Sculpting Master Class - 'Pulling Faces'

The Tools of the Trade

For 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 detail work.

Starting point

Start with a small ball-bearing size piece of green putty - equal amounts of blue and yellow - if you find it sticks to your fingers as you mix it - lick your finger a little.

Head on a Stick

The putty is attached to the end of something - I'm using another sculpting tool - but a pencil would do just as well. We need to remain hands-free as we work, and the tool/pencil will allow us to rotate the job easily and we can jab it into something when we're done while finished job is left to dry which will take 3 to 4 hours.

Feeling the Pinch

I start by gently pinching the putty a little. This just gives us a starting point for the nose.

Follow your nose!

Next I press the tool into the putty just below the nose where the mouth will be. All the features of the face will be pressed into the putty - we wont be sticking noses on or trying to make little eyebrows to glue on - it's much too small for that. Only the hair will be added at the final stages.

Eye, eye!

Press each side of the nose and into where the eyes are to form the browline.

Getting Cheeky

Now we define the shape of the face itself by pressing around the face and defining the jaw line. Remember we are making a face - not a whole round head. The finished face - when dry will be removed carefully and added to the model and at that point the back of the head/hair will be added.

Size Check

This is a good time to check the size of your sclupted face against a genuine figure. If it's not right - fix it now. Is the nose too big? fix it now. If it's all totally wrong - start again. Go no further until your happy you've got this right.

Off we go again

Using the point of a scalpel blade, gently define the mouth...

Face Facts!

Using the sculpting tool just tickle the checks back a little so the face doesn't look fat. Very gentle touches only. You should be keeping your sculpting tool moist - I periodically lick the end of the tool - this keeps it from sticking to the putty.

Freddy Cruger!

At this stage I've sharpened some of the features up with the scalpel - and I've pressed top and bottom of the eyes which defines the actual eyes themselves. At this stage all of my faces look like Freddy Cruger! - so if you're making a Freddy Cruger model - go no further.

Hairy

I'm going to give our man a hint of facial hair - a hint mind! he's not Father Christmas! again - we dont stick a moustache on - we simply press each side of the moustache very gently, and it starts to appear.

The Boromir look

The hair is added. Reclaiming some of the putty around the face I roll it gently in my fingers and add a few locks - medusa style. Intsantly the figure will take on a certain look. The hair-style and facial hair are key features if you are making a particular character - get this part right and you'll be forgiven for the rest.

Hairdressing

Keeping the tool moist, the hair is stroked into position and the locks curled into the face. At this point if you were worried about the ears just cover them with hair!

Check all angles

rotate your model and check all angles. Check the size again too in case you've stretch him a little - if so just press up under his chin and down on the top to shorten the face again.

Done!

That's it - we're done for now. Allow the face to dry - over night is best to avoid any possibility of touching it before it's ready to be handled. The face will then be removed from the stick and attached to the main figure.

Easy? no, I won't pretend that it's easy, but practice and confidence will make good. Accept criticism and look at your models objectively the next day and strive to make the next one better than the last.

Happy Sculpting!


Links

http://www.eldaronline.com/paintingtutorials/painting_greenstuff.shtml

http://www.heresyminiatures.com/images/pages/htt04.htm

http://www.bananaking.net/cento/workshop/conv_green.htm