Help support TMP

"What's Tom Meier up to?" Topic

24 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please remember not to make new product announcements on the forum. Our advertisers pay for the privilege of making such announcements.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Sculpting Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Showcase Article

Cheap Scenery: Giant Mossy Rocks

Well, they're certainly cheap...

5,517 hits since 19 Aug 2016
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Silurian19 Aug 2016 9:25 a.m. PST

Like many people, I'm in awe of Tom Meier's sculpting. From the early days of Ral Partha to his own Thunderbolt Mountain miniatures, his work is exquisite.

But has he done anything (for our hobby) recently? Did anything ever come of those 28mm WWII American greens?

Don't waste time on those high-paying jobs Tom, crank out the minis for us!

Hafen von Schlockenberg19 Aug 2016 9:34 a.m. PST

He did do a few 1/48 for Fox Miniatures. The story I heard was that he was lured away by a higher-paying project. I didn't know about any 28mm. That I'd like to see too!

He is doing some new figures for the old Ral Partha Colonial line,which he reaquired.


Lucius19 Aug 2016 9:36 a.m. PST

I remember a thread that said that the WW II stuff was done, and the owners(Fox Miniatures) were shooting for Spring 2016.

I'm still hoping for a Christmas miracle, in the form of more figures for his Nativity set. I bought the Holy Family set when my daughter was in 3rd grade, hoping that the promised Wise Men and camels would eventually come out.

She's a senior this year . . .

jowady19 Aug 2016 10:50 a.m. PST

He is also sculpting for Dark Sword,


John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Aug 2016 11:04 a.m. PST

Hi, Tom doesn't own the Partha Colonial range. Dale does.

Hafen von Schlockenberg19 Aug 2016 1:26 p.m. PST

Oh,OK,I heard wrong.

PeterH19 Aug 2016 5:00 p.m. PST

the man would kill 20 mm – any shot?

Hafen von Schlockenberg19 Aug 2016 5:24 p.m. PST

The man would kill in any scale. But as another sculptor keeps telling me, "I've only got two hands!"

He still hasn't followed up my suggestion of a Dr. Octopus operation.

TMMeier21 Aug 2016 5:01 a.m. PST

OK, to answer your questions.

I finished sculpting the 1/48 WW2 line for Jim Fox about four or five years ago. He hasn't put it in production and I don't know why.

Here is the list of figures.

A-1 Walking, ready M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-2 Standing, port arms M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-3 Walking, port arms, M-I Garand, sprue A
A-4 Standing, firing, M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-5 Running M-1 sprue A
A-6 Running M-1 sprue J
A-7 Walking, ready, BAR sprue A
A-8 Running, port arms, M-1 Garand, Colt 1911 pistol, sprue A
A-9 Walking, ready, Thompson SMG, Colt 1911 pistol, sprue A
A-10 Running, ready, M-1 carbine folding stock, Colt 1911 pistol, sprue G
A-11 Running, Radio, M-1 carbine
A-12 Walking shouldered.30 cal Machine gun sprue M
A-13 Walking shouldered, M-1 carbine MG tripod, sprue I
A-14 Walking MG ammo sprue N
A-15 Walking, shouldered, Bazooka, M-1 Garand, sprue H
A-16 Walking Bazooka Ammo sprue L
A-17 – A-20 Not assigned

A-21 Kneeling, firing, M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-22 Kneeling, port arms, M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-23 Kneeling, firing, M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-24 Kneeling, port arms,M-1 Garand sprue A
A-25 Prone, firing, M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-26 Prone, loading, M-1 Garand, sprue A
A-27 Prone, firing, BAR, sprue A
A-28 Prone, firing, M-1 Garand, Colt 1911 pistol, sprue A
A-29 Kneeling, ready, Thompson SMG, Colt 1911 pistol, sprue A
A-30 Kneeling, port arms, M-1 carbine folding stock, Colt 1911 pistol, sprue C
A-31 Kneeling radio sprue K
A-32 Prone, firing, .30 cal Machine gun, sprue F
A-33 Prone, loading sprue O
A-34 – Not assigned
A-35 Kneeling, firing, Bazooka, sprue E
A-36 Kneeling, loading, Bazooka ammo sprue D

A-50 American Army sergant Thompson SMG

Germans are 'D' rather than 'G' because it's easier to scribe and read on the base.

