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Ever feel like the mini sculptor made it hard on purpose?


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Absolutely.

 

 I’m currently dealing with the 2021 HeroQuest, and so many of the figures have bare feet, straw or fur lining under greaves and vambraces, individually sculpted teeth, layers under layers of puttee wraps, buckles on said wraps, confusing pieces of armor or clothes, etc.  And the details are often soft too begin with because of the PVC/soft plastic used.

 

I appreciate the sculptor’s level of devotion, but there is a point where the effort is just not bringing enough return to be worth it.

 

I think that HQ is getting a handle on it, though. The minis that I looked at for the latest expansion seem to have much less finicky detail, and look better for it, IMO.

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I actually asked DKS about the opposite during the last ReaperCon.  I said “given how good you are at freehand, how do you balance out sculpting details enough to keep the average hobbyist interested, vs giving enough ‘free space’ for more advanced painters like yourself to use for freestyle?”  As you can imagine, he didn’t really have a set answer, but he said he does try to leave some of the obvious things like shirts/cloaks/etc. clean enough to allow for freestyle patterning.  It’s an interesting dilemma, and I’d imagine that sometimes the sculptors are even surprised when they move on to the painting stage.

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Oh yeah, overdetailed models are a pain. I avoid them, lately. I painted the original Clovis model from Zombicide and none of it was fun.

 

What's equally bad are models clearly not ENGINEERED to be easily painted, and this is a sin the Wizkids unpainted line is especially guilty of.

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1 hour ago, BlazingTornado said:

What's equally bad are models clearly not ENGINEERED to be easily painted

I find a lot of the new GW stuff falls into this category as well. Not just their huge pieces, but their smaller ones as well. I recently finished some of the Kill Team Orks, and there seemed to be layer after layer of detail. Not only that, the positions of some of the arms made reaching some it of almost impossible.

 

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On 2/24/2023 at 2:55 PM, Count Urlik said:

I actually asked DKS about the opposite during the last ReaperCon.  I said “given how good you are at freehand, how do you balance out sculpting details enough to keep the average hobbyist interested, vs giving enough ‘free space’ for more advanced painters like yourself to use for freestyle?”  As you can imagine, he didn’t really have a set answer, but he said he does try to leave some of the obvious things like shirts/cloaks/etc. clean enough to allow for freestyle patterning.  It’s an interesting dilemma, and I’d imagine that sometimes the sculptors are even surprised when they move on to the painting stage.

When I was hanging with Kev White and Tre Manor at Reapercon long ago, Kev was asking me what I looked for on this topic. I laughed and told him I was so new and inexperienced that he was asking the wrong guy 😄 Ironic that the mini I just posted to the monthly Qs thread is a tiny Kev sculpt that I used to develop a damask effect!

 

We've discussed the issue with sculpted pupils before, but there's another sculptor quirk that bugs me, sculpting in logos. CMoN's Marvel Zombicide is a good example of sculpting in detail that should be painted. Wolverine's costume's torso tiger stripes, the X symbol, the FF symbol, Cpt Marvel's torso logo, etc, etc.

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A good chunk of this is not the sculptor, but the art directors responding to sales numbers.  They often demand high detail sculpts, mostly because high detail sculpts tend to sell MUCH better than low detail sculpts. So, if lower detail sculpts starts out selling the high detail ones, I guarantee that people like RH will start telling us to dial it back. 

 

I think there is a thing that when buying, you see the cool-looking detailed sculpt and are more likely to buy.  Then a few months later you start painting it and get frustrated, but do you then change your buying habits or are you just as likely to be sucked into the next cool-looking, high-detail sculpt again?

 

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Did someone say Klockenbooty?

 

Talespinner is spot on. On the shelf they look intriguing, on the painting desk it’s tedious.


I wonder how many hours of my life I’ve spent painting leather belt pouches. I’m really hoping when we die, we at least get stats like this. How many tacos did I eat? Pounds, cancel that, tons of pizza? Guess there’s only one way to find out.

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On 4/7/2023 at 7:33 AM, CashWiley said:

but there's another sculptor quirk that bugs me, sculpting in logos.

