Why it’s so expensive?
We are often asked by our customers- “Why it’s so expensive!? Other do much cheaper, and a miniature – it’s a miniature!”. In this review, we decided to describe in detail the process of our work on a miniature before it falls into your hands. Considering we will be a miniature Gryphon from the remarkable universe of Kingdom Death. So, let’s begin!
At first we debunk the delusion: Originals from the manufacturer very rarely are the standard of quality in themselves. The problem is that the sculptor, working on his master-model, made it like he wanted. But after the master-model falls into the hands of the organization, which has a contract for a certain, often a huge amount of goods. As a rule, in 90% of cases, this organization is located on the territory of China (So for the owner of the brand is cheaper). And accordingly the master-model of the Chinese employee is dismembered on an industrial scale (that is, several dozen pieces per day). We have nothing against Chinese casters, but it’s like roulette is lucky / unlucky. After that, the parts of the master model are molded into silicone master molds (made in China naturally) and sent to the casting department. Then it’s all sent back to the brand owner and sold to you. Since the print editions are huge, and the resources of the matrixes are not unlimited, the quality of the finished miniatures is very rarely high. Because of this, already on the original miniatures very often we see bubbles, matrix displacements, lack of conjugation between parts, deformation. So, in fact, in 90% of cases, the so-called original miniature does not really differ much from what you buy from Chinese recasters on aliexpress, for example.
1) Nevertheless, we assume that for what we want to do, the original is as close to the ideal as possible. Here’s what the original Gryphon looks like on spare parts (Click on the picture to enlarge the image).
The gryphon photo on spare parts
2) Remove the burr (this is a completely standard procedure familiar to all collectors and players).
3) Further more difficult work: We need to remove the matrix displacements: the matrix shift photo. This procedure already requires some degree of skill from the person.
4) Straighten the deformed parts
5) If after these procedures we decide to assemble a miniature, we will get here such interesting gaps in the areas of conjugation of parts: several photographs of a fully assembled miniature with slits (Click on the picture to enlarge the image):
6) Our specialists carry out the procedure of perfect combination of surfaces with the help of putty and adjustments. This is the most difficult part of the work, since it requires high skill. Very often we have to literally sculpt again the missing pieces. That’s how Gryphon looks after our restoration work: photo conjugate parts (2-3 pcs) and the Gryphon himself close-up (Click on the picture to enlarge the image):
7) It is this sample WE consider the master-model and next, work with him.
8) At the finish stage, we perform a thorough quality control and even the slightest deviations from our standards are not allowed. Epoxy resin and putty, which we use is of high quality and have excellent physical and chemical properties: it is easy to dye, it is resistant to mechanical damage, it can withstand even short-term exposure to solvents (DO NOT ABUSE). And individual thin parts of miniatures that can break we reinforce a special wire!
9) After that, those parts that are recognized as meeting our standards are additionally cleaned from the burr, further order will be assmebled.
10) Thats look like finished miniature, which will please you in the future: a lot of photos that we usually post to the site (Click on the picture to enlarge the image):
In total, the restoration process, or Pro’Cast (as we call it), one miniature can take from a week to a month. In simple terms, instead of Chevrolet from the assembly line, you get a hand-assembled Ferrari. Whoever held the miniatures of our manufacture does not doubt this.
Due to the difficulty of restoring miniatures to the original state, the high cost of materials used and the abundance of highly skilled manual labor, our miniatures can not be cheap by definition. And in our case, you do not pay for the brand, not for marketing and not for the abundance of advertising, but for quality!
Therefore, we can rightly be proud of our product and our duty is to preserve and restore miniatures for our customers and fans of our creativity.
More examples of our work – the original photos from owner website (at the left) and our photo (right side) (Click on the picture to enlarge the image):
About how Mr.Smuggler “healed” the Necromancer Boss.
About how Mr.Smuggler “healed” the Necromancer Boss.