D-1 Standing, firing, G 43 semi-auto, sprue A
D-2 Running, port arms, G 98 bolt action rifle, sprue H
D-3 Running, port arms, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue I
D-4 Running, port arms, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue G
D-5 Standing, port arms, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue E
D-6 Walking, port arms, G-98, sprue N
D-7 Running, port arms, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue D
D-8 Running, port arms, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue J
D-9 Running, loading, MP44 machine pistol, sprue M
D-10 Walking, ready, MP44 machine pistol, sprue B
D-11 Walking, port arms, G 98 bolt action rifle with scope, sprue F
D-12 Walking, carrying MG sprue W + W1
D-13 Walking, carrying ammo sprue R + R1
D-14 – Running, port arms, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue A
D-15 Walking, carrying Panzershrek, sprue T
D-16 Walking, carrying Panzershrek ammo, sprue U
D-17 – D-20 Not assigned
D-21 Kneeling, firing, G 43 semi-auto, sprue A
D-22 Kneeling, firing, G 98 bolt action rifle, sprue A
D-23 Kneeling, port arms, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue C
D-24 Kneeling StG 44 assault rifle, sprue A
D-25 Prone, firing, StG 44 assault rifle, sprue A
D-26 Prone G-98 sprue P
D-27 Prone StG 44 assault rifle, sprue A
D-28 Prone StG 44 assault rifle, sprue A
D-29 Kneeling MP44 machine pistol, sprue X
D-30 Kneeling MP44 machine pistol, sprue Y
D-31 Kneeling, firing, G 98 bolt action rifle with scope, sprue A
D-32 Prone, firing, machine gun, sprue K + K1
D-33 Prone, loading, macine gun, sprue Q + Q1
D-34 Kneeling, firing, Panzerfaust, sprue L
D-35 Kneeling, firing Panzershrek, sprue V
D-36 Kneeling, loading Panzershrek, sprue S

The British Colonial line originally made by Ral Partha is owned by me. Dale Kemper and his partner are supposed to pay me a royalty but I haven't had anything from them in over two years, ever since Dale came by my house and my dog bit him. To be fair to the dog he didn't know Dale and Dale had just walked into my house (I was in the workshop) and ignored the dog's growling and barking. Also Dale is the only person he has ever bitten and it was really more of a warning bite so I couldn't really fault him all things considered. I suspect Dale thought me rather unsympathetic.

The only miniature hobby work I've done in the last decade or so has been for Jim Ludwig at Dark Sword and a few 15mm figures for Khurasan.

There are many reasons for this but the key one is probably economic. Sculpting miniatures, like crime, just doesn't pay. In 1980 I was paid $300 USD for a relatively simple true 25mm figure, according to an online inflation calculator that's $862 USD in 2014 currency. For the same figure today I would expect to get about $400 USD so in real terms the pay has halved. So while the money was great in 1980 now it's only somewhat better than working at 7/11 when you factor in work hours, self-employment tax and lack of benefits.

I have done several more 54mm nativity figures, shepherds, sheep and an angel but I haven't put them in a mold. Sculpting is free (for me obviously) but molds are an expense. I intend to work on the project for the rest of this year but I probably won't make molds until I have everything but the wise men done. The stable animals are proving difficult. The style is based on Albrecht Durer's woodcuts and it's hard to get right. I'm also going to make a micro version in HO(about 20mm).

clibinarium21 Aug 2016 9:34 a.m. PST

I've been thinking about my own future as a sculptor this week and to hear Tom Meier's experience is this, is kinda crushing.

Hafen von Schlockenberg21 Aug 2016 9:47 a.m. PST

Hi Tom,great to hear it from the horse's mouth. I met you a couple of times at the Widener shows way back in the 70's, where I first saw those incredible Italian Wars figures. Boy,did I jump on them!

When I saw the Fox samples at a Fall-In, he predicted he'd have to charge c. $5 USD apiece--and that was 5-6 years ago. Fantastic-looking figures,but I wonder how many people could afford more than very small skirmish games. Also, the idea of figures compatible with 1/48 model kits is a reasonable one,especially if they were marketed to the modeling hobby,but I don't know how many 25mm gamers would want to replace their collections, or add another "large" scale. North Star did some 36mm WWII a few years ago,but I don't think they really caught on. However, these are his concerns,not yours.

So where should we buy the Partha Colonials,to make sure you get paid? And will you be adding any more to the line than you have so far? Your comments don't make me very hopeful.

