This sculpt of an animated Dwarf statue of ancient times, or possibly a petrified wizard woken to life, will, if all goes well, be cast by Czech caster Jan Kral over at Custom Made Minis (a company which specializes in providing mouldmaking and casting services for minor sculptors). Mouldmaking will happen in May. Then, I’ll sell the product in my first attempt at business.
Below are pictures of the sculpt and a scale shot:
Jan told me the sculpt looks massive, but I don’t think it will be much worse off after the metal shrinks in the mould than any 30-32mm miniature amongst 28mm models. Size variation is normal in any population. Judge for yourself in the pictures.
However, since I like Dwarfs robust and round, it means that the statue model will probably weigh up to 3 times as much as your average 28mm metal miniature. Hat and optional hands help contribute to that.
Still, our worse-case calculations show that it’s a viable product (especially since it is a multi-part character kit), and I hope to earn back the mouldmaking and casting costs with the first row of 25-30 casts ordered from Custom Made Miniatures. Once this venture has repaid its investment, I’ll send down the Stricken Dwarf (which is less massive) and by then maybe also the scribe and slaves (if finished) for mouldmaking and casting.
I’ll have to check on postage costs to various countries in various packages carefully once I receive any casts, but me and my brother agree that the end product shouldn’t end up costing more than 20�,� including postage. We’ll see about price later on, but a preliminary guess would be roughly 12�,� plus postage, maybe more maybe less.
As such, would you buy this miniature?
In case you know already that you will order the model, please PM me or tell me here, and I’ll sign you up on a list to inform you right away of everything relevant once the product is released. Selling will happen through the market place forum on CDO, followed by PM and E-mail correspondence, followed by PayPal transaction. I’d prefer to use PayPal as a means to do business, not least since PayPal have a means for refunding should the order get lost in the post or whatever, thereby providing some security for buyers.
If you know already that you’d like to purchase the miniature by other means than PayPal, please tell me.
This is the closest thing to a preorder we’ll have for this one. Signing up names of interested customers could help determine the size of the first order of casts.
To be frank the miniature looks really cool.
Still I don’t know if I would have the money anyway soon for such a product.
- Quite big (but I think for a unit filler it is perfect)
- A bit too static. (I.e Statues usually have a kind of heroic stance, Belegar is a good example of a heroic stance that would fit a statue)
However I would also be tempted to support your project for the simple sake of helping a CDs member.
So I am no sold but do not discount me either. (Yeah damn annoying customer sorry)
Still, happy to see your commitment, if by any chance you need someone to help you (regarding the financial part of your business or analysing the market risks don’t hesitate to contact me )
I’m interested in this mini, but the price is a tad off putting for me as with postage it’ll be pushing £15 for one guy. Unless it’s going to be limited to a small run, I think I might end up waiting until you’ve got some of the other stuff cast so the postage gets spread out over several minis.
Also, don’t forget to add your flayed men to your product line at some point; you won’t be able to cast the strings, but it might be viable to cast the flayed skin.
That’s valuable feedback, folks, keep it coming! It helps give an idea of prefered price levels, directions of future sculpts etc.
This is not going to be a limited run. The mould is expected to last for 100-300 castings. However, if this mould doesn’t repay itself within the coming months after release, the next sculpt to go for casting won’t be close in the future. I’m cautious about my financial situation and will take one step at a time, in effect one sculpt cast at a time instead of investing much in a whole little range right away.
I’m not sure the flayed skins would hold together that well if cast in metal, but I guess it would be possible to thicken them somewhat… Good idea. I’ll hear with CCM later on about it.
It goes without saying that this premiere miniature is a limited experiment in business, and even sculpting, to test the waters for an amateur like myself. Here’s hopes to advance up the learning curve from it. Feedback will likely affect future sculpts in some way or other.
Say it here, too. I am in for one!
I’ll take one.
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Just got to add the different options for arms are awesome :hat off
I want one
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+1 here in Italy aswell. I love the model, even if i wish it could have been a real dwarf, like this I wont have a real use of this statue.
Still it looks great and I’d like to have it. Plus helping the community is always great.
Cant wait to have it!
Will it be in metal, right?
Jan told me the sculpt looks massive, but I don't think it will be much worse off after the metal shrinks in the mould than any 30-32mm miniature amongst 28mm models. Size variation is normal in any population. Judge for yourself in the pictures.
