News and random musings from the Sculptdude.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sculpting Linna - Hair

Here I will be sculpting hair for the Linna Babe™ for Bombshell Miniatures.
Ordinarily I use the same method for each figure I sculpt. They may be shaped differently but it is essentially the same process.

In this instance I had a bit of putty left over from the previous session so I added it to bulk up the back of the hair and then cured that under my putty lamp.

I mixed a fresh batch of ProCreate and then formed all of the masses for the hair.

It is important to get the volumes correct at this stage. All the forms must show the correct weight of the hair and it must flow in a consistent manner to the direction of the movement. Here again. reference is good for this.

All of the forms of the hair must be smoothed. Any seams that run across the direction of the hair flow will be impossible to work out.

Using the rounded tip of my Spoon Shaped Putty Knife I add a tiny amount of Vaseline to the tool and wipe the excess off on the side of my thumb. I begin to block in the general direction of the hair flow lightly. If the smooth motion of the tool starts to drag, I will clean it if it has putty stuck to it, add more Vaseline from my thumb or the brush and then continue.

It is possible to use water for this as a tool lubricant but it dries very quickly and you continually have to add it so it takes longer.

After setting up the basic flow and direction of the hair, I go back over this adding smooth curves and flowing strands with the #64 Scraper Tool. I use Vaseline the same way for this process too. One the hair is done it's time to move on to finishing up the figure with whatever final details are left and to add either a base or tab to the feet.

Sculpting Linna - Drapery

Here I will be making drapery for the Linna Babe™ for Bombshell Miniatures.
Ordinarily I use the same method for each figure I sculpt. They may be shaped differently but it is essentially the same process.

Here I have mixed ProCreate putty with the same amount of Aves Apoxie sculpt. This 50/50 mix creates a much stronger and stiffer putty once it has cured and will hold its shape better under the molding process.

I let this mix sit for about 20 minutes as a I work on something else. When you first combine the two different putties the mix is very soft. allowing it to sit for a few minutes allows it to cool from the mixing process and firm up a bit.

I flattened out a section of it using the plastic sheeting to keep it from sticking to my flattening block. It is trimmed to shape and folds are scored into it.

Using the edge of my #64 Scraper Tool, I flick the edge of the putty wedge to pop it off of the plastic divider. This takes quite a bit of practice to do properly without marring up the surface of the piece. It is placed agains the back leg of the figure and pressed lightly into place with the chisel shaper tool.

The putty is carefully positioned by the edges using the chisel shaper tool.

Using my scalpel blade I cut the excess putty from the back of the leg.

The edge of the cloth is blended into the figure.

It is carefully rounded a bit using the chisel shaper tool.

I check the profile of the draper ti make sure it shows from all angles.

Another wedge is cut from a flattened slab of putty.

This wedge is then smoothed out by pressing on it with the plastic sheeting.

It is now smooth and rounded.

I peel this wedge off the plastic divider and apply it to the back side of the leg the same as the first one.

It is feathered along the back of the leg as well using the chisel shaper tool.

Small folds are added to the top of the drapery since this particular piece will be visible on the final model.

Here the first session of the basic draper is finished. This is placed under the lamp to cure it in a short amount of time. The model is positioned so the putty will not sag under the heat of the lamp. Once this part has been cured it will create a form to add the rest of the draper over.

After the first section has cured fully, I repeat the same process adding wedges if putty to fill out the draper over the existing form. these wedges are then scored to add folds and wrinkles. The putty that I use for this session of the process is ProCreate with a tiny bit of Fimo added to help blend it into the cured areas.

On the back side you can see I covered a section of the existing drapery with more folds.

After the drapery has cured. I slice a belt from another flattened slab of straight ProCreate. Over this a bit of armor and decoration is added by layering more flattened and trimmed slabs. Once these slabs are in place they are textured using the tip of my #64 Scraper Tool.

This all goes into the putty oven for curing again.

In the next segment I cover Sculpting Linna's Hair.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Numenera Sculpts

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to accept a project to produce several of the sculpts for the licensed Numenera figures. You can read all about the official announcement over on Monte Cook's site.

Here are the specific sculpts I made for the set. Brett Amundson and Kevin Williams also provided pieces.

The set should be available at GenCon where Monte Cook Games will be selling the Numenera books at the DriveThruRPG booth # 1201. Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sculpting Linna - Boots

Here I will be detailing the boots for the Linna Babe™ for Bombshell Miniatures.
Ordinarily I use the same method for each mini I sculpt. They may be shaped differently but it is essentially the same process.

The first part of the boot is formed as part of blocking out the basic anatomy when the legs are shaped. That is detailed under the section  Sculpting Linna - Anatomy.

After the basic form of the foot and leg has cures I will add details. The putty is a 1:1 mix of straight ProCreate. No Fimo is added to this mix.

I begin by flattening it under a plastic sheet.

The plastic sheet keeps the putty from sticking to the block. I quickly peel the plastic off in a ripping motion.

The flattened putty is then cut into wedges.

These wedges are then wrapped across the front of the foot to represent cuffs. This process is repeated around the tops of the calves just below the knee to represent the boot cuff at the top. These are blended into the legs and then creases and wrinkles are added.

Smaller straps are cut from flattened putty.

These straps are added to the sides of the ankles.

A small notch is cut to form a buckle at the front of the strap.

The raised square area of the buckle is then cut to trim the inside area of the buckle.

