Sunday, 28 August 2011

Imperial Progress XI

(Or, Lessons learned from using Instant Mould)

My enthusiasm for working on my Empire Ogres remains undimmed, and as a result I have sat down several times over the last few days to try to make more progress.

First up, I continued to duplicate sets of legs, given I wanted at least a few of each stance - I need to keep a master version in case I have to re-use the Instant Mould for something else and want to come back to the same legs later, I need any sets of the legs that I plan to use as-is, and I also plan to use these legs as the basis for variants to match other units (state troops, greatswords, etc).
The Ogres go marching 3 by 3... Or their legs do, anyway. The legs on the front right are a variant of the ones next to them. I cut the leg at the thigh, twisted it and sealed it up. It gives me a third pose which I am yet to copy.
Given that I'm actually trying to get a set of 3 Ogres done for my Leopard Company, I then moved onto making a torso. I decided to work it around an actual plastic GW Ogre torso in order to give me a decent chance of getting the scale right. Almost all the Ogres I am planning to make will have a breastplate, so I figured I would make a basic master, copy it, make some variants, and use them to create duplicates. I actually sculpted it attached to a set of legs, separated by a skirt of cling wrap. That worked rather well and peeled straight off when I was done (so much for the "cling").
My prototype Ogre breastplated torso. Deliberately featureless at the moment.
And sitting on the legs it was built on.
From the side, you can see that it came out a bit fat. Also, I have not left enough of the neck showing to put a standard head on properly. But I had a plan for all this.
Again, the back of the torso is plain.
OK, so I had my master torso. I made a mould and produced a copy. Then I set to it with a knife once the putty had hardened. The idea was to make a basic detailed breastplate, and whilst I was at it, expose the neck properly and slim things down a bit.
My carved-out breastplate torso.
And from the rear.
As I was working on the carving, it became apparent to me that the neck was much too deep for the head, which seemed strange since the neck stump was an original plastic one on the master (albeit one most buried in putty). I put a bit of effort trying to carve it down a bit, but I didn't want to do anything too savage to it because I was largely happy with the torso and didn't want to mess it up. I figured I could try to correct it further on a copy.

However, once I moulded and copied the torso, my problem became apparent. Each iteration of moulding was adding thickness to the torso around the join of the 2-part mould. This is despite my efforts to keep excess putty in the mould to a minimum, and apply a lot of force to my press once the stuff was inside. This same thing I had noticed with the legs I was making, however I was OK with the extra thickness in the legs, and I hadn't tried to re-mould an already copied version the way I was with the torso.
You can sort of make out the extra thickness on these legs. I didn't take a shot of the torso issue at the time.
 So what did I do? I decided to take to the copied torsos (I had made 2 by this point) with a saw and a heavy-duty metal file. I figured I could remove the extra thickness by cutting the torsos in half along the join, and then put them together again later. My workspace disappeared in a cloud of fine white dust which will almost certainly condemn me to a horrible lung-related death one day, but here are the results.
The "master" on the right, and the brutalised copies. Most of the dust has been cleared up by this point.
So, I need a new plan of attack. I have decided to try making 2 separate 1 piece moulds, and scrape down any excess putty to hopefully provide a smooth join. This should eliminate any extra thickness being caused by the 2-part mould.
My new front and back moulds.
Fingers crossed that this fix will address my problems. I realise now that I am likely to hit the same issue with my leg plans, given I was going to be altering copies before copying those in turn. I will deal with that once I've finished the initial 3 Leopard Company Ogres.

You will notice that most of the stuff I am working with is white, rather than green. I have found that for a lot of purposes, Magic Sculp is more workable than Green Stuff/Kneadatite. The ability to turn it almost into a paste with the addition of a bit of water is very useful, if a bit messy. I think it also comes out of the moulds better, and sets harder.

Unfortunately, my habit of using water and working with the stuff like clay means that I make a mess and end up with it all over my hands. With a bit of planning this is not a big issue, however it does mean that I have bits of putty all over my presses, and often on the outside of my moulds. This can be an issue when it comes to melting down the Instant Mold for re-use. I need to make a point of scraping things down etc before putting the mould back into the water, or I will end up with bits of hard putty floating around in my moulds, which will be difficult to get out again.

And just in case you thought my old Halberdier Ogre was completely forgotten, he gained some extra fatness to his torso, leg and butt as a result of all this fiddling with putty. His legs are almost dealt with now. Soon I will have to start work on the arms...
Stomp that orc!
Where the most recent putty additions have gone.

No comments:

Post a Comment