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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Senior Member I see what you did thar....Other/Guernsey Group :icondeviantsculptors: DeviantSculptors
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Deviant for 4 Years
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Well it's about that time again and so without further ado, here's the first major part of the Salamander sculpt I've been working on.

I'm still trying to streamline these tuts/ramblings down a little as I can get carried away with the details.

:bulletblue: I've skipped over the building of the armature, however what I've said in the past still stands, it's all part of thought for what the creature is, what you want it to do and then finally, what it needs to do.


This is a salamander (note: not an ACTUAL salamander, which is a shame, because if they were like this I would have at least five and some very burnt fingers....moving on...), it's another sub species/Razordon buddy. Though they're very different. A Salamander is an aquatic beasty, with a sail on it's back, that spits flames at things it wishes to nom.

As with the Razordon I'm going to break this down stage by stage.

:bulletred:What does a salamander DO?
  • Aquatic beasty with a sail on it's back, that spits fire...that's it.

:bulletgreen:What does a Salamander NEED?
  • If you have to spit fire you need several things, the first is two different glands that mix two chemicals that violently react.         (similar to the way the bombardier beetle works).
  • You need a large set of jaws, realistically ones that can open very wide.
  • Being aquatic means you need big paddle like paws/feet, including webbing, all the better for swimming quickly through the water.
  • This also means a big rudder like tail.
  • And of course, broader shoulders and a wide chest.
:bulletblue:NEW SUB HEADING: What do I need/want to do to assist with the two titles above?
  • Salamanders are (overall) considered fairly closely with Razordons.
  • GW has a tendency to do combi-kits (kits with enough to make two different kinds of units, but of course, not enough to make both, as some major parts like legs and chests are required to make either option).
  • I want to further these gaps, overall body shape, even without details, NEED to be different from one another as they're completely different beastys.
  • Even the teeth would need to be different, thinner and longer (assuming it eats river dwelling things like fish, these teeth would be more useful.

This means: 
  • Longer limbs.
  • Broader at the front, rather than the back.
  • Longer neck.
  • Thicker arms + legs.
I think that's it for the moment on that so I'll move on...

Anywho, with that all out of the way, here's the armature, no idea why I thought about such a large base, but it made sense at the time. As always, I start at the head, as it ALWAYS makes or breaks the model and can often change your entire aim/overall concept for the piece.

Base by The-Build

:bulletred: There's going to be some frilly areas, so it makes sense again (after the base layer of the upper head is complete), to plot at least two, these also help act as markers for the back of the head as I build it up.
:bulletgreen: Next stage is working in the sneer/growl of the salamander and the underside of the lower eyelid.
:bulletblue: I can then slide in the eye balls, let it dry and then finish the top part of the skull and add in some more frills.

Aut 2114 by The-Build Aut 2115 by The-BuildAut 2116 by The-BuildAut 2117 by The-Build

Each new photo represents a brand new stage, usually when the one before has hardened completely or ever so slightly.

The chicken 65 approach....

The chicken 65 approach refers to something that happened at a local curry house.
We all have our food favs, things that are awesome (mine was tandoori), but just because you've found something that suits you, you'd be a fool not to try something new. Sticking to what works for you and what you know is not always a good idea, as it means you only improve in that way, or that technique, when there COULD be simpler, or much better ways of achieving the same result).

This is where the name "Chicken 65" comes in.

I love Tandoori from the local Indian/Goan take away, but one day, I decided to try this weird sounding "chicken 65" on their menu....HOLY CRAP THAT STUFF IS AMAZING! It was so amazing I ate the chilis in the this dish as though they were peppers (consider that, when I say that I am not a fire eater and do not get on well with spicy, throat burning food).

Despite my ears turning purple afterwards, I still regret nothing....

Anyways, the point here is that in the past I've always made a brace to slide teeth up against, it works nicely, provided you don't have any gaps and you keep the spacings between teeth small. However I have more and more recently moved away from that and apply teeth now, one by one.

