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Old 06-24-2002, 10:30 PM
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DraigAthar DraigAthar is offline
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Magic Sculpt Demo

Well, I've been meaning to work on a new sculpture for a while now and couldn't really think of anything to sculpt, but then I had and idea for something small. I thought I'd do it in magic sculpt and turn it into a demo since I know several people have asked about the stuff in this forum. Hopefully some of you will find it useful, and not too boring.

I'm sure you all know by now that I'm a dragon fan, so you shouldn't be surprised that I decided to sculpt another dragon. Well my idea this time was to do a little dragon hatching out of an egg. Hardly original, I know, but then I thought it'd be fun to use a REAL eggshell, and later make a mold of it so that casts will have that eggshell texture and look really cool.

So here's what I started with, the eggshell:



And the magic sculpt:



Now, a real eggshell is far too fragile for my clumsy hands so I first decided I needed to make it sturdier. Magic sculpt to the rescue. It is hard as a rock once cured, and it sticks to darn near anything. So I decided to line the interior of the eggshell with a thin layer of the compound and let it cure.

For those of you who've never worked with this stuff before, it's a two part epoxy, and they way you use it is to take out a lump of resin and a lump of hardener the same size and knead then together until they're a uniform color. So I started with a little bit of each:



And kneaded it into this:



Once you get it a uniform color, it begins to cure. You have about two hours working time, so that's why I always work in small bits at a time. It's very pliable to begin with and slowly gets less workable as time passes.

I carefully pressed small amounts into the eggshell to keep from cracking it:



Until I had an even layer all over the inside:



I left it to cure completely (a few hours) before continuing to work. After it was cured, I tapped it on the counter gently to see if it was solid. It was rock hard ... I tried tapping it harder, then knocking it, then banging it ... no effect. I could probably have thrown it against the wall and it'd be just fine. That's how hard this stuff is!

All right, I'm going to separate this into several posts I think, so I don't lose all I've typed in a browser crash. I'm also still in the process of working on this so it may take me a few days to finish the demo off.

Amy
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Old 06-24-2002, 11:34 PM
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DraigAthar DraigAthar is offline
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Okay, so next I wanted to start building up the body of the little critter I want sitting in the eggshell. This is another great thing about magic sculpt - you can use just about anything as an armature. You can even use the magic sculpt itself as an armature. It doesn't need to be fired or baked so you don't have to worry about heat-proof armatures. It doesn't shrink. It will even cure underwater. I often use foil to build forms up to save on the magic sculpt, and to make pieces lighter. I want my dragon to have a big round belly, like a newly hatched chick does, so I figured I'd start there. I made a foil ball:



And covered it with compound and stuck it in the eggshell. The magic sculpt sticks to itself without any scoring or blending, so all I had to do was let it cure again and it was rooted in there.



Then I just kept adding to my figure. I want the pose to look like the little guy is exhausted after breaking out of his egg, so I'm starting to rough out the pose with foil limbs covered in magic sculpt:



Then I needed to add a base to keep the egg from rolling over, so I just made a pancake like shape and pressed the egg into it and of course it stuck and cured there. I did this on a piece of foil so I could peel the foil off the bottom of the base. I may add more to the base later, it depends on how the rest of the sculpture goes. I also added an arm and some wing stubs and rounded out the belly some more.



That's it for now, I've got to work on it some more and take more photos. Comments always appreciated!

Amy
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Old 06-25-2002, 01:41 AM
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Amy,

I must say, this a great step-by-step tutorial. Very detailed with lots of explanation. You'd probably make a great teacher! It's coming along real well, and I'm anxious to see the 'continuing saga'. So, I'll tune in the next Bat Time, on this Bat Station to see how things are going. "BIFF" "POW" "WHAM".... (Better stop, I'm showing my age!) Keep up the good work.

Jeff
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Old 06-25-2002, 06:47 AM
onefromheaven onefromheaven is offline
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Great tutorial Amy! I am really enjoying it. Thanks for doing this for us.
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Old 06-25-2002, 12:52 PM
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THANK YOU AMY
This is great and I look forward to your updates.
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Old 06-25-2002, 06:40 PM
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Okay, time for some more.

