So, one thing that many people reading this may not realise is that the vast majority (about 90%) of proceeds from the sales of my Wereweevil Miniatures gets reinvested straight back into growing the range and improving any aspect of it that I can. It is still a small one-man business - and will be for the foreseeable future.
As such, it means that I am always looking at ways of doing things more efficiently and quickly without compromising quality - and indeed, looking at *improving* quality with any changes! Whenever I need to replace old and worn moulds, I look at the miniature to see if I can tweak it here and then to refine any details or add a little extra to update it and 'freshen it up' a little. Keen eyed observers may have noticed that there have been a few small changes to some kits already from the early original ones, with the most obvious having been the Imperial Eggbot Command set, where they well and truly received a bit of extra attention before new moulds were made, resulting in what I believe are a much better set.
Now, as part of this philosophy, I have just made the decision to invest in a high quality 3D resin printer (a Phrozen Sonic 4k for those interested) as it will be able to do a number of things much quicker and more accurately than I can ever do by hand.
After casually mentioning this on my Facebook group (Wereweevil Miniatures Inc) I had a little feedback with people worried that I was 'going digital' all of a sudden and concerned that my miniatures would lose that charming handsculpted look (with all it's imperfections :) ).
Whilst I had no intention of converting everything over to digital, It gave me pause to think about what people appreciate in miniatures. I also came to the conclusion that I had fond memories of many of the older miniatures in my personal collection from other companies which were made well and truly before the advent of digital sculpting and certainly 3d printing. I too appreciate the charm and hand made nature of them and feel that many modern sculpts are simply too clean and perfect. You could even describe them as 'sterile' if you were being harsh...
So whilst there will be an element of 3D sculpting creep into my range, it will be limited and will certainly not overtake and replace everything else. It will simply complement it. Digital sculpting is becoming more and more used instead of traditional sculpting, which is a bit of a shame, but I can understand it. Hopefully I can help keep the hand crafted tradition going in my own small way though.
I do have plans for things not yet in my range which will however only work if sculpted digitally (such as a planned range of vehicles, including bikes, trikes, tanks, buggies, artillery and aircraft, as well as terrain pieces, tokens and counters for my Spire of Apophis game). These things will take time to sculpt digitally - not the least for the reason being that I'm actually a complete learner with 3D digital sculpting, so anything I do will be slow until I get familiarised with it and can utilise it effectively. I do expect to hand sculpt additions and modifications to these once the prototypes are made so that they still retain some form of hand crafted element to them though.
I know I have a lot to learn with the 3D discipline and I have been busy trying to educate myself with it. Here's a little pic of some unfinished practice I did this week just see how an Eggbot may end up looking if I did one digitally. I'm sure I'll release a few like this just to see how they go, but rest assured I'll still be trying to produce the best miniatures I can, digitally and hand-made and keep making Wereweevil miniatures bigger and better!