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Author Topic: 24/12/12 - Techno!  (Read 17624 times)
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« on: 24 December 2012, 05:26:05 AM »

ABOUT YOU

Name:
Phil (Ramble On) Lewis

Location:
Pembrokeshire, SW Wales

Do you have a pic?




PAYING FOR IT!

Current occupation:
Full time figure designer.

What's the best job you've ever had?
I'm doing it now !...LOL  Cheesy
 
What would your ideal occupation be?
I don't really believe there's any such thing as the 'perfect job'....Whatever you do, I reckon, there will be times where you think, I wish I was doing 'X' instead of this.  Making the little men, there are a handful of times when I 'get stuck'....and just can't get the model to work as I want. In those situations I'll simply put that particular model to one side and work on something else for a while. You can't do that in too many jobs.

I think the only models that I used to find a tiny bit frustrating to make, in the past, were 'Mechs'....Whether the 'normal' sized ones for Ral Partha, or the larger plastics for Wizkids.  That was simply because I'd think "This one will be finished tomorrow".....and then be thinking the same thing for the next two or three days.....LOL  Smiley
It wouldn't be that there would be hours and hours of work still to do....But there were hours of time tweaking tiny little bits....Putting on wee bits of Milliput...Waiting for that to dry...Sanding it down, and then repeating the process ad nauseam.

I suppose, once every two or three years or so, I feel just a little bit 'stale' for a few days....That's when I'll have a bit of a break....LOL  Smiley....But after just a day or so, I get bored and can't wait to get back to pushing putty about !
 
If I didn't do this....Hmmmm....I dunno....  A writer ?
 
Years ago I tried my hand at writing a fantasy novel, and got about two thirds of the way through.
I then I left it for months and months...and finally went back to re-read it.
Good grief....It was total, utter crap !
 

GETTING INTO IT!

How did you get involved in wargaming?
I guess the thing that really started me off was reading LOTR for the first time.  That got me totally hooked on the fantasy genre....and very soon I was up to the local model shop to buy loads of (I think they were Heritage?) models of their LOTR range.  But apart from painting them, I didn't have a clue what to do with the little chaps....I ended up buying an earlier edition of D&D (TM...LOL  Smiley ) and lots of the earlier Citadel figures, and started gaming with them.




Photography became a second hobby, a little while later, and somehow the two hobbies got combined...... I got some pics published in WD and some of the early Citadel Journals....That gave rise to being offered a job as GW's photographer....Worked at the Studio for four years in various 'capacities', so that by the time I was made 'surplus to requirements', I'd learnt enough to have a go at figure sculpting, and I've been doing it ever since.
 
What was your first figure?
Going right back to my childhood...It would have been some of the plastic 1/72 (?) Airfix soldiers....For the metal models, it must have been one of the early LOTR figures....Still got all those!
As far as making a figure, I think it was an AD&D (TM Wink ) monster that wasn't produced by anyone at the time.....A 'storoper' , I think it was called, which I made from milliput......Nice and simple to have a go at as the 'armature' could be started with just a single 'spike' into the cork......It was quite a while before I had a go at anything with two legs.....LOL  Smiley




Do you have a favourite period/genre?
I suppose I'd have to say Fantasy/Sci-Fi...basically because that's where I began 'in the industry'......Though I genuinely enjoy learning about the 'historical' figures I make so many of nowadays....I only wish I'd done far more of this sort of thing so much earlier in life....it feels like I've really missed out....I know now I can never even remotely catch up now. That's why I ask so many questions on the forum.

And what a forum !....Ask any question and there'll be someone who knows the answer, and is prepared to take the time to answer.....Thanks to you all for your patience in dealing with an old numpty.
 
The perfect example of this would be the Falkland's project  (Barrie at Timecast has given me SO much help and advice....THANKS Barrie !!...You're a star !!) It made it a lot of fun, and I felt like I actually learnt something.  Now......With the Ancients, I have to give a lot of thanks to Lemmey, for his time....Another very willing helper !

