Monday 20 December 2010

Ruby concepts

Thought I would just do a quick post to show Sam Wood's concepts for Ruby - really great drawings as always. One of the things I have always loved about Sam's concepts, is he is great at creating evocative characters - not just designs.

Ruby has been unbelievably popular so far - really far more than we were anticipating. The high demand, coupled with some unavoidable delays with casting (mainly the weather, but some unfortunate other things too), means that we are going to be a little slow fulfilling all the orders. The first batch will ship out in a few days and we will be packing and shipping between Christmas and New year - hopefully we can get it all out in the next week to ten days.

Thanks in advance for your patience - I'm sure most people are aware of what the bad weather has done to the UK's shipping systems!



Thursday 16 December 2010

Wild, wild West

Just added the latest release in the Limited Edition resin range to the Studio Store - Ruby.

We previewed this one to the mailing list yesterday, and the response so far has been fantastic. The original concept was by Sam Wood and Jacques-Alexandre Gillois pulled an absolutely stunning sculpt out of the bag - the detail and 'realism' (not that cowgirls on dinosaurs are particularly real - but you know what I mean) has to be seen to be believed.

Great paint-scheme by Ali too - she's been putting in some long hours at the painting desk recently. With this one and all the Sedition Wars miniatures to do, she's been pretty busy!

I'll post pictures of the resin, and the concept art soon - either here or on the forum (possibly both).



Friday 3 December 2010


The Sedition Wars site is finally live! Not only that - but we also have both a new store and a forum. We've been frantically trying to get everything ready to go live at once, and bar unforeseen mishaps (and there are almost certain to be some), it looks like everything is working.

There have also been some changes over at the main site - mainly that we no longer have any direct e-commerce functions there, but we have also added links for the new websites and forum.

So check out the new stuff and let me know what you think in the forums.



Wednesday 10 November 2010

Another one bites the dust.

Well we've just sold the last of our stock of Lt. Kara Black, making her the second sell out miniature in the Limited Edition resin line. Kara has been consistently popular since she released just under a year ago, and I always thought she was going to be the first to go - until we released Ar-Fienel who rushed past her in about half the time on sale.

If you missed buying Kara from us, and still want one, not all is lost - Coolminiornot still has some left in stock, but once those have gone that really is it - all 750 (save for our few personal copies) will be gone.

You're going to be seeing quite a bit more of Kara soon though - though it will be Captain Kara Black and the scale will be a little smaller. We just received the first small batch of resin castings of the Sedition Wars version of her - and they look absolutely great. Beautiful clean castings. We plan to have the first limited edition resins of the Sedition Wars miniatures on sale by the end of the month. The unlimited metal versions should be (reasonably) soon afterwards.

Thanks to everyone who bought her!

Just a quick update on Al-Vianna - we have just finished packing the latest batch of orders, and they will be shipped tomorrow. That should bring us up to date for orders we received up until this morning. Apologies for the delay in getting the orders out - she's been incredibly popular.


Edit - I forgot to say in the original post. We haven't forgotten about the prize draw for this miniature - we'll be picking a certificate number soon, and the winner will win the Studio painted version of the miniature. We'll announce that here when it happens.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Confirmed kill.

Just a quick update to share the latest of the Sedition Wars characters - Akosha Nama.

Akosha is the sniper currently attached to Captain Black's command group, and is equipped with a 713-Maglev gauss projectile rifle, and several 'special duty' rounds.

I'll be adding small bios for all the characters we've shown so far to the website when that finally goes live. We're aiming to have the limited Edition resins on sale before the end of the month - and they really will be quite limited, we don't plan to do resin runs anywhere near as large as the ones we do for the current Limited Edition range. Once the resins are gone they will only be available as metal castings.



Friday 29 October 2010

Al-Vianna concept art

Here's the concept art for Al-Vianna, a beautiful piece by Steve Tappin. As you can see, there are some subtle changes from the actual miniature - mainly the lack of fish on the finished piece. We tried the miniature with them swimming through the dress, but I just didn't think it worked the way I wanted, so we decided to do the sculpt without. I think it was just one of those things that can work well on a piece of artwork - giving it an almost magical-realism feel, but it can be hard to pull off in 3D. The artwork has a strong pre raphaelite feel to it, and this was captured really well with the sculpt - and painting.

The response to her this week has been exceptional and we have many orders to get packed and shipped. Inevitably, there is going to be a slight delay with getting them out - but hopefully not too long. The first (fairly small) batch will ship tomorrow, and then we'll be shipping more from early next week. We certainly hope to have all the order placed this week, out by the middle of next week.

