lauantai 14. tammikuuta 2017

Discoveries in Sculpting ep1: "Tools and Armatures"

I have been meaning to write a tutorial type articles of the things I have discovered about sculpting miniatures.
I rather not call them tutorials as I am still very much a beginner myself, but rather list things that have worked for me, and what has improved my sculpting, so maybe someone can avoid the mistakes I made.

The main reason for me to sculpt is to see how stuff develops, I seldom have much idea what the outcome will be, but instead let the putty do the forming. I try to be as much of an observer as possible, it is at least in the early stages IMO the best way, as my skills are not at the level in which I can much control my work.
Also, as it is with when painting miniatures, once you put time and effort in them, they become more personal, and get an emotional attachment to you. With sculpting, I instinctively think of the backstory for the miniature during the process, and let that guide the creation.
Also, once you let your imagination run, you will have something totally unique, something that represents a piece of your mind, and is a 100% match to whatever you created it for.
Lastly, when you are not sculpting for moulding purposes, the details can be a lot crisper, no flashing of cleaning.
On to the topic of tools.
The norm seems to be this kind of metal instruments sold in packs of 5 or more.
In my opinion there will be only few that are useful, and those only after some customization.
From these 2 tools, I only use 3 ends, and from those really only 1.
Most used end for me is the rightmost one. it is pretty basic rounded shape that can be used to do pretty much everything excluding the last stages of detail. It used to be sharper arrow shaped end and I just filed it to its current form.
These are newcomers, they are silicon tipped tools that allow a lot gentler touch than metal tools. They have become really invaluable tools once I have lain the main bulk, and start forming the contours under it.
Slightly more tips that is needed, but I ordered them in bulk.
One more custom tool, a needle. It sees action at least in some extent in every miniature I have made so far as a needle, or sideways aa a way to smooth hard to reach places.
Hobby knives. Left one is for more general sculpting, removing putty, or doing small details, and righ one for making eyes (more of that later)
A way to measure what I am doing. I am constantly doing everything too big unless I measure everything all the time.
Vaseline. During the last stages really invaluable option to help smoothing required areas.
Armature holders. I used regular corks, but ordered few "real ones" from greenstuffworld, and they are obviously a lot sturdier than ones not intended for this work. Not mandatory obviously, but better.
If there is one thing I can recommend, it is BeesPutty, it allows you to spend as much time as you want with the mini (it is oven cured), comes in different firmness, and is really designed for miniature sculpting.
I know that there are many alternatives, and I have not tried all of them, but I can't see myself using anything else than BeesPutty.
..and Greenstuff, you also need Greenstuff.
 Then to the topic of armature making.
You might want to experiment with these yourself, but I have always come back to this one technique. It is not mine, but I have not been able to find the "inventor's" website anymore, so I can't give credit to where its due, sorry.
The big advantage with this method is, that it will produce a full armature with hands and all, most instructions in Internet have no hands, or require hands to be added with superglue.

You will need bendy, but not too bendy iron wire, pliers and wire cutters.
Start off with a 1 long and a 1 short iron wire pieces.
  Twist the long wire like this.
 Place the short like this.
 And start twisting the long around the short like this.
Easiest method is to grab the long wire's open and closed loops between both hand's index finger and thumb, and twist away. No pliers required, just keep the loops tight as the shorter wire in the middle is not held in place with anything more than just the longer wire's loops.
 Make loops until your shoulder and hip separation is correct.
As a tip, I was constantly loosing the paper with the human proportions until I taped it to the desk.
 Cut open the longer loop, and voila´, you have a human armature with outstretched legs and hands. And a long tail.
 Snip off the tail (unless you are planning on using it) and bend hips and shoulders to the armature.
 This is the way I do feet, just another couple of bends in the wire. Here the small pliers com in handy.
Also, leave the wire long enough to sink into the cork base.
Cut the wire's low end sharp as in the picture, to more easily puncture the cork.
 Then just start bending the armature to desired pose. Remember to bend the spine to it's natural S -form as it is not straight.
 One of the biggest things I struggle with is natural looking poses.
 Some points that are said are to put the weight to one leg, bend hips, make the whole pose fluid S-form.
I'm sure that just keeping on it will force the results in the end better.

So, that was it, I can wholeheartedly recommend sculpting to anyone that has even an ounce of patience.
It is easy to dismiss sculpting as something that "I have no skills in", but for us with no skills it just takes more time. Oven cured putties allow infinite applications, if something does not please your eye, remove it and redo until it does, and them move on to the next place.

I also suggest you start with non human sculpts, demons or monsters are good as you are not limited to strict proportions and anatomy, but can let your hands do the sculpting and just look what comes out. Lucky break for us chaos players.

let me know if you have any suggestions or corrections!

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti