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WIP Yamnaya Chieftain

Discussion in 'Sculpting' started by Shane, May 4, 2022.

  1. Shane Active Member

    Here is my latest sculpt project, my interpretation of a Yamnaya Chieftain from around 3000BC.

    This is my attempt at a forensic recreation based on an admittedly limited knowledge of the science.

    When done he will be wearing items based on found grave goods.

    This is a 1/6th scale sculpt.

    Thanks for looking.


    elanlane13, Ferris, MattMcK. and 6 others like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Shane

    Great to see what your working on , always interesting to follow a sculpt , looking good so far

    Very different subject if possible do share the references

    What putty are you using ?

    Is it over a wire shaping ?

    Looking forward to seeing more

    Happy sculpting

    Oda likes this.
  3. Shane Active Member


    Thanks for the interest. I have been jaded lately by the usual subjects and decided to try something different. This project fulfills two interests, sculpting and archaeology. The Yamnaya were major contributors to the creation of Europe. They were sheep herders who spilled out of the area around Ukraine into Eastern Europe beginning about 3000BC. With them they brought the Indo-European languages, wheeled carts, domesticated horses, lactose tolerance and blue eyes. It is believed they replaced much of the male population in places they occupied. They are thought to be the forefathers of the Germanic and Celtic peoples.

    References for this project are fairly limited. Research papers provide some information, but the main source is the book The Horse, the Wheel and Language, by David Anthony. I'll be using using illustrations of grave goods from this book to create necklaces. Clothing items will be left to imagination. Online sources were used to create the face based on common Yamnaya skull characteristics.

    I started with a wire armature to build the basic masses. I'm trying a new process where I "skin" the underlining shapes to hopefully create a more realistic appearance. We'll see how it goes.
  4. Zim PlanetFigure Supporter

    That looks very good Shane please keep us updated with your progress.
  5. MattMcK. PlanetFigure Supporter

  6. Shane Active Member

    The anatomy is essentially done except for some adjustments here and there. The eastern Yamnaya had robust skull features that I tried to reproduce in my interpretation. One thing I wanted to avoid was a muscle man look. Seems much more likely they would have been lean, sinewy and rugged. So it spent a lot of time building the muscle structure then covering it with skin.

    Next I will create the necklaces. These will be various beads, dog teeth, a boar's tusk and human teeth sheathed in gold. All these are based on grave goods finds. Once those are done I will create the tunic which will be a copy of a Tarim Basin mummy. These people were the Tocharians and are considered related to the Yamanaya. While the tunic is soft I will press the necklaces into the tunic to create a sense of weight. Then I'll remove the necklaces and paint them separately.

    Next I plan to create a leather cape that will be draped over the bust. I have no idea of this piece will be accurate to the Yamnaya, but it was worn by later Germanic peoples. Such a basic item would seem to have been a common use of resources. After that will be the facial hair. I do that last so I don't ruin the detail when handling the sculpt. I'll use Magic Sculpt for the hair because I think it holds detail better that Apoxie. That's all for now. Shane
    IMG_0028(1).jpg IMG_0029.jpg

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