In Sedition Wars news, we're going to be sharing the latest character shortly, most likely this weekend. So check back soon and have a look.



Wednesday 27 October 2010

Water magic

With all the excitement of the Sedition Wars announcement, it has been easy to forget it's new release time! Actually, that's not entirely true, we have been excited about this miniature for quite a while - we both think she's going to be pretty popular.

We sent out the mailing list pre-release offer on Monday evening, and if that's anything to go by, it's going to be hard to keep her in stock. We've only had one miniature in the range that sold as well before release, and she's sold out now...

I think Al-Vianna is a stunning piece - she's full of atmosphere, and the detail is beautifully rendered. She comes as a single piece casting, but still manages to be full of life and movement. I'll show the concept art here in the next day or so - and as always with Steve's work, it's fantastic.

In other news, there are going to be more Sedition Wars sneak-peaks in the next few days, I have a several things to share, so just need to decide which one to talk about first!



Tuesday 19 October 2010

A little background

Sorry, this update comes a little later than promised (no real surprise there though...), but here it is none the less. I thought I would do something a little different this time and share some of of the background story behind Sedition Wars - in the form of a short piece of fiction by Rob Baxter. Rob's been a fantastic help with the background, and universe building side of the line, and there will be plenty more of his work on the site when it goes live.

Hope you enjoy it!

Captain Kara Black

When I was promoted up the Vanguard line, it wasn’t something I thought I had wanted. At first I thought the promotion was SolCon’s way of decorating someone who made good PR. The Vanguard had been getting a bad rap what with losing Cpt. Gheried to the conscripts, and how we had handled the riots on Vassal and Feor. That hologram of me taking on the spider mammoth on Ashraf – colonist evac lifts in the background, and me piling rounds of hot fire into a ton of chitin and muscle. Valour, honour, and standing between the darkness and the peoples of the Solar Conglomerate. I guess that image alone was all they needed to kick the recruitment campaign into high gear.

While I recovered from my war wounds, they made a hero out of me. Overnight LT. Kara Black got promoted. I learned about the status upgrade while nanotech was still purging mammoth poison from my body in the tank. Some official from Vanguard High Command dropped into my dreamtime simulation and delivered the news. Newsfeeds into my sim-sleep fed me the details. I was a hero, the hologram splashed across media feeds throughout the core worlds. I was the pin-up recruiting banner for the Vanguard.


I’m not as pretty as the holo though, I suffered some battle damage. The medics had to replace my arm with a prosthetic – the toxins from the spider mammoth had gnawed away any viable nerve endings for a cloned replacement. It started as a scratch really, but the poison those things spit could kill a Chagrin blade-ox. I had been lucky, and stemmed up to the gills on Accel and a dozen other battle stimulants at the time.

By the time I spilled out of tank rehab the cyberlimb wasn’t the only change. My uniform had been changed out for a Captain’s tunic and battledress. Now I have a whole company under my command. Two personal squads, and a cadre of specialists. I'm just getting used to being saluted to all the time. And finally, I just found out we’re shipping to Alabaster.

The up side to this is that I don’t have to do a tour of home worlds and recruiting stations. Awesome.

The down side is the situation on Alabaster.

Some group called the Firebrand have taken over the Alabaster star port, the planetary defense grid, and a handful of lunar mass drivers. Over 80,000 organized conscripts in revolt, paralyzing an entire world. How the hell did they do that? The tech and logistics required to slip the control net for these guys is mind-boggling. Intel is saying outside help.

Some say the Firebrand are the equal of the Vanguard in many respects, they lack training but they make up for it in conviction. It doesn’t help that most of them are equipped with industry grade cybernetics or genetic augmentations. They are formidable in close quarters combat, I'm not sure anyone has tested their logistical and tactical limitations. Well, we're about too.

After two months in the tank I’m itching for a fight.

Wednesday 13 October 2010


Here's the second miniature in the Sedition Wars line - the medical officer from Kara's squad, Corpsman Morgan Vade.

I'm going to leave this post really short, and update again before the end of the week.



Thursday 7 October 2010

Captain Kara Black

Just a really quick post to show a rear view of the new Captain Kara Black miniature along with the original concept art. The concept is by Sam Wood (who did the original Kara concept). Sam drew the concepts for all of the first release, and they were all sculpted by Kev White (who sculpted the original Kara) - there's nothing like a bit of consistency!

We've had a really great response since we announced the new range, thanks to everyone who commented here or on other forums - I'm even more excited about this project now than I was before, I hope we can live up the the expectation.

