Sculpting HATE: The Life of a Miniature

From across the battlefield, their eyes lock. Two war-hardened killers ready to do battle one more time. They are both adorned with the chains and spikes that serve as makeshift armor in this desolate wasteland. Their garb is little more than the fur and animal hides that can be scrounged for warmth and protection from the harsh environment. Human skulls are worn as a warning to their foes as much as they are for decoration. Blades drawn, they advance. Their faces set in a grim look of concentration and hate.

When players face off against an opponent in a game like HATE, their miniature figures represent team members going into battle for them. They are the physical representation of everything they’re fighting for. The better those miniatures look, the easier it is to get lost in the narrative of the game.

CMON has long been an industry leader in the design and production of miniature figures. For the miniatures design for HATE, they turned to veteran sculptor Mike McVey, who officially joined the CMON in February 2017, and his team.

“I first came across Adrian Smith’s Chronicles of HATE a few years ago, and immediately thought what an amazing miniatures game it would make,” said McVey.  “The art was so evocative of the savage brutality of the world he created. I could immediately imagine it in 3D.”

The journey from an idea on paper to a finished miniature, ready for production, is a long one, but one McVey has taken many times in the past. It didn’t hurt that Smith’s designs were brimming with personality.

“When we started on the process of turning the art into miniatures, it was a pleasure. The designs just translate so well into sculpts. The details are rendered at the perfect level to work well at 32mm scale, and the characters have so much life and vitality.”

McVey works with an entire team of sculptors and artists, and finding the right person for each project has a big impact on its success. 

“As with any miniature line, the process starts with matching the art to the sculptors, and we have a fantastic team of some of the best talent in the industry. They were all excited to work with Smith’s fantastic art.”

For example, the task of the initial 3D design of the giant Prince from the Um’Cal Tribe fell to Jacques-Alexandre Gillois. 

“Once the art was assigned to Gillois, we had a few conversations about translating the art to 3D and any technical considerations, moulding concerns, and potential issues in production we might run in to. The first step was the armature,” explained McVey. “Gillois is a very precise, detail oriented sculptor, so the armature gives a very clear picture of the pose and attitude of his final sculpt. He makes the weapons at the start of the process, so even in the first picture, you can see the overall shape of them and how they work with the balance of the figure.”

The next steps involve adding bulk to the figure and putting anatomical details and a lot of the main elements in place. The final stage involves baking the miniature (made of polymer clay), adding last minute elements, and sharpening the details. 

There are, of course, many stages of conversation and approval in between these stages, but for the most part, the sculpting process is broken into those three major steps. 

Sculpting the miniatures is a collaboration between the game designers, artists, and the sculpting team. A project like HATE has such a strong initial artistic vision that it’s easy for everyone involved to picture the final product. However, it is still a process to go from the images on a page to a fully detailed miniature, ready to kick some ass on the tabletop. 

“The work the sculpting team did on these miniatures is incredible! It’s been one of the most enjoyable miniatures ranges I have ever worked on,” said McVey. “Massive thanks to Remy Tremblay, Jacques-Alexandre Gillois, Patrick Masson, Jose Roig, Michael Jenkins, Jason Hendricks, Yannick Hennebo, Edgar Skomorowski, Benoit Cosse, and RN Estudio.”

HATE is now live on Kickstarter. Follow all of the updates and make a pledge here.

Follow the HATECMON, and Guillotine Games Facebook pages for updates as the campaign continues.

Read about the rules of HATE  here.

Read the HATE overview article here.

Read about the Villages of HATE  here.

Read about the Development of HATE  here.

Read about the Um’Gra Tribe here.

Read about the Um’Rak Tribe here.

Read about the Um’Kator Tribe here.

Read about the Um’Cal Tribe here.

Read about the Mercenaries here.

Sculpting HATE: The Life of a Miniature

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