Interview: Daniele interviews Tim Bruckner

by Daniele "Found" Trovato

Interviews of the Sculptors Legend #1

Daniele Found interviews

Tim Bruckner

Hello everyone :-)
This is Daniele again and today I have the opportunity to share you something unique.
Something about my personal inspiration. 

Particularly people/artists who inspire me, in this case.

Since I started sculpting I always am fascinated by one of the most talented and unique sculptor all over the world : Tim Bruckner.

Tim is one of the best commercial artists on the scene today (he's looking at semi-retiring now).
I had the great privilege to ask him some different questions about his process, about his way of sculpting, about his habits and other things.
He worked for years in the toy and collecting business and has an incredible portfolio of sculptures in his catalog.

In origin I have known him basically through his incredible book, which is probably the only publication with a deep insight into the world of figure sculpting, mold making, and toys making.

Risultati immagini per pop sculpture book
"Pop Sculpture" by Tim Brickner, Zach Oat, Ruben Procopio

Enjoy and Keep Sculpting
Daniele Found

Just a little courtesy intro by  DC:

"Tim Bruckner has worked for DC Direct and DC Collectibles for close to 20 years, working under an exclusive contract with the company for over a decade. During that time he has designed and sculpted dozens of pieces and his amazingly accurate designer-specific sculpts have helped shape the line and build the brand. One of his most gratifying professional experiences was designing and sculpting the incredible DC Dynamics line of statues that were based on the art of J. C. Leyendecker.

Bruckner's earliest memory of sculpting was when he sculpted the heads of the Seven Dwarves out of wax candy tubes at seven years old. He began working professionally at the age of eighteen as a jeweler's apprentice/wax carver and in those two years, he learned the foundation of his art that would sustain him for over the next five decades.

Bruckner has appeared in the Spectrum Fantastic Artbooks (the premier juried annual of the best in fantasy art) fourteen times and has won two Gold Awards in the Dimensional category. Other awards included two Diamond Comic Distributors Statue of the Year awards as well as an award for Product of the Year. In 2009, he was inducted into the Toy Fare Hall of Fame. His most recent work for DC Collectibles has been on the popular designer series of “power couple” statues."

The Interview

Immagine correlata
Beethoven by Tim Bruckner

-Sometimes people say that behind a great man there is a great woman: Are you married? Do you have sons? if yes, what they think about your job?
I’m married to an amazing woman. We’ve been married for thirty eight years. Much of who I am and why I am, is due to her wisdom, advice and guidance. We have two kids, a girl, Anne and a boy, Errol. I think they have liked what I do and appreciate the work I’ve produced. Having a dad who is a professional artist has given them the insight and freedom to be who they want to be.

Risultati immagini per tim bruckner

1)I'll ask you this question because I found out that many artists are created by a singular and very personal routine:
Tell me something about your daily routine. 
These days, I’m much more relaxed about my schedule and the work I do. I semi-retired last year and so, no deadlines. When I was working, I was up at six, was in the studio by seven. Worked until six or so and then went into the house for dinner and a chance to unwind.

Risultati immagini per tim bruckner

How many hours do you sculpt per day? 
I used to work ten to twelve hour days. These days, I’m in the studio around eight or eight thirty and work until four or five. Much saner hours.

What time do you wake up? 
We wake up at 6:45. Let our dog out, have coffee, watch the news. Feed him about 7: 25.

Breakfast? Dinner?

Do you listen to some music while you work? If yes, what music? 
When I was under deadline, I listened to music all day long, often to the classical music station on public radio. My faves were Bach as played by E. Power Biggs, Chopin, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and many others.

Risultati immagini per tim bruckner

Some specific and daily habits? 
I don’t know that I have any specific habits. My day is dictated by what I’m working on and the preparation for it. Doing 3D or 2D or writing, all have their specific needs. If I’m  not sure what I’m doing, much of the day is spent in preparation. These days, the thing that drives me is the challenge. I like starting a work I’m not sure I can accomplish. Finding a way to make it work is what I enjoy most.

2)When you sculpt a new figure, do you always look at anatomy and proportions references, or do you sculpt everything by memory? 
What is a practical exercise to improve the anatomy knowledge for sculpting purposes?
I always use reference. I know anatomy fairly well. But the stress and compression of various muscle groups is vital to a successful piece. An outstretched hand with the palm facing up is different when the palm is facing down. We may not always be aware of the changes, but we know when it’s not right. I want the audience to involve themselves in the composition, what the piece is trying to say, rather than pay attention to the lack of proper musculature and have that be a distraction.

