Jump to content

TaleSpinner

Dobermans WIP

Recommended Posts

In April, Marsya commissioned me to sculpt her dogs, Strahd and Belle. These dogs are beautiful Dobermans with uncropped ears. Belle is the classic black Doberman and Strahd has a brown coat and eyes that melt your soul:

 

post-140-0-61614800-1372030854.jpg

 

I absolutely love Belle's crazy ears and will be including them in the sculpt.

 

These will not be cast, so I am not taking casting concerns into consideration on these sculpts. My goal is to have these finished by August or sooner. Marsya has given me permission to document the sculpting process here as a WIP.

 

This should be fun!

 

Andy

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't wait to see them progress and of course eventually receive them. Once again thank you for sculpting them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Strahd is 18.5 mm at the shoulder and Belle will be about 17 mm at the shoulder, which will put them at just under waist high on a 32mm human mini.

 

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reference Photo Collection:

 

The first step in sculpting anything is to get good reference photos. Marsya sent me 20+ photos of the dogs for me to use, taken from every angle. I'm not going to show off all of these because that would take up a lot of space, however here are a few that I am using for this project:

 

Head Shots:

 

post-140-0-57824900-1372043329.jpg

 

post-140-0-43192300-1372043333.jpg

 

post-140-0-75697800-1372043333.jpg

 

 

Side Shots:

 

When sculpting a four-legged animal, the way I do, the most important photo is a direct side shot, the more direct the better. I use this shot to create the armatures, as you'll soon see.

 

Strahd Side:

 

post-140-0-08117400-1372043332.jpg

 

This one is a near perfect side shot, as I can clearly see all the joint points, the feet are in the same plane, and I can see the feet. The only way it could be better is if the shot was taken a little lower to the ground so we are looking straight at him instead of down slightly.

 

Belle Side:

 

post-140-0-45257300-1372043330.jpg

 

This is the best side shot I have of Belle. Unfortunately, it isn't as good for making armatures as Strahd's. Belle's back feet are farther from the camera than the front and this causes foreshortening in the photo. If I were to use this picture to create the armature, she'd have a short body and her back legs would be too short. I could likely fudge it, but instead I used Strad's picture to create the armatures for both dogs. I just made it a bit smaller for Belle.

 

 

Pose:

 

Finally, I needed to hammer out the poses. Based on a discussion with Marsya and taking in the character of the dogs from the photos, I selected the following for poses:

 

Belle:

 

post-140-0-02110300-1372043330.jpg

 

Even though I don't personally know the dogs, this picture calls to me. I think it shows a lot of Belle's character and I would like to capture that if I can.

 

 

Strahd:

 

post-140-0-06215700-1372043333.jpg

 

He will actually be standing more erect than this picture, with his head turned to the side as if looking at Belle. I really like the raised foot.

 

 

In addition to all these,i scoured the internet and found drawings of doberman skeletons, skulls, and Muscle anatomy. I love Google!

 

Comments are welcome. Marsya, if you see anything not to your liking, the sooner you let me know the better.

 

Andy

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creating the Armature:

 

1. I took the side view of Strahd and made two black and white prints of it reduced to the size of the minis. Strahd is 18.5 mm at the shoulder and Belle is 17 mm.

 

post-140-0-91965400-1372044705.jpg

 

2. Using a Sharpie, I made note of each joint location on Strahd's frame and then connected the dots.

 

post-140-0-26613000-1372044706.jpg

 

3. Next, I took a length of brass rod and marked the joints on it, using the photo as a guide.

 

post-140-0-60962600-1372044706.jpg

 

4. I then bent the spine to shape with my mini pliers and cut it off.

 

post-140-0-96313900-1372044706.jpg

 

5. Next, I marked all the joint points for the front leg on a piece of rod, following the drawing (leaving extra for cork insertion as needed). Then, I copied the marks onto the paper. This will allow me to exactly match the marks onto the other front leg.

 

post-140-0-30111000-1372044707.jpg

 

6. I determined how wide Strahd's shoulders should be from the reference art and added that mark to the wire and page. Then, I turned the rod around and copied the marks from the page onto the wire. I also then made them on the page, turning the rod again and marking them. I do this so that if I mess up the bending, I can easily just remark a new length of rod.

 

post-140-0-63697600-1372044707.jpg

 

7. I bent the legs and shoulder girdle, carefully following the reference photos.

 

post-140-0-97001600-1372044707.jpg

 

8. I repeated step 5 through 7 for his rear legs.

 

post-140-0-26856700-1372044708.jpg

 

post-140-0-60060700-1372044708.jpg

 

9. I inserted the legs into the top of a wine cork, ensuring that they are lined up perfectly to the side shot.

 

post-140-0-01583400-1372044709.jpg

 

10. After roughing up the attachment points, I stuck the spine to the legs using fresh green stuff. I used to always solder these joints, but learned from Gene VH. and Bobby J. at ReaperCon that that was unnecessary. Doing it this way allowed me to position the spine much more accurately than I could do with a soldered joint.

