It’s been one of the hottest weeks I can remember for a long time. My reaction to the sweltering humidity has been to come home, drink and go to sleep. I did try painting but my studio is so sand-meltingly hot it’s truly unbearable. So, in the absence of my usual painty type stuff, here’s another retrospective continuing the creation of my long running Hulk vs Spider-Man sculpt.
After I made the wee maquette you saw in my last post I gathered my materials keen to get busy with the clay. But first, the pose needed a serious armature – a skeleton to stop it being all limp and floppy… (now, now; I can hear you making up your own jokes in the cheap seats…)
A quick sketch established both the scale of the Hulk and Spider-man and the positions of their major joints. This would be my guide when making the armature.
I used three gauges of annealed aluminium wire, the same type used for stop motion animation figures. This accommodating wire has the advantage that it’s had all of the ‘boing’ extracted. You bends it and it stays where you put it with no annoying spring.
Each figure had an armature made directly from the scale sketch you can see in the background. The two armatures were wedded to each other at the Hulk’s right hand and Spider-Bloke’s ankle and then bent to roughly the right pose using my little maquette as a guide.
This sculpture will have a lot of weight suspended away from the main centre of gravity so I wanted a hefty base with the figures firmly attached. I laminated two layers of MDF into a rough block, drilled two holes and bolted the Hulk’s feet to it using captive nuts epoxied into the Hulk’s feet – that’ll learn ‘im! The base will only be cut to size and shape once the whole sculpt is complete.
Feeling quite chuffed with myself I showed it to my sculptor chum Andy Bill. Now, he’s an extremely knowledgeable fella and when I asked his opinion on the finished armature he was very clear that he didn’t think it would hold. I don’t think he actually giggled, but maybe he should’ve.
So I strengthened it by covering it in a layer of Milliput epoxy resin (that’s the green stuff). This both locked it in position and made it really robust; or so I thought…