The initial release of miniatures is going to feature this version of Kara, and the other members of her specialist team of Colonial Vanguard troops. I'll be previewing the other miniatures here in the next few weeks - starting with Corpsman Morgan Vade, the squad's medical officer, who I will be showing here early next week.

I've been working with a lot of talented people on this project so far, and I'll get round to talking about all of them in future blog posts, but I just wanted to start by thanking Tears of Envy for her great design work on the logo and other elements she has worked on. Whether you know it or not, you will more than likely have seen Tammy's work on other amazing gaming industry products, such as Incursion. Check out the fantastic work she has just done on her print and play game - Dune Express.

talk to you soon!


Tuesday 5 October 2010

What Kara did next...

Okay - time to reveal a little about the new range we've been working on! We have quite a lot to talk about with this project, but I'm going to start slow and just show one of the initial miniatures - and it's a familiar character.

The inspiration for this range comes from the Lt Kara Black miniature we released in the Limited Edition resin series. She has always been one of our favourite (and most popular) miniatures, and it just seemed she immediately had a strong character with an interesting story behind her. Indeed, the original plan was to release her as part of a vignette showing her in the heat of battle - as seen in the artwork. For one reason or another (mainly the higher cost and risk involved) we decided not to make the beast - but to come back and re-visit the idea later. When we started to think about her again, we decided to take a different approach and develop the background and universe around her into a 30mm gaming range. The end result is Sedition Wars.

As you can see, there's not a great deal to see on the new website at present, but all that will change in the next month or so. I'll be adding regular updates to the blog about the development, and hope to have the website live and miniatures on sale in the next 4-6 weeks. Initially they will be available as very limited resin releases (most likely around 100 castings), followed by unlimited metal runs. Why do both? For me it's simple - we want to produce a small number of 'perfect' copies of each figure to appeal to painters and collectors. I realise that the price point for resins could be a prohibitive factor for those wanting to game with them, so the main runs will be in high quality metal.

This isn't going to be a huge and sprawling range, it's going to start slow and grow fairly organically. Making high quality miniatures is an expensive business, and we certainly don't plan on over-stretching ourselves. We have some really exciting things planned though - and I believe we'll have a fantastic line of miniatures.

I'll update again in the next couple of days.



Saturday 2 October 2010

Beauty and the Bot resins

Two posts in two days - must be a record for me. Actually this one is a bit of a cheat as it's going to be very short. I just wanted to share the pictures of the resin castings of our latest piece. Ali said this one was a joy to paint - very clean and precise sculpting and casting. I really want to paint it myself, I have a completely different colour scheme in mind.

The next update will be on Monday - and I'll be talking about the new Studio McVey miniatures line. Anyone who picked up the latest Mantic Journal will have got a sneak peak already though.



Friday 1 October 2010

Bot concept art

What a week it's been. We're finally moved, and at long last the broadband is working after four days of being disconnected from the world. The office is a total mess, but I've cleared enough space to set up a desk for my computer and see what I've missed. We have quite a lot of catching up to do, not least with the promised updates!

First of all, here is the concept art for Beauty and the Bot - an absolutely beautiful drawing my Christophe Madura. This was one of those concepts that needed practically no art direction, Christophe just immediately 'got' what we wanted. Really great work.

2nd up date will be tomorrow morning, and that will be some pictures of the resin. More news to follow after that...



Friday 24 September 2010


Well another month has flown past without many posts here from me - I could apologise again, but the apologies and promises of articles are probably sounding a little hollow by now! It has been an exceptionally busy month though, as well as moving house and office (still in progress...), we have also been working very hard on the new Studio McVey miniatures line. There is going to be preview of that in the second Mantic Journal, and I'll be sharing some news and pictures here in the next few days.

Anyway - I've just added this months Limited Edition resin release to the Studio Store. Inspired by 1950's pulp movies like Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still, and with more than a nod to Metropolis, we are proud to bring you - Beauty and the Bot!

I have to say I absolutely love this one - and just couldn't be happier with how it came out. Both Christophe Madura and Yannick were right on the money with the concept and sculpt. It's exactly how I imagined the scene to be, the barely conscious Greta, being carried down the steps of the palace by the mighty Zyndor!

I'll add more pictures of the miniature here in the next couple of days (honestly!) and definitely the concept art - which is absolutely beautiful. Look out for the announcement on the new miniatures range too!



Wednesday 25 August 2010


That's it - Ar-Fienel is completely sold out from the Studio Store. The only place you're going to get one now is from coolminiornot - I sent them a small re-stock last week and I don't think they will have received them yet. Should be today or tomorrow though.