How big is your figure collection?
My painted collection is almost non existent now...It did run into the thousands....I've sold, or given away virtually all of it.

And how big is your unpainted lead mountain?
A couple of big suitcase sized boxes ?

Do you have a favourite model in your collection? And do you have a pic?
Not really...I'll say 'Kiera'...Only because I've actually got a piccy of her.....LOL  Smiley




What is the most important aspect of wargaming for you?
I suppose I have to look at it from a different angle to most people in the hobby because I actually make the wee chaps....So to me, it's getting the figures to 'look as right as possible' (I hope), so others enjoy painting and gaming with them.
 

PLANNING IT

What project are you currently working on?
From a sculpting point of view....All sorts of stuff, from various 10mm projects, to multi-part 'resin' 30mm figures for a couple of 'firms' that are just starting out.

And do you have any long-term projects on the go?
Not really.....Just the vain hope that I can find some time to simply start painting again on a regular basis soon.

Do you have any wargaming influences?
Not particularly....Again, I suppose, it's down to the fact that I sculpt the figures, so I'm flying around from period to period, and genre to genre all of the time, so I never feel that I'm able to concentrate specifically  on 'one thing'.  I suppose you could say that I'm very much influenced by the feedback from the forum, 'cos it's so damn useful.

Where do you see the gaming industry going in the future ?
I'm convinced that the smaller scales will become more and more popular..(I think that's the case now, to be honest)....Especially from a cost point of view.....There'll be a decent market for 30mm for quite a while yet though......But I believe it all depends on what people want, and obviously what they think is a 'good deal' as far as gaming is concerned.
 

BUYING IT!

Do you buy scenery, or scratch build it?
I'd buy it.

Which figure range is at the top of your request list?
I really do fancy having a go at the Falkland's range if I can find the time.

Which individual item is at the top of your request list?
A 'pen' attachment for the dremel.

Which wargaming websites do you visit regularly?
Here obviously....Critical Mass Games....Very occasionally TMP.

If someone handed you £100 right now, what would you buy?
A whole bunch of new paints!!.....Or a teaspoonful of petrol.

What has been your biggest one-off purchase?
As far as the hobby goes, what was then, a rather pricey daylight lamp......But it is invaluable....Especially with all the dull days we seem to get over here in Wales.


PAINTING AND MODELLING IT!

How many hours a week do you paint?
Sadly....You can't count it in hours...The only pieces I've painted over the last year have been 'Kiera' and 'Jim'.

What kind of technique do you use?
Anything nowadays...I'm just SO out of practise....It almost feels like I'm learning from scratch all over again....I try and pick up tips from the forum.  But I still want to paint the 10mm figures like I used to paint '30' mm figures.....Doesn't work....At least not for me.

Do you have a preferred brand of paint?
I still quite like some of the Tamiya paints..But the paints in the drawer were mostly 10 year old Ral Partha with a few 20 year old Citadel pots thrown in for good measure.....Just about to start having a go with some Vallejo paints...I rather like those.




Do you have a painting area?  And do you have a pic?
The painting area is the same as the modelling area...which means shoving everything to one side and getting the paints from the drawer.....The desk is SUCH a mess 99% of the time, I'd be ashamed to show you a photo....LOL  Smiley
 
Have you had any painting/modelling disasters?
I suppose one 'proper' disaster was having completely finished off a 10mm figure, I based it with Milliput onto an old piece of plasticard while I waited for it set.
When I tried to remove the figure, once the putty had cured, the plasticard shattered, rather than bending. I heard the figure hit two walls....But never found the little sod.....Had to make it all over again from scratch...(Mutter, curse, fume !)
 
Then.....A couple of times, I've had figures eaten by dogs.

