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Ben Misenar Interview
The Le (09/07/2009)
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Ben Misenar InterviewThe Le: Did you do a lot of sculpts at Wizkids?

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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Your Comments:
Before I never knew about Ben Misenar and Brian Dugas, but now I found out that they sculpted some of my favorite figures. Thanks for listing their site!

Posted by: Dreadnaught on 4/30/2010 9:36:30 PM
I don't know if anybody went to these guys web site freelancesculptor but I hope upon all hopes we get that scarlet spidy eventualy it looks super awesome. I don't know what you guys are talking about thre orignal sculpts look great it's production that ruins the detail most of the time.

Posted by: kempter2000 on 2/6/2010 11:15:24 PM
Man do I wish I had the Black cat sculpt Ben did before officially joining wizkids. Awesome. Honestly I liked all the pieces he did except the spiderman from SI. Which only bugged me because it was off scale and kinda cartoonish in terms of proportion.

Posted by: thetigerking83 on 9/10/2009 3:33:02 PM
I sure hope we one day get that Machine Man... and that Wolverine could have easily been one of the top 3 sculpts for Wolvie ever!

Posted by: saturnflight on 9/10/2009 10:13:25 AM
I heart Ben Misenar. Very nice guy. I managed to get him to autograph an extra Crisis Blue Beetle and a Green Arrow that I mailed to him. That Green Arrow is standard on most of my JLA teams.

Posted by: spike1138 on 9/8/2009 7:28:56 PM
Very nice interview. Ben's sculpts are totally awesome and I would hope that he could continue sculpting heroclix in the future. That Wolverine sculpt is sweet, is it possible we could be seeing that sculpt in a heroclix set soon?

Posted by: rwint1968 on 9/8/2009 1:01:36 PM
Good interview.
Nice "Behind the Scenes" reality check, too.

Having rounds to the approval process just on his prototype sculpt... Then, they can't do a paint master until they have the tooling samples back from China.... Along with the designer interviews, gives you a better appreciation of all the time and effort that has to go into just getting product out.

Love the detail of some of the unpainted sculpt pics!

Posted by: glen_smith on 9/7/2009 4:56:07 PM