3) Do you have a mentor? If not, who he should be?
My mentors have always been artists I admire, Michelangelo, Cellini, Bernini,  Rubens, N.C. Wyeth, J.C Leyendecker. They were masters of composition. Once you arrive at a place of competent and reliable skill, creating a composition that says what you want it to say is the biggest challenge.
Risultati immagini per tim bruckner 

4) Going into technical questions. 
Reading your book, I was very fascinated by your process:
basically, you create a rough sculpture in oil-based clay, then you create a waste mold to cast it in Wax, then you sculpt in wax for detailing and polishing. 
Do you use this process for every size? Why you choose Wax?  
Often I rough out the piece in clay to define composition, attitude and proportion. I will make a waste mold and cast a wax to begin the finish process. I started sculpting in wax when I was seventeen, sculpting jewelry for a Beverly Hills jewelry store. It was the best education I could have received. I read Cellini’s book about process and arrived at my own wax formula. I choose wax because of its ability to give me any finish I want, from very smooth and finished to rough and carved. Large pieces I will finish in clay. A three to twelve inch figure I will got to wax. Sometimes, I may finish part of a large piece in wax. The head, hands costume detail. For me, wax is the most flexible material I could use.

5) Sincerely, do you think that a 3D artist should be considered a real "Sculptor" or better "Digital Artist"?

I’m old school. Very much so. To me, sculpting is defined by manipulating a material with your hands to create the piece you want. Physically working a material tells you things about a sculpture I don’t think you could get from a monitor. It helps you understand tolerance and how do build a piece that can be reproduced.

Risultati immagini per tim bruckner
It also allows you to use light and its various effects to make the sculpture play the way you want it. A sculpture viewed in morning light with look different when viewed by afternoon light. Its character will change when viewed by direct light and be altered by low light. And the material reveals things to you I don’t think possible using digital. I can’t tell you how many times a slip of the hand will push the clay into a shape or placement I would have never considered but turned out to be just what I needed. Using traditional methods also helps you focus the piece. Digital can afford you amazing detail. Sometimes detail is distracting. Using traditional sculptural methods helps the piece arrive at a focus.

6) If you should choose only 2 tools for sculpting which they'd be?
Could you describe why they're so important and how do you use them?
Your hands. All the other stuff  just lets you use your hands to create detail and finish your fingers are just too clumsy to produce. You look at Rodin’s pieces and you can see the strength and virtuosity of an artist’s fingers at work.
Risultati immagini per tim bruckner

7) As a sculptor, what is the most difficult thing to sculpt in your opinion?
Beauty. It’s easy to sculpt monsters, aliens, fantasy creatures. To sculpt beauty requires a very subtle hand. Beauty and youth, both very challenging.

8) As your experience, if a sculptor should have three basic skills what they would have and why?
The sculptor needs to master a material; clay, wax, plaster, polymer clay.
The sculptor needs to know what it can do and what it can’t and figure out a way for it to look like it can do the impossible.

Risultati immagini per tim brucknerTrain your eyes. You need to be able to see past what’s presented.
A entire sculpture can rely on the smallest gesture.
Human nature helps us read even the smallest gesture.
By being aware of what we see, lets us see how to use it.

Focus and determination.
Sculpture is a lot of work. Not only creating the piece but creating a piece that can be reproduced which means understanding mold making and casting or reproducing the piece. One of the negatives of digital work is the representation of huge amounts of detail and elements are often very thin or of a small tolerance that cannot be physically be reproduced.

9) Today, in the age of 3D Printing and 3D sculpting, in your opinion, is it worth to spend time to learn traditional sculpting for job purposes?
Learning to use your hands to create something substantive will make an illustrator a better illustrator, a digital artist and better digital artists. Understanding how a piece is constructed will inform all the arts and make one more sensitive to its creation.

Interview by Monster Model Review

10) If your son should decide to be a sculptor, what best suggestion you'd give to him?
Love it. Love the hard work. Love the end product. Believe in yourself. Follow your vision, indulge you imagination. Never give up.

11) Where can we find you, your shop, and contact you?
I used to have a website. It was very heavily designed to use Flash. Flash is no longer in use and so my site died. I’m on Facebook.
Risultati immagini per tim bruckner 
-How many figures have you sculpted in your career? :
I have no clue. I recently reviewed my DC work and discovered I created over seven hundred pieces for them. That doesn’t take into consideration my work with ToyBiz, Kenner, Hallmark, The Hamilton group and the various gift, toy and collectible companies I’ve worked with over the years.

