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Friday, July 24, 2015

Bolt Action Terrain from 4Ground!


Had a club mate pop round last night, and with him came a box full of burnt wood that weighed a ton ( at least that is what he said the delivery guy said :) ).

Thought I should post some normal stuff today compared to just spamming about the Wasteland Warrior Bust ;) 

But yeah.. I am really happy to have all of this, as my Japanese forces for Bolt Action are getting tired of travelling all the way over to Europe to kick some ass, and take down names.. At least now I can have a few fights back over on home turf.. which I guess would give me more of an advantage? Thus making them even harder to kill??? Oh damn.. sucks to be... :D

As you can see, as with everything for me, I go big with such things. And this was no exception. From the above photo you can see that I have the following:

So yeah, quite a few things showed up. I suspect that after holidays I will have a lot of work ahead of me to put them together. Thankfully, they are also semi painted ( or at least cut and burnt in the colors needed for them ). At the very most, I will have to apply some washes, and maybe make some bases for them with ground effects to match the rest of the army. 

But I was curious about how much work is required for building one of these.. so I cracked a bag open and had a look. 

Honestly I am quite surprised at how much detail they give them, and how deep into the pieces they go!


So here is the Pheasant Dwelling. Just a simple ( large ) ziplock bag, with a brand name cardboard on top stapled together. Basic, simple, and honestly as much as you would need for such a kit. Any more is just a waste anyways really.. 


So many parts! Damn! And it is one of the smaller buildings of the set! I fear to see how many parts are inside the Elder Building!!!!!


Phew.. at least it comes with instructions though... wait.. what? How many steps?? And the sides of the walls, each square is individually cut out, and needs to be glued in?!?!?!?! Daaaaaammmmmn... 


And there is a second side full of instructions as well?!?!?!! Whoa! I may require to build them together as a batch job ( in pairs as least so that I don't get too confused here! ). 

But end result is going to mean that I will have gaming terrain once more. And something that I can play on with Junior at home as well. Maybe time to build that American Force to play against them with then as well eh? :) 

Enjoy the weekend.. am off on holidays as of now.. but will still be posting while away!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wasteland Warrior Naming Contest!


I want to first thank everyone who has shared or got in touch with us concerning this release yesterday! So much appreciation to everyone for their support on this project of ours!

To give back, we want to also run a contest to give a copy of the bust away for free!

What do you have to do? Simply comment below this article or on Facebook below the sharing of this article with a suggestion of what should we call this fine fellow from the wastelands?

We will run it for 2 weeks to collect as many names as we can, and then post up a poll ( on Facebook ) of the top 5 names that we think really fit the model coming from those suggested. And from the poll we will let everyone following us here to decide on what he should be called!

The winner, chosen by you, will then receive one of the busts for free!

Please help us share this information, and looking forward to hearing all the ideas coming from everyone!

Monday, July 20, 2015

World Premier of Wasteland Warriors Bust


I said I would be posting this last Thursday, and indeed I am!

Here is the official live kick off from a collaboration between 2 new players in the miniature making scene :) Coming from the minds of Arlen Pelletier Sculptures and Mr Lee's Minis, we bring you the first bust in our range to be called Wasteland Warriors! And for this article, I want to take you through how we built up this warrior, and where we are today!

I also want to make it clear at the beginning here that pre-orders for the piece ARE NOW OPEN! Huzzah! The final piece will be sitting roughly 50mm all, and will come with some limited extras for the first 100 copies ( a limited start print to see how it is received from everyone here! ).

You can email me at MrLeesMinis (at) gmail.com for more details and to be put on the pre-order list! Expectations are to be able to have the casts in hand at the beginning of August, and to begin to ship everything out soon thereafter ( mid August-ish ).

Now how did we get to this point and create this model above?

As stated on Friday, it all began with a face. A face that Arlen came up with while watching shows with his daughter one evening following a conversation we had about his clay sculptures.


From here, he began to flesh out an upper body for it.


Too much flesh though at this point, and it was difficult for us to see some of the finer details that we get from the grey renders.


Much better. It was also at this point that we discussed about trying to give it a bit of momentum. Which is difficult in a bust, but we went with a shift of his gaze to his left. This would go a bit further in time to really drive the expression further ( or at least the body language to match his expression ).


A major shift here. Now we have an idea that maybe he is checking something over his shoulder, or is about to lob something over at someone or something. Who knows.. but the body language is beginning to tell more of a story to us.. and is much more dynamic than just a bust staring forward to us.


We talked about at this point to go with a Mad Max styled theme on the piece. Since he looked like he is a bit of a bad ass.. and has take a few hits ( puffy  face ) and can survive.

So we discussed about a leather jacket ( classic post apocalypse clothing right? ). However the first version came back as the James Dean of Wastelanders mixed with a sense of Calvin Klein. Not really the direction we wanted to head, and also the difficulty of painting the piece with a popper color would be more than one might like. As well as the casting.

