Insider 08-18-2017

She’s the One That You Want…

Cuz the power she’s supplying, it’s electrifying!

Tradition holds that every Gen Con, we work with the RAM in Indianapolis to create a character expressed in both the form of a miniature as well as that of a craft beer. While these two things might seem to have nothing in common on the surface, anyone who knows miniatures lovers knows there’s actually a substantial overlap in interest.

We try to rotate through the various Factions of WARMACHINE and HORDES, year after year, when we choose the subject we’ll feature for our RAM character. This year, Cygnar came up, and after discussing a number of different ideas, we settled on the Squire as our subject of reinvention. The Squire is perhaps one of the cutest Cygnaran models in existence, second only to that perky little half-’jack that Captain Darius likes to pepper the field with. It’s the closest thing to R2-D2 in the Iron Kingdoms and is arguably more useful to a warcaster than R2 has ever been to a Jedi, at least on a turn-by-turn basis.

But the Squire didn’t immediately scream “Beer Model,” so it required some artistic liberty in order to make it satisfy the requirements of the annual exclusive that would also adorn the t-shirts, mugs, and growlers offered by the RAM in Indianapolis.
What resulted was a sort of deconstruction of the little automaton and its reassembly into the armor of a gallant heroine. All of the elements present in the design of the new character can be traced back to the design of the squire—from the cyclopean optic lens to the flared-out legs (to the old guy doing the art). Even the staff hearkens back to the asymmetrical targeting scope on the original Squire.

The character design found its way without a name to our Graphic Design team, but naming the beer that the RAM does every year is one of the best parts of this whole gig. In the process of creating the t-shirt art, our team stuck upon the name: “Voltaic Vixen,” which inarguably fits like an insulated glove.

But that is only half the story because the absolute best moment of this whole process is that the design gets made into a miniature, and that’s where the master of femme fatales, Doug Hamilton, takes the baton…






You better shape up…

I like teaming up with Matt, but I don't think I will be a good Olivia to his Travolta!
Here we are, another Gen Con—sold-out 50th anniversary and another team up with the RAM for this year’s Gen Con Beer Model! I've been to Gen Con seven times now, and it seems to get bigger and bigger each year. I love seeing all of the games on display, previews of the new games in development, and players from all over the world enjoying themselves. It also brings back fond memories of Gen Con 2012, when I stood in line for hours to get Hyperion as a prerelease. While I was standing in that line with a couple of friends (Shout out to Anthony Woods and Bobby Hostile!), they introduced me to Matt and mentioned me being an artist...one with nothing to show him. I figured I’d missed my chance, having had the boss right there, but fortunately things worked out; that Gen Con thankfully gave me the opportunity to refine my work before getting my interview a few months later. Flash forward five years, and here I am, teaming up with Matt on another sweet convention model!

It’s no secret that I love doing con models, and the Voltaic Vixen will be my third Gen Con release (following last year’s Skarre model and the Blighted Bather two years before that. It’s always great to see what kinds of ideas the team comes up for these alternate models, and they’re always a pleasure to work on. This year’s model marked my first time working on a Cygnar sculpt, and what a way to start. I know how popular the Squire is whenever I play against Cygnar, so it was great that I was getting a chance to do this alternate version.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: one of my favorite aspects of working from Matt’s art is how characterful yet simple in design his work always is. Just my style! My first impression of the Voltaic Vixen was of a ’70s roller-skate girl—she has that attitude, and the steam shorts remind me of the old car-up restaurants from when I was a kid (or a teen—I know, I'm old).

The sculpt itself came together quickly and smoothly, and I felt it captured the look Matt was going for—he says I understand him and what he wants to convey, and as a result, I think we were able to pull it off once again with a fun twist on an old classic.

Finally, a quick shout-out to the guys who make all the sculpts just a little bit cooler: Marco, Luke, Stu, and Nathan. Thanks, guys—I appreciate you more than you know.

Editor's note: Voltaic Vixen is available for a limited time at our Gen Con booth (#533) and on our online store at https://store.privateerpress.com/voltaic-vixen-exclusive