-Favorite oil-based clay brand:
Chavant. The best oil based clays around. I use the NSP brown medium. They make a lot of clays to suit a variety of needs. Get a sample pack and play with all of them until you find the  one you like.

-Favorite Wax:
I make my own, it consists of Microcrystalline, bee’s wax, paraffin, injection wax and Crayola brand crayons. You’ll need to play with the proportions until you find a formula that works for you. It will take time and a lot of effort but worth every bit of it.

-Favorite Rubber for silicone mold brand and which shore (hardness of the rubber):
Si, GT 1000. The all-around best. You can push the activator to get a mold to set up more quickly. Always, always use a pressure pot to make your molds. A vacuum chamber is a waste of time. You can use a pressure pot to mold and cast and get nearly perfect results.

-Chopin or Mozart? :
Chopin. I’m kind of a romantic.

-Michelangelo, Bernini or Canova? :
There’d be no Bernini without Michelangelo. There’d be no Canova without Bernini.
Risultati immagini per tim bruckner

-Favorite Film? :
I was thinking about this the other day. I’m a big fan of the old Universal monster movies. I like the Basil Rathbone Holmes movies. The movie that made the biggest impact on me was Fantasia. I saw it when I was a kid. My art teacher took me to an afternoon showing. I had a huge crush on her. Being with her, just the two of us, watching that movie opened up my imagination and made my future as an artist possible.

-Favorite song/composition? :
I am the Walrus. John Lennon.

-Favorite Food? :

-What don't you resist? :
I resist all my dark sides.

Final Thoughts

What to say? I think that Tim's works speak themself.
Tim is one of my favourite artists and I feel inside his creations a deep experience, expression and a truly unique and personal style (especially in faces).

In today's world, with too many 3D sculptures with deep boring details, Tim comes back to the original silhouette of a figure and brings us what one sculpture needs to do essentially: to gift emotions.

Thank you TIM!

Link and resources:
-Tim Bruckner Site
-Tim Bruckner's Book
-Tim's Interview by Fwoosh
-Tim's Interview by AP Sculpture Studio
-Tim's Interview by Action Figure Insider
-Tim's Interview by Statue Forum

Support NOW 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.

News: Help Australia's wildlife! NOCF, Australian Koala and Brushes for the Bush!

by Roman aka jar

Hi everyone,

due the horrible bush fires in Australia my heart is quite heavy and as far as I could I have already donated to support the fire brigades. Due the devastating size this also has a terryfing impact of the wildlife. I wanted to do more to help and I painted a figure, sculpted by Peder Bartholy for Robotrocket Miniatures: The Koala.

Link to raffle via NOCF:

I painted it with my emotions to the situation in Australia. It hurts to look at it,
but it feels honest, brutal and is real.

This piece
- called "Australian Koalas" -
will be raffled with the great help of the 
NOCF, Nova Open Charitable Foundation let me explain ...

I really wanted to raise as much help as I could with this piece and first thought of putting it up to ebay, but remembering the great work the NOCF does and how organised they are with their worldwide raffles I reached out to them for their help.

The Team helped me to find the perfect place I want this money go to as they helped me with the research. The donation of this raffle with directly go to

An Australian Wildlife Rescue organisation that is serving Australia's wildlife for over 30 years now. There is tons of informations on their homepage and they are doing amazing work right now.

The "Australian Koalas" raffle will be live for just one month, from Jan 15 - Feb 15, 2020. We hope each of you will share this raffle and encourage your friends and families to participate.

The drawing will take place on Feb 16 and the piece will ship no later than Feb 17 to the winner - anywhere in the world. As an added value, I will put the winner's name to the plinth and sign this one-of-a-kind collector's treasure. Ninety-Five Percent (95%) of every dollar will go directly to WIRES. The other five percent will handle shipping and paypal fees, just to have this transparent for everyone.

Link to raffle via NOCF:

Link to raffle via NOCF:

Link to raffle via NOCF:

Please also see the great initiative 'Brushes for the Bush', 
miniature painters, companies and furthermore are donating great material, painted figures and many more things to this good cause.

About Brushes for The Bush
An informal collective of hobby miniature painters and artists, focused around the OzPainters facebook group, coming together to raise much needed funds for those affected by Australia's current bushfire tragedy. Since we kicked off this initative we've had donations from the UK, Croatia, Poland and Spain, as well as all across Australia.

Thank you all!

