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"New pics, Inkbiz 1:500 scale/4mm French Infantry master" Topic

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2,900 hits since 30 Sep 2012
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Inkbiz Inactive Member30 Sep 2012 2:44 p.m. PST

Hi Gents!

It's a banner month here at our humble home. My wife Tracey gave birth to our first child, Michelina Joy, on September 24th. Both are happy and healthy and I am truly amazed at how utterly blessed I feel with her arrival.

And with some more miniature news I managed to use 2 weeks away from work to complete the final figures for my 1:500 scale French Line Infantry. Privates to mounted Chef, and all ranks in between, even including a Drum Major.

They measure about 4mm to the top of the head, 1.5mm across the shoulders, on a 2mm square base, and with some shrinkage should reach the appropriate size for 1:500 gaming.

Here's a few pics of the metal master, as well as a painted example next to the tip of a pen (first time I painted one so I was a little shaky).

The should be done with casting in about 2-4 weeks, and I'll be ready to accept/ship orders.

I hope you guys enjoy them, been a long time coming!


Sparker Inactive Member30 Sep 2012 3:09 p.m. PST

Congratulations on the wee bairn.

That is amazing sculpting! (Talking about the fusilier!)

Would the finished item still be attached to the big block, or will that get thinned down to a thin base?

morrigan Inactive Member30 Sep 2012 3:40 p.m. PST

Very nice!

Inkbiz Inactive Member30 Sep 2012 3:45 p.m. PST

Thanks Sparker. The block in the photos is only 2mm thick, but the production figures will be based shoulder to shoulder in groups of 2, 3, 5, and hopefully 10 (the longer the strip, the greater the chance of a lost bayonet during casting), on a 1mm thick base so it won't look as prominent.

forwardmarchstudios30 Sep 2012 3:52 p.m. PST

Whoa! Us small-scale guys are suddenly being blessed with all sorts of lines coming out right now! Out of curiosity would these be compatible sizewise with 08? If theyre 4mm to the top of the hat then methinks yes. 08 are exactly that size….. And the haters may hate. Your figs are incredibly detailed, and that painted guy looks awesome. I'll probably grab up a bunch of those and 08 figs. Any plans to do some cav?

Inkbiz Inactive Member30 Sep 2012 4:08 p.m. PST

Thanks FM. I've got masters done for all foot artillery, skirmishing and reserve voltiguers, mounted command, casualties and "runners", and am working on elite and regular Chasseurs a Cheval at the moment. The horses took me the longest to figure out. Legs were difficult, and maintaining the correct proportions were top on my priorities (I'll post some pics of the mounted Chef d Bttn as soon as the masters come back) so the basic form took me a long time. But now that I have them they'll be much easier.

I don't know if O8's will match up as our styles are different, but I'm glad he's doing the work he is, this wee little scale is not the norm, but it does complete the range selection available for miniatures enthusiasts. And as for me I can't wait to see a 1:1 division or corps done with these guys.

forwardmarchstudios30 Sep 2012 4:53 p.m. PST

A 1:1 corps is my first goal. Actually one couldnt make a 1:1 corps with 08 because the figs are spaced too widely apart. I just did the math. You could only get 2:3 with 08, maybe a bit more depending on what you assign as the average height at the time. If your guys are only taking up 1.5mm of frontage then 1:1 would be very possible. I also like that you are going to have, from what Ive gathered, seperate command figs or cmmand strips. To do a battalion correctly youd need a nunch of seperate drummers to group together behind the companies, for instance. With 08 ypud have to snip these out of the command strips. At least with the ACW figs you would. I dont know how Marcin is going to do the Naps, and maybe he'll be doing them differently. Anyway, these microscale figs are definitely going to change the idea of what is possible on the table top, especially for large convention games. Columns that actually have intervals, arty that are properly spaced, cavalry squadrons instead of regiments, etc, etc, etc. And all this at very reasonable prices and much, much better looking than the 2mm stuff. And on the opposite spectrum very small elements, like battalions and even brigades on 20mm frontage can be used on relatively small but highly detailed terrain to blow the ever-vexing wall-to-wall deployment out of the water, and actually introduce flanks back to wargames. All in all, a good time.

Do you have an idea on price yet?

UpperCanada30 Sep 2012 7:25 p.m. PST

Hey Bob,

Congrats to you and Tracey for Michelina Joy! Our first two are now in University, another to go in four years, the last in 8 years. Enjoy the ride.

The revision looks very spiffy. Thickening out in a few areas, and the legs are a better. The achievement is grand.

Looking forward to purchasing regiments.


Nathaniel Inactive Member30 Sep 2012 8:10 p.m. PST

So just by painting conversion at 1:500 what other nations does this release potentially cover?

Rapier Miniatures Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 3:12 a.m. PST

Oh wow, I am waiting to be able to order, all patiently….

TuffSkull Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 8:32 a.m. PST

wow, its years since I've seen any of your work, and its good to see that its still continuing. Congratulations on both the range and the baby!

