Modelling and Painting a head [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

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Tony Barton
10-02-2006, 16:29
Since I have been asked to post my technique for modelling and painting over here , I've cut my tutorial out from the British OSS forum and put it here .
This shows the whole procedure from modelling through painting that I use when making a new head for one of my own figures : I'm using Fimo rather than Sculpey , because I slightly prefer it , but either will do the job .There are now various other Polymer Clays around : it's really a matter of choice which one you use , depending perhaps on which is available where you live .
This head is obviously a One-off : but I use the same procedure when a head is intended for casting .
The head here is a real man , a Junior British Officer serving in the later stages of WW2 in NW.Europe , and I've attempted a portrait .

Last winter I read Peter White's moving account of his war , as a subaltern in The King's Own Scottish Borderers , fighting through Holland and Germany from September '44 until VEDay . As an account of the Sharp End , it takes some beating : " With the Jocks .." Sutton publishing .
Out in paperback .
I had been thinking of creating a Junior Officer for some time , and since there were several photographs of the author in the book ( he's the one on the right in the photo ), I decided to make him a real person , rather than one of my " types " .
What follows is a largely pictorial description of how I make a head .

I use Fimo , available in craft shops pretty well everywhere in Europe . Sculpey is an alternative , but I find it too soft for some jobs : it's a personal choice .
The mixture , Kneaded to an even colour before starting , is four parts Dark Flesh , to one part White , the white being necessary to prevent the head coming out too translucent when finished . This mix has been arrived at after several years experiment , so you'll have to take my word for it . This is formed to a suitable blob and rammed hard onto a tile , which acts as an support throughout the process :YOU DON'T NEED A WIRE ARMATURE !


http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0985.jpg

This is then worked on with a small dental spatula : nearly all the work is done with this tool . The putty should stay in place on the tile securely :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0987.jpg

At this stage I check dimensions with a pair of screw compasses : about 38-40mm between the point of the chin and the top of the head . It's very easy to make the head too big as you model more material on to it , and it's worth checking again as you work . I rough out all the basic forms , referring in this case to the photos in the book :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0988.jpg

Everything is taking shape . I work in spasms of half an hour or so , take a break , and come back to it .

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0989.jpg

After several sessions , once I'm happy with the way things are going , I start to put in the fine detail , using the tools you see . The brushes are for smoothing , using the Sculpey diluent as a lubricant , The white brush is quite stiff , and used for polishing out tool marks , and the brown brush is softer , for more delcate work :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0991.jpg

The fine finishing process takes quite a time , since it's very difficult to change things once the first firing has been done : I like to use the Fimo surface as the actual skin of the head ( not covered in paint , save for a wash ) , so it's vital to remove all blemishes before firing :you can put a patch in later , but it tends to fire as a slightly different colour , so it's best to avoid repairs if you can :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0994.jpg

The chopped off bristle-brush is for the stubble : you can get some very delicate surface detail using brushes .
Before firing , I carve off the hair , since I'm going to replace it with coloured Fimo :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0996.jpg

Then , when you can't bear to do any more , it goes in the Baby Belling , which is perfect for firing Polymer Clays : about fifteen minutes at 125C :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0997.jpg

Remove from oven , allow to cool , prise off the tile . You can now carve away any unwanted parts , and add more Fimo to shape the back of the head :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0998.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_0999.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1000.jpg

Now fire again to harden the added bits . You can fire the head many times , so long as you don't overcook it at any stage : I frequently put them in the oven seven or eight times in the course of finalising details .
Once the flesh parts are done , I hollow out the neck and mount it on a stick with some Blutack , and add the hair , mixed to a chosen colour . The tissue paper is to stop my dirty fingers marking the neck whilst shaping the hair . The scribing and finishing of the hair involves all the tools and brushes :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1001.jpg

There is a pic in the book showing Peter without a hat , which I used as a guide to his hairstyle , controlling and shortening it somewhat since he's eventually going to be wearing a hat :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1002.jpg

Finally the modelling part is done : it looks a a bit weird at this stage , but that will be corrected by the painting:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1004.jpg

Now on to the Painting stage :

First thing , before starting , is to thoroughly scrub with detergent to "wet" the head : if you don't do this ( and this also applies to resin heads ) the paint will puddle all over the place , and not stick properly .

