We’re going to kick this off with the standard questions first, and then we’ll move on to questions from members and staff. So here… we… go!
What got you into sculpting/casting?
DarkWynter: The natural evolution of customizing. My collection contains mostly customs. To have things that only exist in my head come to reality….sculpting/casting is a necessary part of the process.
KREXX: I started sculpting when I was a child , I think I was 6 or 7 , I used to do animals and head sculpts in plasticine.
I honestly think they were pretty good , but never had any support to keep developing the skill, it was when I was about 19 when I discovered the different materials available to make my sculpts more durable , and haven’t stopped since then I have done work for pottery , jewelry , bronze and Halloween horror masks , I also worked for 3 years in a Hasbro model shop my work there was mostly molding and painting model factory samples.
How long have you been sculpting/casting?
KREXX: It’s been 20 years now !
DW: I actually started with dio making and plaster casts. I made latex and rubber molds for plaster for about two years before I started working with silicone and resin. A lot of casters out there were shown how to cast by Slayer Dave. I was fortunate to be one of them. He was able to show me tips and lessons from experience that really accelerated my learning. I’ve been working with resin for about 4 years now.
How long does it take to go from concept phase to a completed cast?
mswi: We generally get together, near the end of each month and discuss concepts, designs and sculpts to be produced in the following month. Once the pieces are ultimately decided upon, we gather reference material for Krexx to work off and discuss design particulars. Krexx will spend the next month or so working his magic and ship finished pieces to DW. Once in his hands he begins the molding and casting process then adds them to the store. All in all about2-3 months but ultimately dependent on the scope of the project.
KREXX: Normally , each piece is about a day . some pieces require more time , others less , but very often is more time than less , lol
DW: That is pretty much the best case scenario, and the target we shoot for.
How much time do you spend daily and weekly on casting/sculpting?
DW: Not as much as I used to, I used to spend about 5-8 hours a day casting and casting related things. To make this work as demand increased, I had to hand some of this over to others. I now spend about 2-3 hours per day on average with casting.
KREXX: It is very unpredictable .. some days I will work 7 to 8 hours , then , some days I would start working at 5 in the afternoon and and stop at 5 or 6 a.m. , the next day ,you could say the sculpts have their own mind.
Any tips for beginners in sculpting/casting?
mswi: Being a beginner caster myself, the biggest tip I could offer is don’t be afraid of the process. I wanted to start casting for a long time but always put it off because the process seemed complicated and overly involved. After the 1st couple of go arounds I saw that it was actually fairly simplistic and quite easy. (at least the basic stuff, quality comes from experience)
DW: I agree, a lot of people are hesitant to jump in. Once you start, it is fairly easy. It is a lot like cooking. Most people can do it to some degree. Not everyone will want to become a chef, but simply knowing how to do it is very handy and a natural evolution to the hobby. Most people starting out wanting to make a few casts of hard to find items or items to army build. Just knowing the basics will achieve this.
KREXX: Yes ,if you really like sculpting , you will find easy to spend long hours with your material , my best advice is to be persistent and to enjoy the process.
Do you think the downfall of SDS helped or hindered you in any way?
mswi: So many of my customs over the years wouldn’t exist without SDS and Krexx’s sculpts. I was very dissapointed when the doors were finally closed and wouldn’t see any new sculpts available. As luck would have it Cloudstrife and I began to commission Krexx for work. Which was a great relationship that grew into a friendship. We got to get new sculpts produced, ones that we actually had a say in and wanted to see done and Krexx got to continue working . Problem being both Strife and I needed copies of the work Krexx produced. I contacted DW about commissioning him some cast work and he kindly helped us along. At the same time I learnt to cast myself with the delusion of selling copies to recoup my costs. Soon I realized that I did not want to become a cast store, but still wanted Krexx’s sculpts to be available to anyone that wanted them, so we turned to DW, who at the same time was getting the ball rolling with Krexx as well. turned out to be very synergistic. As much as it sucked to see SDS close shop ,it was ultimately a good thing for me. Plus it left a void to be filled by The AngelForge.
DW: Downside; the effects of any casting store performing poorly is felt by all casters, people lose a lot of trust. My connection to Slayer spawned all kinds of rumors. There are still a lot of people who believe me to be Slayer Dave or believe him to be involved in some capacity. The benefits of Slayer closing is a difficult question for me. I benefited a lot personally from Slayer. I know Slayer Dave as a friend. He trained me in casting (as he did for many of the casters out there), and showed me all the aspects of running a casting store. He was very generous with letting me help out. He pretty much accepted me as an apprentice for several years. He never treated me as a newbie and always treated me better than family. It was very hard for me to see some of the things he had to go through. When he made the decision to end Slayer it was painful to see as a friend. He encouraged us to set up a store and offered help and advise along the way. Candidly telling us what worked as well as what failed. If Slayer had not closed and encouraged us to pick up the ball, I personally would not have ever opened a store. The benefits of what Slayer did right and the casts Krexx did are nothing short of epic. When MSWI and CloudStrife contacted me, it was a big turning point as they brought a lot to the team and helped form a vision of what The AngelForge was going to be.
Where does most of your inspiration come from?
KREXX: My inspiration comes from different sources , it might come from a great drawing at a comic book , or a movie , sometimes , I design my own sculpts from imagination or a vision.
DW: Wow, so many places. My kids, imaginings I had as a child, books, movies, daydreams, nightmares, everywhere really.
What piece are you most proud of, and why?
KREXX: I’m proud of a lot of pieces I have done over the years , the latest will be the gnomette warrior I did for DW ,and the aliens from lunarix.
Do you have a favorite figure of all time, and why?
KREXX: This is a tough one , again , too numerous to mention , but I was a big Mcfarlane toys fan for a long time , untill they opted to do just games and sports figures.
DW: Customs I did for and with my kids/family are top of the list. Can’t really narrow it down further.