Well nobody even got close to guessing what my greenstuff head from last week was destined to become, though to be honest I would have been shocked if they had (though the guesses didn’t exactly infuse me with confidence when it came to the next stages!)
Women are difficult, I mean sculpting wise not in general (though they are!), well they are for me anyway, you see if you sculpt a man, and he’s no “looker” then he’s just an ugly man, monsters are even better as they are by definition “monstrous!”, women on the other hand we tend to see as attractive in general, so you have to get the eyes straight, chin level, nose not to big etc.. or it’s more noticeable. To use a rather non PC saying…”You can put a pig in a dress, but it’s still a pig!” This is why I tend to avoid sculpting women from scratch, and why I decided to have a go at making one now as a bit of a challenge. Now a while back during my conversation with Luke (IRO) he mentioned that he’d heard it was easier to sculpt things that were bigger, to which I tentatively agreed, and a couple of weeks back he commented on my “D’Mona figure that I should paint up “Elvira”, sooo…I thought I’d combine both of these and sculpt a slightly “Chibi’ish*” version of the “Mistress of the Dark”, so to this end I created the “Alien” looking head (right).
So next day I started to add the facial details, women’s “chibi” faces generally have large almond eyes so eyelids were built up around these, then the cheekbones were added and a small nose running up into a high forehead, the chin is small and pointed and wide lips were added between this and the nose, almost like a “baby’s” face (albeit an alien baby!), much smoothing later and it was as good as I was going to get it (left).
Next day’s job was to block out the body, this as you can see was only done very roughly just to give me an idea of where her shoulders, waist, bottom and legs would go and their relative sizes (right).
I added her leg next, you will only see the one as the other will be covered by her dress. So a couple of small sausages of putty were rolled out (the lower one tapered to a point where her ankle would be) and then applied to the right hand lower area about where the leg would be. These were then blended together and smoothed to shape, before I added another small triangular piece to the bottom of this and shaped it into her foot and shoe, another one of these was added on the left as you should be able to see the toe of her left foot poking out from under her dress later on (left).
Now there were still and couple of things missing (I meant her arms and dress, you filthy lot!), but next I thought I’d add her somewhat “ample assets”, so a couple of small balls of putty were mixed up and stuck on her chest area, I thought that perhaps I’d gone to large, but in the end decided that it is a “caricature” version so I left them as was. More blending ensued mainly on the inner edges as the outer ones will be covered by her drees again. At this point she looks like a “fevered adolescent’s wet dream” (which I suppose in a way she is!), (right).
Next I thought I’d better get some clothes on the poor girl, so all of her dress (apart from the arms) was added in “one fell swoop”, this meant it was easier to blend all of the different areas together. So starting with two small sausages of putty these were draped over her chest and down to her navel. Then thinned and pushed back and around her torso, adding slight creases as I went (nothing too major as it’s supposed to be quite tight here). Then longer rectangles of putty were added around the leg area and after smoothing and blending with the upper part thin “strings” of putty were added running up the skirt and again blended in to form the waves in this, again as it is a “pencil” style garment these were only small. Then taking some more putty I rolled out another thin sausage which was tapered to a point at each end, these pointed ends were then cut off to about 3mm lengths, then the process war repeated until I had seven of these and then they were added at the bottom of each “pleat” running out and away from the base of the dress in a pointed “S” shape. Lastly today I added a couple of “blob’s” on her shoulders and pushed a “divot” into each as a guide for drilling into her shoulders to add the wire for her arms (left).
This was the next job, so small holes were drilled in her shoulders and another pair were drilled into her waist. Then two small lengths of florist wire with a right angle in the middle were pushed and glued into these holes (right).
