Art: Hexokinase's Dragon Sculpture

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    Hexokinase's Dragon Sculpture

    Edit - I've decided to update my progress with the sculpture in this thread. Jump to post 12

    Original Post: "How do I strengthen wire mesh?"
    I'm working on a dragon sculpture using super sculpey. I'm using aluminum hangers as the armature for the bones in the wings. I have also acquired some wire mesh to use for the webbing of the wings. Though I have yet to apply the wire mesh, my first concern is that it's extremely thin, malleable, and could become flimsy once a thin layer of sculpey is placed on top.

    Is there any type of spray or liquid fixative that I could apply to the wire mesh to sturdy it up a bit? The wing span is about 22", so I'm looking for something that's easily applied to a relatively large surface area.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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    Last edited by Hexokinase; December 31st, 2009 at 05:29 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havoc-DM View Post
    I'm working on a dragon sculpture using super sculpey. I'm using aluminum hangers as the armature for the bones in the wings. I have also acquired some wire mesh to use for the webbing of the wings. Though I have yet to apply the wire mesh, my first concern is that it's extremely thin, malleable, and could become flimsy once a thin layer of sculpey is placed on top.

    Is there any type of spray or liquid fixative that I could apply to the wire mesh to sturdy it up a bit? The wing span is about 22", so I'm looking for something that's easily applied to a relatively large surface area.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
    Hello Havoc,

    Yes, wings can be pretty awkward and difficult to make. But, it's do-able of course and you have the best materials to do the job. I have a thread here in the forum and it may just help you out. (Well I hope it helps!)
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...=109738&page=9

    What would be a good idea is if you were to post up your progress shots and we can all try and help you out somehow.

    Best wishes!

    Kenshiro.

    Check out my scary monster thread!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=109738



    Want lotsa sculpture resources? Add some if you want to!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=154013

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    Thanks for stopping by Kenshiro. Here are some photos of what I have so far. In the 3rd image, the red shows how far along the body I envisioned the webbing. In the 4th image, the blue lines are markers where I'll insert 3 more rods from hangers.

    I took a look at your thread Kenshiro, and detaching the wings does seem like a great idea. Since I didn't prep the base armature for detaching, I could destroy the deltoid (marked by the pink dot in the 4th photo) and saw off the wings from there. I could use some epoxy to re-attach the wings at that point.

    I noticed that you cut your wings along the webbing. With my sculpture, I might be able to keep the webbing in as one solid piece attached to the wing, and once the webbing is hard I could insert it by slicing into the dragon's side.

    I'm worried that the wire mesh I have is a little too thin. I tried to demonstrate how easily it bends in the photo above. Since the wings wouldn't be stretched to its maximum range, I imagined having a few ripples in the webbing to show that it is not fully taut. The mesh doesn't seem sturdy enough to support the addition of sculpey in that shape though.

    Last edited by Hexokinase; December 28th, 2008 at 08:48 AM.
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    Hello Havoc,

    I'm glad that I can be of some help! My concern for your sculpt is that the weight of the clay *may* be too much for the wings to take, and I think it's because the armature may not be string enough. My only suggestion is that you take some clay off where the wings meet the body and add some more support, a much stringer support and not only wire. Try finding some strong support made from either brass or steel even. The stronger the armature, the more successful this will be.

    Don't be disheartened or put off by this, as your sculpt is looking really nice and I can see plenty of potential. The anatomy is spot on and it looks like it's going to be a dynamic piece. The experience I've had with wings comes from frustration, determination and plenty of trial and error.

    And as for the wire mesh, it's absolutely fine. It's the best material to use in my opinion. If you look at my little wings tutorial again, you will see that what I done was spread the clay all over the mesh, scrape off most of it so that it is 'filled', heat gun it, then add more clay to make the textures.

    Anyway, keep posting my friend! I'm sure there'll be other folks in here who can suggest something better for you. In the meantime, try experimenting on a scrap piece even?

    Best wishes dude!

    Kenshiro.

    Check out my scary monster thread!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=109738



    Want lotsa sculpture resources? Add some if you want to!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=154013

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    Thanks again Kenshiro

    Reinforcing the edge where the webbing meets the side sounds like a great idea! I'll have to chisel away a little epoxy underneath the deltoid to remove enough of the wing to add in the extra support. There's just enough room on his sides to fit the reinforcement.

    I think the armature for the wings might be strong enough to support the final weight. The upper and lower arm equivalent of the wings has 2 hangers as support. Once I remove the wings I might add in a third hanger for more reinforcement.

    For the webbing, I'm considering diluting some super glue to apply to the wire mesh. It might give the webbing a little extra stability to support folds in the webbing.

    Thanks for all the help

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    if i were you i would use a chickenwire mesh or apply strands of ss very lightly and bake them so that it will keep its shape

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    So it turned out that the epoxy that was holding the wings in place actually made up most of the mass of the deltoids. After several grueling hours of chiseling, drilling, and prying, I've eliminated all the excess epoxy and successfully removed the wings (surprisingly without injuring myself ). I now have room for interior support rod for the mesh. The back and deltoids were sliced off in the process, but it shouldn't be too hard to reconstruct.

