Sunday, 3 November 2013

Shroom Shaman step-by-step: "the making"

Right! First actual tutorial. How do you tell people how you did something? Let's find out together!

I am going to run you through the steps, materials, tools and techniques that I used to create the little 'Shroom Shaman.

First of all a quick run through of the tools and materials:

1: Milliput (I used both types shown but you could easily just use the Yellow-Grey one) ; 2: Tamiya Putty used for smoothing cerain areas after sculpting ; 3: Acetone used to diluted and wipe the Tamiya Putty (note: Nail varnish remover is NOT strong enough as a replacement) ; 4: paperclips used for metal counter pins ; 5: Kneadatite (GreenStuff)

1: a flat wide brush and a sharp pointed brush (do not use ones you want to paint with ever again) ; 2: cutting and curving pliers ; 3: manual drill ; 4: selection of "clayshaper" brushes ; 5: craft/hobby knives ; 6: a flat spatula and a home made needle tool ; 7: fine grain sanding paper (grain 400 or higher is recommended)

a close -up of the wider flatter brush (A) and the pointed brush (B)

A: bisected point clayshaper ; B: flat clayshaper ; C: rounded point clayshaper ; D: the spatula tool ; E: the home made needle tool

A: PVA glue ; B: fine sand ; C: common dirt
A: GW medium slates ; B: Tube Tool ; C: granules from water filter ; D: GW small slates
 Right! Now that you have seen all the stuff used here's how it went:

1) Preparing the miniature

After having removed the various parts from the sprue and having cleaned up the mould lines I simply removed the upper part of his staff along with the bone he was holding in his left hand as can be seen in the picture below.

2) The mega 'shroom

Next it was time to build the massive mushroom. For this I decided to build a plastic structure that I would then fill in mith milliput. The plastic card structure acted as a template to give the mushroom stalk its shape. I scratched the plastic card using the hobby knife to give the milliput a better hold. I also cut a length of paper clip wire and glued it to the plastic card. This metal wire will later serve to fix the mushroom to the base.

The milliput is added around the plastic card armature
After having applied four milliput sausages to the armature I simply rolled it betwenn my fingers lightly until I felt the plastic card armature, thus maintaining the profile I wanted. I then left the stalk to dry by sticking it into a cork.

Finally I sanded the stalk using the fine grain sanding paper.

The mushroomhead was built in several stages. First I simply rolled out a sheet of milliput yellow-grey out of which I cut a roughly rounded shape. I then placed this disc on a glass slide with a ball of blue tack in the centre to keep the dome shape. The edges were shaped using the first sculpting tools of Man: fingers.

Once this piece was dry I glued it to the stalk (which had in the meantime made it onto the base).

Next I tried a putty I had never heard of: "Fimo-lite". This was a complete waste of time as I had to redo the whole thing in greenstuff afterwards so just imagine this was only done in greenstuff. This elastic type putty is perfect for veiny and rubbery surfaces such as the underside of the mushroom:

After applying a layer of greenstuff I first used the beveled clayshaper to trace out lines radiating from the stalk. Finally using the rounded clayshaper I added random streaks connecting various of the radiating lines between each other.

The top of the mushroomhead was created by first running a milliput sausage around the edge of the head. This was largely to accentuate the curves of the head and to hide the rough edges created by the underside of the mushroon.

The edge of the head before working the top. As you can see this edge is still very rough.
the Milliput sausage 
Finally I added a ball of Milliput at the centre of the head to make it pointier. Then using the metal spatula tool first, followed by the round clayshaper, I smoothed the tip and the edge into the already hard head base. A final smoothing was done using the large flat brush and quantities of phlegm (CAREFUL!: do not lick tools brushes etc used with putties as these are highly toxic! Store phlegm in a convenient little pot on your workstation.)