A small foreword. It’s no secret that we just adore Adam Poots’s products and bow our knee to his ingenuity and imagination. Special thanks to the sculptors, ready to translate any of his plans into reality. But unfortunately, not always official foundries can duplicate master-models with proper quality. To our hands, we have got Necromancer Boss kindly borrowed from our partner (Aaron – respect!). Here in this form he came to us (for better quality, click on the picture):
Our surprise was boundless. Postal services of course are not very careful, but so …!? But we are professionals and, rolling up sleeves, set to work.
The history received an interesting continuation. Literally within the next two weeks from our clients, we learn that the hood and pieces of miniature shoulder pads are damaged by similar, or similarly, in 80% of cases. Most likely in the production was a defect. The remaining damage (elements of the staff and some horns) most likely occurred through the fault of the mail. We can not argue that all 350 our miniatures have such damage, but we can’t ignore this facts.
After a long rehabilitation course and a certain amount of antidepressants consumed by our sculptors, the Necromancer acquired the following form (for better quality, click on the picture):
As you can see, all horns, a hood, elements of a staff and shoulder pads are restored. The staff is straightened. The conjugations of the parts are brought almost to the ideal. And now this ideal is matching our quality standards and we left it as a master model.
And here’s the result (for better quality, click on the picture):
The result satisfied all. The partner received his restored Necromancer Boss and another mountain of “сool thing” as a gift. We received a new awesome miniature in the catalog. And you will got the opportunity to seen the “true”, the ideal Necromancer Boss!
Story No. 3.
In it, we reveal the mystery of high-quality photos on our website.
We make good photos we restored the miniatures. It is a fact. Of course, we are still far from the guru of photography, but the main thing we have achieved. Detail, light, realism. “Is it photoshop?”- this question began to be heard more often. We can assure you that there is. What you see in the photos is the result of the painstaking work of the entire restoration team and the photographer’s flair. Well, a little bit of magic 🙂
For example, we’ll take a miniature from Games Workshop and its C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer. The choice of this manufacturer is not accidental. GW is the most recognizable Board game manufacturer.
1) Note: we only work with the original miniatures! In the beginning, we have on hand a disassembled miniature with which we clean off the bark and restore to its original appearance(for better quality, click on the picture):
You can read more about this stage of work in our previous History №1.
2) Next, depending on the task, we, or priming part of the miniature, and then glue together, or glue immediately. Once the miniature is ready for photographing, we primed it with gray primer thin layers over two or three times. Gray color was chosen by us not by chance. It shows all the details of the miniatures as much as possible and allows you to effectively show the relief of the miniatures in the photo. In any case, cannot be primed once. Necessarily will appear drip. Metal and resin miniatures are exposed to a first coat since epoxy parts of official manufacturers often differ in color (for better quality, click on the picture):
3) Next, we place miniature in a special lightbox device. Our lightbox is manufactured in the factory, but there are many ways to make lightbox at home on the Internet. The basic principle consists in uniform illumination of the photographed object from all directions. It looks like this (for better quality, click on the picture):
4) next, the photographer sets the shutter speed, photosensitivity (ISO) and aperture value. Oddly enough, the photographer uses a regular telephoto, switching it to manual focus. It’s more convenient. Then make a series of photographs with correction of focus. Since the miniatures themselves are quite small and, in addition, have a high detail, you have to make a few photos from the same angle.
5) the next step is to select the best shots (for better quality, click on the picture):
Unfortunately, the camera can not independently distinguish gray from white. Therefore, color and light correction is necessary to make the gray miniature on a white background look exactly as the person sees it . That is why the selected images are loaded into a special processing program. In our case it is Lighroom. With the aid of a “light pen” is adjusted too dark shadow areas, in some cases, the amount is added, since photography, as we know, often “flattens” the object. And nothing more. No wipe away, and photoshop. Adjustable exposure, light, shadow, clarity, glare and some other options as needed, as in any other professional photography. Unfortunately, we can not lead to a universal processing algorithm, as periodically have to adjust the settings, because light is a capricious substance and depends on many factors.
6) The same thing we do when we photograph a miniature in parts, but there is regulated only exposure, because it is more technical photo than art.
7) The photos we post on our website and they continue to delight you with their quality and detail! (for better quality, click on the picture):