Iron Mask Miniatures

Iron Mask Miniatures
...and one for all!

Monday, July 1, 2013

To Build an Ogre

 [This posting's slide show illustrates the birth of an ogre -- sculptor John Pickford working his magic.]

The Kickstarter campaign has been submitted for review. Hopefully, it can launch this week.

Meanwhile, the Iron Mask project carries on as the greens for the Cardinal’s Guard Ogres make their debut. When I conceived this phase of the project, I faced the same dilemma I faced with the dwarves: there really wasn’t anything like them on the market. Ogres from modern manufacturers are larger and more exaggerated than what I wanted, tending toward the grotesque if not outright silly or gross.

I knew that I wanted the ogres to pay homage to the classic figures of the ‘80s, so the height and overall heft of the figures was a given. But even the best of the best ogres, the old Citadel and especially the Marauder ogres, were posed in ways that were too static for ogre duelists. The solution, of course, was to use the same separate hand and head system that I used for the dwarves. This has advantages for casting (fewer undercuts) as well as more variety and versatility for the modeler.

For the concept art, I turned to Colin Upton, an extremely talented artist and illustrator whose drawings have frequently brought him into contact with the world of wargaming. Colin works quickly and efficiently, but most importantly to me he was quick to grasp what I wanted and more than accommodating when it came to making changes and fine-tuning a concept. While he was adept at interpreting the briefs, guidelines, and image references I gave him as my ideas developed, some of the things you will see in the coming months sprang from his imagination as much as mine.

Here are the concept drawings for the Cardinal’s Guard Ogres:

The third piece shows the ogre sentry, a relatively static pose, I admit, but separate hands would allow considerable depth and versatility. I love this face, especially with the moustache wrapped around his fang.
For the final pose, I wanted a hulking figure bending low to engage a (possibly?) shorter opponent. No concept art for this one, alas.

Eventually, I decided to drop the beards. Ogres have more-than-prominent chins -- in the cosmic scheme of things, I think more chin makes up for less neck. As John rendered the concept art into real, 3-D portraits, it occurred to me that the beards forced the weight of the heads too far forward, so he resculpted the chins.

Here are the results:

The above is holding a dragon, a short-form blunderbuss pistol.

...and to give you an idea of the size, compared to the dwarves:

Now these are definitely old-school.

The completed kit, which does not show the daggers still to be converted from the rapiers, looks like this:

The greens are in the hands of Steve Phillips, who does my casting. Hopefully, by the beginning of next week I’ll have actual samples in hand and can show you some assembled samples.


  1. This looks like a fun project.

    I hope that you succeed with the Kickstarter.