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My minis keep looking better and better...until I take pictures and then recognize flaws I still have to fix.  Ah well.

This update is kind of fun.  The first 4 characters you'll see are simply more of my anthro minis (since my daughter and I want to play Burrows and Badgers before our minis arrive).  Must say, I'm enjoying the anthro builds more than I enjoyed making actual people.

In order, it's a mouse mage, a rat swashbuckler, a bird bard (raven, to be specific), and a spell-casting snail.

Next, I have one of the champions.  It's a cheetah.  She's still in progress.  I started working on her because I was having quality time with my daughter teaching her about sculpting.  We each tried one at the larger scale.  Must say, I found it so much easier to refine the detail at the larger scale.  It's a shame Cosmic_Mastermind didn't tell me to work in a larger scale several months ago...oh wait...   ;=)

Anyway, the final sot is the "minotaur" my daughter sculpted.  It kind of ended up being a whole lot more like Bullwinkle, but I think that's fantastic!  Every time I GM a game with a minotaur, I'll be using her mini for it.

 

Question:  I've been watching some more tutorials and such and someone made reference to the silicone-tipped Clay Sculptor as not sticking to Green Stuff, so no lubrication needed.  Is that true?  If so, I think I need one!

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Due to the inspiration of the great work by Michael and his encouragement as well as others on this forum (especially Cosmic_mastermind) and friends and family, I've finally finished my first batch of

So, I've been working on the anthro minis, but I've also been dabbling in terrain pieces.  Last night, I did a bit on my anthro figures, made a few more armatures, and then figured since I was going t

My minis keep looking better and better...until I take pictures and then recognize flaws I still have to fix.  Ah well. This update is kind of fun.  The first 4 characters you'll see are simply more

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Looking good! And you've got some painted - that's next on my list too, just waiting on some new brushes arriving...

 

 

My minis keep looking better and better...until I take pictures and then recognize flaws I still have to fix.  Ah well.

This is completely normal - I always find stuff to fix after the first set of photos are taken. It's both very useful, and hugely irritating!  ^_^

 

 

Question:  I've been watching some more tutorials and such and someone made reference to the silicone-tipped Clay Sculptor as not sticking to Green Stuff, so no lubrication needed.  Is that true?  If so, I think I need one!

Clay Shapers are vital! For smoothing and blending GS they are excellent. I use a size 0 flat chisel point, but Jo prefers a taper point. Get a couple and see what works for you. But stick with the size 0s; I've got bigger ones as well, but they almost never get used (and they cost more!).  I still use lubrication with mine though.

 

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Hi Pip. ^_^

Looks like you're having fun and coming up with some pretty creative ideas. Keep it up! By the way. TBH Goblyn and Talespinner are waaaay beyond my level and they give smarter advice too; I'd suggest pestering them for as much help you can squeeze out of them. If you want to get really good at sculpting, don't get too carried away with fun-sculpting and neglect to learn the essentials such as anatomy and "putty control". I have gone back to the wire so many times I have lost count. Dozens of times.. literally dozens, probably more than a hundred times.

 

Pay special attention to the hips and feet: I've noticed that several expert sculptors start with the feet, and while it may seem like an odd place to start, I've found that it helps me to keep the proportions of the miniature correct, somehow starting from the "base up" makes sense. And the hips.. how do I explain this? Errr.. well, my current method is this: Do the legs first, then add hip bones and then add the butt and the abdomen.

 

If you can place the hip bones correctly and make them the right size and shape (I still mess up, but I'm getting there), it acts like a keystone for the rest of the miniature; everything fits around the hips. IMO the hips are the magic spot on a miniature.

 

This a WIP sculpt by Hasslefree Miniatures, notice how boney and well-defined the hip bones are:

 

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And if you're wondering how they get the legs to look so long, it's because the sculptor is adding only very tiny amounts of putty to the wire, and he's tapering it so that at it's narrowest point, the putty is just barely coating the wire.Oh, and a little technique I picked up from studying a Hasslefree armature; notice the inside of the thighs, they are "hollow" rather than bulked out. There is no bulk added to the inside of the thighs at this stage.

