Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Ping Pong" The steamjack of crushing might!









Blast from my past, I did this guy sometime back in '03 I think and was one of several Iron Kingdom themed figures I made to show off to Privateer in hopes of getting a job as a sculptor. Funny thing is is that I was already sculpting steampunk themed figures before I knew about Warmachine as I was in a D&D game that had that element in it. Steam and fantasy was a concept who's time had come but there wasn't much in the way of figures available in that genre. I think Mage Knight was the closest but I wasn't a fan of their figure production so I started to make my own. When I found out that there was going to be a new game that had all the things I was trying to do myself I got excited and started to make figures inspired by the Iron Kingdoms.
At one point I was invited over to Mike and Ali McVey's place and in his work room he had the masters for Magnus the Traitor's jacks there. After taking about techniques for sculpting armor and mecha I got inspired to give it a shot. I really liked the idea behind the mercenary mecha and I knew I wanted to make a utilitarian jack turned into a make shift war engine. I came up with the idea of a mining machine with a drill for digging and a massive claw for moving rubble. With that rough idea I went to work and just sorta free form built it.  Ping Pong is primarily made from Plastruct, brass rod and screws, acrylic spheres, brown stuff, some guitar wire and... A ping pong ball, (Which is how he got his nickname.) The head is the only part I didn't entirely sculpt and is an old Khador Destroyer head modified as I was still leaning about sculpting and wasn't comfortable just doing one from scratch. All the spikes and studs were done using a process I had never considered at the time; press molds! God, I wanted to smack myself silly after learning that and just how simple it was and how many problems it fixed. I remember the drill being an odd, spur of the moment inspiration where I glued varying sizes of plastic tub inside each other to make it solid, carving and sanding it down to a cone then heating a strip of triangular shaped Plastruct with a heat gun and wrapping it around the cone in a spiral. Don't know where I got the idea from now but at the time it was so obvious how to do it that it was spooky. I think I made him over the course of a week during the down time I had working graveyard in a porn shop, which there was a lot of. He stands just shy of a whopping 90mm which is even taller then the extreme Juggernaut I think. But, he does fit on a standard large base, so, he's got that going for him at least.
Soon after I had a meeting with the head honchos at Privateer's production site. Mike introduced me to Matt Wilson and Brian Snoddy and I showed off my stuff, Matt was kinda surprised by Ping Pong as he said he was working on something similar, some kind of warjack for the dwarven faction. Funny but it's not the first time my work has paralleled Matt's. Kelly Yeager who is head of casting joined the meeting and Mike wanted to know if the jack could be reproduced but it was a definite "No" as he was made from plastic and wouldn't have withstood the molding process, (Privateer had yet to make he push into resin so everything was metal cast.) But this guy, a new necrotech figure and a couple of concept pieces of what an Ios-ian soldier and Scorn warbeast  would look like was enough to pique Matt's interest in hiring me on at PP.
Every once in a while I look at this guy and want to do touch-ups on him. Fill in gaps, add detail or just refine him but I always stop myself since it's an example of my early work and to mess with it would ruin a reference point of my life so he stays as-is. I do get cravings to paint him too but something always comes up, who knows, maybe he will get a makeover some day.

Friday, September 28, 2012

I used to draw

...Like, a lot. I was so-so at it but I was always doodling or drawing comics or something but since I got a job as a sculptor I rarely have time to sit down and just draw and to be honest, it's not as satisfying as sculpting. In fact, if I am working on a personal project I usually skip the concept art stage and jump right into the sculpt. I always work on artwork provided by the company I am doing a job for and there is something satisfying by just working off of a loose idea and free form sculpt from there. 
A few years ago Ron Kruzie ran across a sketch I did for one of his Warhammer armies from, "Back In The Day," when neither of us did anything on a professional level. ( You can reference some of this story on the Iron Back Spitter post I made a while ago http://monster-zer0.blogspot.com/2010/11/ironback-spitter-king-of-koopas.html ) Ron asked if I was capable of producing concept art? Good question. It had been years since I did anything 2D and the best way to find out was to do it and see what happened.
I did three pieces of art and sent them in, nothing ever came of it but I thought I would post them here just to share. Now, before we get into it I have to do a disclaimer: These are NOT concepts that Privateer will be releasing! I am NOT showing you a preview of, "things to come." These pieces of art are my own ideas based off of Privateer Press's products and was only to see if I was creative enough, and capable of conveying a dynamic idea in the form of a drawing. So that being said if you start the rumor that these are in the works it's all on you.
(And yes, that is what my handwriting looks like, misspellings and all.)


