VFM Histories: First BGWWII Figures

The first BGWWII figures


Here are my some examples of my second attempt at sculpting and mold making of 28mm type figures. You can see on each figure how my energy went towards visually creating the essence and struggle of war on the soldier instead of making a figure that is meant for the game table. This is what led to these rough looking guys.

After the last attempt failed, ( See “First Figure” story) I plowed on trying to make figures. This time a small jewelry mold making device was purchased to make the molds. The molds were about 2″x3″ in size and fit one figure.

There was no casting machine of any kind to use, so each one was drop cast. A container was set outside on a camp stove and the raw lead from the salvage yard was dumped in. When it was fluid enough, the metal was poured into the molds and later the figures were taken out. Again, everyone thought the money would be rolling in within days as hundreds of these would be cast and on store shelves soon. After hours of pouring in the hot summer heat and with few results, almost everyone of them was flawed, hopes faded.

Later I had the bright idea that the molds needed to be vibrating in some way to move the hot metal inside around, so that every crevice was filled with the “lead gold”. The next step was to find an electronic football game, the ones that vibrated to allow the football players to move around the field. The thought was, why wouldn’t the vibrations help move the hot lead around? So a game was purchased, hopes were up again, and the pouring of figures began again.

To make a long story short, it didn’t work.

At this point it was decided that we would take what we had, go to Indiana for a show one of our distributors was putting on so that retailers could visit the booths of manufacturers, and show off our new line to go with the game. The hope was, there would be such a large amount of orders for these figures, the proper equipment could be bought to make molds and cast this new line of figures.

The show was great. I was able to spend some time with Gary Gygax, someone who I had always wanted to meet, and he even played some BGWWII with us. We gave out samples of the cast figures. All was good.

Until the distributor let us know that these figures were basically bad.

The trip home was all about coming up with a new strategy for the figures.

Number one, I had to change my style.

Number two, round plastic bases.

The next VFM Histories deals with a figure I made as a transition piece.

First BGWWII Figures were done in 1997 – 98. VFM Histories is a series of articles on The history and prehistory of VFM.


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2 Responses to VFM Histories: First BGWWII Figures

  1. Still look pretty cool to me. Everyone starts somewhere and it is often painful, expensive and disappointing but rolling with the punches and trudging forward makes you a better person in the long run. Great story.

  2. In college I was a painting major. So these first figures looked like sketches.
    I like the sketchiness about them but not some of the disproportions.
    I went through a lot of critiques in school, so rolling with the punches becomes the norm.
    Thanks Brian

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