Sculpting: A Q&A With Dave Toone
An Interview Conducted by Craig Andrews
Dave Toone, the main sculptor of Maveryc's new miniatures game, S.P.Q.oRc: Pax Bochemannica, answers some questions about himself and his work in the first of this years Christmas Interviews.
Q. Before we start with the sculpting questions, tell us a little about yourself; where you're from, what you do for a living? etc.
A. Well, I'm 44 and I live in sunny Dagenham with my three boys and partner Jo in the house that Jo and I bought before the kids came along. I've been working in the retail Pet Trade for nealy 30 years now, 16 of which I have been mainly running my own store..
Q. When did you first start sculpting and what led you to start?
A. I can't remember exactly when I started sculpting, but I suppose it's been around 7 or 8 years now part time. I do remember what led me to start and that was seeing some of the great Flintloque miniatures that Mike Owen was producing for the old AA/Crescent City Industries - I loved the character in the figures at that time.
Q. Where do you do your sculpting?
A. At home mostly, but lately I've been getting more done during the day at work too when time permits.
Q. What materials and tools do you find you use most often?
A. Green stuff, corks and florists wire - they're the materials I started with and I've always been comfortable with them. As for tools, I use a good quality wax5, two or three styles of clay shapers and a sharp modellers knife, plus small clippers and flat pliers to make the armatures from the florists wire.
Q. A lot of wargamers modify their miniatures; swapping heads, arms, weapons etc. but a lot of people find the idea of even basic modifications a bit daunting do you have any hints or tips to help them ?
A. Keep it simple to start with. If you attempt too large a project straight away, you might find it becomes almost unachievable and could be the beginning of the end. Try to keep in mind that you can always go back to a strted project later; some things take a while to complete, but it's usually worth the wait in the end.
Q. What would you say to them if they are considering a full sculpt?
A. Take your time. One of the things that I found really difficult to start with was the fact that the putty has to dry in stages if you're going to avoid frustrating errors. There's nothing worse than finishing an area of a figure, then moving straight on to another part only to find you've ruined the previous work with a finger print or a push in the wrong direction!
Q. What inspires you and have you a sculptor or a sculpting style that you try to follow?
A. I love seeing the figures that I make painted and used in a game - there's nothing quite like it. I have several sculptors styles that I admire greatly - Copplestone, The Perry's, Mike Owen and Mark Simms, to name but a few.
Q. Who is your favourite sculptor, past and present?
A. If I had to choose one it would have to be Mark Copplestone. I think he has a great talent for getting character into his figures, whilst keeping them simple.
Q: Is there a particular range of figures that you would like to work on?
A. Other than Pax Bochemannica! I'd like to do a 28mm New Kingdom Egyptian range justice one day.
Q. What is your favourite race found in miniatures?
A. Dwarves. Followed closely by Orcs.
Q. Can you tell us anything about any sculpting work you may be doing at the moment?
A. Well, most of my sculpting time is being taken up with Pax Bochemannica miniatures and probably will be for quite some time if all goes to plan! At the moment I'm finishing the characters for the initial boxed set release, then I'm starting some of the other races in the background - Goblin Auxilliaries from Gauble, Persian Hobgoblins, Skirtan Elves, to name but a few - there's lots to be done!
Q. Is there a website where people can see all the sculpts you've worked on?
A. At the time of writing the Maveryc (www.maveryc.co.uk) site isn't up and running yet, although it should be live in a week or so (Note: The website is now live and looking pretty good! - Craig). My historicals can be seen at www.miniaturedesignstudio.co.uk.
Q. Some people listen to the radio whilst sculpting. Do you listen to the radio or have music in the background? If so what is your favourite music to listen to when sculpting?
A. I struggle to listen to music when sculpting, but nearly always have either a spoken word book playing or a good film that I can listen to. If I'm doing historical work, I tend to keep the subject matter as close to the sculpting genre as possible, just to add in some extra flavour to the moment.
Q. Which do you enjoy the most sculpting, painting or gaming?
A. I hate painting, love sculpting and would happily game until the end of time, so I suppose at heart I'm a gamer that has to paint, but sculpts for the sheer enjoyment of it.
Q. What is your favourite book and why?
A. Around the World in Eighty Days. I read it as a child and found it fascinating. No matter how many other books I read, this one has a special place and I hope one day to travel in the same way as Mr Fogg!
Q. Have you ever been inspired to create something only described in written form?
A. Hmm, not that I can think of, but the day is still young...
Q. Have you any 'other' interests that take up your time and if so what are they?
A. Food! I love it, lots of it!
Q. Thanks for taking the time out for these questions, do you have any final words for readers of OITW?
A. Thanks for those of you that have taken the time to look at this, and for those of you that have always wanted to try something new as a career, just give it a go, you never know where it might take you!
The above interview is an Orcs in the Webbe exclusive and was first published on December 4th 2012 as part of it's 2012 Advent Calendar.
I'd like to thank Tony Harwood (Dampfpanzerwagon) for for first suggesting the sculpting interviews and coming up with most of the questions for the 2010 Advent Calendar. As I'm sure you're all aware you can check out his blog at http://dampfpanzerwagon.blogspot.com