Rich Odell submitted a comment on Penny Meyer’s tutorial thanking Penny for her work. He also commented on the “flat” she painted in the tutorial, which is known more as a “relief.” The particular “relief” she used in her demonstration was sculpted by Gary Dombroski.

There are a few obvious differences between the conventional “flat” and “relief.” The flat is produced by an artisan engraving the image into slate. Two pieces of slate are  brought together and “tin” is poured into the mold. Voila! a flat tin figure.

The “relief” on the other hand is produced by using something like sculpey and the flat figure is sculpted out of the material of choice. Some beautiful results can be produced. It is not a “flat tin figure,” but it is flat and I have seen some beautiful reliefs. I hope to feature these reliefs on the site as well.

Back to Rich. Rich happened to see Gary Dombroski’s work and an old passion for sculpting was ignited. When he commented on Penny’s work, I wrote back…and am I glad I did. Rich has a wealth of experience in modeling. He was kind to write back:

Hi Steve – many thanks for your interest. I’ve been involved with art and model making from a very early age, always had a keen interest in history so sculpting and modeling military figures fell naturally into place.

Used to exhibit and compete in many model shows across the UK in the 70′ and 80’s and was fortunate to win at many national and local shows. All this lead to my first job at 15 working for Aeronautical and General Modelmakers (the firm that created the models for shows like Thunderbirds and film work that included some of the Bond movies). Worked freelance for many years around some of the big names in the professional modelmaker industry.


Around the mid eighties worked on my two largest pieces at Bees Art Models (Based in Weybridge Surrey). They where two large diorama’s for the National Army Museum (Chelsea, London). The Dioramas depicted the ww1 battles of Nimy and Cambrai, they were designed by John Piper and constructed by my self and Martin Beacom (the owner of Bees Art Models).


These last two jobs really was a turning point for me and I left the model making professional a little burnt out and wanting to see a little more of life other than the inside of a workshop 24/7. So – joined the Ambulance service, saw life at the raw end and met my future wife in the process.

Never went back to sculpting, or model making for the next 25 years, until last year when I hit 50! Something woke up inside and the urge to be creative again became overwhelming, I just had to do it. Spent the next six months finding what fitted me best and by chance I stumbled upon Gary Dombroski’s site, saw what he was doing with relief sculpting and instantly feel in love with the discipline.


I’m a beginner all over again – got the skills, but they’re rusty; a few projects on the go and nearing the end of my first attempt. Website is up but not public, when I’ve got images of older work posted and a few articles on board I will let know.

Wish you every success with the website, I for one will dropping by on regular basis.
Kindest regards
Rich Odell

Thanks Rich.

Here is his current project:


It is based on this photo:


I know, Rich makes it look easy. I tried my hand at sculpting once. It was a school project for my grandson. It was supposed to be a dog, but it looked like an elephant. (An accomplished sculptor friend said the strategy in this case was to tell people it was supposed to be an elephant.) I look forward to watching the progress of Rich’s upcoming work. When he gets his site up and running, I will let you know ASAP.

I also plan to feature more on the “relief” working going on. In fact, I have another post upcoming from another “relief” sculptor later today.

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