Tutorial: How to prepare soft plastic miniatures

by David

Hi all,

David here. In this little tutorial I will give you a glimpse into my approach of preparing soft plastic figures for painting.

I bet that most people who have tried this before will agree that this can be super frustrating. When I was just starting out painting 1/72 figs, I read a lot of "tips" online on how to deal with this and/or short-cut the clean-up, including putting the mini in the freezer, which would harden the plastic such that the normal techniques would work. To be honest: at least for me, none of these "secret tips" really worked. Ultimately, the only thing for me that really worked is the following approach. Much of this comes from practice and the good old "trial and error" approach. But: to give kudos where they're due, I learned very much from my friend and constant source of inspiration, Udo Spreng, who I consider the best 1/72 painter I know. In fact, he is the reason that I paint 1/72 minis almost exclusively, these days. If you want to check out his work or say "Hi" to him, visit him on his Facebook site.

A note on scale

I will be using 1/72 minis as examples (of course). Not only is this "my scale", but much that's on the market in that scale is made of soft plastic. However, what I write down here should be true and useful for soft plastic minis of all scales (e.g. board game minis), even though I guess that some imperfections such as imperfect castings or mold lines are likely to be less problematic and the steps to take care of them are likely to be easier in larger scales.

What you need


  1. a soft plastic figure to prepare (maybe a couple of figures, in case something goes wrong...)
  2. magnifying glasses (not necessary, but recommended)
  3. a clipper
  4. a scalpell with a new (!) blade
  5. scissors
  6. a new (!) shaving blade
  7. glue primer (not necessary, but recommended)
  8. paint primer

A warning

This tutorial includes handling knives, blades and scalpels, which can be dangerous. As with all things involving sharp things, be careful and do not cut yourself! Using them and this guide safely is your responsibility.


Before I start, I want to introduce four bits of nomenclature to make sure we're on the same page when I am talking about the issues that will arise when preparing soft plastic minis for painting.

Incomplete casting: by this I mean that some parts of the mini are not casted as they should be because during the casting, the plastic material did not fill the whole mold. You see this issue mainly with thin pieces protruding from the main body of the mini, such as guns, bayonets, swords, spears etc:

A Confederate infantryman (Italeri), the hat has been cast incompletely

Undercuts: those can be real trouble. What I mean by "undercut" is the presence of plastic material where actually there should be a hole. This occurs because the molds cannot be constructed with the hole at the right place without making it impossible to remove the figure from the mold. See the example in the following picture:

A modern US infantryman (Revell), the space between the arm and the rifle should be empty, cleaning this up would require major work including some resculpting.

Mold lines: all of us know them, they occur on every material: they are the usually fine lines that arise during casting where the two parts of the casting mold meet. They can be really nasty for many 1/72 soft-plastic figures. First, because the figures are so small, which makes the mold lines rather large in relation to the size of the mini. Second, because of the soft plastic material, which does not allow you to use the same tools and techniques you would use with resin, metal or hard plastic. Third: they are often found in extremely unfortunate places - see the example below.

An Australian WWII soldier (Airfix). Here you see the mold line running along the whole side of the figure; and smack through the face (in addition, the cast is a bit distorted). This will be almost impossible to clean up.

Flash: flash is basically an extended mold line, where some casting material was squeezed through a thin slit between the molds, such that a thin sheet of plastic forms, usually between such as arms and body (see the following pic). Flash is not a big proble and it is easily removed - however, since flash, the main problem then is likely to be to remove the mold line. Again, an example:

A Ratman from Caesar's fantasy line.
A lot of flash along the arm and club, as well as at the knee.

Step 0: Select your miniature

Besides the obvious considerations that go into selecting a particular mini based on taste and what you want to portray, I strongly suggest you put some considerations into minimizing the hassle. Check for three things when picking a mini (corresponding to the imperfections defined above):

  • pick a mini that is complete (does not suffeer from "incomplete casting")
  • unless you want to spend a lot of time and effort to remove superfluous material and re-sculpt from scratch, pick a mini without undercuts.
  • pick a mini with the smallest amount of mold lines, and check whether existing mold lines run along parts that make them (almost) impossible to remove without destroying important parts of the mini.