I generally start by using a matching brown to detail the hair , grading it down the back and sides from the coloured Fimo , and put in the eyebrows .Then I add the irises in black , establishing the " gaze " of the subject :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1008-1.jpg

I've also put in the faintest stubble , by slightly washing the beard area with a tone matching the hair colour . This is done with very dilute paint , remembering to feather the edge to avoid a sharp line .

Then the skin tone : nothing too extreme with this subject : he's going to be in Europe in winter . This pic shows the colours I use , and they are diluted and dispersed with " acrylic matt medium " from W&N : this acts like a blender : if you can't find it , an acrylic gel drying retarder works in the same way :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1013-1.jpg

You have to chase this around for a bit with a large brush , to get it even and avoid blotches ; it's better to do several thin applications rather than one thick one . Once dry , he now looks like this :

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b212/HighlandSniper58/IMG_1012.jpg

Now the tricky bit : the eyes . There's no getting away from the fact that you need a steady hand , and a good OO brush for this job .
The irises are already defined in black : the shape here is very important : notice the actual shape made by the circular iris , overlapped at the top by the upper lid , and just touching the lower :


http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b212/HighlandSniper58/IMG_1021.jpg

Next , select a suitable eye colour for your subject , and fill in the iris completely , save for a fine line all round the edge . If you're feeling clever , you can add a little white to the colour and pick out the paler ring aroung the pupil and the radiating veins :

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b212/HighlandSniper58/IMG_1022.jpg

Lastly the pupil : I use Vallejo gloss black No.861 for this : position the pupil so that it just touches the upper eyelid ( if you want a relaxed expression ) , and by repeated applications build it into a little dome :

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b212/HighlandSniper58/IMG_1024.jpg

The more the pupil is covered by the eyelid , the sleepier the expression will be ; conversley , if there's space between the pupil and the eyelid , the subject will look alarmed ( or angry , depending on what the rest of the face is doing ).

Here's the finished head :

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b212/HighlandSniper58/IMG_1029.jpg

There are one or two subtle additions : a little carmine around the eyes , on the inner edges of the lids , and flushed on the ears . I've also run a fine line of carmine darkened with black into the join between the lips . The edges of the hair have been fine detailed with a tiny brush , to blend the edges where hair meets flesh . The last thing is to flood the eye with gloss acrylic varnish .

Finally , here he is, finished , on the assembled figure : there will be another version later of him in his combat dress , but that , as they say , will be another story :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1045.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/IMG_1040.jpg

The figure is DML , with a slightly modified DML battledress : notice the lining and hooks on the collar . The cloth badges are made for me by various friends ( thank you Peter and Rob ) , and the Tam o'shanter is made from Polyester Suede, which is a really useful fabric for 1/6 , since it has a woolen-style nap on one face , ideal for making serge uniform items .The hands are also modelled in Fimo , and attached to DML wrist pins with superglue .
The webbing belt is scratchbuilt using Richie Elbourne's scale etched brass sets ( [email protected] ), and the holster is DML , slightly modified.


************************************************** ********

carthut
10-02-2006, 16:34
thanks for posting your techniques. great work!

Mik'sStudio
10-02-2006, 17:05
Awesome Tony, admins please make sure we archive this thread in the tips section.

dandid
10-02-2006, 17:07
excellent work

Reggie
10-02-2006, 17:07
Your work is fantastic!! It's very interesting to see the different techniques that people use. Thanks for sharing.

hot LZ
10-02-2006, 17:08
Wow!!! Totally amazing. Excellent work.

dandid
10-02-2006, 17:09
I just noticed the hands are also good

One Bravo Four
10-02-2006, 17:09
What a fantastic resource. Archived!

