Operation Hot Lead

Update! (5/10/04)
WiP: I've added a Work in Progress section towards the bottom of the page and included the 5 most recent pics BJ has sent me of the 1st sculpt. Go, look. Then e-mail me with feedback.

Update! (11/4/03)
Ready, set,...: I've added more info to the page, and I'm close to reaching a decision about who the sculpting job will be handed to. I'd like all of you to review the information below and make you own decisions as well. Then I'll take a poll, and see where we stand.

Update! (10/31/03)
Turning Up the Heat: Operation Hot Lead is again moving forward. Yesterday morning I contacted Reaper's art department and posted a note to the 1listsculpting e-group. Both generated a flurry of responses, some from very surprising sources, like reknowned artist Sandra Garrity (if you don't know who she is, go to Reaper's website and look at just about any page - there will be one or more of her sculpts on it). I've added the new artists' quotes and links to their work below.

Update! (9/24/03)
Holding Pattern: I'm not ready to proceed any further with Operation Hot Lead at the moment, so I'm still working on compiling info on casting and sculpting so that when I am ready to go forward with the project again, I'll have as much info as possible.

Update! (4/19/03)
Sculpting Examples: While looking at some "greens" (Green Stuff sculpted masters before they are cast) at Reaper's website, I stumbled across some of Jason Wiebe's most recent work. I've added a link to it down in the sculpting section. Also, I found an excellent example of what a "chassis" designed sculpt looks like when it is subsequently modified with different arms/head/weapons on the Perry Miniatures website. I've added a link to that in the sculpting links below as well. Further, I've posted a handful of pics that Brannon Wright sent me on some < 50mm Battlemech sculpt examples that he did to give me a better idea of what his more "gaming-related" work is like. Finally, I sent out an e-mail to New Wave today requesting contact info on the sculptors they have used for their Special and Limited Edition production miniatures. Updates will follow as I receive more information.

Update (4/15/03)
More Feedback: Jason Wiebe contacted me today with his quote. He's running about the same $$$ as most others for the first sculpt, but he also mentioned the "chassis" design, with one sculpted "chassis, and then multiple extra "parts" like wings, arms, and even possibly heads to create different looks. His price quotes and the link to his work is listed below. I still have one remaing "feeler" out there, and would like to put out a few more before I consider any final decision.

Update (4/12/03)
Artist Feedback: Operation Hot Lead (the quest to have Crymorian miniatures sculpted and cast) is proceeding rapidly. I received contacts back from 4 different sculptors. Links to each of their sites and/or examples of their work can be found below. Basically, their proposals have been as follows:

A few notes about the sculptors above: Gene Van Horn and Joseph Byrd are both in the process of sculpting new works for Reaper. Unfortunately, their NDAs prevent them from showing us their latest works, but the fact that Reaper is using them as sculptors should obviously say something about the quality of their work. Jason Wiebe and Sandra Garrity also obviously sculpt for Reaper. You can see numerous examples of their work in both the catalog and the greens section. Drew has done work for Reaper, as well as numerous other companies. Check his site under the gallery for a listing of them. Rod Tyson, Brannon Wright, and James Linehan all have experience sculpting these types of works, but it isn't their focus the way it is for those more involved in the gaming miniatures industry. Gabriel and Grant appear to be "amatuers" that do sculpting on the side.

It appears that the casting costs will run around $500-600 for 75-100 miniatures of each of 3-4 sculpts. So, I'm trying to keep the sculpting budget to within $900-1000 so that the final cost per miniature remains under $5. Obviously, methods like Brannon's will provide the greatest number of variations for the least cost. Jason's method would be similar, and he has expressed a willingness to be flexible on his above quoted price, as this was (in his words) "a personal deal." However, Drew was less than impressed by the idea of a single sculpt with modifications, and shared with me the following rant (*grin*) when I broached the subject of this type of project:

"Hacks. Thats why I've gotta get out of this business. It thrives on hackdome. NYAA I'm comin for ya baby. Yea, they are technically right, you can do that. But I can tell you after looking at your art that you'd be throwing your money away. That's good ready art. You can't just bend a naked shoulder around to where you'd like it. If you're not looking for any real serious quality in your pieces I'd recommend you go with the others suggestions on that and save some money. That would make the first figure full priced and then 50% of that amount for each subsequent conversion. Add $25 to $50 per finished joint break or unique weapon bit etc. I'm not interested personally. If I were to do these great designs I would want to concentrate on things like the side muscles wrapping up from the lower back up into the armpit all while scales texture the masculine tone and so on. Each one a piece of art. I would loath to make this one guy stuck in a basic 'fork and knife' pose just so I could later whack off an arm and reposition it. Get out of the subject and into the object man. Read Persig and Leary.
Sorry to be a pain. But these are essentially nudes and you cant do that to nudes without a lot of loss of quality. Ohhhhhh just ignore me. Check out GW Kroxigors. Thats the best you can hope for if you take that road. Not too bad really."


So, much of this is about what I (and really, the collective "we" of everyone involved) want to see out of the final product. Is the quality of multiple original sculpts worth the cost to avoid the "fork and knife" pose, which could provide a number of variants of the same basic sculpt at a lesser cost? That is something each of us must decide.

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The Sculptors' Pages & Other Links:


Work in Progress pics:

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Another fine creation of: Silvereyes Hawk Creations, LTD©.
Changes last made on: Monday, MaY 10, 2004 10:02:31
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