Teaching myself to sculpt
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Thread: Teaching myself to sculpt

  1. #1

    Default Teaching myself to sculpt

    I've been a mini painter on and off for about 15 years, and have always been a pretty creative person so I decided to turn my hand to sculpting to see what I could achieve. Before this my only attempts at pushing putty were gap filling and fixing "bodged" details from miscasts or overzealous filing.

    I've followed the sculpt-along threads for a while here, and am constantly in amazement at the greens posted both there and in the gallery. So I've come here with my first attempt at sculpting to get some constructive criticism and advice from you guys!

    The material I've chosen is Sculpey for the simple fact that you can keep fudging with it at long as you like, and bake it in sections to protect the work you've done once happy with it. I've also gone with 54mm(ish) as my scale.

    Sooo... As a huge doctor who fan I've decided to attempt a Weeping Angel as my first sculpt, as that gets me heavy cloth, human anatomy and wings all in one bag. The expression I'm going for on it's face is worry (I'm slightly concerned that it looks happy). The main issue I have with this currently is that I started the knee a little too low, which is an issue I've been having a lot when making armatures. This sculpt is currently about 6 or 7 hours in.

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    I made two attempts at the head so far, the first was a disaster it was out of scale and the features were just plain odd. So that got cut off and an hour later we're at head 2, which I'm happier with but I'm struggling with the lower eyelids. I have no idea how professionals manage to get them looking right! I'm hoping that when they're on they held it look less happy and more worried.

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    As an aside I also wanted to try some armour so I started a second mini. An odd thing with the flesh tone sculpey is that it seems to flake under the surface when baking leading to uneven colouring. Not sure if this is because of my method of adding small bits of clay or if its a general thing with the clay itself.

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    p.s. Sorry for the essay at the start and for the cluttered photo, my flat is really badly lit and the only light to take photos under was my painting lamp.
    p.p.s Word from the wise... Keep cats away from workspaces - I'm constantly picking hair off of the clay and figure

  2. #2


    Having only worked with the firm Sculpey, I get where you're coming from with being able to make changes and such. I've also heard that other people do have problems when they want to add fresh clay over baked and then bake it again. How hot are you doing it at? I tend to try and go longer at about 200 vs 15 minutes at 275. I found this guy's channel on the YouTube very helpful: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJcapp These are all videos from a class he taught specifically on "polymer clay", and as such they are very informative. One thing I'd advise is to always view your sculpture in the round, especially when it comes to the face. I can't tell because of the point of view, but it looks like the face it a bit flat. The armor and straps look awesome on the lower one! Keep practicing and you'll get to where you want and then some! Hope this helps!

  3. #3


    Hey Chrispy, thanks for the reply! I haven't really had any problems with re-baking so far aside from slight colouration. I've been baking at 120 C for 15 mins per 6mm (suggested is 140C). My oven is fan assisted so it tends to bake it quite quickly hence the lower temperature.

    I took a second look at the head, and you are right it was rather flat, I've made the cheek bones stronger, and pushed the brow out a bit further which seems to help. I've also added hair now. I'll try to get some photos in the morning when the light is better.

    Those tutorials are really good! I'd love to try something at that scale too.

  4. #4


    nice start, with regards to the armature sizes chrispy has posted a great scale chart which you may find useful.
    with the face expression is the key, if you look at a actors face they emphasise in the theatre as its harder to see at a distance the same with modelling the smaller the scale the more emphasis is needed.
    as to the subject material I thought there face was evil looking when there hands are down
    keep up the good start
    Wargames Terrain Workshop
    Home of High Quality Gaming boards, Scenery and Miniature Sculpting

    Contact us @ wargamesterrainworkshop@yahoo.co.uk

  5. #5


    You should try to cook it in boiling water rather than bake it in a hot oven. You'll get a much better result that way. Try it out.

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