LeClair
10-12-2006, 06:37
Really impressive!
I sculpt heads myself so I can say that this is a first class work!

LeeO Leng
10-30-2006, 12:22
Impressive indeed. Thanks for sharing !

k9cop33
10-30-2006, 15:58
Thanks a bunch for sharing. I found your tutorial before but lost is by accident, so double thanks. Awesome work!!!

ChorizoSr
11-08-2006, 20:03
Beautiful and delicate work here...I have a few questions. Do you seal the paint job after your finished? how well do those liquitex paints hold up? and are there any paints that you'd recommend? Like for example, are there any that are more durable than others?

boot25
11-13-2006, 06:54
Great tutorial Tony. If I may I have a question. Do you use beads for the eyes, and if so what size? I've been fooling around with a few sculpts myself, and find the eyes the most difficult to execute convincingly. Thanks!

Mik'sStudio
11-13-2006, 23:06
John, I hope Tony doesn't mind, I copied his answer from a thread on the OSS forum:

" I leave the eye-sockets empty for the first firing , then do the back of the head and hair , then fill the empty sockets with white fimo to complete the eyes : it takes some careful shaping to get the curvature just right .

The expression in the eyes is completely defined by their shape : pull faces in a mirror and you will understand . That shape is actually easier to model with an empty socket , since you can get your tools inside as well as out .

I have tried inserting beads for eyes in the past , but it's actually simpler this way : you don't have to stick with whatever the shape of the bead is , which gives you more flexibility."

boot25
11-14-2006, 06:17
Thanks Mik!

JohnnyMacho
12-12-2006, 12:49
Dear Tony,
First I would like to thank you for being so open and generous with your technique. Second, could you please clarify one of your instructions? I am not sure hwat you mean by this sentence:

"First thing , before starting , is to thoroughly scrub with detergent to the water-based acrylic to "wet" the head"

Do you mean that you first wash the head before you apply the detergent? Or do you add detergent to the acrylic? Or do you wash and then do a 'wash' of acrylic like a primer?

Thank you.

Tony Barton
12-13-2006, 07:44
Johnny . it's a typo that somehow got left in ! Sorry , I'll edit it .
What I meant was to scrub the Fimo head with detergent , and rinse , before starting painting . If you are using a water-based paint , it's got to "wet" the surface to go on properly , and detergent is the easiest solution .

JohnnyMacho
12-13-2006, 10:55
Thank you, Tony! I am making a head and painting it for the Santa contest. It's my first head sculpt! Yikes!

Tony Barton
12-13-2006, 12:45
Good Luck !

romedome
02-04-2007, 01:39
I truly admire your work and your generosity in sharing your techniques with us, Tony :thumb

one6th_doc
06-14-2007, 02:36
Straight from the expert's mouth... awe-inspiring... thanks Tony... I'll try to follow your lead...

DandyMeis
06-30-2007, 00:50
that really helped, thank you Tony

DandyMeis
07-04-2007, 05:55
after trying it out, FIMO is so much easier to use, it's harder and easy to sculpt. Tony thank you again!!

SuperPask
07-17-2007, 20:43
Thanks Tony, very nice and interesting tuto :)

I've got a question : how do you proceed to put the head on the Dragon figure body?

Keep up the good job, very realistic head! :thumb

Actionfigureman09
08-11-2007, 14:04
thank you very much for sharing you should get a job with dragon awsome work

SudsySutherland
04-06-2009, 20:59
This is most handy! Thanks!

HitokiriPredator
04-12-2009, 08:55
I'd also like to know how you go from the clay sculpt to putting the head on the body? Do you use the claysculpt or make a resin cast of it?
How do you get the sculpted head onto the body?

Tony Barton
04-13-2009, 12:50
That depends : for the figures in my own collection , I use the original Fimo head.
But many of those get cast into resin as well , so I can sell the copies., but of course I keep the Fimo original once it's been cast .

The neck is hollowed out anyway as part of the finishing, then I fit it onto a new neckpost which I add to the body: most of my bodies ( DML largely , sometimes Medicom ) are modified somewhat anyway.

