Sunday, 4 March 2012

New Project Blog!

Now in my 3rd year of the Bournemouth Modelmaking course and doing my final major project -

Please follow my new blog documenting the making process of a 1:1 Kijimuna design maquette by clicking on the scribble below:

Thanks for your interest!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Better photos

Here are some better quality photos of my final piece. Click on the images for bigger versions.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Finished Piece

This is the final piece. After I finished punching the hair (a day earlier than scheduled), I cast out the horns in gelcoat resin with a tad of white pigment, stained them with inks and fitted them into the bust using silicone bathroom sealant. I also painted a small amount of clear FuseFX paint around the eyelid edges to fully integrate the eyes into the head.

Although I decided at the beginning of the project that the base wouldn't be a priority, I found I had some time before hand-in to clean it up quickly and spray it a more presentable shade of black. I planned to do this originally as I airbrushed the back of the silicone on the bust so it faded into black where it met the edge of the base.

I hope to post better photos of the finished bust after the hand-in with multiple angles. Click on the image above for a larger version.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Punching the head

This picture is the top of the head (facing away from the camera). I'm over half way in the hair punching process. For the head, I started at the base of the neck and punched the entire hair line (meeting the side burns and traveling over the forehead) and then worked my way inwards towards where I wanted the crown to be. I marked this out with a black piece of fibre - this was so I could always check the direction I was punching in the hair. I will take this black hair out at the end.

I used lighter hair colours around the crown edge and hair line to soften it and darker tones around the top of the side burns to create chop-like shapes that fell in front of the ears.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Growing a beard

This is just to show the beginning of punching the beard. I'm punching hair at a medium density because even though I want the beard to be quite wispy and less dense than his main hair, the lightness of the fibre I'm using means I have to punch them slightly denser for the beard to be noticeable.

Hopefully the beard will only take me a couple more days (this photo was after a couple of hours work).

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Finished paint job

This is a close-up of the finished paint work, you can see I added a lot more mottled browns and colour to the lips, eyes etc. Click on the image for a larger version. I can now start hair punching.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Today I started painting - I'm using Guy Louis XVI's FuseFX paints because they are specifically made to work on platinum silicone. I started with a soft blush tone to warm up the skin and then went on with some browns, flicking on some freckles with cut-down brushes etc...  I will continue these types of methods until I'm happy with the main skin tone, then use an airbrush to add some really subtle shadows and colour into the tear ducts, nostrils and ears.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Just a quick post to show the side of the bust after seaming - the seam is barely visible and will be totally lost once I start adding paint to the surface. Cleaning up and painting the base is my last priority as I want to devote as much time as I can to the skills I've outlined in my brief.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Final Cast

This is the final cast, it was easy to de-mould because of the layers of Macwax and the wafer thin flange of excess Platgel along the seam lines pulled right off.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Casting out the Final piece

These are a series of photos taken during the casting out of the final piece. I'd changed the pigment shade slightly so it was pinker and pigmented an entire 2kg kit of PlatGel 10 for this cast (knowing that the test cast took nearly 2kg of PlatGel 00). I also added red flock to all 2kg as well...


The first photo shows the first thin layer of Platgel 10 into the mould, I then added another thin layer and then a really thick layer (thickened with Thixotropic as normal), the second photo is after I'd pushed pieces of fabric netting into the thick layer of Platgel as it was curing and lined the stand part of the mould with a thickened layer of Fastcast. The third photo shows another batch of thickened Platgel round the edges of each fibreglass jacket just before I bolted the mould together. I then filled in the edges of the stand with more Fastcast before bolting the bottom of the mould on and pouring in R8 foam. The last photo is the set foam just hitting the top of the pour-in hole. I will de-mould this on Monday and see how it came out.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Test Cast

This is the test cast (with the final eyes in), I did this first one in pigmented PlatGel 00 because I'd already used PlatGel 10 earlier on in the year and wanted to see if 00 was any different to work with.

From this tester, I've noticed the base colour of the PlatGel isn't quite what I want for the final cast, it is slightly too transparent.

Unfortunately, I ordered my R8 foam a little too late for it to arrive in time to go into this cast so I had to go with expanding foam from a can. This didn't fill the inside of the bust properly and I had to make an incision in the back of the neck and fill the empty space with Fastcast, making this tester quite heavy. This is much less likely to happen when using the R8 foam.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Eyes #2

My eyes finally arrived from America - they're oval pupil, 250-FL - Optech Forward Look, blue fawn glass eyes from Tohickon. They were relatively cheap but the quality of the colouration is absolutely fantastic. A lot of friends in the industry who also enjoy making monsters recommended Tohickon among other suppliers such as Eyedentity, I chose Tohickon because of their range of colours and stock.

Also, here is a link for the eyes shown above. The image on the site is better for showing the colours than my photo:  Blue fawn eyes (scroll down to the option 'Blue Fawn' on the 'Select OP Mammal Colors' drop down menu)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Eye socket tester

This was the first pull out the mould - this was just a quick tester around the eye blank so I could see what the glass eye would look like in the socket against the flesh base tone of the silicone... Of course these won't be the eyes I use but it was just to get an idea of the glass-against-silicone look.