After they are gone she will be officially sold out!

As I said in the previous post - we're sad to see her disappear from the range, but happy she's been so popular.



Friday 13 August 2010

Going, going... Nearly gone.

Well I have just sent out the 700th Ar-Fienel (and have a few more orders for her left to fill), so that officially means we have less than 50 castings left before the entire run of 750 will be gone. We always keep numbers 1-10 (for the sculptor, studio painting copies, and a rainy day), but we won't be selling what's left of those any time soon.

She's been phenomenally successful considering she was only released in late April - passing the high water mark set by Kara Black (who is not too far behind in sales...) about a month ago. It'll be sad to loose her from the range, but we're delighted to have our first sell-out miniature.

So this is just a warning - if you want an Ar-Fienel, you'd better move quite quickly, as I don't expect the current stock to last too long.



Thursday 5 August 2010


I've just updated the main website and store with the latest release in our Limited Edition resin range. Y'Sidyra is a seven-piece resin kit, and I think it's our most exciting and dynamic release so far. I particularly love the movement of the miniature - he looks both active and balanced at the same time - quite a difficult thing to pull off in a sculpt.

This is Yannick's forth sculpt for us - and I think they just keep getting better and better. The base is a work or art in it's own right!

Ali's painted version is extremely striking - and the Japanese inspired colour scheme really suits the sculpt. She took plenty of pictures of this one while she was painting it, so we'll have no excuse for lack of tutorials this time. Hopefully we'll have the first early next week. The painted version is on Coolminiornot - please show it some love!

Pictures of the resin and concept art will follow soon.



Tuesday 3 August 2010


This week sees GenCon 2010 kicking off in Indianapolis,USA. Unfortunately Studio McVey won't be attending this year's show in person, but we'll be there in spirit. Coolminiornot will be the exclusive stockist of the Studio McVey Limited Edition miniature range, and should have all of them available at their booth. They will also have a few of the Studio painted miniatures in their display cabinets. Check out their booth - #826 in the back of the Exhibitor's hall.

If you've never been before - GenCon is quite an amazing event. Four days of non-stop gaming (literally, there's always something on, day or night). Hopefully we'll be able to have our own booth in the coming years - but for the moment, make sure you stop by the Coolminiornot booth and have a look at our miniatures.



Monday 26 July 2010

Board art

It's been quite a while since we published any how-to articles on the blog - so this is really long overdue. We always have the best of intentions every time we put a new miniature out, and discuss all sorts of different things we could publish tutorials on. When we try and find the time to put them together, it's a different story.

This is just a quick run through on how Ali achieved the graphic pattern on Lisbeth's sky-board.

I'm going to leave the text to a minimum as the pictures are fairly self-explanatory. The key to this technique is the use of masking tape to create the design - in this case we used Tamyia masking tape as it's really smooth and finely textured, perfect for precise work. You can gently stick it to clean plastic card to cut it, and it peels away and re-sticks several times without leaving a trace. Try and use a brand new scalpel blade to ensure the cuts are as neat as possible. As with all of this sort of freehand work, a great deal is in the preparation - if you plan and sketch the design before you start, it will be far easier.

You can apply the colour to the exposed areas with either a brush or a sponge - both will give different effects. Try not to over-work it though or the paint can bleed under the edges of the tape and spoil the design.

The first pictures (1-6) show the basic weathered paint being built up on the board. This is achieved with thin, patchy washes - deeper at first, and building up the highlights over the top. You really don't need to be too neat with this - the desired effect is a battered, well-used board.

Pictures 6a-10 show the tape being cut, applied and the first colour added. Pictures 8-16 show the second application of tape, and the next colour. The last two pictures (17 and 18) show the edges being worked on a little and some definition added to the board itself.

There are plenty of different applications for this sort of masking work - it's great for vehicles and large smooth surfaces.

We're going to do another quick tutorial for the back side of the board to show the lighting on the hover engines.



Friday 16 July 2010

Lisbeth concept art

Just thought I would share the original concept art for Lisbeth. This one went through quite a few different incarnations before we settled on a slightly darker, more serious look. The drawing is by Christophe Madura.

Just a quick update on shipping orders - we have been exceptionally busy so things are running a little behind (no change there then...) - the good news is we shipped a lot of orders yesterday and more will go out today. After that we'll be close to up to date.

We are also planning to do some how-to articles about Lisbeth - in fact Ali is working on the first at the moment so I hope to have that up here early next week. We always plan to do more painting content for the blog - but the busier things get, the harder it is to find the time. Hopefully we'll find a way to do more in the future - we always considered it an important part of Studio McVey.

