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WIP Critique New Year Resolution - Learn to Sculpt

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by Eludia, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Eludia A Fixture

    Hey folks,

    The title of the thread pretty much sums it up - my challenge for 2016 is to learn how to sculpt. More specifically, I'll be trying to learn how to sculpt 1/12 scale busts. After much bumbling through the various facets and scales of our great hobby over the last couple of years, I've had the most fun painting Stormtroopers V12 series busts (now sadly discontinued, although some are still about) so I decided that I'd learn how to make my own stuff.

    To encourage myself to get my finger out, and not to find excuses to back out, I've decided to go public with my journey and to air all my failures along the way so apologies in advance if you're easily offended by shoddy work.

    So, erm, watch this space if you're really really bored and want to have a laugh at my expense. Or, even better, maybe you can tell me to stop being a t**t and show me how it should be done ;)
  2. billyturnip A Fixture

    I'm not easily offended and like a laugh so I'll be following. :playful:
    Seriously though I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on Billy and wish you the best of luck. I have the utmost respect for anyone who can sculpt and even more respect for a first timer giving it a go.
    ChaosCossack, Scotty and Eludia like this.
  3. Eludia A Fixture

    Cheers Roger.

    To be fair, I've had all the kit for ages (probably too much kit if I'm honest with myself) and I've dabbled a little bit with the clay but nothing serious. I made some tools after reading a book which showed me how to and I've bought a couple of sculptor's anatomy books for my Kindle (which are excellent btw (the books that is, the kindle's ok I s'pose ;)). I've even got some anatomy charts that I've managed to adjust to the correct scale so I've got something to copy. So I've got all the gear, just no idea* :)

    *I have a rough idea of what I want to achieve, and an even rougher idea how to get there. I just need to work on the specifics ;)
    ChaosCossack and billyturnip like this.
  4. Scotty A Fixture

    I've printed off an anatomy diagram and laminated it so I can work right on it. It works for me, good luck, I look forward to seeing your work. Everyday is a school day.
    Dan Morton and Eludia like this.
  5. Eludia A Fixture

    Phase 1: The Armature

    I intend to use compressed aluminium foil as the main material with some form of strong but bendy metal for the neck and also some strong (and a bit less bendy) metal for reinforcing the torso.

    These are the options I have to hand for now:


    1. Some thin gauge wire, of which I have a more or less limitless (and free) supply. This isn't so good in single strands as it is only about 0.3mm and like wet spaghetti. However, I can add a bit of strength to it by twisting strands together using my (patented) electric drill and hook on the wall method.
    2. Heavier gauge wire. This is almost as thick and stiff as the wire coathangers that were used as TV aerials throughout the land in the 70s and 80s. It certainly has the strength but it can be emotional to work with. This too is free and I thought I had a plentiful supply but could only find a single twisted length about 2ft long tonight (I'll need to have a word with my dealer ;))
    3. Brass tubes and rods. This isn't free :( but it certainly has the strength and is a bit easier to bend than the "coathanger" wire. By sheer chance, the sizes I have also telescope inside each other perfectly so I could maybe model the head and torso seperately and marry them up later. I'm thinking that this would allow me to twist the head to adjust the pose (at least horizontally side to side).

    Your thoughts and input would be much appreciated :)
  6. Eludia A Fixture

    Onwards and upwards :)

    I have my Apollo and Aphrodite:


    I'll be concentrating on Apollo for now (he's quite the beefcake ;))


    I made an armature from tin foil and wire. I went for the thick coat-hanger wire for this first attempt, I might try the brass rod next time (the thin wire was a non starter as it was just too bendy).

