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WIP: Amphisbaena and Plinth for Conan Indegogo

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I just can't get over how much freaking *work* that is to make scales.  I mean no offense to you or anyone who sculpts, but I'd always assumed scale were done by pressing something into the GS and then cleaning it up from there.  I'm seriously humbled and amazed at your work.

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I am currently starting work on a new exciting project for a client of mine. He's allowing me to share my work with you.  I will be sculpting a large plinth with the eye of the serpent gem on top and

Last Big Push   I did a lot in the last few days.  Finished the heads, fit them to the body, added wattles, and some other stuff I can't show right now.  I just sent pictures to my client and just n

Skinning the Column and Adding the Base   I'm going to move away from the step by step here as I do have a deadline and just can't stop to take enough pictures.  These will be more high level steps

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I just can't get over how much freaking *work* that is to make scales.  I mean no offense to you or anyone who sculpts, but I'd always assumed scale were done by pressing something into the GS and then cleaning it up from there.  I'm seriously humbled and amazed at your work.


 Depends entirely on the shape of the scales, the size of the scales and whether or not they overlap... And the positioning of them, too.

Sometimes it actually is just that simple. But mostly it's not, lol. ::):

Scale armor on a human-sized mini, for example, is usually relatively easy and you can possibly get away with simply "chainmailing" it (repeatedly pressing an object or tool into the putty) if you have/make a suitable tool, but something like dragon scales where the scales are different sizes on different parts of the body and may or may not be on a curved/rounded surface so the unattached ends really stick out requires a lot of individual sculpting, poking and smoothing on each scale.

To use my fish-priest conversion as an example of the latter... If you look at 77212: Tiik Baron, to stick his head on the fish priest I carved off just the face and the crest on the top/back of his head and after decapitating the priest mounted the face at the appropriate spot/angle where the fish-priest's head would have been, which left the arc of the crest about half an inch over the shoulders of the fish-priest's armor and required rebuilding pretty much the entire rest of the fish head onto the priest. After I roughed out the general shape of the back of it's head, it ended up with a very extreme curve to it in a very small amount of space, and required increasingly smaller scales every row as I got closer to the small of it's back. Because each one was a different size and sticking out at a different angle, I basically had to resort to doing each one of them as a separate piece until I got to the flatter part of it's back.

So I added on tiny balls of putty and sculpted on two or three scales at a time before putting the figure in my curing oven or leaving it overnight so I didn't mess up the shape of the surrounding scales - I started from the front of the head just behind the face and worked down-and-back on each side from the sides of the crest, finishing a row on one side and then repeating it on the other to keep them relatively even. Every time I finished a scale I'd stick on another tiny bit of putty in the angle between the side of the previous scale and the scales of the row above it and use a tool to push the edge of it up against the last previously-cured scale. Then I'd "pull up" slightly more putty than I'd need to do the scale and then flatten and angle the surface of it with a tool so it looked like it went underneath the other scales at the appropriate angle. I then shaped the outer edges of it by pressing into the putty, which much like TS's snake scales required a lot of back and forth between pushing in the edges and then lifting up the edge back into the appropriate angle...

Edited by Mad Jack
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Heads and Statue


I continued to work on the heads over the weekend. I hollowed out eye sockets with my Dremel, then added large eyeballs. I think this makes them look very amphibian at this point, but that will change when they get ringed by scales later today.  I also sculpted the horns and underpinned the lower jaws.  I was going to have one with it's mouth slightly open, but forgot to do that as I was rushing through the underpinning.  I can file part of it off and do that still, but I am torn as to whether I should.  Most snakes do not typically open their mouths until they are actively striking. I know a lot of fantasy figures show snakes with their mouths open, but that is not very realistic (it also tends to not cast as well).  


I also sculpted the gem, filed in facets, underpinned the body, and started skinning the body of the statue on the plinth.








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It came out fantastic!  You managed to make the amphisbaena look exceedingly realistic, which is impressive in something that is clearly not real, having a head at both ends and all that.


lol...edited for a really dumb sentence structure error.

Edited by Matbar
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