Ironhammer

Sculpting a dwarf (rather pic heavy)

11 posts in this topic

Hi all!  First post in quite a while

 

I've been working on a fantasy dwarf I've been sculpting from scratch.  I'm shooting for something which could feasibly be cast.  I'd gotten to the point that I was positioning his weapon, at which point I realized that there seemed to be too many potential undercuts, particularly around the axe head.  I looked at some of Reaper's dwarves which have a similar pose, and I noted that all of them are positioned such that the axe head is well in advance of the hand, which would eliminate the under cut.  I tried various attempts at re positioning the arms, but in the end I decided that a new, longer axe was going to be in order.
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Now I'm in a quandary though.  I originally was going to give him an axe based on a Petersen type L (see below), but while fiddling around with wire I came up with the idea of giving him a two handed flail instead.  These were typically agricultural implements which were at times repurposed for war, and the dwarf's clothing right now could fit with the image of being more of a farmer.  I'll be posting more WiP shots as I go, but I'd love to hear people's feedback?

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FYI, the lack of a mustache is deliberate, I was going for something similar to Balin's look in The Hobbit. 

 

Cheers!

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I did a couple of cardboard mockups of different axe heads, just to get a better feel for the overall volume.  Still don't know if I prefer the flail or not.IMG_8683.thumb.JPG.7f6dcffe56900cce9a9db9a80e991292.JPGIMG_8685.thumb.JPG.33988b7c4038e4a2fd00922e442f1f8f.JPG

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Some nice work on that guy!  I rather like the facial expression and the fact that you didn't sculpt him quite so squared-off as some dwarves become, yet he still clearly reads dwarf.

If you're going for the flail idea, a tiny bit of fine chain to connect from the handle to (insert whatever you call the bludgeoning part here) could really sell the look well.  This would involve either putting a tiny bit of green stuff to hold it in place (and fill the gaps) or some glue rubbed into it to hold it in place and fill the holes.  Of course, if you decide the idea of making it casting-ready isn't an issue, just let it have movement and it will add depth to the piece on the tabletop. 

In going with him as a farming character forced to pick up arms, I'd think a scythe could also be a solid two-handed weapon choice. 

Character-flavor-wise, I'd vote for the first option if you go axe head as it looks more like something that might be kept around to chop lumber while the second looks more like it's made for battle.

Looking forward to your next step in fleshing out your mini!!

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Managed to get his cap done this evening.  I was going for the kind of tie-on cap (not quite sure what the proper name for it is) commonly worn by peasants in the middle ages, with just a little bit of a point at the back just to make the shape a bit more interesting.

 

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Looking good!

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So I thought I would chime in.  I love the fur detail and the cap is very well done.  I really like the stitching in the shoes.

 

There is one, fairly big issue I'd like to point out.  Your face/head anatomy is off, considerably.  The eyes should be at the exact center line of the head from crown to chin.  Measuring yours on my monitor I get 2 units below the eyes and 1.5 above (and that is with the cap on, it is really more like 1.25).  I didn't say anything before, because I had just thought that you hadn't added his cranium yet and were going for a very big head.  I see now that that is not the case. Doing so would essentially make him a bobble head.  So essentially, I think you just have the face considerably larger than it should be.  That will haunt you going forward.  Sorry. I know this comment sucks; I've been there.

 

head-anatomy-proportions-1.jpg

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1 hour ago, TaleSpinner said:

So I thought I would chime in.  I love the fur detail and the cap is very well done.  I really like the stitching in the shoes.

 

There is one, fairly big issue I'd like to point out.  Your face/head anatomy is off, considerably.  The eyes should be at the exact center line of the head from crown to chin.  Measuring yours on my monitor I get 2 units below the eyes and 1.5 above (and that is with the cap on, it is really more like 1.25).  I didn't say anything before, because I had just thought that you hadn't added his cranium yet and were going for a very big head.  I see now that that is not the case. Doing so would essentially make him a bobble head.  So essentially, I think you just have the face considerably larger than it should be.  That will haunt you going forward.  Sorry. I know this comment sucks; I've been there.

