Monday, September 22, 2014

Back to School Sale

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

TBT: Orc Marines

The ORC MARINES are Here!!

Okay, I have noticed that Thursdays are a time to look back and reflect on photos from the past.  Now, I could leave you with photos of the foolish days of my youth when I had horrible hair styles but I figured those photos should be hidden from sight.  Also, my wife has hidden them from me and I am sure she has nefarious plans for them if I get out of line.

Instead of photos of me, I thought I would reserve Thursday posts to a different sort of throw back.  I am going to share photos of my miniature over the years.  And to kick it off, I am going to show you some miniatures that I did in late 1998/early 1999. These are one of my earliest organic pieces.

To give you a bit of background, I started sculpting while I was working at RAFM Miniatures.  My first miniatures were hardline and I focused primarily on mechs for the Dreampod 9 range that RAFM produced with DP9.  When I had the opportunity to do some organic miniatures, I jumped on the chance.  First, I started by converting some of their existing models and then I sculpted my first complete miniature for them.  I will post my first organic miniature next week in the TBT post.

After I finished my first organic miniature, I wanted to start on more so I managed to kick out a few of these Orc Marines. I remember being so excited about the finished product and thinking to myself that these miniatures were amazing.  Looking back at them today, all I could think was, "Wow, look at that leather...and spikes...and...well...spikes."  I also started critiquing my poor anatomy, posing ideas and a range of other flaws that I saw.

But it is a really good illustration that every sculptor starts somewhere.  No one picks up a sculpting tool for the first time and creates an amazing miniature.  It takes lots of practice and it is a constant learning process and I can still see room for improvement in my work today.

So without further introduction, here are the ORC MARINES!

Orc Corporal

Big Gunner

Orc Sergeant

Orc Grunts

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pulp City Cro Mag and Baby Rude

Just wanted to post some greens of some figures I did for Pulp City, their kickstarter is going on now.  As you know, I love sculpting superheroes so it was great to do some figures for them for this project.  The figures that I did for them are two powerhouses so you can really make the poses dynamic.

So here are the greens of the miniatures, Cro Mag and Baby Rude and if you want to check out their excellent kickstarter, visit

Friday, February 14, 2014

First Sculpting Course!

I am very excited to announce that the first sculpting course went live.  It is a lot of work and I realized through this process that I needed to learn how to edit the videos on my own.  Despite the best efforts, no one, other than me, is going to know the important parts to focus on in the videos.  Others editors tend to go for "style" and not for the learning areas that are the most important.

What this means is a little extra time getting the courses out to you but it also means that they are done exactly like I want them.  But thankfully I am learning quickly and the first course is up with several under the editing process.

And to celebrate, I want to offer everyone on my blog and on the F4E Studios facebook page a chance to take a free sculpting course.  This will give you a chance to try out a course and if you would like to try more, you can simply purchase them for preorder at kickstarter prices for a limited time at the F4E store at

All you need to do to get the free course is click on this link: and enroll.  In the homework assignment, you will find password for the student campus on the f4e studios forum and that is it.  Let me know what you think.

This is a small QuikTec course and is designed to take you an evening to learn.  A quiktec course is our lowest complexity level.  I wanted to give people a chance to try a course so hopefully you will enjoy the Cigars course that is available.

Thanks again for all your support over the years.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk Sculpture WIP #9

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to post up the latest WIP of the Hulk vs Wolverine figure.

 I am really enjoying the chance to sculpt a bigger figure and the arms are one of the fun parts to sculpt, especially with the Hulk. You can see from the photos that I can really get into his musculature and texturing on the skin.

 I spent extra time on the veins on this part, because it is such a dominate feature in the art, I wanted to make sure to reproduce the ferocity and power in his arms that the veins add to the piece. I also added some more underpinning to his face, particularly his jaw line, but I may reduce that again when I get to his head.

 So here he is:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Moving Forward and New Releases

Hello Everyone,

It has been a busy few weeks and I hope things continue to be busy.  As always, we are moving forward with filming and we have several courses in the editing phase. I am hoping to have a few uploaded onto our classroom platform the end of this week, or the beginning of next week.  With every stage, there have been a few hiccups as we worked out the best possible way to get the highest quality on everything.  The good news is that, while it means slow going at the beginning, once all the parameters are set in place, everything will move much faster.  Before the end of February, we are hoping to provide you with weekly releases of the courses.