TMMeier21 Aug 2016 10:33 a.m. PST

I'm not over-concerned about collecting the royalty on the Colonials, it never amounted to much. I added a figure several years ago. The deal I offered Dale and his partner was I would add figures for (I think it was) $250 USD for a totally original and half that for a conversion. I would retain the rights. They would essentially be paying me to add figures to my own line which, I gather, they thought was not entirely fair. I pointed out they had never paid me more than about $100 USD a year in royalty and so it wouldn't make much sense for me to add figures to the line unless I was paid on top of the royalty. Unless longevity research makes an unforeseen breakthrough I am unlikely to live long enough to collect the smallest fraction of the money I could make working elsewhere.

People in the miniatures hobby seem to take the whole 'expecting to make a decent living' thing as quite mean of you.

I suspect the decline in the real value of sculpting is down to more people who can sculpt to a standard adequate to the demands of the customer and more companies making more products and so dividing up the market into smaller portions and reducing unit sales volume. It's market forces. Not much to be done about it.

Lucius21 Aug 2016 10:33 a.m. PST

Great to hear that the Nativity set is still a project.

I've bought hundreds of your figures since the '70's, but the ones that will still be in my family 100 years from now will be the three Holy Family sets I bought(1 for my household, and one to give to each daughter when they have households of their own).

TMMeier21 Aug 2016 12:00 p.m. PST

Here is a picture of the three of the shepherds. The fourth is kneeling with a dog and the dog isn't done.


TMMeier21 Aug 2016 12:03 p.m. PST

Oh and if they don't exactly look ancient or Middle Eastern it's because Durer, on whom I'm basing the style, depicted common folk in Bible illustrations as looking like German peasants of his own time. The Magi and angels look more traditional.

MechanicalHorizon21 Aug 2016 12:27 p.m. PST

I used to try and base my costs for sculpting on, from what I was told and heard, $10 USD per mm in height.

I think that's very reasonable for the amount of time that goes into a model.

But it seems that lately even that is considered too much. At one point I was approached to sculpt an Ogre model, about 80mm tall, and they wanted 4 different weapon options. I quoted a cost of $800 USD for it. They thought it would only be around $300 USD and couldn't afford more. I had to decline the job, even though I did need the money, it was too much work for what they wanted to pay.

Maybe it's the increasing prevalence of digital sculpting and crowfunding? People that previously didn't have the means to make their own range now do, but maybe they don't have "industry" knowledge to know exactly what goes into manufacturing?

TMMeier21 Aug 2016 2:14 p.m. PST

I've been hearing $10 USD per millimeter for at least 15 years now. Ten 2001 dollars are now worth $14 USD adjusted for inflation but people still say $10 USD per mm, not $14. USD

Lucius21 Aug 2016 3:27 p.m. PST

Those are terrific! Love the Durer theme.

Silurian21 Aug 2016 3:45 p.m. PST

Thanks for responding to the thread Tom.
I very much admire your skill, and have a fair collection of your work. I don't game WWII in 1/48th scale but look forward to getting those figs – fingers crossed! I didn't realize you had done so many.

Any work outside of wargaming that we might recognize?

MechanicalHorizon21 Aug 2016 4:18 p.m. PST

I wish I could get $14 USD/mm

I'd be able to put a lot more time and detail into my sculpts if I could get that much!

Scarab Miniatures Ltd27 Nov 2016 1:16 p.m. PST

Hafen von Schlockenberg wrote – North Star did some 36mm WWII a few years ago,

They did, and we (Scarab Miniatures) now own the WW2 range here link and the Projekt X range here link
They are modestly popular and we are writing up some rules to accompany them. One thing for sure they are fun to paint!

I too would like to see those Fox figures, or acquire the range or indeed expand our existing WW2 and Projekt X ranges (which is why I happended to look in on this topic!)so perhaps I will also hunt down Toms contact details :)

kind regards

Rob Broom

maninthemoon196502 Dec 2020 5:19 p.m. PST

I would like to see all of those Nativity figures someday…
+ + +
Great News!!!
Many of Thunderbolt Mountain's ranges are currently being reproduced by Ral Partha Legacy at

I also have some albums of their ranges at



Sean in Oregon,

wargamingUSA09 Dec 2020 10:57 a.m. PST

@TMMeier, would you contact me off-forum at wargaming at aol dot com. Bill

David Johansen13 Oct 2023 1:29 p.m. PST

I've always regretted not getting the nativity when it was available. I hope one day the whole set get cast up.

It's a real shame about the WWII stuff. Has there been any further movement there?

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.