Critical Craftsman: an Interview with AleksWorkShop

Critical Ops has inspired a lot of creativity among the fans. Many make videos, edited screenshots or create their own weapon skins. However a player going by the username AleksWorkshop has taken it a step further. He is bringing elements from the game to life as he creates guns and knives from wood, cardboard and all other kinds of materials he can just get his hands to. Those aren’t just stationary models either. The weapons have moving and detachable parts, like the actual weapons would: moving trigger, hammer and cocking lever as well as a detachable and reattachable magazine.

Aleks designs and crafts these weapons at his home himself and posts videos of them to his Youtube channel AleksWorkShop.

We interviewed him about his creative process and history with Critical Ops.

“It all started back when i was about 8 and i used to love lego. By the age of 9 i decided to start making something of my own and built my first ever paper project which was a simple house.” Aleks says. The passion for crafting and creating something with his own hands started early and never faded away.

“As the years passed, i was getting more experience in crafting and making stuff myself and so i went from paper to cardboard and then from cardboard to wood.” From his videos we have seen all of these materials turned into weapons. But how did he end up from paper houses to weapons?

The answer lies in Quake 4 which sparked Aleks’ love for FPS games. “My first ever gun model that i made out of a particular game was the CAR SMG from Titanfall 1. It was made out of paper and i still have a video about it on my channel if you scroll all the way down.” That particular video is from 2015. Since then he has made over 150 videos, most of which are related to crafting weapons from FPS games.

“My first weapon from Critical Ops was the default knife, because i just wanted to start it out with something basic. I was good at it so I started developing it and went onto cardboard. By the time i got good at making stuff out of cardboard, I became a huge fan of the Half-Life series and obviously Counter Strike:Global Offensive and CS:GO was a really inspiring game for me.” The inspiration was also born due to some technical constrictions.

“I was in love with the gun models in CS:GO but unfortunately, I couldn’t quite play the game on my old computer and that’s why I wanted to recreate these gun models, so that i could enjoy them in real life. Then it became kind of a hobby and i started a youtube channel. People were very interested in watching my content so i decided to keep going. In a few years time i completely left CSGO because i could not play it on my weak laptop and that is where Critical ops came in.”

Aleks was already making Youtube videos, so it was only natural that Critical Ops would become a part of his life through Youtube too.

“I found out about Critical Ops via Youtube. I just wanted to play something like CSGO but with at least not that much lag. 30fps on my old Samsung device seemed like a dream and so i went for it. Critical Ops became something that I could let my anger from the day off on. I would sit on the sofa every evening after a tough day and play a couple of games of defuse on Barcelona. I’ve been playing the game since 0.3.0 and the game has changed a lot since then.”

In the game Aleks really seems to fancy gold and glimmer. “When it comes to my favorite weapon, my weapon of choice is obviously the AK GSR combo on which i have the ivory and the antique skins, because they are my favorite. I remember when i first started playing the game my favorites were the HK, M4 and XD45.” Aleks’ love for the GSR Antique can be seen in one of his recent videos, where he crafts and paints that particular weapon. Skins and the game overall bring him a lot of joy.

“I can remember how happy i was when I first got a skin. It was the p250 sunglow which I really loved and I still have it equipped even now. Critical Ops helped me to get through some serious times. I had trouble in my family and for me, the only way to stay positive was to know that I can always go and relief my stress on some operatives and it might sound silly but it really did help me at the time. That’s probably why I love this game so much.”

Pouring your creativity into something you love is a natural step. Aleks started this crafting journey early and he has refined this skill along the way. He also encourages others to join in, if they also have the interest to create these weapons.

“The crafting process is really not that hard. At least it does not look like it when you start. In the process of making there is always going to be small errors, details and other things that go wrong. First of all, I make a blueprint. I make one on my phone and post it in my VK group so that other people can also make stuff I make. Then I cut the blueprint out, which is the hardest part because you have to be very accurate in your actions.”

Crafting weapons is just a time consuming and precise process, but it is rewarding. You can get the blueprints and go through the following steps to create your very own Critical Ops weapon.

“Sanding, gluing, testing and etc. making sure that your mechanisms work and stuff like that. Then, assembly. It is usually the part that messes everything up because the smallest drop of glue in a wrong spot can ruin the mechanism completely. If everything goes right, then you will have a raw product which you then work on for days, adjusting the shape and texturizing the model. After all of that’s done, we move onto filling the gaps in the texture and smoothening out the shape. The last part of making the model is painting. I usually put 3-4 layers of sealer before I paint my model. After that’s done, i paint the model and once it dries out, I vanish it so that the paint sits tight. And there is the final model, now it’s time to edit the video. And that’s basically what I do when making something. It takes about a week or two to make a model, depending on the size of the model, details and how much homework I have for the week.”

The hurry in life doesn’t stop Aleks from pursuing bigger projects. We have mostly seen pistols and knives so far, but he has prepared something bigger.

“I’ve made the M4 assault rifle from critical ops as my first big weapon from this game and I will upload a video about it shortly. I am currently working on the Dual MTX, but I had to stop my work and concentrate on my studies. For the past few months it is very hard for me to make anything at all because there is so much homework. So unfortunately, I have to sacrifice my hobby for studying for now and hopefully in future I can come back to it.”

Fortunately in the meanwhile at least there’s still time for few short matches of Critical Ops.

“For now, I will just enjoy my time playing the game. What I really want to see in Critical Ops as a weapon is probably the LMG section. To be more specific I would like to see the M249. I am also a huge fan of the Desert Eagle, but I feel like there is already enough pistols in the game so i do not expect it to be added.

As from skins, I really like simple skins like Azimov from CS:GO or maybe something a bit more complicated like maybe a dragon (like on Phoenix). But as a personal choice i would love to see a new Dual MTX skin.”

When new weapons and skins will be added to the game, we from Critical Force can’t wait to see Aleks’ real life versions of them.

You can check out these crafting videos on the Youtube channel AleksWorkshop at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDgtZo2XJNupcmmsk8uaWrQ/featured