In addition to the news about the first courses, we have added some new sculpting supplies to our online store at  The supplies are the F4E Pro Tools that I will be using throughout the courses. Some of the tools are in the sculpting kit so if you have purchased a sculpting kit, you will have many of the tools available.  

The new items are available immediately and are not preorder sales.  They are:

And, as already mentioned, the sculpting courses are available on the store for a preorder price.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk Sculpture WIP #8

So I am really excited about the WIP of the Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk Sculpture. He is coming along really well and I have moved into the torso area of the Hulk.  At this point, you can really start to see how he is going to look when it comes to the overall size and shape.  I still have a lot of detail to add to the figure but that will be done at the end, once all the rest is done on the figure.

As with everything, bulk is added with the final layer of putty.  I play around with how much I add, some areas get less, some areas get more but what I am focusing on is creating the superhero anatomy that is needed for the Hulk.  He is what is known as a brick so the anatomy is slightly different than what you would do for other "regular" and "superhero" anatomy.

I'm also trying to get it as close to the art as possible so I am following the anatomy and details that the artist has in the illustration.  So check out how he is turning out and please feel free to comment with any questions.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fire For Effect Store has Launched

It has been a very busy month with the holidays, the kickstarter and setting everything up for the company. It has been crazy how much needs to be done still but I am hard at work with sculpting and filming the courses.  And I have a bunch of posts planned for this month that includes some much anticipated WIP shots of the Hulk!

But today, I wanted to announce that the Fire For Effect Studios store is now live.  We are offering all of the courses for a reduced cost, for a limited time.  For those of you who missed out on the kickstarter, this is your chance to get in at a reduced price.  Over the next few weeks, I will be releasing a line of sculpting tools on the store as well so make sure you keep an eye out to see what will be available.

So check out the store at and thanks for all your support as we launch the studio.



Friday, December 6, 2013

Final Days of Sculpting Course Kickstarter!

We would like to announce that the Sculpting Courses by James Van Schaik kickstarter is entering its final days.  We would like to issue a warm thank you to all of the backers who have made the project successful and James is looking forward to teaching you all in the classroom.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the kickstarter yet, it is a series of eLearning courses with the everyday hobbyist and modeller in mind.  The courses are complete guides to sculpting and modelling specific techniques and each course offers a wide range of resources for students.

High definition, non-time lapsed videos will show students exactly what they need to do to sculpt a detail or technique.  In addition, helpful pdf and power point guides will take students through the steps and will highlight important aspects of the technique.  References are provided as applicable and all of the classrooms have an eLearning campus where students can connect with peers and with James Van Schaik himself.  It is more than just a sculpting tutorial; it is an eLearning course that has been designed with the same thought towards curriculum as a college course.

Right now, with the kickstarter, all of the backers will receive savings of up to 75% of what the regular prices of the courses will be.  Plus, they are receiving many free courses and add ons at low prices for as little as a $15 pledge.

So if you have ever held a paintbrush and wondered if sculpting was something you could do, don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn all your modelling and conversion skills from a 15 year veteran of the sculpting industry. 

The kickstarter ends December 9th so back it now!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Only 7 days left of the Sculpting Courses Kickstarter

With only 7 days to go and many rewards that are still to be opened up, there has never been a better time to learn how to convert your own miniatures and models. All of the courses in the core course lists are designed for the everyday hobbyist. If you can paint, you can learn how to do conversion on your models and miniatures.

Fire For Effect Studios and James Van Schaik are happy to announce the “Learn to Sculpt Miniatures” Kickstarter is close to smashing another stretch goal and will be unlocking more great rewards for backers for as little as a $15.00 pledge, and even more rewards at the higher levels.

So spread the word and share the kickstarter with your friends to learn how to convert your miniatures and make them a cut above all the rest. Don`t miss out on once in a lifetime prices on these exciting courses and back the kickstarter today!