First up is, "Wulg," Mulg's welp. Remember when I told you the bedtime story about how Mulg came into being and the original concept behind him? If not, go look. S'cool, I'll wait... http://monster-zer0.blogspot.com/2010/07/hello-my-name-is-mulg.html Anyway, The idea was that Mulg had suffered from some kind of horrid magic attack, something his troll metabolism just couldn't entirely deal with and the club fist was the best it could do (also the reason for the scar across his eye, chest and arm) So, Wulg was the product of that accident, A welp spawned from, "the most ancients," blown-off arm. Even though he's a welp being from a dire troll and more muy especial then just any old welp (imbued with an ancient earthborn dire trolls abilities and whatever residue magic that caused the accident in the first place) he's grown to the size of a trollkin. One massive stone hand from whence he grew is his main weapon and since he is from a dire troll he's got all the bad attitude that comes with one. some of the fun ideas for rules would be causing earthquakes (a cone effect) by slamming his fist into the ground, being able to move terrain by 1D3 inches in a direction of his choice. The other was that Mulg has animosity towards the welp; if on the same battle field and within a 6" radius of each other the player has to flip a coin; heads Mulg goes about what he was doing, tails and Mulg tries to eat the welp in an attempt to get back the power the little bastard stole from him. I thought it would have added a random and fun element to the game, sorta like some of the older rules for Orks in 40K. I chose the name Wulg as a play on the Mario/Wario nonsense Nintendo did a while ago and in the drawing Wulg's bigass arm should have been his left since that was the arm Mulg had lost in my original concept.




Next is, "The Blessed Of Everblight" A crazy-ass Nyss Warlock uses a complex spell and submerges himself in a spawning cauldron (willingly and still alive) in attempt to become closer to the dragon he worships and this guy is what came out. A Nyss / draconic hybrid, basically a warbeast that can cast. If you look at the chest you can see his head, chest and arm sprouting out of the beast. 



"The Privateers" - This was an idea for MonPoc I had a while ago, a fleet of intergalactic pirates come to Earth to plunder it. Ala Captain Harlock, Star Blazers, Macross, stuff like that. Space cruisers with a battleship theme to it. I thought it was a fun nod to Privateer Press.
Even though I am waaay out of practice I hope you guys still get some enjoyment from this post.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"The Thing that should not be..."









Here is something for you Monpoc fans, a proposed figure that was never used for the Lords of Cthul faction. Much like the, "Extreme," sculpts I did; as in: "I'm inspired to sculpt something on my own," this guy was sculpted after I had done all the figs for the faction. My understanding was that even though PP liked it there was no current place for it so it has been sitting around my works space for a couple of years now. I've got far too many things like this half finished and floating around but I thought I would post this guy to see how or if people would react to it.
I changed the overall design and instead of a fat gut and larger lower body I made him look emaciated, switching the mass to his brain. I remember watching the movie "The Time Machine," ('02 version,) and really liking Jeremy Irons character. The idea of a brain growing down the back really appealed to me and I decided to make that the central focus of the sculpt. His hands and feet are all webbed and three fingered/toed keeping the aesthetics from the other figures in the line but I made them more wiry and lean as if all it's body's nutrients are going straight to the grey matter.  I also had him squatting like a toad from the bulk of his brain and added a fifth eye. A third eye wouldn't seem that impressive since there is already Cthul who have 4 so five makes it just that much better... Right? He is about the same size as guys like Yasheth or Cthugrosh but only because of his vertebrae. 
The general idea is that he was a psychic attacker/defender. Maybe causing madness in the opposing forces by flooding their fleshy minds with disturbing nightmares or images of other realms. Anyway, hope you enjoy a bit of what might have been; cortex and tentacles.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A little respect...