This is where Arlen and I worked well together. Taking his skills of sculpting ( quickly I might add! ) and then taking pointers on where I could see issues from a painting point of view. Our hope is that the final version will be an interesting piece for many, but also something that is easy enough to pick up for a weekend to paint!


So with a quick click of a stylus for Arlen, he flattened down the collar, and began to block in a shoulder pad. We searched a lot on the web to get ideas on how we would want this to work out, and for the shoulder pad we really wanted to add some extra details. So for this guy, we decided that maybe he has a shotgun, and would be needing a quick place to pull the shells when reloading. What is easier than the shoulder pad ( ok.. maybe not the safest if hit from another gun, but still convenient! ).

We also attempted to put in a chest belt strap here, but were not fully satisfied with the result.


As you can see.. not all the pieces were meshing nicely for us. And it was from this image that we decided to rearrange the belt location and angle. And to look at different buckle designs to work with. As this was a bit odd looking at this angle ( though would look over from others ).


Having a look at belts and jackets on the web raised more than a few eyebrows for us both from family and friends. As it almost turned into an obsession for one of us ( won't say who but he runs a blog you might be reading from ).. and thanks to Pinterest we have many a jacket and belt style up for reference when required. And we pulled from those to begin to correct some of the pieces here on the model.

Including the chest pocket, which at this point was more aligned to the floor than to his shoulders, and we began to work on the smaller details to tweak and move around.


With a few tweaks of the model, the finer details were beginning to come alive on the piece. The belt was looking more filled in, the jacket details was turning out well, and we began to detail out the back of it as well.


Again looking at a lot of the jackets available, we wanted something more than just empty space on the back. So a diamond pattern was worked into the design. Similar to maybe a motorcycle jacket.

You can also see that our warrior is a bit older.. so a bit of a veteran from the fact that he is not as full with his hair line as many might be ;) But I see this as an option for tattoos to be added :)


At this point it was all about the smaller bits on the model. Adding some stitching on the jacket lining, and shoulder pad. Working on the depth of the shirt further. Fixing up the design of the diamonds. Really starting to tighten up all the pieces on it.

It was also at this point that I was beginning to reach out to printers and casters across UK and Europe to understand what the process would be, and the costs associated to making this a real thing. I also reached out to those already doing the casting or process such as people like Brokentoad, Infamy and Guild Ball. All of whom I have had the pleasure to meet up with over the past years in one form or another, and were very helpful to provide us with advice and ideas on what to avoid to minimize the risks and issues with releasing a model ( be it traditionally sculpted or 3D printed ).



Overall, we did select a supplier, and have been in constant communication with them to get this moving. And correcting any issues or questions from their side before finally going to print last week!



So the final piece is as shown above and below.


And we really couldn't be any happier with the piece as it has been quite the ride for us to get through and learn from. We already have many ideas for future pieces, and expect some WIP shots on them in the coming weeks as they develop further. Oh and expect to see a lot more of my most wicked drawings that we used to kick off some of the pieces coming in the future.

We have also received photos of the first print of the render... I have to say that I was really quite excited to see this digital copy come to life, and to see all the details showing up!


And to see that the sizes that we put for it are also spot on..


Looking at the printed copies, it is great to see all the small details showing up, and makes it clear that we can go even further in the future!

Hopefully you are all liking these as much as we are, and again this guy is up for PRE-ORDER NOW! If you are interested in obtaining one, please email me at MrLeesMinis (at) gmail.com for more details!

Looking forward to having it in my hands, and getting it painted up.. and hoping that more people like it as well, and are looking forward to having it also!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Spotlight Artist - Arlen Pelletier


It has been a while since I have done a spotlight artist here on the blog. So let's get this back into the mix then shall we? :D

But this one will be a bit different as well and you will see more near the end of the article ( no scrolling down before reading the rest though!!!! ).

Now in Europe, I would surprised, but happy, if anyone knew this man. However I can assure you that given the chance, this will change over the coming year(s) as his portfolio grows and he becomes a bit more comfortable with showing off his amazing skills outside of our home island in Canada!

Some things to know about Arlen first..

He is a professional teacher of guitars... not just teaching how to play them, but also on how to make them.. yes.. Which is pretty cool to begin with really..

But that is just the tip of the iceberg as he likes to sculpt in wood as well.


The skull pipe out of wood on the left was sculpted by him. Not sure about you, but that is pretty bad ass... though is a bit simple for him these days if you talk to him about it. Though it seems the process of sanding all his projects is beginning to wear him down a bit ( har har.. I made a funny )..

You can find more of these and other projects of his on his Facebook page here...

He also has a talent for carving into pumpkins. Being from North America, we love our Halloween, and our Jack-o-lanterns that go with it. Arlen seems to take this aspect of the holiday to a new level though..




