For many years now I’ve wanted to sculpt 28mm figures in green stuff. This year I’ve resolved to make an effort to improve my sculpting skills. However rather than attempting to sculpt a full figure from scratch, I was looking for a smaller piece of work to get started.
That’s when I realised I need a couple of Linebreakers for my This is Not a Test Peacekeeper warband. These guys are basically the melee specialists in the warband, which means they need a hand weapon and riot shield. I have a bunch of Pig Iron Kolony figures, but every torso is carrying a firearm, usually in some kind of slung pose. So I dug out my ancient strip of green stuff and got to work sculpting a replacement torso.
The top photo shows the finished product, complete with plastic-card shield and weapon. I’m reasonably happy with the final figure, although it has a few issues. First the arms are considerably thinner than the rest of my Pig Iron figures, and because of the rather fine garden wire I based them on they’re rather too flexible. It’ll be interesting to see how the painted figure stands up to transportation and gaming. For posterity here’s the steps this figure went through.
I sculpted the basic torso over a large blob of green stuff attached to some 3mm garden wire. The blob was shaped and then filed down to a rough scale match against a production Pig Iron metal torso. This was the easiest way to get a suitable volume for the torso piece.
Next was some light sculpting work to clone a basic Pig Iron armored torso, including the interesting back plate. My efforts aren’t as crisp as the Pig Iron sculptor’s, but I’m hoping once painted you won’t notice the difference. This photo also shows the start of various packs the figures have around their waist, mainly to conceal to join at their hips and provide support to the arms.
The basic torso was reasonably easy to sculpt, and once complete I pinned in a production head, and dry fitted a set of legs. The wire arms went through a few iterations as I tried to get the ratio right between shoulder, elbow and wrist joints compared to the figure’s height and legs.
For the arms I used wire that was far too thin, 0.9mm garden wire. On reflection I should have used the same 3mm garden wire I’d sculpted the torso on. The wire was also only pinned into the green stuff torso, which is a problem too. Really I should have made the whole armature in a single piece for additional strength. I’ve since started sculpting a second torso, for a second Linebreaker, but using 3mm wire for the arms this time around.
By far the bulk of the time in the project was spent trying to get the arms and hands right on the figure. Here’s the finished arms sculpted holding two thin pieces of wire that formed the basis of the weapon and shield. This wire is again too thin, and isn’t connected to the wire in the arms in any meaningful way. This made sculpting arms, hands and weapons a lot more frustrating than it should have been due to movement. That said I’m reasonably happy with the hands themselves, which while a touch small do look like reasonably human grips. Both arms could have been thicker, and using thicker wire as the base for my second torso will encourage that I think. The cloth on the arms doesn’t fall in any realistic way, but this is similar to the Pig Iron figures themselves, who appear to be wearing some kind of thick, rather stiff ballistic uniform.
The final figure is on my paint table at the moment, and I’m keen to see what it’ll look like painted up and next to the full Pig Iron Product figures I’ve already completed.