In slightly more cryptic news, we are finally just about to start pushing putty on a new Studio McVey range. I won't say any more than that at present, but I hope they will see the light of day by October...



Tuesday 6 July 2010


New release time!

I'm know many miniature collectors in the UK grew up reading the weekly comic 2000AD, just as I did - so I'm sure quite a lot of people will immediately see where the inspiration for this miniature came from. The name is also a clue for where we got the inspiration for doing a tough, streetwise female character...

Funnily enough - after planning to do this miniature for a the last few months, we had just put the sculpt into a mould when this popped up on Coolminiornot. He just beat us to the punch! Really lovely piece though.

The concept for this was by Christophe Madura, the creative genius behind the Smog miniature range and the person who concepted our first ever release - The Raven Priest. The sculpt is by Yannick - who seems to be fast becoming a permanent fixture in our range!

I have to say, of all our releases so far - this is the one I think works best as a composed scene. I think she looks just great.

She's in the Studio Store on the website now.


Monday 14 June 2010

Darkness Resin

Just a really quick post to show the resin of Darkness - quite an odd looking beast, but I think he's got a really brooding sense of power and danger about him. I don't think I would want to meet him when he's fully formed...

I meant to post this last week - but the guys over at have been holding a painting competition featuring our very own Pan. You can see the results for yourself at the site. The results were just great - all of them had a totally different take on the miniature. I particularly liked all of the bases - we put a lot of thought into the bases we supply our miniatures on (if they come with sculpted bases), so it's really great to see some thought going into how the painted versions are presented.

Great stuff! It's really exciting for Ali and I to see people painting Studio McVey miniatures.

Just a quick shipping and orders update. Things have been very busy since we got back from the US, so we are just a few days behind with orders. We're getting a re-stock of Ar-Fienel (who has been astoundingly popular - odds on she'll be the first miniature we sell out of...) tomorrow, but apart from that we have everything in stock and should be up to date with orders by the middle of this week.



Friday 4 June 2010

Y'Sala resin

I thought I would share a shot of Y'Sala on her own so you can see the details all the way round, it's a amazingly detailed sculpt. I find the detail on the top of the stocking particularly astonishing. Someone asked me if the clothing was press-mouded, and I can tell you that none of it is - Yannick sculpted the whole thing traditionally. Pretty amazing... I've also got a single picture of Darkness that I will post here soon.

Just a quick shipping update - as of today we're up to date with orders placed before we released Y'Sala, so if you are waiting for something from before then - it's on the way to you. We'll start shipping out orders for Y'Sala either today or Monday, and there shouldn't be any delays after that. We have plenty of stock of everything, and now we're back in the Studio, we'll get back to regular shipping procedures.



Wednesday 2 June 2010

Y'Sala and Darkness

I have just added the new release to the Studio Store over on the Studio McVey main website - and there are no prizes for guessing what it is! The response to Y'Sala and Darkness at Salute was great, and we have had a similarly enthusiastic response from our mailing list (just in case you don't know, I generally pre-release miniatures to members of our list a couple of days early).

I did promise to show pictures here last week - but with one thing and another (travelling back from the US, BA strikes and jet lag), I just never found the time. Apologies for that - but I do plan to have several blog posts in the next couple of weeks to make up for it.

We're thrilled with this set -it the first double release we have ever done and the sculptor (Yannick - who is fast becoming a Studio McVey favourite), also drew the concept. We supply the set with a 40mm base, but Y'Sala is also tagged to fit on a base on her own.

I've got pictures of the two pieces separate from each other, so I'l post those tomorrow.



Thursday 13 May 2010

Salute and status update

Sorry things have been quiet from Studio McVey for the last couple of weeks, truth be told it's been incredibly busy for us, and it's been hard to find the time to post.

Salute was a really great event for us - it's was a tremendously busy day and we had a great deal of fun meeting people we had only previously talked to online. Ali entered the painting competition (her first ever!), and managed to win the overall prize with her Studio version of Ar-Fienel. I was absolutely speechless when she walked back to the booth with arms full of prizes - I just wish I'd taken a picture, the look on her face was priceless! There are a couple of small pictures on the Salute site if you click the 2010 winners link.

Right after Salute we had Adam and Anna from Kingdom Death staying with us for a couple of days - great people and they are making a wonderful job on their miniatures. Quite inspiring to see some fresh ideas.

