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I'm just going to basically agree with the stuff Andrew said...

 

You can also purchase new corks at any home brewing supply store.

That's where I picked up all of mine - bags of 50 for about 3 quid....

 

 

Another solution are screw blocks (2 blocks of wood that screw together pinching the armature wires between them). 

 

I'd do this instead of corks, TBH. Here's a pic of them, nicked from Patrick Keith's blog:

 

armature_small13.jpg

 

 

Cheap and easy to make, and much less likely to fall over than a cork (although all my corks have 2p coins superglued to the bottom to stop them falling over anyway).

 

I like using blocks, because you can use the line between the two pieces of wood to visualise roughly  where the mould line would be, and so it makes sculpting castable figures easier.

 

 

  They are good for 2 legged critters, but I don't use them much because most of my sculpts have 4 legs.

When I was sculpting a lot of horses, I used blocks, but with a middle section added, made from 6mm MDF - that worked really well for me.

 

 

cheers

Michael

 

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Thanks Michael!  I was having trouble finding pictures of them.  I would never have thought of the 6mm MDF for doing 4-legged.  Good tip there.

 

The only thing I personally don't like about blocks is the squareness of them.  I constantly turn the mini as I sculpt and the corners of the block get in my way when I want to roll the mini back and forth, but that is a very personal trait/habit.

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Not a sculptor, but when I'm painting, I use scrap pieces of 1"x2" (2cm x 5cm after kerf) lumber, and if necessary drill holes for wire to hold the minis. The size works well for my hands and I can rotate the stick easily. Also, the pieces I use are generally around 6" (15cm) long, so they lay all the way across my palm, which allows me to rest the heel of my brush hand on the stick and helps reduce muscle fatigue as well.

 

YMMV.

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The only thing I personally don't like about blocks is the squareness of them.  I constantly turn the mini as I sculpt and the corners of the block get in my way when I want to roll the mini back and forth, but that is a very personal trait/habit.

Actually, that happens to me as well! I hadn't really noticed it, but now you've pointed it out, I'm going to be constantly aware of it...  :grr:  

 

I'll be spending all day tomorrow sanding them into ovals - you're evil, Andrew!   :;):

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The only thing I personally don't like about blocks is the squareness of them.  I constantly turn the mini as I sculpt and the corners of the block get in my way when I want to roll the mini back and forth, but that is a very personal trait/habit.

Actually, that happens to me as well! I hadn't really noticed it, but now you've pointed it out, I'm going to be constantly aware of it...  :grr:  

 

I'll be spending all day tomorrow sanding them into ovals - you're evil, Andrew!   :;):

 

 

:devil:

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 It's not an all-the-time solution, but if you go to any public events that serve alcohol you can probably get two or three corks for free. If there's a RenFaire in your area that's serving alcohol, you may be able to ask them to hold onto their corks for you, and end up with a decent bucketful at the end of the season...

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If you are still looking for cork, do a Google search for cork stoppers, you can find a big bag of 100 for $15-20, depending on diameter.

 

I find that I knock over wine bottle corks easily as the diameter:length ratio is small. If you have that problem, I recommend looking for tapered stoppers. I picked up a bunch of them when cleaning out a laboratory one summer and love them. The top diameter is larger than the bottom, so I can flip it over and use the larger end as the base. A size 20 or larger should work nicely. They are more expensive, about $1.30 a piece.

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Just received a present from my buddy who is a manager at a wine distributor... I had asked him for a couple corks, and he dropped off a grocery bag full of corks! Wooohooo!n I guess some will be going into the next Box of Goodwill.

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You can buy large corks at Menards DIY. I use them for painting larger minis. They are expensive, but the large one seem to be made from ground up cork pressed to shape and has a much nicer density than natural cork for sticking pins into. I assume they are similar to the old lab stoppers.

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Note: used corks should be baked before use. If you're in the UK, you can buy packs of corks from Wilko. Large corks you can buy as "bung stoppers" from homebrew suppliers or order them on eBay.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Large-Tapered-Cork-Bung-Stopper-Bottle-Jar-size-25-/141331205901?pt=UK_Babay_Baby_Feeding_Cups_Dishes_Cutlery_LE&hash=item20e7ff0f0d

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