Saturday, May 19, 2012

Inside The Process - Rat's thoughts

Good morning!

Today I like to talk little bit about the character designing. These are the observations that I have made during The Operation Punk Moth. Some of these thoughts have been crystalized in conversations with Kari over phone, but today I only talk about my Design philosophy and techniques.

While Kari always creates amazing artwork for his characters, and approaches his goal with very artistic painterly way (which i admire very much), my approach has always been more design orientated. I like to use more rougher style. Not trying to make eye candy but visual notes.

I am a designer with my heart and soul and with this =][= project I have tried different ways to design my characters. Let me explain:

Nicodemvs was a study to do things more GW style - I chose John Blanche's painting and designed my character based on that painting.  Fun to do, and because of the John's amazing artwork you can't simply go wrong.

Then came Borvs, who was more "hands on" style -  I wanted to carry on quickly with the project so no sketches just sculpting out of head. Im not completely happy with the result, although I did many breakthroughs with my sculpting techniques here. This way of designing things just wasn't my thing;)

With the Project Punk Moth the the character design has been somewhat problematic with both of us... We both create loads of ideas and concepts for new characters all the time, but witch characters to choose then? The warbands are quite small in the =][= game and we would like to create nice dynamics around the characters. So it is "Kill Yer Darlings" all the time. Many cool and wild concepts have been buried in the search for perfect balance and the RIGHT look.

When I started to design my third character for the warband, I imagined many crazy ideas for the character. Once again I phoned to Kari to explain my new plans (I phone Kari quite regullary;)
sometimes explaining your ideas to someone helps to clarify them. Sometimes Kari has something to ad there, sometimes he just advices to carry on. Somewhere between these phone calls and sketching an idea about Siamese Twins appeared.

This time I wanted to use Sketching in the designing process so I created number of sketches studying the pose and the details. After trying out different methods with the earlier characters I noticed, that sketching really is the best way for me to design my stuff. When I draw, I don't try to get the final look, I just try draw cool sketch. The final look of the miniature is created in the sculpting process - just like Jes Goodwin once said Miniature Is The King!

What Im trying to (clumsily) explain here is that feel free to try out different methods to create your miniatures or conversions. Don't restrict your self to just to kit bashing. Try out something that you have never tried before. This way you may even surprise yourself with the result ;)

Here they are.  Conjoined twins that both seek the enemies of the humanity to destroy them with very varying techniques! The III member will be the loose cannon of this warband. The twins are constantly battling for the full control of the body to execute their plans. The other twin is strong guy who wants to crush his enemies in fierce melee, while the other twin is weaker and seeks to snipe the enemy with a sniper rifle. So the theme will be inner battle.

Im quite sure that they have some connection to Mars and to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Maybe some secret experiment of some sort, only the Machine God knows I guess.  


  1. When I sit down to create a figure I clip, cut, sculpt and dive through all my parts near to hand and the figure just evolves...

    I have sketched on occasion before making a figure and I would like to do that more often...

    But usually I just go with the inspiration i have at that very moment.

  2. No right or wrong here - trying out different methods is what makes this so fun=)

  3. Excellent Jes-quote. Miniature-wise there is a lot of wisdom in those words.

    These days I am getting more and more taken with idea that miniatures are little 3D-tales of fiction. Thus minis as well as sketches, painting, short stories, stat-lines, terrain, etcetera are all media by which we can create fiction.

    Your words: "I don't try to get the final look" are interesting, since it seems to be about leaving the detailing of the design open in the sketching phase. The idea of making the sketch something that can be interpreted later in the process is interesting, as it leaves room for the sculptor to fill in some areas. But would it be possible to take this approach further by leaving parts of the finished model open to the viewer...

  4. Open to a viewer? - Interesting... ;) Maybe i should sculpt a "Sketch"-miniature and send it to Kari, who could then add more details or even convert it to fit to his vision. how about that?=)

    I also love the stories that lite the miniatures into life. I think we have created very interesting blog-sphere here, where we all inspire each other very much!

  5. A little like the goal of the Legion of Plastic-blog where the move away from classic 'eavy metal painting towards a more painterly and expressive expression. The bold painterly approach might leave area of the painted mini open to the viewer. For instance by keeping the eye area dark is a place where the viewer then can projects his/her thoughts about what sinister eyes lurk in those dark corners...

  6. I see what you mean!
    Migs is doing wonderful work also=)

  7. Looks like you put Teddy's bones to good use with creating several golems. Especially nice to see that you didn't forget to dress them in their Sunday Best. Cannot wait to see you comes up with for your evil twins mini.

  8. Yesterday I stumbled on your blog again, after a bit of an hiatus from the hobby, and oh boy! You guys have been having so much fun and producing such great work. Very inspirational.

    Really make me want to finish the half decent minis I've put together.

    Thankfully 6th edition is nigh, and I am determined to put together a small force - and what is even better, is that they allowed allies! :)

  9. Hell'o Miggs so great to hear from you again!
    and thank you very much!!
    You are right, we love what we do, simple as that =)

    Also looking forward to finally see your army ready for battle big time!