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  1. I happen to be an engineer, which is a more fancy word for "super-lazy". As such, I started thinking of shortcuts as soon as I started sculpting, and I've been gathering different stuff that could make for some interesting texture for bases, conversions and such things. I have now used these stuff as "stamps" on some fimo, and then painted it black and dry-brushed white on top, so I have these little references that show the texture more clearly. So, here they are! An interesting button. Might work as a screen behind a druid, or a floor tile of sorts. I didn't remove the button hole marks, but that could be fixed quite easily. Rough, but thin, rope. Two marks, side by side, might look like tire tracks. A bunch of these marks together look more natural, sort of like wheat. A big bead. Makes for an interesting effect, sort of reminds me of a bee hive. Another button. This texture was very subtle, but when dry-brushing it I was amazed at the effect. It could be something made out of glass, like a window. "Natural" cork. Looks like rough wood to me, but might be the side of a cliff or stone as well. Fine-grained cork. Could be sand, dirt, or some other natural base. Rough cork. As above, I think this would suit as some sort of stone-base, just a bit rougher. The wrong end of my hobby knife. Very industrialized and pretty cool I think. This would probably fit well in a sci-fi environment, maybe as a steel floor. The side of a matchbox. Almost the same effect as the bead, but more subtle and a bit more structured. Maybe these pictures can inspire you, or you could give me some advice on what you think the texture might look like. Feel free to add your own pictures in this thread as well, I think it is pretty interesting since some things will look quite different when there inverted.
  2. In the house Figmentius Common Room Thread, I started a daily posting called the Daily Mini, where I would find a mini posted for display on the web, post it, and we would discuss how it was painted/sculpted. It was a well received set of posts but too hidden in that thread. After much discussion, we decided that it is something that people valued, and we should move it to Tips & Advice. We are also changing it from a daily post to a weekly post, to allow us more time to discuss techniques and for more people to join in on each mini shown. The point of this post is NOT as another Show-off thread, instead it is intended as a learning tool, where-in we look at good work that we find (I'm going to be trying to stick to Bronze level and above) and discuss how one might replicate such work on your own minis. I will be posting a mini (or two), each Monday. If you know of a mini that you would really like me to use, please PM me and I'll get it into the queue. Please try to keep the discussions based around the posted minis and the merits and techniques. If you don't know how something was done and are wondering, ask; that is the whole point.
  3. I bought some sculpey III today with the intent of using it to make custom miniatures. I made a little armature out of brass wire and tried to build it up on top of it, but I find the sculpey too soft and I keep accidentally undoing my work. Does anyone have any advice for working with this material?
  4. Recently I added some foliage elements to my Narthrax. I'll share how I made them here! First, materials: For this, I only used the greenstuff, Vaseline and the purple tool Andy made for me. (Shameless plug for Andy Pieper's Sculpting Classes at Reapercon- take them!!) But, those are my favorite tools to use when sculpting in general. They are a pin tool from my ceramics set, a narrow flat wax shaper and two of the extra firm clay shapers. The plastic surface I use for this is the insert from the reaper paint caddy- the little dividers I always end up taking out to stuff more paint in when I travel! they make a nice surface when I'm mass-producing leaves. First, I take a small piece of greenstuff and flatten it into a leaf-like shape. Next, I use a tool to create a central vein Like so: Then I create the fern-like shape by placing the tool parallel to the surface of the greenstuff and pulling outwards. Almost a plucking motion, but not quite. It is much easier to do this step and get this effect when the greestuff is fresh. ie, as time passes after the mixing, I tend to change to a different technique and just cut tiny side veins in instead because the greestuff is not as soft and sticky anymore. I play around with different techniques to create different styles of foliage, but this was what I used for narthrax. So, here's the finished leaf. While it's still soft, I slide the tool underneath and curl the leaves up off the surface a bit in different ways to make them more organic. Flat is do-able, but I like to have curls and twists for realism. Leave some of the leaf touching the surface. Here are two completed leaves and a variety of flattened "blanks." See how some blanks curl one direction or the other? How some are shaped differently? This also helps create more realistic foliage. Plus it's fun making tiny leaf shapes. So, here are the leaves! Notice how a few are done with the cut veins and look different. And a sideways shot to show the 3-D effect. All unique! Next step- making the leaves turn into a reasonable plant form. Generally, I'm sticking these directly on a base, so I'll glue already hardened leaves where I want them and then add in fresh greenstuff on top to finish the plant. But here, I'll just demo and use a ball of greenstuff to hold them together. I stuck several hardened leaves on the flattened ball. I don't set them flat, but slightly angled. Then I add some fresh greenstuff and I'll turn it into smaller leaflets. And finally, a plant! Remember, I'm only sculpting one side of the leaves, so the flat smooth side needs to remain hidden. I cheat by sticking plant in a rocky bed and making sure I paint the underside of the leaf dark to avoid drawing attention to it. Also, If I really want a nice plant, I'll use the etched brass foliage because it is much thinner and I can shape it anyway I wish. You can buy etched brass from Scalelink ltd or Hasselfree Miniatures. I used the etched brass for Finari and the Green Witch. There's a big different in the delicacy of the leaves which is far superior to greenstuff in most cases. I've also used paper and wire to create leaves. Let me know if you all want any other specific plant types or whatnot. Thanks, and have fun planting!!
