Microsoft Sea of Thieves Games Characters

We were asked by Microsoft to create two game characters for their brand new game Sea of Thieves.

These sculpts were being used to promote Microsoft’s Rare Games Division’s brand new exciting online platform game Sea of thieves at the E3 Gaming Expo, a video gaming conference and show in Los Angeles.



What we had to do

They were going to be seen by a lot of gaming experts and that meant the skeleton pirate characters had to be extra precise as they had only just been designed by the team at Rare, and had to look impressive enough to lure gaming fans to their stand.

We were given detailed 360 degree images to work from and in the space of just a few weeks we had sculpted, moulded, cast, finished/sanded and painted and lacquered both sculptures. They had to be shipped to LA and so we ordered specially made flight cases, which had to be small enough to save space keeping shipping costs down as much as possible. So we had to make the sculpts fit the smaller cases, and to do this we made them come apart in sections but that would fit back together seamlessly.

How did we do it?

We first made metal armatures and bulked out large areas with chicken wire and foam and added the clay. This method keeps the amount of clay needed down and also the weight, but more importantly it gives support and structure to the sculpt. One of the benefits of sculpting by hand, as opposed to 3-D printing or 5-axis CNC machining, is that we can include the client in the sculpture process allowing them to make any last minute changes or tweaks.

Once the clay sculpts were approved we made the silicone moulds, which both had many parts to due to the complexity of the sculpts. From these moulds we cast the fibreglass figures, sanded them, primed them, painted them and lacquered them. They were both free standing on bases that we made to look like the deck of a galleon, each with its own mast and sail with printed vinyl Sea of Thieves promotional literature.

The result

Our client from Microsoft Studios loved the sculptures, so much so that they are now on display at their studios. Take a look at some of the kind words our client said about our work:

The statues look absolutely amazing at the show. Our social media team have been getting loads of tweets and other bits of info on social media about how cool the Sea of Thieves booth at the show is and how awesome the statues look. Please feel free to tweet about them, I’ll ask the social media team to give you guys a mention on our channels.

FYI – I have forwarded the photos of the statues to some of the sea of thieves team here. The guys have all agreed that you have “knocked it out of the park” with these.


David Sanderberg Head of Facilities Management Rare – Microsoft Studios