When it comes to dioramas and miniatures I definitely have some favorite things. Among these favorites is the sculpting of miniature figures and the making of miniature trees. It was great to add these two types of things into this bonkei project.
The Miniature Tree
The miniature tree is a bundle of aluminum wire. I made a whole bunch of layers bundled together then wrapped it with a smaller wire around the trunk to keep it together.
I cut the loops on each end so I could form the wires into branches and roots.
This picture shows how it has taken shape. You can tinker with it, bend the branches, refold and rewrap things. Even add more wire as needed.
Once I got the wire armature into the shape I wanted I then coated the tree with Apoxie Sculpt and let it dry. Then I painted it and added some construction paper leaves.
About Apoxie Sculpt (Available on amazon here)
It is something called a two-part modeling epoxy putty. You mix two parts together. The parts are like clay. You mix them together then you have a couple of hours to work it until it hardens permanently. Good stuff, it is easy to work with and is relatively inexpensive. I use this for large modeling projects that don't need extreme details.
The Miniature Figure (Our Hero)
I used a product called ProCreate to make the hero and his sword and shield. Procreate is very similar to Apoxie sculpt. It too is a two part epoxy that you mix together then have two hours to work it until it hardens.
I used procreate because it is specially designed for miniature figures. It holds extremely fine details very well.
This is my favorite modeling putty. I like the way it works and the way it responds to sculpting.
ProCreate Putty, 90 grams
I started making the hero by forming an armature with wire. This gives us a skeleton to apply the Procreate to.
You mix together equal parts of the procreate to create your workable putty. You then have about two hours to work it. Over the two hours you will notice as it starts to change and harden.
You apply it to the armature. Generally you work in stages, slowly fleshing out the shape of the miniature.
Here I am using a sculpting tool to work on the Hero's neck.
Coming along very nicely. At this point I can let it cure. Then mix up more Procreate and so a second layer adding the various details like armor and clothes.
Now I did the same thing with our Hero's sword and shield. I created armatures first.
Then I sculpted them with Procreate. You can also use apoxie sculpt for these. It depends on how much detail you are wanting to achieve.
I then superglued them onto his back.
And that's it. Finish it off with some paint.
The Various tutorials I have on sculpting miniature figures and making miniature trees (More extensive and detailed tutorials).
How to Make Miniature trees from Household materials
Miniature trees are expensive. But I have a nice alternative. You can make them with three materials: Brown paper, a kitchen sponge and glue. And they come out great. Make Miniature Trees
How to Sculpt a Miniature
In this tutorial I show you step by step how to sculpt a neat little fantasy miniature. I make a battlemage. I show you everything including the armature and the materials to use. How to Sculpt a Miniature BattleMage
I have a tutorial here that will teach you everyting you need to know about diorama trees including which ones you can buy, what types and how to make them. Diorama trees
How to make miniature trees with around the house materials
You just need a few supplies and you can make a very realistic looking miniature trees for dioramas, railroads and more. I made a little diorama just to show off the trees! Make Miniature Trees
How to make realistic miniature trees-
This tutorial (with a video) shows you how to make great looking miniature trees. The focus here is on using clay to sculpt the trunk. Make realistic Miniature trees
How to make miniature trees for dioramas and model railroads
I show you the traditional way to do it and I show you some improvisations so you can make trees with materials found around the house. How to make miniature trees
Tutorial series: How to sculpt fantasy miniatures
This is a very in-depth series of tutorials that take you through the whole process of sculpting your own fantasy miniatures. It includes a series of videos. How to Sculpt Fantasy Miniatures
Make miniature trees with electrostatic flocking
Neat little way to use an electrostatic flocker to make interesting trees. Make Electrostatic flocking trees