Mike posted this over on the Studio McVey blog (where there are larger pictures) - but we thought we would share it here too - enjoy!
One of the most enjoyable parts of making Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster, was working with the sculptors. Seeing wonderful concepts being realised in 3D is such an exciting process - and one that I never tire of. I'm proud to have worked with some of the very best talents in the gaming industry on this product - miniatures have always been the focus of what we do at Studio McVey, and I wanted to make sure the figures we put in the finished game were as good as anything people had seen before.
The Grendlr is the largest and most imposing of all the Strain miniatures (in this game anyway!) - so it really needed to be represented with an impressive sculpt. I commissioned the work to Jacques-Alexandre Gillois, who I have worked with quite a bit on our Limited Edition resin line - and who's sculpting never fails to amaze me.
The process starts with sending the concept to the sculptor - in this case (as with all the Strain miniatures), the concept was by Roberto Cirillo. I want to talk more about Roberto's contribution to this project in a separate post - but suffice to say, he absolutely nailed it with the Grendlr.
Once JAG had the drawing, and we had discussed the size and other technical aspects of the process - he was away. The first pictures he sent were of the armature with very basic bulks in place - some sculptors are quite approximate at this stage, just building a rough support for the more precise work that will follow. JAG is very precise though - the armature is soldered and the bulks are neat and exact.
Next - the masses of the finished creature are put in place and detailing started. In the picture below, the sculpting is a quite advanced, and a lot of the smaller details are already in place. JAG works in a polymer clay (or a mix of different 'clays' I believe), so the whole sculpt is wet at this stage and won't be baked and hardened until most of the work in complete.
The last stage is to work on the baked miniature, and use a blade to sharpen up some of the edges, and add any parts that need to be rendered in epoxy putty - including filling any small undercuts.
I'm sure you'll agree it's a pretty amazing piece of work, that both captures the feel of the concept and adds to it - making it seem 'real'.
I'll be posting pictures from some of the other sculptors who worked on this project in future posts.