Once the Tshirt had cured, I started work on his camo cloak. The first part was to add the base that the cloak would be built on. I must admit that this was a bit tricky, but after a few attempts, I managed to get something I was happy with. I wasn't worried about the marks or uneven surface as all that would get cover when building the cloak, the important thing was to even a solid base to build the detail on.
Once it was cured, I mixed up some more GS but this time added more yellow into the mix to make it softer. I then used it to fill out the dips and get a more natural drop to the cloak as it curved over his buttocks so that it hung straight down. It worked pretty well, the only downside was how long it took to cure with it having less firming agent in the mix. I also built up the bottom right corner of the cloak at the same time. Once it had cured enough to work on, I started to add the folds of the cloak.
I then added the folds to the right side and the central fold which split off into two folds as they ran over the shoulders. At this point, it was all a bit rough but the plan was to let it all cure over a couple of days and then use really soft putty to smooth everything out.
Once I'd got the basic folds on the back of the cloak sorted, I started on he folds as they came over the crest. These turned out to be a nightmare and I really wished I'd done the cloak flowing from the chest straight from the start. In the end I only managed to get one set of folds done last night. Since the folds turned out to be a bit of a none starter, I decided that I'd have a go at the beret to see if I could cheer myself up, and that turned out rather well IMHO.
So, this is where I am right now, I'm pretty pleased with the t-shirt and the beret but I do feel that the cloak lets him down a bit. I just need to keep reminding myself that I am new to sculpting and so I can't expect it to come out perfect. Here's what I've learned so far ....
- I've found that sculpting has a very steep learning curve!
- It's very easy to mix up too much GS and waste half of it.
- You should always work in small bits building up into big ones.
- The more yellow you add to the mix, the softer the putty is but the longer it takes to cure.
- You shouldn't try to add GS that's started to firm up.
- Spending time making sure that the bottom of the cloak base is level and the corners aren't curved really pays off in the long run.
- Cloak folds are best done from start to finish and not in halves.
- Vaseline makes an excellent lubricant but you shouldn't say this out loud to your wife in the queue of the supermarket.
- Sculpting is time intensive but has lots of curing breaks, so I need something to be doing during those breaks to make best use of my hobby time.
- I am not a brilliant sculpter, but as long as I get better each time I give it a go, I don't really mind.
- Finally, I still can't work with metal sculpting tools!