  5. In my Pathfinder group, I have a paladin who is fast approaching level 5, and I've decided that she'll be getting a nice shiny mount as her Divine Bond. As such, the quest for a mini began. While Reaper has a nice bundle of horses, I couldn't find anything that was quite right for my pally, so I ended up grabbing Starmane and commencing a conversion. Starmane I originally bought to convert into a centaur, but I hadn't got round to it and then I decided he was just too pretty to chop up to that degree... But I've not got a lot of use for unicorns. So instead, he got adopted for my pally, and first things first, his horn had to go. Much angry filing later, I had something I could live with. Don't mind my grotty nails, I get fluff lodged under them from the insides of my gloves at work, so they always look dire, haha. And then I broke out my green stuff. So far, I've only used GS for a little bit of basing interest on Ebonwrath, and on a belt buckle for a cosplay I was doing, so nothing small and fine, really. Armed with my trusty mechanical pencil, I started working on a saddle, bridle, and some other little details for my pally's dear horse, who I have already named Keldoron. I have now ordered some actual sculpting tools, because... Erghhh, my pencil is not the best thing xD though it's served me admirably, all things considered. No doubt I'll still use it from time to time too, and I think my next sculpting purchase will likely be Army Painter's set of tools, for more precision and stuff. The horse is now sprayed, so I'll be LGS'ing to smooth bits and out and reform a bit, and then on to the painting! So m'afraid this will likely be a very short WIP thread, but I kind of couldn't resist ^^; Once he's painted though, I can't decide what to do with his reins... Do I put some wire on for them? Do I glue some string on? I know not. :S
  6. So, I want to start sculpting. Any advice? Things that I need to start with, tools I need to get? Just things like that. Gosh, I'm such a noob! But, I'm hoping all ya'll wonderful and talented people can help.
  7. One of the first things I did when I received my Bones kickstarter was to take the hydra, mutilate one of its heads and stick some greenstuff on there to make my hydra into Tiamat. Then I promptly banished it to my shelf of shame and occasionally thought about it for a year. Now, reading Metalchaos' excellent conversion thread, I feel motivated to work on it again and to keep it that I will try to post updates here. I will try to do a little sculpting every day so the greenstuff can cure in-between. I am using D&D dragons as references here. First up, the black head: Some plastic surgery. The black dragon really doesn't have the strong jaw of the Hydra... Two rounds of greenstuff. Still needs a bunch of teeth, frills and spines. Horns as well, of course, but I'm making those separately. The blue head: Here I will leave the spines along the back, they are similar enough. The horns and belly scales still need detailing and it needs frills along its jaw. The red head: Chopped off the horns and reduced the jaw and nostrils. His front teeth (though not the canines) were also removed later. I can keep the belly scales here, which is nice or I'd have to the entire body as well. Still debating about the spines, I will see how it goes with the black head before I cut them all off. Comments and critiques very welcome. I hope yo'll enjoy it!
  8. After becoming a master miniatures painter within a few months (heavy sarcasm) I've set my sights on attempting miniatures sculpting. My local game store had a set of army painter sculpting tools for ten bucks so I bought it seeing as it was convenient and I didn't have any dental picks on hand. So, I'm curious, what do you more experienced sculptors use when sculpting? Dental picks? Some custom tool? I'm curious, because I'm looking at all these lovely details and am trying to reverse engineer the sculpting process.
