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Community Spotlight - White Shark Gaming

Updated: Oct 1, 2019

This is the first of our interviews and I am pleased to welcome Iain from White Shark Gaming Studios

Welcome to this community spotlight section once again, this month I have had the privilege to interview Iain Gonzalez


This is someone I have found through the wonders of social media Instagram and Facebook and here is a link @Whitesharkgamingstudios


I have asked them to be interviewed to find out their hobby styles and life and see if others can gain from their experiences.


First off thank you Iain


Lets begin with some basic questions so people can get to know you,

Can you tell the folks a little about yourself?


Hi, I’m Iain, I’m 37 with 2 cats, not looking for anything serious! Oh wait wrong form!

Id like to think of myself as a mature hobbyist but I’m probably not that mature much to the annoyance of my long-suffering wife and daughter. I run a very small resin terrain and base company called White Shark Gaming Studios.


How did you get into the hobby of table top wargaming?


Well I have a twin brother who was having his appendix out and wanted something to do to pass the time while he was laid up! I inherited his models very shortly afterward, I also had some work colleagues that painted and gamed that I wasn’t aware of until I mentioned the new ‘Space Marines’ I had this was 13 years ago!


What type of hobbyist are you? A painter/collector/gamer or a mix?


I would say first and foremost a painter for sure, id like to collect but space is a premium so I’m also a recycler, I get what I want out of an army, sell and start again. I do miss some of my armies, but I can always do them again in the future. I do like to play but finding the time can be a pain, I also do not currently have a fully painted or built army!





What game systems do you play? Are you simply a one game person or do you play many different games?


I’m pretty much a Warhammer 40k gamer and AOS. I have tried other systems, but I just don’t have the patience or the head space for all the other rules, I barely know the 40k rules as my friends will tell you! I do love gaming, board gaming as well, as my wife would say any game with ‘bits’

What was the thing that caught your eye the most them you were first starting out?

Shiny blue Space Marines! Pure and simple, that’s why they employ those marketing guys right lol.





What advice would you give someone just getting into the hobby/or your younger self, now you have been involved in this for a while?


Patience, paint, patience and paint! It takes time to get good at anything new, it can also take a lifetime to master, I have been painting for 13 years and I’m still only a mediocre painter. I’m not bad at the old 3D hard edge design though!





What’s the best part of the hobby for you?


Painting, having that grey canvas change in front of my eyes and I’m the one doing it, pure magic!


What is the worst part of the hobby for you?


Elitist gamers or modellers, they are few and far between but they are there, if you are better at something than someone else why would you not make the game or the painting experience enjoyable for you both. I just don’t get it! (jumps off soap box)


What keeps you in the hobby?


It’s my wind down time, after work and after my daughter has gone to bed, spending a couple of hours just painting or modelling, either making new products or trying out new ideas. Also my friends, I am lucky enough to have a very close group of friends I have made through the hobby of varying ages, we socialise outside of the hobby, from having BBQ’s, wood working, helping each other move house or fitting kitchens, yes that happened, I would say that the friends I have made are the main force behind it!


How do you deal with burn out/lack of hobby mojo?


I just chill out, watch some TV, play a video game, do something else, occasionally we all get it, it can last for days or even months, I had it last for around 6 months before, luckily for me it all comes back, I find a clear out of the grey pile helps me loads!


Has anyone inspired your hobby style/life?


Wow yeah loads of people! During my first few years of the hobby, I only started when I was 24, I immersed myself as much as possible, I joined all the forums from CMON to Bolter and chain sword, but I called the Platoon Britannica forum home! I learnt so much from the Ladies and Gents on there, loads of meet ups at Golden Demons plenty of beer! Oh, you want names! Ill give you names! People such as Scott Hockley, Nigel Carmen, Ben Jarvis, Tracy White, Peter Bell and of course Mike McVey and Ben Komets, I had a liking for Victoria Lambs early work from Australia. I now find inspiration every day from the 1000’s on social media, I follow a few of the mentioned names, and others but too many to mention, you know who you are!


What projects are you working on at the moment?


I’m currently working on a pirate Ork army and testing out some schemes for ultramarines. Im also working on some resin ruined buildings and a second large tile set for D&D and the like, is being released very soon.





Do you plan out projects/armies or just get sucked into the trap of collecting everything?


It depends, with the Ork army I had it was literally everything all at once, with the Pirate Ork army it has been thought out and collected for the past couple of year, but I’m still getting ideas while putting it together, the main ship will have a dreadnought powerfist as an anchor, which was only decided 2 nights ago!





If your budget was unlimited but you could only buy one army what would it be?


Easy Orks, as that gives me free reign to buy any model and LOOT it!

What do you hope to improve with regard to your hobbying in the future? Painting!

Number one thing for me to improve is my painting, I’m sure it’s the same for everyone who does GW stuff but id love to win a demon one day, not sure if I ever will but if I keep trying and try to inspire other while I do, its not bad is it!


I became aware of work from the battle reports you have done on Table Top Tactics, how was that?


Awful….

Nah seriously, the first time was fantastic, and it just got better, I have been on 4 times now, Id love to go back, perhaps for some AOS! I’m lucky to be friends with Mike (The Chef) via our local store, he put forward the idea of a game to Lawrence and it was a go! Spoiler alert, I haven’t actually beaten him on the channel, but in our local store, I have… no honestly I have


Do you enjoy the process involved with turning a game in to a visual experience to share?


Yep, its pretty good fun, it is tiring for sure, it takes ages, filming can take up to 4 times as long as an actual game, when I visited the studio I was there for around 8 hours, Its cool to see what goes into creating a channel like TTT, all the camera’s, lighting, not to mention the 1000’s of models and 100’s of pieces of terrain, it’s not all rolling dice and banter!


And then from this I was able to find about your business and White Shark Gaming Studios through a mutual friend also, what was the process of turning a hobby into a business?


I started creating bits and pieces quite a few years ago under the banner of BNSminiatures, I had quite a few base ranges and plinths, due to health reasons I closed up shop, once I was healthier, I opened up again, changed the name to White Shark Gaming Studios. I Started making bases for my armies and loved the process, but I didn’t want to make 100’s of the same detailed bases, so I made some moulds.


What made you take the leap from say just making a few products for yourself to branching out?


Well I had interest in them from some friends, I only charged for materials to them but I thought about selling them pretty soon after and I started on Ebay, after a few early sales and a small demand for different designs I opened up my first webstore.





Is this a full time job?


God no, I work a full time job and take care of my 2 year old daughter while my wife works a little later than me 3 days a week, so I really only get a couple of hours a night to do any hobby at all, perhaps some time at the weekend, but that’s family time!


What products do you offer?


A few, Resin bases, Scatter Terrain, Dungeon Tiles, LOS terrain.






Any sneak peaks you can offer from your company in the future,


wow well I have said about the ruined buildings, I have multipart shipping containers coming, some Sci-fi tiles and walls for games like space hulk, a few more varied sets of Dungeon tiles, including dock tiles and mine cart tiles, I post pictures of pretty much everything I’m working on, on my Instagram page, I’m crap at keeping them secret, what’s the point I want people to want them lol.


Where can people find out about your products?


My website is: www.whitesharkgamingstudios.co.uk, I post regularly on my Instagram and facebook page also.


Thank for taking the time Iain and we are looking forrwrad to seeing more of your amazing products and models


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