My sculpts start out with a metal armature that defines the basic structure of the sculpt. I make most of my armatures out of stiff brass rods, using solder or epoxy putty to secure the joints together. I may use the premade, advanced human dollies sold by Reaper Miniatures for humanoid figures as well. For a larger piece, I may use steel rod for the added strength.
I sculpt primarily in Kneadatite sculpting putty both the Green Stuff and the Brown, depending on the needs of the sculpt. Depending on the circumstances, I may also use Milliput putty. Recently, I have also been dabbling with FIMO polymer clay. If the material I use is important to you, please let me know as we work ou tthe details of your sculpture.
For tool lubrication, I use water, petroleum jelly, and/or my own skin oils, depending on what I am doing. I use a variety of tools while sculpting, but my favorites are a leaf bladed dental spatula, a scalpel, a selection of clay shapers, and a few special tools that I forged myself.
As with most mini sculptors, I sculpt using an additive process. Unlike traditional subtractive sculpting where you start with a block of material and work down to your sculpture, mini sculpting starts with a skeleton (the armature) and you add material to build the sculpt. I tend to be a bit obsessed on the anatomy of what I am sculpting, sculpting not only the finished form, but first the bones, muscles and tissues of the creatures I am doing. This is an approach that I feel most comfortable with and feel it gives me a more realistic feel to my sculpts.
I find reference photos and art to be essential to my sculpting, and I spend a lot of time looking for and drawing both finished art concepts and anatomy studies.
I prefer to paint metal miniatures, but am fine with plastic and resin as well. I paint everything using Reaper’s Master Series paints and my trusty Windsor Newton Series 7 brushes. I tend towards a very natural palette, using a lot of earth tones. That is not to say that I don’t do bright colors, but instead that I feel most comfortable when there is a lot of brown on my palette.
I only use 100% real electrons in my writing, though I cannot ensure that all of them were made in the USA. I do also photograph my own work using my Canon Powershot and my photobooth.