Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Sculpting ........ Getting Started

To make a miniature, the first thing you will need is a "dolly" or armature. This will act as the Skeleton for the figure, giving you something to build on and also importantly setting the proportions for the figure. You can make these yourself, out of bits of wire, or take the easier route, which I use and buy some. I would recommend the ones supplied by Ebob, and it is those that I have used here.

The figures I going to make are late Eighteenth Century French, suitable for the AWI as its a range not really available from anybody in a style which I like.

If you think you might make more than one pose or figure its worth creating some basic masters, at various stages in the process, that can then be added to or modified to create finished masters for casting. You'll often see this approach being used by the "professionals" when they show previews of greens.

In this case I've created a couple of poses and clad then in a basic C18th style waistcoat, breeches and shoes. You'll note no head at this stage (its been removed for seperate surgery!).

I've sculpted this using "greenstuff" and basic modelling tools, I think there made for Dentistry work, but are readily available.

At this point in the process I will make casts of these as I plan to use this basic form in several different applications in due course. I'll come back to casting later, we'll stick with scuplting at present.

We've now effectively created a new more advanced "dolly" (not cleaned up in this Photo) on which we can build a figure.

Lets add a coat, this will be done in a couple of stages, first the basic form which will be allowed to harden, then the detail such as lapels, turnbacks, buttons etc will be added. In the later Photo's I've also started to add the gaiters.

You'll also note the arm has broken off, this doesn't matter at this stage. It happens quite often, and we can fix it later.

More to follow ........


Bloggerator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bloggerator said...

I think I want to have your babies.

Seriously - what an excellent blog; you're bookmarked!


Greg Horne

Bluebear Jeff said...

Actually I don't ever expect to sculpt any figures myself -- but I'm finding this very very interesting.

This is a great subject and I hope that you'll keep it up.

And, please, could you take a photo of a "basic armature" before you've added anything (and the packaging as well perhaps)?

I very much look forward to future posts and am forwarding the link to some friends who MIGHT actually try to sculpt some figures.

-- Jeff

Bloggerator said...

What do you think of the eBob armatures? Have you experimented with anyone elses?



Steve said...

...excellent series of articles - very interesting, looking forward to reading more....

John D said...


I like the Ebob armatures, they produce a nice slim figure very comparable to RSM in Height and heft. I'll post some comparison shots, when this chaps further on.


I'll post a photo of the basic armature later today.

Bluebear Jeff said...

Thank you, John. Also, for those of us who really don't know (like me), just what is this "green stuff" that sculptors use?

Is it a clay, epoxy, resin, what? How is it packaged, etc.?

I suspect that it would help some of us if you consider that we know nothing.

A picture of your "dentists tools" probably wouldn't be amiss either.

-- Jeff