In addition, when you play around with different soft plastic figures, you will notice that different companies use different materials, with some using softer and others slightly harder materials. My suggestion is to check out different makers to see which ones you like best and which you find easier to prepare. I like the rather hard material that Italeri uses for their more recent sets very much, but also find the ultra-soft material ESCI used for their sets relatively easy to work with (ESCI sadly is no more and their stuff long oop, but you can still get your hands on some sets via the Web - or maybe you still have them stashed somewhere in that little toy-soldier box from your childhood days).

This is the mini I will be using as a running example for the tutorial. The mini I will be using is a French Knight from the 100 Years War from the extremely nice Zvezda set. I will actually not paint him as a French knight, but rather as Brun Waldendorp, the mayor of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck during the Siege of Helsingborg, 1369. Anyway, here's the mini I will be using:

Different than most other knights in the box, this mini only came once in the whole set, so I could not pic the best casting. But, that was really not necessary, as this one is already very nice out of the box, it is complete and has only few mold lines, and no flash to speak of. Moreover, the mini has only a very small piece of an undercut, which will greatly speed up the preparation process.

Frontside: almost no moldlines to see here; face is nice and clearly cast...

... but, o boy, look at that face and chin-neck-shoulder transition. This is a nasty, but little, undercut. Also the moldline along the sides of the mini, where the two parts of the mold connect, is nicely visible, here.

Finally, as is typical for Zvezda minis, the figure is cast from a relatively hard and forgivable plastic, which will make some of the steps easier. Besides the fact that I really like the pose and want to use the mini for a vignette, I picked a mini for this tutorial that is relatively easy to clean up on purpose, to hammer home the idea to take care in picking a complete mini without undercuts and manageable mold lines. I promise to prepare an example of a not-so-nice mini and show you how I deal with incompleteness and undercuts in a future article.

Step 1: Cut off the base (optional)

Depending on what you want to do with the mini, you might want to cut off the base. I usually do that, but depending on where you will put the mini (or if do not want the hassle of pinning the mini later), you might skip that. To cut off the base, carefully use your clippers to cut off the base to the left and right of the feet. Then, use your scalpel carefully to cut off the superfluous material in thin strips. Do that patiently and in multiple steps, getting closer to the feet with every cut.

Snip-snip, off with that base - first using the clippers for the larger chunks...

... then the scalpel in small steps to cut down to the soles of his feet. For good measure, I also cut off that wimpy plastic standard.

Step 2: Deal with undercuts

Ideally, you avoid this step by making a wise selection in Step 0. But if you can't, you need to deal with existing undercuts. Depending on the size of the "problem", this will be a lot of effort, which will include a serious amount of cutting away material and, most likely, some re-sculpting of stuff covered by the superfluous pieces of plastic. Our mini does have that "tiny" undercut problem on the mini's right face, chin and neck portion, which is what I tackled next.

Started to chop away the superfluous plastic under the chin, removing the block of with a brand-new, sharp scalpel blade ...

... I continue to cut away, very carefully, cut by thin cut, the plastic under his chin...

... almost done; just a little bit of cleaning up to do.

A little trick for the finish: Once you have cut away all the superflous plastic, the area you've been working on is likely to be rough. What I like to do, then, is prime the area with soft plastic primer (see below) and then use a toothpick to cover the rough spots with a little bit of super-glue. I do that a couple of times, each time letting the previous layer dry, until the area is as nice and smooth as possible without covering detail.

After the super-glue treatment.

Step 3: Remove flash and mold lines

If your figure has flash, just carefully cut it away with a sharp scalpel down to the mold line. This should be a quick task and you should be able to focus on the remaining mold lines in a few minutes. This mini didn't have flash, so we can jump right to the next step.