I needed to put the texture on the fat belly next, before sculpting the legs up around it, so here's a post just about that. I want the dragon to have wide scales, like plates on his belly that overlap, so I start with some magic sculpt and roll it into a thin cord:



Then I lay it in place on the belly (you can see here I've done a few already):



Then I just press on it with my fingers until it's flattened and blend it in on the top edge. By working from bottom to top this way, the scales look like they overlap:



This is a good point to talk about magic sculpt and water ... water does amazing things to this compound. It doesn't thin it at all - like I said before, it'll cure even under water. But if you dab your fingers in water and then rub them across the surface of the soft (before curing) compound, it smooths it out as if you were using sandpaper on wood. So in many of these pictures you may see wet parts where I've used water to smooth away the fingerprints that are left behind. You can get great smooth surfaces with hardly any effort. Wonderful stuff! Whenever I sculpt with this I keep a little cup of water handy for dipping my fingers or tools in.

So here's most of the belly covered in plates:



And just another view of them from the side:



Next up: the legs!

Amy
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Old 06-25-2002, 08:09 PM
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And on we go ... please pay no attention to the fact that I have purple hands in the following photos. I did some fabric dyeing earlier today as well, and forgot to wear rubber gloves.

So next I wanted to flesh out the legs. I didn't really know how I was going to do this until I just started doing it, so I did one leg completely and then went back and took pics of the steps to make the second leg. So here's the first one:



Now to go back and do the second one in detail. I just added lumps of magic sculpt in places to build up the leg that way I wanted. I'm not going for realism here, just the suggestion of muscles, etc.



Then I used water to smooth all the lumps together into a good leg shape.



Then I wanted to add a little bit of texture to the legs. I didn't want lots of details, just enough to look like scales, so I used this little tool:



And pressed it lightly into the surface of the leg to get a nice little scale texture. So now the dragon has both of his legs!



Amy
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Old 06-25-2002, 08:45 PM
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Yielding Yielding is offline
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Very nice demo Amy, cute little guy too ( or gale)

Yielding
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Old 06-25-2002, 08:49 PM
joemajury joemajury is offline
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Draig

This is great, cant wait to see his head.

Joe
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Old 06-25-2002, 10:41 PM
max nelson max nelson is offline
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Amy..terrific demo and another of your cute lil'e guys! I guess that I may be one of the few that havn't tried the Magic Sculp as of yet. I can see that it has certain advantages for some applications. Thanks for the fine lesson...now 'bout those purple fingers
Max
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Old 06-26-2002, 01:05 PM
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Amy,
This is an awesome demo. Can`t wait to see the next few progress pics on it....
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Old 06-26-2002, 07:13 PM
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This is great

Very informative, very helpful. I wonder whether I can manage to get that Magic Sculp stuff here in Germany... we've only got one (!) retailer for Super Sculpey. Anyway, the steps can be used for any polyclay or similar material, I guess.

Thanks - I'm looking forward to the rest!

Jester1966
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Old 06-26-2002, 07:25 PM
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DraigAthar DraigAthar is offline
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Thanks everyone for all the comments ... I'll keep posting as I make progress. I didn't get any sculpting done today, but maybe tonight.

Jester, yes for the most part the steps can be applied to polymer clays and other modeling compounds - just a few of the details are different, like the way water is used with magic sculpt. And if your local retailers don't carry it you can always go to http://www.magicsculp.com/ and see about ordering some. I think they ship international now. The first time I bought some, I got the small package, which works out to be somewhat expensive in terms of how much compound you get for your money, but if you buy a larger package, like the 5lb pack, the value increases drastically. Looking at the prices on the website ... 8oz costs $13, but 5lbs (10 times as much compound) costs $26, only twice as much. Next time I order, I shall get the larger size, as it doesn't go bad with age.

Amy
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Old 06-26-2002, 10:15 PM
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keiki keiki is offline
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Eggbert...

He's looking great, but does he have a name yet??
Bumbles, Bimbles, Gagootz?
He should have shown his character to you by now.

Can't wait to see all of him. Great demo

Mom
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Old 06-26-2002, 11:47 PM
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Dave's in Florida Dave's in Florida is offline
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Thumbs up Wonderful Sculpting demo~!

Your step-by-step description and photos are so very well done, I suggest WetCanvas use them as a model for future "how to's" -- and thanks for turning me on to a new medium.
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