Thursday 26 December 2013

Chee-Chee Part 7 - Sculpting a base from Polymer clay.

Seasons Greetings!

Having figured out what I'm doing for Chee-Chee's base it's time to start putting it all together. I've decided to sculpt the road and pavement/kerb out of polymer clay. I'd considered using plaster but that can be a messy business and although epoxy clay would also have been a good option I'm allergic to it. I avoid using it too often especially as I will need to use milliput later in the project.

The next issue was the condition of the polymer clay. My super sculpey firm is stored in an airtight container in a cool place but after a couple of years neglect it was woefully dried out and crumbly! A few drops of sculpey softener and a lot of passes through a pasta machine (only ever used for polymer clay of course!) returned the clay to a workable condition but the crumbly clay gave me an idea. I kept back a small quantity of this to use as the top surface of the road. The cracked & crumbly surface helps to give some interest and texture. I then rolled out another, smoother, layer of smoother clay and cut it to shape for the pavement. 

To create a cobble stone texture I first cut a series of lines with a scapel and then set about adding some character and deffenition with a fine point sculpting tool. After that I rounded off the hard edges by working over the sculpted surface with a paintbrush dipped in a little isoproplyl alchohol.

With the sculpting done I cut away the clay where the wall will go so that it won't simply sit flush on the ground surface. I also carved out an indentation ready for an eched brass drain cover. With an oven nicely preheated from roasting the Christmas ham (I kid you not) I then baked the clay to set it hard.

Next I will have to attach the wall and set about ensuring a seamless transition between all the base elements but for the time being I've photographed the first test fitting of the wall and lamp to the new base.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Painting Chee-Chee Part 6

Well November has come and gone and I've managed to get far less painting done than I'd hoped but it's been a busy month so I've had to go with the flow. I'm hoping to get a lot of work done over the Christmas holiday (it's approaching at an alarming speed) and I'll steal whatever painting time I can in the meantime.
I have managed to get some painting done and I've finished Chee-Chee's big mecha arm. So with the exception of a few rods & cables I've mostly only got fur left to paint. Mind you that's quite a lot of only!
I've begun to resolve those areas of fur by working on the back & arms. These areas cover the extremes of the colour range in Chee-Chee's fur with the arms being almost pure black and the back being silver-grey. Both areas need a bit more work but the overall effect is becoming apparent and I'm very pleased with how it's looking.


I've also been spending a bit of time working out my designs for Chee-Chee's base. My earlier plans were for something far bigger but as time has gone on I've decided to literally scale it back. I'm still having a cobbled street, lamp post & the zoo walls but the whole thing will be a smaller & tighter composition. I think this will show off Chee-Chee to far better advantage. He will now be the dominant element of the composition as only seems right. The pics below are of a very rough test fit but they give the general idea.