Tag Archives: sculpting

Immortan Joe mask

I do like a good prop. I’ve made a few things over the years and I really liked the mask worn by Immortan Joe from the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road. I sometimes print stuff off on my printer as fun little side projects and thought I’d run one of his masks off but I struggled to find one that was right. All of the ones I could find didn’t seem to have the right scale so I found one that was sort of right, modified it a little in Cinema 4D and started printing.

and the pipe parts.

What a handsome chap.

Now my 3d printer is ok. It’s not got a really high res on the print and the filament I was using kept giving me some problems.

More than a few issues but it doesn’t matter. I was going to sculpt over the top of it anyway. I extended the jawline back and up by adding some plastic sheet.

Then I started sculpting. The old favourites came out, Milliput and Aves Apoxie Sculpt. That stuff is so good to work with, I’m really becoming an Apoxie sculpt convert.

What a looker.

Mffrgble grbblleee argglleble.

Aaahhh screw it.

Primer timer.

Then some painting and I’m ready to hit the wastelands. I used some of my oil paints to weather it. Burnt Sienna, umber, a small amount of black over the metals and a bit of blue for contrast in places. Nice and oily.

I fit a band around the back and it stays on quite well. I even went into town a couple of times during the pandemic with it on.

Immortan Dave.

So does the story end there? Nope, of course not… it came out so well I got a few people asking if I could make more.

Yes. Yes I can. I started again, only this time I was making a few tweaks.

Alas, poor Immortan Joe! I knew him, Max, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

Here we go again.

Yes, I own a fez.

I got a foam head, a load of plasticine, and a lot of materials from SmoothOn.

Building up the plasticine over the head I mounted the mask onto it.

on goes the Smooth-Cast 57D.

Get it on, nice and thick. Then on top of that goes Plasti-paste to make the reinforced jacket. This holds the shape as the Smooth-Cast is very wibbly wobbly.

Time to demould.

Honestly, this stuff is amazing. Every little detail has been picked up.

To make the masks I used Rebound 25. It’s very bendy and quite robust. It sets slowly which means it won’t suddenly snap set and be all blobby. This is quite important for things like masks.

The downside was, it’s quite hard to get into a few of the smaller spots like the screwheads. So I cut off any which didn’t cast quite right and put real screws in.

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the vents.

This is the part I did get lazy. I didn’t do anything with these masks for over a year. Yup, I did all of this in 2020, cast the last bits in Jan 2021 and its now Feb 2022…

I shall finish these two masks off and make some more.

To be continued…

The uncle of all dragons

A few months ago I was contacted by (and I have to stand up and salute when I type this) the head of the Guild of Makers that I’m a member of, asking me if I could sculpt some DRAGONS!

Wooot. oh… Missed a line… Some dragon hands? Whaaaaa?

It all makes sense once you get down into the details. The mind lurking on the shoulders of Dr Lucy Rogers who first appeared on this blog many years ago, had conceived of a way to make a smoking dragon head using an e-cigarette (those things people make huge clouds of smoke that smell like Bakewell tarts) and a cast dragon head.

I approve 100% of the materials used by the way. Dragon Skin is one of my favourite mould making materials and I use it a lot for my castings. My current moulds for Loki (GRAAAA! Still not done a write up for him!), Odin and Freyja all use Dragon Skin moulds.

I was handed* a brief which was to make two pairs of hands as if they’re exploding out of the wall and to sit on either side of these smoking heads.

So armed* with this concept, I knuckled* down to come up with something handy**.

At some point, I bought a large 4lb pack of Aves Epoxy sculpt thinking it would be cool to do these in something new, but ended up falling back to my old favourite, Super Sculpey. Stick with what you know.

I spent ages doing the scales on each one. I was going mad some evenings when I was doing them as I felt I wasn’t getting far and then all of a sudden… BOOM. Done.

The two right hands got a little over done in the oven, but other than a little darkening down, they came out fine. The claws then got added with Milliput.

I then made the left as if they’re in the process of ripping through the wall. Once baked, I cut up the wooden bases and carved chunks into the back to fit wall mounts.

The back of the mounts had a recessed area so the hangers wouldn’t stick out and remained flush to the wall.

