T-Rex sculpt for puppet WIP

Jediknightandy

Active Member
this is looking great! some really nice scales, what is your process for these? are you pitting down pellets of clay and shaping them, or are you outlining them with a thin tool?
 

animator

Active Member
this is looking great! some really nice scales, what is your process for these? are you pitting down pellets of clay and shaping them, or are you outlining them with a thin tool?
That is looking insane! I'd like to know the process you're using to make the scales as well.
Thanks. The scales look better from a distance than they do close up, but the random depth creates nice shadows.

I have seen videos on youtube where people create much better scales by carving them out, but I didn't have much luck with that, so I went with a more mechanical approach.

View attachment 843901View attachment 843902

I cut a bunch of different sizes of brass tubes, bent the ends to create "organic scale shapes", filled the tubes with Free Form Air, carved out dome shapes when the Free Form Air dried and then polyurethaned the Free Form Air to seal it. Then I just make thin sheets of clay and press out scales.

Rotating and changing the tools helps keep me from getting the scales looking too repetitive. Following the contours of the sculpture is really easy with this method, but I don't think the pattern looks as organized as scales I've seen carved from the clay by far more talented people than me.

View attachment 843899View attachment 843900

After this step I'll fix some of the messy in-between areas with a hand tool and use Alcohol and Mineral Spirits lightly with a brush to pull everything together. I'm sort of figuring it out as I go.
 

Jediknightandy

Active Member
Thanks. The scales look better from a distance than they do close up, but the random depth creates nice shadows.

I have seen videos on youtube where people create much better scales by carving them out, but I didn't have much luck with that, so I went with a more mechanical approach.

View attachment 843901View attachment 843902

I cut a bunch of different sizes of brass tubes, bent the ends to create "organic scale shapes", filled the tubes with Free Form Air, carved out dome shapes when the Free Form Air dried and then polyurethaned the Free Form Air to seal it. Then I just make thin sheets of clay and press out scales.

Rotating and changing the tools helps keep me from getting the scales looking too repetitive. Following the contours of the sculpture is really easy with this method, but I don't think the pattern looks as organized as scales I've seen carved from the clay by far more talented people than me.

View attachment 843899View attachment 843900

After this step I'll fix some of the messy in-between areas with a hand tool and use Alcohol and Mineral Spirits lightly with a brush to pull everything together. I'm sort of figuring it out as I go.
Wonderful stuff, this is actually very similar to a technique I am using on my Skeksis puppet. Using WED clay its even easier to blend it all together using water and a soft paintbrush.
 

animator

Active Member
I really appreciate all the nice comments, everyone!

Wonderful stuff, this is actually very similar to a technique I am using on my Skeksis puppet. Using WED clay its even easier to blend it all together using water and a soft paintbrush.
That is a great point to bring up, Jediknightandy! I love your Skeksis sculpt! Fantastic detail and finishing. I can see how WED clay would be a very good choice for people doing this sort of sculpture. I knew this would take me a long time to finish and I didn't want to have to worry about the clay drying out... plus I have more experience with oil/wax clay (and I have Monster Clay sitting at home from a helmet I sculpted). Detailing this Monster Clay has been a lot of work and very dependent on room temperature when adding the scales. I do think WED clay would be quicker, especially for a more experienced sculptor. In the end I know this sculpture will not be as finished looking as your Skeksis.

I hope people who read this thread can learn from it and having people suggest different techniques and materials is fantastic!
 

Jediknightandy

Active Member
Aw thanks dude, I really appreciate that :) But seriously, your Trex is looking fantastic, i think it will be a fantastic Puppet when its completed. I can understand the concerns about the clay drying out if you use water based clay, although i worked on and off for almost a month on my Mangalore mask during the summer, leaving it a whole week covered with plastic bags and damp towels while I was on holiday and it retained its moisture no problem. I think if you baggie up the water based clay you can really work it for a long long time. I do like monster clay though, I use it for smaller scale sculpts, its far superior than WED at small scale to get good details.
Oh by the way, what are your plans for the rows of Teeth in your sculpt?
 

animator

Active Member
Aw thanks dude, I really appreciate that :) But seriously, your Trex is looking fantastic, i think it will be a fantastic Puppet when its completed. I can understand the concerns about the clay drying out if you use water based clay, although i worked on and off for almost a month on my Mangalore mask during the summer, leaving it a whole week covered with plastic bags and damp towels while I was on holiday and it retained its moisture no problem. I think if you baggie up the water based clay you can really work it for a long long time. I do like monster clay though, I use it for smaller scale sculpts, its far superior than WED at small scale to get good details.
Oh by the way, what are your plans for the rows of Teeth in your sculpt?
Your Mangalore sculpt was fantastic, too! I don't know how you get so much done. Do you have any video online showing your process?

The Trex plan is
Sculpt him in Monster Clay. This part is only for the main body skin -teeth, arms and eyes will be separate sculpts.
2 part mold with EpoxAcoat reinforced with Fiberglass (I've never done this)
Core the mold (I've never done this)
Cast the skin in Dragon Skin silicone (I've never done this)
Use the core to make an upper and lower base skull for the puppet in fiberglass (I've never done this)
Use the skull as a base to sculpt the teeth in Monster Clay
Cast the teeth in resin
Sculpt and cast the eyes (resin)
Make an EVA foam inner structure for the neck and body
Put it all together

This is a project where I will learn a lot and fail a lot. Wish me luck! A few more good days of sculpting and detailing -then on to molding!
StartBodyScales.JPG

I bought WED clay to use as a divider for the mold. I'll practice some character sculpting with it after I finish this project.
 

animator

Active Member
So now the sculpture isn't looking so great...

ClayAfterMold.JPG

But I have a mold.
ClayOutrMold.JPG

A big thanks to Smooth-On for their fantastic customer service line and all the advice they gave me. This was my first time using EpoxAcoat, EpoxAmite and fiberglass. It certainly isn't a pretty mold like so many I see on this forum, but the detail looks pretty good from what I can see.

Now on to the core...
 

shareahack

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Mold looks great! Wow @ the Youtube clip :thumbsup Can't wait to see how you rig the final puppet.
 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Hey animator ! With the T-Rex head being that big, your son could almost wear that as a mask.

It'd make for a different kind of T-Rex X Godzilla costume, but I bet it'd be killer!
 
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animator

Active Member
Hey @animator ! With the T-Rex head being that big, your son could almost wear that as a mask.

It'd make for a different kind of T-Rex X Godzilla costume, but I bet it'd be killer!
HeadInMold.jpg

Yeah, the size sort of got away from me... a little bit of stretching and it could be a mask.

Most people on the RPF seem to do very precisely sized and planned projects. I just sculpt until I run out of clay.
 

animator

Active Member
First Silicone Skin pull from the mold. The color is experimentation.

I did a print coat of different colored Dragon Skin 20 and Dragon Skin 10 ...

Then I gravity filled the mold with Dragon Skin NV...

I learned..
  • Silicone is very heavy! I need to make a new core and reduce the skin thickness by a lot.
  • Dragon Skin NV works really well to fill molds. I only had 1 small bubble in a large gravity filled mold with no bleeder holes.
  • Monster Clay is terrible to get out of an EpoxAcoat mold!!!
  • I hate fiberglass!
  • You can get neat color effects by layering different silicone colored layers.

Now on to making a new core and trying casting a real one. Then on to the inner skull, jaw, teeth and eyes which still need to be sculpted.
 

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Jediknightandy

Active Member
Dude that first pull is fantastic! love the different color tones you worked into the silicone! excellent job, looking forward to seeing more!
 
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