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"calling all sculptors Advice needed CC's Tripedal dolly" Topic

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napthyme28 Dec 2012 2:49 p.m. PST

Hi all, finally getting this mastered from my new mold maker this holiday season.

TMP link

So should be hearing back soon.

problem is Dan and I have no idea how to proceed from here. The last contest I had failed miserably…. So?

What do we do with them once we have them?

is there enough people who are seriously interested in a sculpting contest to have one or will I end up sending out a bunch of dollies and not get any entries?

Is there any other way you can think of to promote this and still get something sculpted?

sky is the limit ATM as far as what can be the other half of this mini.

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian28 Dec 2012 8:33 p.m. PST

Not sure what you're talking about – are you asking people to sculpt finished models off the the dolly? What's the prize for the winner of this contest, and what happens to the other entries? If you're planning on putting them into production, you'll want to make sure entrants grant you the rights to do so.

napthyme28 Dec 2012 9:50 p.m. PST

the quote from Dan…

I would love . . .

. . . for someone to cast them as a dolly, and then for them to do a contest to see what other people, beginners and experts alike, come up with (each contestant with three dollies to either do three variants of the same concept or submit three different concepts).

I think that would be a really productive and fun contest. And I would donate the green for free to that project.

But I'm not sure if any manufacturer would be interested in such a thing.


I've signed on as the manufacturer, but we have no idea how the best way is to proceed from here

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian29 Dec 2012 5:48 a.m. PST

Well if your caster is managing the leg parts okay in metal and you plan to release a range rather than just a figure or two (which would be better sales-wise, probably), then you might be best off having the tops sculpted as seperate pieces. That would let each top be a slightly different pose, with different gear and giving plenty of options for final positioning.

That way you avoid getting possibly uncastable completed models and you maximize the figure variety without requiring multiple "bottom" parts which look pretty reposable anyway. Variety is good, after all.

Whether you accomplish that via a contest of some kind or do it yourself or pay someone to do so – that's up to you. Tripedal aliens certainly aren't crowding the market at the moment, so they'd certainly be novel. Doesn't seem like too much of a gamble to me, but it's not my money at stake.

Shame they're not a little more dumpy, they could pass as SFB Hydrans – which would probably drive Steve Cole into a frenzy, come to think of it.

napthyme29 Dec 2012 11:39 a.m. PST

well "up to me" doesn't get me any further then I was yesterday. As I said we have no idea how to proceed.

Was hoping to hear from all those who were excited by Dan's green on how they wanted to proceed…

Kyn ell29 Dec 2012 6:38 p.m. PST

I'll have a go at it, just as a bit of fun. If its people that are up for sculpting the top half that is, or am I missing something?
Do all the entries get cast up, or just the winners?

Zephyr129 Dec 2012 7:17 p.m. PST

If it's doing top halfs, I'll give it a try. Would need to know if there is a deadline, too (but 15mm shouldn't take long…. ;-)

napthyme29 Dec 2012 10:33 p.m. PST

Yeah we need the top half's, whatever you envision that to be.

Did we want to do an actual contest or Everyone put in and then get casts back or a variation of both?

No deadline as of yet since were just trying to get some idea of how to proceed.

Eli Arndt30 Dec 2012 6:53 a.m. PST

I'd be happy to give a few of them a good whirl.


Chef Lackey Rich Fezian30 Dec 2012 7:09 a.m. PST

If Eli's willing to take a stab at it, we're bound to get something nice out of it. I'd be willing to take a shot at it myself, although I'll admit to being a tyro at sculpting for production casting.

napthyme30 Dec 2012 9:54 a.m. PST

well if we can get half a dozen people to sculpt something it will be worth whatever investment to get them cast.

Cacique Caribe31 Dec 2012 2:42 a.m. PST

Wow, nice!!!

So far, these say they'd be interested:

1) Kyn Ell
2) Zephyr1
3) Eli Arndt
4) Chief Lackey Rich

Awesome group. Any other sculptors interested out there?


Armiesarmy31 Dec 2012 8:07 a.m. PST


Grand idea

I'm in


Armiesarmy31 Dec 2012 8:13 a.m. PST

Have you had them mastered moles yet?

napthyme31 Dec 2012 2:40 p.m. PST

Glad to see your back Dan, I'll let you keep track of who wants them. Hopefully we will have them available to send out in the next week or so.

If anyone knows of a sculptor who wants to jump in here please feel free to pass it along.

28mmMan31 Dec 2012 9:32 p.m. PST


I am a fan of the tripod design.

In fact I would think to work on several at the same time, make a team.