Review: AK Interactive "Mastering Vegetation in Modeling"

by David

Disclaimer: this is my personal opinion on the book; I bought it myself and have no relevant relationship with AK interactive or the author of this book.                                                                                                      - David

The  book's cover

Hey all,

fresh into 2020, I am back with another review of a modeling-related book. This time, I will be talking about the booklet Mastering Vegetation in Modeling by AK Interactive. This is the tenth in AK's Learning Series, a range of small, booklet-type treatises on a number of specific topics and techniques in scale modeling, figure painting and diorama-construction. Inter alia, the series includes books on how to paint realistic wood effects, metallics, and skin-tones, as well as on how to use photo-etched parts in scale modeling and reconstructing realistic buildings in dioramas.

The table of contents
As the name suggests, Mastering Vegetation focuses on using greens such as grass, trees, shrubbery and moss in miniature scenes. In addition to a brief introduction, in which some general thoughts on the aspect of vegetation in modeling are raised, the book's remaining four chapters introduce a wealth of different materials that can be used to reproduce plants in model scenes. The brief Chapter 2 presents an overview of general modeling tools and materials such as tweezers, putty, glues and leaf punches and their use for the modeling of vegetation. Chapter 3 introduces a wide range of different modeling materials to represent plants in model scenes. Next to the obligatory discussion of how to use static grass and tufts, as well as a survey of various ready-made products such as injected-plastic, photo-etch and laser-cut plants and leaves, the chapter includes a number of suggestions how to replicate various types of plants by using simple household items, such as creating moss from grating a kitchen sponge. The two pages of Chapter 4 are titled "Importance of the Paint to Integrate" and briefly deal with pulling together the scene by painting ready-made or scratch-built materials a in coherent colors. The fifth and by far most extensive chapter presents on 47 pages a multitude of suggestions how to use the materials introduced in Chapter 3 to replicate different plants. This ranges from the assembly and painting of ready-made vines, water-plants and laser-cut paper fern to scratch-building six different types of trees (including birches, pines and palm trees) up to the creation of special effects such as burned wood, and the representation of terrain in which the various plants are at home.

Introducing different materials: glues ...

... and spices and feathers for leaves, hemp ropes for grass, and 3D plants.

The book comes as a soft-cover volume, printed on rather thick and glossy paper. Its binding leaves a strong and  sturdy impression and I would be surprised if it wouldn't resist all but the roughest handling. All throughout the book, concise and to-the-point texts are combined with clear pictures that present the materials and individual steps to achieve a certain effect in a clear and easy-to-follow way. The "how to"-parts are interspersed with pics of real-life vegetation examples as an illustration of what is represented in miniature and as inspiration for additional uses of materials and techniques presented. Since this is not the first book on vegetation in modeling I have read, there were few things in the book that were radically new to me. However, the book still has much to teach, for instance how to make brilliantly-looking corn stalks, or how to create the bark of palm tree trunk using masking tape. Moreover, the book's pictures, both of the modeled scenes and the real-world examples, sparked lots of inspiration for future projects.

First part of the massive fifth chapter: how to make rushes and dry grass.

As all contributions to the Learning Series, Mastering Vegetation is a small book, measuring 24 by 17 cm and containing 84 full-colored pages. As such, it not only fits in the smallest hobby-library; it also is an excellent traveling companion - e.g., when you're on the road to a painters' meeting. The relatively small size means that most pictures are relatively small as well, and the accompanying texts are rather brief. This does not impinge on the quality and usefulness of the illustrations and explanations; but at times, I would have preferred a little more extensive descriptions. The small size also limits a bit the range of topics that can be covered. The book does not provide much insights on the composition of vegetation, that is, how to achieve natural-looking and convincing scenes by positioning and grouping plants in certain ways. Also, besides a few lines and a useful table on page 5, there is no discussion of the impact of different scales on the modeling materials. Finally, and as a minor issue, the copy-editing could have been a bit better.

How to make corn fields!
How to make palm trees!

That being said, I highly recommend the tenth volume of AK Learning Series to figure painters and modelers who want to take their use of greenery to the next level. While the discussions are mainly focused on larger scenes, such as dioramas and vignettes, the techniques will also useful for smaller bases, such as those used in tabletop gaming.

Beginners and intermediate modelers are likely to make most of the book's presentation of materials and their use. But I would be surprised if advanced hobbyists wouldn't also benefit from the book, for instance from the fresh techniques to create different types of trees from scratch. Finally, with a suggested retail price of below 10 Euros, this book is not only a useful, but also an economically sensible contribution to any hobby library!

