Imperial Guard Sculpt 120mm, Part 2: Basic Volumes

Next step was to add the basic volumes and in that also the basic symmetries. In this stage I think the composition of the sculpture was set. It feels like it pays off greatly to be thorough in this stage, especially for the head. Putty-wise I first added som Tamiya Epoxy putty, that I scored with a modelling knife, to give some texture for the polymer clay to cling on to.

For this miniature I otherwise mainly used Super Sculpy Firm which holds detail well, I had some troubles with it though that I might talk about later and from this I am eager to test out other putties for my next project.

To make sure that the head is symmetric I added lines, two vertical ones and one horizontal to see that the front/back and right/left halves were similar in size and the proportions were good. The horizontal one also marked out the eyebrows so at this stage you can also start setting the shape of the face. The body is made up of approximately 7.5 heads at this point which caused me unexpected problems later as we will see.

The torso got a vertical symmetry line right down the center to see that the halves match. Notice the shape of the torso, this is an abstract representation of the rib cage that I’ve done and, while not claiming it is perfect, there are some things I’d like to note. While similar to an egg, a torso is really not an egg. The front part of the rib cage is actually rather flat. Also you can see that it is not sitting straight. Rather it together with the hips (and shoulders) creates a pinching shape from the front and together with the hips and the curve of the spine it creates an S-shape from the side. These two shapes helps creating a dynamic pose even if the figure is just standing. In posture terms it means that the figure is leaning more heavily on one foot (The famous counter posture or contrapposto). In this case the foot standing on the ground rather than on top of the head of an ork is the one getting the majority of the weight.

The hip was kind of an experiment to use the same kind of box that I have used for help while drawing. The front top corners of the box should denote the protrusions of the illiac crest that we can feel most prominently when touching our hips. I found the location of these points through measuring with my calipers and comparing to the printed anatomy scheme.

A tip I got when drawing is that it’s a good idea to overdo any S-curves or other dynamics, they are bound to become less pronounced once you add volumes and if you don't overdo it slightly the result might be stiffer than you anticipate. I think this is very true for sculpting as well.

Next post will be about anatomy.

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