Sunday, October 18, 2015

NOVA Open Seminar - Scultping with Raffaele Picca of Massive Voodoo!

Scultping with Raffaele Picca


At NOVA Open, while I spent most of my time running demos and talking up This Is Not A Test, I did take the opportunity to attend a seminar with Raffaele Picca of Massive Voodoo. Raffa is a very approachable guy and it was a real honor to get to chat about sculpting and conversions generally. If you want to see more of Raffa's work, check him out on Putty & Paint or on Deviant Art.

Raffa and me

NOVA Open - Green Stuff Sculpting Seminar


 The seminar was quite small, I seem to recall there being six of us in the class. Since this was a seminar, we didn't get to do any hands on work. Looking back at it, I wish I had asked Raffa for the demo model that he used. The model was a ogre of some sort and during the class, we added a cape with a fur cowl. Raffa then added a chainmaille coif and showed us how to create some additions to shields, armor pieces, natural looking purity seals, scroll, and pouches. We played a bit with a chin strap, but that took what was already silly to a level none of us could sustain.

Raffa at work
We spent some time going through the process of creating a realistic looking skull including a discussion of the anatomy of an actual skull which is something many people don't consider when sculpting skulls. Raffa took some time to detail out a skull with a quick drawing to go through the most important areas of focus and put together a skull that is attached to the belly plate/armor on the ogre.

So here are my notes from the seminar....hope these are handy and encourage you to take on sculpting as well. This is not exhaustive of everything we covered and additional posts will be created to go through the various aspects of the seminar. If you weren't able to get to NOVA Open this year and aren't in Germany, be sure to make the trip next year. Massive Voodoo is lined up to once again do the seminars.

Wasteland Hulk

Sculpting Putty Comparison


I had only made one attempt at sculpting previously which was my Wasteland Hulk for This Is Not A Test. What I discovered with this attempt was later confirmed by Raffa and others in the seminar. Green stuff has a use, but generally speaking sculpting is not it. For the Wasteland Beast, I used the Gale Force Nine Green Stuff.

Final demo piece
The typical green stuff is very tacky/sticky and when you attempt to smooth it out, it stretches out. I had a lot of trouble with the green stuff on that sculpt because of these traits. While the end result was pretty good, when I attempted to pull out the torn pants of the orange jumpsuit the green stuff kept pulling and pulling. This ended with a nice torn/ripped pants, but getting to this point was frustrating. Raffa and others indicated that this is a normal experience. There are other "stuffs" available, but mostly they have the same properties. The differences come in the level of the tackiness and stiffness. Green stuff is good for fur and fires. The material can be pulled sharply or nicked to get the texture/shape necessary to represent the final product.

Magic Sculpt two-part resin
Raffa spent most of the time demonstrating with an alternate two part resin material, Magic Sculpt (Amazon ~$13). Magic Sculpt has a lot of advantages over the green stuff, but also has some limitations. Magic sculpt is also quite tacky when it is first mixed, but with some time, the material will lose some of the tackiness an become quite manageable. This is one of the drawbacks though, you have to mix the materials and then let sit. The material will stay pliable for some time, but doesn't get to the consistency that you want until it has set-up for about 1.5 hours. Magic sculpt is water soluble which means when you need to work it some, a brush or your fingers with some water and you can smooth or blend the material together.

First Sculpting Attempts

Cape addition
For my first sculpting attempt, I decided to do something very simple. I had previously started work on the Reaper Bones Well of Chaos ($3.29). I stopped at some point because of other projects and I was waiting to determine what my finish to it would be. The fountain is a fine sculpt, but I felt something was missing. At one time I had decided that a skeleton or something similar climbing out of the fountain would be interesting, but I have yet to find the right figure for the work. After the sculpting seminar, I decided it was time to get back to the piece, but to sculpt some simple tentacles coming out of the fountain.

Chaos Well base color + tentacles
I had painted up the fountain with Citadel Charadon Granite and given it a dry brush of Citadel Elf Grey. The engraved runes on the back of the fountain were painted Citadel Malachite Red. I gave the entire fountain a wash of Citadel Brown Wash.  This is where it sat for a long time...an embarrassing long time.

