P: Depois de um bom tempo sem entrevistas, pela primeira vez temos uma em inglês!!!!
Gostaria de avisar aos que existe uma barra de tradução no blog, deixando as coisas bem mais fáceis.
What is your age, where were you born and where do you live?
At the time of writing I am 39 years old. I was born and grew up in Folkestone (the home of Euro Militaire) but I moved a few years ago and now live about 45 miles away near a small town called Snodland. For anyone who hasn’t been to Euro Militaire, this is in the south east of England close to where the channel tunnel connects us to France.
Do you have a favorite subject or historic period/theme?
For the last few years my preferred period to depict in miniature has been the American Civil War. I’ve also done a couple of figures from the British Victorian period and would like to do more at some point. I think the abundance of reference material and Don Troiani’s inspirational paintings of the American Civil War have been influencing factors but also many of the figures Bill Horan has created from that period have really captured my imagination.
What is your favorite scale?
Among your works, are there any that you consider special or remember?
I’d say a few pieces hold a special significance for me personally. The American Dream is among the most special to me, since it was my second attempt at sculpting a piece and I was really pleased with the end result and got so much positive feedback about it from other modelers. Finishing the piece itself gave me a real sense of achievement and the confidence to continue trying to sculpt my own figures.
Which techniques and materials do you use in your work?
For painting I predominantly use Humbrol enamel paints but during the last few years I have supplemented these quite a lot with oils paints as there are certain effects which I’ve found are very easy to achieve in less time with oils. So now depending on what I want to achieve I use either Humbrols by themselves, Humbrols mixed with oil paints or oil paints by themselves. I larger areas of leather I’ll sometimes use Humbrols for the base colours then apply oils over the top for certain effects. For detail painting I will use Humbrols as their slower drying time makes it easier to clean up the edges if you make a mistake.
When I can get some I use a low odour white spirit for thinning the paints. Otherwise I’ll try and use an artists quality white spirit as it’s purer than the kind that is sold in hardware stores.
For metallics I use printers inks with humbrols and oils for the base colour then oils for shading and printers inks with and without oils/Humbrols for highlighting.
As far as brushes are concerned I have used Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes since I started painting but when buying I always carefully select them from the art shop rather than ordering online. I ordered online once and didn’t receive any that were acceptable - the brush tips weren’t sharp.
For the main painting of highlights, shadows and details I now always use a size 0 series 7 brush. I find that with careful use and carefully cleaning the brushes with warm water and washing up liquid after each session my main paint brush will usually last (i.e. be able to hold a fine point) for several figures, I’m on about the fifth figure with my current brush.
I have a lot more brushes which I use for any kind of work which would be damaging to the brush tip on my good brush. These are usually older brushes that I use for blending in the edges, stippling effects and so on. Usually, the brush tip has been cut down to some extent on these brushes, down to about 3mm from the ferrule if it’s going to be used for stippling, perhaps only about 1mm taken off the tip of the brush if it’s going to be used for blending edges.
For mixing colours on the palette I always use a cheaper and slightly larger brush (size 2) to avoid wearing out the tips of my good brushes.
When painting an involved area with lots of folds, for example a jacket or trousers, I will start with a mid range base colour and allow it to dry. Then apply 2 to 3 shadows for which I use the Humbrols fairly transparent, often with some oil paint added to strengthen the colour in the shadows, carefully blending the edges where necessary, then allow the paint to fully dry - sometimes I speed this up by placing the miniature in the oven at a very low temperature (50-60 degrees celcius) if there are no parts which the heat could distort . Then I will apply 3 or 4 progressively lighter highlight shades with blending in at the edges.
Once everything is dry I study everything closely and decide if any areas need to be reworked because I haven’t judged the contrasts correctly and I will carefully rework these areas as necessary - there are very few occasions when I don’t have to rework a few areas - like anyone else I don’t get many things just right first time. Then I will go onto the lining work (i.e. seams on trousers or jackets and edge detailing) and then onto the weathering for which I use oils and enamels as I can vary the impact of the weathering quite precisely and soften the edges of mud splatters so that they appear more natural.
How did you start sculpting?
Ultimately, I decided I didn’t really have anything to lose by trying to sculpt something myself and decided on trying to depict a Viking warrior since that wouldn’t involve so much equipment and uniform related difficulties. Since I’d heard quite a lot of positive comments about Magic Sculpt that is what I decided to use along with a bare head I obtained from Historex. I remember finding the process endlessly frustrating because nothing ever looked right to me and I was constantly having to carve areas back down to try and improve the configuration of the folds in the clothing, etc. I also found trying to apply small pieces of Duro almost impossible since it had a tendency to stick to the tool I was trying to apply it with. During the process I happened across a step by step guide to sculpting which the late Roy Hunt had put on his website. In that guide among other things he had described the way to apply smaller pieces of putty and a few other useful techniques which helped to get me through the process.
Eventually, after several weeks of work I’d got a figure ready to start painting and that was also a different kind of challenge as when you paint a commercially produced figure you can always study the box art and other modeller’s versions to see how they have handled the highlights and shadows whereas when you’ve sculpted it yourself you’re basically on your own.
When it was finished I did have a great sense of achievement to start with but I later became somewhat disheartened with it after seeing it next to much better work at Euro Militaire. As I said earlier I didn’t then try and sculpt anything else until a couple of years later after seeing Bill and Raul demonstrating at the Girone world expo.
What do you consider the most difficult to do in a figure?
I’d have to say one of the hardest things for me is always getting the initial armature right to suit the pose I want to depict and making allowance for how the putty will be built up on it. I usually have to spend an inordinate amount of time fiddling around with the paperclip wire making constant adjustments. It also takes me a long time trying to get the proportions right, especially for arms.
I wold like to say thanks for David for his kindness and comitment in pass soo much knowledge!!!!!