 

 

You should definitely buy a set of clay shapers, my main set of clay shapers are Size #2's which I got cheap from an eBay supplier in Spain; they're a little bit soft, but I totally prefer size 2 to the size 0 that most people buy. I'm sure size #0's are very useful for some things, but my set of of size #0's haven't seen the light of day for 2 years, size #2 is all I use at the moment, and I'm working in 32mm scale. My current set is "firm" so I might buy a second set of "extra firm". BTW, You won't really need the full set, the two important ones are the taper point and the wedge point, the other three are optional - I find the half-round quite useful, the other two I hardly use at all.

 

You should still use Vaseline with your clay shapers if you are using Greenstuff, GS and Vaseline go together like strawberries and cream, I always, always use Vaseline, it's great stuff. Vaseline is what makes Greenstuff stick and it softens it too. Tip: If you have trouble getting a tiny blob of GS to stick and it keeps falling off,  dab a little bit of Vaseline directly onto your miniature and try again.

 

I use clay shapers for smoothing and blending, but another useful feature is that you can use them to work putty that is too soft to touch with a metal tool. Oh, and final tip: tweezers are great! I've got a nice pair of gold-tipped slant tweezers which are proving to be super useful for fine details; tweezing out the shape of a nose, pulling hips into shape, making fingers. Definitely worth adding to your toolbox at a later date.

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Wonderful input.  Thank you.

I'm definitely still seeing so much need to work on my "putty control" and to smooth things out.

Michael, you'll be happy to know that I'm really working on slowing down and taking more time on my pieces.  I'll be integrating the Clay Shaper soon and taking even more time learning to use that  :=)

Thanks for the images, Cosmic.  I'm very visual, so seeing exactly how those were done along with you talking me through it was a big help.  You had actually mentioned tweezers before and I've been making consistent usage of them for everything from shaping to plucking away stray hairs (the ultimate danger of sculpting in a house with dogs and cats).

Thanks again for the input and encouragement.  It's greatly appreciated!

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Ah, yes I did mention tweezers before didn't I? I forgot about that. There's a lot more pictures on the Hasslefresian Facebook page, I don't know how useful they are to you but I use Kev White's WIP photos for reference: https://www.facebook.com/Hasslefriesian/photos_stream

 

I download various pictures from the internet and keep them in a "scrapbook" folder for reference.

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Cosmic Mastermind covered anything I'd add almost perfectly. Order of sculpt:

 

1. Armature proportions

2. Pose the Armature

3. Add major bone structures such as pelvis and rib cage

4. Sculpt the mini from the base up

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So, I've been taking advice about working on better armatures, better putty control, and taking my time.  Also, I've been making lots of one off heads.  I decided not to post the shot of heads on a pike as it just struck me as a touch disturbing.  Instead, here is a character I'd been working on over the past week and a half.  He's an anthropomorphic frog or a gripplis.  Either way.  I think I really got much better putty control with the combination of taking more time, taking photos as I went to see what still wasn't as smooth and then fixing it, and actually getting a Clay Shaper.  It makes a huge difference!

Anyway, hope you enjoy this post.  It gives you a walk through of the progress through what is basically a glorified armature to the finished product with paint thrown at it (not a finished product paint-wise, but at least a good view of where I was going).  And yes, he is a frog druid with a fly as his animal companion.  It made me chuckle, so I went with it  :=)

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Thanks for the positive feedback, Michael.  Rat sculpt with a pet spider?  Is that going to be one of the Hobbes sisters (which look awesome, by the way)?

I suppose it would be fair if you pinch the fly idea since you inspired me to do the anthros in the first place  :=)

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So, I sculpted a Shih Tzu samurai.  The top knot typically done for the breed just seemed to fit it.  Making more progress on the smoothing.  Not entirely happy with the blade on the katana.  Need to work more on such things.

I also included shots of the painted piece.  I was really happy with the wash effect on this piece.  I'm still figuring out how to do that well.

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For weapons, I tend to use a harder putty, usually Milliput. I sculpt it into the best shape I can, then let it cure fully, and sand, carve and file it into the final shape. That way you can get hard, straight edges that would be difficult in Green Stuff.

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