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Doctor Banjo, or Even Further Hubris

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The thought came to me, burning-hot in my mind, that while probably no one else would ever need one, *I* could really use a great ape in mortarboard and academic robes. An orangutan for preference, given their eccentric genius and their handlike feet. Reaper already does a Cyber-Ape, but that is a violent simian, and also I want three "hands" in use rather than two.

Here's the rough sketch, 


and here's an armature I made late last night, compared to Orangutango. 

I've been reading the advice posts, so I'll take it slow-ish, work in layers, and be ready to murder my darlings...

...is there other stuff I should be warned about? Is this a fool's errand? (yes, obviously, but can I *do* it?)

Love to hear from y'all! 

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Looking good!  The only issue I foresee at this point would bee the twisted wires in the legs and arms.  That's going to make your armature too thick at the ankles and wrist. Stabilize the twists near the groin and shoulders with a blend of apoxie:GS, let it cure, then clip out the extra wire coil from the legs and arm.  I'd start sculpting by defining the rib cage, shoulder girdle, and pelvic region (which coincidentally will have the effect of stabilizing the twists as I mentioned above). 


Good luck and good sculpting!

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Forgive the crappy phone pictures! 


It is good that orange are lumpy and shaggy creatures; that's going to be a big help.


Put in the base of fat and muscle, clipped off wire twists at ankles and wrists. 


Would it be better to add the head before the robes, or vice versa? 





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Are you sculpting the head separately on a piece of armature wire?


If it helps I used to hold the end of the armature wire for heads and other bits in a pin vice. I bought the metal ones and stashed the drill bits that came with them in my Tube O' Drill Bits (darn things always want to get dull on you!). The advantage of the metal ones was you could bake them in the oven without any worries. For actually hand drilling I have one that has a large wood bulb grip.

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6 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:



I'd probably add them before the head, just because his many chin flaps over hang them.

Thank you and good thinking! Such a jowly beast. 

4 hours ago, GHarris said:

Are you sculpting the head separately on a piece of armature wire?


If it helps I used to hold the end of the armature wire for heads and other bits in a pin vice.

Full disclosure, I have *no idea* what I'm doing. I was vaguely imagining sculpting the head freehand, but a clamped wire armature or a large-headed sewing pin is manifestly the smarter option now that you bring it up. I even have a pin vice for that purpose! 


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I said that I would take it slow-ish, but it looks like among my other character flaws I am also a liar. 

Tried to add the robe and the first layer of shagginess at the same time. Ended up getting in my own way a lot, BUT...


At least the gathering/ruching on the academic gown wasn't too bad. Putting the sleeves on over the arm hair wasn't easy, but dental picks are your friends (when not being used as dental picks, at least). 


Tried to get an idea of where gravity goes by actually having the good Doctor swing from a hook. This is where I got in my own way, as the gown is no longer hanging as plumb as planned. But I'll wait until I have his book and head in place before axing the drapery; they may change the center of gravity a bit.


Taking the advice of smarter sculptors, I took a round-headed sewing pin and clamped it firmly in place. I then slapped on a smaller ball for the protruding jaws, molded in some lobes for cheek-flaps, and dental-tooled and needled a few features. This is the first draft: 



Dunno how the head will fit exactly so far, but I can cover over seams with hair and dewlaps. Here's the proportions, only slightly distorted by perspective: 

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And here we are! Put a tassel on the mortarboard, too. Man, dental tools and those silicone nubby nudging tools are great

Still needs more hair, a waistcoat, and the leftmost extremities (and book) taken care of.

C&C welcome; I could use some feedback!




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Another session and I think he's pretty dang close to being done! Used an exacto blade to put some tweed texture on his waistcoat, finished the right hand and foot, put hair on the arms and butt, made a book with pages. Total: four nights' work. C&C welcome. This guy is ready to be a Librarian, a crackpot pseudoscientist, or a combustion chemistry researcher (it turns out Man's red fire is pretty complicated). 





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2 hours ago, Rainbow Sculptor said:

He came out fantastic! Excellent work!

Thanks! From you that is high praise indeed; your work is exquisite.
I've done some minor Sculpey sculpting in the past but this is my first real Green Stuff sculpt.
I assure everyone, if it looks like I know what I'm doing, that's more luck than skill. I've got a bad case of the Dunning-Krugers here. 

Stuff I learned:
-maaaaaaaan, if you're adding details, add them to only one area of the sculpt at a time, you WILL mash one area while working on another
-a cork does not hold copper armature wire nearly as well as a small vise will
-the Sculpting board has a high view-to-reaction-or-comment ratio and I probably shouldn't take it as an indication I'm a pariah or a leper?
-but apes are a niche taste, and non-fantasy apes even more so!
-round-headed sewing pins are great armatures for heads at this scale
-shaggy fur is not too awfully hard to do with an hobby knife and a pin
-fingers are unforgiving and I don't even want to think about making tiny dainty hands
-cloth textures are fun!

Stuff I did NOT learn
-let the green stuff cure for an hour or so, seriously, stop poking at ittt
-this was hubristic folly and beyond your ham-fisted grasp, you oaf
-you should definitely not be the change you want to see in the world vis-a-vis that plug-ugly crook you mentioned on the Chronoscope Minis We'd Like to See page, or the Cactus Dryads. 

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