Many tubes of glue gave their lives in the process. A minutes silence for them please.

Next came the smashed wall bits. I finally used the Epoxy sculpt and its quite nice to use. I made the wall texture by scraping cracks and then pressing a stone onto the soft Epoxy to give it a rocky surface.

I regret not making the whole hands out of them a bit now. They fit well on the walls.

Some paint. Mainly bright but simple colours, as they had to match the castings. I didn’t do as much shading as I could have done but it was nice to do something simple.

The original dragon heads I’m matching. The green isn’t as minty as it looks from what I understand.

I like the red one. Nice and Welsh. Cymru am byth.

The green looks good as well though.

Big ol’ google gallery time https://photos.app.goo.gl/oJ8YwwHAChKeEdRY9

*bad pun

**that one didn’t work.

Tome'Thulhu

Pad’Thulhu

I’ve been a listener to the Call of Cthulhu based Podcast “The good friends of Jackson Elias” for a while now and, every year for their Patreon backers, they send out a Fanzine inspired book. This years cover was drawn by the genius that is Evan Dorkin and before my copy arrived, I thought I’d have a go at sculpting the little chap known as Pad’Thulhu.

Pad'Thulhu
Pad’Thulhu

I managed to get the majority of it done in two afternoons, which is probably the quickest I’ve ever made ones of these things. Sculpted in Super Sculpey firm with wooden spheres for eyes, dowel for toggles and some lolly pop sticks with plastic details for his suitcase.

I don’t have any major WIP photos simply because I was working so fast. I often pause to look at what I’m doing and take photos but I was moving too quickly.

The hardest part was actually the hat, I struggled a bit to get the edge the right thickness and shape but it came out ok in the end.

Baked Pad'Thulhu
Baked Pad’Thulhu

Once baked, he was coated in Macragge blue because for some reason I have loads of it… don’t know why *cough* hashtagmarchformacragge *cough*

Blue'Thulhu
Blue’Thulhu

Once painted in traditional Paddington colours using GW paints and inks, he was based on a nice block of stained wood and his suitcase and luggage tag was added.

Pad'Thulhu front
Pad'Thulhu tag
Pad'Thulhu back

By coincidence, or possibly summoned at the same time, my copy of the Tome arrived the weekend as I painted him.

Tome'Thulhu
Tome’Thulhu

Its at this point I often link to a google gallery of more images. I hate to disapoint and I’ve got most of them here already but heres a few extra if you want to see them.

If you don’t already, I’d suggest having a listen to the Good Friends podcasts, especially if you’re into horror books, films, games or anything Cthulhu related.

Big Trouble in Little China + Warcraft = David Lo Panda

Big Trouble in Little China, one of my favourite films. A few years ago an artist I follow posted a photo of something that really made me laugh which was a mashup of Big Trouble and Warcraft and for ages I thought I’d love to have a go at sculpting it. So before I go into this further it’s time for a bit of background information.

I’m a massive John Carpenter fan, I wrote about him while studying my degree at university and last year I actually got to meet the man when he toured the world to promote his second studio album and afterwards I thought I should get round to doing something based on his work which made me think of that drawing again. So when I found a small slot of time, I made a start. Theres are WIP photos in the gallery link at the end of the blog.

I wanted to do a big figure and ended up with quite a heavy piece.

Big Trouble in Little China

He’s a bit of a big chap

Details on him are made from buttons, pins, wire, drawing pins, a knitting needle, some brass tubes, a glass eye and a couple of wooden spheres. Nothing like a bit of random stuff to add interest.

Big Trouble in little oven

Just after baking

It’s a bit of a basic paint job at the moment but I am planning on going back to add more details at somepoint when I’m feeling braver. Probably after I’ve rewatched Big Trouble in Little China for the bazillionth time. If you haven’t seen it, it is a great film and worth a view.

David Lo Pan

Painted Panda.