  9. http://ralpartha.com/index.php/blog/12-ral-partha-video So as Iron Wind Metals is celebrating Ral Partha's 40th anniversary, they have created a new web site, a work in progress, that promises to have new and interesting content over the coming months, also aligning with their Kickstarter which should be starting at some point today, and one of the things they have put on the site is a set of short videos. The most interesting one I think is the Tom Meier interview, even though the other ones are interesting as well. Have a look!
  10. I've noticed that when I get minis that come in multiple pieces, they often don't line up precisely. The bigger the mini, the more gaps and distortion there seem to be. Specifically, I recently got #10006 Gauth (!!!GRANDFATHER! OF DRAGONS!!!)!) and the pieces of the body have some significant gaps now that I've got him assembled. I'd like to paint him for the 2015 annual diorama contest, but before I prime I'd like to make sure my finished product is going to look smooth and complete. Does anyone have any suggestions? What materials do you use? Etc. Also, I've never done a fig this big before. Is one bottle of paint going to be enough for the base color, or do I need to order more before I get started? I use the 1/2 oz bottles of Master Series Paint. I'd hate to get started on my base coat and find that I don't even have enough paint.
  11. Sorry if this is a little off topic. I thought the sculptors here might appreciate it: http://www.ted.com/talks/willard_wigan_hold_your_breath_for_micro_sculpture#t-347494
  12. Here's a thread to show my stuff without a limiting thread title. I'll just post my work here. Here is my experiment with PC putty, I'm remaking the Gnome warpunk necromancer in 1:56. I think the boot came out pretty sweet but his thigh is, unsurprisingly, a bit thin. We'll see how it goes. Also cut out a styrene profile of an x-95 in 1:100. I created an impression in Super Sculpey, baked that and presently putty is curing in it.
  13. So I'm going to try to enter this contest. I want to use BONES 77143: Townsfolk: Undertaker I plan on sacrificing a zombie arm as well Basically, I want the undertaker to have just finished burying a man recently hanged. There will be a hanging tree. I want to try making this with twisted wire, masking tape, 5 minute epoxy and milliput. A hangman's noose will be draped over a big branch. The undertaker will be shining his light at the fresh grave after he hears a noise, and sees the recently deceased sticking his hand out of the loose earth. The lantern he uses is weird, so I'm not sure how much to follow the actual physics of the light, or just "fantasize" it. This will be my first: Contest, Sculpture, and WIP. I hope I can finish ( I can only work about 2-4 hours per week). I hope it goes well. I know I'll learn a lot. Here are my idea schetches. Let me know what you think.
  14. Just wanted to drop a note that a group of us in the Southeast is meeting up at Dragon Star Hobbies in Athens GA. Saturday, May 31 from roughly 12 noon until 4pmish... May arrive a little earlier, may stay a little longer, but the focus time will be between 12 and 4. Psstt... and as an enticement for you to come... The Dragons Don't Share II resin set obtained at Reapercon will be in attendance for your visual perusal!
  15. Okay! I guess this is my first official sculpt! It's not a person, but it's a tree, and I'm happy with my first attempt. For the next go round (if I need another live oak) I'll use a heavier gauge wire to get more windiness in the branches. I wanted them a bit more crooked, but I think the lighter gauge and my inexperience ended up in a flat crown. Anyhoo, the sculpting portion is over and now all that's left is to prep (lots of flakies need to come off), prime, paint, and figure out how to stick foliage on here... To avoid redundancy (ahem) I'm posting a link to the project this tree is for. It has more detail on the tree (and pics!) and other parts than is necessary for this post. You can see that project here.