I'm actually writing this from the US - we're spending a little time over here on some work matters, so we have temporarily re-located Studio McVey here for a couple of weeks. It shouldn't make much difference to orders - except people who order from the US will get orders quicker, and people who order from Europe will get them a little slower. Apologies if you are adversely affected by this arrangement - it's strictly temporary and normal service will be resumed soon!

We are a little behind with filling orders though - Ar-Fienel has been extremely popular and it's been hard to keep pace. The last two months have been great for us - first Isabella and now the new release have both gone down really well. That's the problem with us being such a small operation (just Ali and I!) - when things go well it can be a struggle to keep up. We're not far behind though - just a few days in fact, and I certainly hope to have all outstanding orders filled before the end of the week. We have increased our production capacity quite a lot too - so I certainly think we'll never see the sort of delays we had with Kara again!

As always - thanks for your patience and understanding if your order takes just a little longer to get to you than normal.

I plan to update the blog a few times in the next week. I have a few things I want to show here - the concept art for Ar-Fienel, some more shots of Ali's painted version, and some pictures of next month's release. Pictures of Y'Sala have already made it online - taken at Salute, so I have been meaning to show some official pictures. I'll definitely get to that soon - she's an amazing piece and I'm excited to share some pictures of her.

cheers for now!


Friday 23 April 2010


New release time!

Members of the mailing list got to see this yesterday (and it's already made it on to quite a few forums!) - but here is April's release - Ar-Fienel.

We're absolutely delighted with this miniature - it's a great addition to the Studio McVey range. This is Yannick Hennebo's first sculpt for us, and it certainly won't be his last. The concept is from Steve Tappin, and with all the fine detail he put into it, I almost wish we could have done her in a larger scale - 54mm Studio McVey miniatures...? One day maybe.

I'm going to keep this short as we are rushing round like crazy, getting ready for Salute - we leave in a couple of hours and still have a frightening amount left to do. Hope to see some of you there!



Tuesday 20 April 2010


Salute is this Saturday (April 23rd), and it's going to be Studio McVey's first show. Both Ali and I are super-excited about it, and we've been really busy getting ready. We'll have all the miniatures in the range available and a couple of new ones... The first will be the new release for this month - that will officially go on sale on Friday, and we'll be taking stock to the show. We will also have a number (not quite sure how many yet) of preview copies of May's release - and that's actually going to be two miniatures that go together in a set. I don't want to spoil the fun by saying anything further about it - except we think it's petty great (but there again I would say that...).

We'll have all the studio painted miniatures on display, including the new releases - in fact Ali is sitting next to me putting the finishing touches to one of them as I type.

Please come and say hello if you're going to be there - we're at booth TG12 towards the back of the hall.

See you there!


Monday 19 April 2010


Sorry for the lack of updates recently - things have been pretty full-on at Studio McVey lately. I thought I would share a recent commission piece (actually I painted it last year, but only just got round to sorting out the pictures). Abaddon is one of those classic GW miniatures which I've never painted before - it was interesting to paint, though it's always a bit of a struggle to cope with all that surface detail and reach a coherent look. I wanted the scheme to be quite muted and am happy with the results - though not the pictures, metallics are always difficult to photograph successfully.

In other news - we are running a little behind with orders at the moment. Isabella has proved to be really popular, and it's been difficult to keep up with demand. Production is going well though, and I certainly don't foresee the sort of delays we had with Kara (who we now have stock for - hurray!). I'm off down to see our resin caster today to pick up more stock, and see where we are with the new miniatures (yes I said miniatures). Once I know exactly where we are I will be announcing our plans for Salute - so check back tomorrow).



Friday 2 April 2010

Irregular magazine

Just a quick bit of shameless self-promotion. The latest issue of Irregular Magazine is available to download, and I contributed an interview to this issue. Despite that it's a great read!

- check it out.


Monday 29 March 2010

Studio McVey Facebook page

Just a quick post to announce we have started a Facebook page. Ali will be administrating it - I have stubbornly managed to resist getting involved with Facebook, so wouldn't know where to start.

Stop by and say hi if you have an account.


Friday 26 March 2010

Isabella concept art

Just a quick post to share the original concept art for Isabella. Ali drew this one and you can see how faithful the sculpt is to the original idea. Great reception to the miniature so far - I think she's going to be one of the most popular in the range if the initial demand is anything to go by!



Wednesday 24 March 2010


New release time!

I have just updated the main website, and added Isabella to the Studio Store. We previewed her to mailing list subscribers yesterday, and we pretty thrilled with how she's been received. Ali drew the concept for this one (we'll be showing it here in the next couple of days), and it was brought to life by Jacques-Alexandre Gillois, it's his 4th sculpt for us and there are more to come later in the year.

