Well, I have now named JAG, Brian Nelson and MIKH as my best sculptors in the world. It was, of course, a difficult and close decision. I'd like to use today's post to name a few of the sculptors who I bumped off the list but whom I genuinely admire and, on any given day, could sneak into that list of three...
Jes Goodwin: Jes is the man as we all know. A staggering genius of the minis world and, I'm sure, a lot of you must have been expecting him to be on my top three. Well, Jes is a superb sculptor but I don't think that is his true talent. Jes is the best pure miniatures concept designer in the world. He draws miniatures even better than he sculpts them and his understanding of the medium is unparalleled. But this was best sculptor, not necessarily best designer. Though Jes is certainly that.
Alex Hedstrom: Alex, as I understand it, has totally left physical sculpting behind in favour of digital work and he's showing himself to be the most capable in the world in that medium right now. I thoroughly believe that Alex will be up there with my top three very soon. His digital work is astounding and the only reason he's not on my list now is that there's not enough of it yet. But those Space Hulk Terminators are remarkable in their design.
Kev White: Kev's a machine. Nobody that good should be so prolific. Over the years of his company Hasslefree we've seen him go from damned good sculptor right up to the bleeding edge of sculpting without sacrificing the core style he works in or resorting to detail gimmicks. His works are complete and beautifully thought out. And his command of anatomy is as good as you'll see anywhere.
Juan Diaz: Another master of single character figures. Juan has emerged as 'the' guy for sculpting Space Marine characters over the last few years. Possibly my biggest minis disappointment of last year was finding out he hadn't sculpted a new Mephiston for the Blood Angels. Man, I'd love to have seen that... and preferably in resin. Juan is, of course, superb in many other areas than Space Marines and he's responsible for the Lord of the Rings single category at Golden Demon being almost completely populated by Arwen figures.
Allan Carrasco: Allan tends to let a little madness run in his work and I love it. There's something about his work that makes me think that if I look away it'll start moving. It's a little unnerving...
Tom Meier: I couldn't leave Tom off the list. There's nobody anywhere with his command of greenstuff. What Tom can do with epoxy putty is as close to black magic as anything I've ever seen. No one details a mini like Tom Meier.
Nick Bibby: It's a shame he left our industry all that time ago but Nick is still the man when it comes to the monstrous. For my thoughts on Nick you have only to read my post about the Great Spined Dragon.
I've probably managed to leave a lod of sculptors off that list that I'll be thinking about later but that's always the way with this kind of thing. So much choice of awesome sculptors and picking three was always going to be tough.
I'll leave you with one final thought. I've talked of the best in the world and so on... but who's the next big thing? So, one final selection.
Andrew Rae: Andrew is relatively new to the scene as a pro sculptor but you can see the potential. He's already producing amazing works. He's switched from epoxies to polymer clays and is going from strength to strength as we see his confidence grow from mini to mini. I think this guy is going to be a big deal not too far down the road and he's just waiting for that one project that will express his fullest potential.