You can see more of these on his personal artist page located here. 

But Arlen is never satisfied to just stick to one medium, and to master the unknown.. and has been now branching out from carving wonderful images into odd pieces of inanimate objects, but also to create new things from clay..



And this is where we meet up once more. In a quick conversation on Facebook, and a follower of this blog, he asked me if I knew of anyone in Canada that could help him with regards to sculptures or painting locally.

It was from here that he sent me a copy of his Frankenstein bust shown above to have a look at and give feedback on. Supposedly also to paint up, but I have been remiss on that aspect so far though.

This was in no part short of the horrid time it took to be received from Canada to UK. Almost 3-4 months before it arrived.. which is quite a long time for both of us!

But looking at it, we talked in length about the piece, and how the busts look and feel in comparison over here in Europe. And I began to show him part of my collection of busts that are similar to comparable to this one.

He would go on to make a goblin bust as well. While on holidays back home, Arlen provided me 2 of them to take home with me and give more comments on.


My first comments was that it looks perfect as a bronze statue styled piece. So I took one of them and sprayed with Scale75 Brass to give that a better example.

I still am planning on working on the second one, but to paint it normally and to show the differences, and some of the challenges a painter would have with it.

What is really cool is that although I am not a sculptor or an artist, but a collector, Arlen is open to receiving feedback on how to improve. Or to change his style to be more suitable for painters who would ultimately be the person who would purchase these kind of busts in the future :)

He is also dabbling in the digital realm for sculpting as well! I mean.. come on.. does this guy not stop working!!!!




And it is here that we began to really dig deep in conversations.. cause when chatting with him about this type of work, he does it while watching cartoons with his daughter at night after work. So this is all spare time, downtime like creations. With a further thinking on some day maybe printing them to cast potentially.

Well.. this is where we stand today.

After having these conversations, and doing a quick little discussion on how to print, and cast the pieces. The discussion moved to something along the lines of what do people look for, and what might do well for people to buy and get proper feedback from the miniature community..

And I am really happy to say that Arlen and Mr Lee will be collaborating on a collection of busts to kick things off. Looking to break into the miniature market, but with an aim to improve both our skills ( Arlen as a sculptor, Mr Lee as a painter ), and to create cool things that people would like to have and paint up!

Especially from my side, I would love to back projects that are creating something that I myself would like to paint. Looking at a combination of all the pieces I have, or seen, or painted and taking from those into consideration when making these busts.

Arlen even had a face started up to get us started on this, and ideas were being formed from there!


Honestly, when seeing this, I knew I wanted to work with him further and to see what kind of final piece we could create from it! Ideas on genres and themes began to be passed back and forth..

Things have moved quite quickly, but kept us both quite busy over the past month or so prepping for this piece. And after a lot of back and forth, and revisions, and discussion with suppliers we are very close to being ready to have our first piece up for others to purchase!

I will be posting a more detailed step by step of how we went through to create the first piece, and o show off the final render here as well! Hopefully many of you ( maybe not all :) ) will be as excited as we are about this first piece, and are willing to support us in this adventure. And to provide feedback on what you liked and didn't like. And hopefully in the future we will be able to do polls showing some of the projects in the pipeline here, and get your feedback on which one to move onward with next!

Exciting days ahead for the 2 of us.. and we are looking forward to seeing you all join us in this adventure in the days ahead! So keep your eyes peeled to the blog and facebook page as more details come out starting next week!

In the meantime.. have a look at Arlen's work from his artist page, his facebook page, his instagram page for WIP, and remember his name. I suspect that it will becoming quite the name for pieces in the near future :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

300,000 views!


This past weekend was a lot busier than I was aware of, as the blog somehow hit 300,000 hits! Wow! So cool!

Although I have been quite quiet as of late, expect things to pick up more especially over the holiday period when more time for painting should be available.

Oh and with this, I guess I should think up a contest idea then.. mmmm... I have some thoughts, so watch this space to see what I come up with :D

Thanks again!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

MOAR weekend efforts.. Relic backed even..


Although I spent a lot of time working on the Catachans, I also had a bit of spare time to work on the relic models ( mostly Friday, but still.. )..

I have been working on this army off and on for a bit now.. and the style is still yet to be locked down ( as can be seen from the red coats shown above ). But that being said, they are puppets.. and maybe not the best outfitted for fighting over a longer period of time? Who knows..


Thankfully I paint with a wet palette and have one basically filled with the basic colors ready for this army on stand by! Started in on the Dragoons last week, and finished off with the highlanders over the weekend.

Most of the main colors are available there, and I just need to top them up as I went along.



These were a bit more difficult than I had anticipated to paint up. But I liked how the helm metals came out, and the wood grain on the wheelie guy..




But the highlanders were the most fun to paint up!