Lori has been my girlfriend for 7 years now. I think that means we are married in the eyes of the State but she is still my 20something goth/clubber who I used to work with in a game store regardless of what life has done to us. Lori is FAR more social then I am since I keep to myself mostly and do my work. Content to live in imaginary worlds rather then deal with the real and without her I wouldn't be able to do what I do today. And for those who are familiar with me are probably, only because of her posts and links to my ramblings and endeavors. But, if for some reason you have found me without proxy go and check out her blog


Lori and I used to work in a game store in Seattle which is how we met and her interest in painting miniatures has grown into something which demands mentioning; in the U.S. too often miniatures are viewed as a means-to-an-end, you collect the figures for what they do on the battlefield rather then their aesthetics and it is rare to see someone give the love, attention and passion to a figure that many deserve. I understand that not everyone can be a master at painting, sculpting or converting but at the same time I think if you are going to pay the price for what some of these companies are charging for a miniature then maybe the figure DEMANDS your best efforts. Lori started out with the mentality of, "gotta get my army painted so I can play," (which plagues too many of us,) into a finer appreciation of the beauty of the single figure painted and converted into a thing of pride and a piece of art that can stand on its own or tell a story just by being what it is. Every mini is a learning experience and if you want to take a ride and share some time with someone who has the desire to grow then skip over and check out her blog; help out, learn a thing, commiserate or just chat. She's pretty cool about just everything; How cool? It's been seven years and she still puts up with me so how cool is that?

Noh Rashinma-To







One of the cool things about Gencon is that all the companies that I've sculpted for finally show off their work which means I can finally talk about it. Here is the Hunter, (I think he is called "Rashinma-To,") and his warhounds that I did for Soda Pop Miniatures. Leaner then the Berzerkers and a tad taller since his hair is bigger he was the third Noh I sculpted for John Candice. The concept art by Chris Walton had a pretty wide stance and to keep that look and fit him on the correct base I made a scenic insert for him to stand on. Not sure who did the color drawing but it looks like it is based off of Chris's concept art. Anyhoo, no official picture of the mini yet, (that I could find) so the ones here are either from me or scrounged from the net. In the 4th pic, Zenida and Sprite were sculpted by Aragorn Marks using a digital haptic sculpting tool which I thought was pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kasaro-To, general of the Noh faction





John Candice has had me working on a bunch of the Noh figures for the release of Relic Knights and this guy is the latest. General Kasaro-To, his mount Dahaka and his cipher, "Azi." designed by Chris Walton this guy was a crazy complex puzzle that kept me busy for quite a while. Just when I thought I as making progress or getting things done I would notice/remember some detail that would need to be added. And then to top it all off, making the pieces fit together AND on the base? Oh yeah, I was having a ball. Noh are big so squeezing this guy on to the base size while keeping the dynamic stance was a big worry but I think he turned out OK. The mount's head is on a ball and socket as is the tail so a little freedom of posing is possable right out of the box. And even though there is a joint-key in all 4 shoulders and waist they are still ball and socket too so with a little cutting customizers can get more poses out of the mount... But I don't know how the general will fit on the back after that is done.

Anyway, here are some pics of the greens to go along with the other Gencon pics. Sorry, I'm not a photographer but it should give you an idea of the parts breakdown. Sculpted with Fimo, greenstuf, Magic Sculpt with cast resin parts and brass rod.
Pics snagged from Gencon, art is based on Chris Walton's concept art, (but I don't know who colored it,) and the last three photos are done by inept, 'ol me. Hope you guys like.




Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pyre Troll part Deux

Heeeeey! Privateer released my Pyre troll! This guy was done around November of '10 and was sort of a side project with Ron Kruzie. Something that was a bit off about the original was that he was kinda on the small side, more of a Trollblood then a Troll so we wanted to get his size increased as well as a new pose. I wanted to do something different in that regard so there was diversity on the battlefield, I ended up with a Hulk-like pose of the Troll charging into battle rather then spitting fire. The two things that got changed was that he had fire coming out of his mouth that ended up getting removed, not like a fire ball but rather that his insides were on fire and the flames were licking up the sides of his face. Like a furnace on full blast. The other was the pose; originally he was balanced on his forward foot which I thought made a more dynamic charge but they didn't like that and requested he be re posed so that both feet were touching the base. This was done with a simple cut on the right foot's ankle and the figure leaned back about 30 degrees. I kinda felt that this took away a lot of the implied momentum and made it look more like he was strolling forward to give a hug. Oh well.
Picture provided by Privateer Press, painting by Privateer painting staff.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"My love for you is like a truck..."


I've been doing work for Soda Pop Miniatures for a while now, at least a couple of years which when you look at just how much I did doesn't seem like much but on the other hand is a pretty heavy break from my usual, The Noh for relic Knights are in the, "monstrous," scale that I'm usually asked to sculpt in but the armor is in a much more detailed, mecha, symmetrical style then I'm used to so here's hoping that I've pulled it off. Chris Walton did the concept art for these guys and it's always fun sculpting from his references. For the Berserkers I wanted o make sure that the parts between the two figures were compatible so that means the forearms, hip armor, hands/weapons and loincloth should be swap-able with both body types. I'm not sure how many you can field in an army but I wanted to make sure that people could do a bit of customizing with their figs. See! I've got your back! 
Oh, and since John Candice posted it on his Facebook page...
Photos provided by various sites I snagged from and painting by James Wapple (I think?) art by Chris Walton, "Green" by... Me!

Wrath of Kings Ucuzo

This was my first figure for the new Wrath of Kings line from Cool Mini or Not and he seems to be a limited edition. I am not too sure about the factions or overall themes for the game so I can't comment on what it's all about but he is a big guy for the vampire-ish(?) army I think... Gortisi? This figure was done back in Feb. of this year and I would give credit to the painter if I knew who it was. 
Picture provided by CMoN.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Storm Trollhammarin

Yup, 'nother Troll. This one has the Ben and Jerry's flavor of lightning added to it, my guess is he drags his feet on the carpet a lot. I'm pretty sure I did this guy sometime around March/April of last year.
Picture provided by Privateer Press and paint by the PP painting staff.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Carnivean Extreme


Wow, at last I can talk about him. This guy was finished in Jan of '10 and has been lurking around Privateer waiting to be put into production. This was the first Extreme sculpt that had concept art provided for me to work off of. All the others were my take on the icon creatures /machines of the factions but I guess they were nervous about what I would do with this guy when I started on him. Chris Walton did the art for it and drew up pretty much exactly what I was going to do already with a couple of exceptions; the skin texture was my contribution to the design, (something I wanted to do for the Carni as I thought it looked more disturbing and unnatural) and I didn't do the pose I was originally planning which was far more gruesome. Before I was given the art I had planned to have the Carnivean feasting on the corpse of a Dire Troll Extreme, the troll being part of the base while the Carni pulled great bloody gobbets from an exposed rib cage.  I thought it would have bought the whole Hoards beast thing full circle since it was the DTX that started it but maybe it's best I didn't, people can be so reactionary. Something I thought was funny is that PP plays their cards close to the vest when it comes to future projects so I thought it interesting that in Chris Walton's profile pic on the PP site that had been up for a couple of years had the concept art for the CX in the background. Accident or on purpose? Who knows but squint in the upper right of Chris's profile pic to see how things hide in plane sight. Anyhow, here is the latest of the Extreme sculpts and kudos to the painter who got this guy presentable in record time.


So, usual suspects for credit on this; pics provided by Privateer Press and paint by Privateer paint squad.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Adepticon angel?

