Abyssoul's range of miniatures caught our eye for their unique character. Each sculpt is filled with incredible detail, even before you look into the character's backstory. We sit down to talk with Fausto Palumbo about starting this project and its future, along with having a detailed look at one of Abyssoul's sculpts.
This article forms part of our Nautical Tabletop Month that's running across all of November. We're going to look at different nautical wargames and board games, as well as interview developers about capturing the sea feel on the tabletop. We'll also look at nautical factions in popular wargames along with tabletop accessories that are available to keep your hobby ship-shape. You can see all the articles here on the hub. So come aboard as we set sail and celebrate all games nautical in nature.
Before we talk to Fausto, let's have a look at Zensh-Iku and for more details about her, we caught up with a stranger in a tavern across some rum.
"Oh, do you wanna know more about that strange crew? Maybe some coins could refresh my memory....Uhm, I still don't remember quite well. Ah, now I remember perfectly"
"Yes yes, so...they are the Children of The Sea, and Zensh-Iku is their proud captain. She was a sex slave from the eastern nations. It's not clear how that terrible moment started for her, but is well knew that she escaped from one of his tormentors, paying her escape by losing one arm. She spent days semi-unconscious in the sea, praying with every piece of her soul to stay alive at any cost. The Ancient accepted her request and decided to help her, but in exchange, she declared total loyalty to him."
"Oh, do you want to know the technology of that prosthetic arm? That's a hybrid between the technology used in the East and the magic from the Ancient. The gem that you can see in her arm is a gift from Him and would be better for you to don't put your eyes on it. Each member of that crew is famous. They are really low in number compared to a common crew, but each one of them has got gifts from the Deep."
Zensh-Iku comes as a multi-part resin kit. All the pieces arrive extremely clean and require minimal work before assembly. Zensh-Iku has 2 head options, one with a straw hat covering most of her face, and the other with a long pony-tail with bells.
Both head options come with a large surface area, that's perfect for pinning or magnetizing both head options. All of the join points for the pieces fit very well, but because of the large surface area the mandolin covers on the back, we're going to paint it first before gluing.
TechRaptor: Welcome, Fausto to our Nautical Tabletop Season. I first saw your incredible looking sculpts when researching different brands while planning for our nautical season. So tell our readers who might not know of Abyssoul what your company is, and how it was formed.
Fausto Palumbo: Hi Adam, and thanks for this interview. It’s a pleasure to be here. Abyssoul was born actually 3 years ago. After too many years behind a desk with colors and brushes, I decided that it was the right time for me to create my own fantasy world, my own stories, my own miniatures. Since then many things changed, not many miniatures have actually released on the website (7 at the moment), but more than 10 are ready to be released. I do it just when I think they are ready and when I am 100% proud of it.
TR: How difficult was it starting up the company and releasing your first sculpt?
FP: It was like painting for the first time in your life a special piece for an important competition. You have a lot of doubts, rewrite the story (each character has his own story), and so many doubts. But it is like a rollercoaster, once the fear is gone it is an amazing adventure every time.
TR: What’s your process for creating a project and how long is it from initial idea to finished piece?
FP: I am really proud of the creation of each character. Everything starts with a vague inspiration, like everything in this world. Before working on the aesthetic look, I prefer to write a background of this character. Like magic, word after word, it starts to appear in my mind in the most natural way. After this, a rough sketch is done by me ( I still draw like a 5 years old child) and then the information is sent to Mirko Failoni, one of my best friends and a world-recognized fantasy artist. He translates everything I send to him into an image and we create the final concept together.
After that, it is time for sculpt work. I work with 2-3 sculptors for the mainline, so I can keep a sculpting style for the range. As I like to work mainly with digital artists (except for the portraits line, a line of small and funny busts) then it is time for 3D printing I have some friends near here that has got one of the most amazing 3D printers for miniatures. After the print is done it is time to clean it and prepare it for resin casting.
After I will receive the resin copies, I need to do the box art. Then photographs and marketing. Then packages. A LOT of packages, it really takes a lot of time, but I am always happy to know that there are so many painters all across the world that truly appreciate the work that is done with this dream, with Abyssoul. As this is not my full-time work, the whole process can take up to a full year from the idea to shipping.
TR: I know that there are plans beyond just incredible sculpts, what does the future hold for Abyssoul?
FP: All I can just say for now is to keep an eye on the website, subscribe to the newsletter, and be ready for something really cool and new soon.
TR: We’re featuring Zensh-Iku alongside this interview. Tell us a little about her. She’s got a very interesting backstory. Where did the initial idea and design for her come from?
FP: Thanks! Her story came up initially from a hybrid between Anne Bonny and Mary Read. For the design, we took inspiration from the woman of the East, and we took the decision that sensuality in miniature can be done also without stupid armor for women, but there are many other ways to create something that can be at the same time sensuous and threatening.
TR: You produce a range of full sculps and busts. Is that catering to 2 different markets or are there other reasons behind it?
FP: It is more a matter of scale. 75 mm scale and bust are mainly for miniature painters and collectors. They are developed for the same target, but we always take the risk to offer something new and different. Maybe this could be the reason why some of our customers do not come from the hobby of miniature painting but other markets like RPG games.
TR: How many products ahead are you planning? What have you got in design and production at the moment?
FP: I am sorry, I can’t reply to this one (I am under NDA). All I can say is that Abyssoul is not a pirate centric miniature line, but will be a complex and full world.
TR: What do you play or paint away from your own products? Are you more of a gamer or a hobbyist?
FP: I am a complete nerd! I play mainly Warhammer 40k (Necrons, Death Guard), Age of Sigmar (Ogor Mawtribes, my pure love. I have a tattoo on my leg with the Great Maw), and a lot of videogames. But every day I paint some miniatures, for me or for the different collectors across the world that appreciate my art.
TR: Thank you for your time Fausto, and for sharing Zensh-Iku with us. We can't wait to get her painted.
The copy of Zensh-Iku featured in this interview was provided by Abyssoul.