If you don't have undercuts, removing mold lines will be by far the most time-consuming task in preparing a soft plastic mini. It is not uncommon for me to spend 2 hours (or more) cleaning up and preparing a single soft plastic 1/72 figure before I am happy with it. The main problem with mold lines in soft plastic is that you can't use the same techniques you are used to when preparing hard plastic, metal or resin figures. For those materials what you would do is carefully scraping the material by putting the knife-blade perpendicular to the surface. Or you would use a file/sandpaper to carefully file away the mold line (for more info on these techniques, check Roman's excellent tutorial on preparing plastic figures).

The problem: If you used that same, trusted techniques on a soft plastic figure, you would not remove the mold line. Instead the knife blade will "jump" over the surface and not really cut into the material. At best, the knife or file would create ripples in the plastic, leaving tiny flakes or strands of soft plastic standing out:

An alternative way to deal with mold lines or other small imperfections in hard plastic (polystyrene) figures is to use polystyrene cement, which dissolves the plastic. However, because none of the normal glues we tend to have around (cyano/super glue, PVA glue, plastic cement) dissolves the soft plastic, this also is not a solution. In fact, if you attempt to glue a soft plastic figure, you're often pretty much screwed as the normal glues tend not to bond well with the surface (I might deal with that in that future instalment on removing undercuts/resculpting if there is interest).

Instead, I found that the only effective way to treat mold lines in soft plastic is to cut them away, very carefully, by holding the blade horizontally to the surface and to slice the blade along the surface of the mini:

On the blade, there was a thin mold line (I picked ths one as the technique can be shown best at the blade, but I used the same technique elsewhere at the mini)...
... you can see the tiny flake of plastic a little to the left of the razor blade. Also note that I cut the original razor blade in half and chopped off bits at the sides for better handling.

Here again, it shows how important it is to select the "right" mini in Step 0. Because you have to cut along the surface, a moldline that runs along finely detailed parts of the mini such as the face, will likely end in you cutting off or mutilating important parts. Consider the next pic. The moldline runs right through the middle of the mini's face and in the attempt to remove it chances are that you're going to cut of parts of the nose or the lips. It's not that it will be completely impossible to avoid this kind of mutilation, but it will be a pain.

Look at this mess... No, not the colors (I "painted" this 1/76 Matchbox Japanese soldier when I was a kid, using permanent markers). Behold that monstrous mold line.

But even when mold lines are not along these super-painful areas, removing them takes a lot of concentration and a steady hand. The two most important pieces of advice I can give you here are (1) to use fresh blades and (2) to make use of different types of blades.

As for the former, you always should use new blades when you start on a new soft plastic mini project. In fact, and depending on how extensively you need to work on the mini, you might want to use more than one new blade on the mini - they need to be super-sharp. If you have the feeling that the blade gets dull, when it doesn't slide through the plastic like a hot knife through butter, change it for a new blade.

[Here, I would love to show you a pic of a dull blade,
but, alas, you can't really see the dullness,
you feel it though, when the blade "jumps" or
does not slide through the plastic without effort.]

As for different types of blades: make use of the variety of scalpel blades available. I personally use No 15 blades for surgical scalpel handles (you can get both, blades and the handle, at Ebay, for instance) for most tasks; they are rather small and have both a rounded part which helps with cutting in curved areas, and a straight part that can be used for cutting moldlines along longer and straighter pieces.

I also found it extremely helpful to use these old-school cheap single-use razor blades. Not only are they cheap alternatives to (straight-blade) scalpels; you can also use scissors to cut them to desired shapes and once you notice them getting dull, just cut off a part of the blade and you have a new, pristine and sharp blade.

The razor blades I use for removing mold lines along straight parts of the mini (like the sword blade, above). The nice thing is, you can break them in half (CAREFUL!!!) and cut away parts of the blades with a sturdy scissors or with the cutter.

In addition to that, there is very little extra advice I can give here, but to be very careful and pay a lot of attention. Make small cuts, wear magnifying glasses if you have them, and be patient. If you feel you're losing concentration, rest your eyes, fingers and brain in between; or take a longer rest and continue the next day. Doing this well requires a lot of time and patience (of course, depending on how well you chosen your mini in Step 0). Also, of course, practice helps a lot - so, before you dive into cutting up that super-nice and well-selected mini, practice with a couple of spare figures.

