Thursday, August 25, 2011

[Interview] Ron from From the Warp - FTW

For those of you that dont know about FTW, go check it out now by clicking the image above. For the rest of you that are saying, "Of course I know who Ron is and know all about FTW", you're in for a treat! The long awaited Interview with Ron! let the reading begin!!

1) How long have you been into the gaming scene and what got you started?

Ron - I've been involved since 40k 1st edition or Rogue Trader and then like most folks, got out of the hobby only to get back in later on. In my case, it was around the end of 4th edition I came back to the game.
What got me started originally was a friend of mine who had a few Eldar Fire dragon models that I thought looked so cool. That and discovering Space Hulk when it first came out. I absolutely fell in love with that game.

2) Do you play tabletop games? And if so, how often and what are your favorite games and armies?

Ron - I used to play 40k. I haven't actually played a game in almost a year now. As I started getting into the modeling and painting aspect more, my actual playing time took a backseat to that. I think I get more enjoyment out of building and painting. The game is fun, it's just that I'd rather build cool looking models. My favorite army is Deathwing. From the very beginning they've held a special place in my heart. There's just something about their background that I love.

3) If you could meet anyone at all in the gaming industry, who would it be and why?

Ron - Tough one. I don't know... I've met so many cool people already through the FTW Blogger Group and charity projects like Heroes of Armageddon and Storm Wardens.
I'd say I enjoy meeting folks who are passionate about the hobby. Whatever the aspect may be (modeling, painting, playing...) It's fun to talk to people who are really involved with the game.

4) Do you have any favorite board games?

Ron - Space Hulk would be my first choice hands down. Outside of that, it's the regular family board games we play on family night at my house.

5) When you do any type of gaming, how competitive are you?

Ron - Not very. I love the challenge that comes with playing Deathwing and fielding less than a dozen models, but I like to think I'm really laid back. When I get a chance to play, it's already a win for me since I've got a few hours set aside to do what I want... win or lose makes no difference to me. If my opponent forgets to do something from the previous turn, I let them. If they were trying to do something in particular, then sometimes we just make it happen even if a dice roll would have dictated otherwise (deepstriking someplace in particular)... that kind of stuff.

6) Do you read any hobby related fiction such as Black Library books?

Ron - Very rarely. I try and get my hands on stuff related to the Dark Angels, but that's about it.

7) What do you consider yourself primarily? Painter, modeler, gamer, general purpose dork?

Ron - Given those four choices... I'd say Painter more than anything else. Modeling is up there too, but painting is is most likely the biggest thing I do or at least what I do most of the time.

8) Was there a special inspiration that got you into modeling/painting in the first place?

Ron - Honestly, no. I've always been an artist, but I can't think of anything in particular that got me into this hobby outside of being exposed to it by a friend way back when. I do like to look at the yearly Golden Demon stuff for inspiration.

9) What is your favorite project you've done?

Ron - Wow... this is a tough one. I have a couple different favorites based on how hard it was or how unique, or how long it took. I think my favorite project of all was the Storm Wardens project for the sheer scope of it. There have been other projects where the sculpting has been better and others where my painting has been better, but that project was so many different things all rolled into one.

10) Is there a specific type of modeling work you like above others? For example, do you prefer vehicle conversions over infantry based ones?

Ron - I love trying to model Characters from artwork in the rulebooks. It's a huge challenge to get the model to capture the feel of the artwork.

11) Do you like to say, watch TV or listen to music while you model?

Ron - Since my studio is upstairs and my Daughter stole my radio from my office... I listen to music on my computer while I work. The only exception is when a new podcast comes out and I listen to those instead as long as my family isn't home (due to the language in some of them).

12) Where do you get your inspiration from?

Ron - Two places.
1. Artwork and background in the rulebooks.
2. Seeing what other hobbyists do.

13) What do you find most compelling about starting work on a new miniature or piece?

