Every year we create hundreds of unique miniatures. Ancients Greeks, Vikings, Romans, Napoleonics. The list goes on. Creating that perfect figure is a complex and challenging process. From the sketch-board to the wargaming table, we’d like take you through the process of how your miniatures are made...
It all starts with deciding the historical period, and seeing as there are so many different periods to choose from, the first challenge is finding one that the Victrix community will enjoy. Through the community forum and the Facebook page we can get an idea of what you guys are after!
Once the period has been decided, it’s down to research. This stage can be quite challenging as it involves gathering a comprehensive knowledge of the given period.
Every tiny detail needs to be accounted for to make sure the figure is as historically accurate as possible. Armour, weapons, facial expressions, facial hair, haircuts, body shape (we all love a fat Viking), how they used their weapons, underhand or overhand grip etc. No stone is left unturned when it comes to making our miniatures as realistic as possible.
It's time to bring them to life!
After we’ve gathered as much information as possible, it’s time to decide the composition of the set. Specifically, how many figures will be in the set and what poses will they be doing.
This stage involves sketching each figure and its separate parts. The body, the various arm positions, the face, weapons and so on. We also work out how all these parts can be used on as many figures as possible, so it becomes a bit of a jigsaw puzzle.
These sketches are then sent off to our digital sculptors, who use Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to turn the sketches into digital files. Utilising digital technology allows us to make unlimited corrections to the design along the way, something which is not possible with hand sculpted models. This gives us a bit more creative freedom when sculpting.
The unique thing about the Victrix sculpting team is that, first and foremost, they are all artists. Our sculptors' artistic backgrounds enable the creation of the most realistic models. It's the small details like skin types, muscle shape and facial emotions that really bring a figure to life.
A digital file must be created for each individual part of the figure (head, arm, body, weapon etc). This is a long and complex process with our sculptors taking 30-40 hours on each figure!
After each figure of a given set has been digitally created, it’s time for moulding! We take each figure and determine the layout of the sprue (the plastic frames in which the figures are held). Once a digital file of the sprue has been created, this is then sent off to the toolroom!
What really makes Victrix models so detailed is the quality of tools used by our high-tech digital tool designers. It takes the finest quality of machinery available, and the most experienced specialists in the industry to bring out all the tiny details in our figures.
A CNC milling machine scans this digital file in order to create a custom steel tool for that sprue. This involves cutting cavities in the steel to replicate the design of the sprue and all its components. As you can imagine, the tool needs to be incredibly fine to account for all the intricacies of a figure. Things such as faces (eyes in particular), belt buckles and chainmail. As a result, a CNC machine can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to complete a tool.
Finally, once we are happy with the tool, we produce product samples. The samples are then sent to our design team for inspection. Here we look out for sharpness, body proportionality and split lines. If any of the figures lack sharpness and detail, we go back and refine the tool. This stage is often repeated several times. It is only once we are completely satisfied with the figures that we start mass producing...
Finally, the new product is sent to our distribution hub, ready to be shipped to our next customer.
Bringing an idea to life is a long and arduous process. However, its all worth it when you see that figure on the battlefield...