Step 4: Wash the mini

After all that handling, the mini surely is covered with a lot of grease from your fingers in addition to any residues from production. Since color tends not to stick well on the soft plastic anyway, I suggest you wash the mini in warm soapy water and to rinse it afterwards with warm clear water. I carefully dry the mini after rinsing with soft tissue paper, and let it dry completely before I prime the mini.

The mayor of Lübeck, taking a warm, soapy bath. During the bath, I gave him a nice, careful rub with the toothbrush.

Step 5: Prime the mini

This is actually two steps. The first is optional, but I like to do it: I bought some special primer for soft plastic materials, which I like to brush on the mini in one to three very thin layers. There are super-expensive ones on the market, but you will find cheaper alternatives on the web as well; I paid about 3 Euros. This stuff is actually meant to increase the surface adhesion of the soft plastic to be able to glue the material, but the primer will also increase the adhesion of the paint primer in the next step by slightly roughening up the surface. I also found that the primer removes some super small micro-imperfections that remained after mold line removal.

Using the primer for soft-plastic on the mini (be careful, this is nasty stuff... smells like the poison it is)

After this, the mini is ready for the actual color-priming. For that, I always use the normal rattle-can spray primers. I have not tried airbrush primers yet, but I guess they will work just as well. In priming, I use the normal 2k priming method explained by Roman in this classic and extremely useful tutorial. Here are pictures of the primed mini, ready for painting:


... back ...

And the angle to see the work one on the face. The detail that is missing due to the undercut will have to be dealt with by some little freehand-magic during the painting. But that's another story.

Some last words...

Well, gals and guys, that's it for now. Ah, almost. There is one final bit of advice. I spoke a lot about how much of a pain it can be to prepare a soft plastic figure and how much you need to concentrate to do it well. After doing this for some time now, however, I have really grown to like it and it gives me a strange bit of calm and satisfaction to slowly work my way through soft plastic mold lines. Maybe this little article will help you to find joy in it as well. In any way, if you need to work with soft plastic, do not let yourself discouraged if you make mistakes and if it takes very long. Pick your mini well, use new blades and be patient. It's worth it.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have questions, or if you tried the approach and how it worked out for you. Next to sharing, commenting is also caring ;-)

So long! Talk to you soon.


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Interview: Daniele interviews Alfonso Giraldes

by Daniele "Found" Trovato

Interviews of the Sculptors Legend #6

Daniele Found interviews

Alfonso Giraldes (Banshee)

Our sites:

Miniature Art Academy (Alfonso Giraldes)
Found Miniatures (Daniele Trovato)

The Interview (Spanish)

De nuevo, perdón por mi pobre español. Tal vez nunca dejaré de estudiarlo :-)
Again, sorry for my Spanish. I'm studying and studying.



Simple transcription of the interview from Spanish

This transcription doesn't contain ALL ! only most important questions.


 I believe that these initiatives like yours are important to do, especially in the world of miniatures

I agree
We need to make our art known to people who don't know anything about miniatures

Yes, and also the people who already paint miniatures but don't know well the people who work in the miniatures' business.
An example I explain to my students who paint pieces by Allan Carrasco, but they don't know who Allan is :-)
It's important to put names and faces to the people :-)

Agree more! People are the most important thing for me. 
Every time I go to an exhibition, I love to see miniatures, but the best thing is to talk to people who have the same passion as you.
I remember when you won the Grand Master prize in Monte San Savino, it was a great emotion for me. Really.

You see, especially this art, it's. a very personal form of art. It depends on the person, but for me, I have dedicated myself to this all my life. For me, the award was an important recognition for an artistic career. I consider Monte San Savino as my home. I love it.

When I started in the miniatures, I heard about this "Banshee" guy. 
But I didn't know you and I hadn't seen any of your works. 
I heard about you.
I was curious. 
Later with Massive Voodoo, I met Roman Lappat, and a good friendship was created and afterward, I went to the Big Child headquarters in 2013 or 2014, from then on I saw your creations, both painting, and sculpture.
How did you get started in the miniatures' world?

