Tutorial: Hair Sculpting Part 1
Hey all! It’s been a while, and I felt like it was time for a new tutorial. Just a small one here, but a process I use on a lot of figures. Hair sculpting can make or break a figure. If you notice a lot of customizers will make a great figure, and then top it off with a pile of goop on top of the head, and it really ruins a figure. The best thing to do with hair is keep it simple. You want something that is a representation of a hair style. For inspiration I like to use Masters of the Universe Classics figures, DC Universe, and Marvel Legends. The one thing they all have in common is larger strokes for definition separating the strands of hair.
The figure I used for this tutorial was a customer original character, built on a MOTUC base with a ML Thor head. I needed to sculpt a simple short hair, Beatles mop topish style. I started by heating the factory hair for 30 seconds and prying it off of the head. BE VERY CAREFUL with whatever tool you are using. It is easy to slip and hurt yourself. Once the hair is off you need to get your tools. For almost all of my sculpting, especially hair, I use 3 tools. My exacto knife, a dentist tool, and a metal pick. You don’t need the same tools but find some you like. Everyone has their favorites (links to buy tools).
The sculpt I use is Aves apoxie 2 part sculpt. Aves is the most durable and hard. Mix equal parts of each and you get about 30-60 minutes until it becomes tough to manipulate. Once you are done sculpting, I like to let it sit over night before sanding or painting (links to Aves). The last thing you will need is a dish of water for cleaning, and it also helps keep the apoxie fresh and helps manipulate it.
The first step is to mix the amount of apoxie you need, and make sure you mix it into one color with no streaks. Place it on the head and give it a basic cover. Next use your exacto to trip in into shape. From there you need to use the dentist tool, or a tool with a dull, flat edge to give the hair more shape closer to the style you are going for. Be sure to keep note of the ears and bottom of the head. Once you have the basic shape use your metal pick to drag a main groove where the part of the hair will be. I drag the tool instead of pushing so that it doesn’t dredge up the sculpt off the head. It helps to dip the tool in water or wet the sculpt to keep everything from sticking together. Once you have the part you can start to drag and design strands. I keep them thicker at first since you are going for a representation rather than trying to show every stand of hair. This is a time where less is more. Finally, add any other last details to the hair including strand marks and indents, and trim any excess sculpt that might have been mushed out of place.
Now put it down and don’t touch it for at least 4-6 hours, however, I like to leave it over night to make
sure it’s fully cured. Remember, when painting, give it a little pre-paint sanding so that the paint will stick better.
I hope this has been helpful. Sculpting is my favorite part of making a figure, and can be a very relaxing and meditative practice. Speaking of, if you don’t like the final product remember practice make perfect. You can always add more sculpt, or heat it with a hair dryer for 30 seconds and remove the entire sculpt very easily and start over.
WARNING: you are using electrical devices and sharp objects. BE CAREFUL NOT TO HURT YOURSELF. If you are an idiot remember there are customizers like myself that can make figures for you!
Posted on November 12, 2015, in Tutorials and tagged ac custom action figures, action figure customizing, sculpting, tutorials. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Tutorial: Hair Sculpting Part 1.