Sunday, June 29, 2014

Collecting John Pickford: Puck's Dance

Back in 2007 the Frother’s Unite Community ran their 4th Pro-Am Sculpting Competition. The theme for this competition was, as always, a very open theme trying not to limit the sculptor's creativity. The theme for this 2007 Competition was: "The Unseelie Suspects or the dark side of faeryland" and sculptors where to do fantasy characters, spirits and creatures with inspiration taken from the classic folklore and fairy tale without going Disney.

John entered this competition and was competing in the "Satyrs and woodland spirits" category. For this category John did a entry called "Puck's Dance" - a diorama piece with roots in classic English folklore and Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" - but with the usually little twist of evilness and humour that is seen on many Pickford sculpts. Puck was inspired by Neil Gaiman's "the Sandman" - in here Puck aids the Norse God Loki in kidnapping Daniel, and am playing a small role in the death of the Sandman.

Entry commentary: 
The main figure is Puck, dancing on a rock, his true nature revealed from behind. With him are Peaseblossom on lute and Mustard Seed on trumpet, who provide the music for Puck's dance. 

They do not care that they are disturbing the inhabitant of the rock, and are therefore neighbours from hell. It must be early morning as he has not yet brought in the milk from the doorstep. ©Frother's Unite

The Frother's sculpting competition concept has that the winner/winner's and selected runners-up are moulded and sold through Frother's for a limited period of two months. After that, the miniatures faith are up to the sculptor.

John didn't win his category, as it was won by Kev White's lovely Oberon, but Puck's Dance was moulded and cast in limited numbers. Unfortunately, I wasn't around in time to get myself a copy. After the limited sale on Frother's the rights went to White Knight (WK). White Knight has then released the two characters Peaseblossom and Mustard Seed - both available in his Hors Série - line - but he has never released the entire "Puck's Dance" - diorama. Such a petty, I'd say - and I've been nagging him over and over again releasing it - but with no luck .... till

... 6 weeks ago when WK surprised me with an offer of letting me have Puck's Dance and put it in production, cause as he said: "It's more chaotic anyway, so makes more sense in your range than in mine"
For me, it was one of those offers you can't really refuse, so I gladly accepted his strict license terms and signed the 50 page contact ...., in blood - and I've just donated the first kidney. Hopefully he can wait a bit for the second one :-P

So, here is the master cast I've got from WK, and I will now try and give it a proper release:

The 2007 FU!-UK Sculpting Contest "The Unseelie Suspects" - Puck's Dance

The trained eye will see it's now after breakfast, as the little Milk bottle on the doorstep has been brought in. The little bottle might have been lost in transit or it was still sitting in the master mould, when the master's were spun :-?

Here's all the diorama pieces:

And here is Puck, will work great as a stand alone piece as well :)

And that's not all. It actually came with an additional head piece. Puck head ain't a separated piece, but think it's an easy conversion - should you like replacing the awesome head he already has.

Hopefully Puck's dance will become available Autumn 2014 - so interested keep an eye out for the Claminiature-blog

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The 4A Mad Hatter's

The 2013/2014 Brush Slave League season has come to an end and we have found our new champion as this years league was won by bas_2312. Well done Bas, it's so well deserved.

For this our last round I also manage to finish a team. Was working on a themed team based on old Heroquest plastic miniatures, but as I dropped one of them into the wet palette, due to some not-so-tacky Blu-tack, I had to come up with something fast.

Luckily, I have had my John Pickford sculpted Four A Miniatures chaotic dwarfs sitting here on the bench in a 90% done stage. Have been sitting here for some time, as I've never finished their shields and bases, so "now" was a good time to do so. And all four miniatures was ready, just-in-time, for our final "Round 8".

Ended up looking like this:

Four A Miniatures: Resus Redgrave

Four A Miniatures: Erik Brokentusk 

Four A Miniatures: Lupus Crackedhelm 

Four A Miniatures: Hiargh and Lowargh

And here is a family photo of all five "dwarfs":

++++++++++++ EDIT ++++++++++++

Axiom asked: "How do they look against your own Ewal Dvergar?" Well, I'll let you be the judge of that :)

Ewal Dvergar mixed with Four A Miniatures

Monday, June 23, 2014

Collecting John Pickford: Iron Mask Miniatures Kickstarter Add-on's

Iron Mask Miniatures/Gary Price have given pre-view of most of the Add-on's to last year's Kickstarter Campaign (the add-on's where all Stretch goals that wasn't reached, when the campaign ended). These will be the finishing pieces and complete his successful crowd-funding campaign. Gary did a great job running this and it's so nice to see a campaign that well organized and meets it's deadlines, that well. Great job, Gary.

It has been such a great experience following  Gary's project and it's been very inspiring seeing how this swashbuckling fantasy gaming idea has grown from plans on paper to an awesome range of characterful 28mm miniatures and a nice little set of rules. Hopefully his little venture will not end here. Knows, that Gary has lots ideas about adding to the range, but only the future will tell, if we see them/all of them brought to life.

First up are the three awesome halfling Characters Dartleby Onion, Dart's lackey Planchet and Dart’s sweetheart Constance - all based on Colin Upton's great artwork:

Iron Mask Miniatures: Dart Onion 
Artwork by Colin Upton

Miniature work-in-process by John Pickford

Iron Mask Miniatures: Planchet
Artwork by Colin Upton

Miniature work-in-process by John Pickford

Iron Mask Miniatures: Constance
Artwork by Colin Upton

Miniature work-in-process by John Pickford

There is a forth add-on miniature: The dwarf Queen - no sight of her yet, but is work-in-process as well. Will show her on here, as soon as I spot her :-)

That was all the add-on miniatures, but there were also some Special Hand upgrades to the regular dwarf Musketeers. These has also been made ready. There will be 12 in total. the first two where those added to the Dwarf in Iron Mask - the lantern and the Crossbow. The other ten are: bomb, tankard closed, tankard open, hat, goblet, pipe, scroll, torch, lace handkerchief, and bottle. As a hat holding hand calls for a bare head a such has been made, too. Actually two bare ones have been made - and another two with new hats on - giving you even more options to choose from :)

Here are first the four new heads and then the different poses using the new heads and Special Hands:

Really like these new special hands. Adds so much character to the wonderful Musketeer Dwarfs and really gives you an opportunity to personalize your dwarf character. And don't forget, that most of these will work well with White Knight's renaissance dwarfs as well :)