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Old 01-05-2021, 12:10 AM   #1
Clayburn Moore
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Classic Black Panther

Well, here we are in the New Year. Letís hope things improve over 2020 and soon. So far it's looking like a SS and I don't mean Sideshow.

But on to the subject of this Forum: Statues. Today, weíll talk about the Classic Black Panther figure I did for DST. During my time at DST I often discussed with Chuck (Terceira) which characters to do that Marvel collectors would like and we discussed who would work on which projects, but that wasnít the case on this project. Chuck asked me if I would like to do the Black Panther and I immediately said that I would love to do the Black Panther. Fantastic Four was always my favorite title and I even have the Pantherís first appearance in FF #52. I read it when I was a teenager the first time. I thought that Marvel did a fantastic Black Panther film and that Chadwick Boseman was superb in the role. We all lost a wonderful actor when he passed.

When he suggested the Black Panther, Chuck already had a design and it was already sketched out. I suggested a couple of fairly minor changes and when we got approval from Marvel, I got started. Here is the approved concept and my initial roughed in figure. It's interesting to see after all these months. It looks pretty awful, really. At the beginning they always do. But every time I sculpt a piece I have to find my way to the character at first. If I had just completed a female or a huge male or a creature, it would usually take a little time to wrap my mind around the new look and this process always helps that along.

Obviously there's a long way to go. Every piece I do starts with an aluminum and copper wire armature. Then I build the figure a piece of Sculpey at a time.
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Old 01-05-2021, 02:45 AM   #2
qz33
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Thanks for story and the insight into the process. Sometimes the how can be even more intriguing than the final product. I love seeing J Scott Campbell's composition sketches and light box work.

I've been meaning to ask someone in the industry: What's the usual casting process like? After you finish with the clay is it covered in something slick then covered with silicone? Is a fiberglass mold first?

Also it's been said on these forums that PVC captures the most detail. That true? Is there a type of resin you prefer a statue be cast from?
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Old 01-05-2021, 12:45 PM   #3
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Love this kind of background story.
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:14 PM   #4
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Great in put on the process! Thanks for sharing... Kabuki is the one I loved reading and reviewing by and by on how you are able to capture the subtle nuances of the human form especially on a small scale figure.
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Old 01-05-2021, 06:18 PM   #5
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This is so amazing - thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:53 PM   #6
Clayburn Moore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz33 View Post
Thanks for story and the insight into the process. Sometimes the how can be even more intriguing than the final product. I love seeing J Scott Campbell's composition sketches and light box work.

I've been meaning to ask someone in the industry: What's the usual casting process like? After you finish with the clay is it covered in something slick then covered with silicone? Is a fiberglass mold first?

Also it's been said on these forums that PVC captures the most detail. That true? Is there a type of resin you prefer a statue be cast from?
It's interesting that traditional sculpting and digital rendering aka digital sculpting actually converge in the prototype process. My original must be molded so that three castings can be made. One for production which is not painted and two which are painted. One stays in the U.S. and one goes to China. The one in the U.S. is used to match the Counter Samples the factory sends back after working on establishing the paint process for the edition using the paint master sent to them. Counter Samples are the first pieces made by the production managers at the factory and one or two are sent to DST in this case as a sort of "What do you think? How are we doing?" step. Input is given and the factory proceeds with the production.

In digital work, once the piece is finished and approved, it is printed out in 3-D. That piece is then molded, just as the master I sculpted is molded after approval. Michael Measles, who molds my pieces, sprays a mold release over them so they separate more easily when the mold is cut open. The mold is typically done in silicone rubber and the castings made from that mold are in polyurethane resin, which is strong and slightly flexible. No outside mold, or "mother mold" is made. Michael makes a simple box mold, which uses a lot of silicone, but leads to cleaner seam lines. He could do a "Glove mold" which can be googled, but it's a more thin rubber mold surrounded by a supportive "Glove" on the outside.

Polyurethane is a very expensive resin and so the factory does not use it in production. They use polyester resin mixed with porcelain powder (cold cast porcelain) or polystone, a much cheaper product made from polyester resin and stone powder. Powdered porcelain is a finer material and gives the statue more of a feel of porcelain.

Note that the printer could print out three prototypes, but I think the above is the more common method.

I hope I explained this clearly. Thanks for the question!
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the insight, Clay. It’s much appreciated.

During COVID I’ve been messing around with my statues doing customizations, repairs and repaints for the first time and I’ve found so much peace in getting lost in my little “art” projects...especially these days as the world seems to be tearing itself apart.

Question for you: On average how much (How many pounds of) Sculpey does it take to make a 1/8-1/6 scale Human clay Figure/statue (not including the base)?

The reason I ask is I feel I’m using too much clay and as a beginner the answer is always “more clay!” When I have the feeling a pro’s answer is less clay. Thanks man!
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The SHOGUN View Post
Thanks for the insight, Clay. Itís much appreciated.

During COVID Iíve been messing around with my statues doing customizations, repairs and repaints for the first time and Iíve found so much peace in getting lost in my little ďartĒ projects...especially these days as the world seems to be tearing itself apart.

Question for you: On average how much (How many pounds of) Sculpey does it take to make a 1/8-1/6 scale Human clay Figure/statue (not including the base)?

The reason I ask is I feel Iím using too much clay and as a beginner the answer is always ďmore clay!Ē When I have the feeling a proís answer is less clay. Thanks man!
Hi Shogun,

I'm going to stop myself from commenting on America "tearing itself apart". It's not easy. I've known Danny a long time. He knows how vocal I can get on things and where I stand. He always reminds me that this is a haven from politics, a place people can think about other things. It's difficult after yesterday's SS...

Okay. I use about a regular box and a half of Super Sculpey mixed with a little brick and a half of black Sculpey III to get a medium gray block of sculpting material. I like sculpting in gray as it looks like clay to me. This is usually a little more than enough, but it depends on the character. The Thing and Thanos took more, of course. If there is any left over I use it on the next piece, mixing it into the next batch. That is for a figure, but bases can vary in amount necessary, of course. Use a bit of Vaseline if the Super Sculpey is hard. It will soften it up. It's hard to say how much. Maybe the amount of toothpaste you would put on a toothbrush to start and add accordingly. Avoid very hard Super Sculpey, though.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:53 AM   #9
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Sorry, you said "the world". I didn't intend to change your statement.
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Old 01-08-2021, 05:17 AM   #10
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Hi Clayton, I own a bunch of your sculptures. I was wondering if you were involved in the DS Silver Surfer statue that goes with the Thor statue and why a backdrop wasn't used to connect the Surfer with the Thor base. Looks like they settled on a cosmic tornado base that doesn't at all tie-in to the Thor/Asgard design. Any thoughts?
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