Sculpting - Making Gimli |
Where to start?
first place to start any project whatever it may be is research. Having
decieded that I might try my hand at sculpting the son of Gloin - I check my
favourite LOTR website for images of Gimli - downloading anything I can find.
The Quintessential Lord of
the Rings - Movie Shots
I chose the image below as my
inspiration for this piece.
The Tools of the Trade
this project I shall simply be using GW's own 'Greenstuff' modelling putty and
my favourite sculpting tool which came from the sclupting tool set from
The Wargames Foundry.
I shall also make use of a scalpel blade for very fine
me visualise the whole figure, I did a rough sketch on a scrap of paper and I
collected some small stones from the road outside.
figure is sitting - it's only sensible to build the base first. The rocks
collected from outside are arranged and held in place on the plastic base with a
little Milliput (you could glue with PVA or use Green it doesn't matter).
The Sausage Man
always, I begin with my sausage man. Simple shapes of rolled out putty just to
give basic figure shape. As the figure is firmly planted in a seated position -
there is no need for a wire skeleton or 'armature'.
Also, as this is a
very complex and detailed fugure I shall need to work on the body detail before
doing the arms and head - so for now these are left off.
Working with very small amounts of putty at a time - (never
mix up more than a tiny amount or you'll be tempted to keep going until you've
used it all - and it's important to take your time and allow stages and layers
to harden before continuing) a thin skin of putty is wrapped aroun the each leg
and foot and work begins on the boots and baggy trousers. Using the tool to
push the putty into shape and form the edges. Keep your sculpting tool (and
finger tips) moist with a quick lick of the tongue to stop the putty sticking -
we want it to stick to the model - not the tool.
Once I'm happy with
the trousers and boots - another layer or skin of putty is applied - this will
form the mail and over jacket. There's no need to apply a separate layer for
the coat over the mail as this will make our model too chunky - simply press the
edge of the sculpting tool around the bottom of the jacket to show the hem of
Here you can see that I've used the point of the
sculpting tool to run rows of 'dots' around the Mail layer to represent the
chain mail. The same simple technique will be used on the first layer applied
to the arms.
The first layer is upplied to the upper body, and the tool
is pressed in around the waist to show the belt. A little prematurely perhaps
I've added the left arm - but there's still a lot of work to do on the body.
A 'mitten' is formed for the hand and a scalpel blade is used to press
between the fingers.
head and face in particular is a complex area of detail and there's nothing I
can say to help you here appart from 'keep trying'. But I always work on the
face independantly at this point. A small blob of putty is stuck onto the end
of another sculpting tool or possibly a bent paper clip.
remain the same however - use the tool to 'press' the details into the face.
I'm not 'sticking a nose on' or adding putty for the eyes - I'm simply pressing
each side of the nose and pushing the cheaks back. The mustache is added
however as a rolled out 'sausage' (though very very fine) and the tool is
pressed into it to suggest the plaits.
the final stages the figure rapidly takes shape as the belts and trappings are
added - the arms and gauntlets etc. Once fully dry, the face is added and the
back of the head filled in.
The final touch is the weapons. These are
literally carved from 1mm thick white plastic card - I've painted them green
here just to improve the look of the photo for the website. The weapons will
need to be moulded separately when it comes to moulding the figure - so these
are just lightly tacked in place for now.
appologies for the lack of photos of the final stages - but I finished the model
over the weekend and I normally take the photographs at work with a good quality
digital camera. But no matter how complex the detail may appear - it's all
added in layers a small bit at a time. You simply can't take a soft bit of
putty and produce a figure of this complexity in one go. It's done slowly and
gradually piece by piece allowing drying to take place as the figure takes shape
- adding no more than a ball-bearing size piece of putty each time.
figure was completed in 1 day - that is, most was done an afternoon - with the
final touches completed the following day.
Good luck - and happy