We're absolutely delighted with this miniature - it's amazingly true to the original idea and concept. We wanted something between Mrs Coulter (from the His Dark Materials books), and Blade Runner - and that's pretty much exactly what we got. The character in the sculpt is just amazing - I especially love the interplay between Isabella and her little companion. The monkey is just tiny - JAG sculpts figures with very realistic proportions, so even though she is 34mm tall, her head is smaller than most 28mm miniatures. So the monkey's head is just impossibly small...

Great paint job by Ali too. She always beats me to the punch with painting these miniatures, and it's a hard act to follow! I've nearly finished my version of Kara, and Seraphine in underway (I'm doing quite a different take on that particular miniature!). I'll post them here once they're done.

Hope you like Isabella.



Monday 22 March 2010

Pan Base Tutorial - part 3

Here's the finished base with the miniature attached. Pan's a really nice miniature to paint, great mix of detail and smooth skin areas. I wanted the whole effect to be quite natural looking (to suit the subject matter), so I kept the colours quite warm throughout. The only cool colours I used were in the shadow areas.

I kept the sprites nice a bright and clean to make them really pop out from the base and Pan - I wanted to make sure I kept the visual relationship between the three miniatures as clear as possible.

Very enjoyable piece to work on.

In other studio news - we are now up to date with Kara orders. Well at least I have just received enough castings to fill all outstanding orders and even have some in stock - I feel like cracking open a bottle of champagne! Thanks to everyone for being so patient with us - it's been a very trying situation all round, and I really appreciate everyone's patience and support.

We are also going to be releasing a new miniature this week - Ali is just putting the finishing touches to the painted version as I type. As usual we will be previewing it to the mailing list members a day early, but I expect the general release to be either Wednesday or Thursday. It's a cracker too...



Wednesday 17 March 2010

Pan Base Tutorial - part 2

Here's the second part of the basing tutorial for Pan.

Photos 9 and 10 - This shows the basic painting complete. The groundwork has been (quite roughly) drybrushed with lighter shades of brown, and the bark texture on the wood has been highlighted in lighter tones of grey. Once the highlights on the wood were finished I washed over it again with a cool dark brown – but kept the paint thin. I wanted something half way between a wash and a glaze, enough to re-define the recesses, but not dark enough to significantly darken the overall colour. I also added some streaks of green to the wood to represent moss. I used quite a strong olive green but built it up in thin glazes. I kept the effect quite subtle at this stage. I also picked out the exposed inner-wood in a tan colour and washed it over with a warm deep brown.

11-12 – The main addition at this stage was the moss. This is very fine flock glued in place with a thin layer of PVA glue. Once the flock was in place I decided I needed to strengthen up the green glazes on the wood to better match the moss colour.

13-14 – The whole base was looking quite bright and garish, so I wanted to knock everything back and make it more natural. I use a lot of artists pastels on my bases these days – so I purposely keep the painting quite simple. I shave a little powder off the colours I want to use with a sharp blade – mixing them on a piece of clean white plastic card, almost as you would with paint. I apply the powder with an old brush. In this case I dusted it over most of the base (including the moss) to knock the brightness back, then added lighter colour in patches as ‘highlights’. It doesn’t quite come over in the pictures, but the pastels give the whole base a very realistic, matte finish.

15-16 – Once I was happy with the painting and ‘weathering’, I added a layer of leaf litter. I used the Hudson and Allen leaves and crushed them up a little before application. I added another layer of full leaves over the top of that, glazing over some of them to give a little colour variation.

17-20 – This is the finished base. The last thing I did (before removing the masking), was to add some Ivy. This is a mix of rubberised horsehair for the branches and beech seeds for the leaves. I used the seeds that had been dyed green, but I still added a little additional colour when they were in place. I find the best way to apply the ivy is with super glue – I put a little spot of glue where I want the branch to attach – then give it a quick spray of zip-kicker. I apply the leaves by holding them with tweezers, dipping one end in glue (I put a little blob on some greaseproof paper) and sticking them to the branches. The last thing to do was peel away the masking tape and fluid, and touch up any bits that were unpainted.

I’ll post the finished piece with the miniature attached in the next few days.



Thursday 11 March 2010

Pan Base Tutorial

Sorry it took a little while to get this tutorial up, things have been busy in the past few days. Here's the first part - I'll try and get the second part up a little sooner!