Ron - Trying to figure exactly "how" I am going to model or paint a certain aspect of the model.
Sometimes I can look at a model and know how I'm going to do it start to finish and other times, I have no idea. Those are the most fun... when I have no idea how I'm going to build or convert a certain part of a model. That's a huge challenge. The prefect example would be a Sarpedon commission I did a while back. I had no idea how I was going to build his spider legs or his bionic arm when I first started the project.

14) What are your greatest challenges when working with something new?  

Ron - I think regardless of what it is, even if it's something old, my greatest challenge is getting my work for a Client to match what they've imagined in their mind. So often, we know what we want something to look like in the end, but getting that explained to another person can be difficult. Trying to "get" exactly what they are looking for is the biggest challenge for me.

15) Do you have a favorite piece, or piece that you consider your "seminal work"? 

Ron - Hmmm.... how about, I don't know. I've gone through my work a dozen times looking for something that stands out. If I had to say one thing though, I guess I'm known for my banners maybe. Both charity events I've been involved in have had me doing them and it was one of my very first tutorials I posted online.

16) Who is someone in the modeling field whose workyou admire?  

Ron - While it might seem kinda corny, I admire the folks who go out there, try something, fail miserably at it, post about their experience and then keep at it until they get it right.
I find that to be the most motivational thing. To see that someone who doesn't necessarily know how to model or paint something try to do it and give it 100 percent... but still have it not come out "right" and then try again motivates me to try my hardest at the things I'm working on.

17) What it your favorite tip, trick or lesson to share with others?  

Ron - If you take your time and pay attention to the small things like cleaning mold lines, painting the edge of your bases, etc. you can improve your work tremendously.

18) You've won several awards for your painting expertise, but are there any pieces that you look back on and wish you would have done differently?  

Ron - What awards? Maybe some smaller ones here and there... but as far as looking back and wanting to do things over, I'd say no.
Most of my stuff is done certain way for the person who asked for it. It's done that way because it's what they wanted and not what I wanted. I just try to put 100 percent into each model. Maybe that's why I don't want to change anything.  Looking back, I see things I could do differently now because I've learned new things since having done a particular model, but I don't see that as going back and changing how I did it originally.

19) What advice would you give to beginners starting out, or those who don't enjoy painting, to get them more involved or motivated in the activity?  

Ron - Yikes, if you don't like painting, you may have a tough time withe the hobby. Not liking painting and not being "good" at it are two different things and I think sometimes people feel the latter and the result is not liking doing it. We all start out somewhere. I have some of my first models that I still keep in my display case. My first attempts were pathetic. 
It's something that if you keep at it and invest a little time into learning about it, you can grow by leaps and bounds.

Paint what you love to paint. Play the army you really want to play. Make the hobby yours.

20) What in your opinion is the most difficult painting technique to learn? (And can you teach it to us, preferably in 30 words or less.)  

Ron - Most difficult to learn... maybe Object Source Lighting.
I ended up doing a three part series on the whole process to help some folks work their way through it.
How's that, it's 26 words?

21) How long has your business been around and how much have you seen it grow?  

Ron - I think I started my commission work and then From the Warp a few years ago. Back when I got back into the hobby around the end of Fourth Ed. How long ago was that? As for growth, it's been tremendous. I could have never anticipated it turning out like this.

23) What do you think makes your products special or unique?  

Ron - I think FTW is unique in that it's a hub for 40k hobbiests. It's not so much a destination site as much as it's a jumping point to all kinds of other things out there. Sure people come to see what I'm keeping up with, but lots of times, folks use the site as a ramp to get to other places.

24) Is there anything new you have coming that you could give us some hints about?  

Ron - I just started up Painting Tree which is a site for both commission artists and gamers alike. It's designed to connect those folks looking to have something done with those folks who are willing to do it. I always thought it would be cool to have one place that someone could go to find a number of artists they could look through and possibly get something done for their army.

25) When you achieve world domination, what will your headquarters look like?  OR  Is it true that being in New Zealand you have hobbits working for you?

Ron - I'm not sure I can talk about it. The plans are still being approved. I can say that there will be no Hobbits.