Oooooohyeaaaaah, I remember sculpting this. God, something like a year ago, forgot that I did it but just ran across a picture of it. Took a few seconds to realize it was one of mine. This was set up by John Candice over at Sodapop Miniatures (which is why there is a little soda pop bottle at her feet) and has alt weapons and heads for those of you who like a little choice with their minis. This is the first female figure I have sculpted to go into production and I'm pretty sure the only "human scaled" figure I have done for anyone other then myself. 
Apparently it's limited to 500 and you have to have a ticket for Adepticon 2012 to get it so to those who go and get one I hope you enjoy.
Picture shamelessly snagged from Adepticon website  http://cart.adepticon.org/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=29&products_id=560 and figure painted by James Wappel

Let me be your hawg!

The Road Hog was not one of my favorite designs to work from, I thought him too goofy and the face didn't look much like a boar's, the tusks were too far back and the goggles insinuate that his eyes are forward and not more to the sides. On top of that the odd douche-gun arm is just... Well, odd. Oh well, it's not my place to be artistic, just to reproduce the art given to me. Speaking of which, this design wasn't done by Chris Walton who did the War Pig so that is one of the reasons why there is a drastic difference in style. But, here he is.
Photos provided by Privateer Press, paint by Privateer painting crew

Friday, January 20, 2012

Super Dungeon Violator

I've been doing work for Sodapop miniatures for about.. A year or so now? John Candice has been giving me strange and interesting projects to work on which has been testing me, I mean, just because you can sculpt something dosn't mean you can sculpt EVERYTHING. Or at least sculpt it well which gets me into some funky situations sometimes. One of the odd things about this job is that if you do one type of sculpt well you end up getting pigeon-holed into doing the same thing over and over again. John has been giving me some assignments that are waaaay out of my norm, so much so that I have been unsure if I can do the art justice. But he took a chance and asked me to do work on his Super Dungeon Explorer core system. He actually let me play with the designs and bounce ideas back and fourth with the final product. If you have the game, "Rex" and all the dragon hatchlings are stuff done by me. One of the coooool things I love is that after looking at the concept art and talking to Mr. Candice I came up with the wee flying dragon miniature, that ended up having it's own artwork by Andrea Confrancesco. Checkitout!


http://graingnome.deviantart.com/art/Super-Dungeon-Explore-illo-208871650


 I love that, it makes me feel like I'm actually doing something to progress the hobby. 
So far I've been hearing good things about the game, people seem to be taken with the mix of chibi figures and old school vid game theme of the game. Something new and invigorating for the industry, it can't be all warhammers and grunting steroid men with skanky women in ineffectual armor, every once in a while we need a push in another direction to remind us all of why we do it.
For fun. 
So here is hoping you all have some.

Monday, January 16, 2012

TROOOOOOLL!


Dire Trolls, lots an lots of Dire Trolls. Privater has had me working on this project off and on for quite a while. It started with the Boomer (and getting all the kit parts set up for all the variants) and finally ended with ROK just a few months ago. So... Something like 2 years I think? Finally I can talk about it. The info on the Boomer has already been made here  http://monster-zer0.blogspot.com/2010/07/so-here-we-are-at-latest-incarnation-of.html if you feel like reading about it. The Blitzer was I think the only DT that I did not originally sculpt so now at this point I think I've managed to get my filthy digits on all the Trollblood's Dire Trolls. The Mauler was my first production miniature and was also based off of the art from the Monsternomicon and talks with Mike McVey where as this version had strict artwork to adhere to. If you are interested in reading about the Mauler you can find that here.  http://monster-zer0.blogspot.com/2010/05/so-i-thought-that-i-would-give-little.html. ROK was just finished recently and reminds me of Jerry Garcia on a bad acid trip, not sure what it is specifically but when I was sculpting him I had "Touch of Grey" stuck in my head for days. Uuuugh.
So, yup... Lots of Trolls.

Pics provided by Privateer Press and paint jobs by Privateer's painting crew