The Art & Making of Fantasy Miniatures...
... from Pen & Sword
Title: The Art & Making of Fantasy Miniatures
Author: Jamie Kendall
Publisher: Pen & Sword
A large landscape format book of 238-pages this is a real beauty. The quality of the artwork, the figure painting and photography are all showcased to the best advantage with the quality of the paper and production of the book.
I have been a modeller for well over 50 years, and while I haven't personally got into fantasy gaming or figures, I can always appreciate the quality of both the 2D artwork featured in the book, as well as the 3D nature of the figures we see modelled. Following the Introduction the heavily illustrated book, the first of 2 planned volumes apparently, it has 11 chapters, each one devoted to a particular game and/or miniature producer. The game designers, the sculptors, the miniature painters and the artists who produce some amazing 2D artwork which either illustrates the sculpted figures, or give the inspiration from which the miniatures are then sculpted. The 11 chapters cover Aradia Miniatures: Alkemy: Avatars of War: Guild Ball: Relicblade: Warmachine & Hordes: Rumbleslam: Drakerys: Godslayer: Freeblades: and finally, Kings of War.
This isn't a book of 'how to' sculpt or paint models, though much of the process is included, with some photos showing the progress of a sculpt from a basic wire armature through to a completed figure. There is also a huge variety in the type/style of miniatures. There are human based figures, humanoids, dwarves, animals, beasts, spirits and many more. The variety between the different games and miniatures is huge. Some do tempt me to feel like trying them from a painting viewpoint, while others don't, but that to me is the love of variety and that we each find different things that attract us. The stories of dwarves, orcs and so on that were so popular with blockbuster films such as Lord of the Rings and the Hobbits so not surprising then the popularity of these fantasy figures among gamers and miniature painters/collectors. Both the beautifully painted miniatures and the equally excellent 2D artwork illustrations are simply superb. I don't have this type of imagination myself to come up with these ideas and I'm not a sculptor, but as a modeller I can really appreciate and enjoy looking at them. Excellent.
Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.