Thursday, 26 May 2011

Toy Soldiers: First Sculpt!

I was tidying up a box of figures the other day and I found my very first figure sculpt. I made him around 1986/7 while at college doing my model making course. We had a very active roleplaying group, I used to play every Wednesday evening ( MERP and then Rolemaster) and also on a Sunday morning (everything from Call of Cthulhu through Judge Dredd, Traveller, Paranoia, and anything else you could mention) and we also played a few sessions of Stormbringer on a Saturday afternoon.
As well as the roleplaying we regularly bought Citadel and Ral Partha miniatures (there weren’t many other manufacturers around then – or at least not as easily accessible). I still clearly remember buying my first box of plastic space wombles, what a revelation they were…
Space Marine Rogue Trader Boxed Set
OK, so you have a group of science fiction fans and role players who also happen to be training as professional model makers, it is only natural that we also painted minis and eventually had a go at sculpting. Now before I go off on the whole sculpting thing let me just add that my group of roleplayers included Ivan Bartleet, who won the very first Slayer Sword in 1987, and also Tim Adcock, who went on to build many of the vehicles and tanks that GW have released over the years!
Ivan Bartleet's Slayer Sword Winning Piece
Back to the sculpting. Anyway, we all used to have ago at converting the occasional figure (our miniatures that we used for the roleplaying games developed as our characters did). Then I sculpted a dead orc, which I don’t really consider to be my first sculpt, as it was more or less a half figure, sculpted lying flat on the ground. After that I thought it was about time I had a go at a full figure. So in the naivety of youth I decided I wanted to sculpt Geiger’s Alien.
Alien 6 - first sculptAlien 1 - first sculptAlien 2 - first sculptAlien 3 - first sculpt
Now bear in mind that, at the time, Greenstuff was pretty much unheard of in the UK (outside of Citadel and a few select others I assume), we were all still using Milliput epoxy putty to sculpt and convert our figures.
Alien 5 - first sculptAlien 4 - first sculpt
Considering all of these factors, I don’t think it turned out half bad! In close up it may not have a great amount of detail, but figures in the 1980s didn’t have the level of detail that they do now. Also, as you might have realised, this figure was never intended to be cast!
Excuse the poor photography, I only took these at 10.30pm last night, with only the cameras flash and the normal room lighting.

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