I have a love hate relationship with this. 
When you're doing a large force that's supposed to be unified, say an Ultramarine Space Marine force for 40k, those sculpted logos can be a huge time saver. 

But when I'm doing a single figure as a PC or something, I hate them, and I often spend a lot of time cutting them off or using putty to fill them in. Especially on shields.  I understand putting the logo on Sir Forscale and his brethren Warlord Templar figures, but even the simple quartering of 04070 Human Paladin, Caerindra annoys me when I want to freehand or use a decal. 

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On 11/7/2023 at 8:29 PM, Neatpete said:

Did someone say Klockenbooty?

 

Talespinner is spot on. On the shelf they look intriguing, on the painting desk it’s tedious.


I wonder how many hours of my life I’ve spent painting leather belt pouches. I’m really hoping when we die, we at least get stats like this. How many tacos did I eat? Pounds, cancel that, tons of pizza? Guess there’s only one way to find out.

 

I've had the privilege to watch Mr Klocke sculpt those belt pouches & after around 10 seconds turn that pouch into a face. It makes you appreciate the piece more.

 

There are some minis I look with a bit of different outlook these days due to having painted more then 10 of the darn things (looking at you 77041: Harpy), but overall I try to keep a open mind to all minis when painting.

On 11/7/2023 at 4:10 PM, Rainshine said:

The Pathfinder models that Reaper did are definite examples of this.  https://www.reapermini.com/search/pathfinder iconic/latest/89023

 

You can probably blame Wayne Reynolds for this one. Since he really went to town on the artwork detail for these.

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On 11/7/2023 at 6:10 PM, Rainshine said:

The Pathfinder models that Reaper did are definite examples of this.  https://www.reapermini.com/search/pathfinder iconic/latest/89023

I think in this case it has waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less to do with the sculptors themselves and more with the Pathfinder art design just full of..

 

Well, to quote BardicBroadcasts in their review of Heroquest...

 

"Pretentious overcomplexity".

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On 2/23/2023 at 8:37 AM, strawhat said:

 I’m currently dealing with the 2021 HeroQuest, and so many of the figures have bare feet, straw or fur lining under greaves and vambraces, individually sculpted teeth, layers under layers of puttee wraps, buckles on said wraps, confusing pieces of armor or clothes, etc.  And the details are often soft too begin with because of the PVC/soft plastic used.

 

On 4/7/2023 at 5:33 AM, CashWiley said:

We've discussed the issue with sculpted pupils before, but there's another sculptor quirk that bugs me, sculpting in logos. CMoN's Marvel Zombicide is a good example of sculpting in detail that should be painted. Wolverine's costume's torso tiger stripes, the X symbol, the FF symbol, Cpt Marvel's torso logo, etc, etc.

 

Late reply, but if it's for a game, it's for a boardgamer. And the boardgamer who paints is the exception. Heck, many BGG'ers want standees instead of mini's, a rather obvious suggestion that they won't be painting mini's anytime soon. And these soft plastic miniatures are pre-assembled, further catering to the non-painting miniature buyers. (IIRC, Reaper said they have pre-assembled in retail b/c rpg'ers will buy a miniature, rip it out of its blister, and use it for game night at the store, while some Bones KS miniatures were on sprues b/c the Bones backers were a different audience and many painted.)

 

These non-painters have less willingness to assemble a miniature than a painter has tolerance for prepping a pre-assembled mini. This does mean that if you're both a painter and a gamer, you're stuck with these soft plastic pre-assembled miniatures that were your *only* choice when you bought the game because painters are in the minority.

 

At least we do have some manufacturers who have miniatures that are "meant" to paint. (Although Dakka comments about the Kirby years was that GW sold miniatures to sell, not to paint!) And with 3D printing, I guess we can customize sculpts for easier painting? Should be amusing when AI takes over sculpting and we ask them things like "Sculpt me a paladin in a heroic pose that I can paint in three hours and won't look stupid when I push it across the battlefield so don't put in a dragon head like you did last time."

 

EDIT: Search on "ai .stl miniatures" for a few sites to play around with. If you want to design a miniature yourself without AI, TitanForge has a .stl miniature generator you can mess around with. 😄

Edited by ced1106
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