Introduction

What is an Armature?

An armature is another word for a skeleton or puppet. It is the basis for sculpting a figure. The armature is a pre-made human frame which you can pose and use as the start of a new figure sculpture. It speeds up the process and gives you a head start and also keeps the scale a proportion consistent.

You can sculpt a figure without using an armature - but you will have to carefully measure the proportions of the figure each time - the armature does this for you.

The Ebob Armature also comes complete with a face already - so if you're not confident in attempting that level of detail you can use the face already on the armature.

If you need a different face - you can add putty to the head -
or simply remove the head and make a new one.


Getting Started

Where to start?

The first step of course is think. Plan your mini and decide exactly what you want to do. I decided I wanted to create an archer - probably a Ranger, and I also decided that I wanted to give the figure an interesting pose - so the first step was to prepare the base.


Preparation
The base

First thing was to look outside in the street for a suitable rock. I found a bunch of nice little stones in an ally way nearby and harvested them. Selecting one that suited my purposes, I filled the slot in the base with some green, and use some more green to cement the stone to the plastic base - applying some super glue to speed up the process.


The Pose

Posing the Armature

This is the most important stage of your sculpt - get this right and your finished sculpt will look dynamic and full of energy. It's worth spending the time to get this right. I actually spent more than a day getting this pose right - setting the armature, adjusting it - unsticking it - sticking it again... as you can see I played with so much I broke off both legs and the right arm in the process - but they are easily reattached with some green and set with superglue. I removed the hands in advance also - knowing that I would need to sculpt my own for this mini.


Double Check

Still Posing the Armature

Check the pose from all angles to be sure you've got it just right. The arm is reattached and fixed with green and glue.


On with the putty!

Work from the bottom up.

I tend to start with the feet and work up. Adding a small amount of putty the foot, take your sculpting tool and stretch it around the leg and foot of the armature - keeping your sculpting tool wet either with a damp sponge or with your tongue - to stop it sticking to the putty.


Stick the boot in!

Work on up!
After some work we have the basic boot shape. More putty is added as we move up the leg of the figure.


Moving up

The figure now has one leg - we can add more detail later - for now just quickly bulk up the figure. Move on the other leg now.

Bulking up

With most of the figure bulked out with an basic layer of putty - the bow is formed using some wire. The bow will further developed with putty and the hand can now be added.

Adding detail

More detail is added to the clothing of the body and the gloved hand is finished and a wire arrow fitted. Remember that at various stages I have allowed the putty to harden before moving on - this is probably day 2 of the process.

Finishing

Final details are worked on until you are happy with the finished model. But the purpose of this article is to show how the armature is used.