Man At Arms – Clay Body Build Up

Hey everyone,
Had some spare time during the holidays so here are some more posts. Wanted to go through my process of building up Man At Arms base body. After nearly 2 years of trying to figure sculpting out, I think I finally got it into my thick head of basic armature building, setting up a sturdy setup to ensure the armature isn’t loosely hanging around, scale issues, and learning how to plan (For casting and molding, interchangeable body parts and part fitting).
Here is a WIP of my armature. Sorry I don’t have more pics… I lost the files when my computer crashed and these files I had somehow managed to find.
First off, I have so many thanks to EPang (Placed 2nd on the ConceptArt contest that I entered MM – Super sculptor – Check out his Spiderman and his clothed Superman (Super Amazing!) and extremely extremely helpful) on Statue forums in pointing the flaws in my sculpts and pointing me in the right direction! This guy is pure awesomeness… when he has something to say about my sculpt, I listen and implement. He’s right 99.9 % of the time. One of my issues with all my past sculpts was body proportion and scale as you will notice in my past works post and future past works posts. He directed me over to the Gore Gore Gore group site where they have body type references that you can use to determine scale. I took his suggestion and created my armature based on the body type reference. It’s the skeleton drawing you see in the pics. I essentially had the head already made so I enlarged the head on the body type pic and enlarged to the size of my head sculpt. The sculpt came out to be 1/4 scale… roughly 18-19 inches tall standing. Listening to EPang in using this is the best thing I have ever done!!
Visting the Gore site also led me to revisit alot of their tutorials. The tutorials done by Martin was invaluable!! Especially in armature building and using invisible string in to cutting parts for molding and casting at a later point. You’ll notice the strings with tape at the end that are dangling from the sculpt. The fitting and cuttin of the brass rods I actually saw in John Browns DVD. But Martin has great tutorials that I visit and learn almost every day… seems obsessive… but I feel like I learn something new everytime while I’m sculpting.
Here are the first set of turnarounds:
The big difference with this sculpt compared to my past sculpts is that I didn’t rush to detail parts. I tried to focus on covering and building up the sculpt as one. It was difficult. Second big difference is I used a huge mirror while I was building up the body in clay. This was a huge eye opener for me. There is a huge difference in the way a sculpt looks in the mirror. I thought checking for symmetry only applied to the face… but apparently it applies to the entire sculpt. This was a huge blow and letdown on my past sculpts as I thought they looked somewhat decent. After looking at them in the mirror, they were totally off…it was very disheartening.
So my goal was to make this sculpt look correct. Here are a few more WIP pics.
Some more layering over the Sculpey with a combination of Super Sculpey and Sculpey Firm to get that nice firm grey color:
I wasn’t too focused on getting the anatomy too clean. I just wanted to make sure that they were placed correctly (and hopefully they are cuz nobody had said anything) cuz the body was going to be armored up in wax anywayz.
I don’t know what else to say about this buildup other than I learned a tremendous amount! The pointing arm was raised a bit if you take a look at the upper torso posts. Here are the final WIP Pics before the bake:
The strings that you see dangling are the areas where the sculpt was cut. Cutting the sculpt easy made it extremely extremely easy to put back together after baking. I’ll go into the troubles I had when I post my Batman and MM statue about trying to put the parts together just by cutting with a saw.
Thanks all~

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