Help support TMP

"Lost part leads to better Elder Scrolls miniature poses" Topic

6 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 do not post offers to buy and sell on the main forum.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Conversions Message Board

Back to the Fantasy Product Reviews Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Showcase Article

GallopingJack Checks Out The Terrain Mat

Mal Wright Fezian goes to sea with the Terrain Mat.

Current Poll

Featured Book Review

1,157 hits since 15 Feb 2021
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Baranovich15 Feb 2021 9:33 p.m. PST

So this was an interesting bit of modeling I just completed a little earlier this evening.

I've been building most of the first wave of Modiphius Entertainment's miniature range for their game 'Elder Scrolls Call to Arms.'

I have found the plastic sets to be excellent for the most part, but for 32mm plastic admittedly they have far too many tiny parts and unnecessary sub-parts which makes for a longer assembly time.

The resin sets are a good quality of resin, a couple bent swords in the box but I was able to straighten them by holding them under hot water.

The resin terrain they make is simply outstanding, crisp, big parts that glue together very easily.

However, one of their sets proved to be a little curious to me.

Their 'Stormcloak Skirmishers' expansion is a box of six soldiers to reinforce your Elder Scrolls Stormcloak faction. It's a nice set, the soldiers come with the heads, torsos, and legs as one solid piece with the arms as separate pieces.

My problem with this set was with the poses of two of the soldiers. On the box cover this is 2nd and 3rd soldier from the right. From the moment I saw them something about them was just 'off' to me. The dual-wielding guy almost looks like he's trying to do some kind of interpretive dance as opposed to fighting with two weapons. The other soldier with the left arm stretched out and sword in the air looks to me like he's trying to fly by flapping his arms, lol.

So I decided to convert these two guys into more realistic poses. The funny thing is that preceding this I accidentally lost one of their sword arms down the drain of the sink while correcting a bend in the sword blade.

This mishap out of necessity forced me to do the conversion whether I had wanted to or not! I had to find a substitute arm for the dual-wielding guy. I decided to give him a shield, so I took an old Warhammer Empire arm bent at the elbow, and then found a plain, round wooden shield in some old Warhammer goblin bits that looked pretty close to the shield the other Stormcloak soldier in the set is carrying. I cracked the bent arm at the elbow to give it a sharper bend and then glued the whole thing to his right shoulder and side. This made him a left-handed soldier which I thought was kind of cool and also feasible in a fantasy world like Tamriel where there were bound to be left-handed people like anywhere else.

For the guy who looks like he's trying to "fly," I kept his left arm in the same position but I turned his right arm holding the sword downward. I felt that it just looked more natural to have it pointed down, like he was either running after an enemy or running away from an enemy with his sword in a more relaxed position.

You can see here in the photos what the soldiers were intended to look like from the box cover vs. my conversions just below them. I think they worked out pretty well.

Goober16 Feb 2021 5:47 p.m. PST

Putting my head above the parapet, I'm the line manager for Elder Scrolls at Modiphius. The complexity of the plastics has come up once or twice in other arenas, and I have a text ready to respond – its designed for all audiences. The audience on TMP is an informed one as far as minis production is concerned, and the audience in some arenas is not so please forgive me if it sounds a bit like I am explaining the obvious.

The plastic minis use more or less the same sculpts as the resin minis, but use a different moulding method. HIPS – the type of plastic they are made from – uses metal tools for the parts, whereas resin uses rubber moulds.

To maintain the detail on the figures in HIPS we had to cut them into more pieces as metal moulds don't flex or allow undercuts like rubber moulds do. Our figures are in dynamic poses and feature detail all round the figures, meaning there is no simple, single plane of pull.

So, where the resin figures could be in 2 or 3 pieces, as the mould would bend to let trapped pieces out, the metal HIPS tool has to have the figure broken down far more, and carefully oriented so that the two plates will pull apart and allow the pieces to come out. If a piece has an undercut on a HIPS mould it becomes stuck and the tool becomes a very expensive paperweight.

We spent a lot of time working with our manufacturing partners on cutting the figures right, and removing some of the troublesome details like rivets on helmets (rivets round a helmet pretty much just act as locking pins for a steel mould) and some of the detail on the fur and hair here and there. We learnt a LOT of lessons from that, and I'm now an expert a spotting a drafted part on other minis.

In the end we had a choice to make. Add more compromise modifications to the figures – drafting parts back, removing details, re-sculpting sections – all of which would have increased cost and reduced detail – or increase the complexity of some of the figures.

We chose to keep the quality of the figures. We know that there is some added complexity in the plastics, but it is *absolutely* not needless. It's required to get HIPS figures to the same (or near) standard as our resin.

We're learning all the time, so we can produce better minis in the future. We've already started looking at the splits for further plastics and the feedback from these first sets is being incorporated. I'm also taking note of the feedback on the instructions (keep them constructive, please!), and will continue to update the process for future projects.


Goober16 Feb 2021 5:48 p.m. PST

Further to your conversions, they look great. Glad you are liking the line.

Baranovich16 Feb 2021 6:03 p.m. PST

Hello there Goober,

Thanks for the detailed accounting of the production process at Modiphius!

I hope my post didn't come across as a condemnation of the mini. range. Quite the opposite. I fully realize the reasons necessary for the reasons the sprues are produced with many components. From a modeling perspective it's frustrating, but you are correct it is most definitely not needless.

I fully understand that in order to produce a plastic range where the models are mostly a single piece or close to it requires a very specific level of mold that can accommodate the ability to come out of the mold in that way.

It's a great mini. range and I'm looking forward to future releases. I can't tell you how excited I was to see the world of Tamriel finally come to the tabletop!

Thanks for the response!

Goober16 Feb 2021 6:41 p.m. PST

No problem – your post was not at all as you feared, but I aim to be as transparent as possible with our product :)


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2021 2:29 p.m. PST

A clear, coherent and perfectly reasonable explanation, Goober. Sadly, though, once I read "32mm" I knew the thread was of purely academic interest. Scale creep has reached the point that I simply can't integrate modern production, no matter how attractive or economical, into my existing forces.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.