Resin heads don't generally fit commercial neck plugs , which are intended for bendy vinyl Heads.
You have to get away from the idea that all heads should be interchangeable as a push fit : be creative , make your own plugs from epoxy putty or Sculpey, and modify the bodies until they work.

There is inevitably less movement available, but you don't really need that anyway , unless you want to play with them like GI Joe.

Here's how most of my Heads are fitted : a Sculpey neckplug , fitted to a modified DML neck:~

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/more%20dollies/New-neck-1.jpg

And I hold them in place with office tack rather than glue : I might want to change them later!

mpl59
05-03-2009, 00:32
Tony,
have enjoyed reading your tutorial and checking out some of your custom works. It's nice to find a forum like this one where there are so many talented artists willing to share ideas and give tips like this one. Thanks so much!

fog91
05-09-2009, 04:15
Thank you very much Tony for this good explain.

Artoo
07-17-2009, 11:17
Just wanted to revive and save this thread.
:include

rokmunky
01-22-2010, 11:51
Excellent work! Thank you for the post.

unclechopchop
02-13-2010, 05:43
Revival!

rokmunky
03-08-2010, 10:13
Fantastic tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing your talents.

Eagle Eyes
05-10-2010, 05:34
Great Guide,

Always wanted to have a go at this myself, i now know where to start and what to use, couldn't thing of who's likeness to attempt first so will try my ugly mug first and see what happens. have some of the tools etc and stacks of paints but will need to take a trip to my local hobbycraft for some Fimo.

IanO
05-15-2010, 14:18
Thank you so much. This is where I'll start.

Cheers,
Ian

21brett
05-21-2010, 22:15
Alright im just getting into this 1:6 modeling, so i have some questions.
1) Where can i find polymer clay in the U.S. (perferably Indiana)
2) How do you know how big to make the head?
3) Can it connect to a body? (ex. old gi. joe)
4) Doe anyone know how to get/make realistic hair?

Tony Barton
05-22-2010, 01:47
I) I don't know.
2) Imagine a straight line from the top of the head to the point of the chin.
Small guys 34mm.
Big guys 40mm.
Proportion from there.
3) Yes . Be creative , but don't expect perfect articulation.
4) See my " Wigging your Fig " in this section.

21brett
05-22-2010, 11:33
Thanks!

Artoo
05-22-2010, 11:36
Alright im just getting into this 1:6 modeling, so i have some questions.
1) Where can i find polymer clay in the U.S. (perferably Indiana)
You can pretty much find it in any hobby/craft store or even Wal-Mart I believe in their craft section. Small package blocks are around $2-$3 and larger blocks are around $10 or more.

Nighthawk264
05-23-2010, 11:00
Awesome work, I wish I could do eyes like that.

Markie Blue
08-25-2010, 00:40
Hi Tony,

I was wondering if you might have some time in the near future to do a quick 'grocery list' of the tools, paints, and supplies one would need when embarking on their first head sculpt. Most of the materials are mentioned in your tutorial but some are not. Thanks very much...you do extremely wonderful work!!!

Thanks Again Tony!

Markie Blue

Tony Barton
08-26-2010, 03:13
Modelling Essentials.

Where you obtain the necessary materials depends obviously where you live.

Modelling Checklist :~
Fimo, dark flesh Classic.
Fimo , white, Classic or Soft .
Tools. One or two may be all you need .
Brushes for smoothing.
Sculpey Diluent or White Spirit.
Tiles to work on.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/Modelling-essentials.jpg

Painting Checklist :~
Stand to hold head
Brushes , from size 6 down to 00.
Liquitex : Taupe , Burnt Siena, Raw Siena .
Carmine and various browns and blacks for hair and eyes from any acrylic range.
W&N Matt Medium to thin the paint to create flesh tone.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/Painting-essentials.jpg

In the UK , Fimo can be obtained from any Craft or Art Shop , or online from various suppliers. The same goes for the Liquitex paints, brushes etc.
I canít be any more specific than that ; you will just have to search for them , which is easy enough nowadays.
I do recommend Sculpey Diluent as the best and least offensive polishing agent, if you can get it. Itís a non-volatile odourless clear oil , and a little goes a very long way. If you canít get it, white spirit will do , but itís stinky.