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2012 11:05 a.m. PST

Congradulations on becoming a father, Bob! I am glad to see you have kept at this since I have been gone! I am anxious to see some psinted units on the table! Please post here when you have them ready for sale! It's been what?….. 5 years! (Of course, little things like finishing your MD and work got in the way…./>)

Congrats, Bob!
Tom Dye

Robert le Diable Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 11:42 a.m. PST

"Thou's welcome, wean!" (Robert Burns, about 1785). And welcome, too, the news of the figures and those latest pictures. I guess the soldier shown is wearing quite wide overall trousers, to judge from the third picture from the top? At such a scale, as we all acknowledge, the sculpting is masterly, and the figure anatomically convincing. Look forward to seeing those horses, too. If I recall correctly, the spacing of figures in those strips is calculated to allow a 1:1 batallion, Brigade, &c &C., so "forwardmarchstudios", and indeed myself, may eventually manage to realise our ambitions. Great Stuff, Bob/Inkbiz.

Stewart Inactive Member01 Oct 2012 10:47 p.m. PST

HI Bob

Congrats on the new addition to your family. Glad to hear everyone is well. The figure look great. You have managed to capture a load of detail on such a small figure. Cannot wait to get my hands on them.

Just want to let everyone know that there is a yahoo group dedicated to Bob's work.


Join in to discuss the figures, provide some insight on painting them, and "help" Bob decide on the direction the project should take.


Inkbiz Inactive Member02 Oct 2012 11:32 a.m. PST

Thank you for the kind comments fellows, they are very much appreciated. It is good to hear from some of you old grognards.

As for pricing, I want people to be able to amass armies, so I'm simply going to try to keep them as low as I can while still being able to continue to introduce new figures. I don't care one bit about profit right now, so long as I can continue to expand the line without dipping into personal finances anymore (especially with a newborn here). As it stands now my cost per master is roughly $180 USD with me doing the sculpting. The mould making and casting runs roughly $150 USD-200 per production set, and then add in the cost of the raw metal. So I'm hoping I can collect enough in orders from these infantry to release the skirmishing voltiguers, artillery, and chasseurs a cheval in good order. I'm banking a lot on the hope that each new release will allow me to begin the next set until the line fleshes out more. But importantly the sculpting for all of these figures is already done except for the chassuers a cheval, which are in the works, so it comes down to brass tax.

As for the contents of packs.. I was planning on setting them up as battalion and brigade packs, and, as I complete more high level command figures, division packs with discounts for the larger packs. The idea is to include enough figures to cover a paper-strength unit, privates through mounted command (including adjudants) so there's not too much math involved when setting up a force. I expect I'd need to have a command separate pack available to cover different figure:man ratios if desired? Not sure how this would be received but any thoughts are welcome.
I also am keen to release a 'diorama' set for each nation, including walking wounded, dead, runners, etc.. to add a little flair to bases. These will correspond with a set of rules I've been working on for the last 5 years based on small unit cohesion, and biophysical effects of battle stress. My medical and psychological schooling has allowed to me collect a large amount of research data that is quantified in these rules, and they will heavily reflect a 'physiologic response' to combat, which I feel is the core of pre-industrial warfare.

Thank you again guys, it really warms my heart to read your posts, as you all have been a great motivator for me throughout the years.


forwardmarchstudios02 Oct 2012 5:12 p.m. PST

Guys running, casualties and some active poses would be much, much appreciated. A bunch of random figures would help to create a better sense of activity and scale. Haha, and having a few hundred fleeing refugees on the table would explain why the second line is often disordered by the fleeing troops in front..

forwardmarchstudios02 Oct 2012 10:45 p.m. PST

Inkbiz- a few months back I had offered to paint up a complete 1:1 battalion to geT some pictures for you to put up. I ended up not being able to follow-up because…. Long story…. My painting stuff ended up at new apartment in Hollywood while I was stuck in Phoenix. However I just found out today that my transfer/promotion has come through at long last, and Ill be back with my hobby stuff (and fiancee) in two weeks. That being said, if you need some photos taken so people can see a complete 1:1 battalion I'll have some time to get it painted and based up very soon. Let me know if your still interested! Id do it for free, of course. I could also whip up some good terrain to photograph it in…

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member26 Oct 2012 11:41 p.m. PST

Hey there Inkbiz. Nice to see you posting and your figures again. This is Robert from Portland,Oregon. I don't know if you remember me from about 2 years or so ago before I had my Stroke. Robert

Inkbiz Inactive Member28 Oct 2012 3:18 p.m. PST

Hi there Robert, good to hear from you. I hope things are going well for you, and your health is improving. Thanks for the post, I'm looking forward to getting back the first commercial set by the middle of October, actually.

FMS, thank you for the generous offer.
I ended up having to use a touch of silver in the casting process, so that they would retain their detail and also be a little harder than the typical tin/antimony type mixes. It's an alloy used in fine-jewelry making, a touch more per pound of metal, but well worth it because of the results. I'd be happy to send some your way to see what you can do with them.


von Winterfeldt29 Oct 2012 6:57 a.m. PST

what I realy admire is the excellent balance of anatomy with equipment, no rediculous small cartridge pouch, good musket length, excellent pose, a bit research pays off.

