Monday, January 29, 2007

Making Faces: The Prologue

Much to my amazement I found out this weekend that at least two people have read this blog. Which frankly stunned me but there you go. Anyway, that being the case I thought I'd put up something that may actually be of mild interest and possibly some use to people so I've decided to do a little step by step on how I make faces for my miniatures. So here we go.

(What I like to think of as) sound reasoning...

I hate making faces. I'm not very good at it and so I take every opportunity to practice. I tend to make quite a lot and try different techniques each time. The most recent attempt bore fruit and so I'm having another go and hoping to replicate the results. Any that turn out okay will be cast up and used in future projects.
The beauty of sculpting figures for use in armies rather than for display miniatures or even skirmish gaming is that there can be a certain element of cloning going on. Most armies are made up of multiples of the same castings anyway so repetition of a certain face is inevitable. Combine that with different helmets/hairstyles and facial hair and there will still be a fair bit of variety. If more variation is needed then it easy to convert a stock head to have an open mouth or slightly different expression. This then is my approach to sculpting faces (or more accurately avoiding sculpting many of them).

Stage 1: Preparation.

Rather than devoting a days work to faces, which can lead to fatigue and apathy, I tend to do a bit here and there whilst other things are drying. Little 'drying time projects' like this keep things from getting tedious and mean I smoke less fags (the other thing I do between sculpts). I tend to work on a production line basis and often have as many as 30 figures on the go at one time and as such I find I have very little wastage on and green stuff I mix up. If ever I have a blob left over it'll form the basis of a new head on my bench. I'll generally have a few lengths of brass wire cut and sitting on the workbench and each spare blob gets stuck onto the end of one. I make it a rule that whenever I have six ready to go I start a batch of faces. Seeing as I dislike doing them so much it encourages me not to waste green stuff and means I'm not sitting and dreading a slot in my production schedule that I've had to set aside for faces. They kind of happen when they happen. Right now I have six mal-formed blobs of Green Stuff stuck to six bits of pinning wire so it's time to start working on faces. As they will be done as drying time projects I look to have them finished by the end of the week. This is subject to change.

Next: Stage two: Starting without really starting...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greetings: Would you consider making some WWII Dutch helmets (same as Romanians)?