I realise that in the US , Sculpey is much more easily available than Fimo , and many sculptors prefer it.
Personally , I find it too soft for modelling heads, tho' I use it for other jobs all the time.
It's certainly much easier to work with to start with , but harder to get a fine finish at the end of the polishing process, because it tends to turn very fluid and sticky. It also tends to scorch in the oven unless you get the temperature exactly right , and is less strong when fired.

Modelling Tools : many Craft or Model shops now have suitable ones.

Tools are entirely a matter of choosing through experiment what suits you , from what you have to hand.
After all , you can push clay about with almost anything , including the back ends of paintbrushes , cocktail sticks or whatever .
Make your own , from metal scrap , screwdrivers , nails or whatever. They donít have to be hardened steel .Thirty minutes work with some files can make almost any shape you want , but do take the trouble to polish them very smooth before using them.


Tiles to work on can be got from any hardware supplier ; or pick them up for nothing from skips when people have their bathrooms rebuilt !

As usual when I respond to sculpting enquiries , I have to repeat the important bit :~

Just having the right tools does not make you a sculptor .
For that , you have to have some innate talent, and to work very hard .

So if you are new to sculpting , please don't expect results overnight . It takes a long period of training , in one form of art or another, to learn .
There are some very talented individuals who have the knack built in , but they are rare.
But whatever you want to do , at least try. You will not get anywhere by sitting around thinking about it ....

Markie Blue
08-26-2010, 03:28
Tony,

Thank you so very much for your 'grocery list' and your great words of wisdom.

I also want to thank you Tony for posting this tutorial. It is so well written, with beautiful illustrations and great advice! It has really inspired me!

We can become very talented at something by learning from our mistakes...Michael Jordan, for example, never made the cut for his high school basketball team...yet went on to become a Hall Of Fame player with the Chicago Bulls of the NBA.

Thank you Tony!

Markie Blue

Tony Barton
08-26-2010, 07:43
If you do decide to start making heads , donít despair if what you first make seems hopeless.

When I started about eight years back , my first heads were pretty terrible.

I worked far too quickly, and just dreamt them up rather than looking closely at photos . I also didnít work out the correct dimensions.
When you finish your first one , you will think itís tremendous, and what a clever chap you are.
Itís only about a month later that you realise what a mess it isÖ

HORROR PIC COMING UP

see 1
( supposed to be a Central Asian )..

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/more%20dollies/Early-attempts.jpg

Then you gradually realise that you have to practice, and take a lot more trouble . Study pics of the face , or at least the type of face, you want to make. Keep measuring the length to make sure itís going to come out the right size : they tend to get bigger as you model them.
Get a friend to look at it and be honest. Another pair of eyes will often tell you that the wholething is lopsided, which is one of my great faults. The cure is to measure with calipers, use a mirror, and turn it upside-down.
Above all , donít rush. If you have a strong urge to fire it. Leave it for some hours, and when you come back you will see a fault that needs correcting.

As you go from L to R in the pic above , you can see the improvement.
The right pair are made of a better mix of Fimo , rather than the Sculpey on the left, which has a dead texture.

They are still not good, but they do at least start to look human.

As you refine your technique , you learn , and can start to attempt expression , different ages and types :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/more%20dollies/IMG_1015.jpg


Incidentally, here's one I'm working on right now. The two tools are the ones I use far than than anything else :

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/more%20dollies/Main-tools.jpg

And now I have refined my real hair technique , along with the painting and sculpting.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g53/TonyBarton/more%20dollies/MichaelMcCarthy-1.jpg


Keep trying...

Artoo
08-26-2010, 10:07
They just keep getting better and better! Amazing job, thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Ivan1GFP
08-26-2010, 12:46
Thanks Tony,

Personally, I would be quite satisfied with the heads you call "unsatisfactory". Even those are beyond me at this point.

