Jan

15

World of Warcraft Sculpture: Archer Troll

I’ve been in love with this illustration of a World of Warcraft Archer Troll for awhile now. It was created by a company I used to work in the same building as, and they did this piece for Upper Deck. Just a great piece, all around.

I wish I knew how to take better pics with my homemade lightbox, but you get the hint. This piece is 11″ high, and I had to make it in 25 different pieces, which was a lot of resin and silicone, to say the least. I reached a milestone with this piece. When I went to paint it, I realized after priming and painting how unfinished the piece is, in terms of a polishing and sanding, etc. Paint can hide some sculpting shortcuts, but not all of them.

This was sculpted with Zen Wax from Gary Overman.  The piece below is the first test paint job I did. I used my iwata hp-c plus airbrush on most of him, but the armor was mostly hand-painted, due to the raised scrollwork. Speaking of the scrollwork, I created it by first scratching in the design I wanted, and then I literally dripped wax on it. I then took a rounded wax tip and tapped it all over the armor to get that hammered metal look.

My painting skills need some help, and paint can highlight toolmarks where you don’t want one, so I may just cast up another copy and really go to town on it with some sandpaper.

Even though you can’t see it, his shoulder spikes, bicep armor and shield are all removable. I’ll take pics of it soon, as well as all the pieces it took to make this.

The base I did in resin, then shook out some Woodlands Scenic Snow over the top, and even though you might not see in these pics, I made fake ice and icicles with Vallejo Water Effects (check out this site which compares some fake water products). I stuck some Woodland shrubbery in there too, before I shook the snow, to make it look a bit more realistic. I may still go back and and put some snow on the Troll, but haven’t decided yet.

Oh, and the raptor pet behind him?? Working on it, but I need to finish up some other work first.

Hope  you like him, I had a blast working on him.

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Oct

23

Illidan torso update

A quick update on the torso of Illidan from World of Warcraft… I think I’m finally getting the hang of working with FUSE. Mineral spirits knocks it down nicely, going to use Gary’s castor oil idea next. I’m not too terribly happy with the anatomy of the hand, but I want to keep pushing along with this sculpt. I will add some longer nails on him, I want his hands to look slightly oversize and paw-like. I’m also keying his arm to make casting this piece a bit easier for me. I’m adding some leather straps to his wrist later. I may just cheat and use real leather for it and cast it from that. I need to work on his horn, I think the base of his horn that goes into his skull is a bit too big. The pics also make his ear looks smaller than it is. They are very very long, will be keyed and cast separately. I think the beauty of wax, and perhaps FUSE in particular (this is the only wax I ever used) is that I can get such clean lines cut into his body where his tattoos are. More updates in a few days. Critiques are especially encouraged. Gary, I love your wax. I will use ZEN on his bottom half, can’t wait to get to it…

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Oct

21

World of Warcraft sculpture: Illidan

Illidan

My first major sculpt that I have been working on is Illidan (above), a character from World of Warcraft. In fact, this is only the second thing I have sculpted and it’s a doozy. I have only recently started to sculpt (around the beginning of 2008) and I wonder if I’m crazy taking on such an ambitious project so soon. If I had thought it through, I would of done something very very simple.

But I didn’t.

Take my advice, when you are just starting out, sculpt simple things to learn the material, then work on balance, anatomy, etc.

About the project

I started this project using ProClay. I heard about it on a forum and was drawn to it because of its high-wax content, and hardness. I want a lot of detail in the project, and Sculpey didn’t click with me at first (although, I did use it on the wings and will start using it more in the future). The ProClay wasn’t hard enough for my liking, and I decided to switch to wax. I built my own wax pen (that’s another post) and read about FUSE, an amazing wax from Willow Products. I bought a bunch and that’s what I am using for the upper half of the body. I am trying Gary’s Zen wax next (his latest and hardest wax).

Last weekend, I took the sculpt I had roughed in with ProClay and started to make wastemolds with OOMO30 and alginate. I poured the wax and started to key the arms and now I am working on adding details (more posts to come. It has been a long road, but I’m less than halfway done, all things considered. I have re-sculpted every part of Illidan at least twice. I sculpt, figure out what is wrong with the pose, form, anatomy etc, and then basically start from scratch.

Here are some pics on the construction of the wings:

I use apoxie sculpt to make the “arms” of the wings. I used wire to make the “fingers” of the wings and put them in the apoxie before it hardened. I then took thin wire mesh and threaded the mesh through the wire fingers, and cut it to shape the membrane. (I don’t have a pic of this process, so I will take a pic when I do the other one.) I cut the mesh to fit, and then pushed a thin layer of apoxie sculpt into the mesh to form the membrane.

After that hardened, I put a layer of Firm Super Sculpey over that so that I could add detail. I know of some sculptors that actually do the detail in the apoxie as it hardens, but my skills aren’t up to that level yet.

After I had most of the details done, I baked the wing, and then took a dremel tool with a cutting bit and drilled into the wing to form ragged holes. I also used the dremel tool to make the edges of the wings look more tattered as well.

Now that it is baked, I’m going back with mores sculpey to add spikes, fix some cracks and add more detail. I use a heatgun to bake the new sculpey.

Now I have another issue. Do I go through the hassle (and money) of making a mold of the wing, pouring in wax, let it harden, and then warm the wax under hot water and try to reshape the wing to bend the other way? Or make the right wing from scratch, as I did the first.

Thoughts?

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