Sunday, 24 November 2013

Muleskinner blues...

After spending a bit of time doing a few new pieces for Crooked Dice (December releases so no sneak peeks from me!) I can crack on with finishing the commission for all the Otherworld models I've been painting these past however many weeks. Just a few pack mules and a bunch of little familiars. Two of the mules are fully laden with adventuring kit and the third was unladen but the client supplied a few bits for me to add to it. Just gluing things on can look a bit crap so a bit of modelling was going to be required to make it come together nicely. Now, I'm not much of a Green Stuff-er, sculpting isn't my forte. If it was I'd be making my own models! As it is, a bit of gap filling is pretty much the extent of my sculpting skill but I thought a saddle blanket and a strap or two might be within my scope.

...I was wrong! So having peeled off my fudged putty work I dug out a piece of lead sheet and decided to give that a go instead. The trouble with the lead sheet though is that it's quite thin and doesn't have the kind of bulk that you'd get with putty. It also has a rather sharp edge whereas I wanted something more rounded and soft looking. To create the bullk and edge I was after I folded the edges of the metal over using a ruler to hold it down and a sculpting tool to fold with. This is where a video camera would have come in handy to show what I was doing but as it is here's a photo of the blanket and belt strap in place.

With the metal being soft it was easy to squash it into the contours of the mule's body and I just glued it in place. I had three pieces of kit to add, a chest, a shield and a backpack with gubbins strapped to it. I decided to put the chest on the mule's back and place the other two bits either side. I pinned the chest in place and used a couple of blobs of Green Stuff to settle it into place.

Once that had set I filled in the gap under the chest with more putty just to neaten things up. I wasn't sure how I wanted to have the chest held in place though. Belt straps, ropes and chains all came to mind. It proved too fiddly making thin straps from the metal sheet and I didn't have any chain so it looked like being rope. I toyed with the idea of twisting fuse wire together for the rope but I didn't have a suitable thickness left. I tried twisting together two thin lengths of Green Stuff but I got all impatient and just mangled it. In the end I realised the easist thing to do was to lay a couple of thin rolls of putty around the chest and just press the detail into it with a sculpting tool. Bit of a no brainer I'm sure but I got there the long way around.

It's nothing special but once it's got a lick of paint on it should look fine. Then I just glued the other two pieces in place.

There's a bit of a void behind the shield and the pack on the other side so once the ropes have dried (I'm not going to push it further and fuck them up!) I'll fill those in with more putty. I probably won't add anything else to it so this will go into the paint queue this week and when it's next seen it'll be all coloured in.    

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