Feat of Clay: an Interview with Stavros Zouliatis (part 1)

Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to Sculpting, Painting and Gaming, the blog of wargaming inspiration.

Those of you who follow War banner on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will already be familiar with the work of Stavros Zouliatis. This incredible artist has sculpted the entirety of War Banner’s forthcoming Warring Clans range of 28mm samurai miniatures, and it’s safe to say they’ve made something of a splash. With more War Banner miniatures to come from this versatile, gifted and humble artisan, I decided it was time we got to know him a little better…

Paul: To begin, please tell me a little bit about your background, and how you discovered wargaming and sculpting.

Stavros: I live in Peiraus, Greece. A musician since a young age, I only discovered sculpting in 2013 when I started building plastic airplane kits and painting the accompanying plastic figures. I was so excited by the figures that I investigated how to make them from scratch. I started in a large scale 75mm and in a fantasy theme. After a lot of experimentation, I found sculpting miniatures in a smaller scale to be more rewarding. Now I prefer to sculpt in a smaller scale; the challenge presented by creating such tiny sculpts excites me and inspires me to grow and develop. I now work exclusively in 20 to 28mm.

I began showing off my new creations, and my first commissions came shortly afterward. People loved them, and this inspired me to add push myself to add more detail and more dynamic poses. I quickly progressed to wargaming and its numerous themes and genres, and began to sculpt historical and fantasy miniatures for a variety of companies including War Banner!

Paul: So what were your early inspirations?

Stavros: My inspirations came from fantasy movies, computer games, and the works of Tolkien. My main inspiration, in fact, is Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Those movies, I believe, altered the landscape of our industry.

Paul: What process do you go through when you create your awesome sculpts?

Stavros: Most of the times clients send me reference pictures and then trust me to start creating. Sometimes they send me concept art&mdsh;which can be pretty prescriptive&mdsh;and all I have to do is to bring that concept to life. I start by creating an armature with wire and epoxy putty. Then, once that armature is posed correctly, I start to lay down layers of clay to create the first shapes. Once I’m happy with the pose and the shape I then add the details until the sculpt is finished.

Paul: On average, how long does a 28mm miniature take to sculpt?

Stavros: Two to three days depending on the amount of detail,

Paul: And which of your creations is your favourite?

Stavros: War Banner’s Ashigarus and Samurais! I particularly like the last Samurai I sculpted.

Paul: Speaking of the armour, how much research did you have to perform to achieve that amount of accuracy, and to which sources do you refer?

Stavros: Lots! Research really is the key, and so myself and Andy [Hobday, co-founder of War Banner devotee of the history of feudal Japan] did lots of research. Books really are the key.

That concludes the first part of our interview with Stavros. Join us next time as Stavros details his adventures in wargaming, his involvement with War Banner, and his ambitions for the future. Bring popcorn, ‘cos it’ll be EPIC.

Hailing form Greece, Stavros is a workaholic who is passionate about both life and sculpting. He brings that positivity and love for life to every sculpt.

You can see more of his amazing work on his Facebook page.


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About the Author

Paul L. Mathews
A born-again wargamer since 2015, Paul L. Mathews is now the editor at War Banner. He is also the head honcho at his own freelance enterprise, Tabletop Creative. A dull boy, Paul's interests include editing and staying up past his bedtime

1 Comment on "Feat of Clay: an Interview with Stavros Zouliatis (part 1)"

  1. This is great file mou , hope the Greeks are available at some stage definitely gonna check out the samurai minis at war banner great stuff

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