Say 3, 4, or 5?

All the same just different poses.

Just PM me with whatever paypal funds you need to make this happen if an option for me.

I would suggest other interested parties do the same…a small team or the optional poses will go a long way to show potential.

napthyme31 Dec 2012 10:42 p.m. PST

Oh thanks for reminding me Ray. How many dollies will each person want to sculpt from?

I did not know if one would be enough or if multiples would be required.

Cacique Caribe31 Dec 2012 11:34 p.m. PST

Ray (28mmMan),

I really like your idea to use the set of dollies to make several poses of the same type of creature the sculptor is envisioning!!!!


TheCount01 Jan 2013 1:03 p.m. PST

Looks like a fun project. I've been sculpting 6-10mm sci-fi and fantasy for about a year now, so something larger is the obvious next challenge. And I've been a fan of 3-legged beasties since I was a kid! Please keep me posted. Any questions or whatever, please PM me.

Regards, TC.

Zephyr101 Jan 2013 2:40 p.m. PST

Since I'm planning on doing tops, I could get by with 3 to 5. (I've also started redoing a 15mm RPG in anticipation…. ;-)

p.s. From the looks of it, I think you are going to end up with dozens of different poses. wink

Cacique Caribe01 Jan 2013 10:51 p.m. PST

I have a feeling that each set of finished sculpts submitted will differ quite a bit from the others, even if they all have a common starting point:



TMP link


Would/should the sculptors keep their design(s) secret from each other and the public until the final submission is turned in to Napthyme?


Armiesarmy02 Jan 2013 8:15 a.m. PST


I know you are testing the waters and I think its a grand idea, however I think you need to come up with a little more content to clarify what you want, as Im a little confused.



Kyn ell02 Jan 2013 9:11 a.m. PST

Dan: I was just about to say that, it's the best way to make sure we all come up with totally different sculpts, we could give each other the heads up with what kind of thing were planning so we don't duplicate ideas, but the details and results should be kept secret until the big reveal!

Keith: Yeah it's true about it being a little confusing, but I'm starting to get the idea that it's all of us that are going to flesh it out overall.

We do need to organise ourselves with a plan of action (maybe some kind of timescale as well)along with the aims of what is going to be done after we have done the greens etc.
I love the idea with all honesty and am looking forward to making some mad little monsters!!

Cacique Caribe02 Jan 2013 12:48 p.m. PST

Keith (AA): "I think you need to come up with a little more content to clarify what you want, as Im a little confused."

Kyn ell: "Yeah it's true about it being a little confusing, but I'm starting to get the idea that it's all of us that are going to flesh it out overall."

Jim (NAPTHYME), maybe my posts are making this sound more complex than it really is. Could you help?



Cacique Caribe02 Jan 2013 1:10 p.m. PST

This was my original idea . . .

"I would love . . . for someone to cast them as a dolly, and then for them to do a contest to see what other people, beginners and experts alike, come up with (each contestant with three dollies to either do three variants of the same concept or submit three different concepts).
I think that would be a really productive and fun contest. And I would donate the green for free to that project."

So, here's what I see happening next . . .

A) Dan (yours truly), sculpts the dolly of the legs and donates it to be cast for the benefit of sculptors and gamers alike. -DONE

B) Via this TMP discussion, the main steps of this venture are drawn up, and the sculptors declare their interest in participating.

C) Jim (Napthyme), gets the figure cast and sends the casts (3-5 perhaps) out to sculptors interested in using the leg dollies to build on and come up with a race of creatures.

D) Sculptors then construct 3-5 variants of the creature they envisioned, using the leg dolly as their starting point. The race could be completely unarmed, primitively armed or tech armed the choice is up to the sculptor. The sculptors need to make sure to keep their creature concept secret from other sculptors and the general public. When complete (by a deadline?), the sculptors then send the completed sculpts back to Jim (Napthyme).

E) At this point, once the deadline is past, that's when Jim (Napthyme) could reveal what all the sculptors have submitted.


Well, that's where things begin to get blurry for me. Not sure how this would proceed after that . . .

Thoughts, guys?


napthyme02 Jan 2013 2:09 p.m. PST

I don't see a very large chance that anyone will duplicate someone else's work. There is just to many possible outcomes for this piece.

categories for sculpting would include…
Alien: plant/fungus
Alien: Primitive
Alien: Advanced
Alien: Creature
Flying Alien:(insert one of the above)

Those participating can speak up and say what category there working in and that should help even more.

napthyme02 Jan 2013 2:24 p.m. PST

The last contest that I had (which failed miserably due to no submissions.) I had it set up for prizes for the top 3 and then if anyone else wanted there's cast that was of a useful quality to gamer's could get a flat rate for there sculpt plus everyone was going to get casts of everything that was submitted for production.