Albino Squirrel30 Oct 2012 9:01 p.m. PST

I am very much looking forward to these, but I hope you make some variations to cover other nations. Should only require some different headgear variants, I would think.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member31 Oct 2012 8:17 p.m. PST

Thanks Bob. I'm doing alot better then I was before. Th figures look great and paint up really well it looks like grin. I'm still waiting for my free figures wink LOL. Robert

Albino Squirrel07 Dec 2012 7:46 p.m. PST

These are never really coming out are they? They only exist to get my hopes up.

Inkbiz Inactive Member07 Dec 2012 10:53 p.m. PST

Tell me about it AS. :(

This has been a long, laborious, and often frustrating process over the years. And that's from the guy who is doing it as a labor of love. I've spent more money and time working out kinks, and going back to the drawing board than a more pragmatic fellow may have, but I wanted to release these guys knowing that I've done my very best to make a good product.

There's a sort of hierarchy of ability and physics that, I've learned, must be prodded, coerced, wrestled, and, ultimately, painstakingly finessed, in order to produce a line of metal figures.

This hierarchy consists of: sculpting ability, reproducibility, and durability.

Sculpting ability is the first thing to tackle.. When I first tried my hand at this I was amazed at just how difficult it was. I honestly felt it was impossible to do. I've had a lifelong training in art but it has taken me years to get my hands to confidentally do what my eyes/mind are looking for them to do. I tried green stuff, brown stuff, pro create, sculpey, milliput, and everything in between. Hand movements involved at sculpting in this scale are in the tenth of a millimeter or smaller, and that simply takes a very long time to master. It took me about two to three years of nightly practice to get it down reasonable well, and almost ten years later I'm still learning.

Once that was done the reproducibilty became a big factor. Mold-making, tolerances of rubber molds vs silicon molds, avoidance of undercuts, understanding the dynamics of molten metal, 'shrinkage' effects, pressures, etc.. all play a very large part in dictating the actual poses and projections of a figure. That process took me another two years to fine tune. I ended up using more expensive silicon molds to cast masters and production models in because of their increased fidelity. Also, because of the reduced life of the silicon molds, I've been 3D scanning the master sculpts, at some hefty cost per scan, so I can perfectly reproduce them in a rapid prototyper rather than re-sculpting the entire figure in epoxy again if/when the silicon molds burn out.

The last key, durability, has had me scratching my head these last three years. Specifically with the muskets/bayonets. I went through about 5 more versions of this particular little fusilier's weapon before finding that sweet spot between scalability and breakability. Ultimately, for casting, I employed an alloy used for fine jewelry composed of tin, copper and silver. This produces a harder figure that still keeps the details (typically the softer the metal, the better the detail..but then you have a very soft figure..and a soft 0.25mm thick musket doesn't stand up to handling on a gaming table very well). This, as with every step in this project, came at an increased cost, including purchasing a $650 USD melting pot that can handle the higher temps.

So, as it stands now, the melting pot arrived at my caster just last week. The ten rapid prototyped copies of this wee fusilier I sent to him , along with a corporal, sergeant, drummer, and 2 different foot officers, arrived just yesterday. Silicon molds of these guys are being done this coming week, and after that he'll run a half-dozen spins in the regular ole' metal so I'll have some pics to show you guys of a 1:1 half-company. What we are waiting on now is the shipment of 100 pounds of the new tin/copper/silver alloy to arrive and he can start spinning. I expect that will get to him in no more than 2 weeks.

After that it's up to you guys, I suppose. And I truly hope I won't have to keep dashing hopes.


von Winterfeldt07 Dec 2012 11:56 p.m. PST

as I did already several times, your labour of love is cleary evident, you spent a lot time in research, as well as in sculpting and overcoming all different kinds of problems.
The final product – is excellent, keep your enthusiasm

Albino Squirrel08 Dec 2012 9:13 a.m. PST

Thank you for the update! And also for your dedication to the project. I suppose if you can go through all of that just to produce them, the least I can do is wait a little longer to buy them. I mostly just wanted to keep the thread alive. I'm glad to hear things are still progressing, and as always I will follow the progress with great interest.

Albino Squirrel09 Apr 2013 9:01 p.m. PST

Any news on these?

Inkbiz Inactive Member20 Apr 2013 8:50 p.m. PST

Why, they're done. I have thirty packs of 1:1 French Fusilier Company sitting here in front of me. I was just going to paint some up this week before posting it. :)

Please feel free to contact me at for any details, I'm really happy to finally get these guys launched.


Inkbiz Inactive Member20 Apr 2013 9:00 p.m. PST

Ah and may I submit:
$4.99 USD/pack
Buy 6 get 1 free
Buy 12 get 2 free w one painted by me

For roughly 136 figures…16 sets of 5 fusiliers, 4 sets of 4 fusiliers with corporal on right flank, 4 sets of 4 fusiliers with corporal on left flank, 4 drummers, 8 officers, 6 sergeants with bayonet fixed, 4 sergeants with flag/marker in musket barrel. Enough to base a 1:1 company, with extras, or two 1:2 companies, both with command and supernumerary ranks.


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