Once dry I mixed up a small amount of putty and the upper sleeves were added, this just consisted of pushing a small blob around the wire, blending the join and adding some slight waves to the fabric, again it’s quite tight so only small ripples were needed. Then turning to her hands, these are on her hips so I had a good solid base to work on (remember if you are doing a hand held out away from the body try to add a thin flat base to work on first and let this dry!). Anyway I began by adding two small balls of putty just in front of the where the wire ran into her hips, then secured these around the wire by dragging the putty around the wire, next I flattened out the balls into ovals (for those of you of a certain age, and British, think of the hands the characters had in “Trumpton”). Once I was happy with the size of these I gently pushed the gaps between the fingers in with the blade of a small scalpel, starting with the middle one, then the two outer ones (don’t worry about the thumb yet), then taking a sharp “probe” I gently widened these gaps and shaped the fingers and hand. Next two tiny (and I do mean tiny!) sausages of putty were rolled out (gently under one finger) and these were added on top of the hands to form the thumbs. These were then blended in to the rest of the hands. With the rest of the putty I had left I began adding her “fringe”, these were just more small points of putty stuck across her forehead and then the hair was “tapped” in with a knife (left).
Finally this week I added the “strands hanging from her sleeves, this was done by once again rolling out some tapered sausages and cutting the points off of the ends and then attaching them to the undersides of her forearms, I will build the cuffs of her dress up over these next. I also added a roll of putty across the top of her head that her hair will built over. I had hoped to get her finished, but she’s taken longer than I expected, typical woman they always take forever to get ready!
As well as all that I have also finished a three more bases (or Warbands) for my “Hott” army, I gave a couple of them checked trousers to be different, like the others they still need basing and “Quickshading”, but I hope to do all that at the end if there’s time. I won’t go into details as this post has been long enough as it is!
So till next time, stay safe.
- For those of you not in the know, a “Chibi” is a comic style figure usually with an oversized head, a bit like a “Pop Vinyl” figure.
Great work on Elvira Roger, coming along very nicely. When it comes to female sculpts I find everyone wants extreme beauty, and unrealistic proportions, so what you’ve created would be a good seller.
Great progress on your units as well, hopefully you can get these finished in time
Thanks Dave, you are partly to blame for this as well, as you comment a while back about sculpting figures from scratch ((something I haven’t done for quite a while) was a bit of a catalyst. There is something quite satisfying about creating something completely from scratch as you are of course well aware 😁.
Yes she is a bit unrealistic proportion wise, but I think as she is a bit of a caricature (as indeed is the lady herself in a way) I hope I’ve got a way with it.
Slow and steady on the barbarians I’m hoping I’m pretty much on course to get the finished by the end of the month.
If your not to blame Roger, it’s normally me, so situation normal ! LOL
I meant no disrespect about your sculpt, I think it’s perfect as a caricature, her outfit is the reason for her shape, as there is a corset section around the waist, and padding around the breasts to give her that shape.
Well someone always has to be to blame 😁, I think of it more as a needed “kick up the arse”.
No offence taken mate, I knew what you were getting at 😉.
You mean that isn’t her natural shape! Remember her predecessor “Vampira” , she had a waist so small I doubt she could process food!!!
She appeared in a movie many years ago as a stripper with her natural ginger hair, and her body shape was quite different from the Elvira persona.
Indeed the body shaping can be quite detrimental to the human body, having seen a woman who tried to get the model shape( small scale models) it looked quite unnatural !
I’m always awe-struck by anyone who can sculpt like this and make it all sound so easy! 🙂 I can’t even shape a blob of the damn stuff without it sticking to something it’s not meant to! So I really enjoyed this post and even continued reading after “women are difficult”! I’m looking forward to seeing the final result!
Thanks John, I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again..It really is just sausages and blobs. The three best pieces of advice I can give are, patience/ don’t try to tackle too large an area at one time. Support/ always have a firm and dry base to build up the next addition onto, and get some decent tools, metal probes and clay shapers are what I use, but what ever works for you. Oh and just go for it, if it doesn’t work chuck it way and try again.
I love women (one in particular, but then I have too I’m married to her!), but I do find sculpting them is DIFFICULT 😁.
I’m always in awe of your green-stuff work, Roger, especially as I have the zombie clown you made to gawp at from time to time. Great stuff on the three stands of Barbarians too – I see you’ve painted the figure I ultimately based as a single mini to use as Conan. Terrific work on him 🙂
Thanks Simon, this was one of those experiments that I honestly didn’t know whether it was going to work out or not, as I was really flying blind only ever having sculpted a couple of female figures before, and never one as large as the face on this one!
