Insider 2-17-2011

Today Privateer Insider sits down with Studio Director Ron Kruzie to find out a bit more about the sculpting process.

Every miniature that comes out of Privateer Press passes through your hands. Can you explain a bit about the sculpting process? How does a model go from concept to actual figure?

RK: The process from concept to figure is a long creative journey with many exciting challenges. Much of it is a big balancing act. First, you have to find the right person for the job. Many of our sculptors excel at creating a specific type and size of miniature. The person who sculpts big, awesome beasts will not always be the same person who does the lovely female warcasters or the hard-lined machines. After finding the right sculptor, deals are made, contracts assigned, and then the concept art, notes, and reference minis are sent out. During the sculpting process there is constant communication back and forth as the sculpt is created and evolves. This communication is essential to insure the pose, size, shape, and details are all the best they can be. We also have to keep in mind that the sculpt will need to be reproduced in our factory, so this has an effect on the final sculpt. After the sculpt is finished, it is passed on to production so it can be made into the metal, resin, or plastic minis used in the game.

What are some of the challenges when trying to take a picture on paper and make it three-dimensional?

RK: Some things work just fine in 2D, but when you try to make them in 3D they just don’t work. Most of these problems don’t arise until you try to sculpt a mini. Over the years, we have identified the most common issues, and we do every thing we can to concept with these challenges in mind. Some of the most common challenges we face are where to cut the sculpt apart, basic body build under the armor, detailed views of odd angles, and the sculpting of backs and weapons. Other problem areas are weapon sizes, general poses, and facial expressions. All these potential problems need to be dealt with before the concept is sent off to the sculptor. However, a good sculptor can get past any of these unforeseen issues with the right support.

What excites you most about Privateer Press' move to resin as a casting material? What doors does it open that may have previously been closed?

RK: We can now do big models. Yes, we already have big models in our current range, but now they can get even bigger. Not only can we make models bigger, but we can also make them lighter. Big models can be glued together with ease and we don’t have to construct them with a hundred separate parts. That’s a win/win situation.

What does it take to become a sculptor for Privateer Press?

RK: The simple answer is being really good at sculpting. Also, a good sculptor needs to communicate well and understand that he or she is working as part of a team. Being able to match the sculpt to the concept and color art is also very important. Finally, a good sculptor must be willing to make changes to his or her work at any time with out a fuss. Oh, and being fast doesn’t hurt.