View Full Version : Sculpting minatures?

12-30-2009, 02:44 AM
So I just started collecting little miniatures for the campaigns I play in. I seem to adore them. Especially all the little elementals I can make,paint, or just plain buy!

I was wondering if anyone else sculpted their own little fellows. I am a beginner. Learning how to sculpt and paint all at the same time. It's a nice hobby to say the least!

Sidenote:Woo first post!

12-30-2009, 02:52 AM
Thats an awesome idea, what do you use?

12-30-2009, 03:23 AM
I am going to start with polymer, the oven bake kind. I use to sculpt little figures before.. but now it's for a purpose!

12-30-2009, 02:16 PM
If you scroll about half to two thirds of the way down this web page... http://www.megaminis.com/

Mega Minis have miniature blanks (they call them "sculpting dollies") you can use to start as a base for more advanced miniature sculpting... Never tried it myself (I am definitely not a sculptor), but it is another tool you may find handy.

12-30-2009, 02:24 PM
Oh those are neat! I am not sure how I would use them though since they are metal and all. I will keep them in mind though. They are very interesting at the least!

12-30-2009, 03:38 PM
These dollies can be bent even though they are metal, you just have to be careful.

12-30-2009, 11:39 PM
Oh! So they would be better then a paperclip, huh?

12-31-2009, 12:57 PM
lol Yeah, I think so. They are proportioned correctly and thus help in keeping your sculpt believable. It is so easy to get even one part proportioned wrong and then the whole thing looks wrong and figuring it out and then fixing it is such a pain.

Besides, the paper clip has nothing to assist the material from sliding around. In larger sculpts I would make my armature from a wire of a fairly large gauge, then wrap that with a smaller gauge. Helps the wax, or in my case clay, hold onto the wire.

Personally, I have never sculpted a mini, but the lessons would be pretty much the same no matter what scale one works in.

Good luck in your sculpts. Post your results if you can. We would like to see them if you would care to share.

P.s. Do you plan to cast them as well?

12-31-2009, 01:53 PM
You have a really good point. I guess that means I should invest in these little fellows.

If I can take descent photos I surely will! Can't make any promises that they will come out looking right though.

No, probably not. Though I have made things like this before, I doubt they would come out as nicely as I would want them to.

12-31-2009, 03:51 PM
I have done a bit of sculpting. I find it very tedious and difficult. I want to do some more...

12-31-2009, 05:58 PM
Yes it is. The smaller it is the more difficult it is, in my opinion. You need just the right light not only to sculpt it but to paint it as well!

02-16-2010, 09:07 AM
I've sculpted a few metal minis using a lost wax technique. It's not too hard but I was fortunate enough to have some of the more expensive equipment at my disposal.

The wax was similar to a soft paraffin wax. I bought some sticks of it and some wax sculpting tools. I then spent the next month ruining about a dozen blanks before getting the hang of it.

I got a small hand-mold and some lost wax molding compound. The stuff has the consistency of fine dirt. Carefully packed everything up in the hand mold.

This was about $100 so far. Next I needed the metal. I bought a few ingots of a soft pewter, similar to the old lead-based minis from the 80's. Like them, my minis would be leaded.

The fortunate part was I had a melting pot. My family is heavily involved in black powder target shooting (Civil War era weapons) and we had an older spare lead melting pot that would work beautifully for my pewter. I wouldn't have started this venture if I didn't already have access to this.

My first mini came out pretty well which was an ogre (albeit a small ogre, he was in scale only about 7' tall; maybe just a large human with a loincloth and a club). His face details were pretty sharp and every scratch line I put in the wax on accident showed up. I did a few more until I exhausted the pewter (the last being a green slime :) ) and never did it again.

Too much work, too expensive. It was a learning experience though.