Tag Archives: sculpting

Dragon front right

Paint your dragon

Before I start on the writeup on this dragon sculpture project, I’d like to take a moment to shamelessly promote my Facebook page Castings of Cthulhu. Yes, it has the same name as my Etsy page. in some misguided attempt at branding. I’ll mainly be using the blog for the big meaty project writeups while the facebook page will be for updates, photos of work in progress and general whats going on. Thats if I remember to keep updating it.

Now, back to our regular programme.


Base

Base

Milliput and wire work

Milliput and wire work

Wire mesh wings

Wire mesh wings

Blocking out the body

Blocking out the body

The head and horns

The head and horns

Baked Dragon

Baked Dragon

Primed Dragon

Primed and ready to be painted


This was a commission for someone who wanted it as a birthday present, so after a few chats about the requirements I had a rough idea of what the dragon had to look like. I began with a chunk of quartz and glued a blob of milliput to it. I had done something similar with the horned god and found the weight of the rocky base to be useful in keeping the piece in place and also as something to hold while working on it.

The armature was built up with wire and more milliput then sculpey was layered up over it, pretty much how all my other sculptures have been done. The wings had an under layer of car body wire mesh to build the shape. The bottom of the quartz was a bit too rounded off so I applied a few blobs of milliput and stamped them with a couple of rocks to give them a more natural finish. I also glued the quartz to a piece of plastic card to give it a flat base, this softened a bit in the oven when it was baked but stayed flat enough. Mental note, remember to check for plastic before baking next time.

Part of the way through I was getting a bit annoyed with the tail and how it joined onto the body. Originally it curled around the rock more but it was bent at an almost 90 angle at the base of the body and look stupid, so I dug down to the armature and bent it into a more gentle angle. It helped to give the body a bit more movement and looks much better.

I’ve been trying out some new tools I got for Christmas which are really nice to use, they’ve got rounded ends of different sizes and they really helped with getting the wrinkles, folds and other shapes smoothed out and formed.

Some time later, the whole thing went in the oven on a nice low heat for a couple of hours. I’ve been trying to do them for longer and lower which is resulting in less cracking and a nice hard finish.

Painting was a bit of a tricky one. I’m a bit of a sloppy painter so it took a few goes to get it tidy but the requirement was a green dragon/finish/skin/scale tone. Plenty of Games Workshop paint and ink died to get the final colours right.

There are more pictures of the project in my google gallery

This project was a bit of a first as I’ve never sculpted a dragon before but then theres a lot of things I’ve never sculpted before… a zombie… a fish… the cast of Fame…

Cupcake Fairy

Mushroom body with plastic top

Plastic Shroom

Grumpy Shroom

Grumpy Shroom

Big hair Fairy

Big hair Fairy

Filler Primer Fairy

Filler Primer Fairy

Paint job started

Paint job started

Another month, another finished project and this one is a bit of a change of tack from my usual stuff as it’s a fairy.

This was produced as a commission for a chap to give to his girlfriend as a gift and the brief ran vaguely along the lines of: a fairy with bee-wings (NOT butterfly wings) and not a skinny standard fairy. Other than that I had pretty much free reign to do what I wanted. After some thought I came up with the idea of her sitting on a mushroom which gave me the chance to play around with two characters at once.

A chunk of metal rod and a plastic disc started the shape of the mushroom so I has something solid to put her on. On the first pass at the mushroom, I was trying to get something of a Brian Froud vibe going, with a grumpy looking mushroom along the lines of the goblin faces from ‘Labyrinth’ but ended up toning that back a bit. The fairy had a simple metal armature blocking out her shape and I knew I wanted her sitting on the mushroom looking at something but I wasn’t sure at what as I was making it up as I went along.

Early photos to the client came back with a request to make the hair shorter (more punk) which gave me a chance to work on the face more (I’m still not getting faces quite right but it’s all practice and this one brought hands and feet to the mix as well) and the suggestion of a her looking at a cupcake was floated and I went with that. My earlier thoughts had been around something like a flower, a dragonfly or a bird but the scale would have been interesting as they could have ended up being nearly as big as her.

Once baked, she was coated in filler primer (Halfords best), filled, some bits changed and filler primed again before being undercoated in black and painted.

The wings are made from silver coated wire, glued onto some fantasy film I got from ebay. It’s basically a kind of clear film which changes colour based on the angle you view if from. It’s quite cheap and I only used a small amount so I’ll have to find something to do with the rest at some point.

The grass on the base is made from a hanging basket liner I picked up from Wilkinsons for the princely sum of 10p. Chopped and glued down it looks pretty good.

More making of photos are in my Google photos album.

Final Fairy

Overall I’m pleased with how she’s come out (and the mushroom) and it’s made a nice change from all the bronze statues I’m cluttering up the planet with at the moment.

Sitting in the grass

Doom

A quick update to show off the build process of something I’ve done this month based on the Mancubus from Doom. These boys first cropped up in Doom 2 and reappeared with a new design in Doom 3 and as someone who played the original Doom game when it first came out, I have something of a soft spot for the original design.

I recently reread “Masters of Doom” and it got me fired up for sculpting something based on the game so picked the Mancubus even though it was my second favourite after the cacodemon.

The core model is my usual mix of wire armature with milliput over the top to allow the super sculpey firm to grab onto something.

When it came to blocking out the arm I had to dig around a bit to find something which would work as the weapon and I also realised I needed two. I found a tank cannon from a Games Workshop Leman Russ tank but only had the one!

Doom Mancubus

A quick begging email to another David (one of the board gamers I play with) came up trumps as he had a spare he could part with. So thank to Mr Lloyd I now had a right arm.

I cut the middle section from each barrel and capped the end with some spare washers from my bike brakes. No the brakes are fine, its just every time I buy new brakes, I end up with loads of washers and I can never throw bits away.

Doom Mancubus

I also made a trip to a guitar shop in town to get some thick bass strings for the cables. That was an interesting conversation, “Hi I’d like some ribbed guitar strings please” “certainly, what kind of guitar is it?” “Weeeeelll….”

Doom Mancubus

Doom Mancubus

Probing the wires into his body I also started to work in wrinkles and scars around his arms and the rolls of fat on his belly. Sculpey firm is rapidly becoming my weapon of choice as it hold details well. I’ve still got plenty of normal pink sculpey but I may end up cutting it with the firm to make it better to work with.

At this point I suddenly decided to change the weapon part from the middle of the tank barrel to the muzzle with the vents as it looks better. I also went on a 5pm hunt around Ipswich on a Saturday for thick cork for the base, but of course I couldn’t find any apart from thin sheets, so ended up buying some cheap drinks coasters and breaking them up into chunks to make the base.


PAINT TIME!

I’m a sloppy painter. I keep trying to stop drybrushing but end up slapping paint around and then covering in washes. It works to a degree but I need to improve big time, I also need to consider buying an airbrush after my old one packed up years ago.

Doom Mancubus

Overall I’m happy with the final result. He could do with the paint job being tightened up a bit more but maybe thats for a few years down the way.

More photos of the build process are in my google album.