Who needs models when you have vegetables?

Since my last post, I’ve finished off the android and I’m pretty happy with how he came out:

He’s up on Putty and Paint, too, if you’re interested.

I’ve also finally finished all of my commission pieces with this recreation of the mallards:

They’ll be getting packed up and sent off to their new owner later this month, along with the scaups, whio, wood ducks and the dog on jetty.

So, what’s up next?

As those of you who follow me on Facebook might have noticed, I’ve been posting cryptically about vegetables. In particular, I’d been sculpting tiny, tiny carrots and potatoes and the like. These could be useful for any number of purposes, and I imagine a lot of people have probably done the same before for their dioramas and vignettes. I can’t think of too many models that would benefit from carrots, but I’m probably just oblivious.

Anyway, I thought I’d explain myself a bit, starting by showing off the result. Note that this is really just a proof of concept rather than a ‘finished’ work. The composition is pretty terrible and the painting was rushed, but I wanted to assess whether the idea was sound:

Hopefully it’s fairly obvious that I was aiming for a still life.

I’ve actually been thinking about doing still lifes for some time, but it turns out no one really does loose fruit and vegetable models (or at least not at the scale I like to work at – there are probably 120mm scale things around). The thing that grabs me about them is the ability to set a scene that has no characters in it. You can extend this idea to create scenes that imply someone’s presence, which is something I think I’ll try out for the next one, but I do like the simplicity and peace evoked by something like this.

I obviously also need to work on the composition. I’ve chosen to use the same plinth I put the ducks on for this one, but it could be that a slightly larger area will give me a bit more freedom and force me to really clutter it up carefully.

For anyone interested in how I made things, it’s all pretty simple.

Cloth was made by rolling a sheet of magic sculpt with some talcum powder. This stops it sticking to anything and means you can handle it without leaving fingerprints. I made a rectangular sheet and draped it over the base, which is just the plinth with a bit of sculptiboard stuck on. It was possibly a little too thick, so I had to force some of the folds into it (most folds are around the back) with a paintbrush handle.

Carrots were made by rolling some magic sculpt into a rough carrot shape over three short strands of copper wire. I don’t remember what gauge the wire is (maybe 0.25mm?) because I bought it about 15 years ago. If you check out craft websites, it’s easy enough to find and you’ll get more than you could ever possibly use. The leaves are fronds cut from some paper ferns and glued to the copper wire with PVA.

Cabbage is just a ball of magicsculpt with some strips of paper glued on in overlapping sections, then a bit of magic sculpt to round it out and tidy up.

The potatoes and radishes are just rough shapes that anyone can probably do better. If you’re interested in making your own vegetables, I recommend doing something more interesting than potatoes. You can always knock out some spuds with whatever putty you have left over at the end.

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