All the best,


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.

Review: Basing Workshop, Augsburg, Germany

by Roman aka jar

"A class with Roman is always a special event. On this weekend I learned a lot about a proper planning and how it can realise a project in a different way I would normally do. 
But the best thing was the boost of motivation. Romans teaching and the overall atmosphere on the workshop showed me why I love to paint and that's a good thing to be reminded at some point or another." - Thomas

"Apocalypse, nature returns! What a setting, how could one not join? Five fellow miniature painters followed the call. The workshop took part in the Massive Voodoo studio and what to say... the ambience perfectly fitted the topic of this workshop. As always on Romans workshops, you see familiar faces from former workshops. Long time no see, but you always remember. Memorizing names this time was even easier than in the past if 50% are called Thomas ;).

The well-structured workshop started with some theory: Composition of a base, how to read a base, hot spots and a conceptional phase. It turned out that this was the most important part, because the basic design was created. It accelerated the latter assembly massively. In earlier workshops, it was not so much important to create some nice bases. A detail more or less was not so important because the focus was different. But this workshop is all about the details! Of course, creating a base is a journey where you add/change some smaller details but not the whole story. I think the most of us who attended will never start a base without a detailed draft.

The next day was all about assembling the base. Although you may not need a training for laying bricks you may feel like a brick layer. We learned how to create a realistic theme to watch out for the details that make the difference. At the end of the day we saw our drafts come to life. 

During the last day, painting the base was the main "work". It was the step where the apocalyptic theme evolved through atmosphere, bushes, toilet bowls, cats, air conditioners and grass. A lot of grass....

It was easy to follow Roman through all the steps and the past workshops helped a lot. If you don't understand everything at a certain time, fear not. Trust Roman, everything WILL make sense at the end. This was true in the past and Roman proved it again.

The workshop was also a great opportunity for me not to learn only from Roman but also from the others. To understand their view on the base. Thank you, guys, for that!

This was my third workshop with Roman. I du(ngeo)nno what will be next, but it will be definitively not my last. I was really happy to take part in the last apocalyptically themed basing workshop. A big shout out to Roman for this awesome workshop.

Happy painting"

Not-Thomas" Florian

welcome to this review of a Basing Workshop I held back in late 2019.
The last one with the topic "After the apocalypse, nature returns".

It is about time to switch the topic to a new one as there is so much more to tell about different usage of different materials and I held this workshop several times now and can only look back on happy students and great results:

Arvika, Sweden, english language

Augsburg, english language
Augsburg, german language
Augsburg, english language

Augsburg, german language

Augsburg, german language
Augsburg, german language

Instructor: Roman Lappat
Duration: Friday/Saturday/Sunday (2.5 days)

Basing is a very important part when it comes to miniature painting.
A proper display base is the stage to tell a good story and to present your models. Creating a beautiful display base means more than just glueing material together. It is about balance, harmony and compostion rules. You can learn all this in my Basing Class:

 Main topics:
- Learn composition rules
- Learn how to use the golden ratio
- Learn about reading lines, balance and weight
- Learn to sketch your ideas with a pencil
- Learn where to position your figure
- Learn how to use different sorts of material
- Learn to make nature grow on your base
- and more ...

Student level: Advanced

For this class you should be prepared with an advanced skill level. You should know about zenital light,basic color theory, contrast range and how to create a blending.

This time was not different.
A small group of students was gathering in the MV Studio and I love to teach this class there. As a teacher I got everything I need just in handreach and with this fact I can fullfill every students individual wishes in material and tools alike.

Tons of superglue :)

Friday night was big theory night about composition rules and how to plan and concept an idea including all that was learned before ...

Minor preperations started this night too ...

Night appeared on the sky with some stars ...

It was time to put the composition rules to a test in real size ...

Saturday morning appeared faster than expected ...

We started to work in the morning in three stages of work flow that make absolute sense when it comes to large base building...

Many thanks to the support in class material goes to

Saturday was a full working day with individual training and guidance from my side ... until the night appeared again ...

Creative Chaos in the studio ...

On Sunday we started priming the bases and started painting them ...

I want to thank you, gentlemen
for the great and creative time spent together.
It has been my absolute pleasure to see your bases grow and to hear all the "click moments" in your head. One Thomas is missing on the photo though. Overall we have been one teacher, five students ...

Your basing results speak for themselves ...

Keep on happy painting!

You can find more information
about upcoming group workshops via this banner

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.