Show and Tell

Tonight Drew and I finished making his new set of sculpting tools.  One of the many things we learned from Gencon is that one of the reasons he’s been having a hard time turning a corner on his sculpting is that he’s been using amateur tools.  Professional tools, as it turns out, cannot be bought.  They must be made.  With hammers and anvils and blowtorches.  I was less than thrilled to learn this.  We’re not exactly what you might call tool people.

And yet, we are now the proud owners of a hammer, anvil, blowtorch, safety goggles, and these little beauties:


I’m proud of us for these. We made them out of nothing but steel rods and brass tubes.  (And some super-glue.  That tool we were familiar with.)  Drew’s been using the tips sans handle for the last few weeks, and his sculpting has finally turned that corner we’ve been staring at for a year. Happy, happy day.

This photo actually represents two victories. The other thing we rehashed after Gencon was the photography. I knew the game companies got better photos of their minis than we did; I always figured they were using professional photo studio lighting, which = $$$. No. Turns out they’re using ten dollar shop lights, like these:

Turns out you don’t even really need a light box, just three of these in the right positions, some bright white light bulbs, and a backdrop. I’m still kind of pissed about this. (We’re still using the light box: it’s not useless, it’s just not necessary. )

The backdrop is also new–I finally gave up on our inkjet printer (which soaked all it’s brand-new color ink into a paper jam I had carelessly left for several weeks) and decided to have it printed at a store. And, despite crappy customer service, I managed to emerge from the whole thing with backdrop that works for only $1.12. It’s much bigger than the ones I’ve been using, which means less fiddling for me.  Now to get three or four more printed so I have backups when this one gets dirty or damaged.