Apoxie Sculpt, a Giant Bear, and You

I have recently acquired Brun Cragback and Lug, a dwarf and his massive bear companion. These two will fight alongside my druids of the Circle Orboros, and the fact is that I love bears, so I was excited to get the duo. The giant bear, Lug, is hollow:

Hollow Bear!
Hollow Bear!

I saw someone else on the internet fill this verysame model with Apoxie Sculpt, and that seemed like a fun idea. So, this post is about building a bear, but it’s also about Apoxie Sculpt, a neat product from Aves, who can feel free to send me free stuff.

Using Apoxie Sculpt

Now, a quick overview with tips on how to use Apoxie Sculpt. First, what is it? Apoxie Sculpt is a two-part putty that is mixed together, can be molded or sculpted, and then cures to a very hard plastic-like solid within 24 hours. Here are some tips:

  • When first blended, it’s very crumbly and sticky, so do like the container says and wait 1 hour before trying to sculpt it. (If you’re shoving it in a mold, you don’t necessarily have to wait, but I think you get better results if you wait about 30 minutes.)
  • When you’re mixing Apoxie Sculpt, wear gloves! It’s not hazardous, but it seems like the stuff sticks to your skin and can be very itchy as it dries. Mix it with gloves on and set it aside for an hour – when you go back to it, you won’t need the gloves (in my experience).
  • Mix it very thoroughly – if you don’t, your final piece will have crumbly bits which will come right apart. You’ll possibly lose detail or structure, so just take the time to mix it well.
  • Apoxie Sculpt isn’t Green Stuff, so your Green Stuff skills won’t apply so much. It’s a bit like a clay, but it has its own set of properties, so it takes some practice. For instance, water can make it easier to work with, but unlike Green Stuff, water will actually make it soggy, so don’t use very much.
  • If using it in a mold (like Instant Mold, which I need to post about), Apoxie Sculpt doesn’t seem to take detail as well as a Green Stuff. I still could experiment with this more, but that’s my impression thus far.
4 lbs of Apoxie Sculpt
4 lbs is a lot.

Apoxie Sculpt is inexpensive compared to Green Stuff and most other products. You can order 4 lbs from Aves for $35.00, and trust me, 4 lbs is a HUGE amount.

Apoxie Sculpt comes in a variety of colors. I ordered “Natural” because it’s a nice, plain gray, and I thought that would make it easier to judge how something looks (sometimes, Green Stuff is too damned green, and it’s hard to imagine what it will look like when primed and painted). The downside of “Natural” is that the two parts are nearly the same color – I don’t have any other colors, but it looks like, for instance, the red Apoxie Sculpt has a gray part and a red part. That would make mixing easier! As it stands, with “Natural”, I just have to make sure that I’m really thorough with the mixing.

So, first we take equal parts of A and B:

Equal Parts A and B
Gray and slightly darker gray!

I tend to flatten out each half, then press them together and start the mixing. Smooth, twist, smoosh, twist, et cetera, et cetera, until the ball has a pretty even color.

Ball of Apoxie Sculpt!
And now, it's a fairly even gray.

Then, I filled Lug’s legs and belly with Apoxie Sculpt:

Filled bear!
Note that I have not let the ball sit out, so the Apoxie Sculpt was still very sticky when I pushed it into Lug, and when I stuck the pieces all together.

I pressed the pieces together, took out some extra Apoxie Sculpt, pressed them together again, adjusted, and put super glue on the metal lip around the body, then finally stuck the pieces together for good. And here is Lug all together:

Lug!
There's nothing better than a bear in armor. That basically made "The Golden Compass" movie for me.

There was Apoxie Sculpt left over, which I try to always prepare for. I’ll show you in my next post the many other uses for Apoxie Sculpt – it’s not really meant to be a model filler, after all.

One last thing, though – did you notice that Lug doesn’t look right? I did. Why? Because Lug only has four claws on each paw! Everyone knows that bears have five claws on each of their four plantigrade paws! Sure, very few mammals have a full five digits on each extremity (although they usually have signs of the vestigal digits), but c’mon sculptor – it’s just a Google image search away!

Actually, I assume the sculptor chose four claws because he could make them bigger without making the paws look too huge… but still!

 

Reposing the Woldwarden, Part 3

And now Part 3, the last installment of Reposing the Woldwarden!

In the last part, I explained that the body wouldn’t fit in between the hip plates on the legs, so I had to separate them. With the legs separated further, I could fit the torso piece in there:

Torso Power!
And, of course, the torso was mounted on a big ol' pin, because I am a pinning junkie.
Front View!
Here's a quick front view.

Now my plodding woldwarden is starting to come together. The arms were stuck on pins, of course, and placed into the sockets without much problem at all:

Arms!
This photo was taken with my iPhone, so it sucks. I think I lowered the left arm a bit after this picture was taken, giving the Woldwarden more of a "in the process of a slam" pose.

So, with the arms on, the last step was the head. Normally, the head fits on perpendicular to the shoulders. This would’ve resulted in a very bad look for my warden, who would’ve been staring at the ground. You could say, “Oh, Chuck, he’s checking to make sure he doesn’t trip over any roots or vines,” but we all know the Woldwarden has Pathfinder.

The solution – a pin! I first drilled a hole in the neck area of the torso. Then, I drilled a hole in the back of the warden’s head. By doing that, I was able to bend the pin once the glue set, putting the head at the precise angle I wanted. With that, my woldwarden looked like he was performing a solid slam maneuver against the enemy:

SLAM!
SLAM!