It was a random thing. I worked in Games Workshop while studying advertising graphics, and there I met Jose Palomares, who at the time was the painter of the shop.
One day Jose, who was also working with Andrea Miniature, I think it was 2003, we had already done the Golden Daemon, and we had already participated.
We traveled to go to these competitions.
And in a contest organized by Andrea Miniatures and important people like Raul Latorre, Bill Hogan were coming, I presented my classic war-game miniatures and this was seen by Julio Cabos who was the main lead painter in Andrea Miniatures, who now works with Scale75 . And I started practicing there.

If I'm not mistaken, Joaquin Palacios was also at Andrea.

Yes, Joaquin started if I'm not mistaken a year before me to Andrea Miniatures.
And after that, I started doing work in the summer, bad jobs :-)
But to learn it was excellent, I learned everything there.
It's one thing about how you paint, how you like it, and it's another thing to paint for a company. It is very different.
You have different deadlines, compromises, and ways of doing things.
At that time there were many good people.
Many started with Andrea and then made the history of the miniatures
It was an incredible school for me. Precious years.

How many years did you work on Andrea?

2-3 years I think, working there but not with a contract, from outside.
I lived nearby and spent my summer in there.
But I painted many pieces.

Anyway, Andrea, on the first experience that paid me to do a professional job.
Were you already sculpting at that time?

No, I started doing something. At the time, the Golden Daemon was the most important competition. Our obsession was to win a sword.
I am a person I have always had imagination and so I created a piece from scratch.

But I know that GW has its own rules.

Yes, but now. Before there were no rules, you could create what you wanted.
I won two swords, one in France and one in Spain, with figures totally sculpted from scratch.
Then a sort of generation of painters was created, Jose Palomares, Allan Carrasco, Jeremie Bonamant, Thomas David, Jacques Alexandre Gillois, Fabrizio Russo, Francesco Farabi, Matteo Murelli etc ... etc ...
The Italians didn't travel much compared to us Spanish guys.
We had created a group and this helped us. We traveled all over Europe.
I always did personal creations, or conversion or creation from scratch.
I practiced Andrea and having the chance to have Joaquin Palacios close was very valuable.

Sculpting by Romain Van Den Bogaert

Which was the sculptor who gave you more experience?

2 roughly. Joaquin Palacios, on a technical level. It's the guy who technically taught me a lot, not a lot for my style but above all on a technical level.
He came from the ancient school of sculpture, which was done with the Milliput.
It was a step-by-step process. Very structured, he taught me.

Polymer clays didn't yet exist.

No, indeed.  Joaquin started using them around 2004-2005 and worked on an ancient web page which was called "The Sculptor Corner" a page with many fantastic things for sculptors. (closed right now)
Joaquin made large figures and used the original pink classic sculpt.
Second name: Raul Latorre.
Raul is number one. I believe Raul is the most influential and important person in the world of miniatures.

He started before Joaquin, didn't he ??

Yes yes, he started before everyone else.
When I was at Andrea, I saw the pieces of Raul that he modeled in 1999 or 2000, but they were incredible. Raul was 10 years ahead of everyone. Raul is number one.
I don't tell you in order of priority, there isn't one more important than another, but Raul marked the story in the miniatures.
From Joaquin, I learned the structure, from Raul I learned philosophy, because I had a closer relationship with Raul.
I went to his house and asked for advice from him often. From Raul I learned to go from milliput to Super Sculpey.
Raul is pure talent.
It's a natural talent.

Each sculptor has given you something different.
What was the first commission as a pure sculpture?

Yes, it was José Miguel Caballero Delso who owned Knight Models.
He, I believe in 2006-2007, when I won the sword to the Golden Deamon, he called me to work in a small business. And there he sculpted my first commercial miniature.
It was very very ugly :-) And then another that sold a lot, with a futuristic tone in 75mm.
That piece, which was the second, was excellent, and he helps me a lot on a technical and competitive level.

