Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Sculpting Tutorial

Miniature Mentor has released the tutorial I filmed with them and it is now available for download. Basically in this tutorial I sculpt this figure from the ground up.

In the tutorial I start from a metal armature and progress through each stage including underpinning and musculature, clothing, equipment, hair, face, and hands. Throughout is a running commentary describing each step. Don't let the title or description "sculpting with green stuff" fool you. The techniques can be used for any type of putty and I use the same for procreate, brown stuff, and fimo.

The figure is also available through RAFM here so you can actually purchase the figure and have it in hand as a reference when you are viewing the tutorial.

Visit the Miniature Mentor site here to get the tutorial, just scroll down the list until you see my name and the figure.

Below is the excerpt from the miniature mentor site describing the tutorial:

"Miniature Sculpting with James Van Schaik is the ultimate guide to sculpting 32mm miniatures using Green Stuff. Learn from an industry veteran as he takes you through all the steps required to build this Anime Girl.

Miniature Mentor's Secrets of the Brotherhood series takes you inside the hidden art of miniature sculpting. Learn it all in this massive 6 HOUR tutorial. James covers every aspect of the creation of this mini from building the armature, to laying down the under-pinning to building up the muscle masses to finishing and detailing the face, hands, pouch, shorts and blouse."


Jahh said...

Ho does the sculpting tutorial compare to what you would teach in a class? (other than you not being there)...


James Van Schaik said...

Hi Jahh

The tutorial is more of an overview as I sculpt a entire figure during the process. Each element covered is more or less the way I would teach normally but condensed due to time restraints. It just that if it were up to me I would do a single course or tutorial on each part. It is kind of hard to go into the proper amount of detail when you have to sculpt an entire figure.

It does have value because it will introduce you to the overall concepts and techniques.

Adrian T said...

I mentioned in the previous blog post that the video is exceptional quality and download version 720p.

For a idea here's a still frame


1280x720 means that the 6 hour video requires a fast internet connection.

Anonymous said...

I purchased the sculpting tutorial from Miniature Mentor. I'm really enjoying back and watching you work. Thanks for working with those guys to put this together. I've already learned a lot.

I do have two questions for you that I don't think have been answered in the tutorial (watching up to part four). I'm hoping you can help me out here.

1) in the interview clip you mention that you ground down the sharp edges of your sculpting tools. Do you have any recommendations on what to use to grind those down?

2) When you apply the vaseline on the tools, obvisously a bit of it gets transferred to the mini as you sculpt it. When (if at all) do you clean that vaseline off? I'm assuming the final product if it was going to be painted would need a good cleaning. However, what about in between stages? Do you clean the mini after you "cook" it?


James Van Schaik said...

Hi thereandblogagain
I'm glad you you like it.

Here are some quick answers to your questions.
1) To grind tools I use a dremel with a grindstone. You only want to take off the edges and tips. clean up the roughed out edges with sandpaper until it is smooth, then polish it.

2)You don't have to clean the vaseline between stages, the vaseline actually bonds additional greenstuff. If you are painting it you'll need to wash it carefully using palmolive or other type of dish soap that cuts grease. Use a toothbrush to scrub it.Careful though because you can strip off details if you are too rough.

Hope this helps.

Jeff LaMarche said...


I just finished watching the video, and wanted to stop in and say "bravo". Really great video. Though I've been playing with putty for a few years (albeit not seriously), I picked up a lot of info I didn't know, and it's always great to watch a pro at work.

So, thanks!

Anonymous said...

It's great resultna

DelarnLeviathan said...

Hi James, where are you based. I've been searching for a mentor! I really would like to become a pro sculptor, since it's the only thing I can do without stressing my heart out.

Related to the video: I've bought sme reaper armature in the past (Just got them out of a 2 years slumber) And while trying to do the tutorial with you the hips joint snapped. I would like to know if there is a way to prevent this?

The under pinning, can it be done in brownstuff ?

Do you have anatomy books that you wuld recomend?

I use Werner Klocke method to make faces, in the result I always have an emply eye socket do you think I should add putty in them?

Thanks for your time and I hope we can talk soon.