Saturday, 13 April 2013

Those who can't do... teach

Sculpting Tutorial Session

Yes,I know that's a slightly misleading title as I can sculpt...!

I have been approached to run a sculpting day at Wargames Workshop in Milton Keynes, which I am more than happy to do.  

The Session

The session will include tips on sculpting in general, conversions, anatomy, drapery... basically enough to start you off in the world of miniature sculpture!  There will be some theory work involved but the majority of time on the day will be spent 'hands on'.

I see the early part of the session dealing with general sculpting tips: tools; putty choice; technique - both in theory and practical terms.  The latter part of the session will cover more specific issues for each of the participants (as identified through the earlier part or agreed upon prior to the session).

I should add the following disclaimer... This session will not make you a top level sculptor overnight!  Like pretty much all of the other aspects of the Tabletop Wargaming hobby, sculpting takes time to become good at and years to master.  However, I will be aiming to help everyone who does take part to improve and to take some new knowledge away with them.


The initial aim is to sign up 6-8 people in order to set this up, although the optimum number of participants would be between 10-15.  No previous knowledge of miniature sculpting is needed, although it would be helpful to get the most out of the session.

At this stage there is no firm date for this nor a cost decided for the day, although it is likely to be at some point over the summer (with a cost of ~£10-20 which should (hopefully!!) include some of the materials/tools required - greenstuff, wire, sculpting tools) - this will be decided if enough people are interested and can commit to taking part.  

Obviously, the more people who take part, the more 'successful' the session can be deemed to be (and the better the chance it would have of being repeated in the future!).

Book your place...

If you are interested in learning a bit about miniature sculpting whether you've tried it before or a complete novice, please let me know if you would like to participate and we can get this organised.  

You can contact me via the email link on my website, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, 11 February 2013

Back Again...

First blog post for a loooonnnnnng time!

I had intended to maintain this blog on at least a monthly basis: putting up pictures of my new miniatures; short stories; background information for my miniatures; general musings on wargaming in general.

Unfortunately I let that slip, largely as a result of suffering from Depression (with a capital 'D', as in clinically depressed and not just feeling a little bit under the weather).  I have had a history of Depression for a while and it can be an uphill struggle sometimes.  I have been following the path of least resistance and just doing things that other people want instead of being a little bit selfish and demanding to do things that might make me feel happier.

Much of my recent issue can be traced back to problems with our internet provider; we had a running battle over a period of roughly five months for them to fix (or at least improve our service) - that's not to say that was the only cause as there were other factors involved, but this was a significant proportion of the problem.  This left me (most days at least) feeling extremely angry.  That anger dissipated over time and l was left with the empty feeling of melancholy.

During the last six months or so, I have found it extremely difficult to maintain my focus on sculpting and wargaming in general.  I dislike much of what I produced in this time as I don't feel they matched up to the images I can see in my head - there was a kind of disconnect between my imagination and my hands that I couldn't resolve.  In short I was not doing well.  It was at this time that I decided not to bother looking at modelling forums anymore either; it just wasn't/isn't worth the anger and heartache of having your work (or other people's) trashed for being different, whilst the nth Space Marine conversion (often poorly executed) is drooled over by gushing 'fanboi's.

I think in part the problem lay in that I had stopped producing miniatures 'for me'  and was then into the realms of sculpting things that I thought other people would like.  I am now getting over this (a small amount at least) by starting to make bits for me that are unlikely to ever be cast up.

I appreciate the support I have had from various quarters and I am looking to repay that support by going onwards and upwards to create more and better sculpts in the future.  I would be grateful for any/all advice or strategies anyone has for dealing with Depression whilst being a creative person.

I was a away for a while, now I'm back

Thanks for reading


Friday, 17 February 2012

Dhurn Explorer

I've had this miniature knocking around for a while now so I thought I would share him with you.

A Little Bit of Background...
Dhurn Explorer (front view)
The Dhurn are a doughty race, implacable and taciturn - and fearsome on the battlefield.

However, they are not a warrior race; they are miners and metalsmiths, builders and architects, engineers and inventors.