This was of course a much simpler contest then this one, so things will need to be adjusted as far as prizes (monetary) goes.

But you have to consider if we have 8-10 people all doing 3 sculpts then were going to have 30 new mini's available all at once. That many will take a minimum of 2 master molds to make master castings to do production molds and depending on the quality of the sculpts will depend on how many final production molds that will require. For arguments sake we will say 5 putting 6 sculpts per mold.

At that rate I am already dedicating $700.00 USD to the project in molding costs alone that may or may not be paid back in future miniature sales.

So while this is a great community project, there is quite a bit of risk on my part up front in carrying this out.

napthyme02 Jan 2013 2:46 p.m. PST

As far as the rest of the contest details go.

Judging I was going to ask Wyatt the Odd as he is the one I refer to when I need an extra set of eyes on things and he seems to be impartial as far as the forum goes. I will not even have to let him know who sculpted what until after the contest when the results are tallied.

As far as time goes for sculpting I would think a couple months would be required for a project this large.

Turn around time on the molding will depend on how busy they are this spring.

Cacique Caribe02 Jan 2013 3:06 p.m. PST

The list of participants is starting to look really nice so far …

1) Kyn Ell
2) Zephyr1
3) Eli Arndt
4) Chief Lackey Rich
5) Army's Armies Keith
6) 28mmMan Ray
7) The Count

Did I miss anyone here, from those who said they would join?


Kyn ell02 Jan 2013 3:49 p.m. PST

Thanks for clearing that up for us guys!
That makes things a lot clearer for us, that way we all know what we are supposed to be doing :)
I wasn't suggesting we'd duplicate each others sculpts, it was more like to make sure we all make it as diverse since 50% of what we are doing is going to be the same on each figure!!
Are we allowed to add more to the legs/lower half, or are we restricted to just the top bit?

napthyme02 Jan 2013 4:32 p.m. PST

I have not yet given the green light for a production mold on the bottom half just in case someone wanted to modify it in some way. I was just going to use master castings from the master mold for the contest unless I found we needed a huge amount of them.

I was not ruling that out as a possibility.

TheCount02 Jan 2013 7:52 p.m. PST

I'll echo Kyn ell, things are clearer, and I had the same question about modifying the legs (if only to reposition for greater variety in stances).

As for your cash outlay Jim, I feel your anxiety, totally understandable. Anything that the sculptors can do to take the edge off? Would a contribution or a deposit scheme help perhaps?

Whatever you may decide, still looks like it'll be a cool project!

Cheers, TC.

Zephyr102 Jan 2013 8:05 p.m. PST

I'm not in it for winning any money, but for the fun and challenge it represents. ;-)

Just curious, what's the approximate dimensions of the 'cone' on the top half (height x diameter at thickest part) in mm? Doesn't hurt to work out some of the 'engineering' ahead of time…. ;-)

napthyme02 Jan 2013 8:30 p.m. PST

Well I really didn't expect anyone to just give me the sculpts for free, nor was I asking for help to pay for the molding.

My reservation comes from not having any of the new items I've released since buying the Armies of Arcana miniatures actually come close to paying for themselves, which has slowed down drastically how much stuff I can afford to put out each year.

I do have some multi-genre stuff coming up here this month, so fingers crossed it will give a good showing.

I don't have the green here to measure now, its at the mold makers. Not sure if Dan would have any idea or not?

Cacique Caribe02 Jan 2013 10:19 p.m. PST

Zephyr1: "Just curious, what's the approximate dimensions of the 'cone' on the top half (height x diameter at thickest part) in mm? Doesn't hurt to work out some of the 'engineering' ahead of time…. ;-)"

Well, I seem to remember using most of the brass ball tip and beige color plug section of a "Bic" pen to get the general shape for the cone. It was a "Round Stic" just like this, though the final cone did not come out as slick-looking as I would have liked:




Not sure what the exact dimensions of that pen tip is at the moment. I can't seem to find a "Bic" around the house now for some reason.


Armiesarmy03 Jan 2013 2:13 a.m. PST

I'll echo Zephyr1. I'm not in it for any cash incentive, just some fun. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination a good sculptor and suspect mine will be rubbish!
I do however understand the associated costs with figure production and I'm to still far off recovering costs on my Rusks (my only goal) so I think it would be fair to donate a few pounds/dollars and postage for each dollie to help you. You need to cover your costs or get close to it after all.



