Thursday, 10 January 2008

Making Progress ..... and moving back

Firstly thanks for the positive comments. Its been correctly pointed out that it would be helpful if I assume people reading the Blog know nothing about the subject area (which isn't a lot less than me!). So to that end I'll firstly reprise a few things.

The armatures as previously indicated are from Ebob (the link's at the side of the Blog). Here's one of the fine fellows to give you an idea where our brave lad started from.

The tools being used are stainless steel Dentistry items, here's a selection. I'm sculpting using Greenstuff, which is a two part epoxy? material that comes in strips half blue half yellow. You mix it together and it goes green hence.......greenstuff. I think its actually supposed to be used in the plumbing industry, but its fairly extensively used in the miniatures world hence the term "greens" for masters.

All the tools, greenstuff and armatures are available from Ebob, from the link on this blog (I'll point out now I have no commercial interest in Ebob, just trying to point people in the right direction if required).

When mixed it has the consistency of chewing gum, and stays pliable for about 1-2hrs after that its best to stop. When working with it I find it useful to occasionally wipe the sculpting tools with petroleum jelly (vaseline) as it prevents them sticking to the material. Its also handy to use tools thus treated for polishing up rougher surfaces of the greenstuff, when its still pliable that is.

Right, hope that's covered the basics, but feel free to ask anything else, and I'll try to give you an answer.

One of the things I should say, is that with a figure 25mm tall you can't have entirely lifelike detail, its a compromise between the overall form and how it will look when painted etc. To that end with this figure, what I'll be trying to do is give a reasonably good impression of what the uniform should look like, which will hopefully carry through this impression to the painted figure.

In the case of this lad, I've put on Buttons (which are a bit oversize) to give hopefully the feel and look of the uniform. Its not however the correct number in respect to true accuracy but I think it will look ok, as I said a compromise.

In respect to this, I've decided not to put buttons on the side of the gaiters, as I think this would just be a bit to much and would destroy the overall line of the figure, if required they can be painted on.

So here he is, not much changed from previously other than I've fixed that damaged button (only noticed when I saw the Photo on the Blog) and fixed his arm back on. In that respect I've put a very small amount of material on the joint to strengthen it a little. We don't want to overdo this as we still want to be able to bend the arm later at this point.

I want to create several different master figures, all wearing the same basic coat like this lad. Given this, now is probably a good point to stop the sculpting process again, and cast this figure up thus making another armature wearing the coat and gaiters. This armature can then be used in several applications to create final masters by adding different heads, equipment etc.

So the next stage for this chap will be to make a mould and cast him up as is. I'll cover this in the next few posts.

This "intermediate casting" is a bit risky in that its possible the mould won't work, the figure gets damaged or too much detail is lost, but its a necessary step if we don't want to have to sculpt all figures individually up from scratch. On this figure I'm particularly concerned about the long coat tails, which are realistic but a bit vulnerable (its a big "undercut" for the Mould to handle)........We'll just have to hope for the best!

In the interim our brave lad will need to get "tooled up" or he won't be able to storm to glory on the battlefield, so lets make some weapons!

I'm making initially a sword and Musket, these will be loosely (and I do mean loosely, its 25mm after all!) on a French Grenadiers hanger and the 1763 model musket.

The frames for these are nothing more than appropriately bent paper clips, flattened in the case of the sword. The sword has also had a little bit of plastic strip added to form the hilt. I've then started to build these up with Greenstuff, but I'll now need to stop and wait for it to set before I add more detail.

I think that's enough for now................hopefully back again soon for another step in the process!


Bloggerator said...

Say you decided you needed to put a waistbelt on the little guy - how would you go about representing how the item would "pull into" the bulk of the figures' clothing?

Or am I getting aead of the story?



John D said...


In most circumstances, I would work out before hand if the uniform was likely to include a belt, and include it in the basic armature if this was the case. With these figures I'm basing it on the 1779 uniform, where the bulk did not have a belt so I haven't included it.

However I'll stick one on one of the officers as a sword belt in due course to give you an idea.



Bloggerator said...

Thanks John, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my basic queries..!