 

 

 

 

On the other hand...it's a dwarf not a human. Isn't deviating from human anatomy proportions is one way to emphasize that??

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17 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

So I thought I would chime in.  I love the fur detail and the cap is very well done.  I really like the stitching in the shoes.

 

There is one, fairly big issue I'd like to point out.  Your face/head anatomy is off, considerably.  The eyes should be at the exact center line of the head from crown to chin.  Measuring yours on my monitor I get 2 units below the eyes and 1.5 above (and that is with the cap on, it is really more like 1.25).  I didn't say anything before, because I had just thought that you hadn't added his cranium yet and were going for a very big head.  I see now that that is not the case. Doing so would essentially make him a bobble head.  So essentially, I think you just have the face considerably larger than it should be.  That will haunt you going forward.  Sorry. I know this comment sucks; I've been there.

 

 

Yeah, the head was originally a practice face which spoke to me enough that I wanted to try and make something of it.  At the time I thought it was too large and exaggerated for a properly proportioned 28 mm-ish figure, which is why he wound up getting turned into a dwarf character which was intentionally off-beat.  Even so, the proportions are still bugging me a bit. 

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I decided to go ahead and make one of each kind of weapon.  If nothing else, I can always use one of them on another project.  Here is the finished flail and battle axe.

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I also added a dagger on the back of the belt.  It's modeled on a weapon called a Baselard, which was one of the more common dagger designs of the late middle ages and has a characteristic H (or I) shaped handle.  Below on the left are some surviving examples.IMG_8706.thumb.JPG.310d33bfa84b5a64065c92e9704d1815.JPG
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Here are the two weapons test fitted.  Part of the exercise for me is trying to sculpt the figure in such a way that it could theoretically be cast.  Right now I'm not sure if the position of the arms would work for that.  At the very least I think a lot of filling would be needed if it were to be cast while holding either weapon, but I'm also tempted to try and finish it with the hands left open so that you could have the choice of whatever weapon you wanted.  This seems like it would be a lot harder to achieve though.  I've been trying to figure out a way to position the arms such that they stay as close to the plan of the mold as possible, but it's been proving difficult.

 

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IMG_8704.thumb.JPG.928c594636548e64b102ecea54dec5b2.JPG

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Working a bit with the figure, I decided that I would permanently affix one of the weapons.  After filling out the arms I really wasn't convinced that it could be cast reliably otherwise (which was part of the whole idea of the exercise).  In the end I decided I like the flail best and went with that one.

 

This of course meant filling in all the gaps between the arms, the body and the various bits of the weapon.  I felt this could be done readily enough with the left arm from where it was, as the filled-in parts are hidden between it and the weapon (except when looking straight over his right shoulder).  However, I couldn't fill in the area around the right arm without having large areas of filler visible from pretty much all angles, so I shifted the left arm over so that it hugs much closer to the body.  This dramatically reduced the amount of filler needed and keeps him looking decent from most directions.  Right now, the only details left to do are the hands (though I may try to sharpen the sleeves up a bit, right now they seem a little mushy looking to me).

 

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One thing that's really worrying me are the ankles.  At their thinnest point they're only about 2-3 mm in diameter.  I'm afraid that this might be unstable in pewter, especially since the net result will likely have some shrinkage relative to the original green.  Any thoughts on what (if anything) should be done about them?

IMG_8717.thumb.JPG.cb8e6ccbdec89283716ad6cc0801e9c6.JPG

 

Cheers!

 

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I'm thinking I'm calling this guy done for the time being.  I'll be taking him to Reapercon with me and while I'm there I'll be asking some of the sculptors about him.  If they recommend changes then I may revisit him, but for now I've got to get going and get my actual competition entries ready :)

 

Cheers all!

 

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