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Inspiration for this creative outlet - Part one .

A little bit of history about how Wereweevil Miniatures came into being...

I used to game. A lot. From when I was in my early teens introduced to playing Dungeons & Dragons to quickly evolving into playing miniatures based board games such as Space Hulk and Talisman and from there onto full-blown tabletop Wargames like BattleTech, Warhammer Fantasy Battle (as it was known back then) and the ubiquitous Warhammer 40k.

A large part of being drawn into these games was the creative outlet for my imagination, particularly with the endless scenarios that could present themselves with roleplaying games. But no less an attraction was the miniatures themselves. Without the enticing visual element of seeing wonderfully sculpted and painstakingly painted miniatures placed over some evocative scenery and terrain, I feel I may have simply drifted into traditional art and illustration alone - not that there would have been anything wrong with that...

I still dabbled in drawing and painting over the following years, but painting miniatures became my passion. It went from being a messy chore to start with, and a chore which I was absolutely no good at, which served its purpose of being able to field miniatures in my wargaming that weren't simply grey plastic, resin or metal, but somewhat representative of full the coloured figures I felt they would be 'in real life'. Over a few short years, with the help from a few friends and many questions (and mistakes) later, I began to develop a bit of a knack for painting miniatures.

Soon enough, I was painting full armies of miniatures to a reasonably high standard and began to win a few 'Best Painted Army' Awards at the wargaming Tournaments I had been playing in. Now, being the competitive person that I was (and still am to a lesser degree), it began to motivate me to improve my painting and become as good as I could be. I then began entering various painting competitions that were focused on painting single, or very small groups, of miniatures to a very high standard. Sure enough, my perseverance and dedication showed in the results from these competitions and I began to win, or place in the top 3 regularly.

Then disaster struck (metaphorically speaking).

One of the most prestigious painting competitions in the world, which was held nationally in at least a dozen countries, including Australia, decided that it would be a good idea to stop holding these events anywhere except in the UK.

It was this national competition that had sustained my painting passion for over 13 years - and which had no equal anywhere else. So as a result of the end of this competition, which also coincided with the era of starting a family, I more or less shelved my paint brushes for 3 or 4 years and did almost no miniature painting or wargaming whatsoever. Instead, I rekindled my interest in drawing and painting canvasses and I really enjoyed it - but I still felt I was missing something creatively. I had no real motivation to paint miniatures or game, but the passion to be involved in miniatures was still well and truly there.

So I began to sculpt.

I had tried my hand at bits of sculpting and converting before and even fully sculpted an entry in what would then be my last year of (the now defunct) competition - and I won a gold for it! I figured I should give it another go and see if I could make something I was happy with. I tried a few things and realized I had a LOT to learn!

I was starting to improve with each session and I also started to take note online of what other independent sculptors were doing. Kickstarter was just starting to become a 'thing' and I suddenly started seeing loads and loads of people like me, independent, inexperienced, but motivated to get their work out there and see who might like it also (and by like it, I mean like it enough to actually pay money for it!). That was all the motivation I needed and suddenly the creative urge was welling up inside me again.

I dusted off a figure which I had (almost) completed 5 years earlier and that I had shelved and forgotten about and decided to give it a bit of a polish and tweak of some details. That figure was my Universal Orc [pictured]. I had no idea about casting miniatures in resin and had no equipment in any case to do it - so I outsourced and commissioned someone to make me a mould and cast up 20 copies. The process didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped it would and it became very apparent to me, very quickly, that in order to have any kind of control of lead times and quality and costs, that I would simply have to learn how to do it myself.

This next phase would lead me to a whole other can of worms and a steep learning curve - which will all be revealed in Part 2 of this tale.

To be continued...

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