I mentioned before that some changes were coming to my business and it has come up a few times already so here are the bullet points:
- Over the coming year or so, I will be moving away from resin production and into onshore vinyl production, short run injection molding, IP/product development and R&D.
- Resin volume production will be very rare and limited to existing customers in good standing and new customers interested in partnerships where we share the cost AND the end profit. I will happily refer people looking for toll manufacturing services to other production outlets.
- Mold and cast troubleshooting for commercial ventures is no longer free. I’ve been giving it away for 5 years so if I haven’t answered your question by now, you missed the boat. All inquiries of this type will be quoted a consultation rate of $20 per hour remote or $300 per day onsite (+ travel for clients outside of my drive-able area). This is an unfortunate casualty of increasing demands on my time and a handful of people taking advantage of my kindness.
- Prototyping services will remain largely unchanged.
- Wax sales will remain largely unchanged except that the minimum order quantity will increase from 0.5 pounds to 2 pounds. Price per pound will remain $12 + shipping for all formulas.
Wax has been used as a sculptural medium since antiquity and still has a place in the modern sculptor’s toolbox. The impulse to create a new line of waxes for this purpose came partially from my own sculptural ambitions but primarily from the inspiration that I have found in the work of talented artists.
I felt that the current options available were either unreliable in availability, inconsistent in manufacture, or not taking advantage of new materials and processes. (Sometimes many of those things!) I have spent hundreds of hours (and more money than I care to think about) researching wax use from Pliny to Benvenuto Cellini through commercial products of the turn of the century to present day recipes passed around on sculpting message boards or scribbled paper notes between friends and colleagues.
Now I have begun putting that accumulated research into action.
The first batches are rolling off the line and I have made sample packs available in the shop here.
I am launching with three formulas:
- The soft formula (“LB”) has the softest hand and works most like clay when warm. Great for building up forms with or without an armature.
- The medium formula (“DA”) has some modeling when warm and holds greater detail than LB. Perfect for general work where non-brittle carveability is important.
- The hard formula (“TN”) is cast and carve only. Captures and maintains fine details and excellent finish.
First batches of RedFlight LB wax!
More information on the wide release of each formula (and new formulas) will be posted here, on Twitter @improbablecast, Instagram @improbablecast and Facebook here.
From our friends at Skinwalker Studio (crossposted from this entry):
Skinwalker, working with Hugues Barbier, Co-founder/Artistic Director of the IIFFF, provided both the poster image painting and the film fest award itself!
Steve Ellis painted a moody piece that ties together some imagery from some of the fest’s films, while Steve and Jason co-designed the award, tossing both 2-d and 3-d sketches back and forth in their unique design process, resulting in the final piece. For molding and casting, Skinwalker Studios went to the one and only improbablecast.com to work with the molding maestro, Ahren Gauthier. Ahren was a dream to work with, and despite Hurricane Sandy hitting the East Coast hard, we were extremely lucky. We only had to deal with 5 days without electricity, and delivered on time!
The Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival is a growing festival in upstate New York. It is built around an international competition for feature and short films produced in the previous year, and greatly enhanced by special thematic screenings and a retrospective highlighting significant aspects in the history of genre film.
The first edition of the festival will take place this week, from the 16th to the 18th of November, 2012 at the Cinemapolis theater and Cornell Cinema in Ithaca, NY. You can find out more about them here: http://ithacafilmfestival.com/
We are proud to be part of such a cool fest.
We are now offering pewter casting services, primarily accessories and very short runs.
Email ahren [at] improbablecast [dot] com or use the contact form at http://improbablecast.com/contact/ for more info!
I have done some number crunching, some market research and some consulting. The result is…drumroll please…the regular price of the Mid-Nor Scourgebearer statue will remain $99 plus shipping!
My goal in reissuing this statue was to make it as widely available as possible and I think that this price point facilitates that goal. My margins will be tighter but I feel it is worth it.
It is available here: http://shop.improbablecast.com/ so go get one!
More New York Comic Con goodness at Tenacious Toys booth #3121!
In addition to the new paint additive, I will also have sample sized packages of sculpting waxes in three hardness grades (Soft, Medium and Firm). I will be demonstrating and answering questions when I am at the booth. If I’m not around, check my Twitter – www.twitter.com/improbablecast for my current whereabouts!
It’s on like DONKEY KONG!
Notes from the R&D Department:
New acrylic additive will premiere at New York Comic Con, Tenacious Toys booth #3121.
This 100% acrylic emulsion is formulated specifically for superior adhesion to vinyl. It is intended to provide a non-toxic (ASTM D 4236) alternative to solvent based paints that can be brush or spray applied. The formula is compatible with ANY acrylic paint.
For superior results, surfaces can be prepared with a surface preparation such as Montana Spray Paint Plastic Primer or Dupli-Color Adhesion Promoter.
Remember Confrontation? Rackham Miniatures? Just love awesome fantasy stuff?I’m bringing it back baby. The first of a series of FULLY LICENSED re-issues of LONG out of production statues (120 mm+) originally released by Rackham in France in 2004.The first up is the Dwarves of Mid-Nor Scourgebearer. This was the holy grail of my collection for many years until I finally tracked one down and what inspired me to acquire the license to produce them again.I will be taking pre-orders for the first run at a deeply discounted $99 + shipping until October 15, 2012. After October 15, 2012 the regular retail price of $135 + shipping will be effective. This unpainted solid resin kit will be supplied in 5 pieces: body, halberd arm, lantern, puppet and chain (styles may vary).
I will also be producing an EXTREMELY LIMITED edition (5 total) of cold cast bronze that will be available for $600 + shipping on a first come, first served basis. Each of these castings will be numbered with a certificate of authenticity.*UPDATE* Pre-orders are now live at the ImprobableCast shop!
Client: Rumbirds webcomic
A typical transition from clay to wax
Here’s a quick update before I head out to Horrorfind Weekend tomorrow. I did the waste mold for the Rumbirds Bird of Paradise last night. Bright and early this morning I did a resin casting. I do this primarily as a safety measure. The clay original is very fragile because I did it as a sketch and used a much softer clay than I would have otherwise used. It turned out well so it became the original. The resin copy gets put aside in case I need to do another mold or something unforseen happens.
I used Willow Wax Grey Zen for the wax master. Note that part of the eye didn’t fill. This master isn’t pressure cast so tiny voids like that aren’t unexpected and they are very easy to fix at this stage.
Materials: Willow Wax Grey Zen, Smooth-On Oomoo 30, Smooth-Cast 300
This is a quick clay sketch of the Bird of Paradise from the Rumbirds webcomic. His first appearance is here, however I believe his apotheosis is here. There are at least 2 more planned for this series (Pippa and Vivie). Next up is waste molding and a wax master!