A Google gallery, if you want to see more pictures including the WIPs, is here: https://goo.gl/photos/Kvew6dxg2LQe6Wfa6

You can also keep up to date on whatever is going on in my cellar, on my Facebook page Castings of Cthulhu

Tools of the trade

I’ve been asked a couple of times about the tools I use on my sculptures. The main tools are my hands, that sounds a bit patronising, but it’s true. I’ll roll, push, poke, prod and generally mash Sculpey or clay around with my fingers to get the shapes. As for tools, heres some of my commonly reached for with the most important on the left and descending in order to the right.

tools

First off is a couple of wooden tools that are I would struggle to be without as I use them not only for building forms, I tend to use them for detail work as well. The top of the far left one is the one I use for hair a lot.

The next one is a home made one which is a brass tube with a bent jewellers saw blade in the end. I’ve had this for about 15 years as I made it at uni. I honestly have no idea how I bent it as these blades are tough but snap easily, all I can think is I heated it and bent it. I hope I never snap it. Anyway, its a rake, the fine teeth on one side help to shave the top layer of material to make shapes in the clay.

The three together are ball stylus ended thingys. Technical I know. They’re good for forming folds and indentations.

The five black handled tools are silicone tipped sculpting tools. I had some cheap ones once and they lasted about a month. Seriously c**p. I bought these ones from a Spanish website called green stuff world for about 10 euros and they’re amazing. They’ve lasted for about 2 years and show no serious degradation. Shipping to the UK was a bit of jolt but worth it. I’d shop around if I needed new ones now but at the time I was too narked off at my cheapness and didn’t care.

The small silver thing is a Zirconi Zahle 4 Wax Carving Stainless Steel Instrument and will gut you like a fish. Good for sharp clean edge work.

The next bunch of tools are a mix of sculpting tools I’ve collected and dental tools given to me by a dentist a long time ago. Yes, they are second hand… I cleaned them. Many times. The lone brass tube in the middle is a home made pokey thing build from a bit of stiff wire and stuck in place with putty. It comes in handy now and then but not that much.

Red handled tools are silicone paint shapers from a cheap shop. They come in useful now and then but theres nothing the wooden tools can’t do.

Some paintbrushes round off the photo but only because it stopped the shapers from rolling out of the shot.

Not shown are a load of wooden tools that get used on big things, knives, loops (very useful items) and bits I use to make texture like sandpaper and sponges. I also use wooden balls for eyes as I’ve got a selection of sizes although Cthulhu used some glass beads we had in the garden. Pin heads for rivets or buttons. Guitar wire for pipes.

Any questions then drop by the Facebook page and ask or leave a comment on here. I’ll try and make sense with any replies.

Welcome to the Hinterland

Poor old blog… ignored for aaaaaages. I’d like to put it down to being really busy but its also that I’m too damn lazy to update this place. Still, not as bad as the five month gap between the previous two.

So whats been happening in the last couple of months? Well, the Bertram Fiddle kickstarter got funded so I’ve been casting up Gavins like you wouldn’t believe so I’ll write up how thats been going on at some point, I sculpted a Welsh Dragon as a Christmas present, I finished and cast the goddess figure I’d been working on and at the end of the year I did a little personal piece to amuse myself over December. Thats four blog posts waiting to be written.

OK, so I’ll write one up now, just to ease up my workload.

The personal project was my attempt to sculpt a ‘real’ thing. All of my sculptures are either gods, aliens, monsters or comical in some way, shape or form and it seemed like I needed to work on something different to stretch myself in a new way. As it’s easy to sculpt something unnatural and claim “It’s supposed to look like that” I picked a character from a rather dark TV series I watch, hoping I could get a good likeness. This is my attempt at DCI Mathias from the Welsh TV series ‘Y Gwyll’ as shown is Wales or ‘Hinterland’ to the rest of the world, filmed in Aberystwyth. He started off looking a bit rubbish but things always do.

It was a pretty quick sculpt, only taking a couple of weeks (quick for me anyway) and I ended up with this.

hinterland

Built up over some brass tube and sculpted in super sculpey firm, I’m fairly happy with the outcome even if the paint job was a bit sloppy and I need to work on my flesh tones. The base is a chunk of drift wood which I found while wandering the beach a few miles north of where the TV series is filmed, so fits rather well.

Theres a full album with work in progress shots here: https://goo.gl/photos/dzcf28MsbCtyJbNT7

More to come then, I’ll try and keep the blog updated but don’t hold your breath…