Friday, June 8, 2012

Interview with Custom Minis' Michael Sanford



Custom Minis, which operates out of Dallas, Texas, is the brainchild of Michael Sanford.  He is one of a small group of Warhammer fans making accessories using 3D design and printing.  Here we talk with Mike about his little operation.

1)  How did you get started in wargaming?

I started wargaming when I was introduced Battlefleet Gothic about 12 years ago.  From there I started playing Warhammer 40k where I played 3rd edition Chaos Space Marines.

2)  What games do you play mostly now?

Now a days I'm a big player of Warhammer 40k, with a Chaos Space Marine, Eldar, and Grey Knight Army, and an avid tournament player enjoying many of the local Texas events such as Alamo GT, Wargames Con, Wastelands Wars, and The Railhead Rumble.  I've also started getting into Warmachine/Hordes with a Legion of Everblight force that reminds me of my Eldar Army.

3)  How did Custom Minis start?

I started Custom Minis when I was in the need for some bits with my Grey Knight army.  I wanted to do some custom Rhino Hatches and Guns for Dreadnaughts so I went ahead and did some design work in 3D.  And was introduced to a printing company online and decided to give it a try.  After the success of the guns I decided to offer my 3D skills to use for those who wanted to have unique bits for their armies.

4)  Is it safe to assume that there would be no Custom Minis if it were not for 3D modeling?


That is definitely safe to say.  There is something about an undo button that has always made me more comfortable as an artist. 

5)  What is the state of 3D printing right now?


3D printing has come a very long way since I was first introduced to it 8 years ago.  It has become much more cheaper then it was before, and there are now companies popping up offering the use of their printers that make it easier for start-ups

6)  Is Shapeways the best place for a 3D modeler to have his wares produced for sale?

Shapeways is currently the best place for mass producing 3D prints.  They offer their services to anyone and handle all of the payment and shipping.  However if you're looking to do prints for masters for casting purposes there are other companies out there that can give better quality prints at a higher cost.

7)  How long is it until every 3D Modeler has his own printer in his home/office and prints everything himself.

3D printers are still pretty expensive these days.  Good quality ones can run you the cost of a car, and the cheaper personal ones are still in the $2,000 - $3,000 grand range but can't handle the quality a miniature company would want.  But I think in the next 5 - 10 years we should be very close to having 3D printers at amazing quality and price.


8)  You focus on shoulder pads and heads it seems, but are your autocannons your best seller?

The autocannons are by the the best cross-customer seller right now.  But the Shoulder Pads are by far the most commonly custom commissioned.  Shoulder pads are one of the best and easiest ways to customize an army, and they are a cheap way of making an army stand out.

9)  You started casting items in resin.  Why is that?

The cost of printing for larger items can get quite expensive.  For the Autocannons I wasn't really making any money off of them, just a couple bucks.  And then when the British pound dropped compared to the dollar it became cheaper for people to go through other methods, and I just couldn't drop the price below the printing cost. 

Because of that I went ahead and started experimenting with resin, to provide cheaper products for my customers.

10)  What is the future of Custom Minis?

As I expand into resin I'm hoping to be able to provide larger quantities of custom bits at cheaper costs.  I'm also looking into the 15mm game range, where I can do entire sets of vehicles and infantry.


Thanks to Michael for his time.  Visit his site at www.custom-minis.com.  And next week we will be featuring two pair of his Dreadnaught Autocannon arms for our give-away!

Loken

2 comments:

stompa said...

Does Michael have a readily accessable website or store?

Loken said...

Sorry I forgot to post that! It is www.custom-minis.com.