 

post-140-0-53770000-1372044715.jpg

 

post-140-0-89172900-1372044715.jpg

 

11. Finally, I repeated all of the above steps on a smaller side shot making Belle's smaller frame.

 

post-140-0-22140800-1372044716.jpg

 

post-140-0-60170700-1372044716.jpg

 

Note: Now that the putty has cured I'll pull Bell off the cork and put a slight bend in her spine to better match the pose photo.

 

Andy

Edited by TaleSpinner
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much better than my armatures, what's that material? Is it hard to bend? If so, how do you bend it?

Its funny when I look at my armatures I always think "is this going to turn out right?"

When I look at yours I can see that its going to because you've laid down a good foundation.

 

Of course it probably helps that I have a tendancy not to plan very well either. Just kinda wing it a lot of the time.

 

Edit: Oops I didn't read up far enough, its brass rod, (I was reading parts where you just called it rod) what diameter is it?

Edited by Fletch_Talon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Edit: Oops I didn't read up far enough, its brass rod, (I was reading parts where you just called it rod) what diameter is it?

 

I'm not sure. I have a large range of sizes from 0.1 mm to 2 mm. I threw out the packaging and just keep them all together in a tube. When making a mini, I select the largest size I can use without compromising detail. Upon measuring them, these appear to be 0.7 or 0.8 mm. I get these at my local Hub Hobby.

 

I know Gene uses a different, more available product that comes in a spool, but can't for the life of me remember what it is called. Gene, can you chime in on this?

 

Andy

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this WIP, Andy. (And to Marsya for allowing it)

 

I always learn a lot from watching how you work. (Even if it is only virtually)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep. Werner Klocke turned me on to this stuff. I use sterling silver coated copper wire. .6mm and .8mm which I believe is 22ga and 20ga respectively. You can find it at Hobby Lobby or Michaels in their beading wire section for about $3.50 a roll. You get 3 yards which is enough wire to do about 18 human figures. I prefer this particular wire over others because it is flexible and easy to pose and cut like regular copper wire, but with the added sterling coating, it stiffens it just enough so you don't have to work harden it.

 

Gene

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy,

 

Looks great so far, very well executed. I did want to mention that Strahd's tail is actually about an inch longer than Belle's, his was cut after the 3rd vertebrae and hers the 2nd. I don't know if it helps but I measured their actual size and Belle's tail measures at 2 inches where Strahd's is 3 inches. I doubt you can tell that in the pictures so I figured I'd better let you know.

 

Can't wait to see more photos.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy,

 

Looks great so far, very well executed. I did want to mention that Strahd's tail is actually about an inch longer than Belle's, his was cut after the 3rd vertebrae and hers the 2nd. I don't know if it helps but I measured their actual size and Belle's tail measures at 2 inches where Strahd's is 3 inches. I doubt you can tell that in the pictures so I figured I'd better let you know.

 

Can't wait to see more photos.

 

I will sculpt his a bit longer then. Looks like I have it the opposite in the armatures. Not to worry I will just clip Belle's armature a bit and lengthen Strahd's with GS.

 

Thanks.

Edited by TaleSpinner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rebuild of Belle's Armature:

 

I didn't like Belle's armature, wanting a bend in her spine to more closely match the pose reference. In pulling her off of the cork, I broke her. I also decided that I had her legs too wide (she's a lot narrower than Strahd, so I had to alter the legs anyway). I spent about 45 minutes reworking her frame. I even broke the rear legs apart on accident, but it turned out to be a boon because i was then able to more easily get the right set to her hips. Here is what I ended up with:

 

post-140-0-88605400-1372129640.jpg

 

post-140-0-26488200-1372129641.jpg post-140-0-57178400-1372129641.jpg

 

 

Under Pining the Rib Cage:

 

Next, I under pinned the rib cages on both dogs with green stuff. It took about 20 minutes per dog to get the shape just right.

 

Strahd:

 

post-140-0-49962800-1372129642.jpg

 

post-140-0-79133100-1372129642.jpg

 

 

Belle:

 

post-140-0-85243700-1372129641.jpg

 

post-140-0-17402200-1372129642.jpg

 

 

 

That's all for today,

 

Andy

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like a really fun project. Awesome for you to share with us. Question: Is the armature held together with just the putty? .....(and the way you scaled the armature against the photo) Is that the standard way of building armatures?

 

Can't wait to see how those beautiful dobies look in putty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×