My First Attempt at Sculpting

For a long time I had the idea to try my hand at sculpting a miniature. However, when I read about sculpting or watched tutorials, I usually got intimitated. Everything seems so easy and the result is usually perfect! Add to that the comment of one sculptor that, if you can draw something, you can sculpt it. It probably was intended to show that scuplting is not that difficult, but for me, it had the opposite effect, as I can’t draw for the life of me.

Recently, I was looking for civilians or figures that could be used for vignettes for my 15mm napoleonic project. Specifically, I was looking for something like this lovely set from Brigade Games, as I had just watched the movie The Duellists. To my surprise, there is very little out there in that scale – it seems that people mainly play huge battles in 15mm and need all the space for their big battallions…

So I decided to have a go and try to sculpt a figure myself. To make my life easier, I used a dolly I once bought from Alternative Armies. As soldiers usually took off their uniform when duelling, keeping only the shirt (or sometimes fighting even bare-chested), I didn’t have to sculpt an elaborate uniform.

I used the one labeled I. As the left foot is forward, I decided to make my duellist a left-handed swordsman. I added wire for the arms and the sword and then started to apply Green Stuff.

To my surprise, the limbs were actually not that difficult! The dolly helped a lot of course. The hands were more difficult, but I did manage them in a way, and many 15mm figures only have rudimentary hands anyway. The face was a bigger problem and I’m not really happy with how it turned out.

I used Milliput for the nose, as I couldn’t get a decent one done with Green Stuff. When I painted it, I realised that the nose was not the main problem, but rather the too round face and the mouth. Well, I’ll try to improve it next time.

I painted him with the trousers of a Chasseur à Cheval. When I showed him to my mates, Virago immediately said “Inigo Montoya” while Sigur said “Guybrush Threepwood”, both association I like very much!

Despite the obvious flaws, I’m pretty happy with my first sculpt and I definitely want to do his opponent. But I guess I’ll use a ready-made figure for the uniformed second…

6 thoughts on “My First Attempt at Sculpting

  1. Nicholas July 16, 2021 / 8:20 pm

    Faces are hard. :-/ After all, we look at faces every day so we immediately see any flaws in the sculpts. But 15mm is very forgiving, too — this looks great! I’d be proud to have this as part of one of my armies.

    • Thomas Brandstetter July 16, 2021 / 8:27 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! I will definitely continue sculpting, let’s see if I can improve.

  2. Pete S/ SP July 17, 2021 / 1:34 am

    Great work- I’m very impressed- I struggle to make a convincing sandbag out of green stuff.



  3. richardthebeard July 18, 2021 / 1:53 pm

    Well, I think you’ve got a jolly good sculpt for your first attempt! Carry-in on like that, and I can see, in a year or so, a jolly good range of 15mm figures! Well why not? As you say, there’s not a lot of ‘civilian’ / non-playing figures produced in 15mm, so you might be the one! Good luck, anyway! 😊

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