Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Space Marine and my Trip to Games Workshop

So about a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to go up to Games Workshop headquarters when they flew me out there to apply for a sculpting job in their studio. It was quite the experience and I had a good time - although it was a bit of a fog having traveled from Canada to England and back in 4 days.

It was quite interesting.  The flight to England was pretty uneventful but my plane was delayed due to the strikes happening with Canadian Airlines.  When I did land, I didn't get a chance to see much of the countryside as the car took me all the way to the hotel in Nottingham.  The next day, I had the day to myself and I took a tour of Nottingham.  I saw a lot of cool things.  Went to the castle, a WWII bomb shelter.  Walked for the entire day and really enjoyed the atmosphere of the city.  I would have loved to stay a few more days but we were on a very tight schedule.

The second day in England, myself, and two other candidates were picked up at the hotel and brought to Games Workshop.  I would love to tell you everything that we saw when we were there but, unfortunately, I did sign an NDA agreement so there is nothing that I can share.

All I can say is that we took a tour of the sculpting studio, the manufacturing warehouse and the game center before going to lunch.  I also went through a series of interviews through the day.  At the end of the day, the two other candidates and myself went to dinner and then I was up bright and early to get to the airport.

The flight back was a nightmare.  I was supposed to be on at 7am and home by the middle of the day.  I spent the entire day in the airport and finally got onto the flight at around 6pm.  During the flight, some guy started yelling and screaming as we were halfway over the Atlantic Ocean.  He was about 2 feet from me and he started screaming that he was going to open the hatch and jump out.  The flight attendants were trying to calm him down and I was quietly slipping off my seat belt.  I figured if he took one more step towards the door, I was going to tackle him and beat the crap out of him.  After the day I had had, which everyone had shared with me, I was not going to let some idiot make it even worse.

Thankfully, they got him calmed down by offering him first class seating and the rest of the flight went well...outside of him being arrested when we landed.  But I guess that ruined the end of his flight and not mine.

When I got back to Canada, Games Workshop asked me to do a sample piece so I spent some time doing up the piece I am going to showcase today.  I was told to make a dynamic Space Marine so I researched some of the Warhammer 40K video games that were out and chose a pose from the game.  I was really happy with how it turned out and sent it in to Games Workshop.

Unfortunately, it wasn't what they were looking for and chose a different candidate.  I don't mind though.  It was an interesting experience but I realized after I had sent it in and before selection that I wouldn't be a good fit with Games Workshop.  I like the range that freelance affords me and I can sculpt anything from superheros to monsters in a given month.  While I have always enjoyed Games Workshop, and loved doing the Space Marine, I would have gotten sick of sculpting nothing but shoulder pads and skulls after a while.

Another reason why I was happy not to move is that it was a huge move. I have done the international move before when I worked in Cincinnati for WizKids.  While it would have been fun to explore England and every place I could, I would be dragging two kids, a wife and a very large dog with me.  That would make it more difficult and I worried about how it would affect them.

With that being said, I am glad I experienced the process, it really taught me a lot.

And...I get a really cool Space Marine miniature out of the bargain.  I made some copies of it so I could enjoy painting them up and give them to a few friends who are big Games Workshop fans.  I also thought it would be great to offer a chance for some of my fans on here to pick up a free Space Marine.  I will have the details over the next few weeks so please stay tuned.

On a side, I entered this in my local Games Workshop store Bronze Demon painting contest in the conversions category and won first place.  It is currently on display there, in the Games Workshop White Oaks, London, Ontario, for those of you who would like to see it.

Without further ado, here is the miniature.


cactusstudos said...

This is an awesome sculpt. and well done for making it to the last 3 at GW. sounds like the best result for you in the end though.

Nykona Sharrowkyn said...

AMAZING sculpt! Can you contact me at nykonasharrowkyn@gmail.com as I want to interview you for my blog



Mark said...

I thought it was cool when I first saw it on Flickr. I still thinks its cool. Besides if you worked for GW we wouldn't have the great Malifaux minis you did.

The Le said...

Will GW send the sculpt back to you?

James Van Schaik said...

Thanks Cactusstudos.

Thanks Nykona, I would be happy to do an interview for your blog so I will email you later tonight.

Thanks Mark. I actually did the interview after I stopped working for Wyrd, they went "full digital"...never go full digital, hahaha. If I had worked for GW, you wouldn't have the opportunity I will be announcing in a few weeks. :)

The Le, yes they sent the miniature back. The original is up at the store for the year but I have several copies on hand as I made a mold of it.

I have a Ciaphas Cain that I did as well for the interview. I will be posting that up in the near future.

Unknown said...

Love the pose! So many great space marine minis are in relatively static poses. Nice to see something different.

James Van Schaik said...