Kyn ell03 Jan 2013 8:14 a.m. PST

I'm not in it for money either, I just like making stuff! I'd be happy if I could get a copy or two of some of the finished minis to paint up, but it wouldn't be necessary!
I would help out with some donation of some sort, but I'm pretty skint after Xmas. I am very happy to donate the greens for the project and help out, I'm a bit of a team player so like to support others good ideas best I can!

28mmMan03 Jan 2013 10:19 p.m. PST

I for one am in it for the fun and opportunity.

Health and work has kept me away from any such sculpting for a long time.

I for one would want nothing in return.

If mine get cast, then maybe a couple miniatures to paint…5 or so.

But I realize the risk involved and will be more than happy to add to a kitty to help cover some costs as well as the opportunity.

Seeing a creation come to life and have potential for others to enjoy is enough for me.


28mmMan03 Jan 2013 10:29 p.m. PST

Oh…as for the details of each sculpt…I like the WIP posted at a certain point but fairly mums the word in between.

As for a basic concept I can not see how it would hurt anyone to note a simple description.

So I offer mine…

Trilateral aliens from a rugged hostile world…savage tribes armed with salvaged and stolen higher tech weapons…

I am picturing these guys as skirmishers, sent in to harass and worry an enemy force along their flanks and borders.

Useful for VSF, science fantasy/fiction, post apoc, etc.

The actual upper half I have a couple ideas but until I have the tripods in hand I am not sure which I will end up using.

I will not be modifying the legs or poses.

Tripod legs are already a nightmare to mold/cast, so why add insult to injury :(

I figure I can simply change the facing angle and when lined up with weapons forward then the legs will be in different positions without modifying bases.


Zephyr104 Jan 2013 2:53 p.m. PST

I'm going sci-fi myself. About 2-3 dif weapons, and possibly a "boss" if it turns out OK (gotta face something once you've wiped out all the minions…. ;-)

Kyn ell04 Jan 2013 4:13 p.m. PST

I'm going for some eldrich nightmare creature, all tentacles and feeding maws and slashing claws. I reckon they'd fit fantasy, sci-fi and horror genres as some kind of unspeakable horrors!
I won't be modifying the bottom I don't think, but if I do it will just be minor (spines/spikes/tentacles etc)

napthyme04 Jan 2013 11:32 p.m. PST

Well I do appreciate that everyone seems to be "not in it for the money" However I can manage to do something as far as a contest prize even if its store credit with either store.

And I do think that if everyone puts in then you should all get the entire line of sculpts out. Casting costs are not that expensive in 15MM to not do it.

By not doing a separate mold per sculpt as is the SOP in the industry I can cut the production cost down to about $20.00 USD each which should cut way down on the potential financial damage of having something not sell.

And if something ends up being excessively successful then I can do full production molds of something later.

And it looks like I missed the Horror category didn't I?

TheCount05 Jan 2013 1:28 p.m. PST

"The horror, the horror."

Oh no, I've just started thinking of "Weird Vietnam" possibilities. Stop me, now!

28mmMan07 Jan 2013 8:07 p.m. PST

Anyone else on board…any new thoughts or ideas?

Looking forward to the end result, the hope that at least most of them will be compatible together :)

Kyn ell07 Jan 2013 8:21 p.m. PST

Maybe they might fit being the various alien species of the same world? With the lower half being essentially the same, they would at least appear to be part related in DNA so, I would imagine they would all look pretty good together! :)

28mmMan07 Jan 2013 9:59 p.m. PST

I am hoping that they do :D

Zephyr108 Jan 2013 2:33 p.m. PST

I was thinking that even if the tops are different, it's because their "masters" are xeno-splicers, who put them together from various species and a stock of vat- or egg-grown legs to make loyal armies. (That was my idea for a "boss". Still working on the design for that one…. ;-)

Cacique Caribe09 Jan 2013 11:52 a.m. PST

Jim (Napthyme),

Could you send me half a dozen too, if you have any left over after sending out the 3-5 to each sculptor?

Though I'm more interested in seeing what others come up with, I might give it a try also.

TMP link

napthyme09 Jan 2013 2:40 p.m. PST

Yeah Dan had planned to send you some as well.

Update: got pics from the caster, the green has survived the molding process and looks pretty good so far. Now we can find out how bendable they are for leg positioning.

Hopefully will have production molds plus copies of these in the next week or so.

napthyme09 Jan 2013 2:46 p.m. PST

How may here are thinking of doing serious modifications to the base?

If its only the leg positioning then I may just have a production mold made of the dollie bottom and go from there.

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