  16. aka All Your Base Are Belong to Us! This tutorial will teach you some basic and some intermediate ways to use Sculpey to create custom bases for your miniatures. First, some basic information. Sculpey is a polymer clay which does not self-harden. It must be cured at 130 C/ 275 F, baking time based on thickness. After it is baked it is rigid, can be sanded, carved and painted. There are several types. Fimo, Sculpey, Super Scupley, Scupley III, Premo, etc. It is less expensive than some of the other sculpting materials available, making it great for basing projects! It is similar to standard ceramic clay in terms of workability, but a bit more elastic. It can be stored for years, and only requires a bit of kneading to soften it again. You will need: Why super sculpey, you ask? Because I have some! The same thing applies to the tools- you can use just about anything to shape sculpey. Wooden tools, pins, flatware and especially fingers! But for the projects below, I specifically used the tools above. The pin tool is from a standard ceramic set and the other two shapers from a wax carving set. We need to start by waking our sculpey up. It will come in an easily separated cake of cylinders. Break off a piece, knead it in your hands, warm it up, roll it around, etc, etc until it's nice and pliable. If you've never used it before, play around with pushing different textures into it. Rocks, sandpaper, pinebark, plastic wrap, canvas, and cork can all create interesting patterns. Plus, you'll get a sense of how much detail the sculpey can hold. It's not as much as some of the other sculpting materials available- which I think of as a plus. It won't really hold a fingerprint for example, so you can safely pick up what you're working on. It makes it a very forgiving medium for beginners! And you'll quickly realize it has the best quality of all- it does not stick to everything! Now, what can we do with this sculpey? How about cobblestones? Those make great bases, right? So here we're using the thin shaper to carve stonelike shapes and smooth our edges. That sort of pattern can be created very quickly with just the single shaping tool. I like my cobbles to have curved edges, making the stone looks more 3-dimensional. Bricks, or a brick pathway is another option. Here's an example of how to use the pin tool (like a thick needle. A small nail would also work if attached to a handle) Using our trusty Canadian Sandpaper as a guide, the pin tool creates a brick layer. Then we go back and add the individual brick shapes and add some details. Cracks, slightly curved edges and the sandpaper texture can all be used to make a more realistic brick. I also used the thin shaper to curve the edges of the brick. I've only added details to the top bricks to illustrate the process. But this is boring, you say! Bring on the fancy bases. We want props! Ok... for this next project we'll be using twigs from the garden. Here I've stuck a few twigs in a slightly carved lump of sculpey. I rolled out some little coils to make roots and pressed them on. Now I smooth the edges of the roots with the larger shaper. Then add texture to the roots with the pin tool. ...and we have terrain! In our next installment I'll go step by step through an entire base! Stay tuned! Let me know if you all want more detail or clarification on anything.
  17. So today, I was painting. And taking occasional breaks to waste time on the internet. You know. "A day off." And I noted something interesting on artist Tony diTerlizzi's blog: Tony's got this really interesting article up about the origins of some of the first Dungeons and Dragons monsters... whose MINIATURES actually predate the MONSTER! Usually, someone comes up with the idea of "beholder" or "Frog Dragon" or whatever, and then someone SCULPTS the thing. But these creatures actually caused the development of their D&D counterparts -- in the illustration above, the rust monster, bulette, and owlbear, respectively. In this case, Gary Gygax bought a bag of dinosaurs at the dime store, found some things in there that were decidedly NOT dinosaurs, and literally whipped up encounters based on them ANYWAY. Can't blame him. Would you believe there was a time where miniatures of D&D monsters were really pretty hard to find? Outside of a bottle of Old Skiddocan Squeezin's, anyway. It got me to thinking about inspiration sources. I'm no sculptor... well, I am, but no one in their right mind would pay me to sculpt anything more complicated than a very relaxed ooze ... and I found myself looking at the figure I'm painting at the moment: the medusa from the first Bones kickstarter: 77037, by Bobby Jackson, for the completists. Now, while this is a perfectly good medusa -- attractive, detailed, and certainly quite menacing -- it ain't the medusa described in Greek literature. I had to go and look around at the shelves to see the other medusa... 02354, sculpted by Jim Johnson. Not the poison koolaid guy, the sculptor. Two totally different guys, really. ...no... still not the Greek mythology version... where had I seen this before? And then it hit me: The original version of "Clash of the TItans." So... we have RPG adventurers facing off against a Greek mythology critter, as filtered through the sensibilities of movie SFX master Ray Harryhausen, and then through the minds of two different sculptors. Made me think hard and seriously about inspiration sources for sculptors. I mean, everyone has a mental idea of what a zombie looks like, sure... and owlbears... well, once you get the idea of "crossbreed between an owl and a bear, mostly bear with owl head, and big honkin' claws and the temperament of a wolverine who took the brown acid," you can draw a pretty quick mental image. 