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Marvin

Fire Dragon (as a blue; first dragon, first made base, first water)

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Mini looks great, and I like the base, but I think your photo setup could use some tweaking. Some of those are a bit dark.

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   Good job on the water and the base (See, we told ya it wasn't that hard, lol)... Great shape on the rocks, they really look like river rocks - you really got the worn-smooth edges right... Did you dig up some reference pics to study, or do you live near water? Not everybody notices that sort of stuff, but for those of us who live in rural or semi-rural areas or spend a lot of time outdoors, one thing we tend to find jarring is when somebody does a diorama and puts in the wrong kind of trees or rocks for the environment they're trying to create.

 

  Now, on to the critique, lol. One suggestion for next time would be to make sure the edges of the base sit flat on the surface of the table - it looks a bit wonky with the edges not quite touching the table and the sand only coming halfway down. Other than that, in the last picture I can see a few stray vertical tool marks on the rocks in the foreground that don't match up with the rest of the rock (cut or cracked stone might have vertical marks on it, but river-worn stones would have horizontal marks from the water rushing past...)

 One thing you can do when sculpting is to get your basic shapes roughed out and do most of the major details, and then go off and do something else for a few hours to give it time to harden a bit (so it doesn't get pushed around so easily) and then come back and do some final detail work on your piece, such as covering up stray tool marks or adding textures on surfaces. Once you start doing more bases (and more complicated bases) you'll find that it's actually very rare for you to just sit down and crank out a base like this one all at one time and all in one single piece. (I don't know if you saw the pics in the discussion thread of the stone wall I made for the box o' goodwill, but I could only do about two or three rocks at a time in order to not push them out of shape while sculpting the stone next to them...)

Edited by Mad Jack
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You did an awesome job!! Congrats on basing level up.

 

MadJack already covered the few minor things about the base that could be tweaked the next time around, so I don't really have much to add on that front.

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Thanks, y'all.

 

 

It's actually worse than that, regarding tool marks, as I have no tools and those are actually fingerprints! I was irritated with them at the time but just kind of rolled with it as this was a make-it-happen-for-the-first-time kind of deal. I'll have to procure tools going forward, even if I just try something this simple again. Which I think I will. It was pretty fun.

 

I know zilch about this kind of stuff--can I just go grab a thing of sculpting tools at the Hobby Lobby and start dicking around? 'Cause that's probably what will happen. Next on my list is probably a small town-type scene, gonna try paving stones/bricks or something, see what happens. I've got a thing for pushing it through to make strips and stuff, think it'll be a good start, I'unno.

 

 

RE: picture-taking. Was talking in one of the other threads, gonna try to build a lightbox. It didn't look undoable, and maybe that'll get me by. I'm having no luck with lighting since I moved and all. So, yeah, hopefully an upgrading coming there soon.

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 Actually, I do a lot of my sculpting work with the blade of a hobby knife, a dental pick and a color shaper... (And sometimes my fingernails as well)

Sculpting tools are helpful (and reasonably cheap) but not technically absolutely necessary - even most professional mini sculptors make a lot of their own tools and mainly only use two or three of them for the majority of their work.

 You may or may not be able to find them at Hobby Lobby, but they're all over the place online... Google "wax sculpting tools" or "wax carving tools".

 

 And fingerprints may not be good on some surfaces, but they can actually be useful as texture on some kinds of rocks (as seen by the fact that I didn't recognize them as fingerprints on your base, lol).

Edited by Mad Jack
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