Do you like to sculpt or paint more?

To paint :-)
Do you know what? I am not a good sculptor. The sculpture is much much more difficult than painting and requires a lot of study and dedication.

I started painting and after a few years I started to sculpt and after that, I only did that.
I don't know how you can sculpt and paint at the same time.
To make a comparison, for me painting is like coloring someone else's drawing. To sculpt is instead to create the drawing.

Totally agree.

But in digital it is not the same. :-) :-)
Sculpting is difficult from a medium to a high level. At a low level, it isn't very difficult.
You can do something simple, but move to another level, the weight, the pose, and all the elements, and there is a big jump.
Sculptors like Lucas, Andrea Jula, or Raul, you only have to dedicate yourself  to sculpting to reach that level, you can't do anything else.
I have a lot of ease in creating personality for the character.

It comes naturally to you

Yes, right.
For example, if you see the anonymous bust, it is very expressive.
It is more expressive than some busts on the market.
But on an anatomical level, it has some problems in the neck, etc., etc. ... but it's very expressive. It works good.

But they are two different things, between technique and creating character expressiveness.

Without any doubt.
I feel like a very expressive sculptor, but very limited on a technical level.
When I sculpt something I only dedicate myself to that. I need more time.
But I dedicate myself to teaching and painting, for me painting is a personal thing. I have no barriers. I can express myself naturally.

Painting also requires technique.

Yes sure. But it is freer and a less complex language than sculpting.
It's like languages, an Anglo-Saxon language is simpler but a Latin language has more words and is more difficult. In English, you can create words. Even in music, English is more advanced and easier. Easier to listen it.

I would like to create a link between sculpture and painting.
You often talk about Fucksmoothness. It is something that fascinates me a lot and in my opinion, many people misunderstood what you mean.
For example the painting technique is one thing, and expressiveness is another thing.
People see fucksmoothness and think "I too can do as Alfonso does" but they don't have the experience you have!
Like Picasso, you see an abstract work and think "I can do it too" but you don't know that Picasso has spent 30 years drawing the perfect human figure.

Perfectly. You explained it perfectly.
It is a complicated topic.

I would love to create a sort of connection between this concept and sculpture.
Do you think this can be done?

Certainly  and Totally. There are many sculptors who do it. There are many sculptures with incredible expressiveness that have nothing technical or perfectly smooth and clean. But they are 100% expressive.

If you think of the French sculptor Cyril Roquelaine.

Yes, right.

I love it. I love it.

Simon Lee ... same thing.
All the sculptors we have mentioned are capable of creating a hyper-realistic portrait.
They can do anything, but instead, they decide to do it quickly.
An important thing is speed.
With painting it is the same. I  haven't invented anything, they are things that already exist in Impressionism, etc ... etc ...
If I can show emotion with painting the technique comes later.
A color put quickly is a conceptual idea of ​​a character, then I can spend 200 hours fixing it and smoothing it.
Sometimes you do everything too perfect, you lose expressiveness.
When you see some works with 150 hours of work, it's 90% a refinement job.
 For example, if you want to transmit an angry character. Anger is impulsive, rapid. Think about when you smile for photos, if the smile isn't caught at the moment, it's fake. Expressiveness is rapid by nature.

It is difficult to explain this concept well and people misunderstand it at times. People see your painting but think it's easy.
It seems simple, but it is not.

Yes, Simplify, schematize is more difficult.
What makes me angry is that people only look at the title, but they don't read.
I have explained it everywhere, on articles, on Facebook, on videos, yet there are still people who insist on pretending not to understand.
In my book, there is a whole chapter on this. With explanations with why. It's a manifesto.
If people don't want to read, it's not my fault.
The only thing I want to say is that painting, sculpting and art in general cannot be tied together.
You must be free. It all depends on the context.
For example, if I write an email and I have a problem for you, I don't write you an email that I'm angry, I can't give you that emotion via email. I call you! If I call you you feel my negative emotion.
The language is different. The context is important.
I propose that when you create a piece, you can also spend 8 months on it, so that everything is perfect. But they don't have to tell you that it's the only way to do it, because it's not the only way to do it. There are other ways.
Yes, I have 20 years of experience, and I control the color better but everyone can do it.
You also control the color.
Doubt only puts people who prefer to hate before understanding.
If you are an open person, you understand it perfectly.
I'll give you an example: Roman Lappat. Roman does something very similar to fucksmoothness.

