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Sculpting a dragon...


Lovejoy
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Hi everyone, I'm fairly new here. I don't normally take work in progress pics while I sculpt, but I remembered to do it with this one... at least, I remembered eventually; I forgot to take any armature pics.

 

Anyway, I'm running a Kickstarter project http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/oathsworn/oathsworn-miniatures-heroes and I'm showing the backers the sculpting process - I thought I might as well show it here as well...

 

What I'm doing is making a dragon for my 28 / 32mm range. I want it to be castable in metal, in a standard 9 inch mould. But making a dragon sculpt for casting in a 9 inch spincasting mould places certain constraints on the design.

 

Firstly, there's the size - there's only so much space in the mould. Secondly, it's flat - and this means the model has to be either tall and thin, or low and wide... or in lots of pieces, and I want to keep it down to 4 pieces at most. Thirdly, no single piece can be more than about 27mm thick at the widest point...

 

I experimented with a tall thin design first of all, but it was proving very difficult to achieve a good look without being in lots of parts. And with metal models, you want to avoid that really.

 

So I switched to the low, wide design. I also decided at this point to do something a bit different - to try and make a (nearly) physically-possible dragon, or as close as I could get within the design limits... and this means no more than 4 limbs, so the arms have to be the wings. And I went for a pterosaur-style wing, with an elongated finger down the outside edge. I also decided to make the dragon in a crawling pose, to get him on a level with the other figures in the range.

 

So I bent up some armature wire, and mixed up some Milliput putty, and made the basic shape. Then, using a different colour Milliput, I modelled the main muscles onto the dragon. Finally, I attached a couple of ball bearings for eyes. Then I laid the pieces out onto a sheet of paper with the shape of a 9 inch mould drawn on, to make sure it would fit!

 

d1.jpg

 

Next I stuck the pieces together to make sure it would work as a model...

 

d2.jpg

 

 

d3.jpg

 

 

And here's an adventurer's-eye-view... more cute than menacing at the moment, really!

 

 

d4.jpg

 

 

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I decided to clean up the wings after that... added a few more folds, and sanded them down.

 

 

d6.jpg

 

 

d7.jpg

 

Next I began working on the head... firstly I added some more Milliput (White, this time - no real reason, but it's easier to see I guess!) to give some shape to the skull.

 

 

d5.jpg

 

 

 

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Then I decided he needed a row of spines down his back, so I drilled a lot of holes, and attached little bits of brass wire.

 

 

d12.jpg

 

 

Next, I sculpted the spines, and started working down the neck...

 

 

d13.jpg

 

 

 

 

d14.jpg

Edited by Lovejoy
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Next I continued working on the body, and got one of the wings finished.

 

I started by extending the skin down the side of the body:

 

 

d19.jpg

 

 

Then I added a strip of putty to the spines, to blend them in a bit:

 

d20.jpg

 

 

d21.jpg

 

 

Then I started adding a few more large scutes / osteoderms to the body, and shaped them:

 

d22.jpg

 

 

d23.jpg

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Next I started on the wing - I covered the shoulder and upper arm in putty and sculpted the scaly skin pattern:

 

 

d24.jpg

 

 

d25.jpg

 

 

Then I did the same for the rest of the arm - a layer of putty, then marking out the scales:

 

d26.jpg

 

 

d27.jpg

 

 

Then I added a bunch of extra scales, to make it look a bit more 'dragony':

 

 

d28.jpg

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That dragon is fantastic!

 

What are the chances you could fit an additional tail piece in the mold? I'd love to see a tail with some length and a stinger; this would be a pretty great beefy wyvern.

 

Really love the crocodilian look he has. Is it possible to see video of you sculpting the scales?

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It's a great sculpt and it very cool to see how it comes together step by step. Thanks for sharing the process with us!

 

That dragon is fantastic!

What are the chances you could fit an additional tail piece in the mold? I'd love to see a tail with some length and a stinger; this would be a pretty great beefy wyvern.

Really love the crocodilian look he has. Is it possible to see video of you sculpting the scales?

I'd agree about the tail... well, not the stinger, but the length.

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