Super Chibification Workshop – Evolution

Welcome back to what I like to call the Super Chibification Workshop! This is where I’ll be documenting my attempts to sculpt three Chibi figures from scratch, to represent some of my friends and fellow bloggers. The three ‘lucky’ recipients of this dubious honour are Steve Gilbert, Hilary Gilbert and Tarot Hunt, who contribute to the wonderfully insightful and interesting blog, The Gamer’s Cupboard, which can be found here.

The first part of this series of posts can be found here, where I explained my design process and the creation of armatures.

So, what have we got for Part Two? Well, previously I’d only created the armatures and begun work on two of the three figures, so felt that I should really start the third figure, to represent “Clockwork Mage Stevie”.

Looking at my initial design ‘doodle’, I decided that whilst the picture gave me an idea of what the final figure should look like, the pose wasn’t particularly dynamic (or heroic looking, eh Steve?). As the general concept for the ‘character’ was a steampunk-ish mad scientist, with massive gauntlets to harness the elemental forces of lightning (similar to Rasputin’s big-ass gloves in the Hellboy movie), I felt that the left arm should be thrust heavenward and the right arm thrust forward, unleashing the power gathered within.

Bearing this in mind, I created my armature in this pose, then added some Milliput to create the torso and head. And this is the result:

It’s almost an en garde pose, but is suitably dynamic and shows that this character means business.

Next, I want to talk about breasts. Being a man, I do tend to look at women’s breasts – I could claim this is a genetic disposition, whereby I’m subconsciously weighing the particular woman’s capabilities as the potential mother of my children, but women appreciate honesty (apparently), so I’ll come clean. I look because I can and it makes me happy. I feel so much better to unburden myself like this…

Anyway, I’ve never sculpted the female form before and the differentiate a Chibi male from a Chibi female, the figure needs to have breasts – ideally of the same size.

So, taking two small balls of putty, I applied these to the chest of the figure that I intend to become “Pulp Avenger Hil”. Unfortunately, applying them as separate balls means that they ended up being two different sizes and not in the right place. Scraping the putty off, I had a bit of a re-think, then rolled a short, thick sausage of putty, applied it in the right area, then blended in the edges, making sure that the slope of the breasts looked correct. I then created the cleavage by indenting the centre of the sausage, then carefully worked around each breast until I got a shape I was happy with. As Chibi figures tend to be somewhat exaggerated, this has lead to me being quite generous. However, no-one can argue that this isn’t a woman now…

Having been pretty successful with this figure, I then moved on to Tarot’s breasts – by which I mean the breasts on the figure that will become “Shrine Guardian Tarot”, obviously. Using the same technique, I then sculpted the figure’s breasts and cleavage, and this is the result:

Looking at both pictures, It does now occur to me that I need to shape them a bit more, so will probably need to take my needle files to both figures. As the putty had started to become unmanageable, that’s where I left it.

New day – new putty. Having only added the torso and head to Steve’s figure, I concentrated on getting a bit more putty onto the armature, so that it was at the same stage as the other two.

This required the adding of thighs, calfs and upper arms, which were each individually added as small blobs of putty, which were then blended around the armature and shaped to the necessary proportions for the body part involved. This generally means that each particular part looks like an extended pear or flattened ellipse, as can be seen from the picture below:

Ideally, as each limb will be covered by clothing, you shouldn’t really make them too thick, so some judicious filling will be necessary on the figure above, to define the muscles a bit better and thin the limbs. This is the advantage of Milliput, as once it sets, it can be filed with no issues. I also decided to bulk out the head a bit more, as having checked some images of Chibi figures online, I realised that their heads are massive!

Moving on to the figures for the girls, I added upper arms and bulked out their heads as well, with results as below.

Currently, all three figures look like Grey aliens, with massive oval heads. The next stage is to add forearms and more bulk to their heads. Then the fun really begins, as I start to add the clothing that will begin to define each figure as an individual.

As there are, without doubt, people out there reading this who are far more talented at this kind of thing than me, any feedback or constructive advice would be appreciated.

Join me next time, where we may be back in the SC workshop, or it may be Part 3 of The Way of the Crow, or I might have actually painted some figures!

That’s why it’s called the Buffet – as you never quite know what’s on the menu!

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45 thoughts on “Super Chibification Workshop – Evolution

  1. Great posting Jez, with some very nice pics of all your hard work. Quite the buffet as you say 😉 I’ve always got the greatest of admiration for people who sculpt and these are coming along great guns. Looking forward to the next instalment, or Way of The Crow, or something actually getting painted 😛

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    • Thanks Simon. Having only ever fully sculpted two figures before, one being a classic sheet ghost and the other the cryptid Mothman, this is a bit of a learning experience for me. But if you don’t try, you’ll never find out if you actually can. I’m a bit worried that my ambition is greater than my skill AND that those I’m doing it for are watching every step of the way. Let’s just hope that the end results meet everyone’s expectations.

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    • Thanks Michael. As I consider myself a beginner at this kind of thing, I thought it might be interesting for people to see how I go about it – warts and all. If my efforts inspire people to have a go themselves, all the better.