Fibreglassing and cleaning up...

These photos show the mould being made. The first two images show the front of the mould just after fibreglassing and before I'd done any trimming, you can also see the plaster bandage used to support the back of the wall that I mentioned in my last post. The other images show the back of the sculpt and fibreglass wall cleaned up, fibreglassed, drilled and bolted together. I trimmed everything properly with a vibrosaw and sander before demoulding. The clay came away from the fibreglass jackets quite easily because of how much it was waxed before the start of the moulding process.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Walling up

The wall was built up with sections of clay in square strips. Once the wall became quite high, I added 'L' shaped sausages of clay to the back of the wall to support it. I then covered the back half of the sculpt in moistened paper to protect it before building up a supporting layer of plaster bandage on the back of the wall for extra support. This means when I come to fibreglass the front, the wall is strong enough to withhold any pressure from the fibreglass matting etc.

Also I inserted a small section of shim into the top of the wall where the split line of the back two parts of the mould would meet. This is so when I come to shimming the back of the sculpt, the top section of the shim will have something rigid to be taped to and will not flap around.

Moulding preparation...

Before leaving the sculpt over the weekend, I sprayed the entire sculpt (turntable and all) with clear lacquer to hold in the clay's moisture and seal everything from the next stage, I also drew, very carefully with a Sharpie, the split lines onto the lacquered surface, considering large areas that could lock in etc. 

After the weekend I then gave all the surfaces a few good coats of Macwax as a release from the fibreglass later on. This will also help to create a barrier between the sculpt and the 'smooth buff' clay used when walling up. The second photo shows my working area before I started walling up. I used a clay cutter and a piece of board to create completely flat slabs of clay to work with. I drilled and glued sticks onto the eye blanks so that I will be able to locate the middle of the eyes once I have fibreglassed over them, this is because screws will need to be inserted into the eyes from the outside of the mould to keep them in place before the sculpt is de-moulded.

Monday, 10 January 2011

The end of 'sculpting week'

This shows how I inserted the eye blanks (destroying the previous clay eye I was using for visualization). I also sculpted a horn out of plasteline, made a silicone mould of it and cast out two fast cast ones to sculpt around. This mould can be used again to cast out the real horns. The final horns would ideally be made from dental acrylic which gives the translucency and colour of real bone but due to cost and the lack of a pressure pot, I might use polyester resin with a small amount of pigment to try and create the same effect.

This is the final sculpt before I sprayed on clear lacquer to seal it and prepare it for moulding. I exaggerated a lot of the skin texture because a lot of it will not be visible when it is cast in a less opaque material such as Platgel.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


The first photo shows the fast cast eye blanks coming out of the mould. The other photos are where I compared these blanks to my friend's glass eyes (ones the same shape as the pair I've ordered) and drawn on the positions of the pupils, irises, tops, bottoms, lefts and rights onto the blanks with a Sharpie so I can tell they will be in the right position later when they are screwed in and out of the fibreglass mould.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Halfway through...

This series of photos shows how the sculpt has progressed up to the point where I have the opportunity to insert eye blanks. Sculpting around fast cast versions of the glass eyes (that I have bought for this project) will make sure that the empty silicone eye sockets will accommodate the real glass eyes perfectly.

The last two photos are of when I roughed out the shape of the goat man's hair and beard so I could visualize the finished piece a bit better and see whether the shape of the face needed altering.

Due to a spot of bad luck with shipping from America, my eyes have not arrived in time for the beginning of the sculpt. Luckily, a friend already owned glass eyes of the same shape and diameter with a silicone mould of them for me to cast out blanks from. This means I can now insert these blanks and carry on refining the features.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Massing out

I'm using WED Clay for this bust. In the past, I've found this clay really great to use because it contains glycerin which means it dries out much slower, is slightly oily and stays at a leathery consistency for much longer than other water-based clays.

The photo on the right shows a late stage of massing out. This is just about getting the basic forms. Massing out didn't take very long and using WED fresh out of the bag meant it was really easy to push around. 

I also decided to sculpt a base onto the bust because even though this unit is about learning and not necessarily finishing, I still want whatever I end up with to be presented well. Many of the professional sculptors I have researched for this project show their final busts on some sort of stand and I also thought integrating the stand into the sculpt (and mould) will give me a chance to practice casting a piece out of a range of materials at once (see The Brief for more info on materials I plan to use).

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Starting off...

For this sculpt, I started with a wooden peg screwed onto a turntable. Both of these came from the SculptureBox set provided by The Sculpture Studio (shown above). The Box comes with various other things to enable you in sculpting a head including the black cardboard slot-over component (right image), but for my head I just stuck with the wooden peg on it's own to give me more freedom for depth. I taped a small ball of paper on the top of the bust peg to bulk out the middle of the head. (Sorry there are no photos - I wanted to get going and forgot to wip my camera out.)