All of this is cured before moving on to the drapery next.

You can  check out that process in Sculpting Linna - Drapery.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sculpt Jam 2

September 21 & 22, 2013
A weekend workshop for sculpting miniature figures for the tabletop gaming hobby.

Only 10 spots are available so book early!

  • Bring your projects and work along
  • Learn TIPS and TRICKS for better results
  • See what TOOLS work best
  • Understand the differences in SCULPTING MATERIALS


Michael Brower - freelance sculptor, makeup effects and prosthetics fabricator

Patrick Keith - freelance sculptor for Reaper, Privateer, Press, Dark Sword and founder of Bombshell Miniatures

Kevin Williams - staff sculptor for Reaper, master mold maker



Doubletree Hilton in Richardson, TX
1981 North Central Expressway
Richardson, Texas,USA, 75080


You may book rooms for overnight if you are visiting from out of town at the link above.
We will have space in the Pecan Room with chairs, tables and electricity.

You will need to bring all of your own sculpting materials, tools, supplies, and lighting.
A selection of sculpting tools and materials will be available for sale.

As of now the itinerary is an open format but should we schedule specific topics they will be listed here:


  • 9:00am - 12:00pm - Open Format
  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch
  • 1:00 - 6:00pm - Open Format
  • 6:00pm - Dinner at the Fox & Hound Pub
  • 10:00pm - Pecan Room closes


  • 9:00am - 12:00pm - Open Format
  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm - Lunch
  • 1:00 - 6:00pm - Open Format
  • 6:00pm - Pecan Room closes

If you have questions about the event check our discussion in the message forums here:


or contact Patrick at

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sculpting Linna - Anatomy

Here I will be sculpting the basic anatomy for the Linna Babe™ for Bombshell Miniatures.
Ordinarily I use the same method for each figure I sculpt. They may be shaped differently but it is essentially the same process.

I start by making an armature if I don't already have one handy. Usually when I have several assignments I make up a whole batch of armatures at the same time. These are usually posed, attached to corks and sit on the top shelf of my workbench as I work through the batch.

To learn more about how I make armatures, see that section on the site - Armatures

This is what I refer to as a "blocked out" armature. I sculpt the faces separately on a wire and then cut them off to attach them to the armature neck wire which gives me more opportunity to pose the head so that it's positioned naturally. This is the stage where I will photograph the piece to send to clients to approve the pose before moving forward to the next stage.

Unfortunately I didn't snap pics of sculpting the face for this one, but I may make a separate guide for faces in the future.

I pretty much sculpt with ProCreate exclusively as my preferred material of choice. It handles much better for me than the traditional "greenstuff", although all of the methods I will be showing here are applicable to sculpting with greenstuff.

The ProCreate is mixed with only a tiny amount more of the white part than the hardener. This gives the final material a firmer cure. Throughout the process of blocking out the anatomy, these are the two tools I use the most. This is a #64 Scraper and a #0 firm chisel tipped clay shaper.

At times, like when sculpting anatomy or even drapery, I will add a tiny amount of Fimo to the mix of the putty. Usually it is only 10% or less. This does two important things. The first is, it reduces the "memory" of the putty and makes the material less elastic, so you can blend seams easily. Second, it extends the cure time by around an hour or so, giving you more time to finesse the sculpt before it cures.

Wedges are cut from the blob of mixed putty for the feet, calves and thighs. I usually work on large sections of a model at a time. If you are a beginning sculptor, you may only want to work on smaller sections, and thus smaller mixes of putty, at a time. For example, you may only want to mix up enough to work on just the feet and the lower leg and allow that to cure before moving on to another section.

I like to work on a sculpt from the feet up. So starting with the first wedge, I divide that to make equal amounts of putty for the feet.

All of the wedges are positioned on the armature simulating muscle groups they are to represent. It helps to know your subject and the internet is the best resource you have for reference material. It is always more convincing to work from something that the object actually looks like rather than what you may think it looks like.

The masses are formed around the armature and the seams are blended together using the clay shaper. You may find it easier to work with a different tool to do this and it is recommend you experiment to find what works best for you.

After the legs are generally blended I add more material for the hips and pelvis working further up the figure.

Sometime I have to move the arms out of the way to work. I this case I eventually broke both arms off the armature repositioning them. No worries as they can be puttied back on with no problem.

The mass for the glutes are added and also blended in.

Continuing on, I add a mass to the front of the torso.

Another mass is added to the back of the torso.

This is all blended and shaped to resemble a leather breastplate, so I left a little ridge along the waist.

The back is also smoothed out. Continue to turn your model around as you work on it and check the contours to make sure the shapes are all cohesive.

Once all of the surface is smoothed out, I begin on the boots by cutting the edge of the boot soles with the scraper tool. Here I am using the smooth edge of the Spoon Shaped Putty Knife to add folds and creases to the boots. You can also use a large needle tool or some other tool with a smooth rounded form.

After cutting the straps into the leather breastplate, this is as far as the first anatomy session will go. By this time the putty I have mixed is now very firm allowing for the seams, folds and other details to be cleanly worked into the areas where they are needed.

I have reattached the arm and this is now ready to go into the "putty oven". To read more about the various sculpting materials, their properties and cure times, see the section on Sculpting Putty.

You can discuss the process or ask questions in the Workbench Forums here.

For the next session see Sculpting Linna - Drapery