Fortunately for me...They were scoffed by pets owned by the firms that asked me to make the figures...I had to make them again, but at least I got paid twice.....LOL  Cheesy
 
Painting wise?  When I DID spend a lot of hours every night doing that, I had a rule...Three small mistakes and it was time to call it a night....So I never had what you'd call a real disaster......Oh, apart from discovering what matured kitten widdle tasted like when I picked up a new brush from a little tin on the floor, took the ferrule off and sucked the bristles......Yep...A kitten had used the tin for a pee!...BARF !!

Do you have any painting/modelling top tips?
Simply be very patient and learn from your mistakes.
 
So.....Can anyone sculpt ?
Yes!....Well, perhaps 99 people out of 100 can. I'm convinced of that.....As long as they were prepared to commit a lot of time, and were prepared for a fair old bit of frustration as they learnt.
Like Clibby says in the guide he posted up on the forum....If you can paint, you can convert....and if you can convert, you can sculpt.
Whether it's painting, converting or sculpting, you improve with practise....But that takes time !
 
I believe it genuinely IS mostly down to practise. There's no arcane secret about it....You just learn more and more as you go on......You find you're able to do things faster and faster, which in many respects is one of the most important things, especially from my own point of view.
The more you do, the more your hands become 'trained', if I can put it like that...... for example, you know how much, or how little, pressure to use, the type of putty or mix of putties work best for what you're trying to do....You learn little dodges that speed things up.....It's a never ending learning curve.....LOL  Smiley
 
What are the most difficult parts of a model to sculpt ?
For a complete beginner at this scale, I think I'd probably say making up a two legged 'dolly'.... Potentially very frustrating to start with. Simply because it's extremely fiddly, more than anything else.
Because the wire's so fine, it takes a fair amount of practise to get the tiny 'sausages' of putty to stick to the armature and stop yourself pushing the thing over....LOL :-) Once you've got the knack, it becomes relatively easy.
Detail wise?....Faces and getting headgear/helmets right can be a bit of a swine.
The other thing you need to be very aware of, especially at the smaller scales, is how you compromise the proportions of the model itself, and anything it's carrying.....You have to try and make things 'look right' rather than anatomically/physically accurate, especially so that they'll come out of the mould. I could ramble on here for pages.....I'll resist the temptation...!
 

PLAYING WITH IT!

How often do you get to game?
Sadly I haven't had the time to game since I left GW.....We had some wonderful lunchtime 'campaigns' there, but having recently met up with Martin, (Mart678) who doesn't live too far away, I'm hoping to get back into it in the near future.




Do you belong to a local club?
Not at the moment.

Do you have a funny wargaming story?
Didn't happen to me, but I was told the following by one of the participants.
His opponent had 6 disastrous dice rolls on his first turn.....Destroying all his Skaven 'flamethrowers'....He simply siad "I'm not playing anymore." and packed all his troops straight back in the box.
Perhaps that's not an uncommon occurrence ?

And have you had any wargaming disasters?
No....In the games I've played, I've always been very lucky and made some outrageously fortunate dice rolls.

Do you prefer short games or long campaigns?
Hmmm....Do the lunchtime 'campaign's count as long or short ?.....Short I'd guess, so that would be my preference....Though I can see the plus side of a long campaign.

Do you have a wargames room?  And do you have a pic?
No and no !.....I'm exceedingly jealous of the ones I've seen though.

How do you store your figures?
The handful that are left ......In a box in the attic !


READING ABOUT IT!

What are you reading at the moment?
I tend not to actually 'read' very often nowadays...Though I 'devour' audio books, thanks to the local travelling library, while I'm pushing putty about.

Do you have a favourite book?
Not a particular favourite......But I enjoy most of the Pratchett books.... Bill Bryson's 'tomes'....and recently, I've started to really enjoy Bernard Cornwell's work, especially those regarding the ACW.

Do you buy any wargaming magazines, and if so, which ones?
Sadly...Haven't bought one for years. Seem to get all my information from contacts via email nowadays.


WATCHING IT!