1- The first thing I did was to locate the resin scenic element (which comes with the miniature) onto the display plinth. I used Apoxie Sculpt A&B putty for this and just added it quite roughly in the shape I wanted. I built up the shape I wanted with little pieces, not bothering to smooth them in at all at this stage.

2-4 - When the overall shape was roughly how I wanted, I added a small piece of real wood for a broken tree stump. It's actually a little piece of driftwood. I added some more putty round the base of that and then started to shape and texture the whole base. I sculpted a sharper cut-away under the resin piece, so it looked like it was on top of a low bank. Once the overall shape was what I was looking for, I added some texture to the surface. The broken ground texture was achieved by dragging a sharp edge across the surface - the Apoxie sculpt works well for this as it crumbles when wet. More elastic putties like greenstuff don't act like that. I put the sprite in position at this stage, just to make sure there was space for her. I didn't work too hard at hiding the join between the resin parts and the putty - there are plenty more elements going over the top that would hide the joins later.

5 - The next stage was to protect the display plinth while I was painting the base. Once you have acrylic paint on something it's very hard to get off without leaving a mark, so I always mask round the things I am going to paint. I use Humbrol Maskol for this, but any other masking fluid would do just as well. It's applied with an old brush as it's very hard to get off the bristles.

6 - Once the masking fluid is dry (it usually goes clear), I tape over the rest of the base with masking tape. Tamiya masking tape is great for this as it comes off without leaving a mark, it also comes in lots of different widths.

7 - Once the tape was on I undercoated the whole base with in grey and started painting. The ground was given a coat of Scorched Brown - I wanted to give quite a natural look to the base, so I chose a light warm grey for the wood. If you look at the bark of trees (especially gnarled oaks), it's usually far more of a grey colour, rather than brown.

8 - Once the base coats were dry I washed over everything with the same colour - a mix of cool dark brown and matte medium. This was thinned down quite a lot and applied liberally.

That's it for this part - the next article will look at the rest of the painting and detailing on the base.



Wednesday 10 March 2010

Sharro's base

In an earlier post I mentioned we used a base by Daral Jones for Sharro - well he's just started selling bases and resin accessories from his website, really amazing work and I urge you to check it out.

We are currently working with Daral on a Studio McVey project - more news on that later in the year...



Monday 1 March 2010

Sharro concept art

Thought I would share the original concept for Sharro - it's really a beautiful piece of art by Chippy (Brian Dugan) and it lends itself perfectly to being a miniature. Not a great deal else to say about it really!

I've also just finished my painted version of Pan, and will be posting that here in the next few days, along with a tutorial on how I made the base. I just need to size the pictures I took and write a little text to go with them



Thursday 25 February 2010


Sorry things have been quiet for the last few weeks - I have been working on a couple of blog posts (a tutorial for Pan's base being one of them), but just haven't found the time to get them finished. In the mean time here's something far more exciting - a new miniature release!

I've just added Sharro to the Studio Store on the main website - she was sent out as a preview to members of the mailing list yesterday, but now she's on general release. This miniature is a little different from the others in our Limited Edition series - she's 32mm scale rather than 35 for a start. I felt she wanted to be a little finer and more delicate than our other miniatures - to me it just matched the character of the concept.

Taking of the concept - Sharro is based on a beautiful piece of artwork by Chippy, and we'll be showing that here in the next few days. The art has got a great feel to it - it's not clear if the figure shown is a human with cybernetic enhancements, or an android. The slightly stylised feel of Thomas's sculpt captures that really well I think.

Unbelievably good paint job by Ali as well - it doesn't really come across in the picture just how small and fine the miniature is, but when you see the actual model, it's hard to believe how she has got all that fine detail into the painting. I'll show a scaling picture some time soon.

She doesn't come with a scenic base - the one we put her on is by Daral Jones and it's just perfect for her. Daral will be selling a range of scenic resin bases from his website - and I'll post a link here as soon as he's ready to launch. The detail on his work has to be seen to be believed - stunning.



Wednesday 3 February 2010

Pan concept art

Just a really quick post to share the original concept art for Pan. As I said in a previous post, this is by Stephen Tappin, and we have more from him on the way soon.

We plan to have the first of the Pan tutorials up on the blog early next week - better get moving on it!



Thursday 28 January 2010

Tiny Sprites!

I just took a quick picture of Pan with a penny next to it - I wanted to show just how tiny the Wood Sprites are and what an amazing job Jacques-Alexandre did with the sculpting. They even have facial expressions - the one looking up at his hand on the knife really looks shocked and scared!

Ali and I are talking about what sort of painting articles to do for this one - if you have any preferences, feel free to say so in the comments.