I love Roman's style. When you see one of his pieces, even without knowing that he painted it, I immediately recognize that it is a piece of Roman.

Because he has a pure artistic personality.

The technique may be imperfect, but he WANTS to make it imperfect. It's a choice.

Yes, indeed,  and I have also seen pieces of Roman with high-level technique.
If he wants to do it, he does it.

He is perfectly capable to do this if he wants.

Sure. But he prefers to give you a composition, a story, to give you a tale, an emotion, a journey.
It is not a question of technique, but of personal choice.

If you are a person who loves the world of miniatures, you can look at it and admire it, if you don't like it, stop looking at it.
There are things in the world of miniatures that I don't like, and I just don't follow them.
But you don't have to hate.

Alfonso that is ignorant people. Stupid.

And I tell you something, Daniele. If I had never painted clean and smooth, people would have thought that mine was criticism for those who paint clean.
I am not attacking people who paint well, it is the is just a manifesto.
We are in a society where there are many different genres, in films, in music. But we accept incredible things in movies, in music, but then these people see fucksmoothness written on Facebook and write nonsense.

Alfonso, let's talk seriously. Each person can paint as he wishes. It's a personal thing. You and me work with this business, but a lot of people out there just want to have fun. 
Let's paint miniatures, let's not take it too seriously.

But you know this. Not the others.
Me together with Roman, maybe we are the ones with the highest number of students in the world, I have traveled all over the world, and I can assure you that a lot of painters are afraid to paint as they like, because in competition they don't reward you , because people criticize you.
Do you understand? There is a lot of pressure.
This is not a good thing for miniatures.

It is not possible to judge everything. Who are you to judge someone who paints miniatures? Who am I to do this? 
You can do it but art is a personal thing. I can only judge the technique, nothing else.

The problem occurs when you see everything from the same perspective.
I'll give you an example:  If you see the painting technique of Caravaggio or Rembrandt, compare them with the painting technique of Munch, for example. O, Monet.
They are different ways of using style.
The people who criticize tell you that it can be done in drawing, in painting, but in miniatures not. Because? They tell you "why it doesn't work on all points of view".
It's a lie, because if you want you can make it works perfectly at 360 °.
Unfortunately, there are people outside who live to hate and say bad things.
You may not agree with my point of view, I respect that. But hate not.

Honestly, it doesn't seem to me a valid reason to hate.
This concept is extensible in all the arts, not just the miniature.

If you ask any sculptor who is a good sculptor for him, surely at least one sculptor who works "fucksmoothness" will tell you.
All the artists.
See Romain Van Den Bogaert, look at his deformations, they are brilliant.
People like or don't like me because it's just me. I swear.
The world of miniatures is a small representation of today's society.
There are good people, and there are stupid people. It is the world.

But this is everywhere, Alfonso.
Last question. When they give you a sculpture commission, when do you need time?

Much. Too much. Sculpture steals me much more time than painting.
When I worked at Scale75, around 30-40 days.

Lucas told me that he could complete a sculpture in 2-3 weeks but then he takes another 3 weeks to finish and clean it.

It also depends on what type of product you create. Lucas does very detailed things, it's his style. They are not all the same, it depends on the complexity of the subject.
For example Achab, which I sculpted I did it quickly, but it took me a long time to clean it and complete it in detail.

I noticed that you use many different materials in sculpture.
What is your favorite material?

Super Sculpey firm, but it depends on what time they are. Now in Milliput or Green stuff I feel better. It depends on the subject.
With the milliput you can work and then you work it later.
For personal taste, I would prefer plasticine like Monster Clay.

