Calpe Miniatures is now closed until the 2nd September.
The website itself will remain open and you can send your orders in if you so wish, but no orders will be sent out until after the 2nd of September.
It has been a busy year, particularly on the family front, as two of my children managed to get married despite Covid's best efforts. In mid June we started much delayed building works on our house and it has been a struggle keeping Calpe going while this has been going on. We have reached a point where it is actually impossible to work in the house and we are vacating it and going for a holiday until the worst is over. Our builder assures us that by September the house will be habitable again.
You might think from these comments that all I have done for the past year is deal with weddings and builders but, in fact, the main thrust of my activity has been the conversion from traditional to digital design for the figures. The process of learning to sculpt digitally has taken most of my time but the transition has been easier than I expected. Yes, I have had to learn how to use a new software programme but the fact that I could already sculpt has made things much easier. I would compare it to moving from using a type writer to a word processing computer, the skill set you use is the same but the digital medium makes the process much faster and more user friendly. The fact is, that having acquired the basics, it is amazing what can be done with digital design.
Several customers have expressed concern that the "look" of my figures will change.This was a major concern of mine when I started working digitally. Many sculptors produce figures which are anatomically correct but look too thin by the time they have been printed and moulded. I circumvented this by buying a jewellery scanner and working from scans of my own figures. This keeps the proportions of the figures the same as the traditionally sculpted figures but the detail now is far superior as I can blow up the head of a screw on a musket to the size of the 24 inch screen on my pen tablet. What this means is that sculpting the smallest of details is now possible. Figures are now scanned and either reworked digitally or chopped up (digitally) and used to make new figures.
I now have a library of finished figures and horses awaiting 3D printing. The printing side of things has slowed things down as I needed a top quaility jewellery 3D printer and choosing the right machine took time. It also had to be a machine that could print in a resin that was capable of withstanding the moulding process in silicone rubber. I made my choice in late May and the 3D printer was delivered in early June - a week before the building works started! I managed to get one very promising print out of it before I had to pack it up again and put it in storage. Roll on September!
The question really is what to release as my first digitally sculpted figures? After some thought, I have decided to redo, and complete, the Lutzow Freikorps. When I first sculpted these figures I did them because I wanted them for my collection but did not expect them to sell. Infact, they have become one of my best sellers but I get constant complaints from customers that the set is incomplete as that there is no cavalry, light infantry or artillery. I have scanned the original figures, reworked them digitally and expanded the "musketeer" set. The new figures will conform to the new format of packs in 4 or 6 figure sets. The "musketeers" are almost complete and will probably be the first release. The light infantry will follow and then the cavalry and artillery if I can find what artillery pieces they used - apparently they had both foot and horse artillery. The logic behind using this set as my trial release is that is enables me to try out sculpting and printing techniques for all arms of the Napoleonic army - infantry, light infantry, cavalry and artillery.
The Saxon light cavalry is also sketched out digitally and will be completed and released as soon as I feel confident that the figures I am producing digitally match up to, or surpass, the rest of the figures in the Saxon range.
4th July 2021
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