Sunday, 22 April 2012

Figuring it out

At last, the fabric of the buildings, furniture and fittings is complete and it is time to populate the model with the little figures. There has to be a practical limit to the quantity that can be made within the deadline and agreed budget, so I have planned to produce 8 figures in total.

The technique I have employed is to use copper wire to form an armature which provides the essential support and general proportions.

The figures are initially created with no thought given to pose and bent into position just prior to fleshing out to a fuller shape.

I use a 2-part resin putty (called Milliput) to form the bulk of the figure. Milliput is available in a small range of colours according to the intended application. I use the basic, standard version, as I will end up adding paint finishes. The material is prepared by cutting an equal amount of each of the two components.  They are then blended together thoroughly.

It does tend to feel a bit sticky to use, but after a while it's something you get used to. 

One advantage of Milliput, is that once it has hardened (2-3 hours) the work piece can be carved, sanded, drilled etc. Plus, you can add further material to enable you to continue building up.

To edit a pose, it is possible to us a fine saw, or knife to cut through a limb (down to the armature wire) and bend the limb to a new position. The gaps are then filled with a small portion of Milliput, or for very small cuts and gaps, a 2-part wood fillers or car body filler can be used to make good.

The blacksmith figure was made with the tool holding  arrangements in place from the start. However, as modelling progressed, I became aware that my proportions were somewhat wrong and that the head was way too large. By a gradual process of further carving and grinding away of material, I was able to bring it round to a more satisfactory conclusion. This ability of Milliput to work with both additive and subtractive processes makes this a great way to go for little figures such as these.

As soon as I was satisfied with the modelling of each figure, I coated each one with white spray primer and then decorated them with acrylic paints.


  1. Replies
    1. Many thanks highinbrixham, or may I call you high? Hope you are well xxx

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Helena. It's getting very close now - can't imagine not working on it after this weekend. Maybe we can negotiate phase ii. xxx PS. pics available by lunch time(ish).