What are your 3 favourite films?
Quickly, off the top of my head.....Aliens - Terminator 2 - Return of the Living Dead. (I know I'll have changed my mind at least a dozen times before this is posted....LOL  Smiley ...There must be about three dozen films that I could drop into this list with ease.... from Kelly's Heroes to LOTR.




And your 3 worst?
Much easier !!....Battle Los Angeles - Vampire Knights - The Edge of Hell. (The last one being so bad it comes right out 'the other side' and is a classic !! )...

What are your all-time Top 3 TV shows?
Again, quickly off the top of my head...The X Files - Red Dwarf - Cadfael Huh???....again...very difficult to name just the three. Lots of others I remember with great fondness

And right now?
NCIS - Have I Got News For You - QI - Time Team (Waddaya mean that's more than 3 ?)


LISTENING TO IT!

Who is your favourite band?
Purely from the number of albums I've got, It would be a choice between Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis and Queen....Very closely followed by DOZENS of others !

And favourite album?
Probably "The Wall" or the live version of that album, "Is there anybody out there", by Pink Floyd.....Yet again, so difficult to choose !

And your 3 favourite songs?
Sunset Strip - Roger Waters (Radio K.A.O.S)
Starship Trooper (Live)- Yes (Wembley Arena 1978.)...That's a bootleg...So don't go looking for it
Supper's Ready (Genesis - Foxtrot)
Karn Evil Nine - First Impression (Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery)
Yes... I know that's four again....Sorry !
There really are just far too many that I could name !!


NOT RELATED TO IT!

What other hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
Music....Photography.... Listening to the books while I'm working....All the animals we've got (Stroll, on they take up a lot of time !)....Moaning about my back....Being a cynical old git....Being an idiot on the forum while I'm mixing putty.
I wish I could return to playing golf, but my back won't let me. The other thing I used to be really passionate about was collecting carnivorous plants. I had a wonderful collection which was completely destroyed by herbicide from local farms when we lived in Nottinghamshire....I'd love to be able to do that again.

What do you drive?
A Ford Fiesta.....Can't stand driving the better half's Discovery.

Are you a breast or thigh person...  Wink
Definitely 'Boobs'... they're far easier  to do than getting female legs and backsides to look right....(Oh !.....Is that not what you meant ?.... Wink ....And before you ask, I don't really have a top three totty  Wink

Do you have a favourite quote?
No......Lots....Some being...
"I'm just sitting here radiating a unique atmosphere of intense greatness" - Kenny Everett, as Kremmen of the Star Corps.
"I've seen it....it's rubbish" - Marvin (H2G2)
"I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit." - Aliens
"Dad's raving, I'm afraid." - Jabberwocky
 
If you could do anything, what would it be?
Be able to play the guitar or keyboards brilliantly!
Travel back and forth in time; or have a matter transporter so I could visit anywhere I fancied, and be home by the evening.
Bottle feed a tiger cub. (Sad but true !....LOL  Smiley )



 Cool
« Last Edit: 13 February 2013, 09:58:55 PM by Leon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 24 December 2012, 09:21:05 AM »

Very interesting read Techno Smiley. If only I could live and work in Pembrokeshire, I'd be a happy man.
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« Reply #2 on: 24 December 2012, 09:29:10 AM »

Mad as a
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« Reply #3 on: 24 December 2012, 09:31:34 AM »

Good to see wargaming from, as you say, a different angle to a lot of us.
And Pembrokeshire looks great. We haven't been there for years, but most of our holidays are to various parts of Wales.
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« Reply #4 on: 24 December 2012, 09:52:39 AM »

If only non-wargamers could read this - they would realise that some of us are normal human beings sometimes at least.  (When we are not contemplating mass murder or megalomanical thoughts of ruling the world that is.)   Evil

Seriously though, enjoyed the interview. 
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« Reply #5 on: 24 December 2012, 10:11:12 AM »

Well, I know that it was the mercury fumes that hatters were exposed to in their working lives that caused their sorry state of mind. But this makes you wonder if there isn't something in putty as well?  Undecided


Just being silly again Phil. Excellent read, and great interview. Keep it up!  Thumbs up
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« Reply #6 on: 24 December 2012, 10:33:31 AM »

Great interview Techno!  Applause
That explains a lot (I was expecting more slander and libel from your days at GW!  ;)Well, maybe not...  Undecided)
You are a lucky lucky man to live where you do, beautiful part of the world!  Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: 24 December 2012, 11:37:44 AM »

Wow Techno, that pic (the one with the dogs and the horses) looks great, almost as heaven for me.

