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Sculpting a miniature

Sculpting a miniature

I had a creative impulse, and decided to sculpt me a miniature. Since I want to be able to use it in my campaign, I've decided to be ambitious and make the half-dragon Loxo Barbarian the party's going to meet soon.

I've made one lame attempt at sculpting a Loxo earlier, but as you can see, I used very course clay, did no planning and using a cardboard base was a horrible choice. Now I'm a bit better prepared and I've bought fine
I know professionals use two component epoxy putty, but I find that too expensive to waste on a first attempt
modelling clay, and some proper tools and I'm ready for action.

Since it's my first serious attempt, and I would like the result to look nice, I wanted to show my preparation and try to get some good remarks. The idea is a half-dragon loxo who's charging with spread wings. Left leg is stretched and
for obvious practical reasons
touching the ground, the right leg is bent up. The torso is twisted to the right in a mighty swing of the greataxe.

I've made some
I'm a terrible drawer, so try to see the design behind the awful lines
sketches as preparation. The drawings are obviously based on the published Loxo and Blue dragon
1) general sketch, mainly for the wings, axe and proportions:

2) body and limbs with armour:

3) head:

4) Some details:

Based on these sketches, I've already started making the wire frame. It's not very clear on picture of course, but here it is:

I appreciate any comments or feedback! It's my first attempt, so don't spare me. Is the posture ok? The level of detail? Am I overloading a certain part, or neglecting another...


Woot for sculpting!

The last time I did anything with clay was back in high school. But I'm sure your armature is quite all right (although the head part is a little clustered, look out. Also, exactly what kind of clay did you buy? What is the material that made the clay?) The wings might need a few more wires, but for now they can wait until you get the rough thing down.

Posture wise, I find your armature hard to read. Is he holding the axe over his shoulder? Where is he looking at? What are the legs doing? Also, as a minor point, I think you can pull the legs slightly more apart, and lower the pelvis (along with the entire body) to give him more weight on the ground.

Once you go in and put on the clay, I recommend blocking out the entire shape and proportions first before you do any detailing, if you haven't been doing that already.

Look forward to the progress mate.

Thanks for the reply!

I am worried about the head, with two tusks, two trunks and a horn. I think I've got everything in a position where he's still able to see anything past all that.

The first layer of clay is already on, and it should be about dry now. When I get home I'll check the contents and post a picture, so the posture becomes more clear.
I already noticed that I can quite easily scrape some of the dried clay to reshape if necessary. I'm sure that will come in handy.

For the wings, I was planning to add some extra wire, without explicitly attaching them to the rest of the wire frame. I already made a first attempt at the axe, which is also flat, and it didn't go very well. The wings are going to be very hard to get right.

The next thing I'm planning to do is slowly work my way up, starting to detail the legs, then the hide skirt, then the torso, etc... applying tiny amounts of clay each time. I don't want to do the wings too soon, because I'm afraid they are going to be fragile.

Here is a picture of the first step, with some clay applied to fix the shape and make it easier to add some layers. The head is facing the front, as does the left leg, which is touching the ground, and the wings. The rest of the body is turned to the right back for the swing. The axe (not on this picture) is swung over the shoulder.

The clay can be found here, in case you understand French. I can't find anything about composition.

I just spent about an hour shaping the right leg to some satisfaction. It's going to take me a while. Yesterday I had prepared way too much clay, so I had some more fun:

An update

Progress is slow. I'm letting the clay dry for a day after each step to make sure I don't ruin previous parts. This is how it looks now.

The axe head:

and to be complete, I'll add a sketch of the back, which I had forgotten to make:

I'm taking my time...

Now I mostly finished the head. The back is also finished. I need to rework the ears and then I can start on the arms and wings. Luckily, the clay I use is very forgiveable. I did the tusks and trunks in three steps.


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