Pro-tip, when the pro says something, listen. Keep in mind what happened to the Hobgoblin heads. When they talk of metal shrinking... realise it is by such a minute amount people wont notice it. The difference between it shrinks which can affect casting and it shrinks so people notice isn't necessarily the same. The best advice I can give is to get a bunch of reference models that you expect people to use what you make alongside. Makes for a world of difference between guessing and posting pictures and then other people guessing (not that the latter is bad, just not ideal).
Obviously if it is supposed to be a larger than life statue then fine, but I get the feeling people are going to use it was sorceror model. And that'd be tip nr 2. do what people want to buy.
The old metal heroes are quute big. I have one you can borrow for size reference.
I’lI take one as well.
Noted! We’ll of course have scale shots of the cast miniature up once the package arrive. If you’re not content with what you see then, just say no thanks.
@Loidrial: Yep, it will be in metal. As for uses, simply owning and tinkering with a mini you like is enough for a lot of collectors. Still, I’m sure it could be used in an army as either a character (perhaps afflicted with some stony magic), unit filler or terrain piece. Or perhaps as a diorama to the side on your army display table? There are lots of possiblities, even though few are gamey.
@snowblizz: Thank you for good feedback. This was an accidental commercial sculpt, a way of making better use of a private sculpt so that others could benefit. The size of the body and very many of its details had already been finished (still, if it ended up too large, it was despite using various Dwarven reference miniatures rather than due to not using them) when it dawned on me the sculpt could have wider appeal. Scrapping a sculpt already vested with considerable hours of work, and then restart (with no guarantee to succeed in sizing) was absolutely out of the question, so listening to the warning of a professional when the sculpt was already completed wouldn’t really do anything other than abort the casting enterprise. Scale, proportions, symmetry and size have always been very weak spots of mine and not just for sculpting, and this isn’t easily bypassed even by use of reference miniatures or heavy effort. It might sound like I use reference material less than I actually do, but the problem is not in the material, the problem is rather in my eyes’ tolerance threshold for size and scale deviation.
Simply put, as a raw amateur, people will simply have to reject or accept the flaws in my sculpts, depending on their taste. If it’s too large, they won’t buy it, and it isn’t the end of the world for anyone. I’m not shy of displaying the sculpts in scale shots, on the contrary I want collectors to have a good look on them and decide for themselves. This is at least intended doing what people want to buy, it’s just not a professional sculptor doing it, with inherent weaknesses in the sculpts as a natural result.
There’s only one way to improve, and that’s through practice (I believe the same-sizing of the arms and the various hands in the kit is sufficiently right if not completely perfect upon very close inspection, so at least that’s a step in the right direction). Perhaps I can one day nail down size and scale reliably, but that day is not today. That day could come with the next sculpt, or it could be years or decades into the future, who knows? Until then, these sculpts are practice sculpts, but I don’t want to sculpt just for myself even when I simply sculpt what I want, I want to spread my work to a wider audience that might like to take part of it, should they deem the result good enough to acquire. This little amateur commercial venture isn’t about reaping a profit, even though I hope to make it carry its own load, it’s about making others “benefit” from my work by making it available to them. If they don’t like what they see, they won’t pick it up. Simple as that.
Plus, this mini seems like a forgiving starting point for casting, since any oddities with the size could be viewed as those of a larger-than-life-statue. When you’re weak, so to speak, it is paramount to choose your fights well. And since the casting venture is small-scale, no one will be ruined if it fails.
@Bloodbeard: Thank you, maybe next time when I start a dwarven sculpt from scratch. I’m not sure I could make good use of your generous offer, however (since I’ve used other Dwarves for size reference already), but it could be worth a shot.
Hey! You’ll already get one for free due to work on the heads mould!
You may be an amature Admiral, but if I was a millionaire I’d seriously consider trying to hire you to give me sculpting lessons
BtW Admiral - will you be writing a short story about this guy at some point? Or at the very least a fluff paragraph to put on the back of the box?
Thanks Dînadan, you’re too kind. If I was a millionaire, I’d aim higher and go for Ravenswood or Rozmax for the evil Dwarf side of things. And good idea about the short story!
Thanks Dînadan, you're too kind. If I was a millionaire, I'd aim higher and go for Ravenswood or Rozmax for the evil Dwarf side of things. And good idea about the short story! :)
Would it be heretical to say I prefer your stuff to theirs? :hat off
And, 'welcome; now you just have to write it ;p
I’d buy him…he is a bit big for use as rank and file, but he would make a superb unit filler…masterfully detailed and sculpted, plus he has a Big Hat. What’s not to love? :cheers