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Author Topic: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)  (Read 1241 times)

Offline Annie

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    • Bad Squiddo Games
From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« on: March 12, 2019, 11:10:57 AM »
I just posted this on my company Facebook page, and it came out so long that it seemed a shame to not make a forum post out of it, as it should be of interest. As loads of people know, Bad Squiddo isn't a mysterious company, I'm pretty happy to share (and occasionally overshare) what is going on. We're pretty open! I'll even show you my crap (but useful) scribbles!

Anyway, hope you find this interesting, a little glimpse at behind the scenes.

Here's a bit of a glimpse into how minis become what they are. At Bad Squiddo at least!

It's only a snippet as there is a lot more conversation, and lots of reference pictures, but this I just knocked together gives you a good idea.

So I do the concept sketches. They're never much good visually, they don't need to be, in fact it would be a waste of time. It's merely to give a rough image of how the mini should look, to ensure myself and the sculptor are on the same page. A quick scribble means bits can be easily chopped and changed during the discussion too and you don't have to be precious about it.

Before this happens, there is the research. I pour over as many books as I can (my Women in History Library is impressive), and cross reference the internet, as well as heading out to museums. A mixture of written descriptions and photographs is gold, as well as some art. You have to be extra careful on the internet as misinformation can spread so quickly - ie one website could mislabel something, then other websites or blogs use that as a source, and before you know it, at a first glance it could seem legit, but they've all copied the same wrong source.

I then relay the information back to the sculptor, along with the sketch and various reliable reference photographs. These are a combination of the details of the equipment, perhaps a pose I like, the hairdos, all of that separately. It's more in depth so all the information is there to be combined into the overall effect shown in the sketch. Even the expression is considered, and there are some bad Annie gurns out there that will never see the light of day!

We back and forth quite a bit discussing and clarifying details. For larger projects like the Soviets and Home Front I also send the sculptor copies of good books so we can ref page numbers. I've even sent films before!

Part of the discussion involves taking note of the casting process, how will it cast, do tweaks to the pose need to happen to make this easier, where might the mould join, what material is it going to be in. How many will be in a set and mould etc.

Then I get sent a photograph of the green for approval, by this point it 99% comes out perfect, very rarely there is the occasional tweak, and then it gets shipped here for me to have a super close inspection. I check to make sure it won't have any casting issues that I can see, no undercuts, any bits the sculptor might have missed, any imperfections such as damage in transit or stray hairs (looking at you Prow) or anything like that.

THEN the miniature gets photographed at a few angles by myself, and sent to the casters.

The casters photograph the minis from every angle on arrival. This means that on the offchance there is anything wrong or damage etc, we can compare the photographs to see if the sculpt was like that before it arrived or not.

They do their magic in a master mould, then send me samples to approve. I do the same fine toothcomb, which the casters have already done but another set of eyes can't hurt. Approve, and then send back for production moulding. Same approval process with the production casts.


Then I contact one of the painters, use a lot of the same reference material as I did for the sculpt to ensure they have a good idea of the colours required, as well as basing. Sometimes I send over tufts too (Gamers Grass FTW).

Once the mini is painted, I then set up in my photo studio and some good painted photographs from different angles. These get cut out in photoshop, twiddled with to find the best way of presenting, and then sent to the printers to get their own unique packaging showcasing the printed mini.

The casts will then appear and it's just a case of packing them all into the spiffing packaging you see, and then shipping them out!


That was a long post!

This mini is just one of a set of 3 ATS ladies that will be released soon, all of this happens for every single miniature.

Sometimes people say "but if you don't sculpt them, what do you do?"

This! And everything else.

Bad Squiddo Games

Offline Rich H

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Re: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 12:30:47 PM »
Interesting thanks for sharing!

Offline Tactalvanic

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Re: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 12:35:29 PM »
Thanks Annie!

interesting scribbles  :)

Offline Charlie_

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Re: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2019, 02:47:16 PM »
Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Is the company just you, or do you have any employees?

Offline Shahbahraz

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Re: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2019, 09:53:51 PM »
Nice work Annie, thanks for sharing. Interestingly, just been talking about a wargames holiday centre in Scotland. So all these things add in to the process.
Wargaming since the dark ages...


Offline Blackwolf

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Re: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2019, 09:58:56 PM »
Great post!
May the Wolf  Walk With You

Painting Clubs Joined: APC,MPC, PPC,PAPC,LPC.

Offline Annie

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    • Bad Squiddo Games
Re: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 05:56:18 PM »
Thanks all, glad someone read it :D Was only supposed to be a short post then my morning had gone, hehe.

Bad Squiddo Games is just me, though I work with a sizeable chunk of freelancers and contractors, which is pretty normal in this industry.

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: From Concept to Sculpt to Tabletop (a lil peek)
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2019, 12:15:56 PM »
An interesting read.

During the initiation of the process, presumably consideration is given to how many casted figures you need to sell to break even on the production cost? Just wondered how many this would be?