77156, by Jason Wiebe. Here, Jason Wiebe takes a basic idea by someone else, and goes pretty gonzo with it -- while the one in the picture up top looks like it might be satisfied with a few pick-a-nick baskets, Boo Boo, and watch out for Mr. Ranger... Jason's looks like it wants to rip my arm off and shove it down my throat, just to see the horrified look on my face. My point: The original idea wasn't Jason's, but he took it and ran with it. And he's not the first, nor is he the only. I was kind of surprised when the D&D folks didn't sue Blizzard for some of the things that turned up in World of Warcraft: Jason Wiebe coulda done 'em better. ...and anyway, I guess I'm not sure where I'm going with this. It made me think about cultural bleedover, and how "orcs" started out as one thing when I was twelve (Lord of the Rings) and became another thing when I was thirteen (Dungeons and Dragons), and would become yet another thing when I was in my late twenties (Warhammer), and to most of today's kids, have become yet ANOTHER thing (the LOTR and Hobbit movies). Like I said, cultural bleedover. Our myths are CHANGING. Sometimes in small ways, like owlbears in dynamic poses instead of just standing there. Sometimes in BIG ways, like the ever-changing orc. Anyway, anyone interested in diTerlizzi's blog article? It's here: http://diterlizzi.com/home/owlbears-rust-monsters-and-bulettes-oh-my/
  18. Howdy y'all, So long story short, Bones Kickstarted (pun intended) my painting time again, after a multi-year hiatus. However, I was wondering if anyone had experience scuplting Green Stuff onto Bones? I have a a Tiefling barbarian with Diabolic Transformation as a feat, and I wanted to use a new mini for the "hulking monster" form, so I chose this: http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/succubus/sku-down/77067 Since we have some younger generations playing with us, the 'full nude' isn't an option really (I personally couldn't care less). I would be wanting to craft something akin to the "slave leia" type outfit (because reasons) and plan to hack off the whip and use a brass rod as a base and make it into a "sinister" spear if possible...plan B was to get a weapon sprue during 12 days of reaper to graft into/through the hilt of the whip...has anybody ever done anything like this? I have some very basic green-stuff know how...though ideas and suggestions are the reason this topic is here...any/all advice would be appreciated. Cheers y'all, -NoZ
  19. Hello everyone! Just got some of the green stuff and thought I'd share what I'm doing with it. At first I was just going to use it for improving the bases of my minis, but I quickly realized I'll be using it to mod some of them and eventually do full on figures of my own. First up, I made some rocks for this wizard's base: Next, after finding that working with the stuff is so fun, I decided to make a lil' skull: And for fun, here are a couple of digital sculpts I did when I first got ZBrush earlier in this year. An orc head, and a Chinese style dragon that I got frustrated with and didn't finish: Anyway, I'll just keep updating this thread as I sculpt more stuff in the future. Comments and critiques are welcome.
  20. I think I'm done with this one. I sculpted the base from Sculpey and the miniature from Greenstuff. C&C always welcome! And a scale shot, just for fun. It did end up larger than I'd originally wanted. All respect to those mini sculptors out there- it's hard to make things so tiny!
  21. In this thread I'll post about an experimental, speculative project about 28mm Science Fiction soldiers. These troopers are a sort of air cav/paratroopers but in space. The first part of the project was to figure out a design. I was mostly concerned with it having a coherent look that was practical and aesthetically pleasing. As part of the design process I sculpted and painted this 1:35 scale prototype / design sketch. There are more details about the project on my Blog. Next I might do some sketching, start a couple of 28mm armatures, do another 1:35 sculpt or all of the above. Comments, suggestions, questions and critiques (especially) will be met with deadly gratitude.
  22. Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and my name is Matt. I have a question that maybe some of you that have experience can hopefully help me with. I want to purchase the "Technic League Captain" mini from the Pathfinder series (link below) This model really has the look i was going for with one of my characters. The only problem is that he is bald. My character has long hair. What ways would i go about sculpting and attaching long hair to this character? I have painted before but iv'e never sculpted or modified anything. Hopefully someone can give me some advice. Thank you =) http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/Pathfinder/sku-down/60113
  23. I would like to get started sculpting and I would like to know about the best tools to start with. I have seen the basic ones but have also seen others.
  24. So I have been trying to "sculpt" a helmet close to this, on this. I started at the visor line and worked my way up and out and while I have had Some success I have been unable to keep the edges of the triangle sharp or even. I suspect my issue is that I'm using liquid green and trying to paint the shape on. I fooled around with making tiny fin's out of the foil backing of drug blisters but they ended up being a hair too flimsy and I gave up and ordered a helmet sprue, I'm planning on doing a couple things with helm 2 - 2 but it should work once i get the sculpting issue worked out as it's basically the same shape as the one i'm working with. anyway thoughts?
  25. Warpunk is a concept I've had for a while. It's sort of like steam-punk but instead of Victorian dandies it's all about post industrial revolution military. So it's WWII, Korean, cold war + fantasy setting. Sketch and sculpt start. The scale is 1:52. Make note of the Cyberpunk decker fitted into a base with his new tab.
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