Friday, March 1, 2019

Sculpting Gnomish Pikemen

In the Silmarillion it is retold how AulĂ« crafted the dwarves. This blog tells how the gnomes come to be. I have taken a photo at each step of the process in order to share how I create my gnomes. 

I begin each project with an in-depth study of the subject. In this case I pulled up all my images of gnomes and previous gnome sculpts. Then I looked to how others had posed pikemen. It's important that my poses convey motion, and attitude. But, it's also important to me that the poses are useful/appropriate to tabletop gaming needs.

Step 1: I make very rudimentary frames for each pose. You can see that I made some doodles on the corks to help me keep the poses straight and remind me what I want them to look like. 

Step 2: I sculpt the legs and torsos. This is the biggest step, but it lays the foundation for everything else. 

Step 3: I sculpt little face smudges that are just the eyes, brows, cheeks and foreheads, these are then put on top. These faces are very primitive and forgiving as the addition of hair, beards, and noses later are more important. I also did their belts at this stage. 

Step 4: Adding beards and hair. I do this in one step. Usually I try to give some variation to the beards and mustaches but they were a bit lackluster this time.

Step 5: in this step I add the pikes (I make the pikes on the side around step 3.) I do this step after the beards because I often cut into the beards with my exacto knife to create troughs for the pikes to adhere to. I also file the paper clips so the the putty sticks better later. 

Step 6: I add wood texture to the pikes. This can be fiddly as there is quite a bit of leverage on the ends of the pikes. I had to reglue one of the pikes after it broke off. 

Step 7: I add the arms. These are mostly meant to act as frames for the arms. I keep them slim so they can anticipate the later layer of cloth. 

Step 8: I add hands but not thumbs. 

Step 9: noses!

Step 10: Ears!

Step 11: Hats and Thumbs. Hats are tricky. I try to create lots of variability among the gnome hats. I don't want them to all the look the same, but there has to be some continuity to imply a shared cultural aesthetic. 

Step 12: Sleeves. 

The final step will be giving them either a slotta tab or a pre-slotta base if I think they might tip over once cast. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Old School Gnomes Lurking About.

Since our the Alpine Gnome Kick Starter back in May of 2017, I have been able to find a few folks who have shared their gnome armies on social media. I thought I'd bundle them together here. The Gnomes are marching to war! (if you haven't yet, please take our gnome survey -> )
You can take a look at our studio gnome army here. 

First up, we have Michael Wieloch's gnomes. He has been sharing these on the OS Mini's fan group facebook page

Michael's Crossbowmen

Michael has a hefty block of gnomish spearmen. I count 25!

Michael's fox patrol

A valiant Heroine

Necromancer for Michael's undead gnomes

Next up we have Brian Weninger's Gnome Army. You can find more pics of his gnomes on his blog. Each of his units has a very distinct color scheme. All very colorful and characterful. 

Spearmen with a boar banner

Halberdiers in blue. 

Gnome crossbowmen in traditional red hats.

a mixed unit of fox riders, notice that the leader is a conversion!

Gnomish artillery

A very traditionally painted gnome. I like the redness of the nose
Next, there is Tom Murrath's Pretzel Defenders! You can find his stuff here. 

His glorious Pretzel Banner

Picture of his entire gnome army

Close up of his crossbowmen. I like the simple green color scheme.

Finally, but not least, we have Nico Janvier's Landsknecht Gnomes! Painted in a lively renaissance color scheme.

Gnomish Casualty

Nico's large block of mercenaries

Nico's Gnomish Artillery
 I love seeing how others interpret my sculpts. It drives me to sculpt more and do better. If you have some gnomes feel free to share them. I sense there are yet more out there.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Belated Gnomevember Post

I've been very busy with law school this Gnomevember. And I didn't get around to posting much about my gnomes.

So I thought I'd share some pics from my most recent gnome project: Sinister Gnomes (I think a better name is in order)

These guys are meant to be rank and file troopers for a small allied contingent force. I am currently working on a Sorcerer and command models, and have some plans for some sinister animal tamers.

I have also started putting thought to my next Alpine Gnome Kickstarter. If you have the time I'd greatly appreciate folks taking our stretch goal SURVEY. We plan to expand our range of gnomes. So far the second kickstarter has added Swallows, mounted characters, sappers, and a baggage train. I'm very excited about this project. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Gnomevember Sculpting Update

My current project: Sinister Gnomes!

I've been wanting to sculpt some sinister gnomes for a while, but getting the aesthetic right has been hard. Some folks wanted them with tall hats, others with bulky armor, and a smaller minority wanted them as Gothic barbarians. I've opted for something unique.

Below are my first four sinister gnomes. They are still WIPs. I plan to give them outlandish hats and equip them with 2 weapons each. I am thinking I will also sculpt shields so that patrons can remove either weapon and replace it with a shield. If everything goes according to plan, the sinister gnomes will also have a command set, some beastmasters, and an imperious sorcerer. 

I wanted these gnomes to look very sinister, so I have given each a contorted look of contempt. I've also sculpted most to be in positions that telegraph forward movement - perhaps a lunge or a charge to suggest that they are aggressive. Also, I have opted to not give them beards, but rather goatees and big mustaches.

Let me know what you think! I'd really like feedback on these :)

Some recent sculpts I'd finished.
These are mostly WIP pics of a gnomish baggage train I was finishing up. They are very small. The carts with a goat pulling them fit on a cavalry platform. 



Female Wagon Attendant - if I recall rightly, she's about 13mm tall.

Female attendant from behind, this pic was to show off her braids that I was proud of. 

Male gnome wagon rider

Male gnome wagon attendant. I'm very proud of him; it's the 3rd lantern I've sculpted. Much better than my first. But also the first chain I've sculpted on a miniature (had a few practice goes before committing to the mini.)