I like monster clay very much.
I use it for sketching and exercises.

I have worked commercially with that, the anonymous bust 2 is made in monster clay medium.

Medium is not too soft?

Yes, but I use a spray a lot to cool it down and create details.
It is very comfortable, you are very fast.
I do the resin copy and then I touch up the resin copy.

Do you create the molds?

No. I could but I don't.

They are not definitive materials.

Yes, indeed.
I enjoy using different materials because I'm not a full time sculptor.
I can experiment.
Many of my sculptures are made in many different materials.

Many think that the material is fundamental. But it is not.

Indeed. The material is not everything, it depends on what you need to do.

For Example Jacques Alexandre Gillois, uses polymer clay and does incredible things.

Yes, however JAG has been doing this for many years and uses only that material, so he is a master in the use of that material.
Patrick Masson, for example, if you see the Tinkerbell, the level of detail is incredible, and it doesn't depend on the material, it's talent.

Valentin Zak, or Stephane Camosseto, also makes sculptures with incredible details.

Yes yes, absolutely incredible.
The choice of materials is a personal thing.
I recommend to those who start sculpting to try all the materials, to understand the differences.

I have tried everything. :-)

What is the material you like most to you?

Surely now I am very happy with Valentin's Mix (50% fimo 50%)  and sometimes I put some quick steadler mix to make it softer
But it is not a rule, each sculptor has his own favorite materials.

I'll ask you a question: if YOU had to choose 3 sculptors, who would you choose?

It's a hard question. Definitely, Jacques Alexandre Gillois, who is perfection as well, Lucas Pina who is a truly adorable person and has given me a lot of advice and if I have improved today I owe a lot to Lucas. It inspires me a lot. And also Joaquin Palacious, Andrea Jula, Maurizio Bruno

Final thouths

I have to say one thing...

Getting to know Alfonso was a unique thing. 

In addition to being a great artist and a successful professional, he is also an extremely pleasant person.

Thanks for giving me this interview and I hope there will be other occasions.

 Link and resources:

-Found Miniatures (Daniele)
-Alfonso Giraldes Instagram
-Patreon (Miniature Art Academy)


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Mu 108: Abyssoul - Faenir, Gunner of the Kraken & Freedom

by Roman aka jar

Hello Jungle!
Welcome to another Miniatures Unpacked!
If you want to read more in depth looks on cool models from this planet follow this link:

Today we are taking a closer look on what has landed on my table:

Two boxes from Abyssoul Miniatures:

Founded by Fausto Palumbo with love for miniatures, boardgame and roleplay. Really cool miniatures, from Italy with passion and love.

The first thing that comes into view is the beauty of the boxes and the logo of the company.
It screams for pure high Fantasy already!

Opening up box one you can find a small card that is personalized from Fausto himself and already makes a happy painter! This is really a nice touch and not every company does such things. Also there is some black paper that hides and protects a treasure ...

Unwrapping the paper there are two zipper bags. One with big parts, one with small.

Unzipping reveals nine parts for a 90mm, native warrior and the model is called 'Freedom' ...

The detail of the character is beautiful ... there seems to be a little sadness in him ...

Two weapon options of the right hand makes choices difficult. Like you can see on the photo there are some mould lines and remains of the cast, but this is all minor work to do.

The hands are particularly well done ...

Muscles, muscles ... a back that screams for freehands ...

Dog approved!

The parts fit really well ...

The second model of this review is
"Faenir", Gunner of the Kraken
and this says it all ...

Again the model comes in two zipper bags. One for big, one for smaller parts and man, there are plenty!

The main body is huge

The level of detail, again is just superb!

Two different head options!

The fitting of the parts is prepared with nuts!

Detail of the cannon!

The hands holding the gun and a cigar to light it up!

Such cool small details!

If you enjoy these models make sure to pay a visit to

Keep on happy painting!

You want to support Massive Voodoo? 
If you like to support or say thanks the monkeys of Massive Voodoo in what they do, please feel invited to drop a jungle donation in their direction via paypal or check their miniatures they got on sale here.