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The Le: Did you do a lot of sculpts at Wizkids?
Ben: Yes, a bit. The following is a list of what I worked on:
DC Crisis: Blue Beetle, Green Arrow and Black Adam.
Marvel Secret Invasion: Spider-Man, Ironman, Nick Fury, Dum Dum Dugan and Jarvis. DC Arkham Asylum: Solomon Grundy, Hitman, Wonder Woman, Per Degaton, Captain Gordon, Thinker, Zoom, Calculator, Yellow Lantern, Circe, Bizarro #1, Black Manta, The Top, Despero, The Flash and Chang Tzu.
I also did a lot of work for Hammer of Thor and I sculpted a custom Next Wave Machine Man for the Emerald City Comicon after Wizkids had shutdown. (note: the custom Machine Man sculpt can be seen on page 2 of this interview!)
The Le: Any particular favorites?
Ben: Black Adam, Captain Gordon and Black Manta are my favorites. Gordon is a fun character and I’ve always liked villains more than heroes.
The Le: Exactly how does the start-to-finish "sculptor" process work for a HeroClix figure?
Ben: I would get a design brief with character images and a breakdown of specifics regarding pose and any special treatments like smoke trails or clear effects. From there I pose out a armature and start applying putty. Once I feel it’s complete I would submit it for review and after a few rounds of approvals it is sent to China for production.
The Le: During the sculpting process, do you do any of the coloring or extras (cape / gun / etc)?
Ben: We had a staff painter named Chris Hart who did most of the paint masters, he did let me do all of the paint masters for my figures which was fun. The paint master process didn’t start until we received a set of tooling masters back from China.
The Le: Did you work on any of the other WK lines, like Mechwarrior, HorrorClix, MageKnight, etc?
Ben: I did not, my coworker Brian Dugas did some work on just about every figure based product that Wizkids made, but by the time I showed up they had the in house studio working primarily on heroclix. I would’ve liked to work on Horrorclix but that just wasn’t meant to be.
The Le: How did you get into sculpting? Did you have to go to school for it?
Ben: Me and Brian both went to the Seattle Art Institute for Industrial Design. Prior to school I spent a lot of time making mods. I also spent a few years doing print production for Games Workshop in Nottingham England. During my time at GW I managed to get a few tips and tutorials from the sculpting studio.
The Le: If you get a chance to work on superhero sculpts in the future, what figures would be on your wishlist?
Ben: I’d like to sculpt all of the Lantern Corp’s, but the Venture Brothers currently occupy the top of my list. Heroclix needs Brock Sampson :)
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