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"sculpting laces" Topic

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917 hits since 26 Apr 2011
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45thdiv26 Apr 2011 7:37 a.m. PST

I have been working on doing laces on a shirt. Any good ideas as to how you can sculpt them and make it look like the real thing? I'd like to try my hand at some combat boots with laces as well.



Jovian1 Inactive Member26 Apr 2011 8:09 a.m. PST

Very fine wire. wink

45thdiv26 Apr 2011 8:20 a.m. PST

Wire – Really? I'm wondering how you make it look like it goes over and comes out of the lace hole. Seriously.


majorplatypus Inactive Member26 Apr 2011 8:43 a.m. PST

Take it in stages and take it slow. First sculpt the boots without laces, and make the holes where the laces will go. Let the putty cure fully.

Then mix up a new small blob of putty, and roll into a strip. Lay that strip out over where the laces will go, and press it down into a thin sheet. Give it 10 minutes or so to firm up a little.

Next, use your tool to cut away sections of the strip, leaving just the thin lines of the laces going in one direction. If you are confident in your skills, you can sculpt the laces going in both directions at the same time, but it may be easier to just do all the ones going one way first, and then let them dry, and go back and do the other ones the same way.

Anyways, let the putty cure a little more after you have the thin strips in place. Then just start working them with a tiny sculpting tool to push them either into the holes above the boot, or alternately under the lip of the boot edge as if they are coming out the bottom of that hole. Make sure that they are stuck good onto the figure, but also try to keep the edges crisp and even undercut a little so it looks like they are seperate.

Let them cure, and then do the laces going the opposite way.

Paintbeast Inactive Member26 Apr 2011 9:21 a.m. PST

Adding small portions of putty to a sculpt will generally result in a weak bond due to the lack of surface area.

- I like to roughly shape the area. So it has the general form without the detail.
- My next step is usually to press the lace hole with a needle…it won't look right at first, but place the lace hole right up against the rough form of the lace.
- Now I begin to press the details into the putty. As the laces are formed you will distort the lace holes, refresh them until you almost have the look you want.
- Once the detail is almost complete I work the lace into the lace hole. I use a thin piece of wire roughly half the thickness of the needle used to make the lace holes and press the laces downwards into the hole….this distorts the hole, and lace in just the right way (with a bit of practice).
- I find working from the top to the bottom is best. By starting at the top the natural sag and distortion you will create by moving the putty about will help you add gravity to the shirt/jacket/etc…and on boots it is easier to work any excess putty off the toe.

Important tip:
When you are done make a press mold of your boot laces….it will save you loads of time on future projects.

45thdiv26 Apr 2011 10:13 a.m. PST

Thanks Paintbeast and majorplatypus.

I work mainly with ProCreate and I do find that it's adhesion is not as good on low surface areas. I am just going to have to play with both of these suggestions and see what I can get comfortable with. I do like the natural sag effect that you mention Paintbeast.

A press mold. That is an idea. How do you make it generic enough to fit over the next boot? I wold expect that there is still a bit of fiddling with the laces even with the mold since they are not all going to be the same size.

Thanks again.


majorplatypus Inactive Member26 Apr 2011 12:05 p.m. PST

In order to get good adhesion, you have to get the putty on right after mixing…especially procreate. You can also warm the putty and/or the sculpt in your putty oven for a few seconds to make it even stickier. This will decrease working time, however.

As with most things sculpting, it is a matter of practice and preference, and there is usually more than one way to do things.

For flexible press molds, I like a product called quick-sil. This is marketed as a jeweler's silicone mold rubber. You mix the two colors of putty, and it cures to a hard but flexible rubber mold in about 15 minutes. great for duplicating details and applying them elsewhere, even if the overall shape is a little different. Note that press molds are rarely going to give you perfect detail…you generally want to go in and sharpen them up a bit after pressing -but they can save a ton of time!

45thdiv26 Apr 2011 1:54 p.m. PST

Thanks for that info – I'll have to look jeweler's silicone rubber.


eric68 Inactive Member24 Dec 2012 11:09 a.m. PST

Hey 45thDiv. Is that related to the 45th Infantry in Oklahoma, if so I also live in Ok, and would love to share sculpting tips. I am very new to sculpting, and mostly do sci-fi.

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