Minion Miniatures - Concept to Miniature
Some of you may have been following the Minion Miniatures saga from early part of the year when we first launched our Facebook page, but for those of you who are unfamiliar I thought I would share a little about journey, who is working on the project and the manufacturer we are to work with; Renedra.
The first concepts we put together were the goblins. Goblins have always been one of my favourite fantasy creatures, cowardly and spiteful in equal measure. However, for many years I think the comedy goblin has been slightly over played, almost becoming the norm. I wanted to hark back to a darker day when Goblins were crueler, more vicious and more malevolent... even possibly scary?
Original concept was to try and capture a primal, athletic, underground dwelling creature with an equal measure of bat to round things off. We had many different head designs drawn by our fantastic artist Gollorr but this one was by far the best.
The goblin has been designed to be an Underdeep dweller. He has large ears for hearing perfectly in the darkness, enormous, white eyes for seeing in low light conditions. even a slightly convoluted snout to improve its sense of smell.
The artwork progressed to form the basis of our Goblin boxed set. We wanted there to be three main armaments on our sprues, bows, swords/shields and spears. The three goblin concepts for these weapon types are as follows:
There are a slight mix of armour's too which complement each of the weapon types. The heavier armours may work well for swordsmen and spearmen but will work equally well for the archers giving a nice mix within a unit and lots of variations and choices for conversions.
The sprues themselves will be similar to the half sprues that Renedra manufacture for their historical ranges. Each sprue will contain the six bodies, 10-14 heads and the weapons (either bows or melee weapons). They will be high quality hard plastic and not cheaper, bendier substances. They will be made here in the UK to the highest standards.
We originally went to Renedra with these concept pieces in March of this year and discussed what were trying to achieve. The initial plan was to have the hobgoblins, Goblins and Bugbears all in plastic but we eventually changed our minds to focus on the Goblins because of commercial reasons and getting the company off the ground. Renedra were very excited from the start along with Bob Naismith who worked on the 3D renders for the Goblin Bowman. At this stage we also started working with Victor Hugo, a Brazilian artist of immense talent. He went on to design the Bugbear Ironshield and our wonderful Zombie Gravewalkers.
The final concept render from Bob was based on our initial concept drawing of the Archer. Bob has years of experience of knowing what works in plastic and the model has been designed specifically for this reason. I even spent a few hours with Bob in his studio discussing what needed to be changed to make the plastic moulding process work with the render. I was really pleased with the result.
We also started work on our supporting range of Goblin warriors using the awesome talents of Robby Crawforth. Robbie worked on a test model for us, the first of the Goblin Headcleaver boxed set and we were blown away with how he captured the concept artwork. The initial concept art work for the headcleaver was excellent. Gollorr captured the insane, beserk nature of these unpredictable, rather un-goblin like, Goblins in this peice. Robbie captured the flavour excellently.
Goblin Headcleavers are an anomaly within Goblin culture. They are fierce, brave and lust for the honour of bearing the heads of their vanquished foes. Many Chieftains lure the solitary Headcleavers to their cause through the promise of fresh heads to take as trophies. In the darkest, remotest areas of the Underdeep they form small shrines to their vanquished foes, seeking ever more powerful prey to add to their collection. Goblin Headcleavers use large, crude blades with which to decapitate their quarry.
Robby also sculpted the awesome Goblin Skulk. This is such a great piece of work and I cannot thank Robby enough for how this model turned out. The model is a 6 piece model, made of high quality resin. Robby somehow managed to get the movement and intensity of the artwork into the miniature. We loved the idea of the Skulk, moving through the darkness, silent like spider stalking his prey.
"The Skulk is a master spy, assassin and scout. They are usually goblin outcasts that have had to survive in the darkness of the Underdeep without their tribe around them for security. They are also rangers of sorts. They know every inch of the caverns that they call home as well as having an intimate knowledge of the mosses, lichen and fungus found in the darkest recesses of their surroundings. They use this knowledge to brew poisons with which they coat their jagged blades."
The track above is called Rotten Goblins and is from our Underdeep Audio CD. It is written (and strangely performed by) my good friend Danny Page of Hibernacula Records.