    Thanks for the suggestion sculptingmonsters . I'll be heading out to the local Home Depot first thing in the morning to get some chickenwire mesh (or whatever sturdy mesh they have available). Using a few preliminary strips of cooked sculpey to hold the webbing folds in place seems like it would work. I'll give it a shot when I get the chance.

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    Hey Havoc,

    lol.. yeah it can be pretty gruelling when you have to change something! But well worth it for the sculpt that you have in mind and by the way, I checked out some of your artwork. I love the dragon designs you have, I assume you're using them for your sculpt? Ir is that just a dumb ass question? Anyway looking forward to seeing your progres mate.

    Best wishes!

    Check out my scary monster thread!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=109738



    Want lotsa sculpture resources? Add some if you want to!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=154013

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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamsorcerer View Post
    I love the dragon designs you have, I assume you're using them for your sculpt?
    Thanks Kenshiro
    Yeah, the sketches I have in the first page are for the sculpture, as is the last posted image on the second page. The other dragons in the sketchbook are not though (dragons have been my 'go-to' thing to draw). Some of the features from the very first post are being recycled in the head design for the sculpture though, since I'm not very original .

    In other news, I got my hands on a butt-load of aluminum screen from the local Home Depot. It's a lot sturdier than the old mesh I was using, and I have such a great surplus that I can experiment to my heart's content . Tonight I intend to finish the armature and webbing of the wings, and add in the armature for the horns, toes and hands for the dragon.

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    Mate the pose is excellent, i hope you haven't abandoned it yet! its has so much potential

    Every cloud has a silver lining; except for the mushroom shaped ones, which have a lining of Iridium and Strontium 90

    "Si vis pacem, para bellum "
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    Here is a great trick, white wood glue ! paint it on and let it dry! It becomes super strong and lightweight.You can build it up in layers after it dries. A little messy but it works great! Liquid starch works well also. Hope this helps!
    Mah ' Crub

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmi_B View Post
    Mate the pose is excellent, i hope you haven't abandoned it yet! its has so much potential
    Thanks Jimmi! Well this is embarrassing, as it seems I've forgotten to keep this thread updated . TLDR version: I've kept at it and will try to get it into the oven this week. If not then it'll have to wait for summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mah ' Crub View Post
    Here is a great trick, white wood glue ! paint it on and let it dry! It becomes super strong and lightweight.You can build it up in layers after it dries. A little messy but it works great! Liquid starch works well also. Hope this helps!
    Mah ' Crub
    Thanks for the tip Mah ' Crub! Since my last posting I've actually finished the webbing by stitching together two thick layers of sturdy wire mesh and applying the sculpey directly. Still, I appreciate the input
    _____________

    Though I have a few dozen progress shots, I'll post one of the latest here. If anyone's curious, I can post some more WIPs if wanted. Thanks for everyone stopping by
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    Mate that is brilliant
    any thoughts on colours yet?

    Every cloud has a silver lining; except for the mushroom shaped ones, which have a lining of Iridium and Strontium 90

    "Si vis pacem, para bellum "
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    This is looking excellent

    any close up shots?

    Earhole Bongsplat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mah ' Crub View Post
    Here is a great trick, white wood glue ! paint it on and let it dry! It becomes super strong and lightweight.You can build it up in layers after it dries. A little messy but it works great! Liquid starch works well also. Hope this helps!
    Mah ' Crub
    So paint pva onto the mesh to make a membrane?
    after baking i presume... i might try that on my next one

    Every cloud has a silver lining; except for the mushroom shaped ones, which have a lining of Iridium and Strontium 90

    "Si vis pacem, para bellum "
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    This guy's looking awesome! I call for some more shots too!

    Critters! Dinosaurs! Lovecraftian horrors! ~~~~~> My creature sculpting thread!
    The Savage Goldfish Blog

    "I started to see human beings as little lonesome, water-based pink meat, life forms pushing air through themselves and making noises that the other little pieces of meat seemed to understand."
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    @Jimmi_B: I haven't decided on a final color scheme yet, but I'm thinking of having a base color with another color as an accent (Yellow with black patterns are definitely one of the options). I'll post some photoshop mock-ups to get some opinions after he goes into the oven.
    ________

    First, a couple of old shots showing the epoxy esophagus where a simple led circuit will be threaded through after baking. The light in the mouth looks brighter on camera.
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    And some current shots:
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    (The wings are easily removable)

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    Thanks for looking


    _

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    The light in his mouth is an excellent idea!

    this will look very cool once you've baked and painted

    Earhole Bongsplat
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    Awesome!

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    That is brilliant mate i'm loving the LED in the mouth And the head in general is awesome

    Every cloud has a silver lining; except for the mushroom shaped ones, which have a lining of Iridium and Strontium 90

    "Si vis pacem, para bellum "
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    Looking great! The LED in the mouth is awesome. He looks huge--sure he'll fit in the oven?

    Critters! Dinosaurs! Lovecraftian horrors! ~~~~~> My creature sculpting thread!
    The Savage Goldfish Blog

    "I started to see human beings as little lonesome, water-based pink meat, life forms pushing air through themselves and making noises that the other little pieces of meat seemed to understand."
    -Devin Townsend
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