This project started out in an unusual way for me... salvaging a previous jewelry design that didn't work out quite as I imagined. I had recently finished a sculpt, but the finished product has been shelved (who knows for how long!). I decided to use it as a jumping off point for a new piece! I made a mold of the previous sculpt, and poured a copy in Monster Clay. I then cut off the arms so that they could be sculpted from scratch in a new pose. This was the beginning.
Next I added the wings, shown here in an early stage. I like to make my wings slightly smaller than would be realistic. To achieve flight with a dragon of this size, the wings would need to be considerably larger. In my experience, sometimes it's best to go with what looks right, rather than what would be accurate. You can also see the textures coming together.
Into the mold box he went! I use Lego for my mold boxes for a bunch of reasons. It's durable, reusable, and most of all... it's EASY! The Lego can be easily shaped to suit the piece you want to cast, and reused almost endlessly. Plus, it's Lego, and Lego is fun :P
This dragon was sculpted in Monster Clay, which is an oil-based clay. Although it is a wonderful sculpting medium, it can't be cured, so I was reasonably sure this little dude wasn't coming out of the mold in one piece.
YIKES! Although this was to be expected, pulling him out piece by piece was awful. The mold looked good, so I was reasonably sure that it would work to make a new master... but seeing him like this after all the hours of sculpting was rough.
One good thing about Monster Clay, and the fact that it doesn't cure, is that it can be reused. So one day this same clay will make another sculpture.
The first castings came out beautifully! I was so relieved. They will serve as my new masters for making additional molds. I also cast three to paint as examples of different colours.
I add a little bit of colour to my castings because I find that the pure white of the resin is difficult to see, and awful flaws only show up when you go to paint them. It's much easier to trim them up when you can see the flash lines, and any bubbles.
These pieces were pressure cast, so bubbles aren't much of an issue. FORTUNATELY!