So, with the armature complete on my Hulk vs Spider-Man, it was time to start squidging on the clay. I decided to use grey Super Sculpey Firm, a polymer clay which stays soft until permanently set in a low temperature oven. My Allosaurus was sculpted in regular ‘pink’ Super Sculpey. But I found that it was really too soft. The warmth from my fingers rendered it so soft after working it for a while it was impossible to get any decent detail.
If anyone fancies playing around with polymer clays do be aware that they’re not without health warnings, even though they are marketed heavily at kids. The plasticisers they contain, phthalates, have been linked to an increased risk of some forms of cancer following prolonged exposure. Play carefully.
If anyone’s interested here are most of the tools I use, many from Tiranti sculpting supplies. Of these the ‘spoon’ next to the brush is my weapon of choice for most of the sculpting. But frankly, if pressed, I use pretty much anything which looks useful.
In these early stages I planned to simply bulk out both figures equally, but I started with the Hulk to get the weight in there. Blocking in all the big areas roughly and getting their proportions right from the start should pay dividends later – good foundations. I knew those life classes in the eighties would pay off one day.
Sadly, my enthusiastic start suffered a few knocks. I immediately found an unforeseen problem. The clay really didn’t stick very well to Milliput epoxy putty. But after a bit of persistence I got it to work.
Another problem emerged with support for the hands. I’d deliberately left any structure off until I could see exactly where the wrist and fingers would need to end up. Unfortunately not a bright move. I had to do a fair bit of bodging to attach some thin wire onto the forearms with epoxy. Next time I’ll weave the arms out of five strands of finer wire from the get-go so I can branch the fingers wherever needed.
It was when I got onto blocking out Spider-man I knew I was in real trouble. The key position of the Hulk’s hand gripping Spidey’s ankle just wasn’t right. The Milliput core wouldn’t accommodate the correct position, it was well in the way. So out came the Dremel and I hacked back the armature with predictable results…
And so it was, inevitably, that something snapped and Spidey fell off. Bugger.