Sculpting Gladiator Maximus Hair onto 1/6 Jor El Head [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

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pianoteam
01-29-2017, 17:01
Hi everyone,

I am working on my first custom figure, Maximus from Gladiator. I was inspired by a custom figure on the ACI Roman General thread and want to do the same (more or less). I am in the process of obtaining new clothing, dying, and changing other things. Now I'm working on sculpting Maximus' hair using a recast Hot Toys Jor El head from ebay and need some help. I'm a complete beginner and looked at some tutorials but haven't found out much about sculpting such short hair like this:

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170129/4d4c168b76b7f9d6d98797a307c7da94.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170129/4808ac9f61447d5bee6d6a3b40c297fc.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170129/5a34dd4306617efc4e5e2157cc6ae507.jpg

I got an inexpensive air dry paper clay and some random thin objects to use as tools but when I tried to sculpt the clay seemed to break easily and I just couldn't get grooves small enough. Here is a practise sample I've done:
(Unpainted)
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170129/394a974837c054726eccc3551b9ac6dd.jpg

(Painted)
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170129/d189bd7caa14afc958112156427f3f29.jpg

I used these tools (a needle and another sewing tool). I tried other things as well but they didn't work.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170129/dd0726e90436c2784413d5aee4e240a1.jpg

I was thinking to use Aves epoxy sculpt and thought maybe some dental tools would be thin enough to make the grooves however I think the tools need to be blunt not sharp.
Does anyone have any advice on what I can do? It would be much appreciated. Also here is a photo of what I am sculpting onto:

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170129/208689819b71624321d699f0946fd3d5.jpg

(I will be dremeling off the front hair soon.)

Thanks!

pukingdog
02-01-2017, 11:46
It's been quite some time since I sculpted anything, but I used an A/B type putty, which was a sort of rolled tape, yellow and blue, which when sectioned and kneeded, turned deep green. It had a plasticity to it, that some of the dough-like clays did not, allowing for finer manipulation. I used a combination of wooden sculpting tools (available in groups of relatively small sized, variable tips), and an Xacto knife with a No. 11 blade. I also have a number of "picks", made of small diameter rod stock, or even some salvaged lengths of ceiling hanger wire (which can be gotten from some building sites, with a bit of diplomacy). I used a bench grinder (gloves and eye protection!) to turn each end into a shape (point, chisel, hook, spatula,...), and they could be further modified with a small hobby hammer and a surface like a small anvil. All are about the length of a pencil, to allow leverage and point control, much like with chop sticks.

Those who use Aves swear by it, and the results I have seen are quite good, and very smooth. After all of the above, it is then a matter of practice...and patience. At this point, I believe that both "real hair" and sculpted hair (including facial hair) are neck and neck in appearance, in the hands of capable hobbyists.

I look at your work, and believe you are on the right track, needing only to find your medium, and perhaps a few tools you might prefer the most.

pianoteam
02-01-2017, 14:31
It's been quite some time since I sculpted anything, but I used an A/B type putty, which was a sort of rolled tape, yellow and blue, which when sectioned and kneeded, turned deep green. It had a plasticity to it, that some of the dough-like clays did not, allowing for finer manipulation. I used a combination of wooden sculpting tools (available in groups of relatively small sized, variable tips), and an Xacto knife with a No. 11 blade. I also have a number of "picks", made of small diameter rod stock, or even some salvaged lengths of ceiling hanger wire (which can be gotten from some building sites, with a bit of diplomacy). I used a bench grinder (gloves and eye protection!) to turn each end into a shape (point, chisel, hook, spatula,...), and they could be further modified with a small hobby hammer and a surface like a small anvil. All are about the length of a pencil, to allow leverage and point control, much like with chop sticks.

Those who use Aves swear by it, and the results I have seen are quite good, and very smooth. After all of the above, it is then a matter of practice...and patience. At this point, I believe that both "real hair" and sculpted hair (including facial hair) are neck and neck in appearance, in the hands of capable hobbyists.

I look at your work, and believe you are on the right track, needing only to find your medium, and perhaps a few tools you might prefer the most.

Thank you very much for your advice! I have ordered a variety of inexpensive tools (that have yet to arrive), including dental picks, and gotten super sculpey firm polymer clay which was a suggestion from a fellow on Sideshowfreaks. Apparently it can be hardened with a hairdryer on high for 10-15 mins since I only need a very thin layer of clay. I find this clay is much better as its very firm and doesn't break nearly as easy as the paper clay. I still think my tools might not be the greatest as I'm just not quite able to achieve grooves as small as the ones in that custom head above. It seems to me like very thin blunt tools are the best since needles tend to tear the clay a bit and the resultant grooves don't look as natural. Once I get more tools I'll test those out and see how they work and whether they need any modification or not. I also found out that 99% rubbing alcohol can be used to smooth out and melt the clay with a brush which I think can be quite helpful.
Here are some pictures of my latest progress with firm sculpey (still testing things out):
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372224

Lynkhart
02-01-2017, 14:52
Personally I'd go with epoxy putty like Aves or Milliput rather than a polymer clay like Super Sculpey. Epoxy is far stronger and less liable to break or crack in this instance.

pianoteam
02-01-2017, 15:18
Personally I'd go with epoxy putty like Aves or Milliput rather than a polymer clay like Super Sculpey. Epoxy is far stronger and less liable to break or crack in this instance.

Yes I was considering that route but I am concerned it may harden too quick for me to get the desired amount of detail. I was planning to get Aves anyway so I might try both out!

Edit: I've added more photos above of my progress!

Lynkhart
02-01-2017, 20:02
I think you'd have enough time, and if you were really concerned you could easily do it in stages so you could maximise the detail without worrying about running out of time.

pianoteam
02-01-2017, 20:14
I think you'd have enough time, and if you were really concerned you could easily do it in stages so you could maximise the detail without worrying about running out of time.
Good point. I will try it out with the clay for now but order the epoxy in the meantime as I'd like to use it for another project too.