Worst films, and Alexander of Oliver Stone isn´t in your list? Cheesy
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« Reply #8 on: 24 December 2012, 12:22:01 PM »

Very interesting read Techno Smiley. If only I could live and work in Pembrokeshire, I'd be a happy man.

When it's 'nice' over here Steve...I don't think you'd find anywhere much better to live....
I love the peace and quiet
If only it didn't rain so much !! Grin Grin

Mad as a

Who me ??  Grin Grin

Good to see wargaming from, as you say, a different angle to a lot of us.
And Pembrokeshire looks great. We haven't been there for years, but most of our holidays are to various parts of Wales.

Try and wait until the rain stops Albie ! Wink

If only non-wargamers could read this - they would realise that some of us are normal human beings sometimes at least.  (When we are not contemplating mass murder or megalomanical thoughts of ruling the world that is.)   Evil
Seriously though, enjoyed the interview. 

I like the use of the word "sometimes" Chrissy ! Grin Grin Wink

Well, I know that it was the mercury fumes that hatters were exposed to in their working lives that caused their sorry state of mind. But this makes you wonder if there isn't something in putty as well?  Undecided
Just being silly again Phil. Excellent read, and great interview. Keep it up!  Thumbs up

Hah...yet more abuse !!..... Wink Grin Grin But pleased you enjoyed it OBA !

Great interview Techno!  Applause
That explains a lot (I was expecting more slander and libel from your days at GW!  ;)Well, maybe not...  Undecided)
You are a lucky lucky man to live where you do, beautiful part of the world!  Cheesy

Me ? Slander the Evil Empire. (I can always clue you in regarding the hidden messages in the old rule books if you like Will.) Wink  Grin

Wow Techno, that pic (the one with the dogs and the horses) looks great, almost as heaven for me.
Worst films, and Alexander of Oliver Stone isn´t in your list? Cheesy

As you know Phobos  Wink....It isn't one of my favourite films......But Alexander comes nowhere near the others for me !  Grin Grin

Cheers all - Phil.
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« Reply #9 on: 24 December 2012, 02:35:45 PM »

Quote
If only it didn't rain so much !!

Hmmm, sounds familiar from dull and very wet Bristol. I've never known the ground so water logged for such a long period of time. Went to put some food out for the birds earlier and the water was oozing up around my feet Sad.
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« Reply #10 on: 24 December 2012, 04:37:47 PM »

Great fun to read Techno! Applause Thumbs up
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« Reply #11 on: 24 December 2012, 05:27:04 PM »

Great interview !!
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« Reply #12 on: 24 December 2012, 06:57:23 PM »

Great interview Phil - 'specially the pic of you with the canine & equine beasties  Cool
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« Reply #13 on: 24 December 2012, 07:46:01 PM »

Quote
Are you a breast or thigh person...  Wink
Definitely 'Boobs'... they're far easier  to do than getting female legs and backsides to look right....(Oh !.....Is that not what you meant ?.... Wink ....And before you ask, I don't really have a top three totty  Wink


I think what Phill means is he likes is all, and can't make his mind up. Evil Evil

Is it me or does Phill look a bit like James May? Smiley

Seriously though that was a great interview, particuarly the different perspective.  
 
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« Reply #14 on: 25 December 2012, 10:12:16 AM »

I think I might still have a few of your old Heatbreaker figures in my collection somewhere! Wink
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