After the final smoothing.
A final finishing touch was performed by laying on a coat of Tamiya putty diluted with the acetone. Again: be really careful, do not inhale the fumes and work in well ventilated area! Once this final coat dried I sanded the whole head using the fine sand paper. I did the same to the surface of the stalk as there were some micro cracks that I didn't want appearing in the paintwork later.

The finished mushroom.

3) Next comes the Hookah! 

Now this was actually quite simple. The ball at the base of the hookah is simply a ball of Greenstuf rolled into shaped between my fingers and left to dry. Once dried I glued a wooden dolls house banister piece (lurking in my bitz box). While this glue dried I rolled a much smaller ball of Greenstuff and left that to dry. When this second ball was dry I cut it in half and glued one of the halves on top of the wooden piece. I also rolled out two very thin Greenstuff cones and left them to dry. One is for the Hookah, the other is for the staff of the Shaman.

Once the glue had dried I rolled out three more Greenstuff sausages to hide the connecting points between the glued elements. These were put into place using the paintbrushes to lightly push, nudge and press into place. The sausage at the top of the hookah was pressed flat using the flat ended clayshaper and left to dry.

Once the sausages were dry I used the craft knife to cut crisp edges into the uppermost sausage. Using the manual drill I drilled a small hole into the side of the hookah and glued one of the cones into place. I then shortened the cone to the desired length and drilled a small hole into the top of it to counter-pin the tube later on.

Finally I washed the whole piece over with the Tamiya putty as I did on the big mushroom.

However before connecting the tubing I had to finish the work on the Shaman himself so that I would be able to wind the pipes around him without risking needing to touch up the Shaman and battle with these very thin and fragile elements.

4) The Shaman

In the end I did not convert the Shaman nearly as much as I had planned. All I did was turn his staff into a sort of american-indian pipe.

This was done very simply by shortening the staff to the desired length and glueing the second Greenstuff cone I had made previously to the top of said staff.

Simple so far right?

I then rolled out a very thin Greenstuff sausage...

and wrapped it around the pipe end and cone, using the paintbrushes again, as if it were a piece of string.

Nearly done! (in the background you can see I tested the position of the tube)
And as a finishing touch I used the needle tool to refine the "stringiness" of this final detail.

5) Fixing and connecting the Hookah

I built up a resting place for the hookah using a ball of Milliput and one of GWs' medium slates that had a nice flat surface.

Then I simply glued the Hookah onto this flat slate and got out the Tube tool! This thing is brilliant: simply roll out a sausage of Greenstuff to the desired thickness (quite thin in this case) and then let it cure for about half an hour before rolling it between the two plates of the tool and hey presto!: tube!!! Before the putty completely cures use the brushes to give it roughly the curvatures your piece requires. In this piece before the putty cured completely I put it in place, first pressing one end into the hole drilled into the cone on the hookah, then draping the tube as I desired around the base to finally place it alongside the Shamans hand. Once the putty had completely cured I strengthened the connections with a small drop of superglue.

Then to finish up I cut a small piece of the remaining tubing and glued it to the other side of the Shamans' hand to have him actually holding the end of the tube at the same angle as the bone he originally had in this hand.

6) Flocking and even more mushrooms!!!

Okay we are nearly there! Congratulations for those of you who have had the patience to keep on reading until now!
I cut out some of the base with the craft knife to break the regularity of the base. Then I glued a few small slates around the base of the mega mushroom and at the feet of the Shaman. Using diluted PVA glue I glued a first layer of fine sand. Once this had dried I used superglue to fix some common dirt at chosen points.

Then fishing around my box of random stuff I found some little mushrooms I had made with remaining greenstuff ages ago:

I picked a few of them, drilled holes into the base at the chosen places and glued them in place. A second layer of superglued dirt blended their bases into the rest of the base.

And finally...


Because now he is finally ready to be painted and YOU have successfully survived my first attempt at a tutorial! 
Thank you!!

Now for the easy work to start (famous last words...)

Soon (-ish...) I will use this little guy for a few painting tutorials
Stay tuned!