Monday, 8 May 2017

Sculpting Rivets: What NOT to do!

Hi folks,

Last month I entered a 30K painting competition with a bunch of great guys from the 30K Google+ community. I pieced together a Tactical Marine out of odds and ends I had floating around the place, which led to an interesting mismatch of MkIII armour and... something else (my bet would be MKVI). It was suggested that I could add some rivets to the legs to tie it all together. Yup, I thought, I can do that...

After hitting up some tutorials and forums I decided to sculpt them out of green stuff. To begin with I rolled a thin cylinder of green stuff out. I contemplated letting it set and cutting rivet shapes from it, but decided against that. Instead I cut small portions of it and formed them into tiny balls which I gently placed on the end of a plastic toothpick. This made the balls easier to apply, particularly in those "hard to reach" places. The plastic of the toothpick was also more attractive than my skin, which made transferring the balls off my fingers easier.

Transferring balls from the toothpick to the model was tricky: they really liked that toothpick. I overcame that problem using super glue. I dipped a pin in the glue and tilted it so that the tiniest amount of glue would pool at the tip. The trick was then to touch the tip onto the model exactly where I wanted it. 30 times. From there I could touch the balls lightly onto the glue and they would stick. Which was great, except for the 30 or so times I squashed them and had to re-do the whole process, or try to sculpt them out of their misery. When it was all done I put it away and slept on it, waking up to this:

The tiny balls I was rolling, at the limit of my ability to roll balls, were about 4 times as big as I would have liked. Thanks to all the squashing and the sculpting, they were also quite irregular. So, lesson learnt, I spent 30 minutes or so tonight scraping them all off again! After some careful knife work I got it back to exactly how it looked 24 hours ago: no more balls. Suffice to say, I will not be doing it that way again, and with the deadline looming, this guy is going to get painted as is, balls-free.

See you across the innuendo ;-)