Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sometimes Art Just Works

Every so often when I am sculpting, I mix up more putty than I need for what I am working on. Most of the time, I have another sculpt that I can put it to but every so often I am in a place where there is nothing that can be done on any of my existing projects or I do not have them around. Depending on how much putty I have left over I'll usually do little bits and what I call "doodle" sculpts. This time, however, I had a substantial amount of green stuff left. So, I decided to grab a stray wire frame and try my hand at making a truly alien alien.

The initial results were pretty satisfying and what I ended up with is something I like to think of as a land mollusk gone intelligent species. I made it tripodal so as to enforce the alien appearance. I also decided against any obvious limbs and a face, giving it a fourth appendage that is a sort of combination of sensory and feeding apparatus - a "head". The initial sculpt was simple but relatively undefined and the putty didn't go far enough to fill in all the gaps.

I had my start and what was a random push of putty with some leftovers now gave me the foundation to start to work on something fun and new.

Deciding that the shell lacked texture and that the silhouette was a bit soft, I mixed up some procreate and started shaping a couple of striated shells spires ad flared out the bottom edge of the shell. This was textured with some ridging to make it look more like the barnacles I have seen at the beaches. I also added a bit of shell around the neck hole.

Looking over the legs they seemed to need some bulking up and some more texture. So I fleshed them out with some wrinkly tissue, trying to avoid any hardly defined limbs. I was going for a sort of fluid musculature like we see with some invertebrate life.

Again I mixed too much putty and so I shaped it into the first of the two weapon systems (see above).

I started with the basics of some sort of heavy weapon and a missile pod. These were designed with a sort of biotech style. I didn't want to go with the whole weaponized organism style that are popular with many biological weapons, but more the idea that these were still machines but built with biological components. Of course, if they had weapons they now needed a way to weld them in battle.

While a single manipulating limb might allow them to work together to develop technology and of course that technology would lead to other technologies to aid in their existence, battle requires the ability to manipulate a weapon in a useful and effective manner. Enter manipulator harnesses.

These aliens would have developed artificial manipulators to help them with technical and military applications. I constructed the manipulator arm with a ball at the end and all the weapons have a universal cup to mate up with the ball. The base of the arm will also have a ball on it that will fit into a socket in the part of the harness system that will be sculpted on the body. This will allow the finished model to allow some variation in the configuration of the weapon.

I have to admit that this sculpt that started as a whimsical jaunt with some spare putty has captured my imagination and really inspired me to try new things and a complex design. It'll be fun to see where it goes.



  1. I like it. These types of sculpts really suit the SHM line if they are unique and also the Loud Ninja Games line if they can form a force or pack. Keep at it!


    1. This has been one of those serendipitous projects that just clicked.

  2. The imagination and some spare time can surely bring one a lot of fun and joy.
    Nice work there, Eli.

  3. I enjoyed watching this come together on Facebook; it's definitely a step further offworld from the traditional rubber-suit aliens we're more used to (I blame "Star Trek").

    1. It is a fair argument to say that the limited scope in minis come from the popular origins of the genre .

      When it comes to miniatures, there are a lot of designs and concepts that are just a nightmare to produce as miniatures.


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