- Ivan.

Markie Blue
08-28-2010, 06:04
Thanks Tony,

Personally, I would be quite satisfied with the heads you call "unsatisfactory".
- Ivan.

Hello,

I am in agreement with Ivan...if you look at the Dragon Sculpts for sale on Ebay even Tony's earliest sculpts leave them in the dust.

I am really excited to get started!

Take Care,

Mark
Canada

Markie Blue
09-08-2010, 10:43
Hello,

I have another question, if that's okay.

I was wondering Tony...do you have any tips on how to sculpt an ear? I've been looking at other pictures and sculpts, and been practicing over and over to get it right.

Patience and practice. If you have anything to add Tony I'd really appreciate it!

Take Care,

Mark
Canada

Tony Barton
09-08-2010, 14:04
Mark , I can only suggest that you look at some real ones carefully !
They are roughly the same length as the nose , and at the same height on the ovoid shape of the head .The interior whorls are generally more complex in reality than those shown on most 1/6th heads.
I form them from a flat oval , well supported behind , then work the interior shapes with the spatula.
When that's all good, I shave down the back to a more realistic thin-ness. It might be advantageous to fire them over thick , then carve down the back carefully.
Nobody looks much at the back of the ear, so you can get away with a few cut marks; or you can add a little and fire again.

Markie Blue
09-08-2010, 20:28
Hello,

Thanks so much once again Tony for your helpful tips and advice.

I'm actually quite content (for now) with how the rest of my sculpts are looking, and sculpting ears will come eventually. Your feedback as always is very encouraging!

Just as a side note...you're right on the money about Sculpey being too soft...I've just found a store that carries all kinds of Fimo! It should make a big difference!

A big thank you again Tony for sharing your knowlege and advice!

Take Care,

Mark
Canada

hunterelf
09-17-2010, 20:50
hey tony, will you be making more tutorials ?
how about a youtube video ?!
also, if i wanna make a hs for a hottoys body, how do i make the slot in the head ?

Tony Barton
09-18-2010, 05:56
Hunterelf, I don't have a camera !

As to fitting a hand made head to any commercial neck : not worth the agony. A polymer clay head cannot really be made to be a snap fit to anything .Think out of the box and adapt the body until your head fits.

Mohawk has done a really neat tutorial about fitting resin heads with a ball-and-socket joint inside, which I heartily recommend :~

Adding articulation to Tony Barton Head Sculpts - Combat Engineers - Briefing Rooms - THE SIXTH DIVISION - Message Board (http://onesixthnet.yuku.com/topic/17276)

If you don't want to go that far , it's easier to make a new neckpost , for which you will need to do some surgery to the neck area of the figure , and maybe make a new neckpost from either the clay or epoxie putty .

As I keep saying about handmade heads, rotation is going to be reduced , depending on how deep the neck is modelled .
If you have a short neck and a high collar , no problem. But if you have an open-neck collar and model the neck down to the breastbone , the rotation is going to be quite restricted before it starts to look weird. ... but so do HT type heads with the joint at the the base of the skull.
Neck articulation I regard as a rather pointless fetish ... I personally much prefer to have a realistic neck in a believable position , than a visibly jointed one that rotates like an owl.
But you can please yourself.

Ivan1GFP
09-18-2010, 21:11
How about Lego Bionicle ball joints? They are much easier to come by.

Another question is whether or not the resin is strong enough to take a cross piece and a hook like the vintage Hasbro GI Joe neck.

- Ivan.

sonofthesun
09-22-2010, 02:25
oh my, you make it like so easy.. how many years of trial and error have you made to become a golden hands like these??

how many years that you've been sculpting..)*

gunyu1
10-20-2010, 18:41
what material i have used to make a hand sclupt? i used sculpey and then used resin for final product for the face / head, but if making a hand with resin, it will easily broken

sorry is my english is bad, thx 4 ur help

Tony Barton
10-21-2010, 17:44
If you make resin hands, yes , they will be easily broken.