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        • Thank you very much, Hil. *blushes*
          As my previous forays have mainly been conversions of existing figures, this is my first attempt at ‘proper’ figures, so I’m as interested as everyone to see how well I do.

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  2. I’d leave the warts out as Hil and Tarot don’t seem to have those??

    Jez I’m not a sculpter, or even a converter of miniatures but I still think you’re doing a great job here, I don’t think there can be any complaints floating over the Irish Sea regarding the way these Chibis are coming.

    I’m glad you feel unburdened by your confession if it’s any consolation breasts make me happy too…..phew is it warm in here? **he says sitting in a freezing cold response car on a night shift** prob time for another cup of tea…

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  3. Much to admire here, Jez. I’ll offer a few words of advice which might help your sculpting of breasts. I have sculpted quite a lot of female figures and it is not always necessary to make breasts out of two balls of putty. I do this only if the figure is showing cleavage. If she is going to be covered up then just add a sausage of Milliput to the breast area and smooth it down. Make sure you smooth more on the top half of the breasts than the bottom half. Unless your female has had overinflated breast implants, breasts should not look like a pair of footballs stuck on her chest. Natural breasts follow the laws of gravity, so most of their weight is in the lower half. Also, it is much better to start small. It is far easier to add more putty than to remove it. Bear in mind, you’ll be adding clothing so make allowances for this. Sculpting the human body is not easy but you’re doing well, so far.

    As for sculpting Chibi heads, the head should be roughly the same size as the rest of the body. At present your heads look too small but that could change a lot once you add hair, so I wouldn’t worry too much. All in all, you’re doing well so far and I admire what you’re attempting.

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    • If its any help, Hil is rather… um.. well endowed…. very much like Pamela Anderson (except Hil`s are very real). I believe she is a very pert Double D. As for Tarot, hmmm, well I don`t really get to study those to the same degree, only from across a chair while playing D&D or something *grins innocently* She`s pretty pronounced too, but she is very fit, strong, and athletic, so probably quite muscle-y… in a very feminine way.

      By the way I absolutely LOVE the Hellboy films. And I so get Rasputin’s big-ass gloves. I truly can`t believe how amazing it is that you are doing this, and I (no… WE) are watching this with excited and baited breath. The fact we can see this every step of the way with such cool photos makes it even more intense.

      And… way to go mate, a heroic looking Steve (hey that`s meeeeeee) with a steampunk-ish mad scientist look, harnessing the primeval and natural elemental forces of lightning…. oh wow yessss… Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn…. Cthulhu,… Cthulhu… Cuthullhu Uuug R’lyeh,,, He’s coming! Oh, he’s coming!!!!!!!

      I am loving what you are doing Jez, THANK you for everything.

      “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

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      • Well…Thank you for providing far too much information, Steve. *stops to pour bleach into brain*
        And I do listen – you wanted ‘heroic’, so that’s what you’re getting. And who doesn’t love the Hellboy films? The second was just as good, if not better, than the first. The tooth fairies were suitably nasty and Mr Goss made an excellent villain – much better than the one from Blade II.

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      • {{Tarot, hmmm, well I don`t really get to study those to the same degree, only from across a chair while playing D&D}}

        You do realise I`ll never be able to lean across that table innocently and throw my dice ever again.

        That’s it, I`m coming to the next session in a heavy overcoat.

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    • Thanks for the advice, Bryan. I did find them quite challenging. When comparing the size of the breasts I’ve made (weird conversation) with existing female figures I own, they do look roughly the right size, I just need to reshape them somewhat.
      As for the heads, the initial putty was to get an idea of the proportion – Chibi heads are far more rounded. Currently they look like Rugby balls, so they will increase in diameter.

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  4. No advise just keep going in the direction you are and you should be fine!

    P.S. I like breast too, though lately I’ve been having some worrying thoughts about figures bottoms! (this came to light while I was re-sculpting Aftershocks).

    Hmmmm, hopefully it’s just an age thing. Cheers Roger.

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    • Thanks Roger. Now you’ve been kind enough to send me some green stuff, I might be using a little bit of this on them, once I’ve familiarised myself with its properties, as I feel it will probably be better for detail work.

      As for the bottom thing – if women will constantly ask “does my bum look big in this?”, then it becomes a Pavlovian response that we’ll look at women’s bums. I blame them…

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  5. “As for the bottom thing – if women will constantly ask “does my bum look big in this?”, then it becomes a Pavlovian response that we’ll look at women’s bums. I blame them…”

    I wonder if Kim Kardashian askes this…and if so what response doers she want?

    You can alter the working properties of Greenstuff by changing the ratios of blue to yellow slightly more blue less sticky (I often cut away a little yellow before I mix it, and tend to just use strips about 4mm long to a full width. if you find it drags on your tools (sometimes you want this sometimes not) by dipping your tools (stop smirking!) in a touch of water they will slide over the putty easier. Sorry I meant to give you a length of the Greenstuff at Salute (where I bought enough to last me the next ten years!) but forgot.

    Oh yes and if you keep the majority of it in a sealed bag or container in the freezer, it’ll last for years! (I just snap off about an inch and a half at a time and store this in my sculpting box with my tools.

    Cheers Roger.

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