I’m guessing that the Barbarian you picked as your Conan, was the one with his sword and shied held out to each side? He’s one I nearly picked myself 😀.
You don’t need any more Barbarians do you? as I have eight archers, three cavalry and six infantry with sword/axe left over that you are welcome to, if you want them?
It was the black-haired one with the double-handed sword I chose, as I rarely recall Conan using a shield in the original novels, but repeatedly bracing his back against a wall and gripping his sword with both hands. LOL!!! I’d be delighted to take any of those minis off of your hands if you don’t want them – it might even get me to paint up some more for my Conan project 😉
No problem mate, will pop them in the post.
Sculpting is another level entirely and I have always admired those that can achieve such incredible things in such small detail and from next to nothing. By comparison painting is the easy bit but it wouldn’t exist without a decent figure to paint in the first place. Great stuff Roger!
Thanks Tim, but I would never say that the level of paintwork you achieve was “The easy bit!”, nigh on impossible is nearer the mark for me at least!
Wouldn’t have guessed the subject matter from your initial work, but nice to see you sculpting again, Roger. Having been the recipient of one if your original sculpts, the awesome Master Crow, I know first-hand of your talent.
Very best of luck with this, although with your skill, luck is barely needed.
Thanks Jez, yes I guess it was a bit of a stretch to think anyone would have got close to guessing what it would end up as 😁. this is my second “chibi” figure as you well know and she’s a bit taller than “Master Crow” (about 32mm) but I rather like doing these, for some reason the idea of a “chibi Frankenstein’s Monster” keeps popping into my head, whether it will ever get any further than that we may never know!
Thanks for the wish of luck, but she is now finished (tbh I only had her sleeves and hair to do on her ), so I’ll be posting her up (un-painted) next weekend probably, if I get my barbarians done.
This did get me thinking though, should I ask, what ever happened to the “chibi” figures you were doing for the Irish crowd way back when?
A truly enjoyable post and Elvira is coming along quite nicely. Though Freud was working on my brain when I read “again it’s quite tight so only small ripples were needed” and I first saw “nipples” instead! Love what you do with green stuff, clearly the patience you have is a must. And as I was “chibi-naive”, I am now more educated…and still thinking about nipples…damnit!
Thanks Mark, she is now finished, though un-painted, I was of course talking about the folds in her dress, you dirty little devil you! Talking of “nipples” I was in half mind whether I should have added some to her, but as the original doesn’t have any on show through her dress (apparently because it’s all padding, thanks Dave for ruining that illusion!! 😉, though most of them are these days be it over or under the skin 😁).
Strangely I to was a “chibi” virgin till Bryan “Vampyfan” Scott, introduced my to them through his blog back in 2016, after which I sculpted one for Jez…..
Though that one had a smaller body I think.
Oh and “nipples!”, there that’s got you thinking about them again👙
I’ve always been a fan of Elvira: how can one not be? Aside from the obvious reasons, she’s also hilarious and pretty down to earth in real life. She was a frequent guest of honor at Spooky World, which was a horror theme park here in New England for many years.
Watching you do any sculpting is always inspirational, Roger…at least it inspires me right up until I have a go at trying it myself. I truly hate green stuff and am dumbfounded that it is the same substance sculptors like you use to get results like this.
Can’t wait to see her all painted up!
thanks Keith, I have to admit she does seem to be a genuinely nice and funny person on all the things I’ve ever seen her on, though I’d never call myself a big fan of hers, if Luke hadn’t planted the seed I probably would never have made this “tribute” to her (though she might not see it as that!).
I would be mightily proud if I inspired anyone to have a go at sculpting anything, and gutted if I thought I’d put anyone off having a go, I can only say try mixing the Greenstuff with some Milliput, I cant do that myself as I’m allergic to Milliput but I know some people swear by it. I would imagine it would make it less “sticky”.
I’ll be posting the finished figure next weekend , but she wont be painted.
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