Welcome to the Highlander Studios blog.

I won't promise any earth shattering revelations here. What I will be trying to do is post some new products as I release them, share some thoughts on gaming and show some pics of games and other stuff that I enjoy. So come in and make yourselves at home.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Week in Review

     Twenty five hours at the sculpting desk this week has seen seven figures finished. Here's the week in review: the big, the small, the real and the fantastic.

     15mm Anubis hero for Splintered Light

     28mm "Bugbear" from Nogglestones

40mm Alan-a-Dale for Highlander Studios

     28mm WWII Americans for Acheson Creations

     I think I'll call this week a win.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Big Grey One

     House things are starting to get under control which has allowed for some concentrated sculpting time this week.It felt great to sit and work for several hours four out of five days this week. But getting to that point again hasn't been easy because, well... artists are generally screwed in the head. There's a fine tightrope act that I walk between creativity and productivity. Between enjoying what I do and being my own worst critic. Between supreme confidence and abject fear of failure.

     Part of the fear stems from the fact that sculpting still seems an awful lot like magic to me. On the brain level I understand that it's a craft and, theoretically, a person gets better every time they practice their craft. On the heart level I don't always feel that way. When I get in the putty zone things sometimes just happen. Sure it's directed on some level, but it's not always a conscious direction. It's the Muse at work.

     After a long hiatus I'm filled with trepidation at the thought of sculpting again. What if the Muse has left? After all, I haven't been treating her very well lately. What if those previous works were just a fluke? What if it's a time-limited skill set? All of these thoughts besiege my soul.

     When I finally get over the resistance and get back to work, things are difficult for a short while. Then they start seeping. That seepage becomes drips that soften the blockage. Drips become a flow that erodes it. The flow becomes a torrent barely contained and I'm left in  wonder that I ever doubted. I swear that I'll never leave the Muse alone that long again.

     Until next time.

     Here's the first figure of the year. I have 4 more on the table from this week that need about 20 to 30 minutes of work each to wrap up. But this was the first: a 28mm American WWII G.I. It's part of a 4-figure set for Acheson Creations.

     More to follow next week.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Where's Rodrick?

     See if you can find him in this picture of bamboo.

     Holy crap! Time has gotten away from me. The purchase of the house and getting the old one ready for market has consumed my existence for the last year. I've learned a lot of new skills for home repair and remodeling and I have a few more yet to learn. Some plumbing, electrical work and plastering walls. I have three more weeks to go on the old house. The new will be an ongoing process for years to come.

     I've also taken some time to learn new crafting and self sufficiency skills. I finally finished my foundry.

Ramming the refractory

Starting the charcoal

The fires of hell

     I learned a couple methods of making charcoal.

Paint can burn

Pine charcoal

Barrel burn

Clean burning afterburner

     There was also some canning,

New canning equipment

Home made sauerkraut canned

     Some leather working and some black smithing.

Anvil secured to the new anvil stand

6-7 oz. and 8-9 oz. shoulders

First buckle forged

Test assembly

Smithing apron parts so far

     There were also many small projects such as: pickling garlic, making malt vinegar, stacking fire wood and, of course, the ever present clearing of bamboo. It's all good knowledge to have and I've saved us thousands of dollars, but now it's time to sculpt again.

     This week I got back to projects for Splintered Light, Acheson Creations and Noggle Stones miniatures. Once those are out I'm on to some more for Pictor's and Empire of the Petal Throne. I'll be showing some of the new work in a week or two as it is finished up.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Highlander Studios is Moving

     At long last my wife and I have hound a house we can afford in a neighborhood we like. Highlander Studios will be moving in 6-8 weeks. Sculpting and painting will be at a minimum while we take care of the remodeling projects we want done before we move in.

     The property is just over an acre. Half of that is a steep wooded hill down to a creek. I'm looking forward to many landscaping and terracing projects over the next few years.

     The property also came with a bamboo grove. Yes, I know it's invasive stuff, but it's also one of my favorite plants. I have my work cut out for me in keeping it from spreading too far. On the other hand, I have a readily available, renewable source of building material for all sorts of projects.

     The basement has two rooms of particular interest to me. The smaller one is mostly underground due to the slope of the land. So it stays a consistent 60-65 F degrees.  This gets turned into the cold room for aging cheese, beer and mead. It will also serve as storage for root vegetables and bulk foods.

     The second room was a ceramics workshop. I'll be setting up resin casting there. With any luck, I can start spin casting in house as well.

     The bedroom on the first floor is to be my studio and office for sculpting and painting.

     You can see from the photos there is a good deal of work to do to get things ready. I've managed to put at least a couple of hours of work in every day this week and most days the week before when we closed. I'm excited by the prospect of new dedicated spaces for work and to finally be moving out of the hood.

     Susan is pretty stoked as well. She's wanted to move for several years. She likes the house, the yard, the back porch and the deck. There is also a third bedroom complete with a walk in closet on the second floor for her own private office. AND she gets two of the three walk in closets in the master bedroom.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

VSF Ruth

     I'm still a good deal pissed about Ruth being hanged on Hell on Wheels. But some of the imagery from that series of episodes will remain burned upon my retina for years to come. I absolutely loved the look of scorn and disgust on her face when she shot Sydney.

     Recently a friend wanted a test sculpt for a 28mm VSF project he is planning. It was time to try my hand a a character loosely based on Ruth.

     Now I'm not up to capturing that visage and it may not play well with many who want to use the figure in their games, so I softened the face a good bot. But she still has a attitude... and a big gun.