Zachary Hightower – Shadow’s Edge Miniatures – Ask the Artist

Hey folks, today we’re going to get to know Zachary Hightower, the owner and operator of Shadow’s Edge Miniatures. Shadow’s Edge Mini’s is a terrain and scenic product line, focused on creating ultra-realistic, well-priced tufts, foliage and other scatter terrain items. They also have a pretty cool line of scenic resin bases.

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Ask the Artist - Shadows Edge - Zach Hightower - Profile Pic

As a quick little side note, I have been using Shadow’s Edge grass tufts and foliage for about 8 months now. I first decided to check them out when I saw a Spikey Bits YouTube Video. In the video, Rob showed off their then-full lineup and one of their products that blew my mind was the leaf-litter. The crisp detail and amazing color variations was something I simply couldn’t get over.

I immediately hopped online, intending to spend only the $10 for the leaves…. As it often happens, I found myself reading over the emailed receipt, trying to figure out how I spent over $100. No matter how many times I checked it over, the numbers added up. Oh well… Now, all I could do was wait for my loot to arrive!

Since I had never ordered from Shadow’s Edge before, I ordered the 6mm grass tuft sampler. This allowed me to get a feel for different colors and sizes. Once I found the one I needed, I then went and ordered full sheets. I used all 6 sheets of tufts in the process of completing a massive Space Wolves commission!

Ask the Artist - Shadows Edge - MPP Hellblasters
Hellblasters from my Wolves commission

Although I am bummed now that I have no tufts left in my drawer, I’m pretty excited, because not only do I have another order coming my way…now I can get them at a discount, which you can enjoy too! Keep reading to find out how!

Zachary Hightower – Shadow’s Edge Miniatures – Ask the Artist

How long have you been involved in the hobby in general?

I started doing scale military and aircraft models when I was around 8 years old. I started Warhammer fantasy maybe 4-5 years later when it showed up in a local bookstore.

How long have you been actively promoting your content on social media, or via a dedicated website?

For around 4 years now. Right after my youngest son was born was around the time we started taking the business a bit more seriously. Not that there is any correlation there…

What initially drew you to the miniature model hobby realm?

My dad did miniature models and had them on display when I was a small child.

Ask the Artist - Shadows Edge - Resin Bases

I was hooked ever since seeing them and it only got 10x more so once I realized you could do tabletop battles with them.

What tabletop game would you say is your favorite? What particular faction within that game is your favorite and why?

With the death of Warhammer fantasy, I think 40k is my favorite, although Star Wars Armada is a close second. Within 40k, Tau is easily my favorite because, well, rail guns.

What is the most relaxing and enjoyable aspect of the hobby for you personally?

Clipping sprues and assembling the models. I enjoy all other aspects, but at the end of a long week, this is what I look forward to the most.

If money or time weren’t a consideration, what single purchase/upgrade/expansion would you make to further your hobby enjoyment?

An expansion to my work area to fit a dedicated gaming table and storage. My eldest son is just starting to take an interest in tabletop gaming.

Ask the Artist - Shadows Edge - Rocky Snow Flock

Pipe dream is to have a designated spot for that in our Shadow’s Edge Workshop.

Where do you get the inspiration for your particular army theme or style?

Battletech has a significant influence over my Tau army, especially when it comes to conversions.

What tips or advice would you give someone just starting out in the hobby?

Be patient with yourself. It can be discouraging to see the insane paint jobs that float around the internet and on the tables at events, but even those painters had their beginner days.

What was the moment you realized making and selling gear was something you wanted to pursue as more than a hobby?

I had a brief period where I decided that I wanted to be a commission painter. I quickly discovered this was not the gig for me but through that journey I found that I really enjoyed making quality tufts. That’s when Shadow’s Edge was born.

Ask the Artist - Shadows Edge - Controlled Chaos
Miniatures painted by Controlled Chaos

Though becoming the business it is now has been an evolution. As we have learned and taken more risks we have expanded our product line into what Shadow’s Edge Miniatures looks like today.

What was the most difficult obstacle you had to overcome on your path to becoming a product provider?

Fear of failure. It sounds cliché, but a lot of our quality now comes from trial and error. We still sometimes find new problems in some of our longest lasting products. Our new product lines often go through a lot of trials and I have to remind myself that a failure just means one step closer to figuring it out.

What was the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a company?

All of the opportunities that we’ve had to sponsor charitable organizations and events.

If you could do anything to expand your company footprint, what would it be?

I would like to go full time to better expand. It is our goal for the next 1-2 years.

What about your products do you feel sets you apart from your competition?

Quality and customer service. There is a lot of competition out there.

Ask the Artist - Shadows Edge - Leaf Litter Display

We strive to make sure we have the best product, and we will make it right if there is ever an issue.

If you could land a Content Creator or event to sponsor, who would it be and why?

We are incredibly fortunate to sponsor some amazing creators and events, but I would love to sponsor the Sword ‘n’ Steele and Tabletop Titans YouTube channels.

Is there a product in your lineup you’re currently promoting, and if so, what is it and why do we need it?

Nothing that we are overly promoting at the moment. We do have a line of weathering powders coming out this Fall. They are going to be fantastic for making those minis look like they have actually been fighting a long campaign, trudged through the desert, spent too much time in the rain and have now rusted, or even give them a metallic sheen.

Zachary Hightower – Shadow’s Edge Miniatures – Closing Comments

Zach, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I have been following your expansion journey via Instagram and it is such an awesome thing to watch. I wish you the best of luck, and hopefully, we can help you get the attention necessary to finally lock down Sword ‘n’ Steele and Tabletop Titans!

Readers, Zach has provided a code for 10% off anything in the store!

Discount Code: KV8DRH6WW896R

It expires 12/31/2020 and it doesn’t stack with any current sales. If you’re anything like me, and you find yourself absolutely in love with the products you find, this discount code will definitely come in handy!

Oh, and a brief reminder, if you’re in the US and looking for a fantastic place to get models or supplies, be sure to check out MTech Cave! If you use Promo Code: PAPA at checkout, you’ll get a 15% discount on your purchase!

Please Note: This site uses affiliate links. Our Affiliate Partners are shown below
(Affiliate links will result in compensation to the site on qualifying purchases)

Click this link & buy your hobby stuff from Element Games for the UK & Europe to support – Use Code “FAUX2768” at the checkout for double reward points.

TAG TTC Kickstarter Advert 1

Our Affiliates / Hobby Stores

FauxHammer – Latest Video on YouTube

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Trevor Lang

I'm a proud Papa to 3 little kiddos. I'm a Marine Corps Veteran, served 2010 to 2018. I've been in the hobby for nearly two years, but I've found an awesome little niche and I absolutely love painting commissions and getting to know all of the amazing people in the hobby!

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