Once, the Dhurn ruled an empire of over a thousand planets. They were fair and peaceful, sharing their beliefs and technology with other races. They kept a peace and were arbitors of justice in the galaxy.

Then came the dark days. There is no documentation as to how the Dhurn homeworld came to perish - some think it was an accident, that new mining technology caused the planet's crust to fragment and rip apart. Others believe that it was an act of aggression from an alien race, that it was a coup to wrest power from them.

Dhurn Explorer (rear view)
The truth of what happened may elude the historians, but the results were seen immediately. The Dhurn found themselves outcasts, no longer welcome anywhere. Many were killed, some were enslaved - but a small number managed to escape and were drawn to the remnants of their ancestral home.

Nothing much remains in their solar system, just asteroids and uninhabitable moons. A disused mining colony in a hollowed out asteroid became their new home; their skills in engineering and building allowing them to expand and fortify to house many thousands more Dhurn than the colony had been intended to.

Now, the Dhurn are dwindling.
They send out exploration teams to find new resources and to seek out any Dhurn who may still be out there...

On to the mini...
As I said, I've had this mini sitting on my desk for a while now, and its finally painted. I wanted to sculpt a 'new' Dhurn mini, but not a 'soldier', so I lit upon the idea of an explorer/adventurer.

I thought about the background for the character for a little while before I began to sculpt and decided that the Dhurn, as an essentially a dying race, would likely all be expected to do some form of military/defence training. This character, I decided, would be a veteran, someone who has spent long hard years fighting for the good of the people and had been physically scarred by the experience. To that end, I gave him a bionic leg, which led me to think, "he should have a bionic arm too!"... I wanted to give him a more 'civilian' feel so I elected to avoid giving him armour, although he does have a pistol (it is a dangerous galaxy out there, after all!!).

All in all, I enjoyed sculpting and painting this guy... and if anyone else would like to have a go at painting him, he will be available on my site soon.

Thanks for reading. 'Til next time - buy my minis!!


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Breaking the silence...

This is my first blog (unless you count 'micro-blogging' via Twitter).  I'm not a prolific writer, but I aim to keep this updated every 2-3 weeks... we shall see how long that lasts! 

Why am I doing this? 
I have been a tabletop wargamer for a loooonnngg time.  Admittedly I took a 10 year break from the hobby and it was only the fact I was diagnosed with Depression/Anxiety that I came back to the fold.  My doctor recommended I take up a hobby that I liked to do and that I could take pride in, so I revisited my childhood love of miniatures.

I started sculpting miniatures a while ago; my first complete miniature sculpt was an ogre character that I made in 2007.  My sculpting attempts were born out of a desire to own new minis, but a severe lack of funds - so I started to make my own.  

I started sculpting properly in June 2008 after a few attempts over the previous year and I found it very enjoyable. I started S3 Minis (or Silent_Spectre Studio) at the beginning of 2009, as I was made redundant in September 2008 and had little success in the job hunting market.

I made the switch from 'cast to order' resin figures to metal figures in October 2010 and, after some teething problems(!), by March 2011 was able to carry stock of each of my figures. I view this as the date I 'properly' started as a miniature producer.

I am still trying to find my 'artistic voice' in terms of a sculpting style and I am constantly trying to improve how I sculpt things - sure, I may not be the best sculptor working at the moment, but, equally, I wouldn't say I'm the worst either!  I sculpt the things I like, and I hope that some of you like what I produce (especially if you like it enough to buy it!).

Ultimately, I love to sculpt and create, in three dimensions, in miniature, the creatures that I 'see' in my imagination.

What is this blog all about then?
I'm basically going to be using this blog to show off some of my 'work in progress' (WIP) pieces - new miniatures I am working on, painted minis (mainly S3 Minis, but I might show of other manufacturers' pieces if I like them), bits and pieces in general...

I am looking to spread the good word about my miniatures and make 2012 a 'breakout year' for me.  

So 'til next time... Buy my minis!!

Stuart, S3 Minis