The Elves of Inneath has been our most successful campaign, at least at the moment (the Dwarves of Kazhuk Izril and the Orcs of Inneath want to clean this shame and overcome the pointy ears, I expect the next two campaigns to be fiery!) but despite bringing me a lot of joy and satisfaction, they also made me wonder about the correct approach to this scale.
Sometimes, in fact, the best intentions don't give the most efficient result and in hindsight, I think that with the Elves of Inneath I pushed a bit too far in the search for the detail, resulting in many kits that are as fascinating as intimidating.
When I design my minis, I want to give you the best-looking minis that I can imagine, but I realized that, before anything else, what I really want is to see my creations painted by you. I want them to inspire you and to give you hours of hobby joy.
Every time I upload in my gallery or I spot across the internet one of my minis painted by you I can't help but sparkle with pure happiness: it's probably the most rewarding moment of this job (I would say also money, but the Italian taxes take off 68% of the positive vibe...).
I was super happy to see the great response of the community, concerning the Elves of Inneath, but I couldn't ignore the fact that, for many of you, some of those kits were a bit too difficult to approach. With this in mind, I decided to steal some time from my Orcs' schedule and focus on a new Elf character: the Elf Apprentice (and her bodyguard familiar!).
The Little Summoner is one of the most wanted kits in this range, so I decided to start from scratch and design a new little Elf and improve my approach to this subject in order to create a kit that could be adorable to see but also funny to paint.
the first step I focused on was the level of detail.
I tried to simplify as much as possible the sculpt of this little girl, avoiding putting anything that wasn't essential. This is a difficult task because the limit between simple and bland is as thin as the generosity of an average Ligurian.
In the meantime, I tried to re-design some crucial details of the concept, in order to improve the final product. For example, one of the Little Summoner's controversial parts is how little her hands are: I decided then to give this new little one thick gloves, in order to make this feature bigger, easier to paint, and more resistant.
I simplified the design of the shoes, going for a more "kokiri" look and avoiding the micro-stitchings.
When I designed the cloak, I wanted to make something interesting but also easy to paint, so I thought about making a shape that might remind the wings of a butterfly, or the petals of a flower: I think it's more than appropriate for this subject, and it also encourages many different interpretations.
The same approach involved the bodyguard familiar. I tried to keep the sculpt as simple as possible, focusing on creating clean and well-defined shapes.
Again, I had to deeply resist the charm of the mermaid of details, but I think that this project has been very educational and I can't wait to print and paint a first sample to better figure out if the result really matches my expectations.
Talking about "printing and painting", let me say that the money spent on my new (and first) 3d printers is possibly the most well-spent since the tickets I bought for the Black Label Society's concert in 2012 (oh gosh, 11 years ago). I recently printed and painted (soon you'll see the final result!) a first sample of the new Second Government's character and I can already declare how useful and crucial for the next projects this tool will be.
The chance of having a pre-production sample in my hands is priceless and I will take advantage of it to dramatically improve all my future releases.
For example, I noticed that the initial size I set for Ofelia's kit was a bit small, so I will print the final prototype 6% bigger. Moreover, I will simplify certain details, like the stitchings on the smallest buttons of her coat: I struggle to paint them, and I think that it's not a detail that you will miss. The theory is important, but in the end it is only when I paint a kit that I really manage to "know" it, so I'm confident that this new tool in our arsenal will make our future releases easier to paint and better refined.
Going back to the new Little Summoner character, I'm very happy with how it came out: I think that the original "vibe" of the Elves of Inneath is untouched, but I'm confident that this kit will be less intimidating and funnier to paint. Moreover, I think that from a painter's point of view, these two subjects will be a joy to paint because you can literally indulge yourself in imagining crazy color schemes and compositions!
I'm very curious to see how you will paint them!
This new kit will go on preorder soon, so don't forget to check this website once in a while because I will offer a special price for those who preorder this kit (and Ofelia)!