Sunday 5 January 2014

Swordplayer 2


Yesterday evening saw the last finishing touches to the second Swordplayer of the six I plan to release.

Contrary to the first Swordplayer this one will come in two parts, else I wo't be able to cast him.
The left arm, sword and right hand will be one part, the rest the other part.
Sculpting was again done using BeeSPutty Rock, the sword is one of my presculpt swords in resin, a bit modified with GreenStuff and the rest of the sword-part (i. e. left arm and hands) was sculpted using the old self-curing 2K-BeeSPutty.

I hope to get Swordplayers 1 and 2 produced this month still, but that of course depends on my buddy Stefan who kindly allows me to use his casting facilities.

Here some pictures of the latest addition to the stout ones:

To the pose of the hands:
Yes, viewed from a solely "stationary" point of view this is an awkward position, but please keep in mind it is just a snap shot from a movement action. 

The starting position is this:

Then the tip of the sword is dropped over the left shoulder but without lessening the grip on the sword hilt, the movement comes only from the wrist joints.

You then get there:

From there you could slash in an diagonal upward arc, or in a diagonal overhead arc.
But the sword is of course not meant to be held in that position, it is just part of a movement sequence (holding that lenghty blade for a time to allow my wife to make the photos started to become uncomfortable in the wrists... and don't mind my dirty pullover, that is just my "working wear"...^^)

Ideas for the next one of the Swordplayers are already on my mind, he will have a more relaxed pose than his two predecessors. More I won't reveal for now... ;-)
Before I can get along with that one I have a bunch of commissions to sculpt anyway...^^




  1. He did it again...
    And with great new details: the basket weave cloth in the right leg, the shoe laces...The corded edges in the shoulder/arm armour are great (and very historical). Pray we will see them again in the cuirass and, who knows, in a five crested burgonet?
    Ah! Life is good for dwarf players...

  2. Usually I love your dwarves, but this one, well, there's something wrong... The left wrist seems broken, the way he holds the sword seems unnatural. Any way to correct the pose?

    1. I added some pics and information about how that hand position comes to be. I think it is quite ok as it is...

    2. OK, thanks for the additional pictures, now I understand better what you wanted to do :o)

  3. Hey Gregor,

    I´ve just noticed your additions on the handling of the sword and want to add my 2cts on this. As a former practitioner of Historical European Martial Arts I can tell you that you wouldn´t hold a sword like that in any realistic circumstance.

    First Problem: Second Sword-Picture - where´s your blade? It´s somewhere beside your body AND behind you. There´s no way on earth you can move the sword into the striking line of an attacker. If you take this position against a trained opponent, you´re already dead.

    Second Problem: The Wrists. As other have noted, the wrists seem unnatural and "broken" - while your pose is physically possible, it leaves you with no strength to actually strike and opponent, nor does the position of the sword provide any good line of attack. It´s an awkward pose that put´s you at a disadvantage in any fight!

    Power for striking with the sword is almost entirely generated from the movement of your upper body - wrists are important once contact with your enemies blade is made (-> winden) , but your wrists are not able to generate enough force to propel the sword forward in any significant manner.

    Cross-Check the various historical sources & modern interpretations:

    Even on the medieval sketches you can see that your wrists would not be twisted and the sword raised above the shoulder, not left or right of your body.

    Hope you can implement this for future sculpts, if you need any more info, just ask, I´ll gladly help!

    1. Yep, and of course Swordplayer 2 takes this pose deliberately in order to fool his opponent into thinking that he is an easy target. Then he will change his grip and position of his blade and chop of his surprised opponent's head in one fluid motion... ^^

      Ok, all jokes aside - I am no sword fighting expert and was just looking for a sword position that has not been sculpted yet as far as I could tell so that I could do something new.
      I see now that was not the cleverest idea as I did not found my pose sculpt on coeval depictions of sword fencers.
      I will keep an eye to that in the future, so thanks for the links. :-)

  4. If I may post a late comment on this...
    I have never fenced with hand-and-a-half Renaissance swords (although I did a lot of sabre fencing), but I have seen the 16th century fencing manuals. I have two points to make and a conclusion:
    1: this are not museum recreations but gaming figures. We gamers want them to paint up well, be well detailed and in varied types of clothing, armour and pose. "Historical" correctness is a compromise, since we have "few" documents on how a DWARF fahnlein really looked...
    2. Pose is very important for gamers as, you see, we have to be able to use the figures to build units with specific figure spacing, and be able to use these units in the game. Many of us have had the experience of buying and painting a very interesting figure and later finding out that we weren't able to include it in a unit because it interfered too much with it's neighbours. Let's take pikemen as an example: if my figures were holding pikes of the correct scale length and in the correct historical position (be they Swiss or Landsknecht), I would not be able to put my pike unit against the opponent unit, due to the protruding pikes. We have to compromise again...
    My personal conclusion: I am quite satisfied with the Runecast dwarf figures I've bought and seen so far. I hope Gregor will mange to keep adding variety but that the new figures will continue to be "playable".
    Sometimes too much is just "too" much... Go back and watch again "A bridge Too Far" :)

    1. Thanks for your opinion, much appreciated.
      Yes, it is indeed a question of compomise one has to see when sculpting fantasy miniatures with a certain degree of "realism".
      I will try to get this "balancing act" done.

  5. Runecast,

    I absolutely love this miniature. To me it really matches what my idea of fantasy dwarves look like.
    As to the western martial arts comment, I have dabbled in that field and your interpretation of the sword swing is fine. It comes down to "dwarven anatomy" and the realities of casting a figure like this in metal. That hand is fine in practice because, as you said, it is a moment in time.
    You succeeded quite well in capturing a "different" pose.
    Thanks for this fig and keep up the good work!!