Sorry it's been quite a while since my last update, this is because I've mostly been working on finishing the figure that will become my second commercial release.
After completing that I spent a few days finishing the sculpting of the WW1 Bombardier (previously shown in update 47) that I'm making to donate to the World Expo auction to be held in October. I wanted to share with you some of the in-progress photos for that piece.
This was where things had got to in the last update.
The body area of the shirt has been added. During this process I put the arms in position temporarily to note how they would fit in relation to the lower part of the shirt and to make allowance for this in the shaping of that area. However, I decided not to attach the arms permanently at this stage because doing so would make it very difficult to access where the trousers meet the shirt at the front when it came to adding the braces.
I was a bit wary of having to handle the figure after sculpting on some of the more fragile elements, so to overcome the access beneath the arms issue, I sculpted the ends of the braces, but not the main straps which I could potentially damage by handling while sculpting the sleeves. I have to make some allowance for the fact I can sometimes be a bit clumsy!
This is roughly how the final pose of the figure will be with the shovel.
I didn't want to just have the braces hanging in a simple, straight way from front to rear. I felt that by incorporating some degree of twist to them this would give more naturalistic appearance and add more life to the figure. I always try to find ways of incorporating the impression of movement into things when sculpting, even when this can only be done in very small ways.
To make these, I first rolled out a small piece of putty (using a little talcum powder on the mat and tool to prevent sticking) until it was the desired thickness. After allowing the putty to partially cure (about 45 minutes) I used a flat edged scalpel to carefully cut two small strips from the putty. For attaching each strip, I first placed a small dot of superglue on the figure where the end of the strap would attach. Then carefully lifted the strap with my sculpting tool and positioned the end onto the dot of superglue.
Then the twists were carefully added and the strap manipulated until it looked natural to my eye. This required some delicate handling so that the basic strap of putty didn't get distorted. After which, the other end of the strap was attached in the same way descibed above. I repeated the process for the other side but made sure that the way the twists were incorporated was different on each side. I try to avoid making things too symetrical wherever possible.