With that, the pose was done. The woldwarden is ready to go! But the angle at which he was standing wasn’t making me happy. So, using Apoxie Sculpt, I made him a nice rock to stand on, shoring up his overall body angle to be a bit more upright:

The Final Pose
The rock gave him just the angle I was looking for!

And here’s the finished woldwarden from the front! I am extremely pleased with this repose – sure, his arms are swaying in the same direction as his lead foot, but that’s why I think of this as a “slam” pose, rather than a walking or running pose. Maybe he just smashed through some obstacle. Maybe he just knocked a poor `Jack off his feet. Or maybe he’s just striking a sweet pose for the Circle Orboros yearbook. Regardless, the arm and the head are just great.

Finished!
"Hi there. Looking for some POW 15 fists? Cause I got those."

And with that, the woldwarden repose is finished! Of course, he has to be painted, and I’m still trying to practice and get better at that. But when I do get to painting my fancy guys, I’ll post pictures here!

Reposing the Woldwarden, Part 2

More woldwarden! In the next step, I cut the right arm above the elbow, in the wood part… where it would be easy to cover up the cut with Green Stuff.

Woldwarden Arm
I cut the arm with a rotary tool with a cutting wheel. It goes a little faster than a jeweler's saw, it's easier than trying to clip it, and it makes a basically clean cut.

I liked the shoulder joint, so with this cut, I can spin the forearm inward to make the pose a bit more… sensible. So, I drill a tiny hole in each piece of the arm, stick in a pin, glue it up, and get the following:

Arm back together
This didn't want to hold, so I had to glue it two or three times.

Now, back to the legs. Each leg, at the hip, has a plate along the woldwarden’s side that sticks up. At the angle I had glued the legs, the chest piece wouldn’t fit into between those two plates. This put me in a dilemma… I could clip the plates, or bend them, but I decided to just pull the legs further apart.

I put a longer pin in, and then tried to fill the gap with Green Putty. This was basically successful. Here’s a photo:

Woldwarden legs
The codpiece there is off-kilter, but you can't even notice it on the finished pose.

To make sure the pose would look alright when actually standing up, I stuck the legs in some wax. The wax is from a Babybel cheese – it works great for holding something for a bit (except the wax sometimes has to be wiped off the piece). In this picture, you can also see the first half of pinning on the body.

Woldwarden legs
Cheese wax! Lots of things come in handy on the minis workbench.

And here’s a side view:

Woldwarden Legs Again
You can see the woldwarden's gait is going to be a bit ponderous, but that makes sense for a giant made of rock and wood.

Next on Reposing the Woldwarden… putting it all together!

 

Reposing the Woldwarden, Part 1

It’s inevitable – when you love miniatures as much as I do, you will come across a lot of minis whose pose or look you don’t like. Sometimes, it’s specifically the appearance of a face, or a piece of armor, or a weapon. Somtimes, it’s just the pose.

So let’s talk about the woldwarden.

The woldwarden is a great-looking piece from the folks at Privateer Press for the Hordes game. This is my first Hordes & Warmachine post, but I ‘ve had an army from the Circle Orboros faction – a secretive group of murderous druids, cannibal barbarians, and their various warbeasts – for a few years now. I enjoy the Circle, as I’ve always been a fan of fantasy druids in most any setting, and their collection of wolfmen and natural constructs are appealing.

The woldwarden is a mighty construct made of wood and inscribed stone, towering over the battlefield with their mighty stone fists. Unfortunately, their sculpted pose is really goofy. I present Exhibit A:

Or he might be doing the Charleston. Or he might be one of those gameshow ladies who point their arms toward a product.

I don’t like the pose. First off, obviously, what’s his right arm doing? Is that supposed to be threatening? His footing is another concern – it looks kind of like he’s walking a tight-rope, since his right foot is a little too in-line with his left foot. Another problem with the model (which I don’t correct in my repose) is that the leading arm is the same as the leading foot. But that’s not how bipeds walk – the leading arm is the opposite of the leading foot when walking or running. Now, perhaps he’s meant to be shoulder-checking someone, which would mean he leads with the same shoulder as his leading foot, but… well, anyway, the pose just doesn’t sit well with me.

So recently, I added a woldwarden to my collection in pursuit of “fleshing” out my army with constructs. (Get it? Fleshing? Constructs? See, constructs don’t have flesh, so… y’know… it’s funny.) I knew even before I received my metal monstrosity that I would be reposing it. However, rather than really going crazy and cutting every knee and elbow, I decided to do as few cuts as possible. (If I add a second woldwarden in the future, I promise to go all-out.) Here’s how that started.

First, here’s another angle on the legs as they’re supposed to fit together:

Woldwarden legs
A different angle than the "official" image above, where you can see the legs want to tilt in towards each other.

In this angle, you can see better (I think) why I don’t quite like the leg pose. To make this an easy fix, I’ll just splay out the legs more to give him a, uh… “wide stance.”

woldwarden legs 2
This is attempt #1. Later, I learn I have to separate the legs more. Hooray!

That’s a start! But for the rest of the process, you’ll have to wait for the next installment.

Next Time on Reposing the Woldwarden: Fixing that awful right arm pose, widening the stance a bit more, and visualizing the final pose.