Concept to Crate - Alten Van Hellsing

Hey everybody! I’m here to introduce our latest MiniCrate model, Alten Van Helsing, and to tell you a bit about his transition from mere monster hunter into a foe of all creatures of the night.

The first drafts of this character were drawn up shortly before Lock & Load 2017 at a time when we had plans for quite a few MiniCrate models but wanted to get more concepts drawn in order to show them off in our Keynote. Alten was part of this stable, and so Mike Vaillancourt, Matt Wilson, and I sat down together and started some visual brainstorming.

My first drafts of Alten is below. As this was my first MiniCrate model, I began by leaning pretty heavily into Alten Ashley’s look, adjusting his gear to be more suitable to a vampire hunter—stakes, lanterns, and the like. Somewhere between drawings A and B, someone had the bright idea to replace Bucking Jenny with an enormous crossbow, which I loved:

We were satisfied with a lot of elements in these initial sketches, but they just didn’t feel fully realized yet. Matt took a look at them and produced a sketch that felt a lot more interesting to us (and in fact turned into the eventual pose for the model itself). I then took this sketch, pulled in a few more elements that we all liked (the stakes on the belt, for instance), and sent off version E for our Lock & Load presentation.

That was the last I saw of Alten for a couple months while we worked on other, more urgent models in the pipeline, but I knew he’d be back! When it was time to get him ready for sculpting, my first pass was a fairly straightforward cleanup of my rough sketch from earlier.

We agreed that he was pretty close but that we could do more to make him a bit more engaging. To that end, I did another pass and added more details to his bow, cape, and sword. With colors provided by the illustrious Ainsley Yeager, we were done at last!

Now’s your chance to get Alten Van Helsing to hunt the enemy monsters on your own tabletop. Go to www.mini-crate.com by April 19th to subscribe now, and remember that VIP subscribers also get a seventh model free with their subscriptions (Mrs. Walls the pirate)!