I use Fimo , with about 50% " Bake'n'Bend " Sculpey mixed in, for many of my hands .
This is a rather sticky mix, but when cooked is quite flexible , and thus ideal for hands.

But these are the originals, not castings. Any resin casting will be hard , and therefore brittle.
I don't have an answer to the problem....

nikespikey
11-01-2010, 00:48
Hi Tony! Many thanks for the tutorial! I finally got my hands on some polymer clay. I might just have a go. Your works are an inspiration. :thumb

Mossad
11-26-2010, 21:49
Thank you for your time in placing this here for us. I can't believe my eyes It's great!!

jessica
11-26-2010, 22:24
Oh man...8 years! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. Eight years! I have a lot of catching up to do.

Kouzia
06-07-2011, 16:26
Thanks

tathataboy
12-14-2011, 15:49
I'm soooo stupid! I never thought of doing the head in halves- front first, then back. Brilliant.

rokmunky
04-30-2012, 15:13
Bump. Tony is a sculpting genius!

cardensb
12-21-2012, 23:40
you made it look so easy, thanks for boosting my confidence.

darth rodo
02-07-2013, 21:49
Many years have passed, but this tutorial is still pure gold, thank you very much for your generous contribution Tony

siegaard
02-10-2013, 12:34
Action Figure Custumizing:Re: Need some Sculpey help part 1.
First, I'm really impressed with Tony Barton's tutorial! All of his knowledge is based on years of hard-fought experience! BRAVO, Tony!
I am new to action figure and statue collecting, but I have 20 years of figure kit prototype sculpting (lucky for you guys).
FIMO is the most durable polymer clay PERIOD!
I'm more familiar with the clay below:
Polymer Clays: (Polyform Products Co. brands)
Grades are:
1. Sculpey(white stuff), for kids no durability but chaepest.
2. Sculpy III(Sculpey in colors) for kids), same grade as Sculpey.
3. Super Sculpey(beige translucent Caucasian flesh color, light grey color) Use this stuff. It has better machining characteristics after baking and is more durable for sculpting heads, shoes and other bulky parts. For hands or thin parts, it is not so tough and will break. For thin parts use a wire core.
4. Premo(comes in colors) This is the best, because it bakes to a more impact-resistant hardness or it has more flex and is less brittle than Super Sculpey.

NOTE: For durable museum quality figures:
A. Action Figure Joints with Epoxy Putty and Steel will last forever. Example: custom neck pegs with epoxy double ball ends with nails for shafts. Foot Pegs do the same.
Think about making a head core socket female part with epoxy and add polymer clay (Premo) to the outer head. Then you will have a durable socket and a transluscent flesh tone skin. Note: if you know of a rubber head female socket supplier, chime in here! Make epoxy sleave that would fit rubber ball socket!
B. Making parts in colored clay:
Making bald head sculpt in flesh tone; hair in natural colors using premo colored clays is best way to have a museum quality long lived piece. You will notice most of the best action figures are molded in the finish color, so why not do that for your peices as well?
Variable skin tone clay: Making mottled realistic variations in flesh by inserting tan clay onto translucent base color as well as miniature textures.
Variable hair tone with partially mixed clay colors left in stratified layers. Should work for wood accessories too.
C. Epoxy Putties will last a life time.
Use epoxy putties for thin parts or cores of thin parts (use a wire core)(for capes use wire mesh alum.). Most epoxies are toxic and many thin with petroleum products.
Aves Epoxy Sculpt is not toxic, is water-based and comes in colors. www.avesstudio.com
Baking polymer clay:
250% F for 20 minutes. Don't use a cigarette lighter or a heat gun or a hair drier(You won't get the hardness you want)! Use a dedicated counter top electric convection oven not a toaster oven!
Hope this helps...
Sincerely,
Wayne THE DANE Hansen
Next up best tools to use...
Re: Need some Sculpey help part 1.
I am new to action figure and statue collecting, but I have 20 years of figure kit prototype sculpting (lucky for you guys).
Polymer Clays: (Polyform Products Co. brands)
Grades are:
1. Sculpey(white stuff), for kids no durability but chaepest.
2. Sculpy III(Sculpey in colors) for kids), same grade as Sculpey.
3. Super Sculpey(beige translucent Caucasian flesh color, light grey color) Use this stuff. It has better machining characteristics after baking and is more durable for sculpting heads, shoes and other bulky parts. For hands or thin parts, it is not so tough and will break. For thin parts use a wire core.
4. Premo(comes in colors) This is the best, because it bakes to a more impact-resistant hardness or it has more flex and is less brittle than Super Sculpey.

