Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Sculpting the human: he has a helmet!

The Halberdier continues to take shape.
I got another chance to make a bit more progress on my Halberdier last night. I bit the bullet and began working on his head. This is all slightly scary stuff for me - completely unknown territory. I am consoling myself with the knowledge that if I really screw it up, I can always abandon my efforts and find him a suitable head from something else. But before going that way, I figured I needed to try making one of my own.

I decided that my best approach would be to work on the helmet first, to try to get the head size about right and provide a frame for the face. I don't know that this would really be the ideal way of doing things. If I was patient, I could create a whole bare head first, then sculpt the helmet onto it. But I am always looking for ways to cut corners, so this is the way I went.
I think I may have to shift the head further towards the left shoulder (moving it right in this picture). The pillar I built around was central, however all the building went towards the back of the head, and it's now off-centre.
I'm fairly happy with how the back of the helmet has turned out. It's at least similar to the original.
A look at the other side of the helmet. As I say, it needs to move toward where he's facing...
Pay no attention to the googly eyes. They were just so I could remember where he was facing as I worked on the helmet.
I was constantly looking at an existing Halberdier to try to ensure things looked more or less right, but I was still never going to get it exactly right. The new head looks slightly too large - in particular, too deep. I was trying to get the shape and size to match, and didn't really get either of them just right. But I think it will be close enough. The front of the helmet around the guy's face is a little untidy, and not quite right either. I may have to try tidying that up too, before having a go at the face.
A bit of a comparison of the backs of the helmets. It's not perfect, but it's close enough.
The front of the helmet is more questionable. I think it still needs work, but I'm not sure if I'll do the face first.
I decided that sculpting a feather with no underlying framework at all would be difficult. The thing would keep bending out of shape as I tried to detail it. So I cut myself a bit of a template out of plastic (using the packaging from some Instant Mold - it looked to have about the right curve to it) and attached it to the helmet. In hindsight I should have used something more rigid - this thing will be little better than having no framework at all. However, it will help me get the shape right, and I think I can pull that off with a little patience. I will also add the little detail at the base of the feather at the same time.

Lastly, I removed the halberd tip from another Halberdier and threw it into the Instant Mold. When I go back next time, I will have a properly set halberd head made out of greenstuff. I will need to rework the tassle and copy that instead, given the halberd on this guy is horizontal instead of vertical. But that should be the least of my problems. I expect getting the guy's head right will be a far tougher proposition.

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