I’ve been playing with digital sculpting on and off for a little over a year now, using blender for the actual sculpting and getting 3d prints from Shapeways. I intend to write more about what I’ve learnt in future posts, but for now I’d like to show off some of my first attempts at 15 mm fantasy sculpting.
After a few initial experiments I chose 15 mm as my preferred scale for a few reasons:
- I like painting very small miniatures, mostly because it’s quicker and I’m impatient.
- It’s about the smallest scale that is compatible with the resolution of Shapeways’ current printers – any smaller and the stepping artefacts start to obscure the details.
- Small miniatures are less expensive to print (but still not cheap)!
The miniatures are deliberately very ‘heroic’ in their proportions. In reality an average person’s head should be around 1/8 of their height. It seems that Games Workshop like to use about 1/6 for their Warhammer ranges. At this scale I’ve gone even further and the heads are about 1/3 of the miniature’s height. To my eye this gives the miniatures more impact and it makes them more enjoyable to paint.
I will happily admit that the concepts for these minis are not particularly original – sadly I’ve never had a particularly active imagination. Here you have a dwarf warrior, an elven mage, a demon hunter and a paladin: fairly well trodden fantasy tropes.
When I sculpted these miniatures I was entertaining vague thoughts of getting them cast along with some villains, so I designed them in such a way that I think they could be moulded as single pieces. I’ve since abandoned this idea though, largely because I found it was limiting my ability to sculpt what I wanted to. So my more recent stuff is definitely not going to be suitable for production but is a bit more dynamic. Hopefully I’ll be able to show some of that soon!