Monday, April 14, 2014

The strange case of the not so much "Limited Edition" minis

Let's talk today about one of the most cheered and discussed announcements of these past few days.

Raining Frogs announced a new edition of their massively successful blockbuster "Barbarian Dude".

New Limited Edition of Barbarian Dude

This time, the miniature has been slightly modified. Instead of an axe, it comes with a broad sword, and as an extra, the kit comes with a nice fur cloak.

Miniature fans all over the world are divided regarding this announcement. On the one side, fans who are extremely happy because now they will be able to get a copy of this exquisite piece of miniature art, which they could not do at first because the previous casts sold out like burning gunpowder. On the other side, fans who purchased the kit attracted by the "Limited Edition" characteristic of the mini. Collectors and (why not) speculators who probably had the chance to grab one of the previously edited copies have a general feeling of betrayal. They feel they have been fooled since what they were sold as "limited" seems like it was not so limited after all.

The new Barbarian Dude: run and get one while you can!

About this, we can also find the argument that this new edition is even better than the one before, with a few changes that make it essentially the same miniature (axe vs sword) but with a cool extra (the fur cloak which may or may not be used in the mini) for just one euro more (16€ now versus 15€ before). Arguably not the best reward for those who guided by the "limited" characteristic of the mini bought it without hesitating some months ago.

The old Barbarian Dude: you should've run while you could! ... or maybe not?

We've seen this kind of practice many times in the miniature world. Games Workshop for example, the most important maufacturer of miniature products, has done this repeatedly over the years. For them it is totally OK to sell insanely expensive products as "Limited Editions" and some time after releasing them again as normal products gravely upsetting miniature collectors all over the world.

The miniature market doesn't seem to be the best place for "Limited Editions". We see lots of kits advertised as such, but with so many stories of miniatures sold as "Limited" and then re-edited, buyers do not really trust anything anymore, and collectors just have to flee to other markets.

A good example of true "limitedness" is the trading card industry, especially its most famous franchise, "Magic: The Gathering" (MTG). An extraordinary game still very much alive after more than 20 years of history in which collectors find authentic gold. In this environment, Wizards has treated Limited Editions extremely earnestly throughout the years, promising never to reprint all-time-favourites that have seen their value continously rising thus creating a market that is like a small version of the Stock Market Exchange. The promised land for collectors and dealers, where people not only make money but in many cases even make a living.

MTG, or how to make cardboard worth thousands

So, the question is, where do you guys stand on this story? Have you ever felt betrayed by the not so much "Limited Editions" announced as such? Do you like the idea of re-prints that make blockbusters accessible to all once again or do you prefer that "Limited Editions" stay truly limited? Would you like to see a miniature version of the MTG market on collectible pieces? Have at it guys!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

About the casts of the Kasrkin Sergeant in 54mm

Many of you have already asked me for copies of the Kasrkin Sergeant after I published photos of the painted miniature. This post is to tell you a bit more about the casts.

In short, the casts of the miniature are NOT FOR SALE. The miniature is based on the original artwork of Karl Kopinski for Games Workshop and therefore it can't be commercialized for the intellectual property problems that it would cause. Karl has also seen the miniature and he told me he loved it (which is a great honour for me because I am a huge FAN of his work). Therefore, the casts that I made are for my own use and personal enjoyment, for my friends, and also to be used by students in some of my courses to practice the things we explain there (some of them have already been lucky enough to be able to put their brushes on them).

Therefore, if you want to get any of the very few casts that I made, the best thing to do is sign up for my courses, because we use them to practice what it is taught there. Of course, I also have some casts saved exclusively for my friends and friends of this blog, and for old students of mine, so if you are part of one of these groups and you want to own one, send me an email and we'll talk.

Here are a few photos of one of the casts. As you can see it's a 54mm model and it consists of seven pieces of high quality (courtesy of Bigchild Creatives), where finally we have decided to use a resin body (extraordinary) and the rest in metal.

I am very happy because the result is very "paintable" as I call it. It's one of those miniatures where we avoid sculpted textures, filigrees or reliefs to give more freedom to the painter [it's obvious that the person who sculpted it also paints minis from time to time ;)] and I am already thinking of tons of different colour schemes so I will probably paint an alternate version. Maybe in red? :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kasrkin Sergeant (scratch built in 54mm)

Ever since I started sculpting, I wanted to make my own version of an Imperial Guard Kasrkin. I loved the concept art by Karl Kopinsky, and I loved the original 30mm miniatures by Juan Díaz released by GW. It took me quite some time since I first thought about it and when I finally did it, but I managed to do it in the end.

The sculpture was done entirely in Milliput, and it took quite some time to be completed because I did it in between other projects. Also, it was the first sculpture I have separated in parts to be casted afterwards.

My first intention was to enter Golden Demon in the category of Large Scale with it. While I was sculpting it, GW decided to erase the category from their contest, and even though I was really disappointed because of this, I wanted to finish it for fun. I really enjoyed it. I managed to make a few copies of the sculpture before I painted it.

This first painted version of the Kasrkin Sergeant was presented in the Spring Angel 2013 and Monte San Savino 2013. In both contests, it took Bronze in its category, normally the most difficult one (Full Scratch/Creation/Open).

Behind the scenes: Photos of the sculpture and casts

Link to Putty&Paint:

Link to coolminiornot:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Impressions about my workshops in Barcelona this weekend

This weekend I was in Barcelona to teach a couple of workshops of the painting course (in Spanish) called "Teoría y Técnicas a Pincel". This should have taken place long ago, but I had my unfortunate bike accident and had to postpone them. These were two very intense days where I think a lot of people have benefitted enourmously from the time and effort invested, and they have learned many interesting things of my very heavy theory lecture of the beginning.

Saturday session people and Ivan Serra

I want to thank all the people who attended this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, for the meals, dinners, drinks and endless laughs. Oh, and to the Monkey! Especially to Dani for its immense hospitality, for opening the doors of his house and treating me so well. And of course, to Toni and Marc, my brothers for far beyond the Wall ;). It's been a tremendous pleasure visiting Barcelona with such good friends.

Con Marc Masclans en la Sagrada Familia

I think that we are going to see lots of improvement in the painting skills of these guys because, even with the weird faces of confusion during the theory (haha), I could read tons of motivation and illusion to learn in between the lines, and that is the most important thing of all. Remember that the key is to never give up to frustration, always keep on practicing and painting a lot. Being constant and tenacious will lead us wherever you wish, the limit is yours to set!

Dani, our host for the weekend

Toni and I with the Monkey, patron of Badalona

Some of the attendees have already written their impressions about the course and they are very positive. Here is one of them (in Spanish):

The experience has been so positive that probably there will more sessions in Barcelona in the near future. Keep on working and paint because you will need to have a miniature completely finished to your highest standard for the next session!

Let me use this opportunity again to remind you about my section to the blog about courses (in Spanish still since all these courses in Spain are done in Spanish). It has been included in the Spanish version of the blog but I will also put it in the international part because at some point in the near future I will translate it and offer it also for courses in English. So make sure you tune in to that section because there you will be able to be informed of everything concerning my painting courses, what types there are and what kind of painters they are aimed at.

Courses section in Volomir's Blog (currently in Spanish)

I am working hard in this section so for now you'll see it is work in progress (especially because it's in Spanish as of now), but I will complete it soon. Remember that if you are interested in organizing any course, the best thing to do is send me an email because all the courses are organized on demand, like the ones organized by my good friend John, in The Weekend Workshop, where I will be giving my second workshop in the UK very soon. So if you want a workshop close to your land, what are you waiting for? :)