Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Figure Sculpting: Resources

I have been sculpting miniatures in a semi-professional way for around 15 years now, although the past few years have been less productive due to my family commitments.

28mm Scale Knoll sculpted by David Drage. Master lost by client!
When I started out there was very little, if any reference material for budding sculptors to refer too, and even the staple sculpting material, Greenstuff (more correctly known as Kneadatite Blue/Yellow) was somewhat mythical and a supplier took quite a bit of tracking down, I actually bought my stock from the manufacturer in the US for sometime!

Over the years all of that has changed, there are no end of places to find advice about anatomy, sculpting, use of armatures, tools and materials; readily available online. Greenstuff and other sculpting putties are easliy found at many figure selling websites and even in your local Games Workshop store (if you are prepared to pay the price they charge).

Before I start posting regularly on figure sculpting I thought it would be worth putting up a list of the sites and resources that I have found useful.

Web Forums

Luthor Arkright, 150mm figure sculpted by David Drage. Project abandoned!
There are several forums that cover some aspect of sculpting, but the two that I frequent the most are:-

Frother Unite - Be warned, the language and general attitude on Frothers can be difficult to get used to - there is something of a "boys club" atmosphere on there that can be quite off putting, but there is no denying that the Frothers love their figures and, in amongst the venomous and purile comments, there is usually some very constructive advice.

Mini Sculpture - This is a relatively new community that has been created exclusively for figure sculptors to discuss their work, exchange information and critique miniatures, both in progress and finished.


There are quite a few blogs that are of interest to figure sculptors. Most are simple the blogs of experienced sculptor, passing on their thoughts and experiences, however some are more specifically focused:-

Make Your Own Sculpting Tools - This blog features some very good advice and instruction on making your own tools. Most sculptors end up making or altering their tools themselves that this blog goes in to some depth on making the more popular tools.

28mm SF Marine figure sculpted by David Drage.
The World According To Tom - The blog of veteran sculptor Tom Meier. As well as showcasing some of Tom's work (as he produces it) it also includes some wonderful insights into anatomy and proportion with regards to miniatures. I find this blog essential reading and Tom's explanations anatomy and sculpting technique are very enlightening.

Green Stuff Sculpting - Mainly based around the more advanced conversion of figures than out and out sculpting this site does offer some interesting ideas and is well worth checking out.

Massive Voodoo - Although primarily a first class figure painting blog, it does offer fairly regular articles on sculpting as well. To be honest the level of painting and and quality of photography alone make this blog worth following by anyone interested in collecting, sculpting or painting miniatures.

Last but not least...

I must mention 1ListSculpting, the Yahoo Group for figure sculptors. This sight has been an important place for anyone interested in figure sculpting to find information for many years. It is well worth signing up, even if it is just to download the FAQ, which is a treasure trove of information for starting sculptors.

Royal Marines and Navy c.1850, sculpted by David Drage for Scheltrum Miniatures. Painted by Mike Schraner.

Over the coming months, I am planning on doing more articles on figure sculpture, both looking at the development of my own figures and also possibly doing some tutorials on different aspects of sculpting miniatures.


  1. Love the Luthor Arkright - recognised him straight away, before reading the caption! Very iconic.

    Looking forward to seeing what treats you have in store for us.

  2. I enjoyed making Luthor too! Unfortunately Brian Talbot wasn't quite happy with it and somehow the project never made it into production.

  3. Great work, interesting blog, thanks.


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