Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Joe - The Miniature

Last week I received the most incredible (little) gift. It’s me, in 28mm, which actually means the figure is closer to 26mm!

This incredible piece was a gift from my long-time friend, colleague, and collaborator, Phil Smith to mark my departure from Osprey Publishing. Phil and I go back some 14 years. He joined about 6 months after I did, and we were immediately put together to work on reprints – him for editorial, me for production. I soon left production for marketing, but we continued to work together, especially as we both worked to grow wargaming within the company. Later, when I created the Osprey Adventures line, Phil helped me at every step as I essentially took on the work of an editor. We even wrote two Osprey Adventures books together: Steam Punk Soldiers and Steampunk Soldiers: The American Frontier. After that, I would officially rejoin Phil when I became the Marketing Manager for Osprey Games, working under Phil. I left the Osprey office over three years ago, but Phil and I have remained in constant communication, helping one another with whatever we were working on – and constantly emailing back and forth about miniatures! He was the first friend I made in Oxford and has been a source of constant support in the second (or British) half of my life.

Despite that, sneaky Phil managed to get this figure made without me having the first clue. The figure is sculpted by Bobby Jackson, who has done all of the Rangers of Shadow Deep figures and most of the recent Frostgrave ones. And, at Phil’s direction, he included some wonderful little details. Most noticeably, the big d20 in my hand. (Hey, I have written games that use d10s!). I’m wearing the One Ring around my neck. I’ve got a book by my side that has ‘Rules’ written in runes on the cover. And my bag is held shut by one of the Leaves of Lorien!

I fear he also captured the true state of my hair and the general bagginess of my trousers!

From Bobby, the files were sent to Nick Eyre over at North Star who handled turning it into a figure and having the mold made. The first casts were then sent to Kev Dallimore, who painted the figure that was sent to me (as well as taking the photos seen here). I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – if you haven’t seen a Kev figure live, then it’s hard to fully appreciate his artistry. But, if you are looking for a ‘wow’, check out the close-up on the die! Yup, he put the numbers on the die. When looking at the actual figure, I can’t even make out specific numbers – with my reading glasses on! That’s how small they are!

So – thanks to Bobby, Kev, and Nick. And especially thanks to Phil Smith. This is such an incredible little gift that I will treasure always. I feel like I need to buy a display case just for it. 

No, I don’t know when, or even if, this figure will ever be available. I mean, I’m not sure how much appeal it has beyond myself.

What a treasure.


20 comments:

  1. That is a seriously nice gesture, and a terrific mini as well. The usual brilliance from Kev Dallimore too.

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  2. I'm sure Phil and the team are going to miss you, but the figure tells you they have enjoyed the time. Best of luck, Joe, and the mini looks incredible. Kev's style is unmistakeable and you didn't even have to tell me who painted it when I saw the image.

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  3. That's wonderful, and if it's any indication, I'd order one!

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  4. I'll second Cesar 2's comment; that is forking awesome. Are you going to add a school of "Fortune" Magic to Frostgrave going forward, so North Star can sell is excellent mini?

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    1. Actually, there already is. Fatecasters in Maze of Malcor.

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    2. Coolio! Thank for the pointer.

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  5. Wow, that is a truly moving gesture. I am impressed.

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  6. Wonderful gesture, so many people working to make it for you too. It would certainly sell. It could even be a special charity model, with some of the profits going to a charity of your choice. I don't know the rules around IP etc - who would own the rights: Phil, Bobby, Nick, you?

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  7. Excellent, I clocked all the little details before even reading your appraisal (the one ring, rulebook and lothlorian leaf). You are now officially immortalised.

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  8. I'll buy that if it becomes available!

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  9. That's mega.

    And now I can keep an eye out for you when I go into Oxford. If it's ever allowed again !

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  10. What a lovely parting gift! Well deserved I'm sure.

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  11. What an awesome present! Amazing idea, sculpting and painting.
    If it will be available, put me on the list too.

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  12. We did the same thing to our Blood Bowl league commissioner.
    He was soo happy about it.

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  13. Fantastic figure and a glorious gift!

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  14. This demonstrates how impactful you were during your tenure.

    If it does become available for purchase, I wonder if it can become a charity thing? All profits go to...? You, Joe, may even be able to auction off 5 that you painted personally. Just some thoughts.

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  15. A fitting send off! And is that a fantasy D-Guard Bowie knife at "your" belt, paying tribute to the Confederate ancestor your often write about?

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