NOTE: For durable museum quality figures:
A. Action Figure Joints with Epoxy Putty and Steel will last forever. Example: custom neck pegs with epoxy double ball ends with nails for shafts. Foot Pegs do the same.
Think about making a head core socket female part with epoxy and add polymer clay (Premo) to the outer head. Then you will have a durable socket and a transluscent flesh tone skin. Note: if you know of a rubber head female socket supplier, chime in here! Make epoxy sleave that would fit rubber ball socket!
B. Making parts in colored clay:
Making bald head sculpt in flesh tone; hair in natural colors using premo colored clays is best way to have a museum quality long lived piece. You will notice most of the best action figures are molded in the finish color, so why not do that for your peices as well?
Variable skin tone clay: Making mottled realistic variations in flesh by inserting tan clay onto translucent base color as well as miniature textures.
Variable hair tone with partially mixed clay colors left in stratified layers. Should work for wood accessories too.
C. Epoxy Putties will last a life time.
Use epoxy putties for thin parts or cores of thin parts (use a wire core)(for capes use wire mesh alum.). Most epoxies are toxic and many thin with petroleum products.
Aves Epoxy Sculpt is not toxic, is water-based and comes in colors. www.avesstudio.com
Baking polymer clay:
250% F for 20 minutes. Don't use a cigarette lighter or a heat gun or a hair drier(You won't get the hardness you want)! Use a dedicated counter top electric convection oven not a toaster oven!
Hope this helps...
Sincerely,
Wayne THE DANE Hansen
PS: using tony's half head baking tech, one could make one's own PERS eye system, right? I'm nuts. I know!
Next up best tools to use...

Bravo Bob
02-19-2014, 18:36
Quick question [I hope]. I have a figure head [specifically a Darth Maul], that I wish to "enhance" his appearance to be more lifelike. I will be looking at doing some work on the eyes [in applying some clear lacquer, or related material to the existing iris's and pupils], BUT the biggee for me is what to use to make the flesh on his face, skull, and the like appear to be somewhat "moist" or sweaty. Any thoughts anyone? And how best to apply it.

Dustinf
08-03-2016, 16:57
How do you avoid moonies and cracking?

I've followed this, but can't seem to get my head to cure perfectly.

Maybe I just need to keep practicing.

Tony Barton
08-03-2016, 17:13
Dustinf ,
How are you curing the head ? Presumably in a domestic oven, so the really important part is to get the temperature right, which may be hard unless you have a thermostat marked in degrees C.
If there's no visible temp control, I suggest you experiment with whatever settings you do have with scraps of clay , until you get a firm cure, and if you are still having trouble, get an oven thermometer .
Cracking can be caused by using an armature of different material to the clay, which means they will expand and contract at different rates causing cracking : that's one of the reasons I use the two-halves on the tile technique, since you don't use an armature at all , and heating obviously causes expansion ( unlike sculpting in epoxy ) .

The perfect temperature is 120C for Fimo and Sculpey.
If the clay goes brown at all, or smokes, it's too hot !
If it crumbles like cheese once cool , it's too cool!
And always put it in the center of the oven to avoid it getting too hot near the elements or flames.

I hope that might help, better luck !

Dustinf
08-03-2016, 18:00
Thanks so much for the fast and informative reply.

It was this tutorial that inspired me to attempt my own sculpts. I've now referenced it over 100 times.