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How to Sculpt Fantasy Miniatures - Part 1
This is an in depth series of tutorials that will teach you how to sculpt your own fantasy miniatures. The scale I eventually work you down to is 1" = 6' which is a terrific scale and you can achieve some great looking figures in this scale. Sculpting fantasy miniatures takes some work and some know how and you have to get used to the art and craft of sculpting in miniature. And this means practice. But this tutorial is structured so it gives you practice as you learn. And I don't just start you out with expensive materials and 1" miniatures. We start out with childrens clay and make some larger sculptures as we work our way down to the more exciting figures.
Note: This tutorial is a companion to my Youtube series of Videos on how to sculpt fantasy miniatures. That series is currently 13 videos long which gives you almost 2 hours of solid instruction on how to sculpt your own miniatures. And it assumes you are starting from scratch with little or no experiece. YouTube: How to Sculpt Fantasy Miniatures
The picture shown here is of a three inch miniature that we will be making in this tutorial. It is a barbarian with a two-handed sword. And this is just an intermediate step. We go down to about 1 inch!
In other words, this is one heck of a tutorial that will cover a lot of material and give you some real skill and insight into the making of fantasy miniatures.
This series of video tutorials is completed (there are 15 parts!) and the picture here on the left shows the final product in the smallest scale. It is a woman warrior. This miniature was made using ProCreate (Professional Sculptors Putty)
Note: I can't do the whole tutorial in one sitting so I will be adding parts to it as I design them and make videos for them.. This web based tutorial goes hand in hand with a youtube series of videos that I am also making. You can view all these videos in order on youtube channel playlist here: Video Tutorials: How to sculpt fantasy miniatures.
Tools and Materials Needed for sculpting Fantasy Miniatures
You can improvise a lot of the tools and materials and here is a picture of pretty much everything you need.
( I also have a miniature tools and supplies store where you can find everything you need.)
This may seem like a lot but many of the materials are pretty common and you don't need everything right away. This tutorial will take you through all the steps and show you what you need as you go. Here is the master list:
A Magnifying Glass or Desktop magnifier glass (preferred)
Sketch pad and pencils
Small Vise or Bottle corks
A variety of small hand tools including awls and tiny screwdrivers
The Process for learning how to make fantasy Miniatures
I am assuming you never made any fantasy minis before. This tutorial takes you right from the beginning and gives you the tips, tools, and techniques from a beginners standpoint. This means that we won't just jump in and start making 1" miniatures. They just won't come out good. Here is the process I will take you through. Note that each of these steps in the tutorial comes with an accompanying youtube video so you can see how it is done. The accompanying video will be on each page. But you can see all the videos on one page of my website here: Videos on how to sculpt fantasy miniatures
Introduction: is a review of the materials needed. You are in this step right now.
Step One: Get your sketch pad and pencil and start doing some drawings. You have to have a clear vision of what your miniature will look like before you start sculpting it. I recommend you do lots of drawings and you study anatomy or get some books on fantasy anatomy. If you want to improve your fantasy art technique I have a free fantasy art school with lots of lessons and recommended art books.
Step Two: We do a six inch sculpture with childrens doh. This gives you a sense of how a miniature is made and it is good practice. You also learn about making an armature out of wire. This goes underneath the sculpture and gives it strenght.
Step Three : We get more serious and we use a product called Super Sculpey Firm to make a three inch miniature. This isn't as simple as the first one and it has a lot more detail. We further explore tools, techniques and start to put clothing, armor and weapons on our miniatures. If you have some experience sculpting you can hop directly to this tutorial here: Make a 3 inch miniature
Step Four: This is the final step where we do the actual scale miniature. For this we use a professional modelers putty called ProCreate. In this section we will cover advanced techniques including poses. You can go directly to this section here: Sculpt a 1" miniature using professional modelers clay
Step Five : This is a tentative part of the process and I may cover it depending upon demand. This section would cover prepping your miniture for making duplicates then actually casting duplicates from it.
This is the video for this portion of the Miniature tutorial