    DSC_2186.JPG DSC_2187.JPG DSC_2188.JPG DSC_2189.JPG DSC_2190.JPG

    DSC_2191.JPG DSC_2192.JPG DSC_2193.JPG

    I then spent an hour or so building up the torso with a 50/50 mix of Super Sculpey Firm and Original (I read somewhere that this was a Good Thing (tm), don't ask me why ;))

    DSC_2194.JPG DSC_2195.JPG DSC_2196.JPG DSC_2197.JPG DSC_2198.JPG

    DSC_2199.JPG DSC_2200.JPG DSC_2201.JPG DSC_2202.JPG DSC_2203.JPG


    I think I'm getting there with the general shapes, volumes and proportions. I'll do a bit more tidying up tomorrow as I'm on leave for the rest of this week :)

    My aim tonight was just to get the armature done but I got carried away and completely lost track of time, before I knew it I'd been at the bench for over 3 hours without a break. I've not zoned out like that for a long time, there may be something in this sculpting malarkey :)

    Thanks again for tuning in, comments and critique are always welcome
    SERHAN OFLAS, Oda, Blind Pew and 6 others like this.
  7. captfue Active Member

    Great start look forward to seeing more of your work...
    Eludia likes this.
  8. Eludia A Fixture

    Thanks Anthony :)
  9. Range Rat Active Member

    Wish you all the best, tried it once:bored:
    Eludia likes this.
  10. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Hi Billy, good to see you are taking up the challenge! (y)

    When you come to sculpting the head try using some facial planes reference material, it can be a great help in setting the features correctly. Plenty of free stuff to be found on Google and Pinterest.


  11. DaddyO A Fixture

    If you do decide to go for the brass you heating it up and then plunging it into water will make it easier to bend smoothly

    Jamie Stokes, Eludia and Scotty like this.
  12. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Looking good so far - good luck to you.

    Eludia likes this.
  13. Eludia A Fixture

    Thanks Rich, I'm using this fantastic book as my main reference, as well as the charts of course:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anatomy-Scu...2075836&sr=1-1&keywords=anatomy for sculptors

    The illustrations, photos and descriptions are amazing. I managed to find the bits of the book I needed (head, neck and torso) as individual Kindle downloads a while back but they seem to have been withdrawn now as I can't find them. The whole book is expensive, especially if you buy a hard copy, but I do think its worth the investment.
    Rich Sculpts likes this.
  14. Eludia A Fixture

    Thanks Paul, I'll try to remember that when I get to that point :)
  15. Eludia A Fixture

    Thanks for your support guys :)
  16. Eludia A Fixture

    I started to rework and refine the chest area this morning and came across my first dilemma; "How do I make a nipple?" o_O

    So, in true Army fashion, I improvised, adapted and overcame. After a little bit of thought, I decided to make a "nipple tool". I cut off the tapered end of a cocktail stick and drilled out the centre of the flat end. Here are some pics of my Tool Nipple Forming, Mk 1, and also the results:

    DSC_2241.JPG DSC_2242.JPG DSC_2239.JPG DSC_2237.JPG
    ChaosCossack likes this.
  17. pokrad A Fixture

    From my experience, forget the nipples and details until all the volumes and planes are set correctly.
    It's like using old camera: you point the camera, and the object is blurry, but the main contours and volumes are there. Then you focus a bit more, you see some details but not all of them. You do multiple passes until the object becomes "sharp".
    I do sometimes make "points" for nipples, ears etc. but only to mark its position - using divider so I get basic symmetry.
    Otherwise you might for example spend an hour by making the eye, only to discover the position and size of the eye is completely wrong (and I repeated that mistake many times until I learned a different way).
    At least this process is working for me ;)

    Good luck ;)
  18. bogusman53 Active Member

    Very nice start, I'm afraid my skills are limited to minor conversions such as sweatrag/towel on one of my Vietnam 1/9th busts and figures and my conversion of Youngs LRDG bust to a Royal Navy crewman with duffle coat and helmet instead of Cap comforter. Oh, and painting busts and figures. :)
    Eludia likes this.
  19. Eludia A Fixture


    Thanks for the advice Darko, I especially appreciate it coming from an accomplished sculptor like yourself (y)
    Oda likes this.
  20. Eludia A Fixture

    Thanks Ian(y)

    I wouldn't underestimate your conversion skills, my use of putty up till now has been limited to filling gaps or replacing bits that I'd inadvertently sanded/cut/knocked off or otherwise destroyed in my usual ham-fisted approach to modelling.
    Oda and ChaosCossack like this.

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