the Dark Young, (Shub Niggurath) first model for Blackball and at the time this was the biggest sculpt I had worked on to date; measuring at about 260mm long and 130mm at it's highest point the model is produced in resin and is 3 pieces (4 including the base.)
Concept art by Brian Snoddy, always a pleasure to work with and paint by Jessica Rich

Friday, January 21, 2011

I can feel my brains becoming more delicious.

I recently picked up a book called Pop Sculpture and have been blown away by the amount of information inside. This was the book I wish I had a loooong time ago as it covers (or at least touches on) practically every aspect of sculpting from start to finish. It even has a section on making joints for action figures! This book approaches sculpting from the larger scale and their favored sculpting medium is wax based products but the techniques are relevant to almost every scale. So much is covered in this I feel like I hit the jackpot, this is amazing stuff and I cannot recommend this any higher. If you get a chance swing by their blog spot and see whats going on over there, the book is excellent but the blog is always being updated with interviews and behind the scene pics so it's like getting a double whammy.
Hope you get to check it out!