Loken

Post a Comment

Labels

3D Printing (7) 40K Fluff (3) 40K Nation (2) 6th Edition (32) 7th Edition (8) Aaron Lovejoy (2) Accessories (4) Adepticon (10) Adeptus Mechanicus (19) Aetherium (1) Airbrushes (1) Alan Bligh (1) Alpha Legion (9) Analytics (1) Anvil Eight (1) Apocalypse (43) Apocalypse Games (6) Apocalypse World Records (9) Armies (2) Art (2) Astra Militarum (1) Battle Reports (20) Battlefleet Gothic (2) Battlefoam (3) Battlefront Miniatures (1) Betrayal at Calth (7) Big Daddy (1) Black Templars (3) Blood and Skulls Industry (7) Blood Angels (21) Campaign (1) Chainsword (1) Chaos (18) Chaos Space Marines (35) City Fight (1) Collectors Editions (1) Conquest (2) Conventions (1) Conversions (14) Cosplay (5) Crimson Templars (5) Daemons (4) Dark Angels (29) Dark Eldar (5) Dave Taylor (2) Dawn of War (1) Death Guard (1) Death Korp of Krieg (1) Death Korps of Krieg (2) Dice of War Games (2) Digital Downloads (2) Dreadnoughts (2) Dreamforge (7) Drop Zone Commmander (1) Dust (1) eBay (5) Eldar (33) Emperor's Children (1) Eternal Crusade (1) Events (2) Facebook (1) Fantasy Flight Games (5) FAQ (6) Feast of Blades (1) Fellblade (14) Finecast (2) Flames of War (2) Flash-Gitz (1) Flyers (16) Forge World (395) Fraud (2) Games Workshop (77) Gamesday (1) Garro (1) Giveaways (8) Grey Knights (5) Heresy Trading (1) Hobby Articles (26) Hobby Supplies (1) Horus Heresy (335) Horus Heresy Weekender (31) House Rules (7) Imperial Fists (12) Imperial Guard (25) Imperial Knights (22) Inferno (6) Inquisition (3) interviews (4) Iron Hands (8) Iron Warriors (5) KICKSTARTER (7) Killzone (1) Knight Titans (5) Legal Issues (3) Legio Custodes (22) Legion of the Damned (4) Leman Russ (1) Leviathan Crusader (1) Lord Inquisitor (12) Magnus (2) mastadon (1) Mastodon (1) Mechanicum (9) Minotaurs (1) Mobile Devices (1) Moritat (1) Necrons (14) New Releases (4) Night Lords (4) Objective Scoring (2) Orks (28) Painting (4) Plastic 30K Kits (1) Podcasts (1) Primarchs (3) Primaris Space Marines (1) Privateer Press (1) Prospero (3) Raven Guard (8) Ravenguard (1) Resin accessories (108) Retailers (7) Roboute Guilliman (1) Rumors (95) Salamanders (5) Scam Alerts (1) Scratch Builds (24) Siegeworld (5) Sisters of Battle (11) Sisters of Silence (8) SoCal Apocalypse (5) Solar Auxilia (12) Sons of Horus (4) Space Hulk (3) Space Marines (56) Space Wolves (13) Special Ops (1) Starter Set (5) Stormbird (1) Supplements (2) Tactics (1) Tallarn (1) Talons of the Emperor (1) Tau (19) Terrain (15) The Big Game (20) The Big Game 2 (17) The Big Game 3 (14) The Big Game 4 (3) The Black Library (118) The Emperor (1) The Inner Geek (4) Thosand Sons (3) Thousand Sons (16) Thunderhawk (5) Titans (24) Tom McBride (33) Tools (1) Tyranids (13) Ultramarines (12) Video Games (16) Videos (1) Wahammer 40k (4) Warhammer Forge (1) Warhammer World (6) Warhawk (3) Warhound Titan (2) Warlord (16) Warmachine (1) Week in Review (1) White Dwarf (10) White Scars (4) WIP (2) Word Bearers (4) World Eaters (3)

Disclaimers

Apocalypse40K is a registered trademark of Dice of War, Inc.. ©Copyright 20010-2013. All rights reserved.

Warhammer 40,000
This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Blood Angels, Bloodquest, Cadian, Catachan, the Chaos devices, Cityfight, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, Codex, Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, 'Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar symbol devices, Eye of Terror, Fire Warrior, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Genestealer, Golden Demon, Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One, Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the Inquisitor device, Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of Secrets, Khorne, Kroot, Lord of Change, Necron, Nurgle, Ork, Ork skull devices, Sisters of Battle, Slaanesh, Space Hulk, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Tau, the Tau caste designations, Tyranid, Tyrannid, Tzeentch, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Device, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.

Warhammer
This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

The Chaos devices, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, the Double-Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Golden Demon, Great Unclean One, the Hammer of Sigmar logo, Horned Rat logo, Keeper of Secrets, Khemri, Khorne, Lord of Change, Nurgle, Skaven, the Skaven symbol devices, Slaanesh, Tomb Kings, Trio of Warriors, Twin Tailed Comet Logo, Tzeentch, Warhammer, Warhammer Online, Warhammer World logo, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer world are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.


General This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Battlefleet Gothic, Black Flame, Black Library, the Black Library logo, BL Publishing, Blood Angels, Bloodquest, Blood Bowl, the Blood Bowl logo, The Blood Bowl Spike Device, Cadian, Catachan, the Chaos device, Cityfight, the Chaos logo, Citadel, Citadel Device, City of the Damned, Codex, Daemonhunters, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, Dark Future, the Double-Headed/Imperial Eagle device, 'Eavy Metal, Eldar, Eldar symbol devices, Epic, Eye of Terror, Fanatic, the Fanatic logo, the Fanatic II logo, Fire Warrior, Forge World, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Genestealer, Golden Demon, Gorkamorka, Great Unclean One, the Hammer of Sigmar logo, Horned Rat logo, Inferno, Inquisitor, the Inquisitor logo, the Inquisitor device, Inquisitor:Conspiracies, Keeper of Secrets, Khemri, Khorne, Kroot, Lord of Change, Marauder, Mordheim, the Mordheim logo, Necromunda, Necromunda stencil logo, Necromunda Plate logo, Necron, Nurgle, Ork, Ork skull devices, Sisters of Battle, Skaven, the Skaven symbol devices, Slaanesh, Space Hulk, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Talisman, Tau, the Tau caste designations, Tomb Kings, Trio of Warriors, Twin Tailed Comet Logo, Tyranid, Tyrannid, Tzeentch, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer Historical, Warhammer Online, Warhammer 40k Device, Warhammer World logo, Warmaster, White Dwarf, the White Dwarf logo, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Blood Bowl game, the Warhammer world, the Talisaman world, and the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2008, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.