Beginners Sculpting Guide By A Beginner
Hi, my name is Aaron or you may know me as Pickle on LO Forums. Recently I decided I would start to learn to sculpt and then coincidently coincided with the beginning of the E-zine. So I decided I would do a series of articles showing how I progress throughout the experience. I’ll include tips that I learn, great tutorials that I use and some of my own. Hopefully some of you will pick up sculpting for the first time and follow me in my experience. In this article I will be showing you the tools I will be using or buying shortly.
The first tool I will be using is similar to Games Workshop’s one but of higher quality. Yes, it is just the humble sculpting tool. There are many variants of the standard tool just with different ends. This has a single edged knife blade and micro spoon burnisher. These are used to pull, push, smooth and in a variety of other techniques. This tool cost me a little bit more than a GW one but is worth it.
The second tool is a X-acto knife or for some of you a craft knife. Used for cutting and trimming Greenstuff and also for cleaning up your mistakes as I will be doing for a while. It is advisable to also buy a cutting mat as you do not want to destroy a table or desk. A sharpening stone comes in handy to keep the blades nice and sharp so you don’t have to apply pressure which may break the blades causing a piece of metal to fly across the room at breakneck speeds to be imbedded into the wall. (While I haven’t had that happen to me yet, it was a good explanation of why to keep them sharp).
These tools are called files. These are used to remove mould lines for some people who don’t know what they are for and can be used to remove parts of a model you wish to sculpt over so they don’t get in the way. Files are great as they can be used to file down Greenstuff and to rid yourself of wire nubs off the bottom of an armature.
And some dental/soldering tools, I picked up for 5 dollars or so. These will be used for helping me solder together armatures when I get to that stage and for adding details to the sculpt like chainmail.
Vaseline or other lubricant like water needs to be used at all times to keep the putty from sticking to your tools and sometimes other layers of putty.
Rulers and other measurement tools are great for seeing if your scale of the sculpt is correct and if the model is the right dimensions. Google for “Scale checker” if you want a fancy one.
Clay shapers or erasers are useful to smooth the putty as the pressure spreads more evenly. I need find some of these of these for myself at the moment.
You may also like to make a putty oven, so that your putty can cure faster. You can get a metal can and put a light above it, but remember plastic parts may melt as they have a low melting point so be careful. I will be making one shortly so will post another article on to make it.
Pliers and Side clippers which should be in your modelling kit anyway are great for bending armatures and cutting wire and unwanted pieces of your models. I also use a modelling saw for larger pieces and other jobs.
There are many other tools that would work good too, you will just have to find out what they are. Many household items are good for textures of cloth, wood and other types of materials. If you can get art books of the subject you are trying to sculpt these are great references of information. Human Anatomy books are useful in there own right so the sculpt will not look out of proportion.
That’s all for this issue and article, if you wish to contact me about any questions or ideas you have feel free. Either PM me on Librarium Online or email me. Part 2 will be coming once I receive the rest of the tools and some Greenstuff. It will include a tutorial on how to sculpt tabards step by step and tips that I have learnt so far. Also will include answers to any questions you ask. So ask anything and I will try and answer it.
Thanks for reading,