I really wanted them to stand out from the rest of the army, and figured I would add red as a trim and then green as the main color on them. Yes.. ok they look a bit xmasy, but whatever..

I also attempted to do a lot more of the stitch look on them.. not just their sack bodies, but also the hats, and clothing. And tried a bit of a poor man's tartan pattern on the kilts as well.

Overall, I am really happy with how they turn out, and am looking to playing with them soon enough. Possibly within July or more likely August if time and opponents exist :)

But for tonight, I head back to the club to revisit my favorite game at the moment.. Bolt Action.. where my Japanese forces will try to either storm the beach or defend it from British forces. Should be interesting and a lot of fun. No armor allowed, so I already have the advantage :D

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekend Efforts..


So I can honestly say that I have been in a painting slump for quite a while now. I can give the excuses of family, work, sickness, etc.. but really it has just been super busy with some up coming projects that are taking a lot of my creative juices to get off the ground. And I will be dropping that information on everyone very very soon!

In the meantime I do have a blast from the past in the ways of a commission. The old Project UK is back, and with a vengeance!

This has been really interesting for me to work on as the brief is to make them exactly as I did the older ones some 3 yrs ago!

If you have been following my blog over those 3 yrs, you might be able to tell that I have improved a bit during that time. So to go back and do mass production line painting once more, and to not a showcase level has been really interesting.

Thankfully it is like riding a bike, and I found that once I dug in, I began to really enjoy it!

The first batch was 46 Catachans to be painted like the bloke on the left in the above photo. The photo is pre final wash there however, where all the details popped up.

Although I had a bunch of activities with the family over the weekend, these got painted up quite quickly in the early mornings and late evening Saturday.


I then dug into a half painted set of metal figures to go in the same color scheme. And got them finished up late last night as well.

Although they will win no awards, the weapon load outs on them seem to be the ticket to win the wars though!

Combined his is 65 models done and dusted for this set of miniatures to get painted up. And probably the easier bunch as well.

Whats up next though for this set? Well.. I think some raging hero females might be in order.. but I plan to paint them almost as a one off really as I get them assembled and sorted.


Though I do have some other Infinity models that need to be painted, and they have some interesting colors to go with them as well.. so here is looking at that perhaps as well!

Expect to see a lot of these kind of posts coming back to the blog.. along with other bigger news in the short future!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Guild Ball - Butchers Brisket


So Guild Ball is doing a tremendous job in the community as of late. It is really hard to look on Facebook without seeing a competition or tournament or painted models popping up all over UK! Which is fantastic to see!

I was lucky enough to receive a few models back last summer, and honestly am sad to say that I have not done much with them since then. I had assembled them, and well as you can see that wouldn't take too much time here.



A bit of flash, some spare metal kicking off some spots, and then a quick glue/pin of the arm to the body.



Once assembled, I had originally thought about doing up some custom bases for them. But then I thought since I also have the full starter boxes on top of these versions, than I would do a quick starter faction version to play in demos, and then do up the proper box sets as a more custom set perhaps. That is my thought at the moment.

So basic gravel and sand based were applied here. And then covered in watered down PVA glue. A couple of layers actually...



Several layers of wet blending, dry brushing and washes later and this is the results. I think I hit it again with a lighter beige color afterwards.

You can also see the beginning of the pants and boots here. Figured some nice tight leather pants and boots were in order for her. I mean she is part of the butcher guild.. so I suspect that leather is something that is easy for her to get her hands on. And also is easier to clean blood off of than cloth pants.. am I right?


I also began to give her a bit of a bronze like skintone here. I was asked by a German friend of mine why I was doing the sections one at a time.. well.. simple answer is that it was due to not having a clue on how it was going to turn out. And that I just started from the bottom on up on her. The red on the loincloth was a bit glossy due to the inks used, but I would tone that down with some matte varnish later on.

Not a lot of photos from this point to the finished piece though.. mostly cause I began to get really frustrated with the skintones for her chest.


It just did not want to play nicely with here at all. Spent far too long on this section ( and not intentionally I might add! ) compared to what I was expecting to.

Though I was having a lot of fun with regards to painting up the model as a whole, and as someone stated on Facebook, the face came out very Disney like.. and I suspect there will be a fair few of them that might turn out like that as well in the future based on the sculpts. Not a bad thing, but something to be aware of I guess.

Overall it was nice to paint up, and since I have another one to do in the future, I can think of how I might do it differently when that comes around. Heck I might do the main teams in completely different fashion and color scheme overall.. Who knows when I get to them!

Anyways... hope you like this quick little article.. and hopefully a review of the full starter teams will come.. but also some more painted figures in the near future! Might be nice to get the butchers all finished quickly, and then onto the Fishermen starter guild.
If you liked the post, become a follower, comment or email me at mr.lees.painting.emporium@gmail.com.
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