Yes, it's more annoying.
Yes, it takes longer.
BUT, it looks better when they're all in the mouth.

Aut 2119 by The-Build


Moving on from the head, I then go to an old nemesis, the feet.
Starting from the bottom and working up helps to check your work as you go and it's much easier to correct mistakes too. This is where another little tip comes in to help, The Sisyphus boulder co-efficient (yes this is a real thing, stop questioning my awesomeness, you horribly negative balloon popper!)
Not Sure If Heretic.. Copy by The-Build

Anyways, the premise is simple, if you're going to push a great boulder up a hill, you might as well invest in some good shoes, practice with smaller rocks first, or even better, blow it up and take the bits up one by one (or get/pay someone else to do it). In this instance it's about looking at similar creatures and art, heck, even mechanics of the bones of feet of similar creatures, so you don't end up with an entire army of creatures, all with the exact same style of foot.

Combi-body by The-Build

  • From the feet I then work up the legs/arms.
  • Small divot holes are left into which I can stick and shape blobs of green stuff to make claws when the feet are dry.
  • After this, I then add the webbing in-between the toes,  at this stage it does matter about visible joins between separate layers of green stuff, these get fixed up in a sort of path and fill stage at the end(ish) of the project.
The tail:
The tail is next and rather than try to do it in one go, it's better to do the stage thingy again, especially as there's going to be a fair amount of shape and purpose to the tail.

This involves loads of that irritating "push-pulling" stuff to centre the masses where I need them and make some frilly areas and textures.
Aut 2132 by The-BuildAut 2131 by The-BuildAut 2134 by The-Build

:bulletblue:As a side note here, the tail in particular is something that would be important for a real life creature, just make sure you use the appropriate Salamander.

Chinese-giant-salamander-banner2 by The-Build

Not so appropriate:
Spotted Salamander by The-Build

The Torso:
Once that's dried, it's time to move from the underside of the torso to the upper, admittedly, more will be seen of the upper, so it makes a little more sense (especially while most of the tail is still wet) to get a basic layer on and push in some general shapes (muscles, scapular and rib cage).

Last photo shows a little more frill work, though much of it is pondering where to put stuff.

Aut 2133 by The-BuildAut 2135 by The-BuildAut 2136 by The-Build

That's all for the moment, hope this has been as alarming as it was enlightening.

More soonish/possibly/I make no promises.

So which journal should be next, after the finished Salamander? (see comment below) 

4 deviants said Stegadon
3 deviants said Chaos sister of battle (yes, another one)
1 deviant said A conversion you mentioned in the last poll you did.
No deviants said Mystery conversion.


I see what you did thar....
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
A tinkerer of all things great and small, in a nut shell I'm eccentric, caffeine addicted, introverted, perverted, insane and utterly loveable.

I'm also incredibly modest. <:

Kind of like a ferret on speed.


Great work, and thanks for faving ;)!
Mon May 11, 2015, 11:56 PM
Sweet pie....:drool:
Thu Jan 8, 2015, 3:17 PM
Aw it's so small. There's no love here. Well here's some: :heart: :cookie: :pie: :flowerpot:
Thu Jan 8, 2015, 3:15 PM
OH HAI! :meow:
Thu Jan 8, 2015, 3:10 PM

Sculpture stuff.

Tutorials and sculpture projects/lessons

I've also got an ever growing list of sculpture tutorials and articles going, you can find the contents and various sections in the Journal below.

:bulletblue: Mini Adventures contents page



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Danium Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
The-Build Featured By Owner May 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Danium Featured By Owner May 23, 2015
mark is there too gtfi :stare:
The-Build Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Er....wasn't around. :C
(1 Reply)
MaliceTear Featured By Owner May 20, 2015
The-Build Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I miss you. :tighthug:
Olav67 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, your work is great. Love it !!!
The-Build Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you. :)
laurart Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2015
Richard, I missed your birthday D:


Happy belated birthday <_< :heart:
The-Build Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you. :hug:
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