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Clearman

Sculpting Stonework

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I do not sculpt.  The most I have ever done with putty is fill gaps and smoosh a couple leftover chunks into a mushroom shape.  But I would like to sculpt some stone stairs for a diorama and really have no idea how to go about it and make them look like more than just lumps.

 

The photo shows the base I am starting with and the marked lines are where I would like the stairs to be.  How do I go about plopping in putty and make it relatively flat and square.

 

20190909_165330.thumb.jpg.946ff7aca43849c32fa59bf10264c0e6.jpg

 

If it matters, I have both green stuff and apoxie sculpt.

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If it was me I'd start with making a basic set of stairs out of foam or wood. Get that shaped to a decent fit and then start putting your layer of putty on top of that. I have some sculpting styluses with round balls on the end. I use them to draw stonework into things sometimes. On thing to think about is if you want the stairs to look to scale with the minis or be big enough to have the minis sit on part way up, or a mix of both (a landing of some sort).

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Well, I'd like them to look reasonably in proportion with 28mm humans.  Based on my calculations, modern stair dimensions will be too small and look funny.  I also haven't made any measurements directly from the piece in the picture.

 

Sounds like I'm just going to need to experiment.

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I've only ever made a few sets of crude stairs out of foam like in the pic below and I didn't do the putty stonework on them. Just so you get an idea these steps are roughly 1/4 inch in height. Depending on how fancy you want to get I'd probably go about 1/8th inch. Gives you an idea where to start at least.

 

IMG_7975.thumb.JPG.cd83bd29ffa8a8c71f20c1e79c53d09a.JPG

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cork sheets work great. I did the stairs on our diorama with cork and covered the edges with apoxie to make the stone shapes.

 

comp5.jpg.550ef936df597d1d5208e02d4c356fed.jpg

 

I get the quartet cork tiles on amazon (12 x 12), they come in a pack of 4 and are about 1/4 inch thick I think. they stack great and you can cut and tear them to any size you want.  they look like stone even without the apoxie.

Edited by Corporea
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It's very hard to sculpt architectural stuff like stairs straight from putty. You might try turning to terrain builders for techniques, you will find lots of good tutorials on youtube. If I were doing it, I would carve the basic shapes in xps foam, and maybe imprint a rock texture by poking it with a rock.

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1 hour ago, Corporea said:

cork sheets work great

 

I like the cork idea.  I think my hang-up is the already uneven surface of the base, and was leaning toward putty because it would obviously form to that texture.  I am going to fiddle with some cork and then gap fill with putty and or modeling paste.

 

 

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Cork worked beautifully.   pretty much a case of me overthinking things.

 

20190910_211854.thumb.jpg.b483e05936d2a566970d65d4cbf33fc8.jpg

 

20190910_211906.thumb.jpg.ca81eea8d31f49ffccaaf4a3dfc336fe.jpg

Edited by Clearman
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On 9/10/2019 at 5:55 PM, Clearman said:

Based on my calculations, modern stair dimensions will be too small and look funny. 

It appears that you have solved the problem rather nicely.  Scale usually works for a diorama but not for 28-32mm gaming pieces.  If you look at the weapons, hands and other bits of kit on most models they are way out of proportion/scale.  Your best bet is to eyeball it and work out what looks right. 

 

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