After Jim from Lone Gunman Games ran a 15mm sci-fi sculpting contest, I figured it'd be great to know a little bit more about him and his miniatures business.
Right now he has some 15mm sci-fi miniatures that resemble a certain alien from the Fifth Element:
|Available under the Lords of Fantasy range.|
He also has a great selection of 15mm fantasy figures and 28mm modern figures.
Without further adieu, here is the interview!
Well there is two answers to this question really. Gaming started for me at age 10 Playing D&D/AD&D 1st edition. My first Wargame experience was Car Wars, and then later Mage Knight when it came out.
2) What first piqued your interest in miniatures/wargaming?
That would probably be when I saw my first metal miniatures at an FLGS. I was very attracted to the Dragons and giants figures that were there own limited lines at that time. I forget who even produced them now, but they were way out of my price range as a kid.
3) When and why did you decide to start your own miniatures company?
Well I had always wanted a gaming company of some sort and my lack of writing skills, and limited artistic ability left me with few easy options to start something without hiring people to help bring things to market. Miniatures seemed a less complicated route to get started with.
4) What were your first products?
I bought the first 5 miniatures that Whiff Whaff (Adam) ever sculpted. I knew I couldn't afford to carry on with Sandra Garrety at her prices, so I figured I would give him a chance.
5) How do you go about getting figures produced? Do you usually come up with the idea yourself?
I have not so far. Adam releases a list of things he has for sale at different times and if I can afford to add something then I may if it fits in with what I am already doing. Sending a sketch to a sculptor is something I have on my to do list for future projects.
6) What’s your favorite scale?
Good question, I would love to do some 6MM stuff, but I can't really afford it. I also like the larger 54MM figures as the detail on them can be incredible without being impossible to paint. not sure I can really say either of these I prefer over 15mm/28MM it all depends on what line of miniatures and what Genre there for.
7) How did you end up with a 15mm fantasy figure line?
Thane Morgan posted on TMP that he wanted to get out of the business and I was forced to either try and find a new retail location that I could share floor space with or start a gaming company so that I could keep my wholesale sources. Running the miniatures company is a lot cheaper then trying to start an FLGS in a non-college environment.
8) Do you paint and collect your own figures?
I try, I think I primed some back in 2008. There around here somewhere. I just never seem to have the time.
9) Do you get a chance to play any games?
I don't anymore not since my group imploded about 10 years ago.
10) Do you do business through eBay, or just your web store?
I do have an Ebay store for other things toy and gaming related. It pays the bills for the miniatures company.
11) Do you like the online selling experience?
I do most of the time. I don't get to interact with my buyers the way I used to in the old days. Everything is to automated now.
12) Do you cast your own miniatures?
I don't unfortunately I have to have that service contracted out. I don't have any proper place that I could set up a casting shop right now.
13) Do you have any crazy customer stories? People who claimed outrageous things to try and get free minis?
I don't actually, so far no one has tried anything like that with me. I've also been pretty lucky with Ebay buyers as well.
14) Is Lone Gunman Games your primary occupation?
No, I am fully self employed thought. My health doesn't allow me to be reliable enough to work for someone else anymore. Not that I got to do a lot of that when I was able to. I spent so much time being unemployed that I was forced to try something else.
15) What’s your favorite thing about owning a miniatures company?
It fulfills a lifelong dream. No matter how big it ever manages to get I can at least say I did it. That's what counts.
16) Do you have a least favorite thing about owning a miniatures company?
Well that would be going to all the time and effort to release something and then not sell one figure. You never know why it didn't sell so you worry you're going to make the same mistake again with the next release.
17) Looking back, is there anything that you would change as you got your business off the ground?
Truthfully I am still trying to get this one off the ground. I probably should have developed my own rules system earlier, but that takes time.
18) What do you have planned for the future of Lone Gunman Games?
I have a card game that I have been working on for the last 7 years that i hope to finally finish. I have some terrain stuff on the drawing board, and a holiday wars game in the planning stage.
19) Is there anything you want the miniature buying consumer to know, that might not be obvious?
The Modern Heroes line we pulled from the brink of oblivion. My caster was involved in the company who produced them and he thought someone else had the production molds. They were thrown away in a garage clean out and if the master mold hadn't stayed with the caster they would have been lost forever. Only the first 6 had ever been produced the last 6 were never made beyond impressions in a master mold. I know they're a bit outdated, but the cost to bring them back from the edge was cheaper then having them re-sculpted from scratch.
Thanks Jim for taking the time for the interview!