I knew I wanted the fountain to be alive in some manner and to have some liquid within the fountain, but I wasn't sure what or how to approach. At AdeptiCon, I picked up the Mud & Water Scenic Kit ($21.50) from Secret Weapon which I have planned for some Imperial Guard units with the Trench Works Bases. This kit also contains a bottle of Realistic Scenic Water (0.5 oz for $2.99), which was part of the solution. I had originally considered using a skeleton or something similar emerging from the fountain and I may go back to that for a different version, but after the sculpting class decided to play around with the Magic Sculpt to get a feel for the material, so I went with tentacles.

Chaos well in progress
There are some metal touches on the fountain which I painted with Game Color Tinny Tin for the internal components and Citadel Leadbelcher or the surround. The raised runes were painted with Citadel Beaten Copper. The interior of the well was painted Citadel Crimson Gore. To add some additional depth to the many cracks in the well Citadel Nuln Oil was applied to the cracks as a liner to deepen the color.

I sculpted up five tentacles to use for the interior of the well to provide the life to the well. These tentacles were just rolled out from the Magic Sculpt and though warned by Raffa, I indeed put twice as much as I thought needed together. Part of this was because I wasn't sure how many tentacles or how long I needed them and the other part was inexperience. So after the tentacles were rolled out, I used the rest of the magic sculpt to make some rocks which will be used to adorn the Reaper Bones piece that is in process. This was a process just to get familiar with how the Magic Sculpt feels and how to mix correctly, tackiness, and trying out the 1.5 hour pre-set before using.
Scenic water before curing

After the tentacles were painted, Realistic Scenic Water was added to fill the well and add some texture to the piece. This gave the piece the real look of a filled well. I definitely recommend to anyone working with this well to include some Scenic Water to finish off the piece. I wanted to add some layers to the water, so I added some of the Scenic Water and let set-up for a day. Then I added some Reaper Broken Bone paint in some streaks and with a sculpting tool spread it around a bit. I then added more Scenic Water to the well to bring the volume up again and then let it set-up for a day.

The tentacles on the sculpted head of the chaos fountain were painted Goblin Green and given a wash with Vallejo Model Color Brown Wash. I came back to the tentacles and painted the tip half with Vallejo Game Color US Dark Green. I then added some little splotches with Vallejo Game Color German Camo Green. I used the Citadel Goblin Green on the tentacles on the sculpted demon of the fountain. These were then given a Vallejo Model Color Brown Wash so they would match the tentacled menace emerging from the fountain.

Blood for the Blood God
The face was painted with Reaper Maiden Flesh and the eyes with Reaper Twilight Purple. I gave the face a wash of a mix of the Vallejo Brown Wash and the Maiden Flesh to highlight the nose and mouth. I then came back over with the Maiden flesh to highlight the cheeks. To keep the metal consistent, the headband was painted with the Vallejo Tinny Tin, but her armor was painted with Citadel Boltgun Metal. The armor was washed with Citadel Nuln Oil, but a heavy layer was added to the crease so it would stay like an ink. What appears to be a skeletal breast plate leading to a humanoid skull of some kind was painted with Citadel Broken Bone then washed with the Vallejo Model Color Brown Wash.
Fountain side view

The scull plates were painted with Reaper's Breast Cancer Awareness Pink. You can get this color free from Reaper with a $40 order during October. I washed the skull with Citadel Brie Tan-Green wash to add some depth and then came back with a light touch of the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink again.

All of the gems on the fountain were painted with Reaper Gem Purple. These will get a gloss coating to make them shiny.  There are a few gems and I am not sure if the eyes will also get the gloss coat.

Chaos Well final
Because this is a Chaos Well, I decided to try out the Citadel Blood for the Blood God technical paint. This has a great blood color and the consistency is a bit thicker than the typical paints. I added some streaks of blood trailing down from the corners of the eyes and the corners of the mouth which then continue down into the pool of the well.

This finished piece will make a nice addition to any dungeon and can act as a critical component during a campaign story line. I do think that I will need to get at least one to paint up without the tentacles and with calm water. There are lots of possibilities with this fountain, so have a little fun.