Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sculpting Tools

Colonel Corbane mentioned recently he can't get metal sculpting tools to work for him, so I thought I'd give a brief rundown on the tools I use.

I'm using five metal tools and three rubber ones, along with various other bits and pieces. Four of the metal tools are double ended, as shown below:

The leftmost tool is the GW tool, and it is the thickest of the lot. It's too bulky to be much good for all but the bulkiest of work, and even then the other tools really do it better.
The other three are of various thicknesses (all thinner than the GW one), but more importantly there is a variety of shapes to be had. The rightmost 'speartip' is very useful for poking a very specific point, but has more body than a simple pick so wont be just gouging a single spot.

Here are the other ends, the GW one is useful for smoothign small areas flat, while the centre two have subtly different curves to them for shaping edges. The rightmost one is similar to the GW one, but very thin and quite sharp. This has come in useful on many occasions for reaching into gaps, such as the fingers on Sgt Stoker's power fist, where a blade would be too unwieldy to reach.

The other tools in my sculpting arsenal include a dental pick and three latex tipped 'paint shapers'. The pick is good as it is not only pointed (for doing small holes etc) but a thin round object for defining small gaps.

The shapers are mounted in handles of the same thickness as a GW small drybrush, and are the smallest generally available to my knowledge. From left to right:

-A square chisel tip, it has a faint curve on the inside, good for smoothing out foreheads, legs or other rounded areas. The reveres side has a sharper cut to it, so the tip is quite pointed.

- A 45 degree diagonal cut through a cylindrical shape, it has a flat face and a curved vertical surface. I don't really use this one much honestly.

- A point. I use this one a lot for 'nudging' details and gently shaping areas (like cheekbones).

The shapers are very easy to use, being paintbrushes essentially and, unlike their metal counterparts, have some give in them so don't cut into the putty but rather 'smoosh' it. I use them much more than the metal tools for 'organic' shapes - by that I mean anything like body parts, clothes etc - things that don't need hard edges.

In addition to these I use my craft knife, wire, and anything with an appropriate shape to make impressions.

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